Indie Discotheque dabbles in all of the nuances of indie and alternative dance, synth, and disco music throughout our programming, and because of that, I always worry I’m not going to have the right tunes for my personal favorite chart - the indie dance chart. As it turns out, I have no need to worry, because there are always so many amazing songs to choose from. I’m declaring June 2019 the month of the bass guitar in indie dance music. I can’t get enough of it and many of the selections for the month reflect that. Let's groove!
1. Phantogram - Into Happiness
I don’t know how they do it, but Phantogram is back with a stellar piece that has a vibe taking us to the heyday of alternative dance and trip-hop in the early ’00s. The production on this track is simply wonderful in its layered wall of sound. Lean back and enjoy this one.
2. Say Yes Dog - Feel Better
Amazing uptempo bass work and a laissez-faire vocal, complimented by just the right amount of processing. There is a fantastic plucking accent in the synth happening across the track, and perfect percussion treatment that has the crisp production I’m often looking for.
3. Slum Sociable - Life Is Free
I can’t get enough of the strings. The echo chamber effects across the track create a wall of sound that completely envelops the environment and a funky bass groove that cuts right through it all to keep the mood and the tempo flowing.
4. Two Door Cinema Club - Dirty Air
This is such an uptempo dance jam for Two Door Cinema Club, with a driving progression through a repetitive, “fire, fire, fire” that leads into an explosion of a musical release. I can’t get enough of this track, it’s my favorite on the new album.
5. Courtship - Guy Stuff
When the track starts playing you think you’re getting the theme from Golden Girls, but as you get into it the track gains this charming air to it that makes me smile. The contrast of “guy stuff” to cutesy falsetto verse answers really make the track.
6. Operator Music Band - Squaresoft
More funky bass. More. Funky. Bass. This seems to be the month for it, and I’m not complaining at all. Operator Music Band has really made an impression on me over the last few months, and “Squaresoft” keeps my interest between the cowbell, synth warbles, and that sweet, sweet bass groove.
7. Sleater-Kinney - Hurry on Home
This may very well be the greatest Sleater-Kinney song ever. I don’t say this lightly, because the band has such a legacy, but the danceable garage rock vibe of the song, that Siouxie-Sioux vocal effect, staccato emphasis on each lyric just grabs me.
8. FUKC - Ride
I tend to focus on the overall feel of a track and the subtle elements that make it unique. This song has a lot going for it. From the absolutely awesome flute sample going on to the gritty guitar work, it’s time to take a ride with FUKC.
9. Seratones - Gotta Get to Know Ya
More of that grooving bass, this time with some satisfying distortion applied, and a truly soulful vocal performance that is impossible to ignore. The guitar solo absolutely shreds, and I wish it was four times longer. This song is a journey worth repeating, even at a running time of 2:17.
10. Pleasure Craft - Work It Out feat. Mingjia
The vocal melody of this song has wonderful complexity to it and the performance vocally, alone, brings this song well above the average indie dance track coming out of the gates these days. The cowbell across the track with layered backing vocals are awesome, too.
11. Fujiya & Miyagi - Gammon
Bouncy bouncy bounce bounce. "Gammon" brings tempo to the minimalism and clarity we expect from Fujiya & Miyagi. Subtle layer upon subtle layer, all standing on their own in the space of the track while still working together to create greatness.
12. Freeda - Replay
Turn it up! Freeda brings the guitar full force in a dance-rock track style that we don’t hear as often in this moody, electronic world. The lyrics are clear and the vocal range is impressive. This is one of those tracks for jumping up and down with your hands in the air.
13. Childcare - Sugarcane
Simplistic groove with multi-layered vocal treatments on a nice bed of consistent bass groove and percussion loops. I like the use of lyrics in this song. Not that they dive deep or anything, but the words are well arranged with the music.
14. Yeasayer - Fluttering in the Floodlights
Why isn’t Yeasayer getting more love? This album is a fantastic release for the band with unique songwriting, sing-along melodies, vocal layering reminiscent of Passion Pit and the blips and bloops arranged within that keep my interest.
15. Palm Springsteen - Sister Sister
Aside from being a simply wonderful dance-rock song, I can’t get over Palm Springsteen’s name. What an awesome play on words that gave me a chuckle and a double take the first time I saw it. The fact that their music is so good is the icing on the cake.