Indie Kids: GLOSSER, Marlow, The Howlers, Cherry Angel, Yes We Mystic, Unwed Sailor, S.C.A.B. goblins & box, Grand Eugène, Drama Dolls, Bad Flamingo, Human Interest, Qwiet Type

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.

Washington D.C. duo GLOSSER (Riley Fanning & Corbin Sheehan) started making music with the ambition of fusing light-than-air sounds akin to dream-pop with groovier, earthier sounds that would usher listeners to the dancefloor. Their latest experimentation of style soldering has produced ‘Disco Girls’, an unparalleled daydream that evokes all the joy and pain of being young as told through the alluring narrative of Fanning’s dusky and passive vocals. Starry-eyed synths contrast with deep bass to further convey those two states of being. This captivating single is brought further to life by Harmony Korine-esque music video.

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It’s with those first few closed chord guitar strums that Marlow signals his intent to connect on an emotional level through his newest song ‘I’m Not Leaving’. It’s such a heart-stirring single that sounds like a late-night text chain (our 21st century version of a love letter) to the singer’s love interest who needs that little extra reassurance that he’s for real. These lyrics are so carefully chosen, “no more stop signs now, no more words without meaning”, that you can’t help but be completely convinced of his earnestness. If it’s not the impassioned vocals that’ll win you over, it’s the anthemic indie-rock-meets-pop composition.

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Self-described as “desert rockers” thanks to the potent americana influences of their music, the city-bound London band The Howlers seemingly are always searching for an escape from one world and into another. This is what they achieve with the transporting power of new single ‘Further Down The Line’. This one cuts deep with a chest-vibrating bass line that makes one perceptible to the thunderous drums and scintillating guitar riffs; the whole thing pivots between a paced indie ballad and all-out rock tempest.

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We have a first-time entry from Los Angeles newcomer Cherry Angel who is making her charming debut with ‘Caffeinated’. It’s a swirling array of woozy melodies and lofi dream-pop that conveys the genuine nature of “firsts”. She gives an especially youthful perspective to this experience, with examples like your first kiss, friendship troubles, experimentation, losing your virginity, and falling in and out of love. Although if you go deeper, this song captures those moments in life that transport you back to the naïve and giddy feeling, no matter your age or stage in life.

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‘Head Rush’ by Yes We Mystic is one of those rare songs that does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s not only that the lyrical context portrays the sense of a “head rush”, but the physical effect that this composition will have on the listener is entirely immersive. Just like the physiological title, the instrumentation is sprint to the finish line with the song’s crescendo placed up front with a fury of off-kilter rhythms, soaring strings, spindly guitars, robust bass synth, and commanding vocals. There is a breakdown halfway through the track to make way for a soaring sax solo and to provide reprieve from this all-encompassing track. Go check out the band’s new album Trust Fall if you’re as invested in this track as us.

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It certainly is that time of year when bands and artists are preparing to release their next albums due to come in the new year; it’s probably a reason why we get so much great music to listen to around now. Next in our listening library is Unwed Sailor’s ‘Windy City Dreams’ which signals the outfit’s upcoming 2023 release Mute The Charm. The track itself is a journeying and explorative instrumental number influence by the raw energy of 90s indie-rock. This sonic adventure was also inspired by Johnathon Ford’s big yet failed dreams of moving to Chicago in the late 90s/early 00s. It’s all about tracing those steps back to Unwed Sailor’s initial ambitions as well as the intuitive primal nature of making music; it’s all instinct, no frills.

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‘Why Do I Dream Of You’ is a poignant piece of angular slacker-rock that takes the listener through the experience of S.C.A.B.’s singer and guitarist Sean Carmago’s dream in which he unpacked a superficial infatuation to come to the reality that it’s not healthy to pursue it. This idea of replacing fantasy with reality comes through the nostalgic 90s-inspired rock motifs that in their own way live in an unattainable past, although can be briefly brought to life in four minutes of a song. The combination of distorted guitars and dream-pop-infused melodies give even greater weight to this hazy viewpoint that only becomes clear at the end of the dream with Carmago’s voice describes his waking moments.

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We’re certainly pleasing the lofi rock lovers in this Indie Kids installment as Swedish outfit goblins & box delivers another tasty morsel of discordant sound. The recently released ‘Parc Fermé’ is an undoubtedly upbeat affair (I’m struggling to keep still listening to this!) and it draws on 90s rock as well as surf-rock to create such a hedonistic atmosphere. Interestingly, this pleasure-seeking joy and driving rhythms are more likely a distraction from life’s difficulties for this musician who takes the metaphor of the Formula 1 rule of “parc fermé” to relay how he felt stuck in the side bay of life, rather than moving forward with the race. We’ve certainly not heard of this connection being made before and it adds a whole fresh perspective to this hardship we all go through.

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It’s time to cool it down with ‘Moments’ from Canadian five-piece Grand Eugène, a French-language group from Canada. Unbelievably, this is only their second single and we’re already so impressed by the confident command of their soundscape which undulates with velvety melodies, richly-set synths and a delicate respect for each of the band member’s contribution. The entire thing is strung out in perfect harmony adding to the sonic image of slowdancing, whether with others or alone. That’s our interpretation at least, although for the band inspiration was derived from the melancholy of a rainy morning and dichotomy of feeling joy while others are feeling blue.

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Los Angeles trio Drama Dolls first got together when Scrambles called Doc Egg and TKat to jam and let off some much needed punk steam and as they say – the rest was history. Ever since finding that cataclysmic magic, the band have carried on jamming out and making music simply for the joy of it and it’s something you can hear in their latest single ‘I Hate Your Face’. This is pure pop-punk angst but with none of the passive-aggressiveness; this is all about letting those emotions fly no matter that consequences. We especially love the catchy guitar melody that chimes in with the cheeky backing vocals and all the while contrasting to those impressive vocal screams. Don’t let those emotions bottle up, let them out with Drama Dolls.

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Third time’s the charm for Bad Flamingo as they make their (yes, you guessed it) third appearance on Purple Melon. We hardly even had to listen to ‘I Won’t Let You Die Young’ to know that we were going to like it, but of course once we did, we were surprised again by how this duo spin out their alt-americana style into new and fascinating ways. This one is a restrained, lo-fi affair that uses the simple-yet-effect tools of strummed acoustic guitar, winding desert-washed electric guitar, soft tambourine taps, and off-kilter metallic chimes to set the scene for this lonesome ballad. There’s a palpable mystery here as we try to unmask the backstory to this melancholic love tale.

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London garage-rockers Human Interest have been on the steady rise ever since releasing their debut last year, although we’re catching up with the duo’s story right now with new track ‘Mixing Paint’. For the first couple of minutes, this track gives the impression of being a controlled slow-burner with the doomy bass line and patterned drums doing the most for rhythm section representation. At the same time, the pair use their sultry vocal performances to depict one’s mind state in the early hours (maybe with a little bit of sleep deprivation thrown in for good measure). These rockers couldn’t hold back for long though and the latter half of the track is a proto-punk feast of guitar noise and heroic woo-hoos that’ll leave the listener on a high.

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Prolific songwriter Qwiet Type is back for a second time on the pages of Purple Melon with his catchy, americana-rock single ‘Try Not To Notice’. This gritty number uses repetitive melodies and guitar chords to work its way into the listeners mind where you won’t be able to get the song’s title, which doubles up as the main lyric, out of your head. The jaunty, foot-stomping rhythm is irresistible and soon enough you’ll find yourself moving to. It’s a fun and light-hearted track that’s all about physical attraction and how it’s not something you can always expect, sometimes it just hits you like lightening.

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