Category Archives: Indie

Natalie Prass – Lost (2018)


Natalie Prass’s sophomore album, The Future And The Past, is an eclectic affair. Supported by producer Matthew E. White and his Spacebomb Studio house band, she’s found her groove borrowing from pieces of 1970s and 1980s pop. While much of the long player has a waltzy swing to it, something a little slower pricked my ears. The piano ballad ‘Lost’ shows that the singer-songwriter knows how to deliver a vocal chop too. Have a great start to the week.

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Villagers – A Trick Of The Light (2018)

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‘Trick Of The Light’ is the first release from Villagers’ forthcoming album The Art Of Pretending To Swim. The track opens to a steady pulse and quickly creates a groove that is more than slightly R&B. The folk returns as the song progresses and Conor O’Brien chases ‘A Trick Of The Light’.

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Stephen Malkmus – Jo Jo’s Jacket (2001)


Last week’s feature of Bryan Ferry got me thinking about solo artists that have made a good fist of leaving their successful bands. Stephen Malkmus’s signature is unmistakable. The one-time frontman for Pavement, arguably the most effervescent group of ’90s indie music, could have suffered under the weight of legacy and expectation. But he took it all in his stride and with a dollop of his humour. ‘Jo Jo’s Jacket’ and the bald dome of Yul Brynner feature on his self-titled debut album.

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Sweet Baboo – Let’s Go Swimming Wild (2013)


The talented Stephen Black is a singer-songwriter from Wales. In 2013, he released the quirky album Ships on Moshi Moshi Records. ‘Let’s Go Swimming Wild’ gives listeners a slightly psychedelic flavour of Sweet Baboo.
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Lola Marsh – Wishing Girl (2017)


Tel Aviv-based indie popsters Lola Marsh released their debut album Remember Roses last year. I wonder if vocalist Yael Shoshana Cohen was thinking of Lana Del Rey when she wrote ‘Wishing Girl’. Instrumentalist and producer Gil Landau makes up the other half of the duo. Have a great week.

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The xx – I Dare You (2017)


‘I Dare You’ finds The xx’s Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim exploring their feelings. Madley Croft was about to get engaged and Oliver Sim was thinking about his issues with alcohol. Unlike much of last year’s album I See You, the resulting song is positive in mood. Have a great week.

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Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of Love (2017)


Last week, Sufjan Stevens released a new video for his song ‘Mystery of Love’, which he penned for the Luca Guadagnino film Call Me By Your Name. This is Sufjan, near his etherial best.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2017

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus this festive season. I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2017 in no particular order. See you in the new year.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything

Dan Auerbach – King Of A One Horse Town

LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police

King Krule – Dum Surfer

Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

Ty Segall – My Lady’s On Fire

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Mainland

Kamasi Washington – Truth


Honourable mentions also go to: Jordan Rakei for ‘Hiding Place‘; Future Islands for ‘Ran‘; Bicep for ‘Glue‘; Dornik for ‘God Knows‘; Real Estate for ‘Darling‘; Foxygen for ‘On Lankershim‘; Mac DeMarco for ‘This Old Dog‘; John Mayer for ‘Moving On and Getting Over‘; Big Thief for ‘Shark Smile‘; Kevin Morby for ‘Come To Me Now‘; St. Vincent for ‘New York‘; Rex Orange County for ‘Edition‘; Public Service Broadcasting for ‘Progress‘; Lorde for ‘Green Light‘; The National for ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness‘; and alt- J for’3WW‘.

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Sparklehorse – Cow (1995)


I cannot believe I haven’t posted this one already. The stupendous ‘Cow’ from Sparklehorse’s 1995 debut Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. Everything feels a little bit better with banjo. Sparklehorse was the musical project of Mark Linkous. His beautiful, fragile music masked a stranger thing. Linkous shot himself through the heart in 2010 aged 47.

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Alvvays – The Agency Group (2013)

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Now let’s turn up the dissonance dial a touch. Toronto-based band Alvvays self-released their debut album in 2013. It featured this peach. Molly Rankin hits the high notes on ‘The Agency Group’.

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Big Thief – Masterpiece (2016)


And now to a different strand of the mythical folk rock genre. Brooklyn’s Big Thief balances the singer-songwriter’s storytelling with indie rock. Their debut album’s title track ‘Masterpiece’ sums it up. Adrianne Lenker sings: “There’s only so much letting go you can ask someone to do.”

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press (2017) 


One of Melbourne’s current standout bands, Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever grabbed enough people’s attention this year on the strength of their first single ‘French Press’. The band was formed by singer-guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White, and all three of their instruments are at the fore on this somewhat downcast surf rock jam.

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Alvvays – Dreams Tonite (2017)


Toronto-based indie pop band Alvvays released their sophomore album Antisocialites this year. The second track is ‘Dreams Tonite’ with its dreamy 1980s pop sound. Think Chromatics. Think Beach House. Think Cocteau Twins.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1999

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:

Röyksopp – So Easy

Blur – Coffee And TV

Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.

Wilco – She’s A Jar

Pavement – Spit On A Stranger

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness

dEUS – Instant Street

The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize

Sigur Rós – Starálfur


Honourable mentions also go to: Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir for ‘Deep Burnt‘; Mos Def for ‘Ms. Fat Booty‘; Shack for ‘Comedy‘; Pete Heller for ‘Big Love‘ and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.

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