[TGIF] What We Wanna Hear

Fresh tracks from up-and-coming artists. It's TGIF!

Art is part of Far Caspian record "The Last Remaining Light" cover

TGIF! It’s that time of the week again where we can finally kick back, relax, and enjoy some fresh indie releases. The past two weeks have been particularly exciting for indie music lovers, with a wave of new and diverse releases hitting the scene. From dreamy pop melodies to experimental rock, there is something for everyone to discover. In this post, we’ll dive into some of the latest indie releases that have caught our attention, showcasing the unique sounds and styles of emerging artists. So, let’s celebrate the end of the week by diving into some fresh indie music!

bed bug guru – Hazy

In Gainesville, FL, Jake Knoechel, Shane Malone, and Cleburne Wilson came together in early 2022 to form bed bug guru. After spending time in the Jax Beach expatriate community at the University of Florida, the trio became close friends. Previously members of different indie pop groups, they were interested in exploring a heavier, fuzzier sound with a focus on live performance. When they stumbled upon a thrift store shirt with the name “Bed Bug Guru,” the band was born and they quickly began exchanging demos and writing new material.

The band’s latest single was produced by Will Yip and is their first release in eight months. The song “Hazy” was written during a time of long-distance break-up and reflects the emotions and struggles of moving on. bed bug guru started working on the song remotely and continued to refine it after returning to Florida, where they spent the last six months playing live shows and touring around the state. The studio session allowed the band to experiment with heavier tones and bigger atmospheres, giving us “Hazy“, this amazing, powerful and raw piece!

Biljana Heights – Lies

Danish singer-songwriter, Biljana Heights, creates music that dwells in a dreamy and atmospheric realm. Her adoration for art cinema is reflected in her music videos, adding an extra layer of depth and creativity to her work.

At the beginning of 2023, Biljana caught the attention of several Danish music media outlets with her single “Stranger“. Now, the former frontwoman of the indie band Amber is back with a new alternative pop track called “Lies“. This song inhabits an alternative pop space that balances between the light and the dark, the truth and the lies. Biljana crafts intuitively, masterfully weaving evocative soundscapes based on beats and synths. Together with her gentle vocals, the result is a welcoming sense of unreality that draws listeners in.

Collective Fear – White Gloves

Collective Fear have recently released their brand new EP – Truly Free at Last – and so we have to take this opportunity to talk about a long lost song on our catalogue of accepted tunes – “White Gloves“.

Lost between dream pop and 80’s post-punk, “White Gloves” is a crunchy, dreamy track, that feels quite lo-fi in nature, but delivers heavily on feeling. Guitars feel like they’ve come more from the world of post-hardcore at times (clearly some Deftones influence in here!), while the glistening synths transport us into a world of clarity, where the chorus soothes us just as much as it hits hard. A band to check out and a perfect doorway to do so.

Dream 2 Dream – I have hope

*breath in* – ok, let’s present Dream 2 Dream, alright? List is long, so be prepared. Destiny Moreno (vocals), Mando Lopez (bass), Aric Garcia (drums), Joseph Gardner (guitar), Joseph Salazar (synths), Mike Pena (synths) + Max Lorenzen (recorded and mixed), Good Danny’s (recording studio), Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice (mastering engineer) at Peerless Mastering. That’s everyone who was, in some way or form, connected to creating “I have hope“, the last offering from Dream 2 Dream.

Dream 2 Dream’s latest single is a synth odyssey, the type of tune you could expect to find in a mid 2010s Pro Evolution Soccer soundtrack. Ok, that doesn’t seem like a compliment, but there’s a catch: we are fans of that indietronica style and the vibe is immaculate. Nice vocals, good instrumentation, slick production, and a catchy chorus that feels like jelly when surfing through your ears. It’s a great track!

Dylan Mondegreen – Let Someone In

Børge Sildnes, a Norwegian singer/songwriter/producer, performs under the name Dylan Mondegreen. He has toured extensively in countries such as Japan, China, UK, Italy, and the USA, and has shared stages with notable artists such as Mac DeMarco and The Clientele. In August 2022, Dylan Mondegreen released “A Sound Rings True” his first song recorded and mixed in his home studio, and it was self-released without any label support. Following this, he released two more singles, “To Change Your Heart” and “Sister” in quick succession.

Let Someone In” is one of the tracks featured on Dylan Mondegreen’s latest EP, which was released on April 21st. These songs will also be included on Dylan Mondegreen’s upcoming sixth album, set to be released later this year or possibly in early 2024. Dylan Mondegreen produced, performed, and mixed this light Norwegian sophisti-pop EP himself, while collaborating with other studio musicians who contributed drums, horn, flute, and backing vocals.

Far Caspian – The Last Remaining Light

Far Caspian, also known as Irish songwriter and producer Joel Johnston, has released a new single called “The Last Remaining Light“, which is from his upcoming album of the same name. The song reflects on mortality and the inevitability of death, inspired by a nightmare about his mother passing away. The album explores the theme of breaking free from routine.

I had a nightmare that my mum passed away and when I woke up I felt terrible. It made me think of what life would be like if she wasn’t here and I wrote this song to symbolise how much she means to me and to capture the feeling of inevitability with all of our own mortality. The line “The Last Remaining Light” represents the point at which you’re ready to move on and let go. After being diagnosed out of the blue with Crohn’s I’ve caught myself thinking about life and death more and I’ve found myself writing about it in my songs more recently. It made me realise that although life may seem to be going one way, it can change very quickly. I don’t want to shine a light on death in a miserable way but as I learn to make peace with it myself, I hope that if I touch on it in my songs it can feel more like a natural rite of passage rather than something to fear.

His Old Chain – Seven Stars

With not much information about the project but a lot of singles in the back for the last months, and an incredible consistency in the type of sonority they are presenting, His Old Chain latest entitled “Seven Stars” is a compassed chilled-high velveted track that through its waves creates a sense of natural feeling and belonging while transmitting an unusual groove that relaxes the listener while still making possible for mental depth. There are gorgeous guitars in the back, a simple drum symbology that feels sometimes conceptual, others just list a breeze, and through it all, there is a common line of peace and thought.

His Old Chain are Christian Lyles and Stefan J. Selbert, who work as cowboys, but still, find time to sneak away to the studio and create music.

Ivytide – Please Don’t Sugar Coat It

Based in Montreal, Canada, Ivytide is an independent pop group consisting of Nathan Gagné (vocals, guitar), Jamie Snytte (guitar), and Kyle Ruggiero (bass), who first crossed paths at a recording studio. Their collaboration quickly evolved into a seamless songwriting chemistry, fueled by a shared passion for lo-fi indie music. Their music is characterized by intricate, yet memorable melodies, complemented by carefully crafted instrumentation, resulting in a collection of bedroom pop songs. “Please Don’t Suger Coat It” is the latest single. Released on the past 25th of April, the track infuses a nice-paced pop vibe with bits of rock and a lot of modern elements that make it feel like a tender and sexy pop melody. Bagged with bunches of catchiness in the chorus, this is one of those songs that you will be singing in no time.

Jimmy Beach – Spirit

If you happen to like some jazz fusion, well, you have found a terrific track. Jimmy Beach‘s “Spirit” is a surprise package we did not expect to find but that we have welcomed greatly onto our listening habits (and it took us over 2 months to write about it ever since we first approved it!).

Lost between crazy grooves that would make DOMi & JD BECK want to partake in this jam, “Spirit” is a journey that occurs between Jimmy Beach, Adrián Terrazas-González (alto sax, flute), Cliff Sarcona (drums) and Mario Gonzalez (bass), one that is immensely fulfilling even with its long silence in the end. Terrific track this one!

Joshua & The Holy Rollers feat. Mason Prophet– What You Wanna Hear

This rock and roll cruiser entitled “What You Wanna Hear” is the product of a collaboration between two lifelong friends from Oklahoma, Mac Hanson (Joshua & The Holy Rollers) and Eric Arndt (Mason Prophet), who share a mutual love of J.J. Cale, hot grooves, and shimmery melody-driven rock.

In “What You Wanna Hear“, the interplay between the bass and riffy guitar is driving and swaying, leaving plenty of room for producer and drummer Joey LaRosa to work his rhythm magic. The fact that they recorded live off the floor together is evident in the masterful blend of the two vocalists playfully trading lines and the loose groove of musicians who know each other well. The chorus crescendo “I’ll tell you what you wanna hear” is a reminder of the importance of good friends, and the fact that no man is truly free without someone to share the load.

Halibab Matador – Ocean/Sea

Halibab Matador, a musician and producer based in Brussels, is one of the original members of the successful indie-RnB act, YellowStraps, which he created with his brother. The duo has achieved numerous accolades, including the release of their “Blame” EP in 2018 through Majestic Casual, a performance on tastemaker platform COLORS in 2019, and the release of the “Goldress” EP in 2020. In 2022, they released the album “tentacle“, and Alban took a step back from the YellowStraps brand to focus on his first solo project as an artist under the name Halibab Matador. In 2023, he will release his full-length debut, which predominantly features instrumental music that skillfully blends elements of jazz, soul, and hip hop.

Now, Matador is releasing “Ocena/Sea“, his second single. This instrumental piece exudes a relaxing vibe that mirrors the gentle motion of waves or the comforting embrace of a warm hug. Its laid-back rhythm, skillful guitar strumming, and winding piano melody create distinct melodies that converse with each other. The addition of warbling synths and a keys solo adds to the cozy ambiance of the entire soundscape, making it an ideal choice for leisurely mornings or enjoying the pitter-patter of raindrops while gazing out your window.

Louise Burns – Play Pretend

Louise Burns is a talented Canadian singer/songwriter hailing from British Columbia. She first gained recognition as a member of the teenage pop-punk band Lillix before branching out on her own to create a dynamic and eclectic solo career in the 2010s. Her musical style encompasses a wide range of genres, including indie pop, new wave, jazz, country, and synth-pop. Burns has released four solo albums to date, with 2019’s “Portraits” being her most recent offering. “Play Pretend“, her just released new single is another step into the direction of the spotlight. Featuring elements of indie pop and indie rock and coming from an almost classical composition structure there are huge hooks in the track that highlight her also as a vocalist. There are substantial retro feels in the track that supports the listening experience like it’s a matter of past enrichment to which she had bags of creativity and modern bits.

Mokina – up/down

Over the last four years, Montreal native Mokina has been carving out a name for herself as an indie darling. Her releases in the lofi scene have created ripples, leading to performances in front of crowds from New York to Lisbon and inclusion on numerous curated playlists.

While working on her third EP, Mokina is releasing today “up/down“. It is the second single off the upcoming EP and it was created in its entirety, (along with the other tracks on the EP) during a rainy week in Mokina‘s studio on the Portuguese coast. This indie-pop anthem captures the essence of a situationship’s highs and lows, ringing in the arrival of spring.

Polyglam – Adored

According to this LA-based indie-pop trio, Polyglam originated from a summer experience where three acquaintances were entrusted with house-sitting duties for a music producer’s residence. They took on their respective tasks of feeding the dog, walking the dog, and watering the plants, moving about like ships in the night. However, a miscommunication brought them together in the same room one day. They found themselves drawn to the home studio, a space where they each felt at ease, and an instant connection was established. What began as a fleeting summer romance evolved into a full-fledged band.

About their first single, Polyglam told us: “Adored was the first real song we wrote. Inspired after a night with an old Hollywood friend, we produced this track with all real instruments. The lyrics express a desire to see the best in someone, despite constant disappointment. An atmospheric, melancholy intro, woven together with a nylon guitar, violin pizzicato, and a mellotron, sets the tone for this dreamlike, nostalgic tune.”

Romy Dya – Let Love Heal

Romy Dya is an R&B/Soul artist, songwriter, and producer with years of experience in the music industry. Despite working in the background as a songwriter and featured artist for a while, her breakthrough moment came in 2017 when she was featured on the hit song ‘So Far Away’ by Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Jamie Scott. Romy‘s soulful and powerful vocals caught the attention of Billboard, which described her performance as “vulnerable and powerful.” Romy‘s difficult upbringing and turbulent youth have always inspired her music, which she describes as a form of therapy. Her upcoming EP, “Transformation” reflects her journey towards becoming a strong and powerful woman. Romy hopes to inspire others through her music and story, which is relatable to audiences worldwide.

Let Love Heal” is Romy‘s lead single from her “Transformation“. The song pays tribute to the transformative power of love and emphasizes how it can change our lives. Through powerful lyrics such as “Let love come in. Don’t be afraid. Let love come in. To heal your heart“, Romy encourages listeners to open their hearts to love as it can heal from the inside out. The song underscores that love, whether it is self-love or from others, is the key to change.