here they are:
"Afterlife" by Arcade Fire: Win Butler's orchestral indie-pop group are really going for ambitious songs this time around, aren't they?! Their "Reflektor" was 7 and a half minutes long, and their next big song for 2013, "Afterlife", is 6 minutes!! As its title indicates, "Afterlife" deals with death, specifically the loss of someone who was very important to one of the members' lives (though they never specify who). Not quite the meandering song "Reflektor" was, but it still has that sort of "progressive indie" feel to it. The final minutes of the song serve as its "grieving stage", during which Win Butler repeats the mantra, "It's just an afterlife", possibly for reassurance that everything will turn out alright for him.
"High Hopes" by Bruce Springsteen: When it comes to The Boss's material from the 21st century, it's definitely a mixed bag. He seems to like going for passionate, world weary ballads these days, but "High Hopes" is a rocker!! (Well, kinda) It features fiery electric guitar playing from Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello (complete with soloing in the middle), attempting to battle it out with the song's backing acoustic guitar. As with many of Springsteen's contemporary songs, "High Hopes" is a song that revolves around political angst. The song becomes even more triumphant during the chorus, with its brass instruments breaking down the angry walls of this song into a jubilant celebration! My "high hopes" go towards The Boss himself, to crank out more good tunes like this one!! I think he can still hang in there for quite a while!
"Little Games" by The Colourist: I haven't heard many indie/alt groups channel the spirit of Michael Hutchence (from INXS) quite so well as I have with this song!! Over a 1980's style drumbeat, an electric guitar roars loud enough both to rock and to make people dance, in The Colourist's "Little Games"! The smooth, suave vocals of the song also seem somewhat Hutchence inspired (though not nearly as high). "Little Games" is about cheating in a relationship, but with the song's super catchy vibe, you'd probably never know!!
"Love Like This" by Kodaline: Before I get started with this one, the name of this Irish indie-folk group is pronounced "KO-duh-line" (not "KO-duh-leen", as I originally thought it was). Perhaps the song's opening mandolin-ish sound makes it obvious they're Irish?! The harmonica makes it sound more like a Dylan or Springsteen song, though, both of whom, of course, are American. Kodaline's songs seem to all be love songs so far ("love like this won't last forever" is the chorus of this song, and their other big song, "All I Want", is about the longing to feel loved by someone). Their folk-rock sound has me drawn to their material regardless, though, it just makes them seem like such a calm, down-to-earth sorta band!