NEW INDIE MUSIC - WEEK 40
Kanye may have clowned us by failing to drop Jesus Is King on Friday, but it's all good as there was plenty of other music to sink our grills into over the last seven days. Okay, so I'm not entirely sure if any of the songs featured in this week's edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music will actually manage to top HAIM's mash-up of Lil Nas X and Nirvana that they performed in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on Wednesday...
...but they're nevertheless worthy of a spin or three. Headphones at the ready, then, as it's time to check out the following fresh indie tracks from Superorganism, Broken Bells, Jimmy Eat World, Allie X, Hobo Johnson, and more.
HOT CHIP – SPELL (SUPERORGANISM REMIX)
Superorganism remixing Hot Chip? How didn't I think of this sooner? Of course, this isn't the first Superorganism remix I've included in this column, although it might be my favorite, with the global collective's mind-warping maximalism making for a perfect accompaniment to Hot Chip's previously featured indie-dance opus. P.S. Did anyone else catch that reference to “The Warning?”
DEATON CHRIS ANTHONY (FEAT. CLAIRO & COCO & CLAIR CLAIR) – RACECAR
Rapping Clairo™ is not something I realized I needed in my life until today. The Immunity singer completely owns it, however, on Deaton Chris Anthony's latest single “RACECAR,” a gum-smacking, attitude-packed ode to old-school hip hop that Clairo reveals on Instagram was written while dealing with a bout of arthritis: “Making this fun, loud, confident song the same day I dealt with something so disheartening showed me what music can do for me, and how it doesn't always have to be so serious to make you feel something.”
BROKEN BELLS – GOOD LUCK
It’s been close to a year since we last heard from Broken Bells, but the duo comprising of The Shins frontman James Mercer and superproducer Danger Mouse are back today with the groovy “Good Luck.” “The face of evil is on the news tonight/We see the darkness over light/But have we really ever lived in better times?” asks James on the cut, his croon spooling out over a plodding bassline, before a surge of fuzzy guitars carries the song to its choral coda.
JIMMY EAT WORLD – ALL THE WAY (STAY)
Jimmy Eat World are taking us back to innocent, better days on the first single to be unveiled from their forthcoming album Surviving. As someone who spent most of their teenage years locked in their bedroom listening to Bleed American, I can confirm “All the Way (Stay)” is packed full of that early-00s nostalgia, with the signature sing-along vocals of Jim Adkins pairing with melodic riffs for a Jimmy Eat World classic in the making.
MXMS – WHAT'S MY NAME
Just a couple of weeks on from unveiling the piercingly haunting piano ballad “What's My Name,” MXMS return today with the official lyric video. The clip takes us on a spine-chilling journey through the desolate halls of an abandoned high school, with the shots of dusty desks and shredded wallpaper providing an apt setting for lead singer Ariel Levitan to deliver her traumatic tale about the bullying and isolation she experienced as a teenager.
ALLIE X – FRESH LAUNDRY
Purveyor of everything “avant-garde” Allie X returns this Monday with “Fresh Laundry.” Written alongside Oscar Görres and James Alan Ghaleb in Sweden, “Fresh Laundry” is an aptly icy piece of synth pop from Alexandra Ashley Hughes, with the 34-year-old's darkly emotive vocals soaring with ease over the glacial synthscape. “This is a song about longing for things you can't have,” writes Allie on Instagram. Listen.
HOBO JOHNSON – MOONLIGHT
If you're yet to listen to The Fall of Hobo Johnson, then just a heads-up that you're missing out on all kinds of chaotic good like “Moonlight.” The centerpiece from the Sacramento rapper's recent album finds Hobo taking on his most experimental production to date, with pounding beats, bombastic brass, luscious strings, and more coming together to provide a platform on which the 24-year-old is able to deliver his avant-garde ode to unrequited love.
TEMPLES – HOLY HORSES
The Rolling Stones once brought us “Wild Horses,” but Temples are presenting a more sacred form of equine on the latest single to be unveiled from their recent album Hot Motion. Described by the British band as one of their heaviest songs to date, “Holy Horses” hears Temples continuing to push the boundaries of their 60s-tinged psychedelia, with a galloping rhythm section adding an aspect of glam-rock stomp that'll go down well in a live setting.
PHEM – VACUMHEAD
Having made her debut in this column in July with “dead yet,” her collaboration with We Are: The Guard favorite gabriel black, phem is back this Monday with “VACUMHEAD.” Featured on her recent EP of the same name, “VACUMHEAD” is a killer club banger for f*cked-up indie kids everywhere, with phem – who'll be supporting Fueled by Ramen's grandson on his tour across North America next month – letting rip over the kind of bassline that most pits were quite frankly invented for.
DES ROCS – LIVING PROOF
New York City's Des Rocs marches on with his mission to bring rock and roll “back to the people” with the release of “Living Proof.” The follow-up to “SLO” is a stadium-sized slice of garage skronk that you can file next to Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, with gospel choirs supporting Reverend Rocs as he leads his audience to a kind of sleazy salvation: “I'm living proof that the worst can be beat/If ya pull yourself together you can get on your feet.”
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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.