NEW INDIE MUSIC – WEEK 47

11/21/16
“Photo” by Imani Clovis

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, which is great...if you like your family. But when you find out around the dinner table that your distant Uncle Joe voted Trump, then you're probably going to want to pass up on the turkey and get the eff outta there. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy to escape from our dumb relations during the holiday season. Of course, you could push through it with help from Grandma's secret alcohol stash, but why do that when you could push through it with help from Grandma's secret alcohol stash AND music? When it all gets too much on Thursday, find a quiet place to slip on your headphones and give thanks for the following songs from The Flaming Lips, Milky Chance, Tom Odell, The xx, MØ and more for coming to your rescue.

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THE FLAMING LIPS – HOW??

It's been deeply uncomfortable to watch my one-time favourite band, Oklahoma psychedelic veterans The Flaming Lips, become more famous for their cringeworthy exploits with a certain Miley Cyrus than their own music over recent years. I'm pleased to say that Wayne Coyne and company get back to what they do best, however, on “How??” – that being making incredibly lovely, existential crisis-prompting alien pop, complete with mind-bendingly trippy visuals to boot. Tune in and drop out!

 

SAINT MOTEL – MOVE

I'm sure I'm not the only one who consumed their fair share of rolling news over recent weeks, but I'd tune in to CNN a whole lot more if it resembled this video for the catchy-as-hell “Move” by Saint Motel! Watch as the indie pop band – who recently released their second album saintmoteltelevision – play on valiantly despite their surroundings descending into chaos (a metaphor for this country, perhaps?) in the Zach Wechter, Nick Roney and Carlos Lopez Estrada-directed visual, which features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo from funny man Reggie Watts!

 

MILKY CHANCE – COCOON

Three years after the release of their debut album Sadnecessary, purveyors of electro-folk Milky Chance return today with “Cocoon.” Combining beguiling acoustic guitars and frontman Clemens Rehbein's ever-soulful rasps, it's a welcome return for the German duo that comes topped off by a rather dark and disturbing video set in an abandoned mental asylum...I think? You tell me!

 

CRYWOLF – WINDSWEPT

Grab your Kleenex as Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, returns today with maybe his most bone-chilling number yet. “Windswept” is an expansive six-minute symphony that finds Taylor Phillips layering his falsetto vocals atop a bed of swelling electronic atmospherics, building to a truly gut-wrenching climax that actually reduced me to tears! “It's a really vulnerable song for me, and I second guessed my choice to put it out multiple times, but what is an artist without honesty?” Crywolf tells NYLON. “Feeling vulnerable is part of the craft I have chosen, and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

 

COURTSHIP. – LOVE FOR EVERYONE

Having erupted on the blogosphere earlier this year with the euphoric “Stop For Nothing” – a song which has since clocked up over 1 million streams on Spotify – Los Angeles indie pop duo courtship. return today to spread even more good vibes with their second single. Entitled “Love For Everyone,” it's a blissed out ode to self-acceptance that sounds like it should be coming to you through a top-down convertible's stereo as you cruise along the sun-kissed coast. Is it summer yet?

 

TOM ODELL – TRUE COLORS (CYNDI LAUPER COVER)

Master of sappy covers Tom Odell returns today with, ahem, yet another sappy cover in the form of “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. The blonde British crooner – who's currently busy promoting his second album Wrong Crowd – recorded the piano-driven rendition of the 80s power ballad for a Sony BRAVIA 4K HDR TV commercial, with the full version coming accompanied by a dimly lit live performance video directed by Gunna Weber.

 

BANNERS – HOLY GROUND

Liverpool musician BANNERS follows up the January release of his self-titled debut EP with “Holy Ground.” Drifting along at an almost dreamlike pace before surging up into something completely, heart-stoppingly beautiful, “Holy Ground” is sure to appeal to fans of Jeff Buckley and Arcade Fire. “This is a song about special people and special places,” BANNERS tells Billboard. “And keeping those memories with you wherever you go.” <3.

 

TY SEGALL – ORANGE COLOR QUEEN

Garage rock titan Ty Segall reveals his softer side on “Orange Color Queen” – the first single to be shared from his forthcoming self-titled album, due out in January. Written for his girlfriend Denée, it starts out as a lilting acoustic reverie before transforming into a psychedelic love song complete with some ridiculously cute, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”-esque lyrics: “Oh, you're my orange lady/Oh, you're my silver lips of honey/Oh, you're my cherry fizzled sundae/Oh, you're a tree inside of an airplane.”

 

THE XX – ON HOLD

Fun fact: I hate The xx. Correction: I HATED The xx. The London trio's breed of sleepy electronica never quite DID it for me. That all seems set to change today with the release of “On Hold.” The first single to be shared from their forthcoming third album I See You – due out in January – it's a sprawling disco ballad (oxymoron?) that hears Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim trading introspections over a driving sample of Hall & Oates' “I Can't Go For That.” No, really! P.S. Don't have SoundCloud Go? Click here.

 

MØ – DRUM

In October, MØ unveiled “Drum,” a shimmering, bombastic anthem as co-written by Charli XCX and Noonie Bao and produced by BloodPop, and today, the Danish diva returns with the video. Directed by Quentin Jones, it finds MØ frolicking on a beach with a hipster male model – a standard afternoon for me, tbh – and basically makes for a Tumblr-friendly alternative to Katy Perry's “Teenage Dream.” Check it out!

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Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! x

Photo” by Imani Clovis is licensed under CC0 1.0 (cropped and resized).

About Jess Grant

When Jess Grant isn't writing on music, she can be found playing it – on her guitar, on her ukulele, and on her recently acquired mandolin. Playing it hideously, she ought to add. Jess also studies. She studies the English language, to be precise. Jess is currently on her way to a degree in the subject, and enjoys starting and never finishing novels, screenplays, and poetry in her spare time. She also likes dogs. Lots of dogs.