For all you indie lovers out there reading The Music Brewery welcome to the first of my regular updates on the indie music scene. The purpose of the first article in this series is to update you all with some of the best and freshest indie tunes from exciting new acts. Varying from synth-pop to hard rock this short list details some of my favourite indie tracks that have been released in the last year or so. Enjoy!
OK so I appreciate that it’s a weird number but I’ve picked 7 fantastic indie numbers from some of the past year’s incredible new acts to tickle your ears.
1. Baby Strange – Friend: First up on the list is probably the least well-known act of the seven – Baby Strange. From my hometown of Glasgow I first heard them when they brought the house down supporting The Vaccines at The Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. Although not strictly a punk act the ‘Friend’ single featuring ‘Friend’ and ‘Never Enough’ is brash, punky and full of angst and swagger. Fast paced guitar and bass riffs and crashing cymbals trickle over the song as Johnny Madden screams ‘Goodbye to my friend, I never wanna see you round here again’. Shouty harmonies and oh-oh’s in the chorus distinguish it as a classic punk arrangement but don’t let that put you off if punk isn’t your thing, fans of the early Vaccines stuff will love this band! The band have been touring hard recently picking up slots at some of the UK’s biggest festivals including T in the Park and Reading and Leeds, one to look out for!
2. Royal Blood – Come On Over: This band have quite simply exploded onto the scene over the past few months and are one of the hottest bands in not just the indie scene but the hard rock scene too. The Brighton duo create an incredible amount of noise for two men and for this reason it’s easy to compare them to the likes of The Black Keys but Royal Blood are an entirely different beast. Rousing and seemingly on a constant attack their tunes are best played loud with the bass cranked right up. They’re much more than just a noise rock outfit though and have intensely bluesy vocals and bass sections littered throughout ‘Come On Over’. When the track breaks down in moments of quiet Mike Kerr has the opportunity to display the full power and range in his vocals. With the boys due to release their self-titled début in a week’s time, it’s already proving to be one of the most highly-anticipated albums of the year so far. Expect big things from them on the back of this album!
3. Jungle – Busy Earnin’: Comparable to Foals, Jungle have a mesmerising sound that sets them apart from others in the indie scene. Uplifting, groovy and almost choral at times ‘Busy Earnin” is the stunning lead single from their 2014 self-titled début which has made them one of the favourites to bag this year’s prestigious Mercury Prize. Dripping with hypnotic synth, jovial brass, and funky bass ‘Busy Earnin” is guaranteed to fill dancefloors on indie nights the length and breadth of the country. Signed up to the innovative XL Recordings label they look set to bring soul back into the mainstream with their own modern take on the genre.
4. Prides – Messiah: Glasgow synth-pop trio Prides have became hot property practically overnight on the back of the success of their fellow countrymen CHVRCHES who found success with their unique brand of synth awesomeness in 2013. Prides had only just formed as CHVRCHES were breaking out and have definitely imitated them in many ways. ‘Messiah’, which they played at The Commonwealth Games closing ceremony earlier this month, has an extremely catchy chorus and is full of brilliantly jangly synth beats and aggressive rock guitar riffs. They are well worth a listen and it’ll be very interesting to see how the progress after signing a deal with Island Records.
5. Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving: This New York 4-piece are most definitely a product of their environment as throughout their music you can hear the strong influences of the likes of Blondie, The Strokes and The Velvet Underground. Like a male Debbie Harry, Andrew Savage casually croons his way through the infectious ‘Stoned and Starving’. With Strokes-like riffs and a catchy chorus their an absolute winner for me! The band are actually onto album no.2 and this very song is in fact from their 2012 début ‘Light Up Gold’ which was reissued in 2013: so this is really a bit of a cheat from me but oh well it’s too good not to include in this list! Listen here:
6. CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share: What can be said about this fabulous trio that I’ve not already said a million times before?! Their unique brand of synth-pop, as previously mentioned in this article, is sublime. The band’s 2013 début ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ went global and even took on America when it was released. Opening the album ‘The Mother We Share’ instantly sets the tone for what’s to follow as it dramatically fades in and the robotic, computerised oh-oh’s from Lauren Mayberry ring out. Mayberry’s vocals are pure pop magic and compliment the dramatic, electronic dance beats perfectly. Tinged with sadness their music is powerful and emotive whilst at the same time being perfect for dancing to. Having seen them absolutely kill it in The King Tut’s Tent at T in the Park I can confirm they are incredible live also! Go out and buy the album, you won’t regret it!
7. King Krule – Out Getting Ribs: Rustic, raw and wise beyond his years young Archy Marshall is this generation’s answer to folk legend Billy Bragg. Although not a folk musician King Krule is actually closely tied to the hip-hop community in London his music does deal with a lot of difficult themes like Bragg. Dark, brooding and dramatic King Krule can quickly ignite his songs with jangly indie guitar magic. With elements of punk in his music he is sometimes compared to Joe Strummer (partly due to his singing style also). Not a bad duo to be compared to! ‘Out Getting Ribs’ is the highlight of his 2013 album ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’ slowly rising the track is full of angst and pain while at the same time is tinged with beauty. Twanging guitar and echoing vocals add drama to the piece – truly beautiful.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the first instalment of my series on the latest and best indie music out there! Stay connected with The Music Brewery to find out more on: