TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 18
Now that Kanye is officially canceled until further notice (did you SEE that Rihanna has unfollowed him on Twitter? The Queen has given her verdict...), you may be looking for some brand new artists to check out this Monday morning. As much as we try to avoid getting too political, you can rest assured that you won't find any MAGA hat-wearing, dragon energy douchebags in this latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs. Nope, all that we have here is a selection of musicians putting straight-up love and posivibes into the world. So, be sure to listen to, be sure to support, and be sure to share with your friends this week's 10 tracks from SZA, Cam, Father John Misty, Hobo Johnson, Highasakite, and five other favorites!
SZA (FEAT. KENDRICK LAMAR) – DOVES IN THE WIND
We've said it before, and we'll say it again. NAME A MORE ICONIC DUO THAN SZA AND KENDRICK LAMAR! Everything that the Top Dawg Entertainment signees touch turns to gold, including this video for Ctrl groove “Doves in the Wind.” The clip, which was directed by Nabil, is an ode to old-school marital art movies, with Kendrick in full-blown Kung Fu Kenny mode as he teaches his protégé SZA to fight, before facing off with her on a mountaintop at the end of the visual.
CAM – PALACE (SAM SMITH COVER)
Okay, so – if the Sam Smith original left you an emotional wreckage, then just wait until you hear this cover by Cam! The Nashville artist – who co-wrote the breakup song for The Thrill of It All alongside producer Tyler Johns – has totally got us in our feels with this stripped-down take, with Cam breaking our heart into tiny pieces with her countrified dulcet tones!
FATHER JOHN MISTY – MR. TILLMAN
Following on from the announcement that he's set to release God's Favorite Customer on June 1, Father John Misty has shared the video for lead single “Mr. Tillman.” Directed by Jeff Desom and Carlos Lopez Estrada, the clip finds the bearded balladeer trapped in some kind of delusional feedback loop, with much of the visual coming set in a hotel that looks like it walked straight out of a Stephen King novel!
APRE – ALL YOURS
Meet APRE, the London two-piece who're introducing themselves to the blogosphere with “All Yours.” The first single to be unveiled from APRE's imminent debut EP The Movement of Time is a sparkling guitar pop bop, with the whole thing coming underpinned by a kind of funky, Foals-esque vibe that makes it an essential addition to any indie summer mixtape.
HOBO JOHNSON – PEACH SCONE
If you're still sleeping on Hobo Johnson, then it's time to WAKE THE HELL UP! The Sacramento rapper (or musician, as he prefers to call himself...) recently went viral with his submission to the NPR Tiny Desk Contest, and while “Peach Scone” may not have won the final prize (this awesomeness did...), the socially awkward stream of consciousness continues to take the blogosphere by storm, with listeners officially dubbing Hobo “The Voice of Millennials.”
DIJON – SKIN
Maryland's Dijon has the kind of voice that we could indulge in for days. If you're a fan of Frank Ocean, prepare to melt to the sounds of his latest single “Skin.” Featuring Dijon's former bandmate Abhi on bass, this four-minute bop is straight-up R&B luxe that recently received a cosign from none other than BROCKHAMPTON.
VHS COLLECTION – ONE
Do you ever listen to a song and feel like you could quite literally take off?! Because that's exactly how we feel listening to this latest single from New York City trio VHS Collection! With its mixture of vintage synths, gritty basslines, and anthemic vocals, “One” – which VHS Collection tell PopMatters is about “wanting to run away from a troubled life situation and start anew” – truly makes it seem like we're soaring towards the electro-rock heavens!
ROMAN LEWIS – MINDLESS TOWN
We can't even remember what we were doing at 17-years-old, but it was likely something deeply unproductive. What we were definitely NOT doing was writing timeless acoustic symphonies like Roman Lewis. The London troubadour is packing quite the punch with his debut single “Mindless Town” – an exquisitely crafted ballad, with hard-hitting lyrics that truly belie the age of their creator.
VON SELL – DIGITAL SLEEP
Von Sell is spiraling us into an altered state of consciousness with “Digital Sleep.” The latest single to be unveiled from the Brooklyn artist's impending second EP after “Hell No” is nothing short of a bedroom pop fever dream, with Von Sell's vocal and instrumental layers cascading from the ceiling like an impressionistic lullaby.
HIGHASAKITE – OUT OF ORDER
Norway's Highasakite are living up to their name (and then some...) on their uplifting latest single. Following on from 2016's Camp Echo, “Out of Order” is a euphoric piece of synth pop about going to limits for the one that you love, with the gates of heaven opening before us as vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik sings in the blissful chorus: “Ain't nobody got nothing but my wild heart/And I will bring my baby home.”
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.