If you try to define “indie music”, it becomes obvious that there are a lot of phrases to use and musicians to back it up. I’ve been a fan for a long time and the genre doesn’t get any easier to define. It mixes so much, forming little hybrids. Still, there is a best way to show off what you listen to, and sometimes that simply comes down to to listing an artist. I have three for you. They identify themselves through different forms of the indie culture and have been doing their unique expressions for a number of years. For those who haven’t been caught up in the craze of these three bands yet, let it rub off on you.
Australian artist Tame Impala has been blowing up the indie scene for nearly a decade. Many bands out there started out on a small scale and Tame Impala is no different. One year they are playing in bars and at parks, and then gradually some people slap themselves, “How did I not know about Tame?” Mastermind Kevin Parker started fully producing the music in 2007. Tagged psychedelic rock, the music fuses with the likes of Grizzly Bear and Future Islands, bringing a shovel load of shifting electronic instruments and falsettos to complement. In 2012, Parker put his best foot forward with the album Lonerism. One of the more popular tracks “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” is a great place to start listening. Jumping ahead to 2015, Tame Impala came out with Currents, what this writer would consider the greatest album of that year. This one is far more danceable and catchy. With songs like ‘Eventually” and “The Less I Know The Better”, it’s like someone split the atom all over again. The innovative drums and colorful, carefully chosen synths make for the explosion of a masterpiece. The music throws you into a trance, and all of a sudden, you’re getting bold with your lover. He just writes some damn good melodies. Period.
When I heard “Myth” by Beach House, I was nearly in tears from relief. It was as if the heavens opened up and the soothing guitars and vocal reverb were there to meet me in my loneliness. The band from Baltimore started in 2005. Over the collection of ten plus years, they remain quiet to the mainstream plugs. The band is made up of guitarist Alex Scally and vocalist Victoria Legrand. 2015 was a duo album year with Depression Cherry and Thank You’re Lucky Stars. “Space Song” and “Majorette” are starry-eyed songs, meant to keep you focused and alleviated. Beach House lyrics follow youthful trials: “Fall back into place/What comes after this momentary bliss/Consequence of what you do to me/Watch you spin like that.” I wouldn’t ever leave the room if Beach House were playing.
My favorite recent find was French Films. Again, they’ve been around for a few years but their sound is intoxicating. I’m a fan of guitar-driven songs. For me though, it’s got to be a melodic upbeat tune. It has to be memorable. The lyrics must be sung with gusto. And the band must be slightly toward the chaotic side. Like a genie granting wishes, French Films is the most complete band I’ve heard in a long time. You just need music that sounds this great. One of the best things about the band is that they’re still writing music. Their latest tunes are available via Spotify, and if you really want it, you can get your hands on a 7-inch. The Finnish indie pop band hurled out their prestigious Imaginary Future in 2011. Favorite songs from the album include “You Don’t Know”, “Golden Sea”, and “Pretty In Decadence”. After three years of studio silence, the band talks of releasing a new album in the near future. For fans of The Drums and Best Coast, search no further for a band to quench your thirst.