NEW INDIE MUSIC: 10 SONGS FOR YOUR FALL ROTATION
It's me, hi! How are you? How was your weekend? Did you manage to listen to Midnights? Even though Lana Del Rey was basically missing in action on "Snow on the Beach," Taylor Swift has officially earned a place in our fall rotation with her tenth offering. Of course, Midnights isn't all the team and I have been spinning over the last few days, as we're about to find out in the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music. Check out the following songs from Young Fathers, Dora Jar, Caroline Polachek, and seven other favorites. Enjoy!
YOUNG FATHERS – I SAW
Four years on from the critically acclaimed Cocoa Sugar, Edinburgh's Young Fathers is celebrating the announcement of their brand new album, Heavy Heavy, with "I Saw." The follow-up to "Geronimo" is a big, stomping glam lurch that Young Fathers describes as "that pamphlet through your door blaming the establishment and immigrants for everything going wrong." With wild vocals giving way to a collective chorus chant, "I Saw" feels like a moment of unity after the madness of recent times.
DORA JAR – SPELL
Dora Jar's Dora Jarkowski is diving into the melancholy that often accompanies the arrival of the fall and winter months on "Spell." Following the trip-hop-esque "Bump," "Spell" is a soft, enchanting folk prayer that hears Dora wearing her sadness like a long black cloak. "'Spell' is a song about the feeling of calm before the storm," explains Dora. "A pensive reflection and anticipation of change, a wish for a deeper understanding of nature, and a yearning to know my role within the ebb and flow."
CAROLINE POLACHEK – SUNSET
Summer is a distant memory for most of us, but Caroline Polachek is keeping the joy and warmth of the season flowing on "Sunset." Produced with Sega Bodega, "Sunset" is an ode to an all-consuming love that hears Caroline's chrome-dipped soprano set against a backdrop of Spanish guitars and handclaps. "So no regrets/'Cause you're my sunset, fiery red/Forever fearless," sings Caroline in the giddy chorus. "And in your arms a warm horizon/Don't look back/Let's ride away, let's ride away."
FRANKIE COSMOS – EMPTY HEAD
New York City's Frankie Cosmos marks the release of Inner World Peace by sharing the gloriously dizzy "Empty Head." Coming after "One Year Stand," "Aftershook," and "F.O.O.F," "Empty Head" hears Frankie Cosmos leader Greta Kline continuing to juxtapose her lyrical neurosis with some of the most joyous indie-pop this side of the decade. "'Empty Head' is about wishing for inner peace, and conversely: spiraling," adds Greta, with the 28-year-old offering an anthem for overthinkers everywhere.
BLONDSHELL – CARTOON EARTHQUAKE
Blondshell's Sabrina Teitelbaum has never been afraid to teeter on the sensationalist, with the New York City singer-songwriter delivering perhaps her grandest gesture to date on "Cartoon Earthquake." "'Cartoon Earthquake'" is about the uncertainty that comes with falling in love," says Blondshell. "I wanted the earthquake metaphor to be as dramatic as possible." With big emotionality meeting even bigger riffs, "Cartoon Earthquake" is a nineties-indebted indie-rock devotional at its most extravagant. 10/10.
ARCTIC MONKEYS – I AIN'T QUITE WHERE I THINK I AM
The Car is finally here, and to celebrate, Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys is sharing the third and final single, "I Ain't Quite Where I Think I Am." While "There'd Better Be a Mirrorball" and "Body Paint" reveled in James Bond-adjacent orchestral luxe, "I Ain't Quite Where I Think I Am" teleports to the land of cosmic-funk, with a Frank Zappa-indebted guitar riff squiggling behind Alex Turner as he sings of social disconnection: "Blank expressions invite me to suspect/I ain't quite where I think I am."
MICHELLE – PULSE
We Are: The Guard favorite MICHELLE takes time out from The Lavender Tour to share "PULSE." The follow-up to March's AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS is an eighties-esque ballroom banger that compares falling in love to being shot through with electricity. "'PULSE' is for release and for some sharp and glowing feeling when you lock eyes with a lover," notes MICHELLE. "'PULSE' is for the dance floor. When the heat is cranked from moving bodies and a shared wanting, 'PULSE' is playing." Crank it up.
GENESIS OWUSU – GET INSPIRED
He's currently touring with Tame Impala, but Ghanaian-Australian musician Genesis Owusu is still bringing us the bangers with "Get Inspired." Coming after July's "GTFO," "Get Inspired" is a furious piece of post-punk that hears Genesis going deep into the creative process. "Cliché if it's not making dollars baby it's not making sense/How you picky with your art when you can't even pay your rent?" snarls Genesis over a kinetic bassline, before guitars blast like air-raid sirens come the rager of a chorus.
BABYGIRL – ALWAYS
Introducing Babygirl, the Toronto outfit making their debut on We Are: The Guard with the melancholy grunge lullaby "Always." Written and produced with Gabe Reali of Ghostryder and Ryan Raines, "Always" is a song about running into an ex at a party and the forgotten feelings and memories this unlocks. "So, ask me if I want you, I'll say/Always, always," sings Babygirl frontwoman Kiki Frances, her dreamy voice overcome with sadness. "Oh, ask you if I haunt you, you'll say/Always, always." Ouch.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD – HATE DANCIN'
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard has already released two albums this October, Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava and Laminated Denim, and on Friday, the Melbourne rockers will return with Changes. But, before then, Stu Mackenzie and co is sharing the ridiculously groovy "Hate Dancin'." "I started writing a song about how I hate dancing, but then I realized that I love dancing," says Stu. With a shuffle beat picking up pace as Stu sings of his love for moving, "Hate Dancin'" is pure jazz deliciousness.
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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.