After last week’s Monday Mixteen without a central theme, The Ghost did not want two weeks in a row for there to be no coherent thread between the songs. Alas, I was finding myself wanting a variety of styles within this week’s playlist. I settled on something of a compromise: an indie music themed Monday Mixteen. Yes, on the surface, it seems that there is a musical theme. Truth is, however, indie has become something of a musical catch-all genre. Indie can mean belonging to an independent label, or it can suggest a specific kind of sound. In reality, the “indie sound” is becoming harder to define day by day. I will say, however, that a case can be made for each of these tracks as deserving of the indie label. The case for indieness (if there’s such a thing) shall be made for each song below.
- Air Review, “You Won’t Be Coming Home”
After a far too long absence on the scene, Air Review is back with a new album. How We Get By continues in a similar indie sound to their previous full length, Low Wishes. Their new effort, however, does offer an extra dose of bittersweet tone with their indie pop hooks.
- Shmu, “Melting Down the Glass”
Austin’s Shmu’s sound is very experimental, almost chaotic in song structure. Unlike many acts that go overboard with sound effects with no solid song structure, Shmu makes its quirky sounds an accent of the song, and not the sole purpose of the song. The band is certainly blazing a unique path for itself, and that alone makes it worthy of the “indie” label.
- End of Orbit, “Love Rush”
When End of Orbit announced the release of a new song that they stated was Bowie influenced, I went to Spotify to give it a listen. My first thought was that there was a far stronger Iggy Pop vibe, and I failed to hear much Bowie vibe. I then noticed I was listening to “Up to You” instead of “Love Rush”. There’s a strong case to be made that “Love Rush” could be what it would have sounded like had Bowie taken the helm of Roxy Music. Whether that makes the song “indie” or “new wave” sounding, it puts End of Orbit in a really sweet spot melodically.
- Chilldren of Indigo, “Keepers of the Fire”
Earlier, I suggested that indie is a somewhat meaningless label at this point. Chilldren of Indigo have adopted the indie label, along with that of several other genres. Whether COI has a true “indie” vibe might be debatable. What’s more clear cut is the fact that this band has declared its independence from simple singular genre influences. And in essence, shouldn’t “indie” be about that independent spirit? Oh, side note: expect a GOBL/COI announcement very, very soon…
- Kyoto Lo-Fi, “Flowering Boulder”
Instead of The Ghost saying how awesome this track is and all, here’s a link to an article on the new single at Wavelength, which may be Dallas’ most underrated music blog.
- Goons, “Fight the Feeling”
Is it just me, or do half of the new “indie” songs sound like they could’ve been hits in the 1980’s? Austin Goons has more than a few hint of 80’s sound in their band. Not that The Ghost is complaining or anything…
- Meach Pango, “Downhill”
Part quirky, part smart rock n’ roll, all fun. That’s just how Meach Pango rolls.
- Reddening West, “Wander On”
If you want to hear what indie sounds like as its most gorgeous, there’s likely no band in Texas that does it better than Reddening West. The sounds they compose are the kind that absorb the listener and transport them into another world filled with sonic beauty.
- The Bralettes, “Eddie”
If Reddening West is the gorgeous corner of indie, The Bralettes would be more representative of the raw riot grrl sound of indie bands of the late 1990’s like Sleater-Kinney.
- Luna Luna, “Feelings in Me”
Luna Luna, who have become indie darlings of the local music scene, will celebrate the release of their new album this Friday at Deep Ellum Art Company.
- Zed/Zero, “Dirty Trombones”
In Geometry, there is the informal proof, a method of proving a statement true by proving the opposite statement false. The opposite of indie would be mainstream, correct? Well, do you think you can call this song mainstream? Zed/Zero is indeed an indie band then. That concludes this lesson in logic. Now enjoy this funky oddity.
- Jade Nickol, “Marijuana & Gin”
Ms. Nickol definitely maintains an indie vibe within her style of folk-pop. And again, it’s hard to think of a song with a title with “Marijuana & Gin” fitting in as mainstream.
- Andrew, dear, “Count Me In”
This newcomer in the local music scene definitely possesses some sonic similarities with Death Cab for Cutie. Unlike Death Cab, however, there’s a brightness and energy in “Count Me In” that gives the track its own identity.
- Secrecies, “Anything at All”
Friday night’s album release show for Secrecies was both a visual and sonic treat for the system. Music lovers looking for the midpoint between modern indie and classic new wave will eat up this track.
- Ellen Once Again, “Good Vibes”
Indie seems to be a popular genre prefix. Indie-rock. Indie-pop. And in the case of Ellen Once Again, indie soul. Or, you could say that the song title tells you everything you need to know about Ellen’s sound.
- Chomsky, “Road”
I end the playlist with one of the indie rock greats from Dallas, Chomsky. The band will celebrate the 20th anniversary of A Few Possible Selections for the Soundtrack of Your Life this Saturday night at Double-Wide, along with Bobgoblin, another iconic Dallas classic.