TOP INDIE SONGS: 10 TRACKS TO UNWRAP THIS WEEK
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
It's December, which can only mean one thing. IT'S SPOTIFY WRAPPED SEASON, PEOPLE! If your results have left you recoiling in embarrassment at your not-so-exquisite music taste – or merely left you questioning what the hell is "bubblegrunge" and why do you listen to so much of it? – then fear not! It's time to set your "audio aura" back to "BOLD" and "CONFIDENT" (whatever that means) with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs! Check out brand new music from Boyish, Wet Leg, Grimes, and seven other favorites below!
BOYISH – SMITHEREENS
Boyish got me through lockdown earlier this year with We're all gonna die, but here's my contribution EP, and this Monday, the Brooklyn act is back to get me through the holiday blues with "Smithereens." "You listen to The Smiths/And we never go out/Then you tell me how you feel/And we kiss, then we fuck, then you shut me out," bemoans India Shore in the first verse. A song about lust, obsession, and the very worst kind of fuckboys, "Smithereens" is a melancholy lament for bleeding hearts everywhere.
WET LEG – TOO LATE NOW
They recently announced their self-titled debut album via a full-page spread in their local newspaper – County Press – and today, Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg is making their return with "Too Late Now." While "Chaise Longue" and "Wet Dream" established Wet Leg as catchy, infectious radio darlings, "Too Late Now" sees Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers opting for a slow burn. That isn't to say it lacks movement, though, with "Too Late Now" building to an intense, crashing climax that left me breathless.
GRIMES – PLAYER OF GAMES
Just a few days on from referring to herself as "some kind of Marie Antoinette-esque symbol for inequality in the pop stan community," Grimes is returning the focus to the music today with "Player of Games." The first single to be unveiled from Claire Boucher's forthcoming project – Book 1 – "Player of Games" is a huge, transportive Eurodance banger that seems to address her recent split from Technoking Elon Musk: "Sail away/To the cold expanse of space/Even love/Couldn't keep you in your place."
SPILL TAB (FEAT. GUS DAPPERTON) – VELCRO
Gus Dapperton has quite the ear for viral hits, and it looks as though the Warwick act has hopped onto another one in the form of "Velcro." Coming after spill tab's recent collaboration with JAWNY – "Grade A" – "Velcro" is an anthemic chugger about the struggle of being single and how this can result in a kind of toxic emotional dependency. "Oh, no, I'm so bad at going solo/I'm attachеd to being 'motional/Catching on to shit like velcro,'' belt spill tab and Gus in the chorus, which revels in its melodrama.
PHOEBE BRIDGERS – DAY AFTER TOMORROW (TOM WAITS COVER)
Every. Freaking. Year.
phoebe bridgers and her urge to ruin the rest of mental stability i've got left with her fucking sad christmas covers
— sea (@concretewaII) November 30, 2021
BAND OF HORSES – IN NEED OF REPAIR
It's been over five years since Band of Horses has released an album, and it appears as though Ben Bridwell and company have been doing a lot of deep thinking in that time. Case in point: "In Need of Repair." The latest single to be taken from their forthcoming album – Things Are Great – is a bright, lovely meditation on broken relationships and the awkward art of catching up with old friends. "It's been a while since I talked with you/I heard about what you're goin' through, and it's crazy," laments Ben. "Shit's crazy."
BOY HARSHER – GIVE ME A REASON
In January, Boy Harsher is returning with The Runner – a horror short set to be soundtracked by the Savannah darkwave duo's album of the same name. Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller have already shared one song from the album – "Tower" – and today, the band is returning with "Give Me a Reason." With Jae's sultry, searching voice arching over ominous bass throbs, "Give Me a Reason" drips with sexual tension. Boy Harsher: "Our music can be flirty and crushable, and it's fun to play with that."
BEACH BUNNY – CHRISTMAS CALLER
Earlier this year, Beach Bunny revealed on Twitter they were working on a Christmas song, and today, the Chicago outfit has delivered on their promise with "Christmas Caller." The follow-up to the excellent "Oxygen," "Christmas Caller" is a sparkling, glittering piece of bubblegum-pop dedicated to my fellow girlies hoping for a Daisy Rock guitar this holiday season. "Know we haven't spoke in weeks, but maybe/We can pretend the holiday antics/Give us an excuse to speak," sighs Lili Trifilio. Listen.
NANA LOURDES – SUPERSTAR
Having brightened our summer with "Made Your Mama Cry" – a song that sounds like equal parts Remi Wolf and Gwen Stefani – Nana Lourdes is returning to We Are: The Guard this Monday with the delightful "Superstar." According to Nana, "Superstar" is about "patience and kindness." "I initially thought I was writing about accepting slow love from somebody else but eventually I realized that this is me talking to myself," she adds of the song – a squiggly pop confection that nestles deep in the hippocampus.
DOG ORCHESTRA – I WAS HAPPY ONCE
What do you get if you take Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" and implant it in the basement clubs of Berlin? "I was happy once" by Dog Orchestra. Coming two years after "Pity Party," "I was happy once" makes for quite the grand reintroduction to Dog Orchestra. "And so I stood up on the ledge/And I said/'I am Lazarus/Come back from the dead,'" intones a dismembered voice over twitching arpeggios. A spoken-word sermon beckoning the ghosts to the dance floor, "I was happy once" is as cinematic as it gets.
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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.