TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 31
It seemed as though there was an incessant stream of bullshit pouring from our president's mouth over the last seven days, with moments where some of us came close to drowning in the deluge. As for how all of this relates to our humble column, well, these are tumultuous times for a whole lot of people, but We Are: The Guard truly believes that music has the capability to change this world for better. Results may not be instantaneous by any means, but if through the unity of song we continue to form a resistance and fight for what's right, then together, surely, we shall overcome. Here are the Top Indie Songs of Week 31 from Sleep Party People, Arcade Fire, Wolf Alice, Chelsea Wolfe, Alex Lahey, and others.
SLEEP PARTY PEOPLE – FAINTING SPELL
Sleep Party People invite us into their strange, unnerving world on “Fainting Spell.” Featured on the Copenhagen outfit's fourth album Lingering, the song is an intentionally disorientating dream pop cacophony. With Sleep Party People frontman Brian Batz's ethereal falsetto floating atop a combination of detuned pianos, wonky guitars, and syncopated drums, “Fainting Spell” is an eerie, perplexing listen that comes accompanied by a Lynchian-esque video as directed by Ryan Valdez.
ARCADE FIRE – GOOD GOD DAMN
Everything Now, the fifth album from Montreal indie titans Arcade Fire, is for the most part a glaring disappointment – a sneering, obnoxious polemic that turns its lens on its listeners and laughs. There are occasional moments of greatness, however, such as “Good God Damn,” which just so happens to be frontman Win Butler's personal favorite song on the album. An understated disco groove, it's a welcome reprieve from the constant sense of fatigue weighing down the album, with Win's wails of “Maybe there's a good God, damn” encasing the body in chills like Arcade Fire of old.
WOLF ALICE – YUK FOO
One month after sharing “Yuk Foo,” the frenetic, vitriol-soaked first single to be unveiled from their forthcoming second album Visions of a Life, Wolf Alice return with the video. Mirroring the punk ethics of the song, the Adam Powell-directed visual is extremely direct and to-the-point, focusing on the London four-piece as they tear it up in a flickering, nondescript basement, with frontwoman Ellie Roswell leading the way with the kind of lip-curling vigor that makes this band so fucking cool.
CHELSEA WOLFE – VEX
Ahead of the release of her fifth album Hiss Spun in September, gothic pop enchantress Chelsea Wolfe has shared “Vex.” The follow-up to “16 Psyche” is a formidable swirl of doom metal, with Chelsea's glassy vocals circling a blackened, thunderous mass of guitars courtesy of Queen of the Stone Age member Troy Van Leeuwen. Isis frontman Aaron Turner also features, providing a roaring call-and-response to Wolfe, with the contrast between the two voices making for quite a listen.
ALEX LAHEY – EVERY DAY'S THE WEEKEND
Hailing from Melbourne, Alex Lahey makes her debut on We Are: The Guard with “Every Day's the Weekend.” Coming ahead of debut album I Love You Like a Brother, the song is three minutes of delirious indie pop, as powered by angular guitar riffs and bags full of personality. “The song is about losing sight of maybe what's important to you as an individual for the supposed benefit of maybe spending time with someone else,” says Alex of “Every Day's the Weekend,” the Jam Nawaz-directed video for which sees her working – and getting fired from – an array of odd jobs, before finally landing the gig of her dreams.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – JOHN WAYNE
El Paso outfit and all-round melancholia connoisseurs Cigarettes After Sex return to our column with “John Wayne.” The penultimate song on the band's recent self-titled debut album is a cinematic distillation of all that We Are: The Guard has grown to love about these doomed romantics over recent months. With frontman Greg Gozalez's androgynous, heavy-lidded voice coming encased in towering walls of lulling, reverb-drenched guitars, “John Wayne” is a hypnagogic dream pop hymn that gently waltzes beneath the moonlight.
DOMINO GOLD – WICHITA
Having organically amassed over 60,000 plays on their debut single, “Free Is Free,” late last year, the fascinatingly elusive Domino Gold make their highly anticipated return with “Wichita.” With fizzy arpeggios slingshotting through the night sky to meet hard-hitting drums and dark, R&B-style female vocals, it's yet another striking offering from the self-described “audiovisual duo,” who accompany the release with a gripping Inti Calfat and Dirk Verhaye-directed short film that, much like the song, touches on themes of intense passion and dangerous obsession in deeply dramatic style.
TEFLON SEGA – PRESS PLAY AND ESCAPE (PROD. WAJU)
The title says it all. Teflon Sega, the enigmatic R&B crooner who hails from Cleveland, invites listeners on a secret mental getaway on his latest single “Press Play and Escape.” The song, which was produced by long-time collaborator Waju, is a work of profound tranquility. A vivid piece of ambience that leads with Teflon's breathy, weightless falsetto and, instrumentally, derives influence from future bass as much as it does traditional Asian music, “Press Play and Escape” is a welcome one-way ticket out of reality.
LOVELYTHEBAND – BROKEN
Lovelytheband – the Los Angeles trio comprising of Mitchy Collins, Jordan Greenwald, and Kosta Theodosis who formed “on a drunken night in West Hollywood” – debut on the blogopshere with “Broken.” Described by the band as being about “finding someone who is just as fucked up and lost as you are,” the song is an infectious-as-hell slice of indie pop, built upon a hit-making formula of sing-along vocals, relatable lyrics, and an upbeat synth line that reminds us a whole lot of “Kids” by MGMT.
THE KITE STRING TANGLE (FEAT. MONTGOMERY) – ALL I NEED
It's been a while since we last heard from Danny Harley, the Brisbane singer-songwriter who records under the name The Kite String Tangle, but the ARIA-nominated artist finally returns to We Are: The Guard with “All I Need.” Featured on his recent self-titled debut album, it's an emotionally stirring odyssey that was most definitely worth the three-year wait, with Danny and Gold Coast vocalist Montgomery's voices intimately weaving over an ambient production that succeeds in forming a truly disarming connection with its listeners.
Until next week. 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.