We have finally arrived in 2021, a year which has likely already blessed a lot of people with a renewed sense of determination and hope. But if this doesn’t yet apply to you, fret not. For we, and many independent artists have you covered.
Within the first few days of this year, many artists have decided to hit the ground running, including a few who have released their debut singles in this new year. We have a mixture of both somber, wintery melodies, and more upbeat and empowering tunes, in this weeks top 9 picks.
So in typical Indie Top 39 fashion, let’s dive straight into it.
Track Of The Week
IZHAV » Catch The Sun
‘Catch The Sun’ perfectly harnesses the experience that IZHAV had garnered from her travels, and her experience making street music, and oozes with soothing intimacy.indie top 39
Born on the Swedish west coast, Izabelle Norén spent 5 years exploring the world, while taking to street music as a way to process her many different experiences through sound. After her international journey concluded, Norén returned to Sweden, and birthed her solo musical project, named IZHAV. This project allowed Norén to musically transcribe her experiences even further, and share them with an audience beyond the many different streets where she had performed. ‘Catch The Sun’ is the amazing debut single from IZHAV, and perfectly captures the sense of intimacy and spirituality from her travels musically. The amazing ambience and progression this track carries, has us phenomenally excited for her debut EP, which is set to be released in March.
Arbor Green » Margaret
‘Margaret’ serves as a reflective and meditative homage to Arbor Green’s late grandmother, and will connect with anybody who has faced a similar loss in 2020.indie top 39
Another debut single comes from songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ali Begg, under the moniker of Arbor Green. ‘Margaret’ perfectly captures the soothingly melancholy vibes of Arbor Green’s Scottish indie-folk sound. The somber nature of this track’s sound, pairs wonderfully with the story it tells. With Ali’s own late grandmother sharing the same name as the song, ‘Margaret’ is a reflective and meditative ballad about family longing and that sense of loss one feels after losing a loved one. But beneath all this, lies a sense of warmth in the tracks sound, that suggests an empowering motive to carry on ahead, in this new year. And for those who may have lost loved ones in 2020, ‘Margaret’ should stand as a very powerful track to connect to.
Bonnie Kemplay » Blushing
While Bonnie Kemplay has shown to create some truly emotive tunes previously, ‘Blushing’ stands as one of her most heart-tugging songs to date.indie top 39
The third single to be released by singer and musician Bonnie Kemplay in her discography, ‘Blushing’ is also her deepest and most emotive sound to date. Kemplay is known for her intimately melancholy songs that effortlessly evoke a sense of emotion in the listener, but ‘Blushing’ seems to absolutely champion this musical premise. Her vocal style, which seems to be in a similar vein to BENEE, works perfectly with the reverb vocal effect she has going on, and it only adds to the greater sense of intimacy that ‘Blushing’ perfectly carries. A song about Bonnie Kemplays desperate struggle to forget a past lover, this story came through brilliantly, thanks to the gorgeous sound of ‘Blushing’.
Bvrden » Ballad Of A Daydreamer
The sophomore single from Bvrden takes a different approach, towards resembling a classic ballad, and is consistently enjoyable and engaging throughout.indie top 39
The sophomore single from London based pop/rock duo Bvrden, and the follow up from their awesomely dynamic debut single ‘Dangerous’, ‘Ballad Of A Daydreamer’ takes an interestingly different approach this time around. As opposed to the typical rock formula of progressive verses and dynamic choruses, ‘Ballad Of A Daydreamer’ carries a much more consistent melody and pace, better resembling a classic ballad. Right off the bat, we saw this track as one that felt accessible enough to be an essential sing-along anthem. Telling a story of somebody who has daydreamed all of their life, and finds themselves questioning their choices and their situation, this track, both melodically and narratively, felt engaging from start to finish.
DeVries » If I Like You
Leading the way for a series of track set to be released by DeVries throughout 2021, ‘If I Like You’ gets things off to a very empowering start.indie top 39
Keeping things productive after a number of 2020 releases, Queer pop diva DeVries starts 2021 off strong and spontaneous with her newest single ‘If I Like You’. DeVries’ awesomely unapologetic front has felt apparent in her music before, but ‘If I Like You’ serves as another shining example of this, as we got a good sense of how fierce this artist was from the very moment we pressed play. And with ‘If I Like You’, and it’s accessible and punchy sound, leading the way for another five powerful pop anthems in 2021, DeVries and this track do an incredible job to empower fellow members of the LGBTQ community, and have many excited and hopeful for the year ahead.
Juze » Next to Me
Anybody whose relationship had been affected in 2020 by the effects of the pandemic and lockdown, will surely connect with Juze’s ‘Next to Me’.indie top 39
The first 2021 release from Amsterdam-based indie pop artist Juze, and the follow-up to his cover of Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’, ‘Next to Me’ tells a compelling story of a loved one that Juze met just before the 2020 lockdown struck, and the longing that comes with a relationship that feels all the more distanced by the pandemic. The somber and intimate melody really matches the tone of this track’s narrative perfectly well. But we love how this track progresses into a more festive and upbeat melody, which feels like an awesome representation of the renewed sense of hope that comes with 2021. For anybody whose relationship has been affected in 2020, will surely connect with this fantastic tune.
Lyon Tide » Closure
The title says it all; ‘Closure’ serves as a marvellous final stamp on 2020, and offers us hope in the new year of 2021.indie top 39
The debut single from the three ex-art students from the midlands turned three-piece band Lyon Tide, ‘Closure’ is a track that the group decided to release at the start of the new year. Given the bad relationship that almost everyone has had with the previous year, the dawn of a new year felt like a far more fitting time for a track like ‘Closure’ to be released. The title says it all really; this track serves as the final stamp on the conclusion of 2020. With its artfully layered instrumentation and somber atmosphere, this track perfectly reflects our struggle through 2020, and the sense of closure that comes with having made it to the other side of that year. We are very excited to hear what else this band can musically convey in the year to come.
One Girl Four Days » Simptember Rain
Fusing elements of latin-pop and soul, ‘Simptember Rain’ serves as another unique and engaging addition to One Girl Four Days’ colourful discography.indie top 39
The experimental artist that is One Girl Four Days, had one hell of a productive 2020, having released a total of 9 tracks throughout that year. But even after having a very accomplished 2020, One Girl Four Days wastes no time when it comes to hitting the ground running in 2021, with his brand new single ‘Simptember Rain’. Fusing what feels like a slightly latin-pop inspired melody with the kind of drum beat you’d expect from a soul song, and of course all of that ambient electronic goodness, ‘Simptember Rain’ stands as yet another unique and engaging tune amongst the colourful discography of One Girl Four Days. We definitely hope to see this awesome artist keep the musical ball rolling through 2021.
Shoshanna » Unapologetic
‘Unapologetic’ successfully sends an incredibly empowering message, and is easily one of the most uplifting tunes this week.indie top 39
‘Unapologetic’ is the third single release from UK singer/songwriter Shoshanna, and marks the artists start of 2021. It is definitely safe to say that for many of us, the kind of media we need, whether it be on TV, online, or through music, is that which we can use to heal, and learn to love ourselves once more. Shoshanna was somebody who recognised this, and thus sought to project that sense of empowerment through ‘Unapologetic’. And this track successfully sends an incredibly empowering message out, to many who are likely in need of such a message; and that is to “recognise your power”. It is certainly fair to say that ‘Unapologetic’ is easily one of the most uplifting and empowering tunes this week.
Below you can find all of the awesome songs that were released this week. Don’t be shy to give us a cheeky follow and spread the indie music vibe with others!