TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 29
Hot Girl Summer is almost over, and Sad Boy Autumn is coming, everyone! Okay, okay – so maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I *am* incredibly hyped for Bon Iver to release his fourth album i,i this fall. Justin Vernon isn't the only artist with new music dropping, however, as we're about to find out in the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs. Crank up your AC, then, as it's time to check out the following hot tracks from BONES UK, ROSALÍA, BANKS, Oh Sees, Jenny Hval, and more!
BON IVER – FAITH
Bon Iver is back and making us feel things with his latest single “Faith.” It's a swelling, sun-dappled stomp that hears the Eau Claire native reflecting on how his relationship with God has changed (waned?!) over the years, with Justin Vernon managing to imbue the whole thing with a sense of warm intimacy despite the magnitude of the subject matter.
BONES UK – BEAUTIFUL IS BORING
Another week, another BONES UK track, anyone?! The London-via-Los Angeles duo – who recently covered David Bowie's “I'm Afraid of Americans” – are sticking their middle fingers up at unattainable beauty standards on their latest single “Beautiful Is Boring.” “They said they did not want my face in their magazine/'Cause I’m not beautiful,” sings frontwoman Rosie Bones over an extravagant industrial thump on the cut, a provocative condemnation of body ideals that irrevocably kicks ass.
ROSALÍA – FUCKING MONEY MAN (MILIONÀRIA + DIO$ NO$ LIBRE DEL DINERO)
Stop everything that you're doing, for ROSALÍA is back today with not one, but *two* bangers in the form of “Milionària” and “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero.” Both songs find the Spanish artist making use of her flamenco roots in order to explore her relationship with “fucking money, man,” with the ode to braggadocio “Milionària” showcasing ROSALÍA at her poppiest, while “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero” acts as a more experimental piece that translates to “God Free Us From Money.”
BANKS – CONTAMINATED
I won't lie. This one hurt. It's almost as if Los Angeles chanteuse BANKS wrote it just for me, but then again, I'm sure that anyone who's ever been in a toxic relationship will feel that way toward “Contaminated,” an intoxicating dark-pop ballad that hears Jillian Rose Banks singing in the chorus: “And I wish I could change it/And we're always gonna be contaminated.”
LOLA BLANC – ANGRY TOO
Damn. I already told you that the song was immeasurably powerful, but this video has just taken it up several notches. We women have been controlled, manipulated, and abused by entitled men for far too long, and Lola Blanc has had *enough* in this Francesca Maldonado-directed clip for “Angry Too,” which marks the beginning of the Los Angeles singer's fight back.
RHYS LEWIS – WHAT IF
There are all kinds of questions that tend to circulate around the brain following a breakup, most of which begin with the words “What if...?!” Rhys Lewis attempts to answer some of these questions on his latest single, which finds the British troubadour screaming his emotions to the sky by way of a powerful vocal performance. “'What If' came from the regret I felt from letting go of something good too soon,” reveals Rhys. “My mind was a mess at the time and I rushed into a decision to end things.”
OH SEES – POISONED STONES
It's time to get freaky with Oh Sees. Ahead of the release of their double album Face Stabber next month, the California band return today with “Poisoned Stones,” a jagged, frenetic piece of riff-heavy psychedelic-rock that Oh Sees themselves describe as “SoundCloud hip-hop reversed, a far-flung nemesis of contemporary country and flaccid, algorithmic pop-barf.” Trippy...
JENNY HVAL – ASHES TO ASHES
This is transcendental. Jenny Hval celebrates the announcement of her seventh album The Practice of Love by sharing “Ashes to Ashes.” As the song title suggests, it's a four-minute meditation on mortality, with the Norwegian auteur's dreamy vocal flourishes coming backed by spiritual synth arpeggios that Jenny reveals were inspired by 90s trance music. “I think I'm always looking for what sounds can bring me to write, and these synths made me write very open, honest lyrics,” says the 39-year-old. Listen.
ATELIER BLUE – EMPTY LUNGS
Love is full of ups and downs. It's these highs and lows that form the focus of “Empty Lungs,” the dazzling latest single from Atelier Blue. “It represents feelings we know all too well: being in love, feeling trapped, needing someone so much you resent yourself for it, the release of energy after a fight,” write the London-based duo of the song, which hears frontwoman Olivia McShane's devastatingly aching vocals weaving through a coruscating synth-pop production.
ANNA MEREDITH – PARAMOUR
Buckle up, as Scottish composer Anna Meredith is taking us on one *hell* of a roller-coaster ride with the blistering “Paramour.” With its unexpected twists and turns and occasional loop-the-loop, this cut from Anna's forthcoming second album Fibs is an exhilarating listen that'll keep you pinned to your seat for its five-minute duration. And don't even get me started on the video...
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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.