With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of summer, temperatures are definitely heating up around these parts. Music is heating up, too, with the imminent arrival of June bringing with it a whole new wave of hotter than hot sounds to see us through the best part of festival season. If you're looking for a more productive way to spend your Memorial Day beyond firing up the grill and eating your body weight in potato salad, then, why not check out what We Are: The Guard has to offer in this latest serving of New Indie Music? Featuring George Ezra, Lykke Li, James Blake, Devendra Banhart, Snow Patrol, and five other favorites, this playlist has something for everyone!



Okay, we admit it – George Ezra is our guilty pleasure here at We Are: The Guard. His second album Staying at Tamara's is quite simply packed full of summer-friendly anthems, right down to the catchy-as-hell tropical pop bop “Shotgun.” Plus, you have to hand it to the man – he certainly isn't afraid of making the most awkward lyric videos going (no, really – check out the equally awkward clip for “Pretty Shining People” to see what we mean!).



so sad so sexy, the forthcoming fourth album from Lykke Li, is certainly living up to its title. One week on from sharing the sensual vertical video for “deep end,” the Swedish songstress returns this Monday with the equally erotic clip for the Rostam-produced “hard rain.” Directed by Anton Tammi, the visual very much continues where “deep end” left off, with Lykke and her mystery man this time seen making out on a mountaintop, before their relationship takes a dive in the second half of the video.



James Blake has shared his new single and the follow-up to January's “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead.” “Don't Miss It” is a transfixingly lush piano ballad that finds the British artist – who recently released a statement criticizing those who refer to his music as “sad boy” – opening up about his battle with anxiety and depression, with James adding that he's determined to not let this battle stop him from living a full life: “I could sleep whenever I like/I could leave in the middle of the night/But I'd miss it/Don't miss it/Don't miss it like I did.”



He may look like a walking, talking meme, but don't let the bowl cut and scooter fool you. Oliver Tree means business. Case in point: “Movement.” Showcasing the Los Angeles rapper's Ad-Rock-style flow over an earth-shaking bassline courtesy of long-time collaborator Whethan, this certified banger and follow-up to this year's Alien Boy EP is further proof that Oliver Tree isn't playing this 2018.



Following a difficult year, which included a two-month stint in rehab, Blair is returning to music in spectacular style this 2018 with “New Eyes.” The Los Angeles artist is cranking up the rock and roll pyrotechnics on the angst-riddled anthem, which Blair reveals is the first cut to be unveiled from a forthcoming debut album. “This body of work is not only a documentation of demons – its creation itself is a triumph over them,” he writes. “I'll be releasing that music, marking a new chapter in my music and my life.”



Opia keep getting better and better! Ahead of the release of their second EP and the follow-up to 2017's Faded, the Yale University graduates have shared “Four Winds” – a certified soul banger that hears Opia pairing their Wham!-like vocal melodicism (Wham! are still relevant, right?) with their most guitar-oriented production to date.



Every once in a while, a song comes along that feels more important than “just a song. “Someday” by Phantogram is one such example. It was written by lead singer Sarah Barthel about her sister, Rebecca, who tragically died by suicide in 2016, with Sarah using the horn-flecked piece – all proceeds for which will go towards the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention – as a chance to reflect on her devastating loss: “If only I could see you/I'd tell you that I love you, I do/Someday I'll be with you/Oh, I love you so.”



It's been two years since we've heard from Devendra Banhart, but the freak folk artist is back this 2018 with a cover of Joan of Arc's “Shown and Told.” Recorded as part of Joyful Noise's Cause & Effect series, it's an overarchingly loyal reinterpretation, with Devendra retaining much of the hushed delicacy of the original, while at the same time adding just enough whispered atmospherics to make the song his own <3.



Darwin Deez is back, everyone! The Hipster Prince is sounding older and wiser on his first single in three years, “The World's Best Kisser” – a synth-speckled ode to a lover that hears Darwin processing his quirky lyrical observations through an Animal Collective-esque vocoder: “The world's best kisser is girl who believes/In nothing/She wears a lot of black/And isn't very trusting/And the world's best kisser is a girl I know/And since I've met her, I'm a metronome/I clack away and wait until we're all alone.”



They recently shared the devastatingly beautiful ballad “What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?,” but Scottish band Snow Patrol are back to their anthemic best on the latest single to be unveiled from their seventh album Wildness. “Heal Me” is a life-affirming hymn that hears Gary Lightbody soaring to the heavens atop a spread of multitracked acoustics, with the frontman revealing that the song was inspired by a woman he met who saved him from the depths of alcoholism: “This song is about her, that journey and is dedicated to her.”


Until next time, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Daily on Spotify for more? x

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash


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.