TOP INDIE SONGS: 10 BANGERS FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND
Photo by Carianne Older
Happy Fourth of July, erm, kind of? The holiday weekend is definitely hitting different for lots of people across the United States this year, but don't forget, nothing is stopping you from turning today into a day of action, protest, and resistance. Check out the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs, featuring Oscar Lang & Wallice, Steve Lacy, BEL, and seven other favorites, below!
OSCAR LANG & WALLICE – I'VE NEVER BEEN TO LA
The Myth of Los Angeles has provided us with an endless supply of art and music over the years, with Oscar Lang adding to the list with his brand new single, "I've Never Been to LA." A collaboration with Dirty Hit labelmate Wallice, "I've Never Been to LA" is a euphoric, dazzling, wind-in-your-hair grunge-pop bop that soaks in a mix of sunshine and lost dreams. Oscar: "'I've Never Been to LA' is an anthem for all those people that have only ever seen sunny Los Angeles through the eyes of Hollywood."
STEVE LACY – BAD HABIT
The countdown to Steve Lacy's sophomore album, Gemini Rights, continues this Monday with the spacey "Bad Habit." Written alongside Fousheé, John Kirby, Diana Gordon, and Matthew Castellanos, "Bad Habit" hears Steve taking his futuristic-funk sound and running it through a rickety, off-kilter filter. The final result equals something akin to the love child of Dijon and Prince, with Steve's careening croon full of romantic desire: "I bite my tongue, it's a bad habit/Kinda mad that I didn't take a stab at it."
BEL (FEAT. BOYISH) – PAUL BIGDAWG
Just a few months on from teaming up with We Are: The Guard favorite girlhouse on "PBR," BEL is back today with another spine-tingling collaboration in the form of the Boyish-featuring "Paul BigDawg." "'Paul BigDawg' is a song written to self-soothe when I was being really hard on myself trying to rush through the healing process," reveals BEL. With her voice dancing like an eerie, arresting specter over a distant guitar chime, "Paul BigDawg'' serves as a reminder to cut ourselves some slack during hard times.
MATILDA MANN – HELL
Matilda Mann is no stranger to intimate, honest songwriting, but the London act is going deeper than ever on the explosive "Hell." Produced alongside Jonah Summerfield and Jonny Shorr, "Hell" is a soaring, distorted chug that hears Matilda confronting an experience with sexual assault. "The subject of sexual assault is always something I've struggled to talk about, so I guess the main way I've been able to face it, is through music," explains Matilda. "I hope releasing this song, starts conversations."
SUPERORGANISM (FEAT. GEN HOSHINO, STEPHEN MALKMUS, PI JA MA & AXEL CONCATO) – INTO THE SUN
There isn't long to go until Superorganism's sophomore album, World Wide Pop, is granted permission to land, but before then, the London collective is back with a final teaser in the form of "Into the Sun." A duet with Gen Hoshino, Stephen Malkmus, Pi Ja Ma, and Axel Concato, "Into the Sun" hears Superorganism's maximalist tendencies cranked to the max, with a big, glitchy production backing them as they revel in the random: "And the world's spinnin' 'round and 'round and 'round/Into the sun."
EKKSTACY & SEE YOU NEXT YEAR – I GUESS
Having established a fanbase with inky, driving indie bangers such as "i walk this earth all by myself" and "it only gets worse, i promise," Vancouver act EKKSTACY continues to hone his gothic sound on "I Guess." Lifted from See You Next Year – the forthcoming compilation album from Pigeons & Planes as executive produced by Mike Dean – "I Guess" is a Cure-ey piece of propulsive melancholy that turns holographic by the light of the moon: "I guess I'll do that/Even though I don't want to/But I don't deserve this."
JUNIOR VARSITY – RUSHH
Los Angeles chaos-makers Junior Varsity recently showcased a softer, more tender side to their sound on "Share Ur Feelings," but this Monday, Greg Aram and Zach Michel are picking up the pace once again on the thrilling "Rushh." Produced alongside Jake Weinberg, "Rushh" is the kind of pop-punk banger that takes us back to those days when life was good and summers were endless. "I wanna stay up all evenin'/I wanna go out all weekend," sings Greg – his voice channeling a young Mark Hoppus. Exhilarating.
MEN I TRUST – HARD TO LET GO
Back in August, Men I Trust unveiled Untourable Album, and today, the Montreal outfit is returning with the luxuriously cosmic "Hard to Let Go." Coming a few weeks on from their European tour, "Hard to Let Go" starts out as a retrofuturistic dreamscape of a listen, with Emmanuelle Proulx transporting us to a room filled with egg chairs and fluffy cushions. As "Hard to Let Go" progresses, however, it transforms into a more of a smooth, jazzy lounge cut, with the song concluding with a light tinkering of piano improv.
SAYAK DAS – DID U RLY?
Meet SAYAK DAS, the Los Angeles singer-songwriter making his deeply detonative debut on the blogosphere this Monday with "DID U RLY?" "'DID U RLY?' is the breakup song I've been trying to write my whole life," reveals SAYAK. "It's your typical 'If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best' – but angry." With SAYAK singing like rent is due atop a filthy, cathartic blast of blues-rock music, "DID U RLY?" is an eruptive introduction to this young, raring-to-go talent.
SNAIL MAIL – FEELINGS LIKE I DO (SUPERDRAG COVER)
She's been performing it on the road for some time now, and today, we're finally getting an official recording of Snail Mail's cover of Superdrag's "Feeling Like I Do." Originally featured on Superdrag's Last Call For Vitriol, "Feeling Like I Do" is given a relatively loyal spin by Lindsey Jordan, with the Ellicott City native's husky voice sounding very much at home amid the roiling, throttling grunge guitars. Snail Mail: "The ideal listening environment for my Spotify Singles are in a dark wet cave." Enjoy.
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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.