The Best Indie Albums Of 2022

Indie is a genre that encompasses so many different styles of music, and indie artists didn’t fail to give us a range of releases in 2022. We got a comforting and lengthy effort from Big Thief, an exhilarating, genre-blurring album from Jean Dawson, and a jaunty project from newcomer (and Best New Artist Grammy nominee) Wet Leg. With the colorful spectrum of indie music 2022 had to offer — and since January seems like forever ago — sorting through streaming services to find the best releases can be a difficult task. Don’t worry, Uproxx has your back with a list of the best indie albums of 2022.

Check out our alphabetical list of the best indie albums of 2022 below, and be sure to check out our best albums of 2022 and best pop albums of 2022 as well.

The 1975 — Being Funny In A Foreign Language

The 1975 Being Funny In A Foreign Language
Dirty Hit/Interscope

Next year is the ten-year anniversary of The 1975’s stunning debut album that put them on the map alongside other alt-heartthrob crews Arctic Monkeys and The Neighbourhood. While both of those Tumblr bands still thrive off of the hits from that era, The 1975 have managed to evolve continually and somehow get better each time. They’ve done it again with the sprawling Being Funny In A Foreign Language, which has as many wise-cracks as it does heartwrenching lines. “Part Of The Band” is unforgettable with its cutting comedy; “About You” is a masterpiece because of its immersive, poignant atmosphere and contagious sadness. – Danielle Chelosky

Alex G — God Save The Animals

Alex G God Save The Animals

It’s possible that there’s no current indie artist more consistent than Alex G. The 29-year-old has been churning out instant-classic records for over a decade, and they somehow keep getting better. 2019’s House Of Sugar was a hard masterpiece to follow up, but God Save The Animals turned that LP into an afterthought. Singles like “Blessing” and “Runner” previewed a perfect idiosyncrasy through random grunts or unexpected squawks, delicately balanced with intense feelings like nostalgia, longing, and contentment. He gives everything an effortless texture of profundity. – D.C.

Alvvays — Blue Rev

Alvvays Blue Rev

Alvvays remain very good at sounding like Alvvays. The formula on Blue Rev is simple but effective — reverb-heavy guitars that jangle and sprawl, a wiry bassline, sighing synths, a chorus that lifts out of the verse in a manner that can only be described as shyly grandiose, a vocal that sounds sampled from a long-lost radio hit from 1965, and (typically) one well-placed reference in the lyrics to pop culture ephemera. – Steven Hyden

Angel Olsen — Big Time

Angel Olsen Big Time Album Cover

If there’s one thing you can expect from songwriter Angel Olsen, it’s to expect the unexpected. Having already explored lonesome solo folk and classic rock-indebted indie, Big Time, finds the singer planting her roots firmly into country music. Just as the album’s title suggests, this is Olsen’s defining moment. Across the ten tracks, her hypnotic songwriting makes heartbreak seem like an aspirational task. Marinated in Americana, topped with sprinkles of jazz and orchestral compositions, Big Time is a dramatic showcase of instrumentation juxtaposed with Olsen’s bashful vocals. The core of any country project is storytelling, and on Big Time, Olsen knocks it out of the park. – Flisadam Pointer

Arctic Monkeys — The Car

arctic monkeys the car cover art 2022
Domino Recordings

Anyone who listens to this album once will instantly compare it to the previous Arctic Monkeys LP. This is not entirely unfounded. As was the case with Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, The Car is fashioned in large part by Alex Turner, by himself, away from the band. He writes alone, plays and records most of the instrumentation alone, and then reworks what he’s done alone. Only at the end of the process does he bring in the other three guys. The inevitable result is that Tranquility Base and The Car both sound like solo records released under a highly bankable brand. What’s most shocking about The Car is that it proves Tranquility Base was not an experiment — that record marked what is currently a prolonged turn away from rock music. – S.H.

Bartees Strange — Farm To Table

Bartees Strange Farm To Table

The music media has fallen hard for this singer-songwriter’s lovable underdog story. Fortunately, Farm To Table justified the hype. As was the case with his 2020 debut Live Forever, Strange is a natural at mixing emo-pop dynamics with R&B vocal affectations and hip-hop-style production. On his second full-length, he doesn’t so much reinvent this formula as refine it to the point of silky perfection. This album is one of the best sounding records of 2022; you feel the velvety guitars, gooey synths, and supple beats as much as hear them. – S.H.

Big Thief — Dragon New Warm Mountain

big thief dragon new warm mountain I believe you

It’s typical these days to see bands hitting a resounding peak on their breakthrough albums and then gradually coming back down to earth a bit as they start to experiment and explore the possibilities of what they can create. But not Big Thief. They just keep getting better with each release and the layers of Adrianne Lenker’s songwriting are practically limitless. Some of Dragon’s 20 tracks feel like worlds away from each other; take the embraceable space rock of “Little Things” alongside the whimsical bluegrass twang of “Spud Infinity.” But instead of sounding disjointed, they sound like unique parts of a diverse ecosystem of whimsical personalities that reflect the beauty of the world around us. – Adrian Spinelli

Black Country, New Road — Ants From Up There

Black Country, New Road Ants From Up There
Ninja Tune

A few days before Ants From Up There was released in February, it was made clear the album represented the end of an era, when it was revealed that singer and guitarist Isaac Wood had decided to leave the group. It also sounded like the start of a new one, though: While 2021’s For The First Time was rock-solid post-punk fare, Ants From Up There was a noticeable and strongly executed palette expansion, which adds even more intrigue to the already-fascinating prospect of where the band goes from here. – Derrick Rossignol

Dry Cleaning — Stumpwork

Dry Cleaning Stumpwork

Florence Shaw proves the validity of the old cliché about talking softly to make people lean in. What I wasn’t sure about after last year’s New Long Leg was whether this U.K. band could ever make an album that didn’t just repeat the same aesthetic with diminishing returns. But their latest record proves that those concerns were unfounded. Whereas New Long Leg was a loud post-punk record, Stumpwork is softer and more melodic in a classic indie kind of way. (It sounds more American.) I wonder if, moving forward, Dry Cleaning will set about creating different sonic landscapes as backdrops for Shaw’s musings. Maybe the next album will be Shaw talking over trip-hop or honky tonk or coffeeshop folk. – S.H.

Enumclaw — Save The Baby


Enumclaw impressed many with their 2021 EP Jimbo Demo, which bursts with unforgettable basslines and an infectious sense of nonchalance. While their debut Save The Baby has plenty of those moments, it also digs deeper into vulnerability and a desire for something more than what they have, no matter how chill they seem. From the groovy “2002” to the stripped-down “Apartment,” Save The Baby isn’t afraid to explore the highs and lows of existence. – D.C.

Fontaines DC — Skinty Fia

Fontaines DC Skinty Fia
Partisan Records

Vulnerability and poetic prose aren’t characteristics typically associated with the post-punk genre, but Irish rockers Fontaines DC smashed all expectations on their polished third studio album Skinty Fia. The album is a love letter to their Irish upbringing that has managed to take the world by storm. Songs like “Roman Holiday” and “Jackie Down The Line” evoke the sound of ’90s-era Oasis, while others like “I Love You” and “Skinty Fia” manage to be both deadpan and stirring. – Carolyn Droke

Gang Of Youths — Angel In Realtime

Gang Of Youths Angel In Realtime

Musically, the depth and breadth of sounds on this record outstrip what is normally heard in the indie-rock sphere. A relatively low-key cut like “Forbearance” might nod to The National’s recent electro-folk experiments, but so much of the album aims beyond that and straight for the moon. “The Man Himself” is especially rousing in this regard — the moment when spine-tingling choral vocals recorded in the Cook Islands are seamlessly infused with breakbeats and a surging 42-piece orchestra ranks with the most emotionally overpowering moments on any recent rock record. – S.H.

Goose — Dripfield

goose dripfield
no coincidence records

This indie-leaning jam band had a big year on the road, establishing themselves as an arena act in waiting. But unlike most groups of their ilk, they’re also really skilled in the studio. Dripfield is a consistently engaging pop-psychedelic record, like a trippier version of Vampire Weekend’s Father Of The Bride. While it is technically Goose’s third studio LP, it feels like a proper debut, far outstripping its predecessors in terms of quality and ambition. Some tracks slip into funky instrumental tangents, but the focus is on concise and punchy songwriting. – S.H.

Jean Dawson — Chaos Now*

jean dawson chaos now
P+ Records

Indie rock disrupter Jean Dawson proved himself one of the most innovative songwriters of the year with his explosive sophomore album Chaos Now*. Living up to its turbulent title, the album features a refined and swaggering mix of pop-punk, math rock, and rap metal. A follow-up to his breakout 2020 debut Pixel Bath, the album juxtaposes Dawson’s vulnerable side on tracks like “Pirate Radio*” and the Earl Sweatshirt-featuring “Bad Fruit*” with volatile bangers like “Three Heads*” and “Porn Acting*.” – C.D.

Joyce Manor — 40 Oz. To Fresno

Joyce Manor 40 oz to Fresno
Joyce Manor

40 Oz. To Fresno continues Joyce Manor’s streak of concise, engaging albums that explode with unrestrained instrumentation and eccentric lyrics that casually cast spells to turn the mundane into magic. “NBTSA” is a slightly-over-a-minute track that struggles to keep up with its own pace as Barry Johnson sings vaguely about being irrevocably changed; “Don’t Try,” still not meeting the two-minute mark, is a prophetic anthem about missing someone so much you contemplate mortality: “We might live, we might die / You can’t win, so don’t try”; “Did You Ever Know” is a love song, wistfully recollecting drinking tall cans in the park during sunset and wishing to crawl back into that moment to confess feelings. – D.C.

Julia Jacklin — Pre-Pleasure

Pre Pleasure Julia Jacklin
Julia Jacklin

After blowing up, touring the world, and then suddenly facing over a year of isolation, Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin learned to appreciate the positive on her masterful third studio album Pre-Pleasure. Marking a more joyful pivot from her sophomore breakout Crushing, Jacklin tried her hand at piano for the first time ever, resulting in 10 touching, catchy, and raw tracks like “I Was Neon” and “Love, Try Not To Let Go” that explore pleasure, boundaries, and the art of finally living in the moment. – C.D.

Khruangbin, Leon Bridges — Texas Moon

khrangbin leon bridges Texas Moon cover
Dead Oceans

The Texan supergroup delivered their second EP together, which they said is meant to be consumed as a continuation of 2020’s Texas Sun (not a standalone) and it’s brilliant. With David Axelrod-like production and Texan storytelling in the shadow of Willie Nelson, it’s a welcome drop for fans of both acts. But whereas Bridges’ solo work has been steadily dipping its toes deeper into pop, Texas Moon sees him channeling his rawest songwriting. Death, love, Black love, and spirituality are the touchpoints on five tracks that feel like peering out the window into humanity on a drive up I-10 into Houston. – A.S.

MJ Lenderman — Boat Songs

MJ Lenderman Boat Songs
Dear Life

When MJ Lenderman isn’t shredding in the band Wednesday, he’s charming listeners with his own reverb-drenched solo project: “I bought fake Jordans / They weren’t even shoes,” he drawls on the rowdy “Hangover Game,” one of the most alluring album openers of the year. Boat Songs is full of wit and droning instrumentation that makes the listener feel like they’re standing next to the speaker at a local gig. “SUV” is the addictive highlight; the staticky guitars are invigorating, as his vaguely prophetic hook: “I still have the key.” – D.C.

Nilüfer Yanya — Painless

Nilufer Yanya Painless
ATO Records

After a series of EPs, Nilüfer Yanya delivered the proper follow-up to her 2019 breakthrough, Miss Universe, and it’s an explosive expression of self-empowerment through actualization. What Yanya does especially well is packing emotions and epiphanies into tightly-wrapped shredders that are a helluva lot of fun to rock out to. She admits to being an inconsistent partner as she figures herself out on “The Dealer,” while her guitar floats alongside a spritely bass. “Midnight Sun” is an anthem for going against the grain that morphs through movements blissfully with Yanya never wavering from her insightful self. – A.S.

Plains — I Walked With You A Ways

Plains I Walked With You A Ways

This duo composed of Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson is a continuation of the Lucinda Williams-esque alt-country vibe of Crutchfield’s excellent 2020 album Saint Cloud. Actually, it’s hardly “alt” at all — I Walked With You A Ways is full-on twang that would dominate Nashville in a better universe. Of course, the only downside to this album is that it delayed the release of another Waxahatchee record. But any vehicle for Crutchfield’s songs is worthy and welcome. – S.H.

Porridge Radio — Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky

Porridge Radio Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky
Secretly Canadian

On Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky’s “Birthday Party,” Porridge Radio bandleader Dana Margolin sings the line “I don’t want to be loved” a total of 57 times. Porridge Radio’s music can feel like a tornado of feelings, especially in the way everything builds up. “Jealousy” is an unabating inquiry into what’s often repressed: “It’s easy but I don’t want to feel like that / It makes me evil, it makes me bad.” No answers are offered — but admitting it in a declarative, confrontational way feels liberating. – D.C.

Say Sue Me — The Last Thing Left

Say Sue Me The Last Thing Left

South Korean indie rockers Say Sue Me proved indie rock knows no borders by releasing The Last Thing Left, one of the most heartening projects of the year. The wonderfully dreamy effort leans on the softer side, as it was recorded shortly after their drummer sadly passed away. With standout tracks like “Around You” and “To Dream,” the album exists somewhere at the intersection of shoegaze and ’60s surf rock peppered with a healthy dose of melancholia. – C.D.

Soccer Mommy — Sometimes, Forever

Soccer Mommy sometimes, forever
Soccer Mommy

Alternative music darling, Soccer Mommy, is here for the flowers she couldn’t collect last album season due to the pandemic. In her attempt to outdo her previous album’s success, Soccer Mommy strikes gold with Sometimes, Forever. Incorporating elements of indie, pop, and classic rock, there’s not a dull moment on the project, with Sometimes, Forever landing as a well-thought-out body of work cementing herself as an icon in her field. – F.P.

Sorry — Anywhere But Here

Sorry 'Anywhere But Here' cover art
Courtesy of Domino Recordings

UK five-piece Sorry solidified their bid to become the next buzzy post-punk group with their sophomore album Anywhere But Here. Produced alongside Portishead’s Adrian Utley, the album transformed themes of friendship and heartbreak into a project that manages to be both gritty and soft. With tracks like “Closer” and “There’s So Many People That Want To Be Loved,” the band lean on ’90s alt-rock influences with grungy guitars and lead singer Asha Lorenz’s at-times apathetic lyrical delivery. – C.D.

Soul Glo — Diaspora Problems

Soul Glo Diaspora Problems
Epitaph/Secret Voice

Philly has in recent years become a hotbed for emo and punk music, and hardcore trio Soul Glo are the latest to emerge from the flourishing scene with their intoxicating album Diaspora Problems. The effort melds absurdist humor (the album opens with the sound of someone taking a bong rip) with frenetic chords and scream-y vocals thanks to lead singer Pierce Jordan’s impressive pipes. Tracks like the blown-out “Driponomics” and the enigmatic “Gold Chain Punk (Whogonbeatmyass?)” show off the band’s penchant for combing hardcore rock with off-kilter rap. – C.D.

The Linda Lindas — Growing Up

The Linda Lindas Growing Up

We all love a wholesome breakout story, and that’s exactly what initially drew fans to The Linda Lindas. The teen/pre-teen band first went viral for their LA Public Library performance of the track “Racist, Sexist Boy.” But the band was also able to capture a lasting audience with the roaring and relatable music on their debut album Growing Up. The album walks through the woes of girlhood through a revved-up, riot grrrl lens. – C.D.

The Smile — A Light For Attracting Attention

The Smile A Light For Attracting Attention
XL Recordings

If we didn’t know any better, we might’ve thought that The Smile’s A Light For Attracting Attention was maybe just the next spectacular Radiohead album? In actuality, the side project of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, along with Sons Of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, stands on its own but locks into place like a missing puzzle piece of the Radiohead canon. Greenwood’s production feels almost haptic, beginning with the self-analytical/fairly paranoid “The Same” and continuing all the way through to an emphatic acoustic guitar on the long-lost Radiohead song “Skirting On The Surface.” Meanwhile, Skinner’s drums on the latter are reminiscent of Philip Selway’s, further adding to the glorious Radiohead/The Smile mind game. – A.S.

Toro Y Moi — Mahal

Toro y Moi Mahal album cover
Dead Oceans

Prolific artist and musician Toro Y Moi is oftentimes credited as one of the pioneers of the chillwave genre. In recent years, though, he has adopted a more maximalist approach to music, which comes through on his seventh studio album Mahal. Toro Y Moi pays homage to his Filipino roots while embracing a disco-pop attitude with tracks like “Millennium” and “The Loop.” Overall, the album is packed with sun-drenched psychedelia, woozy synth-pop melange, and funk-infused art rock that keeps you coming back for more. – C.D.

Wet Leg — Wet Leg

Wet Leg album

The Isle Of Wight duo were the very definition of lightning in a bottle this year. After “Chaise Longue” came out just as tours were finally getting back into full swing last year, the prospect of hearing a new band’s smash single then instantly seeing their upcoming tour dates became a reality again. Wet Leg helped us start to feel normal and, well, these songs ripped. They thrive in the tongue-in-cheek margins, with a punk panache to boot on so many bangers: “Wet Dream,” “Oh No,” and “Too Late Now.” The singles felt endless and the entire album is a thrill. – A.S.

Weyes Blood — And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow

Weyes Blood And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
Sub Pop

It’s been three years since Weyes Blood released 2019’s psych-folk stunner Titanic Rising. But Natalie Mering pretty much picks up where that album left off on And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, which once again spotlights her flair for beautiful soft-rock melodies that complement a serrated lyric edge. Never before have songs that portend certain doom for mankind sounded so sweet and catchy. – S.H.