Hayley Lawson picks her ten favourite songs in the Modern UK Indie Pop genre for Impact’s Music Essentials.
Egg – Cynical Fairytale
Cynical Fairytale takes a more enlightened spin on Rapunzel’s story, making references to the Disney movie Tangled in a sweet-sounding melody. I adore this song for the artist’s honeyed voice and the catchiness of her ukulele strumming skills. I have had this on repeat for weeks. What I love about Egg’s bedroom productions is the pleasant graininess; it truly feels like wood-burning fires and hot chocolate.
Wallice – 23
I discovered Wallice during the lockdown of 2020, and I was so excited when a fewmonths later she released this beauty. 23 is all about growing up and the expectations that at a certain age, one should have had certain experiences in life. So, as well as having an excellent beat to bob your head too, 23 has an amazing relatability factor which I truly can’t get enough of.
Cavetown – Lemon Boy
I figured that it would be a crime not to mention the king of bedroom pop in this list, but the issue was which song to include. Lemon Boy was the song that introduced me to Cavetown and I stick by this being my favourite song of his; it addresses mental health issues by personifying the artist’s depression and anxiety as a Lemon Boy, who ultimately begins to intoxicate his life, adding bitter undertones to all that he does. This acoustic ballad truly deserves its space on this list of bedroom pop staples.
Slaughter Beach, Dog – 104 Degrees
Infiltrated with visual descriptions and stunning lyricism, this song absolutely had to make the list. 104 degrees describes a love at first sight with a happy ever after and so it just makes you feel unequivocally sanguine. I only originally listened to this song because I was told it opened with a reference to Murakami and as soon as I heard the first verse play through, I was hooked.
Blanks – Higher
Blanks began by putting twists on already-existing songs on YouTube quite some time ago, giving them an 80s sound and all other sorts of wild experimentation. You can hardly imagine my excitement when he began releasing music of his own! Higher is one of my favourites, providing a catchy tune that just allows you to feel like you’re driving to the beach with the windows down – I really couldn’t ask for more.
Beabadoobee – She Plays Bass
This song has such a catchy chorus that I can never get enough of it. This song is a beautiful one to listen to when you’re yearning as the narrative discusses an unrequited love. This is another one to dance around your bedroom to and just feel good. I love Beabadoobee’s voice unconditionally and it makes this song all the more irresistible.
A Kid Named Rufus – Things Will Be Okay
This song has such a light-hearted and warming feel to it. It’s the kind of song that is perfect to listen to on a dismal day and the lyrics simply feel like a comforting hug from home. The artist’s voice has a soothing quality which is something I value highly in bedroom pop as I adore the raw sound it allows. This song ticks all the boxes for me and so it had to make the list.
Peter McPoland – Romeo and Juliet (Acoustic)
Romeo and Juliet depicts a divine adoration for the narrator’s girlfriend. This love ballad is so poetically written that I stop to replay it whenever I feel like I haven’t listened to it properly (this, for me, is what comprises a lyrical genius). Like the other songs on this list, McPoland produces such a raw and vehement sound which is insanely irresistible.
Buttertones – Orpheus Under the Influence
Creating more of a rock feel, Orpheus Under the Influence depicts a world of longing and melancholy in a tune you can appreciate endlessly. The song refers to the original myth of Orpheus, after he has lost his wife. This song is so versatile that it has managed to worm its way into many of my Spotify playlists.
Billie Eilish – Bellyache
Written by a 15-year-old Billie Eilish and produced by her brother FINNEAS, Bellyache is an absolute staple on this list. Its dark, psychopathic nature is slightly disturbing at first but ultimately the song comments on guilt and is excellently written. I find the beat to this song entirely incongruous to the content, but that is part of what makes it so enjoyable and fun to sing and dance along to. The mellow sound to this masterpiece is unarguably one of its best features, making it a perfect study song.
In-article videos in order courtesy of egg, Wallice, cavetown, Slaughter Beach, Dog, Music by Blanks, Beabadoobee, a kid named rufus, Peter McPoland, AllSofts, and Billie Eilish via Youtube.com. No changes were made to these videos.
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