Playlist: 9 throwback tracks for your indie rock fix


The cover of Arcade Fire’s album “The Suburbs”.

Why not break into September with the accompaniment of some throwback indie alternative tracks? Here are some of our picks, either as an introduction to some well-known artists of the genre or if you’re looking for some old favorites.

Joyride – The Killers

This hit is full of funk and has enough energy for dancing or giving your night a fresh kick. Frontman Brandon Flowers told The Sun in 2008 that this song “…is something that is just alive, it’s fun. Somebody told me it’s very disco but I think it’s harder, more modern.” It’s a funky introduction to a band with a style that blends genres with ease.

Someday – The Strokes

A high-charting pleaser from indie rock band The Strokes, “Someday” is straight out of their 2001 smash debut “Is This It” (ranked number 8 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time). It’s immediately catchy with a memorable riff and strong lyrics ( “I say alone we stand, together we fall apart/yeah, I think I’ll be alright/I’m working so I won’t have to try so hard/Tables, they turn sometimes”), and has been used on a few film soundtracks.

World at Large- Modest Mouse

From the certified Platinum album “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” is a track with a tone and sound reminiscent of the oft-played “Float On”. The progression is a bit repetitive but is well arranged with Isacc Brock’s punching backing vocals accompanying himself.

Elephant – Tame Impala

Australian psychedelic rock band, Tame Impala, truly found their sound on “Lonerism” as exemplified by this airy garage-psych song. Enjoy a blues-heavy riff with dueling keyboard and guitar solos in the middle. Bonus- we highly recommend checking out their album “Currents” if you haven’t already.

Chamber of Reflection- Mac Demarco

This song samples Shigeo Sekito’s distinctive melody (can’t hyper link and although slow, is strong on style. DeMarco’s lyrics encourage self-reflection in solitude, with some dark undertones (“No use looking out/It’s within that brings that lonely feeling”) while the synth-heavy song allows his voice to glide as in in a dream.

Washed Out- Great Escape

With a simple premise (“All I want is someone I can lean on/All I need is the simple life/Make believe the world has vanished around us”) but a pleasing sense of chill, this song was created by just two people on vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizer, mixing and percussion. Hazy vocals mixed with thick synths lay the atmosphere on heavily in this track.

Mykonos- Fleet Foxes

Named for a Greek island with a notorious nightlife, “Mykonos” features rich harmonies and an insistent beat, singing of returning to a beach town, tinged with an ominous ring. Lyrics including “With a vision of a gentle coast/And a sun to maybe dissipate/Shadows of the mess you made” are irresistible with Robin Pecknold’s searing voice.

The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire offers an almost quaint yet twisted song befitting the subject material with a swinging piano beat. This song, the title track of their third album, parodies the anxieties buried within the dull idyll of suburb living and leaves you haunted, yet jaunty.

Past Lives – Borns

Starting slow with ghostly vocals over hazy atmospherics, before throbbing right into its main verses, “Past Lives” never lets you go with mounting energy and chilling sincerity. It muses with the possibilities and whimsy of love, including connections forged over time and space. We encourage checking out the rest of his album, “Dopamine”, if you love this one.

Natalie Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or @NatalieH_Orion on Twitter.