Not just indie and retro,  but the first real "character introduction" song on the soundtrack to my book EKO: specifically, for one of the main characters, Phaira, when she's at her lowest.  That sharp guitar plucking, the droning, sliding, slightly druggy rock chorus, and those howling lyrics "I feel like a star" that hold the exact opposite meaning; that's so her, in that moment in her life.  If you want to hear more songs from my little invented world, I've got a Spotify soundtrack for every book here.

Another note: I actually saw Edwin in 1999, when this song was just out in Canada, playing a small concert at the University of Windsor, where I was a freshman.  It was the first real "concert" I'd ever been to (and that's not saying much, because it was in a club, not a proper venue).  But memorable, nonetheless.  And I'm still playing "Trippin'", fifteen years later.
Twelve years ago, I really thought The Music would take off with this first single.  But alas, this is the only one I ever heard, and it's a shame, because it kicks ass.  Still love to  blasting this while driving: that rolling guitar riff, the drums, the impressive voice range.
Much like Tove Lo's Habits, which is getting a lot of airplay, here's another one that I predict will cross over to mainstream radio and probably soon.  Full of hooks, with sing-a-long parts and romantic teen-esque lyrics.  Perfectly pleasant to listen to.  Get the scoop.
I'm not surprised that the Kid was into this single the first time he heard it; bouncy beat, quirky synth sounds and distortion, pretty standard composition and chord progression, but still catchy as hell.  This is one that I can see crossing over to mainstream radio, so let's see what happens over the next few months.
Impulse post, because it's playing now as I write stories with my headphones on, and I've loved it since my first listen a few years back and never shared it.  Released in 2007, it's got a poignancy and plaintiveness that hits me every time:

 "And all the love we fought / and all the fights we lost / I have to let it go / It's not surreal at all / It's real but it's gone / I have to let it go...."

This version is live, in a radio station, and piano-only with vocals - the released version has drums and mild guitar.   It's the only decent version on YouTube though - that's how indie this is. Start it at .020 in.
 A mix of folk + soul, and just a little experimental, the lead singer's voice reminds me of Frou Frou / Imogene Heap. I love the strings that come in near the end; my favorite part.
Stormy and loud, dramatic and melodic, drums and digital beats, the hard-driving "Witchcraft" is on the soundtrack to one of my books; the video is pretty cool, too.  Also love their  loud, textured  "Propane Nightmares" too, and the extra-creepy video.
Because it's been an odd day, and I just got some news that left me confused and pensive - let's go with "Wave" by Beck, from his new album MORNING PHASE.  Ethereal, string-heavy, like water flowing and receding.  Brooding and good for heavy thoughts.  

And full disclosure: I watch So You Think You Can Dance, and this is the song that accompanies a favorite routine of mine this season (one of only two memorable ones, this year is crap):
Another new-wave electronica pick from the Kid, taken from the archives of my iPhone  - Triangle Forest is a Providence-based band that I saw twice in the city back in 2009.  Their album Hostile Takeover definitely sounds home-made, but I still like it, and this is the best single off the album, in my opinion. 

Interesting factoid: I heard the lead singer is a science professor somewhere..... 

Updated: He works at the same college that I do, though on a different campus!  How weird. I'm halfway tempted to go find his office and snoop around....
I am a suffocator. I fall hard, I fall fast, and traditionally, I scare people off.  High school was brutal, college wasn't much better. So of course, I reflectively relate to the lyrics in this one: "I'm sorry if I smothered you...."  Simple, melancholy, drifting and water-like, there is a universal poignancy in the line: "I want him, but we're not right."  How many situations does that encompass?  Somber and brilliant.