Indie Pop Playlist September 2021

Here’s our indie pop playlist for September 2021, featuring the best in independent pop and alt music:

As always, I have a few songs which I want to draw some extra attention to in this indie pop playlist for September 2021:

Circuitry (Magik*Magik) – What a wonderfully weird song, fusing some very unique lyrics with a minimal beat and some lush and epic orchestral work. Then midway through when the beat comes in, it layers some unexpected ambient bleeps and bloops, somewhat resembling a track from The Postal Service. I definitely had both chorus hooks “redddd is the color” and “it’s not” stuck in my head, struggling to remember what this song was.

Outland (Observer Drift) – I imagine this song playing in a pivotal and emotional scene in an 80’s movie, like a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The production is very spot on in that sense, and musically it conjures up images of latchkey kid adventures from yesteryear.

Small Town Shoes (Sam Russo) – A lovely folksy track from singer songwriter Sam Russo. Love it when it hits that minor chord on “so if you wanna go out tonight I’m comin’ to”.

Cab Rides and Ciagrettes (Alcoa) – This definitely hits that wistful sweet spot, particularly on the chorus. I mention this about one song per playlist, but there’s that effective western loner kind of vibe that I get from it; makes for a great atmosphere.

Pumpkins (Islands) – THAT SYNTH LINE. Good lord, smooth as butter. The tone they got for that synth could play anything and the song would be great, but that hook is so damn good and matched for said tone. The whole affair is a sexy, slowly moving trip. It’s one of those songs that just makes you want to get a good buzz out and chill out on the beach in 90 degree weather, only bopping your head slowly in time with the song.

The Glow (Matt Pond PA) – Matt Pond PA has been around for a long time and feels like one of those artists who should be bigger (at least compared to his monthly Spotify listeners). I don’t know that much of his stuff despite first having heard his cover of Champagne Supernova on the OC 15 years ago. Everything I’ve heard from him is solid, and this is no exception.

My Guy, My Gal (Darlingside) – There’s a lot of folkier pop on this playlist; I don’t know if that was by design or just a subconscious move with the change of the seasons. This song is an excellent lesson in harmonies which bring the vocals to life. There are great live videos of this song out there which are even more impressive with that live energy.

I Hate It (Jailbox) – I love the way the acoustic guitar is recorded on this one, and the vocal and its harmonies have a satisfying familiar quality to them. The entire song feels like getting around a campfire with some friends for some good times.

French Fries Are Magical (Des Ark) – I sent this to a buddy of mine and I’m not sure he got it, whatever there is to get. I just think it’s a surprisingly (maybe because of the title) emotional and completely genuine song between the lyric and intimate melody. The production is absolutely beautiful and suits the song wonderfully. The vocal itself is also exquisite. It’s one of those chameleons, as well, as the rhythm changes midway through and the song grows into something bigger on the repeating hook. Absolutely haunting, but again there’s a lot of expectation subversion between the title and the change at the end. It all makes this both one of my favorite songs and one of the most interesting songs I’ve heard.

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