TOP INDIE SONGS – WEEK 39
Autumn didn't get off to the best of starts, what with the announcement that Brangelina are set to divorce, but don't fear, BitCandy is here to heal your broken heart with yet another dose of Top Indie Songs (this is assuming, of course, that you aren't Team Aniston). Nobody should say that love is dead, because love is very much what I felt listening to the following records, each hand-selected from the blogosphere by yours truly. Don't take my word for it, though. Put your tissues to one side and remind yourself that there's hope for us forever alones this fall by pressing play on the latest musical treats from Bat For Lashes, The Mowgli's, Magic City Hippies, Banks, Handsome Ghost and more.
BAT FOR LASHES – JOE'S DREAM
In July, Bat For Lashes released The Bride, a concept album written from the perspective of a woman whose fiancé dies in a car crash on the way to their wedding, and today, the British chanteuse has shared the video for the devastating ballad “Joe's Dream.” The clip sees Natasha Khan strumming on an electric guitar in front of a church pulpit, while lights grow dim around her as she sings of the tragedy to come (“But what does it mean/The bad things that I've seen?”). Chills.
MARTINEZ – MARYAM
Swiss duo Martinez debut on blogosphere this September with “Maryam.” A sprawling, rapturous piece of indie pop that brings together everything from triumphal blasts of brass to an oh-so-funky bassline, it comes paired with a must-watch video that sees a little girl convincingly assuming the role of a working adult. “Maryam is a lonely working girl, doing every day the same things and living almost like a ghost,” explain Martinez. “She feels stuck in a conventional life, while her body and emotions claim to set her free as a child.”
THE MOWGLI'S – BAD THING
Ahead of the release of their third album, Where'd Your Weekend Go?, on September 30th, California six-piece The Mowgli's have shared “Bad Thing.” Produced by Rob Ellmore (Selena Gomez, Zedd, The Veronicas), the song is an explosive, optimistic blast of indie pop that explores, I quote, “the desire to connect with other people as a means of escaping loneliness, only to find out that loneliness still lingers, which maybe isn't such a bad thing.” Autumn anthem: Confirmed.
MONDO COZMO – SHINE
If you're struggling to get motivated this Monday morning, then Philadelphia-born, Los Angeles-based musician Joshua Ostrander aka Mondo Cozmo has the song for you. Starting out as a soulful acoustic reverie before transforming into full arrangement complete with a choir, his latest single “Shine” is an uplifting, lighter-in-the-air instant rock classic that's sure to leave you feeling like you can achieve anything in life.
GUDRUN VON LAXENBURG – REVOLUTION
The sci-fi sounds of Austrian techno-punk producers Gudrun Von Laxenburg receive an appropriately cinematic visual accompaniment in this video for “Revolution.” Directed by Sebastian Mayr and Michael Podogil and set in a dystopian, post-apocalytic universe, the clip sees a cyborg couple attempting to break free of the clutches of an oppressive militant regime, sparking a violent uprising in the process. Mayr: “What we had in mind when we started working on 'Revolution' was to tell a story of change. A single person's decision sets a chain reaction of events in motion which eventually ignites some sort of turnover.”
KENNETH WHALUM (FEAT. BIG K.R.I.T.) – MIGHT NOT BE OK
Kenneth Whalum joins forces with Big K.R.I.T. on what might be one of the most powerful songs of the year. “Might Not Be Ok” is a gut-wrenching piano ballad about police brutality that, coming in the wake of recent shootings, hits harder than ever. Opening with tear-jerking piano keys and Whalum's haunting croons before giving way to Big K.R.I.T.'s show-stopping guest verse, the song is a profound, and at times painful, reminder that racism is still a major problem that we face in 2016.
MAGIC CITY HIPPIES – HEART WANTS
It may be officially autumn, but Magic City Hippies are helping to keep the memory of summer alive with their latest single. “Heart Wants” is a breezy, feel-good slice of indie funk that hears the Miami-based trio pair laid-back vocal melodies with a seriously groovy bassline. If you aren't ready to give yourself over to oversized jumpers and Pumpkin Spice Lattes just yet, then this is definitely the song for you.
BANKS – TO THE HILT
Banks has been a picture of self-confidence ever since she returned with “Fuck With Myself” in July, but the Los Angeles chanteuse reveals she still has a fragile side on her latest single “To The Hilt.” Featured on her forthcoming second album The Altar, the song is a vulnerable, spine-chilling piano ballad that finds Banks reflecting on a relationship that came to an end after she found success in the music industry (“Hated you for walking out/I blew up and you were gone/So they say it's the industry/But I miss you on my team”).
HANDSOME GHOST – PROMISES
Boston musician Tim Noyes aka Handsome Ghost is setting my heart aflutter with “Promises.” The latest single to be unveiled from his second EP The Brilliant Glow is a sweeping, exultant slice of electronic pop that packs in the feels with a chorus about striving to be a better person: “I'm gonna keep/All these promises, promises, promises, promises, promises/And you're gonna see/I want all of it, all of it, all of it, all of it, all of it.”
GRANDSON – BILLS
Heavy metal and trap are two genres that I never thought that I'd hear together in the same sentence, let alone in the same song, but Toronto native Grandson clearly isn't here to obey by the rules. With an urgent guitar riff played out over skittering beats, and capitalism condemnations delivered with a punk-like tenacity, his latest single “Bills” defies all expectations to create something truly bold and unforgettable. LunchMoney Lewis who?
About Jess Grant
When Jess Grant isn't writing on music, she can be found playing it – on her guitar, on her ukulele, and on her recently acquired mandolin. Playing it hideously, she ought to add. Jess also studies. She studies the English language, to be precise. Jess is currently on her way to a degree in the subject, and enjoys starting and never finishing novels, screenplays, and poetry in her spare time. She also likes dogs. Lots of dogs.