TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 4
The #10YearChallenge got me thinking. Did you know that we founded this blog back in 2009?! While we've seen a whole lot of changes over the last decade – including changing our name from BitCandy to We Are: The Guard and starting up our own record label! – our commitment to discovering and bringing you all of the best music that the blogosphere has to offer remains the unwavering focus of everything that we do. Thank you for sticking by us over the last 10 years, and feel free to join us in raising a glass to another decade of making your playlists pop. Here are the Top Indie Songs of Week 4 from James Blake, Panda Bear, Broods, HEALTH, Karen O & Danger Mouse, and more.
THE JAPANESE HOUSE – MAYBE YOU'RE THE REASON
Can The Japanese House do no wrong?! Everything that the Dirty Hit signee touches turns to gold, and her latest single is no exception. Produced by Amber Bain alongside George Daniel and BJ Burton, it's one of the most coruscating, resplendent existential crises ever put to tape, with The Japanese House heard questioning if life has any inherent meaning, before concluding in the chorus that “Maybe you're the reason.”
SOAK – KNOCK ME OFF MY FEET
Following on from the announcement that she's due to release her album Grim Town in April, SOAK has unveiled “Knock Me off My Feet.” It's an infectious-as-hell ditty that finds the 22-year-old coming to terms with her evolution from small-town singer-songwriter to intentionally successful artist, with Bridie Monds-Watson channeling this feeling of youthful confusion through her God-given ear for catchy melodicism.
JAMES BLAKE (FEAT. METRO BOOMIN & TRAVIS SCOTT) – MILE HIGH
James Blake is in love, and he wants everyone to know about it on his recent album Assume Form. Even on the more guest-driven songs like the vibey “Mile High,” his relationship with The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil is still at the forefront of the conversation, with the British crooner trading romantic bars with an Auto-Tuned Travis Scott over a wavy, minimalistic trap beat that James produced alongside none other than Metro Boomin.
JADE BIRD – I GET NO JOY
Forget “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.” British artist Jade Bird returns this Monday with the ultimate ennui anthem. “This song is about the stream of thought that runs through your head at all times as an overthinker,” says Jade of “I Get No Joy,” which all but confirms that the 21-year-old is the savior of rock and roll. “It's about how that gets in the way of being present in the moment and ultimately 'getting no joy' and about the frustration of everyone's cliché of happiness not making you feel fulfilled either.”
PANDA BEAR – TOKEN
Just a few weeks on from Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion celebrating its 10-year anniversary (feel old yet?!), Panda Bear returns this Monday with “Token.” It's a curious lullaby of a song that actually wouldn't sound at all out of place on the aforementioned MPP, with the track offering up that same sense of childlike wonder and manic familiarity that AnCo once delivered on so well.
BROODS – HOSPITALIZED
Ahead of the release of Don't Feed the Pop Monster in February, Broods have shared “Hospitalized.” The song might be the New Zealand sister-brother duo's most sparkling banger to date, with Georgia Nott giving it her all on the vocal front (no, really, you try singing that chorus without getting your tongue twisted!) over a funky synth-pop production that'll have you pulling on your roller skates and dusting down the disco ball in next to no time.
HEALTH – STRANGE DAYS (1999)
HEALTH return this Monday with the post-apocalyptic call to arms “STRANGE DAYS (1999).” Featured on their forthcoming album VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR, the song hears the Los Angeles noise rockers continuing to hone their techno-laced industrial sound, with frontman Jake Duzsik's vocals acting as a kind of centering, grounding force within the dystopian rallying cry. Listen.
HALF•ALIVE – ARROW
Having broken the Internet in August with the video for “still feel.,” half•alive are back at it this January with “arrow.” Like “still feel.,” “arrow” once again hears the Long Beach band hitting the proverbial musical bullseye (I'm sorry, I had to!), with Josh Taylor, Brett Kramer, and J Tyler Johnson matching immaculate indie-pop sensibilities to a phenomenally-choreographed clip that, quite frankly, makes OK Go look like amateurs.
CLAYTON ANDREW – MOON TALKS
Meet Clayton Andrew, an LGBTQ and mental health activist based in Los Angeles who's making his scintillant arrival on We Are: The Guard with “Moon Talks.” With his jazzy beats and Jeff Buckley-esque vocals, Clayton is sure to win you over with this gleamingly glitchy nocturnal hymn, which is taken from his debut EP of the same name.
KAREN O & DANGER MOUSE – WOMAN
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O reminds us that she isn't one to be f*cked with on the latest single to be unveiled from Lux Prima, her forthcoming collaborative album with musical superproducer Danger Mouse. “If you want it/then you take it/Forget what you see when you close your eyes/Girl, you'll make it,” begins “Woman,” a swagger-soaked stomper and three-minute blast of empowerment that Karen reveals that she wrote in response to childhood bullies: “I'm a woman now and I'll protect that inner girl in me from hell and high water.”
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Photo by Michael Afonso on Unsplash
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.