Dyan Valdés – “Fade Away”

A few years back, I was on a boat ride for someone’s birthday. A girl had scribbled on my arm, there was a paper crown on my head and I’d had lots to drink. There’s something about Dyan Valdes’ “Fade Away” that takes me there. The song is deceptively simple: drum machine, synths and a tender vocal, but it takes real craft to build a strong vessel. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world, “Fade Away” is the perfect yacht (rock) to dream on.

Want to hear the song? Follow the “Indie, I Love You” playlist here.

We Are Scientists – “You’ve Lost Your Shit”

Are you ready to party like we did in the aughties? We Are Scientists give us the perfect soundtrack with “You’ve Lost Your Shit”—loud / quiet / loud guitar, a catchy chorus with an expletive in it, layers of harmony and an extended solo that’s great for downing another beer to. It sounds like singer Keith Murray is screwing up a relationship, “Let’s presume we’re all okay here / Not consumed with my behavior / Now I’ve stepped in it”, but that’s the stuff of binge-drinking dreams. Time to grow out my hair and dust off the skinny jeans. Available via Grönland Records.

Girl Ray – “Give Me Your Love”

Fall is in the air and you know what that means: grey clouds, rain and regret. Did the summer end too soon? If that’s your line of thinking, please check out Girl Ray’sGive Me Your Love” which is a beam of golden light that can warm any listener. Singer Poppy Hankin sounds like an English Lætitia Sadier and the heavy-on-the-synth-pop production (courtesy of Al Doyle and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip) makes you want to get lost in a London after-hours club: “Keep me in your sights, I’ll keep you first / Tell you every night how much you’re worth / Give me your love”. Maybe the rain’s not so bad after all? Available via Moshi Moshi Music.

Shannon and the Clams – “All of My Cryin’”

Shannon and the Clams tackle toxic masculinity with aplomb in the two minute “All of My Cryin’”. Guitarist Cody Blanchard sings from a boy’s perspective, and in the third verse, you hear how the child becomes a man: “Little shoes I was tying / When I heard a man’s voice / Tears on thе sidewalk / He said, “keep it inside””. The song’s about looking for love in all the wrong places—maybe the boy’s been conditioned this way? But it’s wrapped in a perfect pop package of R&B, soul and classic rock. When I first heard it, I wondered if it was a cover. That’s my brain playing catch-up with my ears: it’s an instant classic. Available via Easy Eye Sound.

Want to hear the song? Follow the Indie, I Love You playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Parquet Courts – “Walking at a Downtown Pace”

Here’s the plan. When all this is over, we’re going to walk into a crowd together to eat and drink and sing and the world that we once shunned will be beautiful again. Will you be there? Waiting for me? This is the narrative of “Walking at a Downtown Pace” by Parquet Courts. The video inspires you to get wild in The Big Apple, that edgy New York where refrigerators are crushed on the street, and upstanding citizens french kiss on park benches. Delightfully-deranged lead guitar leads the charge and lyrics like “Cashing in my claim to the world / Nothing more supreme” makes this a manhole worth falling through. Listen via Rough Trade Records .