We’re already a month into the new year and I can tell it’s going to be a stellar year in the indie dance spectrum. Indie Discotheque brings us another list full of newcomers and heavy-hitters.
1. Mura Masa - Teenage Headache Dreams
The pacing of this new masterpiece from Mura Masa, and the whole album, really, makes it one of those rare occurrences where you feel the need to lay on your back in a darkened room with the sound at a pulsating volume. The back and forth of the vocals, guitar work, and production clarity of “Teenage Headache Dreams” are wholeheartedly declared the best of the month.
2. Whethan - Stay Forever feat. STRFKR
Unexpected collaboration alert! Whethan and STRFKR together is a remarkable experience. “Stay Forever” opens up with a bit of western-influenced guitar work, then the beat hits, and we’re off on our adventure. I enjoy the processing, layering of the vocals, and the classic overcompressed wall of bass that harken back to the peak of JUSTICE and the late 00’s era.
3. Dansu - Say Say Say
I tend to get mesmerized by new Dansu tunes, and “Say Say Say” certainly has my attention with its unmistakable vocal treatment and a guitar solo with a beautifully controlled distortion applied to it. It’s wonderfully upbeat for a breakup song, but that’s also what makes it effective.
4. The Undercover Dream Lovers - You Don’t Have to Be Lonely
It’s not hard to get wrapped up in the feeling of “You Don’t Have to Be Lonely” from The Undercover Dream Lovers. My favorite feature of the instrumentation is how the organ builds as the composition progresses. Let’s get out on the dancefloor! We all have to boogie sometimes.
5. The Jungle Giants - Sending Me Ur Loving
Bouncing bass? Check. Upper register and falsetto vocals? Check. Twangy guitar strumming in a limited application? Check. The Jungle Giants have applied the elements and checked the boxes; the result is this fantastic indie dance tune that deserves the attention of the dancefloor.
6. The Wants - The Motor
“The Motor” winds up into a fast-paced groove with ear-catching bass guitar. The Wants quickly dive in with the guitar to parallel the bass, and you feel your heart beating faster as the tension rises. While there are vocals, the piece truly feels like a part of an instrumental rock soundtrack.
7. Grouplove - Deleter
What we have here is a straight-up, almost classic sounding indie rock track from Grouplove that’s fast-paced, yet still produced in a way that totally makes you want to get loose out in the middle of the dancefloor too. The “nononono’s” certainly helped with that desire. Get out there and sing along!
8. Circa Waves - Move to San Francisco
As the skeptic, I’m in agreement with the initial premise of this track. I just don’t know if I’d make the move. Circa Waves explore a question many people ask, should I “Move to San Francisco?”
9. Joywave - Half Your Age
Is this Joywave song about procrastination or just getting older? I suppose that’s up for interpretation. It’s easy to push things aside and suddenly realize how much has passed you by.
10. The Naked and Famous - Bury Us
I’m always ready for new music from The Naked and Famous, and “Bury Us” maintains the indie-pop sensibility that we love from the project, with excellent vocal layering and production.
11. Kytes - Go Out
Upbeat and catchy, “Go Out” from Kytes is one of those songs that simply make you smile. The vocal performance is a bit overdramatic but that’s also what adds uniqueness to the song.
12. Georgia - Never Let You Go (Alternative Version)
I was quite impressed with Georgia’s original mix of “Never Let You Go,” but this alternative version wears off some of the polish and adds a bit more grit to the song, which I’m all about.
13. Holy Fuck - Deleters feat. Angus Andrew
There are so many great elements that compose “Deleters” from Holy Fuck, from the acoustic percussion, the distorted, distant vocals, and echoing chords that stab your ears from beyond.
14. Vlossom - Tabs
15. Scary Black - Stay In Your Lane
If “Stay In Your Lane” from Scary Black isn’t a weekly staple at your local goth bar yet, it should be. This song has relatable lyrics, with production clarity that goes above and beyond the norm.
Here's everything in a playlist: