Photo by Annie Gray

What's up, hipsters? How was your Independence Day? Did you drink plenty of PBR? Did you rock your flag-themed bathing suit? Did you listen to “Born in the USA” until your ears bled? GOOD STUFF! Anyways, now that all of that “socializing” with “friends and family” is out of the way, it's time to return to the things that REALLY matter in life, like MUSIC! It's pretty crazy to think that we're already halfway through 2018. It's been an insane year so far (Kanye! The Carters! Drake!), and I'm not sure about you, but I'm HELLAH excited to see what's to come over the next six months. Before we get TOO ahead of ourselves, however, let's ease back into reality after the holidays with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs, featuring Christine and the Queens, Passenger, XYLØ, The Interrupters, Slowdive, and five other favorites!



Following on from the release of “Girlfriend,” Christine and the Queens returns this Monday with “Doesn't Matter” and it. Is. EVERYTHING! No, really, if you loved the effortlessly cool French artistry of “Titled,” then just wait until you get a load of THIS groove from Héloïse Letissier's forthcoming second album Chris! “This song is a cathedral, with a rhythm as unalterable as white stone,” says Héloïse. “The bassline, I remember playing it for hours, as if to rock myself.” VIVA LA CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS!



Passenger is throwing himself into the arms of love on his latest single “Runaway.” The title-track from the British troubadour's forthcoming ninth album of the same name is a triumphant mariachi-indebted ode to embracing intimacy and vulnerability, with Mike Rosenberg's tender tenor riding high on a swell of trumpets <3.



Yoshi Flower first came to our attention by way of We Are: The Guard fave Elohim, but now the Detroit native is making it in his own right with “Woke.” To say that this song SLAPS would almost seem an understatement. Mixing skittering trap drums, distorted riffs, and Yoshi's powerful pop sensibilities, it's the kind of genre-blending bop that has something for quite literally everyone.



Tsar B is back! The Belgian enchantress is slithering her way into our ears once again this week with “Rattlesnake, a venomous dark pop banger, with a chorus that showcases Justine Bourgeus' bite like never before! Tsar B: “I'm struggling with the fact that my love and hate feelings are really close to each other. 'Rattlesnake' shows my disappointment, followed by a great anger, and this happens in a vicious circle but it always ends in love.”



London two-piece Gold Fir are bringing to mind those hot, sweaty small hours spent in the club on their latest single. With dancehall beats rubbing up against laser-lit synths like half-naked bodies on a dance floor, “Fatal Fantasies” is nothing short of an essential addition to your summer nights playlist.



She recently parted ways with her bandmate and brother Chase, but XYLØ's Paige Duddy sounds entirely unfazed by it all on her new single. “I wanted to write a song that felt carefree and cheeky with a message about being young and not wanting to take things so seriously,” Paige tells Billboard of “Don't Panic,” a middle-fingers-in-the-air indie pop anthem that I VERY much plan on bopping to for the remainder of summer.



The Interrupters featuring RANCID? My inner 13-year-old CANNOT EVEN RN! Okay, so, I admit that ska doesn't have the COOLEST reputation in 2018, but you know what? IDGAF! The world is in a shitty fucking place ATM, and as far as I'm concerned, we could all do with a dose of this genre's sense of positivity, community, and inclusivity! LONG LIVE SKA!



88rising, the New York City-based arts collective that previously turned us on to the likes of Rich Brian and AUGUST 08, bring us yet another colossal talent this Monday in the form of NIKI. The Indonesian artist makes like a true Warrior Queen on her new single “Warpaint,” a song about finding strength in vulnerability that hears NIKI's powerhouse voice rising like a force of nature against a backdrop of pummeling synth pop.



DAMN! Lou the Human just keeps getting better and better! Having introduced us to his dark, twisted, maniacal style on his debut mixtape Humaniac, the Staten Island rapper is back this week with “Fuck Your Opinion,” an intense, cathartic, relentless lyrical salvo that hears Lou the Human delving deep into his psyche and pulling out his most personal offering to date. *Insert three fire emojis here*



Closing out with this haunting eight-minute odyssey from shoegaze icons Slowdive. Look, I know what most of you are thinking. “EIGHT MINUTES? I don't have eight minutes to dedicate to a song!” Trust me when I say, however, that every patiently executed second of this brooding piano-driven composition, from Slowdive's recent self-titled fourth album, is worthy of your time and attention. Until next Monday.


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Photo by Annie Gray on Unsplash


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.