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The eight best indie songs of May 2023

My favourite tracks from the month of May 2023, featuring Queens of the Stone Age, Blur and more.

Welcome to the first edition of a blog which counts down the best new songs from the month that's just been. In this article, we count down eight indie tracks worthy of attention from May 2023...

8. Queens of the Stone Age - 'Emotion Sickness'

We start by looking at the latest release from desert rock legends Queens of the Stone Age. 2017's Villains saw Josh Homme and co approach a more groove-focused sound which, if we're being honest, didn't really hit the mark of their earlier work. 'Emotion Sickness' is a back-to-basics alt-rock tune, a more ferocious effort which could easily have sat on their excellent 2013 album ...Like Clockwork. A lot of love for this one!


7. Sad Boys Club - 'Peak'

We have friend of the blog Karl Blakesley to thank for Sad Boys Club's inclusion here! His excellent Gigwise review of their debut album Lullabies from The Lightning Tree turned me in their direction and I was pretty impressed with what I heard. The London-based quartet's debut channels bands of the calibre of Death Cab For Cutie and The Cure, and it was intense opener 'Peak' which showed they weren't messing about.


6. Bleach Lab - 'All Night'

Fresh from supporting noughties indie legends We Are Scientists, Bleach Lab are one band to keep your eye on this year. They produce a brand of infectious indie rock both hazy and jangly - definitely a winning combination if you ask me! 'All Night' is another emotional rollercoaster of a track which has singer Jenna Kyle pouring out her heartfelt desire to stunning effect. Their debut album Lost In A Rush of Emptiness arrives in September and I'm already getting the tissues ready.


5. HotWax - 'Treasure'

Upon hearing that this all-female trio would be supporting The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at London's All Points East festival this summer, I couldn't help but investigate further. Their grungey sound draws comparisons to Queen of the Stone Age, Wolf Alice and Nirvana, which aren't exactly the worst bands to be reminded of when listening to a new artist. Their latest single 'Treasure' is so loud and uncompromising you'll be desperate to hear more.


4. Sparks - 'Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is'

The Mael brothers have been on the go for 53 years this year and returned again in May with their 25th album The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte. Sung from the perspective of a dissatisfied 22-hour-old baby, the record's third preview single 'Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is' has quirky, art-pop appeal written all over it. As fun a track by Sparks as you'll hear this year.


3. THE GOA EXPRESS - 'Talking About Stuff'

I've been banging on about this Manchester-based band since the beginning of lockdown. So imagine my delight then when a press release came through to announce their self-titled debut album The GOA EXPRESS would be arriving in October via Communion. 'Talking About Stuff' is a sunny and melodic indie banger - the perfect introduction to THE GOA EXPRESS' sound if you weren't already on board.


2. Blur - 'The Narcissist'

Blur gifted us their first taste of new music in eight years with an absolute delight of a tune full of reflective lyrics and a typically anthemic chorus. 'The Narcissist' is one of those songs where you're not sure whether to smile or cry upon completion. Either way, we should be grateful the Britpop legends are back with a bang and ready to conquer the guitar world again!


1. Grian Chatten - 'Fairlies'

There was only going to be one winner for May 2023! In case you weren't aware, the Fontaines D.C. frontman has gone solo this year after a ridiculously productive last few years with his main band. The contemplative Celtic vibes on 'Fairlies' are of similar quality to Fontaines, proving once again why the Irishman is one of indie rock's most unique singers. Grian Chatten's debut album Chaos For The Fly is released at the end of the month and the evidence presented so far suggests it'll be another belter!


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