This version of the Indie Skim comes from the sky, mid-flight to Berlin. I need distracting lyrics, a melody that acts as a melatonin, a beat that I can zone out to, or one that will jolt me from one dream state to the next continent – to keep me mildly sedated while defying gravity and rollicking over expansive seas in a hunk of aluminum.
All neuroses aside, in this iteration of Indie Skim I'm happy to present more female vocalists, some retro vibes, memorable hooks, and a riff off The New York Times.
First up: English singer-songwriter Tom Rosenthal’s poetic, prudent ballad “You Will Marry The Wrong Person” (wholly inspired by Alain de Botton’s NYT op-ed of the same title) – a work not meant to be depressing, but rather thought-provoking. And it is… as revealed in the penultimate line, “If you never learn to drive / you’re probably going to crash the car – and we’re taught nothing of love / we’re taught nothing of love.” There’s a 60s folk influence; the words are close-knit, and sentences gracefully churn over each other – I suppose a natural result of culling down a New York Times essay into a few minutes. The end product is a masterful patch-word quilt, on par with offerings from other raconteur vicars Father John Misty and Jonathan Richman.
Katie Burden’s “I Can See It Clear” got me with the opening line. A deadpan Rilo Kiley intro makes way for a sauntering, staccato style a la Grace Slick; add in the reclined Courtney Barnett lyrical affectation, and the track is nostalgic, atmospheric rock tumbled to a smooth, cool 2016 sheen.
Phantom Runners’ “First Time” ft. Brooke Bailey is pure 80s indie pop – the vocal hook that comes in at :37 is so, so, singable, I have to keep playing it to keep myself from doing just that. Josh Tobias fuels me with his electro-pop, high-octane morsel, “Keep Us Alive.” Minute 3, the electric driver takes an acoustic backseat, right before revving its beautiful beat again. I can’t go through them all, but the rest speak for themselves – Quigley, AURORA, chicks going by first name basis because that’s how the greats do. And lastly, ANIMA! closes it out, with a nod to my last playlist & the theme, “we’re all from the same seed.”
As always, send us submissions using #IndieSkim. Until next time: so long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu.