NEW INDIE MUSIC - WEEK 4
Now the music industry is properly back up and running (Who's excited to see Big Thief win their first Grammy on Sunday?!), there were A LOT of songs for me to get through over the last seven days. It was actually one of those weeks where I struggled to whittle this column down to 10 tracks and 10 tracks only, but after plenty of careful consideration – and, yes, caffeine – I finally managed to do it. Feel free to thank me by buying me a plane ticket and a pass to Primavera Sound (Have you SEEN that lineup?!).
Check out this week's edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music from The 1975, Best Coast, Thundercat, and more!
THE 1975 – ME & YOU TOGETHER SONG
Notes on a Conditional Form has been pushed back to April, but The 1975 are keeping the music coming with the release of “Me & You Together Song.” It's an ebullient sprawl that sounds like it should be playing over shots of a city skyline à la a late-90s rom-com, with Matty Healy coming off as truly infatuated as he attempts to win over a girl with his love.
SOCCER MOMMY – CIRCLE THE DRAIN
Soccer Mommy is on the downward spiral on “circle the drain.” The latest single to be unveiled from color theory finds Sophie Allison touching on her depression and its ability to pull her under at any given moment, with her lyrics coming met by a sanguine indie-rock production that speaks to the bittersweet duality at the heart of Soccer Mommy's music.
BEST COAST – EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED
Best Coast are ringing the changes on “Everything Has Changed.” The follow-up to “For the First Time” finds Bethany Cosentino addressing the difficulties she faced following Best Coast's breakthrough in 2009, with Bethany singing about moving from a place of crippling self-doubt to a place of sage confidence over an “I Love Rock 'n Roll”-esque crunch.
TENNIS – NEED YOUR LOVE
Denver duo Tennis continue to build up to Swimmer by sharing the shimmering “Need Your Love.” “I was letting go of unhealthy relationships – trying to find healing without closure,” writes Alaina Moore of the cut, with Tennis making use of riveting tempo changes within the confines of their wall of sound in order to deliver a retrofuturistic catharsis like no other.
GABRIEL BLACK (FEAT. PHEM) – PUNISHER
Following on from the release of the angst-ridden emo anthem “dead yet” – a song that went on to appear in HBO's Euphoria – gabriel black and phem return with “punisher.” It's a gloomy ballad about addiction to pain, suffering, and toxic relationships, with an eerie, marching drumbeat slowly beckoning gabriel and phem into a pit of haunting self-despair.
THUNDERCAT (FEAT. STEVE LACY & STEVE ARRINGTON) – BLACK QUALLS
Los Angeles artist Thundercat is bringing the cosmic boogie to “Black Qualls.” Featuring The Internet's Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington, “Black Qualls” is a lush groover that feels fit for the new decade, with a thick, rich bassline coming dressed in Thundercat's funky futurism as they trade lyrics about what it means to be a black man in America in 2020.
WESTERMAN – BLUE COMANCHE
The world is burning to a cinder before our very eyes, so much so Westerman can't help but avert his gaze on the opulent “Blue Comanche.” “Walk me through the blue-cornered sundown/Turn back around,” begs Westerman on the ode to environmental calamity, which lulls you into a false sense of security with it nostalgic, Peter Gabriel-like grandeur.
REAL ESTATE (FEAT. SYLVAN ESSO) – PAPER CUP
It's been a complicated couple of years for Real Estate, but the band are back and sounding more at ease than ever on “Paper Cup.” The song hears Real Estate prodding their endlessly gauzy guitar-pop in a slightly different direction, with their signature haze coming sprinkled with disco stardust, along with vocals from Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath.
TORRES – DRESSING AMERICA
TORRES is stepping up to be the cowboy on “Dressing America.” It's a cosmic country ballad that Mackenzie Scott says is an ode to “every sacrificial act of love,” with her voice resounding with a mythological blend of bravado and entitlement as she sings: “I tend to sleep with my boots on should I need to gallop over dark water/To you on short notice.”
COIN – YOUUU
COIN come to the realization that everything they've ever wanted is standing right there in front of them on “Youuu.” “But it's always been you/Oh, it's always been you,” rhapsodizes frontman Chase Lawrence on the cut, which renders its emotional complexity through deft indie-pop songwriting for an ascendant, exhilarating synth-pop banger of the highest order.
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Jess Grant is a frustrated writer hailing from London, England. When she isn't tasked with disentangling her thoughts from her brain and putting them on paper, Jess can generally be found listening to The Beatles, or cooking vegetarian food.