TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 15
Let's be clear, if we could dedicate every slot on this playlist to the Walmart Yodel Boy, we absolutely would. Alas, We: Are The Guard is a SERIOUS music blog with SERIOUS sh*t to do, so that version of this column will have to remain a fantasy for a little while longer (that, and a column dedicated entirely to the Fleetwood Mac Color Guard, but we digress). Evidently, it's been a fruitful week for music memes, but luckily for us, it's also been a fruitful week for REAL, ACTUAL music. As Coachella swiftly approaches, then, set your Mason Ramsey: The Walmart Tour ticket to one side, and instead get ready for the arrival of festival season with the latest edition of Top Indie Songs, featuring Gallant, Beach House, SOPHIE, NONONO, Jon Hopkins, and more.
GALLANT – GENTLEMAN
Is it us or is it getting hot in here?! Mind of a Genius signee Gallant is sending temperatures through the roof with his latest single “Gentleman.” Following on from 2016's Ology, it's an oh-so-sexual R&B ballad that channels some serious D'Angelo vibes, right down to the video starring a naked Gallant (looking like a total snack, we might add...).
BEACH HOUSE – DARK SPRING
Beach House follow up the grandiose chugger “Dive” with another noise-soaked cut. “Dark Spring” – from the band's imminent seventh album, the aptly titled 7 – hears the Baltimore duo throwing us into the eye of a luxurious maelstrom, with lead singer Victoria Legrand coming consumed by a churning swirl of synth iridescence and distorted guitars.
SOPHIE – FACESHOPPING
SOPHIE continues to blur the lines between art and artifice in the provoking video for “Faceshopping.” Watch as the PC Music producer's face gets melted and warped into all kinds of shapes and sizes in the self-directed clip, which serves as another striking challenge to identity and authenticity from this binary-smashing badass.
NONONO – FRIENDS
Swedish trio NONONO find strength in weakness on the latest single to be unveiled from their impending second album. A spiky, frenetic anthem packed full of enough nervous energy to power a city, “Friends” comes paired with a video that directors Joakim Envik and Erwin Semle describe as “an attempt to illustrate a spectrum of insecurities versus feeling confident and how that context doesn't always have to matter when it comes to a person's psychological well-being.”
LOOMINGS – MAKE THIS MORE
Meet Loomings, an enigmatic two-piece situated somewhere between Chicago and San Francisco, who're debuting on the blogosphere with “Make This More.” Calling to mind a kind of breathless bedroom escapade with its mixture of vocal murmurations and sultry syncopations, “Make This More” serves as a very promising introduction to this boy-girl duo, who recently played their first live show at New York City's Rockwood Music Hall.
OTR (FEAT. KAI STRAW) – CLOSE
Enter into the glass-cut world of OTR (short for Over-the-Rhine). Having recently made the switch from aerospace engineer to music producer after returning from an internship in Kurashiki, Japan, the 25-year-old brings a natural flair for precision to “Close” – a crisp, dexterously crafted creation that hears OTR constructing a crystal cavern of beats around the husky dulcet tones of guest vocalist Kai Straw.
JON HOPKINS – EMERALD RUSH
Five years on from the release of Immunity, Jon Hopkins returns this 2018 with “Emerald Rush.” The first single to be unveiled from the acclaimed British producer's forthcoming second album Singularity is a lesson in the art of The Build™, with the song taking the form of a galaxy slowly spiraling its way to oblivion, before collapsing into a drop that bludgeons at the brain like a beautiful headache.
PIZZAGIRL – SEABIRDS
Having made his debut on We: Are The Guard last month with “Coffee Shop,” Pizzagirl returns to charm us all over again this April with “Seabirds.” Featured on his recent debut EP An Extended Play, “Seabirds” is another decidedly quirky slice from this British singer-songwriter, with his slightly melancholy Liverpudlian lilt this time coming set against a delightful cascade of 80s-esque bleeps and bloops.
ANIMAL FEELINGS (FEAT. MAMMALS) – MILLIONS
Last year, Australian artist Mammals enlisted New York City producer Animal Feelings for his lush single “Depths,” and this 2018, Mammals is returning the favor by appearing on Animal Feelings' “Millions.” Much like “Depths” before it, “Millions” is a warm embrace of electronic pop vibes, with Mammals' vocals lapping against Animal Feelings' cascading synth arpeggios like sparkling ocean waves.
LOW CUT HIGH TOPS – TYPICAL
Crank up the volume, as We Are: The Guard's very own Low Cut High Tops is kicking off what's going to be an awesome year for him with his latest single “Typical.” Listen as the Seattle singer-songwriter single-handedly brings the grunge scene back from the dead with this certified ripper, which follows on from his killer debut album, 2016's Eh, Whatever.
See you at Coachella?! 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.