When I was in undergrad, I heard music described as decorated time. This definition stuck with me, because it was so broad. If someone claimed something was music then it was, which meant ANYBODY could make it. Once I realized that, it helped me find joy in music that I didn’t necessarily understand. Making sense of everything is human nature of course, but sometimes it’s ok to just enjoy some music
Alright, enough philosophy on music, here are 9 tracks that we here at Indie Top 39 loved!
Lindsay Ruth » Hot Summer
Between the cool vocals and the groovy instrumental, ‘Hot Summer’ is one of my favorite releases from 2021.INDIE TOP 39
Lindsay Ruth sounds confident and funky on her new single ‘Hot Summer’. Her jazzy melodic lines danced over light organ riffs and guitar wawa’s. The way everything locked together gave off slight lo fi, slight jazz combo vibes. Part of this was the tight drum kit, providing nontraditional beats behind the cornucopia of different instruments setting the vibe. One of my favorite parts was how fun the song was. You can hear the smile behind Lindsay Ruth’s voice, helping set the mood and contrast the disillusioned tone of the lyrics. Chasing dreams is a slippery slope, especially when everyone around you is chasing their own.
Alba Rose » Eve
‘Eve’ was as catchy as it was coolINDIE TOP 39
Alba Rose’s newest single ‘Eve’ is the first single leading up to the release of her debut EP. The cool rhythm section supports Alba Rose’s sultry lyrics phenomenally. Their fills added depth and gave a platform for the jazzy vocals to move however they wanted. One of my favorite parts was how the different voices and instruments didn’t feel locked to their part. Whether it’s a small nuanced riff or completely different delivery, everytime they strayed from what was done previously it stuck out of the texture and added color. By the time ‘Eve’ reached the solo section I was hooked. The solo itself was tasteful and interesting, fitting the vibe perfectly.
Craig Cooney » Careful
Hard hitting lyricism sets Craig Cooney apart from the rest of the rap scene.INDIE TOP 39
After an 8 month break, Irish rapper Craig Cooney is hitting as hard as ever. ‘Careful’ fits cleanly into the European drill scene, yet also shows off Cooney’s lyricism. Dark bass pushes along the eerie instrumental. Clever flow comes out of the gate punching. Not only was the song catchy, but it didn’t feel dumbed down or like it was pandering. The trap inspired “versace-flow” (the triplet pattern made famous by The Migos) fits perfectly in the verses. Nestled between hard hitting punchlines, Craig Cooney manages to sound tough without leaning on rap cliches.
DAAY » Dream Kit
DAAY’s aptly named single ‘Dream Kit’ is an exploration through the unknown.INDIE TOP 39
Dreams are known for being nonsensical at times. On their new single, UK-based artists DAAY discuss needing a dream kit, or something to help them better understand dreams so they can make sense of them and learn. Atmospheric vocals float over the complex instrumental on this exciting, unique track. Jazz elements cause a sort of controlled chaos behind the lead vocals. Everything melds together in one of the coolest grooves I’ve heard this year. The big band sound is refined and tight, giving that full sound that isn’t found anywhere else. ‘Dream Kit’ is aptly named as the song felt like a dream sequence.
Gavin Conway » Throw A Stone
Feeling the energy ebb and flow throughout ‘Throw A Stone’ was mesmerizing.INDIE TOP 39
Ireland-based artist Gavin Conway makes his debut with ‘Throw A Stone’. Although he found success as a house DJ, this song leans away from his comfort zone, and into new territory. The versatility of Gavin Conway, who sounded just as comfortable singing over the thick rock texture as he did light acoustics, was evident. It felt like an acoustic Lenny Kravitz through the verses and points, maybe even Green Day. Despite the similarities, his sound is awesome and totally his own. Not only was this a phenomenal debut, but a great song in general.
ISLA » Closure
Everytime I listened to ‘Closure’, it’d put a smile on my face.INDIE TOP 39
It’s time to get everything you’ve wanted to say off your chest on Isla’s new pop tune ‘Closure’.The confident lyrics sound phenomenal over the summertime sounding instrumental. Warm backing vocals give support while the whimsical melodies drift along. Produced by HEproducedit, who did a phenomenal job complementing the light energy of ISLA’s voice. I loved how catchy the chorus was. The simple counter melodies seemed to bring out the happy energy, while the calm lyrics wash over it all. Above all, the song was easy to listen to. Nothing was overly complicated, but it still did an incredible job showcasing the artists.
Jim Jam » Troubled Soul
Traditional rock energy melds with modern production to create an atmosphere unlike any other.INDIE TOP 39
Warm deep vocals are complemented with playful guitar lines on London-based artist Jim Jam’s new single ‘Troubled Soul’. Lyrics of longing for escape float ethereally over the adaptive instrumental. The production throughout helps familiar voices constantly feel fresh and new. Sometimes the song feels like a traditional classic rock song, complete with killer guitar solos. Other times, however, the modern style shines through establishing ‘Troubled Soul’ comfortably in its own lane. Throughout it all, the instrumental was interesting enough that it could stand alone. With the vocals though, it creates something totally cool and memorable.
Make sure to connect with Jim Jam on Instagram
Rhona Macfarlane » Better When You’re Around
‘Better When You’re Around’ is an undeniably pretty song.INDIE TOP 39
On ‘Better When You’re Around’, the cool vocals of Rhona Macfalane float easily over gorgeous instrumentals. Tight heavy vibrato on the vocals reminds me of Angel Olsen. I love the way it decorates the longer notes. Not only that, but it brings out the movement of the melody. Everything was easy to listen to, and put a smile on my face. Behind the lead vocals, the instrumental was adaptive to whatever was going on in front of them. Every voice was easily heard and contributed to the light atmosphere of it all. ‘Better When You’re Around’ was enjoyable and beautiful.
Warahenege » Strange New Crowd
The cool, quiet intensity of ‘Strange New Crowd’ was palpable.INDIE TOP 39
‘Strange New Crowd’ is the first release preceding the release of indie singer-songwriter Warahenege’s debut EP. The atmospheric almost 90s air suited the aesthetic phenomenally. Deep warm lyrics seemed to float along driven by the infectious bass and psychedelic guitar riffs. Vocals were used sparingly, and when they were used they were quiet and slipped perfectly into the texture. Every time they’d transition to a solo, or vice versa, the song felt almost conversational. Ideas would bounce back and forth, complimenting one another. Everything took the atmospheric vibe of a dream, supported by lyrics that would glide overtop the rhythm section.
Make sure to connect with Warahenege on Instagram