NEW INDIE MUSIC - WEEK 30
Hey, everyone! How are you? How was your weekend? Did you go to see The Lion King? I hope that it wasn't nearly as emotionally scarring as the Cats movie trailer! One thing for certain is that The Gift – Beyoncé's album released to coincide with The Lion King – is better than all of these films combined! Queen Bey isn't the only artist with new music out this week, however, with songs coming at us in quite literally all directions over the last seven days! Before any more time goes to waste, then, let's get going with today's edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music, featuring Wilco, Of Monsters and Men, Shura, Sleater-Kinney, Chelsea Wolfe, and plenty more!
WILCO – LOVE IS EVERYWHERE (BEWARE)
Wilco are back! Wilco are back! And just in time, too! As the world descends into a dark cesspit of hatred and fear, the Chicago stalwarts are here to help us see the light with “Love Is Everywhere (Beware)” – a soft, slow-rolling waltz that frontman Jeff Tweedy says serves as a reminder to “act with more love and courage and less outrage and anesthetized fear.”
OF MONSTERS AND MEN – WILD ROSES
I'm absolutely obsessed with this new era of Of Monsters and Men! As much as I love the folk-leaning sounds of My Head Is an Animal and Beneath the Skin, it's been genuinely thrilling to watch the Icelandic band pursue their poppier sensibilities on “Alligator” and its soaring follow-up “Wild Roses,” which places frontwoman Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir's emotional vocals front and center (just where I like 'em!).
WHITNEY – VALLEYS (MY LOVE)
Whitney's bittersweet Americana makes me nostalgic for a time that I know not when. The Chicago band are delivering another wistful wonder in the form of “Valleys (My Love)” – a poignant tale about longing for a lover while on the road that gently warms the soul like the late-summer sun. Forever Turned Around is out August 30th.
BISHOP BRIGGS – CHAMPION
Bishop Briggs is the definition of badass! Just over one year on from the release of her debut album Church of Scars, the Los Angeles artist returns today with “Champion” – an empowering, motivational anthem that Bishop reveals that she wrote alongside We Are: The Guard regular K.Flay. “She's incredible,” says the 27-year-old. “It felt so helpful to be in the room with someone who knew my relationship and knew the things that I was going through. I could be completely vulnerable.”
SHURA – THE STAGE
Can Shura do any wrong? The Brooklyn queer artist quite literally hasn't released a bad song yet, and her latest single “the stage” is no exception. With Prince-esque disco grooves meeting hints of neo-psychedelia, the follow-up to “religion (u can lay your hands on me)” is a glistening, coruscating listen that Shura reveals on Twitter was written about the first date that she went on with her current girlfriend – a MUNA concert!
This is a song about my first date with my current girlfriend that happened to be at an amazing @whereisMUNA concert. We are still together so can thoroughly recommend it as a first date for anyone thinking about it. https://t.co/8b9gYmCOA0
— shura (@weareshura) July 15, 2019
SLEATER-KINNEY – THE CENTER WON'T HOLD
They may be one member down, but Sleater-Kinney would like to remind you that they're still a force to be reckoned with on the dystopian “The Center Won't Hold.” Featured on their forthcoming St. Vincent-produced album of the same name, it's a clanking industrial rocker that hears Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker sharing vocal duties, with both singers weaving a post-apocalyptic narrative for our modern times.
VIVIAN GIRLS – SICK
It's been eight years, but Vivian Girls are back and sounding better than ever on “Sick.” Their first material since 2011's Share the Joy is a fuzzy shoegaze-indebted reverie, with the New York trio's washed-out girl-group harmonies coming set against a scuzzy production that doesn't stop for breath for its entire two-minute duration. Memory is out September 20th.
GIRL IN RED – I'LL DIE ANYWAY.
Norway's girl in red makes music for the introverts. The deep thinkers. The ones who find themselves having an existential crisis on the reg. Over bright, jangly guitars, listen as the 20-year-old questions her purpose in life on “i'll die anyway.” – a depressingly catchy (oxymoron?) piece of lo-fi pop music that girl in red personally describes as “the most honest song that I've written.”
CHELSEA WOLFE – AMERICAN DARKNESS
It isn't easy being a goth in this 100-degree weather, but Chelsea Wolfe is here to help us survive the summer months with “American Darkness.” The ashy ballad is just the song that we need as we retreat to our witches covens after a long day in the hot sun, with Chelsea plumbing the depths of her incantatory power over wispy acoustics and dusky drums.
SASHA SLOAN – AT LEAST I LOOK COOL
If I had to describe Sasha Sloan in word, it'd be “relatable.” The Los Angeles artist doesn't hold back when it comes to writing about her mental health, with Sasha revealing all on her latest single. “I drive a car that doesn't work/I shop at Target for my shirts/And when I pay my rent it hurts/But I got invited to this thing so/I think tonight I'm going out/I'm getting off my shitty couch/Ready to fuck my bank account/And I'm not myself,” sings the indie-pop musician on “at least i look cool” – an ode to social anxiety that makes for a perfect accompaniment to Sasha's previous single “Normal.”
Until next week, follow We Are: The Guard's Weekly Chart for more! x
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.