10 Best Indie Rock Songs You Didn't Hear In 2007

It seems that each week another dozen blogs pop up, and they all claim to have the GREATEST SONG EVER by the NEXT BIG THING! So true hidden treasures can be hard to find, but here are 10 songs from this year that probably didn't appear on most radars. Download them all, make it a playlist and maybe find a new favorite song.

BARR - "The Song Is the Single" (5 Rue Christine)
A rudimentary drumbeat, repetitive bassline, some piano sprinkled in and a dude who can't sing, rambling about the inadequacies of his song, his health and life in general. Oddly addictive, especially if you like the Fall at all.

Child Ballads - "Cheekbone Hollows" (Gypsy Eyes)
Nearly a decade after Jonathan Fire*Eater went from Next Big Thing to Next Big Flop, frontman Stewart Lupton finally returned with this torn and frayed indie-folk offering that features his usual colorful lyrics. ("I bought a white chocolate tea in the park on my lunchbreak / I bought a painting off the street of a haunted lake / And I tried hard to make the world an exciting place.")

Donny Hue and the Colors - "Real Long Time" (Kora)
Local boy cooks up a bouncy, jaunty, psych-pop number that simply couldn't be any better. The piano that holds the whole thing together gives it an almost-ragtime vibe, and the shout-along chorus is the cherry on top.

Double Dagger - "Luxury Condos for the Poor" (Stationary Heart)
Never has a simple combination of voice, bass and drums sounded so heavy. Nolen Strals' vocals switch from agitated speak-sing to ferocious howl when the bass kicks into overdrive. You will be throttled, and when it's done you will want to be throttled all over again.

Future of the Left - "Suddenly It's a Folk Song" (Too Pure)
Former Mclusky dudes Andy Falkous and Jack Egglestone ditch some of the menace that made their former band such a force. The presence of pulsing synths and huge harmonies in the final chorus might portend the band is stepping out of its comfort zone but the results suggest they simply found a new one.

J. Roddy Walston and the Business - "Rock and Roll the Second" (Morphius)
Exuberant, old-fashioned roadhouse rock from Baltimore. J Roddy's verging-on-hoarse vocals, and the killer guitar solo bring the rock while the twinkling keys provide the roll.

Peel - "Workers Wake Up" (Peek-a-Boo)
Any track off the self-titled debut by this Austin, Texas, group would qualify, but this one is especially appealing with its swirling mixture of guitars, keys, horns and Allison Moore's charming, chanted vocals.

Psychedelic Horses*** - "Portals" (Siltbreeze)
Columbus, Ohio group plays self-described "s***-gaze" and this tune is a fine example - droning indie-pop slathered in feedback and noise and sung by a dude who sounds like he could use a few Sudafed. It all adds up to lo-fi greatness that would make forebears Guided By Voices proud.

Spider Bags - "Waking Up Drunk" (Birdman)
The kind of song Kings of Leon have spent their entire career trying to write - a funny, twangy, self-loathing ode to liquor. "There ain't no curfew on hard livin' in this poorly painted town / So leave the bottle where you found it and let me lay here on the ground / Waking up drunk makes me happy, lately you just bring me down."

Times New Viking - "Teenage Lust!" (Siltbreeze)
Another Columbus, Ohio band that churns out noisy, lo-fi anthems where it sounds like every instrument is clipping as much as possible. Still, nothing can muddy up the nervous energy of the "I don't want to die in the city alone!" chorus.

By David Malitz |  December 27, 2007; 10:45 AM ET Indie Rock , Year-End Lists
Previous: Best Shows of 2007 | Next: Best Shows of 2007, Redux (This Time With Acts You've Actually Heard Of!)


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I skimmed the list, thought that Psychedelic Horses was an odd band name, then looked for the footnote before I read the description and realized what the name really was.

Posted by: Hemisphire | December 27, 2007 12:22 PM

Bastard, you scooped me, I was going to post that Peel song. Catchy catchy, that one is.

Posted by: Jimbromski | December 27, 2007 3:27 PM

these are really nice songs. it's nice to hear something different, but halfway decent.

Posted by: playitagainsam | December 28, 2007 12:58 PM

j roddy!! how funny to see them. i was at my ten-year high school reunion in cleveland, tennessee, this summer and went with a couple of friends to see the business play in a little nothing bar on inman street. yes, they may be based in baltimore, but most of the band members are actually from that little tennessee town. one of my classmates was even in the band for a time, before they moved their base of operations. what a headtrip...

Posted by: firehat | December 28, 2007 5:42 PM

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