As I had the chance to comment in a recent post, the last couple of months have been really great for indie pop and therefore I hadn’t any trouble in assembling a new mixtape for the CRESTS OF WAVES series. For the new readers of the blog, this is the series of periodical compilations which present the best songs released in the last few months. I’ve mixed here great successes within indie and electro pop but I also included some tracks from lesser known artists, who don’t look absolutely bad beside their most famous colleagues.
This issue of CRESTS OF WAVES features songs from the last albums released by Arcade Fire, Lana Del Ray, The Horrors, The National, The War On Drugs, Tori Amos, and Waxahatchee.
Enjoy this compilation, the third of the series, and as usual scroll down below the widget for some additional information on the songs and the artists.
The song which opens the mix is the nice and joyful Holding On by The War On Drugs, the American indie band which released on last August their fourth album, A Deeper Understanding. This is probably one of the most brilliant works from the band and shows an impressive care for the details on both lyrics and sounds – something that may be related to their passage to a major music label (Atlantic Records). Started as a rock band with a clear “Americana” style (“Springsteen plus reverb”, said many critics), the band has managed year after year to craft a unique blend of synth pop over rock constructions, and the result is great.
Second song of the playlist comes from Out in The Storm, the second marvellous album produced by Waxahatchee, the indie music project formed in 2010 by the American singer and songwriter Katie Crutchfield. Hear You, the track selected for the mix, displays all the excellent songwrting skills achieved by the artist in her last work. This is definitely one of the most exciting album of the year for its genre, and it’s not by chance that this project was featured also on the previous issue of the mixtape.
Next song in the playlist is Something To Remember Me By, which is one of the tracks included in the recent album released by The Horrors. “V”, the fifth from the English band, has been one of the most impressive releases of the last few weeks mostly because of the high number of good tracks that are collected in the LP. This band has an incredible capacity to sound “commercial” but keeping at the same time a style and creativity that are typical of the best groups. The album arrived a few days after I released the last update of the indie pop chart, but in the feature we’ll see that The Horrors will quickly scale positions and settle down onto the highest places of the rankings.
Even if this shouldn’t ever happen, the consideration that I had initially of the last work from the Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire was inevitably affected – negatively – because of the strange and controversial marketing campaign which has accompanied the launch of their new and fifth album, Everything Now. Anyway, leaving aside strange communications tactics and fake news, I must admit that their new LP features a number of good songs and therefore, even if the album doesn’t match the best peaks they have reached in the past, there are still some songs that are worth to be included in the playlist.
Sleep Well Beast, the seventh album by American indie art rock The National, was one of the highly anticipated and most awaited albums of the year, and after its release it’s possible to say that the expectations where confirmed. Born as college rockers and post-punk revivalists, the guys from Cincinnati developed a unique musical style where delicate melodies and intimate atmospheres dominate over every other element. This characteristic is fully represented by The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness, the song selected for the playlist and which was also one of the singles used by the band for promoting the new album.
The final part of the playlist indulges in more melancholy and delicate tones, and this change of atmosphere is announced by the fantastic voice of Tori Amos, the legendary and world acclaimed American singer-songwriter who published on last September the 15th studio album of her career, named Native Invader. The LP is impregnated – as usual – with Amos’ fantastic voice and enriched by the delicate and heartbreaking melodies she play on the piano. Cloud Riders, the song selected for this mixtape, was also the first single shared from the album.
One could really say this time that the compilation closes “in beauty”. Summer Bummer, the last song of the mix, was selected from Lust for Life, which is the fifth studio LP by the american pop singer (and model) Lana Del Rey. The album is a collection of superb songs, simple but emotional little poetic pieces, with atmospheres that are somehow a little less melancholic than in her previous productions. Lana Del Ray’s songs have been always enlighted by superb melodies, and this is definitely confirmed in her last production.
These are the two previous editions of the mixtape series.
CRESTS OF WAVES – Volume 2 (July 2017)
CRESTS OF WAVES – Volume 1 (June 2017)