NEW INDIE MUSIC: 10 SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK
Photo by Artyom Kulikov on Unsplash
The end of the year is almost upon us, so you're probably going to be seeing a whole lot of "Best of" lists coming your way over the next few days and weeks. While it's fun and interesting to reflect on "the year that was," we much prefer to turn our attention to the months ahead around these parts. Of course, no one can predict the future, but if the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's New Indie Music is anything to go by, 2022 is going to be quite the year for our community. Check out the following songs from Jean Dawson, Girlpool, Mitski, and more below!
JEAN DAWSON (FEAT. MAC DEMARCO) – MENTHOL*
We Are: The Guard favorite Jean Dawson continues his ascent to indie superstardom this Monday with his brand new single "MENTHOL*." A collaboration with Mac DeMarco, "MENTHOL*" is a thrilling, cathartic rager underpinned by some Salad Days-indebted jangle. "I think I fully lost my ability to care about shit I don't care about and it's truly beautiful," writes Jean of the inspiration behind the electrifying cut. "I guess I'm really infatuated with the chaoticness that comes with the idea of tomorrow."
GIRLPOOL – FAULTLINE
Last year, Girlpool unveiled one of the greatest songs of 2020 in the form of "Like I'm Winning It." The Los Angeles outfit has remained relatively quiet since then, but today, Harmony Tividad and Avery Tucker are thankfully making their return with "Faultline." It's a twinkling waltz beneath the night sky, with lyrics about romanticizing a toxic relationship. Harmony: "The 'Faultline' represents everything you do as a means of escape that pushes you further into the very thing you're escaping." Listen.
MITSKI – HEAT LIGHTNING
The countdown to Mitski's sixth album Laurel Hell is officially on. We've already heard "Working for the Knife'' and "The Only Heartbreaker," and this Monday, the Japanese-American artist returns with "Heat Lightning." It's a slow, marching listen that finds Mitski touching on her battle with insomnia. "I've laid awake since 1:00 and now it's 4 o'clock/Though I've held on, can't carry it much longer," croons Mitski on the cut, which surges to a crescendo of creamy keys before retreating into itself.
TAME IMPALA – NO CHOICE
Ahead of the release of The Slow Rush Deluxe Box Set in February, Australian band Tame Impala has shared a brand new bonus song in the form of "No Choice." While it didn't make the final cut of The Slow Rush, this flange-laced vortex files nicely alongside singles such as "Breathe Deeper." With breakbeat-esque drums skipping like a broken record beneath Kevin Parker as he meditates on feelings of great hopelessness, "No Choice" fades out with a sizzling guitar solo for the Tame Impala history books.
PORCHES – ADORE YOU (HARRY STYLES COVER)
Porches released one of our favorite albums of the year in October, All Day Gentle Hold !, and today, Pleasantville native Aaron Maine is closing out 2021 in quite frankly superstar style with this version of "Adore You" by Harry Styles. "I thought it would be interesting to strip down 'Adore You,' this huge pop song, and see what happened," reveals Aaron of his liquidy grunge rendition of the Fine Line bop. "I feel like I was really able to get lost in it and create this kind of eerier and darker version."
BON IVER – SECOND NATURE
Adam McKay's Don't Look Up hits Netflix on December 24th. We've already heard the theme song "Just Look Up" by the movie's cast members Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi, and today, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon is offering up his contribution to the soundtrack in the form of "Second Nature." A collaboration with Don't Look Up's composer Nicholas Britell, "Second Nature" is a sweeping, orchestral postapocalyptic odyssey that hears Justin questioning in the opening verse: "When's that rapture? Will there be merch?"
BEACH HOUSE – NEW ROMANCE
Beach House continues to build up to the release of Once Twice Melody with "New Romance." The gigantically lush follow-up to "Once Twice Melody," "New Romance" is a four-minute epic that originally appeared in demo form in 2019. With synths spinning and forming a blur around Victoria Legrand like some kind of spectral carousel, "New Romance" is a dreamy ode to the highs and lows of young love that feels like pure musical alchemy: "Last night I'm messing up/Now I feel like dressing up/I-L-Y-S-F-M."
ALICE GLASS – FAIR GAME
Alice Glass has never been afraid to confront difficult topics like abuse and trauma in her music, with the Toronto act offering up perhaps her most heavy take on the subject matter on "FAIR GAME." The latest single to be lifted from her forthcoming debut album PREY//IV finds Alice singing from the perspective of a controlling, manipulative gaslighter, with a gothic club expanse backing the 33-year-old as she delivers an intense spoken word that seems to pull from her own experience with abuse.
KHRUANGBIN & LEON BRIDGES – B-SIDE
Before we went into lockdown last year, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges came together for the collaborative EP Texas Sun. While the world has changed a whole lot since then, Khruangbin and Leon are still as tight as ever on "B-Side." Lifted from their forthcoming second collaborative EP Texas Moon, "B-Side'' is a delectably funky listen that hears Leon pining for a long-distance lover over Khruangbin's noodly guitar licks. "You may not be everywhere I go," sighs Leon. "But you stay on my mind wherever I go."
CHILLHUM – SNOW
Winter is coming, but Chillhum is nevertheless turning up the heat on his brand new single "snow." Coming to us via our friends over at Mammal Sounds, "snow'' is a lilting calypso of a listen that hears Chillhum drawing inspiration from the reggae and electronic music he listened to as a child during snowstorms. "The lyrics tie all those experiences together really nicely for me and give the song a fun nostalgic vibe," adds Chillhum of the cut, which hears tropical riddims interweaving with synth shivers.
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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.