20 remixes of indie songs we’re not afraid to love
Brought to you by Telstra
In honour of Telstra’s new ‘2nd Chance Song’ campaign – where they’re breathing new life into an underrated Australian classic – we’re looking at some of the most ear-catching remixes of indie tracks of the past decade.
A couple of months back, inthemix put together a list of 20 remixes of pop songs we’re not afraid to love. With edits of Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Beyoncé all making the cut, to cherry pick just a few, the list reminded us just how good a well-handled edit is. But there are plenty more great remixes than just those in the pop realm – dozens of indie tracks from the early 2000s to today have also been given the dance touch to great effect. So without further ado, here’s 20 remixes of indie songs we think are indispensable. What did we miss?
#20 Dirty Projectors – The Socialites (Joe Goddard Remix)
How do you remix a song by a band like Brooklyn experimentalists Dirty Projectors, a collective known for employing unusual time signatures, weird instruments, world music influences, and generally being so art-rock as to be – at times – virtually unlistenable?
You draft in Joe Goddard: one fifth of Hot Chip (the band that marries art school with synth-pop) and one half of big, bouncy bass-driven house duo The 2 Bears. Goddard keeps a lot of the original’s sparse kookiness, puts Amber Coffman’s beautiful falsetto front and centre, and gradually builds up a tropical, Balearic house vibe with real groove and swing: a master-class in the art of the indie-rock remix.
#19 MS MR – Think Of You (RAC Remix)
At last count, CHVRCHES, Yeasayer, Kele Okereke, Chet Faker, Twin Shadow, NICITA, Charli XCX, Xaphoon Jones, Goldroom, HAERTS and more (yes, more!) have all turned in official remixes for New York act MS MR. So RAC – once a remix ‘collective’ and now just the work of Portugal’s André Allen Anjos – is doing well to stand out as the best of the bunch with this rework of Think of You. The best bit? You can grab it as a free download.
#18 Henry Green – Electric Feel (Kygo remix) (MGMT cover)
Circa 2008, you might remember, MGMT were the kings of indie cool. Six years later the band’s taken a step out of the limelight, but the legacy of Oracular Spectacular lives on. Last year, British vocal talent Henry Green covered MGMT’s mega-hit Electric Feel. Then fast-rising producer Kygo remixed his cover, put it on SoundCloud as a free download and watched the play count climb well into the millions.
#17 Björk – Who Is It (Vitalic remix)
Iceland’s genius-freak skirts disconcertingly close to actual pop music in the original Who Is It, which is all bells and chimes and her signature elfin voice, but French electro stalwart Vitalic does away with all that fragile art-pop, keeping only the ear-worm vocal hook and toughening it up with insistent techno rhythms and urgent synth stabs. Going off the experimental electronic meanderings and wobbly breakdowns of her most recent work, we think Björk would approve.
#16 HAIM – Don’t Save Me (Cyril Hahn remix)
Cyril Hahn’s made his name breathing new life into pop classics (see: Destiny’s Child, Solange, Mariah Carey) so the Swiss producer was well qualified to take on the work of indier-than-thou sister trio HAIM. We might be a little too close to the oversaturation of the original to fully enjoy Hahn’s edit now, but give it a few years and you’ll have the Don’t Save Me edit on repeat. Trust us.
#15 The Rapture – Get Myself Into It (Prince Language Disco Edit)
Eight years on and this edit of Get Myself Into It still does the business on dancefloors every time. The Rapture always skirted the line between indie jangle and nu-disco funk without the help of remixers, but this edit by sporadic New York producer Prince Language stretches things out by a couple of minutes and adds a neat little synth-stab build-up towards the end to give you time to really “get into it”.