TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 7
Hi, readers! How was your weekend?! Did you watch the GRAMMYs?! Or did you say “thank u, next” à la Ariana?! If you're in the latter camp, I really don't blame you. There's only so much questionable facial hair and white-boy rapping that a human being can handle (cc: Post Malone and Red Hot Chili Peppers). Anyways, if “Music's Biggest Night” has ironically left you fearing for the future of the art form, don't worry as We Are: The Guard is here to restore your faith with the latest edition of Top Indie Songs. Enjoy the following tracks from Cage the Elephant, Karen O, X Ambassadors, and even more!
DEMOB HAPPY – LESS IS MORE
They recently supported Jack White on the British leg of his Boarding House Reach tour, and it seems that some of his rock-star swagger has rubbed off on Demob Happy listening to their brand new single. “Less Is More” is the kind of hook-filled juggernaut that The White Stripes frontman would be more than proud to call his own, with Demob Happy delivering blusterous riffs upon riffs that burrow deep into your being.
SAVOIR ADORE – BLOOM
New York City's Savoir Adore come into their own on their dazzlingly anthemic latest single. “'Bloom' represents so much to us – change, discovery, growth, becoming,” write Paul Hammer and Lauren Zettler of the song, an empowering ode to living your truth that receives an immensely touching video from director Ben Phillippo that follows a drag queen as they make their debut performance at a cabaret club in Boston.
THE JAPANESE HOUSE – WE TALK ALL THE TIME
There's something kind of vacant about the music of The Japanese House, and yet the British balladeer never fails to get me in my feelings. Case in point: “We Talk All the Time,” a laid-back, low-key funky groove inspired by Amber Bain's split from fellow musician Marika Hackman that hears the 23-year-old dancing amid the ruins of her relationship with a marked sense of detachment.
CAGE THE ELEPHANT – READY TO LET GO
Just over 10 years on from arriving on the scene with “Ain't No Rest for the Wicked,” Cage the Elephant return this 2019 with “Ready to Let Go.” The first single to be unveiled from the band's forthcoming album Social Cues is an intense, paranoid, and unnerving lurch that was inspired by frontman Matt Shultz's recent divorce from his wife, French model and actress Juliette Buchs, with the song coming paired with a surreal video that I can only describe as an orgy between Suspiria, Eyes Wide Shut, and American Horror Story.
GRETA SVABO BECH – ALL MY BONES
A storm is brewing on the moodily malevolent first single to be unveiled from Greta Svabo Bech's forthcoming EP Bones. “Just because I'm clumsy doesn't mean/You can get away with everything/Just because I'm weaker doesn't mean/You can trip me over whenever,” sings the Faroe Islands native on “All My Bones,” a vengeful tempest of a song that hears Greta growing in strength and power over a sultry swirl of beats and bass.
GIRLPOOL – PRETTY
On February 1st, Girlpool returned with What Chaos Is Imaginary, and it's already shaping up to be one of the best albums of the year, with the LP highlight coming in the form of the shimmering “Pretty.” “You were such an idol/Yeah, you were the whole world/Now you see you look pretty broken/Pretty broken,” sings Harmony Tividad during the aching three-and-a-half-minute cut, which hears Girlpool exploring their (our?!) world of disorder and disarray with gleaming indie-rock precision.
KAREN O – BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS (THE SMASHING PUMPKINS COVER)
She recently hinted at her angry side on “Woman,” her collaborative single with Danger Mouse, and today, Karen O returns to unleash her inner rager once again on this cover of The Smashing Pumpkins classic “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” If you're like me and have a love-hate relationship with Billy Corgan's voice, then it's safe to say that this haunting industrial reinvention recorded for Amazon's Hanna makes for a refreshing change of pace, with the lyrics, in particular, taking on a whole new meaning when performed by female in the age of #MeToo.
ELLA VOS – TEMPORARY
Ella Vos finds comfort in impermanence on the delicate, gauzy “Temporary.” The Watch & Wait EP cut was written following the Los Angeles artist's lymphoma diagnosis, with Ella revealing that the airy drift was inspired by the realization that no experience – positive or negative – lasts forever. “Over time, I started to see things differently, and saw that what I was going through was just temporary,” she explains. Listen.
THEOPHILUS LONDON (FEAT. TAME IMPALA) – WHIPLASH
Following on from their cover of Steve Monite's “Only You” last October, Theophilus London and Tame Impala are teaming up once again this month for the 80s-indebted “Whiplash.” While the song has been illicitly circulating on the Internet since 2016, this is the first time that we're getting to hear the official studio release, with Theophilus giving it his all over a Kevin Parker-helmed production evoking pink-purple Malibu sunsets and endless cityscapes.
X AMBASSADORS – BOOM
X Ambassadors are walking away from toxic people and relationships with a swagger in their steps on their latest single. “My feet go boom boom boom/Boom boom boom, boom boom boom,” sings frontman Sam Harris over a funky bassline that drips with attitude on “BOOM,” which is going to be all over car commercials this summer. 10/10.
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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.