Indie Kids: Someone, Night Cruise, Blake Hatch, Sam Himself, Basset, Splitting Edges, Suni, Scoobert Doobert, Sarpa Salpa, Fuzzy Sun, Holm, Benji Heinke, Black Pistol Fire, & THE HYBRIS

Our Indie Kids playlist celebrates everything on the indie spectrum, whether that’s rock, folk or pop, because we firmly believe in taking a little walk off the beaten track every once in a while.

Someone is the moniker for British-Dutch composer, producer and visual artist Tessa Rose Jackson who made her major debut back in 2021. Since then, she’s taken a stratospheric rise and that momentum is set to continue following the release of single ‘In Your Arms’, which is complete with a high-production music video in which two people walk amongst an abandoned world. As the expansive songwriting further tells us, this song is all about the power and reassurance that true love can give you, even in the most uncertain of circumstances. We hear the tender indie-folk songwriting rally up against explosive synths and spectral electronic-pop; this all reflects the immensity of emotions here.

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We were instantly drawn to the meandering sound of Night Cruise’s new single ‘Third Sound’, which has shades of Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan embedded within floating synth-fused production. As with all of the duo’s songs, songwriter Micah Keren-Zvi and singer Sariah Mae reflect on the harsh reality of city living and as such this reflective number expresses a sense of loneliness and solitude that one can feel even when surrounded by a sea of people.

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The strutting and confident energy of ‘Tidal Waves’ from Connecticut’s rising star Blake Hatch is one that we can’t ignore. The provocative rhythms stand at the intersection between funk and indie-rock, with thumping beats and fiery guitars leading the way through this marching track. Hatch also delivers those soft-edged vocals of his to further paint the idyllic scene that solidifies this as an irresistable bop.

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Another artist is this week’s series blending sounds between the old and new is Sam Himself whose new single ‘Golden Days’ takes inspiration from the artist’s love of American culture. His hazy performance piqued with melodic guitars is full of a certain nostalgia that turns regret into resilience. We’re particularly drawn in by those near-whispers that give an extra sense of intimacy, despite being a TV-style visual.

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There’s such a timeless beauty to ‘Change of Time’, the gorgeous recording from acoustic songwriters Sam Clark and Yasmine Shelton known collectively as Basset. The melodic stillness to this folky reflects the after-the-fact narrative, in which a connection to someone or something you love has already burnt out and yet those emotions linger. In this respect, the reverberated strings and harmonious vocals are utterly enthralling.

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Coming in with a distinctly British sound is the two-man band Splitting Edges who hail from South East London and St Albans who combine raw lyrics, punk energy and authentic songwriting to express the inner workings of their lives. ‘More Than I Could Chew’ in particular is a product of a life-changing summer in which one-half of the duo Lydon was putting college behind him and pursuing a career in music. The road ahead was full of twists, turns, challenges and highs, which we can hear in the detailed and vulnerable song.

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The appeal of all things 90s and early 00s is something that we can’t escape, there was something so innocent and refreshing about that time when the Internet was in its infancy and recording styles were more DIY. It’s tracks like ‘At the heart of things’ from Suni that brings a blast of this nostalgic past with wistful vocal, raw brushed guitar and downbeat drums that lead into an expressive chorus. It’s all about the complexity of humans and how we’re all really just a mess deep down, but that’s okay.

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Blog regular Scoobert Doobert are back again with another masterfully executed indie-pop track by the name of ‘4:20pm’ – those who know, know. This abundant songwriter and producer captures that laidback feeling of chilling out with the knowledge that those around you have got your back. This tranquility comes across through the rocking rhythm, deep bass, lofi guitars, vibing finger clicks and placid vocals. You can’t help but nod your head in both agreement and grooving.

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So far, our Indie Kids playlist has been pretty mellow, so we’re calling on Northampton’s most promising band Sarpa Salpa to inject some much needed energy into the playlist. And they sure do deliver with the bombastic ‘Dreaming’. This youthful rock-pop track mirrors the immense highs that the band experiences when on tour and performing live on stage, but if you listen closer to the lyrics, you’ll hear hints of life’s inescapable realities that naturally follows the musicians wherever they go.

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Keeping our spirits high is Fuzzy Sun, the indomitable indie-rockers from Stockport, the Northern English town that also gave us Blossoms. On the surface, ‘Money’ is an all-out rock anthem with notes of shiny glam-rock, hedonistic psychedelia and feel-good indie-pop, but just as the allure of cold hard cash can look so good, there’s always a darker side to it. As the trio’s lead singer half-shouts, “Hey Sonny yeah money’s gonna kill your soul” before we collectively dive into incinerating guitar riffs and thundering drums.

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We simply love the high-drama of Holm’s single ‘Diving’ as it opens with intricate folk strings that formulate the expansive setting of Austria’s awe-inspiring landscape from where Holm originates. It really is such an evocative slow-burner, with layered vocals providing a hymnal quality while the myriad of acoustic elements build on top of one another. It’s reminiscent of that kind of homespun rock from the 60s/70s and with that ‘Diving’ draws out a certain spiritual connection to one’s own self and the natural world.

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‘Neon Lights (Vivid)’ is a track lifted from Benji Lewis’ recently released album Still Life and it’s a bedroom-pop gem. Like to panes of glass sliding over one another, we hear the undertone of simmering synths and the overtone of jaunty guitars to relay that image of two states of mind existing at once – the conscious and the unconscious. What Lewis focusing on here is the bright spots of memory that come rushing forth unannounced, for which he’s coined the term “vivid interruptions.”

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The struggle against societal pressure, people’s expectations, and our own hopes, dreams and passions, is one that we pretty much all can relate to. The Austin-based Canadian band Black Pistol Fire wanted to create a rock anthem for anyone who’s going through that trial and so ‘Bad Habit’ came forth. The symbolic lyricism combined with upbeat rock rhythms and extroverted guitars is perfect for letting off some stream while singing at the top of your lungs, “no, I’ll never be like you!”

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It seems appropriate to wrap up this latest edition of Indie Kids with the auspicious ‘What If’ from Germany alt-rock band THE HYBRIS. These three friends and fellow musicians are clearly highly skilled when it comes to creating fiery rock anthems, you only need to listen to the raucous energy, searing riffs and crashing drums to understand that. More than that though, this band hope that their music will go some way to making the world a better place, “what if we save the world?” they ask themsleves repeatedly throughout the track. In keeping with their heroic intentions, the trio have donned masks and alter-ego monikers Ringo Rabbit, Beanie Bison and Malcolm Mandrill.

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