Thus far, 2013 has proven a spectacular year for the music world. In the midst of huge music festivals across the country and globe, lesser-known bands are building momentum with new fans, radio airtime and within the music industry. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with these indie bands and artists, here’s my compilation of the ten best indie songs that have been blared from car speakers and performed at festivals this past summer. These songs are in no particular order, but will make the perfect playlist for the remainder of the summer.
1. “If So” by Atlas Genius
Based out of Australia, Atlas Genius is striking a chord with many American alternative rock fans. The brother duo first gained popularity with the single “Trojans” off of their debut album, and “If So” is currently sitting at the number eight spot on the US Billboard Alternative Rock Songs chart.
2. “Pompeii” by Bastille
This song was released in January and has carried UK band to the top of the alternative charts. The sadder lyrical content set to an upbeat vibe makes “Pompeii” an instant classic.
3. “Trying to be Cool” by Phoenix
Phoenix struck again with the release of the album “Bankrupt!,” and the lead single from the record, “Trying to be Cool” has rocked the airwaves. It sounds like something straight out of the 1980s. In my opinion, thus far it is one of the best songs from one of the best albums of the year.
4. “Hurricane” by MS MR
Although the lead single and intro track from MS MR’s first record, Candy Bar Creep Show, was actually released in the summer of 2012, it has recently picked up steam as fans begin to discover group. “Hurricane” does not quite have the typical tone of a summer song, but it is drawing crowds to MS MR’s performances across the nation.
5. “Dreaming” by Smallpools
Smallpools hasn’t even released an entire album yet, but they’re still making an impact in the indie scene. The song “Dreaming” comes from a five track EP that is rapidly gaining momentum, as the band did not even exist prior to this year. Fan support is crucial this early in their career, and this song definitely makes them a band to check out.
6. “My Number” by Foals
“My Number”, from the band’s recently released third album “Holy Fire”, follows a very similar formula to their past music. “My Number” is sure to make some heads bob up and down and feet tap the ground.
7. “Out of My League” by Fitz and the Tantrums
Fitz and the Tantrums lead their sophomore effort with the track “Out of My League.” While it is a departure from previous work, they perform it well. They still utilize the 1960s and 1970s type of elements from their 2012 debut album “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” but they also add a more modern flare to their work.
8. “Royals” by Lorde
Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, a 16-year-old girl from New Zealand, is killing it in the American market right now. She peaked at 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and has topped the Alternative Rock Songs chart. Lorde shows off her incredible vocal talents on the track, and did I already mention that she’s only 16 years old? She has a very bright future ahead of her in the music industry.
9. “Breezeblocks,” by Alt-J
British indie rock quartet Alt-J, aka ∆, borrows references from “Where the Wild Things Are” and turns it into a beautiful melody. If there is one thing Alt-J can pride itself on it’s the ability to remain extremely subtle and simplistic instrumentally, yet complement it with complex vocal harmonies. This song is the simply incredible.
10. “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities
Let’s be real here. This song probably deserves a spot in top ten greatest songs to gain popularity this year. It was released in 2011, but it was recently heard by Spotify listeners everywhere as the background music to an advertisement for Spotify Premium. The rest is history. “Safe and Sound” is what I imagine the season of summer sounding like if it could play music, had access to a synthesizer and could sing vocals.