Summer is here and we’re feeling the heat in more ways than one. Whether you’re in isolation at home or rediscovering the joy of nature out in the forest, or even more importantly, holding masked protests in the streets because Black Lives Matter, this heat is present in many of the tracks Indie Discotheque has selected for your ears this month. There’s always a uniqueness to the music aligned with indie and alternative dance, and the tracks we found this month certainly bring the vibes we crave.
1. Tommy Newport - Shooting Star
Opening up this month’s chart with music from Tommy Newport, who presents this super catchy track with clear acoustic percussion, simplistic but prominent bass guitar, and atmospheric effects on the vocals. There are a few “oh yeahs” thrown in for good measure, altogether creating a piece that will get anyone who loves a bit of swagger out on the dancefloor.
2. Suns Up - Grows
The light is certainly shining on the latest from Suns Up, a bright and upbeat track with a sound that will keep you dancing with a smile on your face. I love the layering of the vocal in “Grows,” and the steady, forward production of the guitar pairs well with the percussion arrangement.
3. Paper Idol - Ready for Love
A steady mid-tempo dance track with simple sing-along melodies, “Ready for Love” from Paper Idol is one of those tunes that you know you love from the first slap of the bass guitar. The vocal style grabs you from the get-go, with layers building as the track progresses, culminating at the climax.
4. The Mysterines - I Win Every Time
Sometimes you just need grit and attitude while you’re on the dancefloor, and The Mysterines are here to give it to you. This is a fast-paced track with an intense, monotone vocal with an intensity that commands attention. Dance to this track and you’re sure to win every time.
5. Gang of Four - Forever Starts Now
With the death of Andy Gill in February, it’s great to have this new track from Gang of Four that features his legendary guitar work so prominently, shining a bright light on his legacy and providing an appropriate send off. Get out on the dancefloor and move. “Forever Starts Now.”
6. Dylyn - Call Me What You Want
Dylyn doesn’t really care what you think, and that attitude is what makes “Call Me What You Want” so great. It’s a track filled with heavy percussion and guitar riffs, but the arrangement of the track is still structured in a way that will get you thrashing about while you sing along.
7. Easypeel - Lioness
“Lioness” is a bit of a downtempo track when you get to the end of the track, but I think of it as the cooldown period after you dance your ass off to each of the verses. Easypeel has structured this track masterfully, and I love the play on tempo and groove throughout the song.
8. Youth Sector - Real Estate
Instantly drawn by the blippity-bloops and vocal performance, Youth Sector brings a track full of energy and momentum in Real Estate. If you dance to this you will be dripping in sweat.
9. Nation of Language - The Wall and I
The steady pulse of the synth as a backing texture in this track from Nation of Language is a wonderful compliment to the vocal and guitar style. This is a track for listening and being a part of the journey. "The Wall and I" is an enjoyable modern interpretation of alternative dance.
10. We Are Scientists - I Cut My Own Hair
I still haven’t had a haircut. It’s probably been six months or so. But like We Are Scientists, I’m getting to the point where I don’t really care, and I’m seriously considering cutting my own hair.
11. Lee Bowie - Break
The groove of the bassline in “Break” is an instant ear opener. A track about relationship stress and day drinking, the vocal back-and-forth that occurs in the song is an unexpected duet. Compliments to Lee Bowie for creativity in the arrangement and sound design on this one.
12. Porcelain Boy - Dull Girl
Because I have a background as an industrial music DJ, I get excited when I hear songs that start with a vocal sample. Porcelain Boy uses a deep vocal with processing applied to it, and the electronic instrumentation across “Dull Girl” is arranged well, with simple guitar and an abrupt conclusion.
13. Kidsmoke - She Takes You Under
Certainly one of the more traditional alternative dance tracks on this month's chart, but Kidsmoke always delivers. “She Takes You Under” has momentum, and highlights definitely include the atmospheric guitar work and the harmonization of the multi-tracked vocals.
14. Lithics - Beat Fall
It’s dance punk time. “Beat Fall” is simplistic and perfect for the inner dance punk in you, with Lithics using guitar accents peppered across the track to provide a bit of opinion in the arrangement. This reminds me a lot of Flin Flon’s Boo-Boo album in its style and mood.
15. Gimme Kills - Yeah!
Grit and sass is the name of the game for the latest from Gimme Kills, a momentous song filled with distorted guitar and reminiscent of the vibe that was so prominent in the mid-00s dance rock revival. This is the one that’s going to make you jump up and down, raise your hands and say, “Yeah!”
Hear all of the songs together in one convenient playlist: