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The seven best indie songs of November 2023

Our favourite tracks from November 2023, featuring: The Beatles, The Goa Express, The Smile and more.

Welcome to the latest edition of our blog that 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 November 2023...


7. NewDad – 'Nightmares' 

Ahead of their hotly anticipated debut album MADRA, finally set to arrive next year and bound to be an early contender for album of the year, Irish indie band NewDad have released ‘Nightmares’. The single itself explores the topic of temptation and follows an ominous yet gripping sound to further excite us for January’s record release. "’Nightmares’ is about longing for something or someone, even though you shouldn’t, for whatever reason”, reveals vocalist/guitarist Julie Dawson, "it’s about not wanting to fall for someone because you know it’d never work. Basically, just wishing you despised them instead of adoring them.”


6. The Boxer Rebellion – 'Lightness Out Of Darkness' 

What a nice surprise it was a couple of weeks ago to see new music from The Boxer Rebellion had been added to my ‘Release Radar’ playlist on Spotify! The London based band ended their five-year hiatus with the release of ‘Lightness Out of Darkness’, their first music since 2018’s Ghost Alive. Like much of their previous work, the song contains a power to inspire and also one which couldn’t help but tug on the heartstrings. “Lightness Out Of Darkness is a song about perseverance”, explains singer Nathan Nicholson, knowing that every sunset has a sunrise and obstacles only stay obstacles when you lose faith in yourself.” Beautiful, as usual. 


5. Gossip – 'Crazy Again' 

Beth Ditto and co are back again after a decade-long hiatus with new single ‘Crazy Again’. The new song is the first preview single to their anticipated Rick Rubin produced album Real Power, set for release on 22 March 2024. Their sixth studio album will be their first since 2012’s A Joyful Noise, and in this new song they’ve produced a blissful first taster. “The song is about actually being in love and feeling so safe” Ditto would explain. Great to have these noughties indie legends back again! 


4. The Goa Express – 'Never Been Better' 

Burnley's The Goa Express are one band I’ve had a close eye on since hearing explosive pysch-indie single ‘Be My Friend’ back in 2020. On 1 December, they release their long-awaited self-titled debut album, preceded by preview single ‘Never Been Better’. The new song is described in a press release as a “bold, swaggering singalong is hoisted aloft on a tidal wave of chiming guitars, widescreen drums and bass, that shudder into your solar plexus. This song is a gloriously catchy lament to summer’s spent together.” 


3. Confidence Man - 'Firebreak'

Australian dance act Confidence Man have built up a reputation as a must-see live act within the alternative scene over the past few years. With new instrumental cut ‘Firebreak’, they very much have the mainstream in their sights. They’re a whole load of trashy fun, adored for not taking themselves too seriously. Their new one is their most dancefloor-ready release yet. Produced by bandmates Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild, a heavy hint of 2 UNLIMITED’s 1992 dance banger ‘Get Ready’ looms overhead. Ever the ones for hyperbole, Confidence Man would further hype up the new song on Instagram: “Can’t stop won’t stop. We’re relentless. Almost incessant…here’s Firebreak, custom made for the next Super Bowl halftime show. We got one word for you - phenomenal.”  


2. The Smile – 'Wall Of Eyes' 

The initial announcement of The Smile in early 2022 was frustrating to many a Radiohead diehard, who realised such a side project would push back any potential future release from the Oxford indie legends (only the seven and a half years since 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool…). But listening to debut album A Light For Attracting Attention (2022) and it was very easy to change your mind. If three key Radiohead components (singer Thom Yorke, the multi-instrumented Johnny Greenwood and producer Nigel Godrich – plus drummer Tom Skinner) can come together to create music this beautiful, then why does it matter what name it's under? And the same applies for their new song ‘Wall Of Eyes’, which acts as the first preview to their second album of the same name (due for release on 26 January). Yorke’s ethereal vocals meet mysterious strings, meandering between dreamy and threatening. Utterly enthralling stuff. Not that we'd expect anything less from them!


1. The Beatles – 'Now And Then' 

The story of The Beatles’ ‘Now And Then’ is 45 years in the making. In 1978, John Lennon recorded a demo with vocals and piano at his home in New York. Following his death in 1980, Yoko Ono presented the recording - which featured demos ‘Free as a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’ - to the remaining Beatles. Those two songs were eventually released as singles in 1995 and 1996, but the quality of recording of a third song - ‘Now And Then’ - was considered too poor to do anything with. That is until Get Back (2021) director Peter Jackson got involved two and half decades later, using technology to lift Lennon’s voice and remove background noise. Soon Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were adding their contributions, as well as integrating guitar work from final member George Harrison, who died in 2001. The track was beefed up and the end result is an incredibly moving, final hurrah to the career of the most iconic band of all time. If a little perplexed to it's quality at first, several listens later and the emotion is as clear as day. A stunning song to leave us on. Little surprise the tune marched straight into the number 1 spot in the UK official singles chart. 


You can hear the above songs and more on our regularly updated Blinded By The Floodlights 2023 indie recommends playlist.


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