Indie Kids: DIVES, The Moving Stills, Abbey Rose, The XO, HOAX, common goldfish, The Natural Lines, Fleur bleu.e

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.

Listening to DIVES’ single ‘Say’ with all its 70s surf-rock nostalgia and slanting shoegaze atmosphere, you could easily assume that this trio of women hail from America’s California coast, but here’s the surprise – they’re from the land-locked Austria. With songs like this, the band escape Vienna and take their gang of garage-rock loving listeners with them. You can chant along to this warm, summery track and leave all of your troubles behind. DIVES have even put together a live video for us, so we can relive the festival season all over again.

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‘Volcano’ is far from the explosive moment that you might expect from a song of this title, but The Moving Stills clearly love to play with our expectations. This upbeat indie-pop number contrasts the jumping drums and fluffy guitar lines with the dispassionate reality of being the last of your friends to settle down. These dejected lyrics seem so at odds with the driving synths and summery indie-rock motifs. However, the warning from these Californian surf-rockers is not to be hasty in your climb up towards success, because there might be a volcano lurking beneath your feet.

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Canadian-born, Australian-raised Abbey Rose has one of the most unique sounds with a spell-binding combination of rock, R&B, hip-hop and jazz that sounds like it was crafted live on stage. In her recent single ‘Not Interested’ with a slanting math-rock rhythm and doomy guitar/bass scales creates the sturdy foundation for the artist’s commanding performance. She pivots between soulful sing-speak lyrics and rapid fire raps that makes it clear that no toxic relationships are welcome in her world.

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“And I miss you, baby come to Boulder!” is the irresistibly catchy line from The XO’s anthemic new song ‘Baby Come To Boulder’, which is reminiscent of early The 1975, Peach Pit or The Night Café. It’s that mix of spiking synths and romantic guitar riffs that always draws out the emotions of unrequited love and missed connections for us. For this Denver band, it’s obvious that they’d imagine their State’s capital city as the epicenter of this drawn-out narrative full of lovelorn angst and indie-pop authenticity.

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To b or not to b? That’s the eternal question that Texan indie pop-rock band are tackling this time on their new single, which also happens to be the title-track of their new 17-track concept album b?. Mixing together 60s pop, 70s Motown and alternative R&B in their jangling indie package, the duo explore intangible aspects of life, such as “being” in this case. Their search for answers stretches over nearly five minutes with a surf-infused vintage atmosphere that allows plenty of space for cosmic exploration.

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With his third single to date, titled ‘I Don’t Feel Today’, the British newcomer common goldfish is making a confident statement. It’s another commitment to his retro Brit-pop sound as well as an anthem for anyone else who is overwhelmed by disillusionment – with everything that’s going on in the world, it’s not hard to lose your sense of direction. Released via MAX RAD’s Three Sign Records, this track fizzes with societal discontent as well as rattling rhythms, cerebral guitars, nostalgic piano, psychedelic synth lines and one heck of a bass lick.

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As often happens, our Indie Kids playlist has taken on a shape of its own and apparently this time around is existential questioning. Our latest set of anxiety-born dread is ‘The Problem Is Me’ from The Natural Lines, formerly known as Pond. The reason for the band’s name change lies in the sonic evolution they’ve made towards measured songcraft, melodic immediacy and collaborative detail and so they outgrew that former moniker. With this rebirth has come clarification and so Matt Pond’s reflective awareness is at the forefront of this anti-ego song.

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‘Pyjama Princess’ is the new song from French duo Delphine Lam and Vladimir Swann (aka Fleur Bleu.e), performed in their signature 60s soft-folk sound. Complete with a self-directed video, their vintage aesthetics are on point and yet they don’t lose the intent of their single in the search for style. The substance here means that this song comes to us like a whispered secret between lovers in the night with all the fragility and intimacy that such an encounter could possess.

Follow Fleur Bleu.e on Instagram.

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