Let’s be real – summer of 2020’s bout to play out quite differently from what you had envisioned. Travel plans canceled, shelter-in-place orders reluctantly accepted. While 2020 may not live up to the big dreams you had for it, it does provide the perfect opportunity to embark on a different kind of adventure. Yes, a Spotify-enabled adventure marked by musical discovery and off-key sing-alongs for a party of one. So pull out your headphones – or, let’s be honest, just switch tabs – and give these Indie tunes a listen. You’ll find at least one that truly speaks to you.
Read on for 7 indie songs that totally complement your summer mood for this year.
1. “I Go Crazy” By Orla Gartland… For When You’re Waiting On a Text Back
You know the feeling. Staring glassy-eyed at your phone screen as you refresh it for the twenty millionth time in hopes of that one notification popping up, deep inside you worry it won’t. Well, Orla Gartland takes that feeling and puts it into words better than anyone of us ever could. This alt-pop banger will certainly make you want to dance around your room to exhaust some of that nervous energy. “Three hearts. Two words. One maybe/ Say something before I go crazy now,” she croons, urging you to laugh at the sheer relatability of this common 21st-century struggle. Next time you find yourself waiting in anticipation for a reply from your favorite person to the risky text you sent last night, just set your phone down and sing it out with Orla.
2. “cold/mess” By Prateek Kuhad… For When You’re Going Through a Quarantine Breakup
Did quarantine bring out the ugly side of the guy you’d been with for the last two years? Did you get dumped by the girl you thought you’d marry? Well, regardless of whether you identify as dumper or dumpee, Prateek Kuhad’s soothing voice will certainly pacify your broken heart. “This song beautifully narrates the story of two people who are trapped in this damaging, obsessive kind of love. Prateek Kuhad has one of the most unique voices on the indie scene and his lyrics are painfully honest. The greatest reason to listen to the song though might just be its music video – which features many beautiful underwater scenes and a journey through the heart of Mumbai.” UCLA junior Preet Modi said. The best part? He doesn’t try to falsely put a positive spin on the situation, but instead encourages you to really “feel the feelz” in their entirety. You know, so you can have a good cry first to let it all out and then get right to move on without any of the emotional baggage weighing you down.
3. “still feel.” By half alive … For When You Need a Reminder That You’ve Got This
Sometimes you need a (musical) reminder that you have things under control, and boy, does half alive deliver! “Lost in the in-between, but it can’t keep me asleep for long,” reads like poetry but sounds like a power anthem when paired with the groovy beat. This song nails the combination of up-beat and comforting with a chorus that’ll get you nodding along no matter how down-in-the-dumps you may have felt. The infectious positive energy will empower you to make that big leap you’ve been overthinking, while also successfully making you a lifelong fan of this brilliant indie-funk band. Two wins in one.
4. “Bob Marley” by Grizfolk … For When You’re Kicking It Back On a Lazy Day In
You know those random Wednesdays that feel like Saturdays because you finished all your work ahead of time for once and feel pretty good about yourself? Well this Swedish-American indie rock band adds the cherry on the top for those days – a song you’ll want to scream at the top of your lungs, in the shower and outside of it too. Summon your inner rock-star as you wonder aloud “can I choose to feel this way for the rest of my days?”. Not only does this song pay homage to an absolute reggae legend, but it also brings out the best in you.
5. “Los Angeles” By The Midnight… For When You’re Feelin’ Nostalgic
Drowning in nostalgia, thinking fondly of all those fun, pre-Covid19 times? Me too, me too. Although the virus still might not have a cure, we may’ve found one to that unshakeable urge to return to the past. This song fills you with a sense of peaceful contentment from the very first listen, sweetly appreciative of the “sand in our skin, and the sun in our eyes” and all the little summery things we started taking for granted. It unlocks your fondest memories without getting weepy about it, which honestly amounts to an art in itself. “I loved Los Angeles by The Midnight. The song with its soft tunes and electronic instrument paying homage to the 1980s really hits home when you are feeling nostalgic. Listening to it instantly made me replay the good times I had with my friends from middle school to high school and I am sure it will urge you to take the turn down that road of happy memories and simpler times as well. This is part of the synth-wave genre which was created to recreate a 1980s theme so the music itself takes you back too.” South Point High School senior Satrajit Ghosh said. And it doesn’t require a visit to LA to vibe to this song, because the lyrics transcend beyond the physical setting to apply to a collective mental state – one that a lot of us are experiencing right about now.
6. “SAD (Clap Your Hands)” By Young Rising Sons… For When You’re Sad, But Feel Like Owning Your Sadness
Feeling utterly crappy about yourself but not quite sure why? We’ve all been there. But this time, instead of reaching for your Taylor Swift playlist and throwing yourself a pity-party, how about channeling all of that anxious energy into dancing along to a fitting bop? Prepare yourself for a classic happy-sounding, lyrically layered masterpiece that puts a fun twist on a childhood staple and upgrades it to match your current existential state: “if you’re sad and you know it/ and you don’t want to show it/ clap your hands.” Play it on a loop until you feel better.
7. “Hold My Girl” By George Ezra… For When: You’re Craving Human Contact
Forgotten what it feels like to see your friends in person without a screen separating you? Well, George Ezra sympathizes with you. Let his beautiful, chocolatey voice greet you like a warm hug till you get to do the same to your loved ones. “Hold My Girl is a lingering forehead kiss on a particularly rough day – undeniably dulcet and tragically beautiful. It makes you realize the true essence of warmth only love and touch can provide. Timeless, ethereal and even more relevant during the quarantine, ‘My girl, you’ve got nothing to lose.’” Delhi Public School Vasant Kunj senior Anchita Thakur said. While you count-down the days to when you can hang out with the squad again or go on a non-Zoom date with your boo, this song will keep you company and help you feel just a little less incomplete.