TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 37

9/10/18
Photo by George Gvasalia on Unsplash

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to We Are: The Guard. A whole lot has happened in the world of pop culture since we last spoke, and while I'd planned on cracking a few jokes here about that Elon Musk podcast appearance, that Kanye West and Lil Pump video, and that Nicki Minaj and Cardi B fight, the news about Mac Miller recently broke, and honestly?! I suddenly don't feel so humorous :(. It totally fucking sucks that we've lost another artist at such a young age this 2018, and while this isn't the time or place for any kind of decent eulogy, I just wanted to take this moment to say rest easy, Mac, and thanks for the music. No doubt about it, you were a real one.

Here are the Top Indie Songs of Week 37 from Hozier, Metric, John Grant, and more.

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HOZIER (FEAT. MAVIS STAPLES) – NINA CRIED POWER

Four years on from the release of his debut album, We Are: The Guard favorite Hozier returns this 2018 with the rip-roaring “Nina Cried Power.” Described by the Dublin crooner as “a thank-you note to the spirit of protest,” the gospel-tinged number finds Hozier teaming up with the legendary soul singer Mavis Staples, with both artists invoking Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Marvin Gaye, and more in order to deliver a political anthem that sounds like it could shake the earth to its very core.

 

NONONO – DANCING (MUMBAI WEDDING)

It's been a minute, but Stockholm's NONONO are back this September and sounding more joyous than ever on their latest single “Dancing (Mumbai Wedding).” Lead singer Stina Wäppling reveals that the carnivalesque song was inspired by her experiencing both a terrorist attack and, more recently, a wedding in India's largest city, with the track reflecting on the dark and light moments in life, and the importance of transforming these moments into something celebratory.

 

METRIC – NOW OR NEVER NOW

Metric are living up to their iconic status and then some on “Now or Never Now.” Clocking it at just over six minutes, the latest single to be unveiled from the Toronto band's forthcoming album Art of Doubt is nothing short of steeped in arena-sized grandiosity, with lush synths and guitars sprawling beneath the signature world-weary ruminations of lead singer Emily Haines. TL/DR: It's epic.

 

SPRING KING – ANIMAL

Crank up the volume, as Spring King return this week with “Animal.” The Manchester band's first single in over two years is the kind of unrelenting, Queens of the Stone Age-indebted shredfest that'll whip mosh pits the world over into a sweaty frenzy, with frontman Tarek Musa leading the charge with perhaps his most urgent, angst-ridden vocal performance to date. “'Animal' takes its inspiration from our unshakable reliance on technology and how repetitive modern-day existence has become,” Tarek explains. Listen.

 

SMITH & THELL (FEAT. SWEDISH JAM FACTORY) – FORGIVE ME FRIEND

Fans of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers are going to want to turn their attention to Smith & Thell. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, this upcoming duo blend the folk tendencies of the aforementioned bands with a Scandipop sensibility to create a sound that's nothing short of infectious. Case in point: “Forgive Me Friend,” a catchy-as-hell hoedown that's transforming my bedroom into a one-woman barn dance.

 

CHINAH – STRANGE IS BETTER

CHINAH are repping it for the weirdos on their menacing new single. “With 'Strange Is Better' we wanted to make a track that kept its pace all the way through,” the Copenhagen trio write of the follow-up to “Yeah Right,” a brooding R&B banger that juxtaposes ominous rhythmic propulsion with lead singer Fine Glindvad's icily detached existential musings.

 

CHLOE LILAC – SUMMER

Summer may be coming to an end, but Chloe Lilac is seeing it out in style with her foot-stomping latest single. “This summer was very special to me and I wanted to showcase that for all of you with this song,” says the New York City native of the guitar-driven cut, which oozes with a kind of nostalgia for both the hot season and the feeling of youthful invincibility that it brings (“Think I'll start a band/Play some Nirvana/Don't have any plans/I miss Obama”).

 

JOHN GRANT – HE'S GOT HIS MOTHER'S HIPS

Ahead of the release of his album Love Is Magic in October, John Grant has shared “He's Got His Mother's Hips” and, oh boy, it's a funky one. Sounding like “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails as performed by David Bowie circa Let's Dance, the deliciously thwacky groove is described by John as being about “a cheeseball doing all he can to get into a woman's pants, making a total ass of himself.” He continues: “It's a fun song built on disgust.”

 

FREEDOM FRY – EASY STREET

It doesn't get much more dreamily melancholic than this, let me tell you. “Like a gambler I was born to lose and repeat/Till I find myself on easy street/Incomplete/So help me back up on my feet again/Till the end,” sing Freedom Fry on “Easy Street,” a psychedelically Beatles-esque lullaby about life's seemingly endless ups and downs that closes the Los Angeles husband-and-wife duo's recent album Classic on a bittersweet note.

 

BARRIE – MICHIGAN

The word “dreamy” is used a whole lot by music bloggers, me included (see above), but when it's used to describe Barrie, we really mean it. Following on from “Canyons” and “Tal Uno,” the New York City outfit sound like they're floating on air all over again on “Michigan,” a song that perfectly captures that head-in-the-clouds feeling that comes with falling in love: “Dazed and confused/Walking over just to talk to you/I've got my hand on my heart/Casanova in the backyard.”

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Until next week, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Daily! on Spotify for more?! x

Photo by George Gvasalia on Unsplash

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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.