TOP INDIE SONGS - WEEK 8
Greetings, readers <3. It's been an unspeakably sad week, so if you're looking for a safe space to heal among friends this Monday, then we invite you to join us here at We Are: The Guard. Songs alone may lack the capacity to prevent tragedies like the one that we saw in Florida from happening, but if there's one thing that we've learned from writing this blog over the last nine years, it's to never underestimate the power of music to bring people together and change the world for the better. Here are the Top Indie Songs of Week 8 from Kero Kero Bonito, Courtney Barnett, Ella Vos, EDEN, SOPHIE, and beyond
JAY ROCK, KENDRICK LAMAR, FUTURE, JAMES BLAKE – KING'S DEAD
One week on from sharing the video for “All the Stars,” his Black Panther collaboration with SZA, Kendrick Lamar is back this Monday with yet more eye candy to accompany his soundtrack to the best superhero movie this side of The Dark Knight. The Top Dawg Entertainment star teams up with Jay Rock and Future (unfortunately, James Blake doesn't make an appearance) in the visual for the certified bop “King's Dead,” with the trio seen lounging in palm trees, partying in a corporate office, scaling city skyscrapers, and more in the kick ass clip, which was directed by Dave Free and Jack Begert.
KERO KERO BONITO – ONLY ACTING
Carbonated pop trio Kero Kero Bonito are shaking things up on their high-octane new single. Replacing synths with a more traditional rock set-up of guitars, bass, and drums, the London band showcase a completely different side to their sound on “Only Acting” – a bleached slice of 90s grunge revivalism that comes paired with a video that sees lead singer Sarah Midori Perry trying her hand at amateur dramatics.
COURTNEY BARNETT – NAMELESS, FACELESS
Just a few months on from the release of Lotta Sea Lice, her collaborative album with Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett is back this 2018 with “Nameless, Faceless.” The first single to be unveiled from her forthcoming album Tell Me How You Really Feel delivers a stinging rebuke to men who harass women both on and offline, with Barnett piercing right through their fragile egos with her ever-incisive poetry: “You sit alone at home in the darkness/With all the pent-up rage that you harness/I'm real sorry/'Bout whatever happened to you.”
ELLA VOS – MOTHER (DON'T CRY)
As she prepares to embark on a tour with We Are: The Guard favorite Freya Ridings, Los Angeles artist Ella Vos has shared the video for the gloriously introspective ballad “Mother (Don't Cry),” from her recent album Words I Never Said. The visual, which was directed and choreographed by Ania Catherine and shot in what appears to be an aircraft hangar, very much takes the form of a performance art piece, with Vos – who gave birth to a son in 2015 – conveying a balletic portrayal of motherhood and femininity through a range of interpretive bodily movements and facial expressions.
EDEN – WINGS
If you're still reeling from seeing all of the happy couples on your Instagram feed on Valentine's Day, then EDEN is here to help you sob it out in the bathtub with “Wings.” The latest single to be unveiled from the Dublin crooner's recent album Vertigo is nothing short of a soul-crushing symphony, with a whirring set of beats acting as a backdrop to EDEN's narrative about a heartache so strong, it feels like it could stop the earth from spinning.
SOPHIE – FACESHOPPING
Having bared her soul on “It's Okay to Cry,” PC Music's SOPHIE continues to bring a sense of art to the artificial on her latest single. “My face is the front of shop/My face is the real shop front/My shop is the face I front/I'm real when I shop my face,” sings guest vocalist Cecile Believe on the identity exploring “Faceshopping,” which sonically finds SOPHIE leaning more in the direction of the ear-pulverizing pop of “Ponyboy.”
AIRPLANE MAN – FOCUS
Prepare for take off, as Airplane Man are back in business this 2018. The mysterious duo – who first debuted on We Are: The Guard two years ago with “We're On Fire,” and have released a steady stream of songs and videos since then – return with arguably their best single to date in the form of “Focus,” an indietronica anthem that soars to the kind of synth-streaked heights once dominated by the likes of MGMT and Miike Snow.
COURTSHIP. – BAD FUN
A little bad fun never hurt no one, which is exactly why, two weeks on from them releasing the single, courtship. return to We Are: The Guard's Top Indie Songs this Monday with the video for “Bad Fun.” Having previously established themselves as BFF material in the visual for “Sunroof” (which, unfortunately, has since disappeared from YouTube), Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordon are back to their goofball best in the Skyler Siegel-directed clip, which sees the Los Angeles duo dancing and cranking out guitar solos in a pair of paddling pools while being watched over by some “lifeguards.”
MADGE – FIGHT OR FLIGHT CLUB
Meet Madge, a one-time Mormon born and raised in Provo, Utah, who delivers pop music with a sucker punch on her debut single. “Fight or Flight Club” begins innocent enough, with Madge lulling us into a false sense of security with her childlike vocals. Once the drop hits, however, it becomes clear why Madge tells Pigeons and Planes that her songs will “break your nose and your heart,” with sparkling synth discord teaming up with violent lyricism to launch an all-out attack on listeners.
FREYA RIDINGS – LOST WITHOUT YOU
Freya Ridings is a balladeer hailing from London who specializes in grandiose emotionality. Having charmed us with her debut single “Blackout” and her cover of “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs last year, the red-headed songstress returns to do it all over again this 2018 with “Lost Without You” – a sweepingly cinematic pianic rendering of love and loss that Ridings tells All Things Go is a “time capsule of a moment that changed my life.”
Until next week, readers <3. 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.