TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 1
The countdown to midnight is officially on, but before you log out to celebrate New Year this evening (read: drink so much PBR that you pass out before you even get to see Ryan Seacrest's balls drop), We Are: The Guard is here to help you see 2018 out in style with the latest edition of Top Indie Songs!
It's been an unforgettable and occasionally surreal year for pop culture, and I'm not sure about you, but I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store for us in terms of music (Frank Ocean 3, where you at?!) and celebrity ham-fisted political statements.
Ahead of the fireworks taking to the sky tonight, then, feel free to join We Are: The Guard in waving goodbye to the year of Kanye West's MAGA hat, the Nicki Minaj and Cardi B feud, and Elon Musk and Grimes' simulation-breaking relationship this Monday morning with the latest edition of Top Indie Songs, featuring Judah & the Lion, Phoebe Bridgers, Matt Berninger & Stephan Altman, and more!
GOODY GRACE – REST YOUR EYES
Goody Grace is a small-town boy with big dreams.
Hailing from Selkirk, Manitoba – a Canadian city famed for its steel mill and major psychiatric hospital – the Bananabeat Records signee is setting his sights on more far-reaching success with “Rest Your Eyes,” a rawly devastating ode to love and loss that doesn't just tug at the heartstrings, but fully pulls them out.
JUDAH & THE LION – QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS
If you're like me and currently in your late 20s, then you'll know as well as I do that a quarter-life crisis is very much “a thing,” but Judah & the Lion are here to remind us that it's okay to feel dazed and confused during this period on their latest single.
“This whole record might be a quarter-life crisis/I need my family to come and help me fight this/Oh, I can't do this all alone,” sing the Nashville outfit on “Quarter-Life Crisis,” an infectious, anthemic ode to growing older and realizing that you don't have any of your shit together.
FANTASY FRENCH – STELLAR ROCKEFELLER
The word “dreamy” is used a whole lot by music bloggers, me included, but that really is the only way to describe this debut single from Fantasy French, better known to some as Baskery's Sunniva Bondesson.
Listen as Sunniva builds a world of utter enchantment on “Stellar Rockefeller,” a so-called “holiday celebration” that glistens like the last of the lights on the Christmas tree and emits all of the warmth of the final Yule log of 2018.
MILK & BONE – TRUST
Milk & Bone conclude their year by showing a darker side to their sound on “Trust.”
Originally released in 2016 for the film King Dave, the four-and-a-half-minute banger hears Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin presiding like poltergeists over a throbbing quagmire of sub-bass, the kind that threatens to grab you by the ankles and pull you under at any given moment.
PHOEBE BRIDGERS – FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE (THE CURE COVER)
Friday may be a long way off yet, but Phoebe Bridgers is sure to see you through the working week with this cover of The Cure's “Friday I'm in Love.”
Something tells me that Robert Smith and company would more than approve of this piano-driven cover of their 1992 hit single, with Phoebe's hushed, reverent vocals lending the song an intimate candlelit quality that stands very much at odds with the vibrancy of the original.
CAUTIOUS CLAY – REASONS
2018 was very much his breakthrough year, but it sounds like Cautious Clay is plotting to achieve even bigger and better things in 2019 listening to his celebratory latest single “REASONS.”
Written alongside Tobias Jesso Jr., “REASONS” is a bombastic blast of alternative R&B that hears Cautious rising above the haters in order to live his best life, with Hudson Mohawke taking the song from 0 to 100 with a triumphant horn-centric production.
MATT BERNINGER & STEPHAN ALTMAN (FEAT. JULIEN BAKER) – ALL I WANT
The National's Matt Berninger and Julien Baker of boygenius come together for a good cause on “All I Want.”
Released as part of 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood alongside a reading of “Defiance, Ohio Is the Name of a Band” by poet Hanif Abdurraqib, the ballad hears Matt and Julien's voices playing off each other to almost religious effect, with composer Stephan Altman providing an aptly filmic backdrop to the duo's devotional harmonies.
FLEURIE – LOVE HAS NO LIMITS
The holiday season may be coming to a close, but Fleurie continues to burn a beacon of love and hope in her heart on her tender latest single.
“Someone told me that love/Love has no limits, no limits,” sings the Nashville native through a wall of vocoder on “Love Has No Limits,” a winter hymn that evokes a sky full of snow and possibility, while offering a warm refuge to all of those who need it.
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Happy New Year! 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.