TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 6
Is it me, or does it feel like the GRAMMYs were a century ago? Maybe it's because we as a nation were subjected to another Big Televised Event™ last night – although I'll admit I didn't tune into the halftime show. It's nothing against Jennifer Lopez or Shakira – it's just I refuse to watch the Super Bowl until we finally get #JusticeForSpongebob (and Colin Kaepernick, obviously). Anyways, it's a new day, a new week, and a new month, which sounds to me like a perfect time for the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs. Feel free to chow down on a leftover hot dog or two while listening to the following tracks from Gorillaz, Hayley Williams, Tame Impala, and definitely not Elon Musk.
GORILLAZ (FEAT. SLOWTHAI & SLAVES) – MOMENTARY BLISS
Gorillaz, slowthai, and Slaves? Now that's what I'm talking about! Listen as all three Brits come together with a lip-curling vengeance on “Momentary Bliss” – the first single to be unveiled from Gorillaz's Song Machine series – with slowthai leading the charge with his incendiary flow before handing the mic to 2-D on the psychedelic, ska-tinged knees-up.
HAYLEY WILLIAMS – LEAVE IT ALONE
Following on from the release of the *searing* “Simmer,” Hayley Williams displays a warmer side to her Petals for Armor project on “Leave It Alone.” Written after a family trauma, “Leave It Alone” finds Hayley meditating on the intrinsic links between love, loss, and pain, with her voice coming embraced by thrumming basslines and muted jazz beats.
ÁSGEIR – PICTURES
Ásgeir makes music for the soul. There's something incredibly nourishing about his sound, with the Icelandic folk musician reaching deep again on “Pictures” – a homespun tale about human connection that hears him cooing in the brass-laden chorus: “When darkness falls, we venture out into the night/And realize our dreams and shed our human plight.”
ZEBRA KATZ – ISH
Come through, Zebra Katz! Ahead of the release of LESS IS MOOR in March, the New York City artist returns with “ISH.” It's a subwoofer-destroying simmer that exhibits Zebra's dark, rhythmic flow, with the rapper settling into a tenacious lurch come the chorus as he growls: “All I wanna do is keep the dance floor jumping and that ass bump-bumping.”
TAME IMPALA – LOST IN YESTERDAY
It's not every day we get to see Tame Impala play a wedding band, but the Australian outfit are doing exactly that in the video for “Lost in Yesterday.” Set in the 70s, the clip sees director Terri Timely playing with the song's lyrical themes of memory and nostalgia, with a besuited Kevin Parker performing for a reception that ends up taking a *disastrous* turn.
GIRL IN RED – KATE'S NOT HERE
Norway's girl in red has been writing music that sounds like it belongs to a horror movie since I can remember, and now it finally does thanks to “kate's not here.” Written for Floria Sigismondi's recent adaption of The Turning, it's an eerily beautiful grunge swirl, with girl in red directly addressing the film's protagonist Kate Mandell in the ghostly surge of a chorus.
TOWKIO – TOO MANY TIMES
This. Goes. Hard. Chicago rapper Towkio is switching gears on his latest single “Too Many Times.” Listen as Savemoney crew member experiments with a more punk-edged sound on the follow-up to 2018's WWW., with a synth ominously pulsing beneath Preston Oshita as he spits with a similar razor-sharp fury to hip-hop hell-raisers slowthai and Death Grips.
ALMOST MONDAY – PARKING LOT VIEW
Having recently made their breakthrough with “broken people,” almost monday are continuing to spread their infectious indie-pop vibes with “parking lot view.” With relatable lyrics about wearing fake Yeezys and chains linking arms with addictive melodies, “parking lot view” is another millennial anthem in the making from these San Diego upstarts.
BRAIDS – YOUNG BUCK
Coinciding with the announcement of Shadow Offering, Canadian indie intellects Braids return with “Young Buck.” It's a sexual, passionate, lust-filled ode to the unattainable, with an oscillating synth motif lighting up Raphaelle Standell-Preston as she sings about being overcome with desire for her “young buck”: “It's seeming so hard/To ever be loved by you.”
COBI – NO WAY OUT
Cobi is speaking to the pain that lives in the heart so many us on “No Way Out.” It's a deeply soulful, cathartic heft of a ballad that the artist writes is about “the heavy burden of losing loved ones, dreams getting crushed, and finding yourself down a dark road,” with Cobi's raw, gospel-like vocals almost shaking the walls with their sheer emotional gravitas.
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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.