We have finally arrived at the end of the penultimate week of May, and if we’re being honest, the weather could’ve been better here in the UK. But we are still incredibly lucky to have so many amazing tunes from independent artists.
This week saw a very good amount of upbeat and vibrant tunes, in the lead-up to the warm summer days we’ve been looking forward to for so long. So without further ado, let’s dive into our top 9 picks.
Elektric Animals » Woe Is Me
While ‘Woe Is Me’ is not the first release this year from Elekric Animals, it really sticks out as a stylistic step forward for the group.INDIE TOP 39
The Denver rock band known as Elektric Animals have already shown that they can effortlessly inject an insane level of groove into their music. This was something that we at Indie Top 39 had noticed through their 2020 track ‘Reckless’. But in the year of 2021, Elektric Animals are continuing to enhance their sound. And while ‘Woe Is Me’ is not the band’s first release this year, it really stuck out to us as a stylistic step forward for the group. By implementing yet another awesome melody into an even grittier sonic framework, we feel that ‘Woe Is Me’ definitely gives off a Black Keys kind of vibe. We cannot wait to see how much further this awesome band can go with their explosively groovy sound.
Barry Locke » One Of These Days
‘One Of These Days’ uses its soft start to its advantage, in order to create a brilliant progression, and add the final piece in Barry Locke’s artistic narrative.indie top 39
The indie folk singer-songwriter hailing from Northern Ireland, known as Barry Locke, has been loved by fans for the way that he never fails to inject a great deal of theatricalism and passion into his music, and always providing a larger narrative overall. This week sees Locke release the final piece of a trilogy of singles, in the form of his first 2021 release ‘One Of These Days’. This brand new track begins with a noticeably more stripped-back and subtle approach than the more epic feel of his previous releases, and we feel that this is actually a good thing. ‘One Of These Days’ uses its soft start to its advantage, in order to create a brilliant sense of progression, and add the final piece in his artistic narrative.
Cheska Moore » Skin
‘Skin’ brings us an awesomely ambient and somewhat sinister feel, created by a bewitching soundscape that combines fantasy with a dark reality.INDIE TOP 39
The first 2021 single release from electro-pop artist Cheska Moore, ‘Skin’ brings us an awesomely ambient and somewhat sinister feel, created by a bewitching soundscape that combines fantasy with a dark reality. More has always had a knack for championing a dark feel through her music, and ‘Skin’ stands as a perfect example. The narrative focus on the track details an erratic and irrevocable love, which the artist herself has compared with the relationship between the characters Harley Quinn and Joker. There’s an almost tragic atmosphere that laces this track, and it really allowed us to make that comparison easily. We need no more convincing that Cheska Moore clearly knows how to create a feeling through her songs.
Danny Hill » Dreamz
We are incredibly impressed with how Danny Hill has managed to inject so much atmosphere and accessibility into his debut single.INDIE TOP 39
‘Dreamz’ is the debut single by 22 year old singer-songwriter Danny Hill, who has no trouble letting us know exactly what kind of artist he is through his colourful, catchy, and accessible indie pop sound. The warm and hazy feel that ‘Dreamz’ offers, also gives this track that summer-ready feel, that has us even more excited than ever for the warmer days to finally come flooding in. All in all, we are incredibly impressed with how Danny Hill has managed to inject so much atmosphere into an indie-pop track that fits perfectly with the current musical climate. And if this is the kind of quality that we get from Danny Hill’s debut single, we are incredibly excited to see what this artist, who is bursting with potential, will bring us next.
EMBLM » Darken My Doorway
‘Darken My Doorway’ fits in perfectly with the rest of EMBLM’s discography, while reflecting the raw and honest lyrics that lie at the song’s core.INDIE TOP 39
The first original single from multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer EMBLM, ‘Darken My Doorway’ stands as yet another brilliant showcase of the artist’s amazing vocal talent; one that blends itself in with this song’s instrumental perfectly. Creating an emotive fusion of soulful piano and electronic elements, this track fits in perfectly with the rest of EMBLM’s amazing discography, while brilliantly reflecting the raw and honest lyrics that lie at the core of ‘Darken My Doorway’. Setting the tone right away as the lyrics direct themselves towards a past lover, we found ourselves immersed in the true story behind this track, that details a late drive home after a relationship gone awry. We were truly invested in this track, both lyrically and musically.
Mark Houston » All The Mornings
While Mark Houston’s discography is generally soft and stripped-back anyway, ‘All the Mornings’ might just be the most intimate track of the bunch.INDIE TOP 39
The American folk pop songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Houston has definitely made 2021 a year for him to productively blast off, after igniting his discography with his debut single ‘Open up the Pages’, which he brought to us at the beginning of the year. And in the lead-up to his upcoming debut full-length effort, titled The Coast, this week sees us receive his fifth teaser track ‘All the Mornings’. Despite the fact that Mark Houston’s discography is generally soft and stripped-back anyway, we feel that ‘All the Mornings’ might just be the most intimate of the bunch. We can tell that this upcoming album is going to be full of warm and homely vibes, and we believe this with ‘All The Mornings’ at the forefront of our minds.
MILA » HARD RAIN
‘Hard Rain’ sees MILA inject an explosive energy into their sound, whilst also carrying a highly nostalgic feel as well.INDIE TOP 39
‘HARD RAIN’ is the first 2021 single release from bedroom-pop solo artist MILA. Throughout the previous years of 2019 and 2020, MILA was easily able to win fans over, through his raw and authentic bedroom-pop feel. With each new release, MILA was seemingly injecting a little more depth and atmosphere each time, which all leads up perfectly to the explosively energetic sound of this amazing new single. On top of this, ‘HARD RAIN’ does brilliantly in regards to carrying a highly nostalgic feel too. The kind of indie-rock aesthetic that ‘HARD RAIN’ brings to the table, reminded us a lot of something that would come straight out of the mid 2000’s. MILA has really delivered with an energetic banger at just the right time.
Oroco » Enough
Oroco’s debut single does a brilliant job when it comes to shining a light on the fear of being one’s true self, through its lyrics and highly emotive sound.Indie Top 39
‘Enough’ is the debut single from the musical project of London singer-songwriter Paul McKeever, known as Oroco. And when it comes to creating a musical style with this single, Oroco wastes no time towards pushing for a highly emotive ballad. With the lyrical focus of ‘Enough’ reflecting on the fear of not being able to show one’s true self, the story of this debut single was inspired by an article that McKeever came across, that made it clear that injustice (namely towards the LGBT+ community) is still rampant in every corner of the globe. We feel that this track does a brilliant job when it comes to shining a light on this topic, in the hopes to inspire listeners through its heart-gripping sound.
Shima » Fade Out
SHIMA sets an amazing example of her creative independence and drive with this immensely vibrant new single.INDIE TOP 39
‘Fade Out’ is the second single release from Tokyo-based electronic pop artist SHIMA, who had clearly already shown a brilliant sense of creative direction through her immensely vibrant and colourful bops. She is once again completely behind the wheel with this new track, having written, produced, and mixed all of it. We are honestly so impressed to know that such a well-produced and layered instrumentation was completely created by an artist that really sticks to her guns when it comes to being independent; it’s exactly that kind of passion that inspires us as a music chart. SHIMA really does set an amazing and inspirational example for aspiring female artists to make their mark in a male-dominated industry.
New Music Sunday » 39 Best Songs Released This Week
This coverage was created in collaboration with Musosoup as part of the #SustainableCurator movement.