Here’s our indie rock playlist for June 2021, featuring the best in independent rock and punk music:
4th of July, Philadelphia (SANDY) (Cymbals Eat Guitars) – My absolute favorite song from Cymbals Eat Guitars which features a nice nod to Alex G. I love LOVE that chorus vocal melody. The lyrics recall the previous (dicey) fourth of July spent in Philly with Alex and others. After a near death experience, the narrator gets philosophical, contemplating his existence and in that moment pledges to cherish every second of life. To my satisfaction, he subsequently acknowledges that, inevitably, that feeling passes. My description doesn’t do it justice, but this is an excellent lyric in this one set against an anxiety filled confident driving beat.
French for Cignette (Floral) – One of the very very few instrumentals I’ve ever included in these playlists. After awhile, a lot of mathy instrumental tracks start to sound the same but this one stands out to me, covering a lot of ground and draws out a lot of feelings without offering a word.
How You Feel (Joy Again) – This song sucks me in from that opening riff then surprises me by turning into a proper waltz when that verse hits. Those two bits alone make it memorable enough to include on this list.
Curbside (I’m Glad It’s You) – Songs like Curbside help I’m Glad It’s You carve out their own niche in the emo rock revival niche. It lulls you in with that opening riff and relatively quiet vocals before hitting hard around a minute in (watch your volume on that change). The dynamic management is excellent in this one, and it serves that wonderfully reassuring melodic vocal hook so damn well each time.
Common Cold (Tiny Moving Parts) – Speaking of emo rock revival with a healthy dose of mathy dynamics, Tiny Moving Parts do it about as well as anyone, and Common Cold is a great example.
In A Drawer (Band of Horses) – Those verses are nicely restrained on In A Drawer before they let it loose when that chorus hits. That bit always gets stuck in my head.
Never Starts (Middle Kids) – Another one of the bigger bands which is less under the radar, but a great tune nonetheless. I look forward to hearing more from this band as everything they’ve put out so far has been gold.
El Dorado (Samiam) – This song has such a desperate vibe; I love El Dorado and its ability to paint such a vivid picture of a dusty ghost town in my mind. I’m hard-pressed to think of many songs which make better use of a minor key than this song.
Alchemy (Banner Pilot) – A pure pop punk song (based around the pop staple “four chord wonder” on the chorus) with a healthy bit of grit thanks largely to the raspy, dire vocals. And another rare song by an established band which has been around for awhile, but when the song’s this good I think you’ll give me a pass.
Patient Man (Racing Glaciers) – Proof that you get a lot of looks with our indie rock and punk playlists. This one’s a slow burn with some very loose Verve vibes. It’s too interesting to skip over.
Hello Dirt (Tender Defender) – We end with the dirty (no pun intended) Hello Dirt from Tender Defender. This one is designed to be shouted at the top of your lungs in lockstep with a hundred sweaty strangers all around you. This energetic emotional gang vocal rock is exactly what you’d expect from ex-members of Latterman. The final ever-building stretch starting around 3 minutes is the absolute best.