For me, it’s the feelings that make a song great. Sometimes sad, sometimes ecstatic, if it hits you right a song can send you over the moon. I think Indie Rock is especially strong at providing feelings. After all, what makes a song more authentic than what it is able to communicate. It’s more than words, more than melody, it’s how it hits you.
Here are four songs that might bring you some real feels.
Savages – Adore – When she pauses about 2/3 into the song and demands “I Adore Life” – it’s a show-stopping moment
Vampire Weekend – Step – A song about “my girl” that really transmits more than the thousands of others on a similar theme
Chvrches – Recover – “We can change our old ways / And you take what you need / And you know you don’t need me” – Ouch!
Dum Dum Girls – Coming Down – It’s over, and it’s going to be a rough ride
YouTube playlist : It’s All About the Feels
Spotify playlist: It’s All About the Feels
Foxygen is bit hard to describe. They write and produce big songs with lots of feeling. They use lots of instruments and sometimes orchestras. The lead singer, Sam France, is not always in control on stage, but isn’t that the norm? I think the main point I’d make here is that these songs are both great to listen to and play with your head. Sometimes it seems like your in the 60s and sometimes it is in the future. Their music isn’t hard to get into, but if you listen it will definitely make you wonder.
I saw them a couple weeks ago (see the picture above) and they were solid. Sam was high energy, ambiguously dressed, and put out a powerhouse performance. No complaints here.
Finding a live performance that shows the energy but still sounded good was a challenge. So I’m including mostly “music videos” (in the YouTube playlist) this time, with one live performance that should give you an idea of what I mean.
Songs in this playlist:
Follow The Leader
YouTube playlist: Foxygen
Spotify playlist: Foxygen
Having lived on the beach for a few years I appreciate a fuzzed out guitar, and easy beat, and a happy sound to accompany the sun, the waves, and the surf. Indie Rock keeps up the tradition of beach sounds and I’m a happy guy.
Here’s what you’ll find here.
1) Surfer Blood – they lost their lead guitarist to cancer last year. I don’t know what that means for them in the future. Let’s hope they continue on. Nonetheless they have provided some of the most classic beach sounds you can find.
2) DIIV (pronounced dive) are guitar wizards who make great sounds. It was raining when I saw them a couple summers back. They sounded great even wet. I’d rather have them on a nice sunny day at the beach.
3) Best Coast – Pure California fun. One of my favorite songs of theirs – Heaven Sent – is just what I need on a sunny day
4) Day Wave – A DIY one man act with great style and an easy to love sound.
Tracks in this playlist:
Surfer Blood – Matter of Time
DIIV – How Long Have You Known?
Best Coast – Heaven Sent
Day Wave – Deadbeat Girl
Play it now: Summertime Beach Music
Spotify playlist: Summertime Beach Music
Every few years someone declares rock dead but rock and roll goes on. Sure we’ve got plenty of electronic music today and different beats filled with invention, but there’s nothing like rocking out to an enthusiastic band playing guitars and drums with an occasional keyboard or saxophone thrown in for good measure.
I’ve been lucky enough to be near the front of live performances of all these bands. I’d highly recommend any of them. Live performance gives me a much better idea of what a band is all about then listening on my headphones or watching a highly polished video. Live is exposed, raw, and direct. Seeing a great band live with a few hundred others all getting into the feeling is some of the most fun you can have. Buy a ticket and go!
Live performances on this playlist:
The Kills – Doing it to Death
Hinds – San Diego
The Orwells – Let It Burn
The War on Drugs – Red Eyes
YouTube playlist: Live Guitar Rock Bands Thriving in 2017
Spotify playlist: Live Guitar Rock Bands Thriving in 2017
Three women on guitars and vocals and one male drummer – Bleached – bring a retro 90s feel that is super appealing. I just saw them at the Panorama Festival in New York and I think this was my favorite performance. A young band with only two studio albums, they are coming up strong. Go see them and you’re guaranteed a good time. Wednesday Night Melody has been stuck in my head for days. Go Bleached!
In this Playlist:
Wednesday Night Melody – The Lead singer is dead through this video but that doesn’t seem to stop her from singing
Flipside – The band dancing in the flowers
Sour Candy – Acoustic version nicely played
Sleepwalking – Live and raw
YouTube playlist: Bleached
Spotify playlist: Bleached
Have a taste for something simple, easy to listen to, with real musical talent behind it. You’ve found it in Yo La Tengo which translated means “I’ve got it” – and so do we. Yo La Tengo has been around quite a while and enjoyed lots of critical success. They are still under the radar after all these years and played mostly on Indie playlists and radio stations. No big beats, no head-banging, no earth-shaking – I guess you can say their music is essentially under the radar material. When you are looking for something a little mellow, but very reliable, maybe this is the place to go.
On this playlist:
Nothing to Hide
Friday I’m In Love (great cover of the famous Cure song) –
Here To Fall
YouTube playlist: Yo La Tengo
Spotify playlist: Yo La Tengo
Jagwar Ma is one of the more interesting bands I saw this past weekend at Panorama in New York. Psychedelic rock conjures up images of people spacing out on spacey music. In 2017, however, people want to dance. Jagwar Ma solves this problem with “Psychedelic Dance” music. They bring EDM beats to their Psych sounds and the party goes on! This is an up and coming band who really seem to be finding their feet marrying these two worlds together. Quite fun to see live, or spacing out on your couch.
Songs on this playlist:
O B 1 – Come Save Me – Uncertainty
YouTube playlist: Jagwar Ma
Spotify playlist: Jagwar Ma