In order to stay informed, we listen to so much new music here on a consistent basis. Each month we’re sharing with you our recommendations for the best new indie + alternative music we come across. Put this playlist on Re:Play > and enjoy the best recently-released songs that we can’t stop listening to.
Read on below to find out why we chose some of our favorites tracks.
Cuco – Lo Que Siento
Oye cariño. Enjoy the effortless sounds of Cuco with his glistening and alluring single “Lo Que Siento.” If you’ve ever spent a night alone thinking of someone you love, wishing they were right next to you, then you’ll instantly melt for this track, because it feels real and true; it’s a soundtrack to your soul and passions. Cuco’s genre-bending bilingual experimental synth sounds are known for that quality: it’s the sometimes bitter, always sweet infatuation of late-night heartache and devoted yearning. Constantly smooth, vibing, and fresh, his songs are ones you just want to sit with for a while, as time stops and you’re just caught up in the feeling of it all.
That’s why the song title is so fitting, the lyrics of “What I Feel” are just so exact, taking the indescribable butterflies in your stomach and pouring them out through electro-glockenspiel sounds, slight atmospherics, and a visceral quaky guitar underlayer. Just send this song to the person you love and let it speak volumes of your affection: “This is for you, baby, listen it’s your song,” “Sabes bien que te quiero … You know you’re my sueño, you came to life and now I feel alright.”
That fantastic boozy trumpet coda just feels like lovesick tipsiness as you sit alone in the shadows of neon glow and empty streets, longing in the lounge, trying hard to eliminate the distance and feel the warmth of your loved-one. Yeah, el tiempo dirá, I guess.
CHVRCHES cover Tegan & Sara – Call It Off
A friend asked me recently if there was a song or album I return to when I’m sad, sort of like a therapy album that provides me with some sort of cathartic release. That album for me, and I suspect for many, is The Con by Tegan & Sara. It’s such a raw and personal album, diving deep into the inner-turmoil of someone caught up in emotion and self-discovery, love, yearning and loss. I was a teenager when I first discovered this album, but it didn’t resonate until, yes just like the song on this very album, I was nineteen discovering my newfound adulthood, living somewhat open (though mostly discreet) as a gay man for the first time.
It’s hard to believe that this album is already ten years old, but I guess it’s not that surprising, it’s a classic that has earned its spot as that, withstanding the test the time as an ultra-relatable and visceral depiction of what it’s like to be a young adult figuring out how to cope with the stress of life and identity. It’s a rites of passage album in a way, for listeners and for Tegan & Sara themselves: “[The album is] important because it was the biggest leap we had made in attempting to write a cohesive group of songs that told a painful and anxious story about our different relationships to loss, death, love, compulsion, fear, letting go and moving on.”
To honor it’s 10th anniversary, Tegan & Sara are releasing a new album, where LGBTQ artists advocates are covering the tracks from The Con, including Ryan Adams, City and Color, Bleachers, and a special bonus track from Cindy Lauper. All proceeds from The Con X Covers will benefit The Tegan and Sara Foundation, supporting LGBTQ girls & women.
Our first treat from the album is one of the most vulnerable and aching songs, a personal favorite: “Call It Off,” covered by the incredible CHVRCHES. It transforms the intimate, angsty and folky track into an atmospheric ethereal dreamscape. If the original was a bit more brooding and nostalgic, reflectiving of what is lost with moving on, this cover feels more hopeful, bittersweet. Both are still reflective, impactful in the way emotions drive the track. What’s great about this cover is that it makes the song CHVRCHES’ own, while retaining the core of what makes “Call It Off” amazing: the lyrics are still central force, a questioning, an ambiguity, and call for the answer. It’s something we all toil with from time to time, the ‘what if’ The song is timeless, because it’s existential and direct, something Tegan & Sara have always been great at. I’ll never wonder if the right thing to do is listen to The Con, because it is always there when I need it, I go there when I make myself feel bad, when I’m sad, but giving myself permission to give into my feeling and breakdown with that album, it’s for the best.
Shamir – 90s Kids
Last month Josh picked Car Seat Headrest’s anthemic song “War is Coming (If You Want It)” which he called, “a call to action to not stand by the sidelines and let violence and stupidity happen.” This month I’m picking Shamir’s “90s Kids,” the first song from his upcoming new album Revelations, which happens to be an anthemic song too–one that cries in desperation on the problems and angst of an entire generation.
Born right on that blurry edge that separates Millennials and Gen Z, Shamir, a self-identified non-binary person, is about to be 23 years old in a few months. His official website is a tumblr page where he posts crazy gifs of his songs along with YouTube videos being silly with Mac Demarco and some of his friends. Yeah, it might seem like he doesn’t take himself too seriously, his career is just beginning, and as anyone his age he seems to be still figuring things out. Maybe that what makes this song so powerful, the honesty that comes with the indifference of his age and generation, the not being afraid because it seems like there’s not much to lose. A clean guitar and some piano arrangements join Shamir’s sweet, androgynous countertenor voice in a naive, somehow innocent tune to create a song that feels like it could be played in a high school talent show, a bonfire on the beach with your friends or a gig in front of thousands of people and still be just as relevant. The sweet-sounding music contrasts with the harsh reality he sings about: mental illness, lack of good job opportunities, and being judged, despised and poorly understood by older generations.
Well our parents say we’re dramatic
But they always ask for more than we do. So fuck you
Can’t get more real than that. Extra points if you watch the official video:
Adán Jodorowsky feat. León Larregui – Vagabundos de Otro Mundo
Adán Jodorowsky, a.k.a. Adanowsky, is the son of the famous “film and theatre director, screenwriter, playwright, actor, author, poet, producer, composer, musician, comics writer, and spiritual guru,” Alejandro Jodorowsky. Yeah, that might seem too long of a list, but trust me, Alejandro Jodorowsky is all that, and depending on the person, he can be known for any one of those things.
Being the son of such a personality, the legends say Adán met artists like James Brown and was instructed on the guitar by George Harrison himself. Moderately famous in France, Spain and Latin America; he has made his own way in the international music scene, multifaceted, experimental, and always the right amount of folk and pop. Friends with Devendra Banhart, they have collaborated with each other on their albums. In his own respect, Adán Jodorowsky is both a great artist and a rockstar.
In “Vagabundos De Otro Mundo,” he collaborates with León Larregui, frontman of probably the most iconic mexican rock/alt band from the last 15 years, Zoé. Adán produced León’s two solo albums: Solstis and Voluma, so this collaboration is another happy result of a prolific partnership. However, there’s something special about this song, as it is the first Adán releases under his real name, leaving ‘Adanowsky’ in the past. He’s trying to make something clear to us; that the character he created, the idol, the rockstar, is now part of the past as he embraces himself as a more mature, experimented artist.
Influenced by the spiritual legacy of his father, Adan’s lyrics have always had some spiritual life-reflecting message in them and this song is no exception. Through a smooth and joyful psychedelic-latino-folk rhythm, he invites us to leave our ego behind and reminds us that we all have to learn to enjoy whatever life brings, and only that can set us free. Basically, allow yourself to feel love and give love. “Evapora el ego de una vez, nada es sólido, es una ilusión. Paraíso de sentir amor, repartirlo el mayor placer”.
It might seem like something we have heard before, but you can be sure he’s come a long way to tell us this. The one thing I know is that his next album will be completely different to his previous work (as all of his albums have been), because that’s what I’ve learned from Adán’s music: as time goes by we all change, we are all different people, growing until we finally find our true self.
Best of IndieBeat Featured Artists
Julian Borrego – Sound Is
Borrego creates immersive, ornamented soundscapes that feel whole and almost infinite in their exploratory and improvisational qualities … Combining delicious psych-funk with mouthwatering jazz elements, Julian Borrego’s music has a fervent vibrancy full of addicting wit.
“Sound Is” brings traditional psych-funk with shredding and tasty guitar, and a loungy piano development strung throughout, truly “the sound is what keeps me sound.”
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