NEW INDIE MUSIC - WEEK 7
It was the Oscars last night. I was too busy compiling the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music to tune in, of course, but I'd like to think Billie Eilish beat 1917 to Best Picture and there were tacky Cats jokes aplenty. Anyways, now awards season is over for another year, we can return to honoring what really matters around these parts: the best indie songs on the blogosphere. Headphones at the ready, then, as it's time to check out the following top tracks from Christine and the Queens, Hayley Williams, Phantogram, and more.
OVERCOATS – FIRE & FURY
As if they didn't make it clear on their previous single “The Fool,” Overcoats are here to fight for their lives on “Fire & Fury.” “There's a fire/There's a fury/Sky is falling but we'll get through it,” sing the duo on the stunningly beautiful rallying cry – a call to arms to rise from the ashes as taken from Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell's forthcoming album The Fight.
CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS – PEOPLE, I'VE BEEN SAD
Christine and the Queens addresses her experience with depression on “People, I've been sad.” Over a thwacking synth bassline, listen as Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier seamlessly moves between French and English to tell her story, with the singer resisting histrionics to instead offer a kind of slow, quiet, respectful look at the intricacies of human suffering.
HAYLEY WILLIAMS – CINNAMON
Hayley Williams continues the rollout to her debut solo album Petals for Armour by sharing “Cinnamon.” It's an avant-garde groover that could quite easily be mistaken for the work of St. Vincent, with Hayley evoking a scene of quiet mental unraveling as she sings about talking to her dog and eating breakfast in the nude over an off-kilter funk beat.
WHETHAN (FEAT. GRANDSON) – ALL IN MY HEAD
This is ridiculously kick-ass. Whethan is switching gears and then some on “All in My Head.” Listen as the young dance producer veers into rock-and-roll on the grandson-featuring cut, with distorted, gritty guitars cutting through rave beats for a shredder that sounds like it should be playing over the top of some high-octane GTA police chase.
DAUGHTERS OF NOISE! – 2023
Buckle up, baby. Duo Daughters of Noise! are taking us back to the future in the video for “2023.” Forget climate change and economic disarray – instead, geometric wigs, confetti, and twerking reign supreme in Coco Morier and Arama's vision of what lies ahead, with our favorite time travelers pumping out their retrotastic funk-pop every step of the way.
BEST COAST – DIFFERENT LIGHT
Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino continues her journey of self-discovery on “Different Light.” Like “For the First Time” and “Everything Has Changed” before it, “Different Light” hears Bethany reflecting on her growth since turning 30 and giving up alcohol, with this newfound emotional maturity coming propelled by a blend of garage riffs and gang vocals.
SHARON VAN ETTEN – BEATEN DOWN
Just over one year on from the release of Remind Me Tomorrow, Sharon Van Etten returns with the smoldering Beaten Down. Produced by John Congleton, it's a darkly cavernous hymn about strength and vigor that showcases Sharon's mastery over space in her music, with her voice swelling in all the right places atop a churning trip-hop-like beat.
SEVDALIZA – OH MY GOD
Sevdaliza alludes to the current tensions between America and her home country of Iran on the mystical masterpiece “Oh My God.” “It was a wake-up call, that our voices are meant to be heard, our stories are meant to be shared,” writes Sevdaliza of the protest song – a powerful, potent ode to self-discovery and persevering in the face of adversity.
PHANTOGRAM – PEDESTAL
Coinciding with the announcement of their forthcoming album Ceremony, Phantogram are making their soaring return with “Pedestal.” It's a big, bold, bombastic banger about losing yourself to love, with Sarah Barthel's vocals towering with emotion as she sings: “'Cause I was in love with you/Is that what you're supposed to do?/When I put you on this pedestal.”
KEVIN KRAUTER – OPPORTUNITY
When it comes to gauzy indie-rock, it doesn't get much better than Kevin Krauter. Ahead of the release of his album Full Hand later this month, the Indiana artist returns with “Opportunity” – an endlessly pretty piece Kevin wrote while considering going full-time with his music, with his anxiety over the future coming framed in a kind of dappling sunlight.
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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.