It’s the first week of December, and the Christmas holidays are just around the corner. But what’s more important, is that this peculiar year is close to the end.
Even in a time where, conventionally, artists would be winding down and calling it a year, there are still many independent artists that are still keeping productive, and releasing even more fantastic tunes.
We have a very good range of atmospheres to cover in our top 11 picks of the week, so let’s not waste any more time and dive right into them.
Track Of The Week
Madeleine Mayi » ITRL
With ‘ITRL’ being another masterful showcase of Madeleine Mayi’s greatly deep and beautifully subtle atmospheres, this track is her third week-topping track of 2020.indie top 39
California native and indie-rock songstress Madeleine Mayi has truly gone above and beyond this year, by sharpening her sense of atmosphere to a point which transcends enjoyability and impact. With that being said, it should come as little surprise that out of all three 2020 releases that Madeleine Mayi has blessed us with, ‘ITRL’ is the third and newest release that has sat comfortably as our track of the week. That’s correct; all three of her 2020 singles have been week-topping anthems. What makes Mayi’s musical atmosphere so special, is that it is so deep yet beautifully subtle, which has made for some of the most indulgent musical experiences we’ve had in 2020. ‘ITRL’ is a marvellous example of how effective Madeleine Mayi’s championing of musical indulgence truly is.
Calming River » Boats
Calming River really made sure that his creative integrity and intimate instrumentation was fully implemented into ‘Boats’.indie top 39
‘Boats’ is the second single release of 2020 from alternative folk singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist Joshua Malcom, under the alias of Calming River. This artist has previously excelled at using minimal and intimate instrumentation in order to create masterfully haunting atmospheres. And ‘Boats’ is certainly no exception. In fact, it seems that Calming River really made sure that his creative integrity was fully implemented to make this track sound like as much of a musical journey as possible. This sense of progression is where the subtlety of Calming River’s minimal sound really comes into play. There is an undeniably deep and somber ambience that bursts out of the acoustic instrumentation, and it is strangely beautiful to behold.
Daiva » Hide From Me
‘Hide From Me’ is a gorgeously indulgent third effort from Daiva, and succeeds brilliantly in packing that summer warmth.indie top 39
Daiva made a real splash with us at Indie Top 39, with her luminous atmosphere and sassy vocal delivery found in her debut single ‘Mesh’. We believe that track did an incredible job to establish a unique yet very accessible brand of indie pop. Fast-forward to this week, and Daiva ups the indulgent atmospheres up to 11 with her third and newest track ‘Hide From Me’. Smoothly fading into a soul-soaking ambience from the very beginning. Daiva ingeniously adds bits and pieces of instrumentation, to up the sense of both uniqueness and atmosphere. We can imagine the warmth of the summer sun beaming down on us when listening to this utterly gorgeous tune.
Grizzly Bird » The Drummer’s Trauma
‘The Drummer’s Trauma’ really taps into Grizzly Bird’s close relationship with nature and myth, through a mystical yet grounded folk sound.indie top 39
Berlin-based folk-pop trio Grizzly Bird arrive with their second single release to follow their debut album, 2019’s Empathy. ‘The Drummer’s Trauma’ really seems to tap into the whimsical atmosphere that is most-likely inspired by the band living closely to nature and myth. The band have used this idea to really power up their intimate and wondrous folk sound, and with ‘The Drummer’s Trauma’, that fact remains. By combining this atmospheric quality to an accessible framework, both musically and lyrically, and you have a tune that is incredibly easy to get into, while still coming across as unique. This is apparently the first single to tease their upcoming EP, and we cannot wait to hear it.
Jessie Monk » Turns Out I’m Someone Else
‘Turns Out I’m Someone Else’ brings us another example of Jessie Monk’s incredible storytelling, and heartwarming sound.indie top 39
Beginning her musical releases this year, Jessie Monk has swiftly established a gorgeously intimate style of folk, with each of her songs drawing inspiration from the people she has met. We thoroughly enjoyed her sophomore single ‘Maybe In Another Life’, and we are thrilled to have been blessed with one more release. ‘Turns Out I’m Someone Else’ brings us another great story, and another example of Jessie Monk’s immaculate songwriting. This track’s story is about inevitably meeting the parts of ourselves that weren’t apparent before, and the complexity that surrounds it. Pair this heartfelt story with Monk’s beautiful vocals, and an incredibly soothing acoustic instrumental, and we have another reason to get incredibly excited for Jessie Monk’s upcoming EP.
JYLDA » Hologram
Thanks to JYLDA’s knack for mystifying her sound through vocal delivery and production, ‘Hologram’ feels incredibly warm and soothing.indie top 39
JYLDA’s experimentation in the year of 2020 has certainly led us to thoroughly enjoy her generously regular helping of releases. In particular, we loved tracks such as ‘Jeopardy’ and ‘Impulse’, and the quirky and enigmatic electronic soundscapes that they each brought to the table. Her newest release, ‘Hologram’, takes a dive into the realm of being far more smooth-flowing in its sound. Pair this with JYLDA’s knack for really mystifying her sound through her vocal delivery and production style, and you have a truly cosmic experience that we easily got totally lost in. After all of the amazing and colourfully upbeat tunes that JYLDA has blessed us with this year, ‘Hologram’ came as a very pleasant last surprise for the year.
Little Grim » Got What You Want
‘Got What You Want’ brings us an even more layered and sensational sound, with a nocturnal sleekness that is both memorable and enjoyable.indie top 39
‘Got What You Want’ is the fourth single release of 2020 from four piece indie-rock outfit Little Grim. Since the Sound London band made their first release back in 2017 with their debut single ‘Hoodie’, Little Grim have established a deep and soulful indie sound, which was always bound to be enjoyed by many. However, in more recent years, Little Grim have seemingly pushed the boat of experimentation out a little further. We feel that it was this deeper musical exploration that makes a track like “Got What You Want’ a far more layered and sensational sound in comparison to the band’s earlier singles. There is an element of nocturnal sleekness to ‘Got What You Want’ that feels truly memorable and enjoyable.
Sheps » THNK ABT U
‘THNK ABT U’ is in equal measure, an incredible break-up song, and a very promising debut from Sheps.indie top 39
‘THNK ABT U’ is the debut single release from contemporary pop artist Sheps, who has seemingly had no trouble creating a great narrative from the get-go. This debut track focuses on how the mind reacts to losing a profound connection with another person. The musical backdrop for this narrative, is one that is undeniably infectious, and accessible for the vast majority of listeners. We loved the lustrous echo that embellished the heavenly, independently made production of ‘THNK ABT U’. We also love how this production, particularly in the choruses, presents a sense of resolve, and carries an uplifting nature that contrasts with the sense of loss. In conclusion, ‘THNK ABT U’ is both an incredible break-up song, and a promising debut.
SHYAWAY » Smile For the Camera
‘Smile For the Camera’ is one of the most colourful releases from SHYAWAY, even amongst a discography that was already very colourful anyway.indie top 39
A musical project that sprung from the mind of Brighton-based multi-instrumentalist Adam Macaulay, SHYAWAY began releasing music in 2020, and thus establishing his unique brand of layered and upbeat electronic indie music. It hasn’t only been the debut year for SHYAWAY, but also an incredibly productive one. So far, listeners have been fortunate enough to be blessed with seven original tracks from SHYAWAY this year, with the newest being ‘Smile For The Camera’. This track subverted our ideas of what to expect, by implementing more rock and jazz inspired elements into his signature sound. As a result, ‘Smile For The Camera’ is one of the most colourful tracks, amongst a discography that was already very much that.
Sofia Dragt » Another One
Even after the amazingly productive year that Sofia Dragt has had, ‘Another One’ is a glaring example of her bottomless creative integrity.indie top 39
We have thoroughly loved everything that dream pop artist Sofia Dragt has gifted us with this year. With both her solo discography and her collaboration with Evert Z, Luminar, getting some love and attention in 2020, Dragt really has had her work cut out for her, and she has definitely delivered. With the recent release of Luminar’s debut album Go On, Sofia Dragt was more than deserving of calling it a year. However, we turn our attention to Dragt’s solo material for one last hoorah of 2020. ‘Another One’ returns to the dreamy soundscapes that make up the majority of her 2020 releases, following the more stripped-back and bright sound of her previous single ‘Come Home’. Needless to say, Sofia Dragt has every right to be incredibly proud of herself, especially with this gorgeous new track.
The Strands » Nothing Else
The boisterous energy that ‘Nothing Else’ effortlessly creates brings us a joyful musical boost which is definitely needed for many.indie top 39
The second 2020 release from the four-piece indie-rock outfit who hails from the north east of England, ‘Nothing Else’ is an upbeat, festive, and warm showcase of The Stands’ raw sound. We love the juxtaposition between this time of year, and the joyful mood that this song creates, and definitely gives us that merry musical boost to keep pushing forward. The boisterous energy that this track effortlessly creates would be absolutely perfect live, particularly in a festival environment. What helps this track even more, are the elements of synth that embellish the instrumental of this track, and definitely allows it to stand out more from your typical cluster of indie-rock anthems.
Below you can find all of the 39 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!