With a surprisingly warm week gone, we, as always, are blessed with another awesome batch of new songs from independent artists. Amongst all of these amazing tunes, a surprising amount of them were debut tracks; many of which we will be covering in this article. So without further ado, let’s jump into our top 10 picks of this week.
Track Of The Week »
Jodie Nicholson » Move
‘Move’ has an awesomely progressive feel and an ambient indulgence that seeps into listeners.INDIE TOP 39
As well as being the first single release of 2020 from northeast England-based singer/songwriter Jodie Nicholson, ‘Move’ is also the first single to follow her 2019 debut album Golden Hour. We were curious as to how Jodie Nicholson would follow the indulgent, soothing, and ambient sound of that debut record, and what we were blessed with was a marvellous step forward in her sense of ambience. ‘Move’ has an awesomely progressive feel thanks to the way it has been carefully and masterfully structured, and this helps tremendously with letting the ambient indulgence seep into us as listeners. We also love the slightly more electronic feel of this tune as well, as it shows that perhaps an exciting stylistic shift may be on the way.
Baytrees » Sunlight
‘Sunlight’ is a track that celebrates our newfound appreciation for one another, and the summer that we have enjoyed, given 2020’s circumstances.INDIE TOP 39
After releasing their Crossroads EP back in 2018, it would be the year of 2020 that the Brixton-based groove-rock band Baytrees made a productive return to releasing music, with their latest single, ‘Sunlight’, being their sixth single release this year. This track’s warm and festive sound ties in perfectly with the thematic purpose of ‘Sunlight’, in which it is a track that celebrates the gradual return to being able to be back outside in the sun, with a new sense of appreciation for life, and for one another. We utterly love the vibrant energy of this awesome track, and we feel that it allows us to appreciate the summer that we have managed to celebrate, given the circumstances of 2020.
Dan Cross » Paingiver
The frustration towards Trump that Dan Cross injects into ‘Paingiver’ is something that resonated with all of us.INDIE TOP 39
An uncompromising and unrelenting new release from the guitarist, singer, and songwriter from south-east London, Dan Cross’ ‘Paingiver’ follows up the four-track EP, titled This Damn Civil War, that was released earlier this year. But what better way to follow up that EP, than to create one of the most relatable tracks of the year, which Dan Cross has made possible, by calling out the United States president Donald Trump, and his elitist antics. In this track, Trump himself is the alleged “paingiver”, and Dan Cross makes this perfectly clear. The frustration towards Trump that Cross injects into this gritty and somewhat psychedelic track is something that resonated with all of us. And we are certain that it will resonate with many other listeners as well.
Ela Ira » Nothing To It
Ela Ira’s debut single release has such a wondrous electronic ambience to it, as well as a marvellous sense of composition.INDIE TOP 39
The debut single release from singer, composer, and producer Elizabeth Irene Boardman’s musical project, Ela Ira. Having trained in the more classical field of music as a violinist, it was a pleasant surprise to find that Ela Ira’s debut single release has such a wondrous electronic ambience to it. The expertise in composition has most likely stemmed from this artist’s professional musical training. But even so, ‘Nothing To It’ is a marvellously composed debut. With the vast and cool ambience that scratches over this soundscape, it was incredibly easy for us to get lost in the gorgeous sound of this track. We also adore how Ela’s soft and smooth vocals blend so nicely into this expertly crafted tune.
JDA » I Try
‘I Try’ offers a softer, smoother, and more jazz-inspired feel than previous singles, which we fell in love with instantly.INDIE TOP 39
Being consistently productive ever since 2018, We are treated to the first 2020 release from DIY artist JDA, which also serves as a heralding track for her upcoming EP, which is set to be released in November this year. While JDA has used her DIY creativity to explore a range of different styles and moods, ‘I Try’ offers a soft, smooth, and almost jazz-inspired feel that we fell in love with instantly. As well as allowing this track to become an insanely easy listen to immerse yourself into, ‘I Try’ has a gorgeous sense of serenity. But aside from the purely musical enjoyability of this tune, ‘I Try’ serves as an incredibly empowering song lyrically, and is sure to lift the spirits of those, including the likes of us, who felt every word of this lovely track.
Macajey » Sleep
The immersion and sense of wonder that ‘Sleep’ carries, allows it to stand as one of the most indulgent tracks from Macajey to date.INDIE TOP 39
The guitarist, engineer, and producer Jeremy Macachor had already wowed us earlier this year via the musical brainchild that is Macajey. Through his previous single ‘Walkin’’, we got a generous taste of just how much musical depth this artist was capable of creating through his tracks (particularly his 2020 releases). ‘Sleep’ is his third release of the year, and takes a refreshingly downbeat and nocturnal approach this time around. As a result, the immersion and sense of wonder that ‘Sleep’ carries, allows it to stand as one of the most indulgent tracks from Macajey to date. Doing the title a great justice, the dreamy soundscape was faultless when it came to getting us fully lost in its melodies.
Moscato » Thamel
We could easily pick up the musical expertise behind Moscato, filtering through perfectly onto this excitingly promising debut.INDIE TOP 39
While having decades-worth of musical experience for previous projects, Simone Moscato’s newest musical project Moscato sees the release of its debut single this week. ‘Thamel’ is artistically described as a journey into a musical zone, in which sound and rhythm describe colours, smells, and faces. And the soft, atmospheric, and subtly layered composition of this track, along with the refreshing use of vocals solely as just another instrument, as opposed to a means of describing the track, definitely displays the artistry of this individual even further. We could also easily pick up the musical expertise behind Moscato, filtering through perfectly onto this excitingly promising debut.
Panem » Zeitgeist / Absolute Monopoly
‘Zeitgeist / Absolute Monopoly’ is a shining example of the band’s passion for storytelling in their music.INDIE TOP 39
Another awesome debut single we were treated to this week comes from none other than the French progressive rock band known as Panem. They describe themselves as a band who likes to tell stories through their music, and ‘Zeitgeist / Absolute Monopoly’ is a shining example of this. When delving into the lyrics of this track, it is clear that there is a story being told about we so frequently fall into the trap of being controlled. The atmosphere created by this narrative is only boosted by the vast and ambient sound that the melody creates. As a result, ‘Zeitgeist / Absolute Monopoly’ is a brilliant debut and equally promising teaser for the band’s upcoming debut album.
Raffles » Saigon
The heart-warming sound of ‘Saigon’ gives us the feeling of being in a faraway place, in a time where such places are not nearly as accessible.INDIE TOP 39
The latest single released from Brighton based band/collective/musical project Raffles, ‘Saigon’ has an instantaneously peaceful and laid-back feel upon first listen. With a fusion of acoustic guitar, echoing vocal harmonies, and other ambient musical touches, ‘Saigon’ feels like the kind of track that you would one hundred per cent want to place on a wind-down playlist if you’ve already created one. We also believe that this single perfectly captures an authentic feel of the actual city of ‘Saigon’, in terms of its sound. In fact, this track’s heart-warming sound gives us a feeling of being in a faraway place, in a time where such places are not nearly as accessible.
Test Card Girl » Holds Me Down
Electronically whimsical in its sound, there is definitely something to be said about the uniqueness that Test Card Girl’s ‘Holds Me Down’ brings to the table.INDIE TOP 39
And finally, we have one more awesome debut single; this one coming from the musical project of Manchester-based singer/songwriter Catherine Burgis, known as Test Card Girl. This track, along with the Test Card Girl project as a whole, is the product of holding in so many emotional experiences, for so many years, before having them burst onto what is the beginning of her discography. Electronically whimsical in its sound, there is definitely something to be said about the uniqueness that Test Card Girl brings to the table. But further from that, the melody of ‘Holds Me Down’ is absolutely infectious. You can find out more about this track and Test Card Girl through our interview with the artist.
We have picked only nine songs that stood out this week, however below you can find the playlist that features all the 39 songs. Do you agree with our pics? Let us know on our socials.