Indie music has grown to include so much. It’s not just music that is released on independent labels but speaks to an aesthetic that deviates from the norm and follows its own weirdo heart. It can come in the form of rock music, pop, or folk. In a sense, it says as much about the people that are drawn to it as it does about the people that make it.
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Slow Pulp — “Slugs”
A lot of great albums came out already this year, but even more are coming. Slow Pulp’s Yard is looking to be a highlight after the release of the sweeping “Cramps” and the newest single “Slugs,” a playful, languid earworm. The dreamy essence carries the appeal of their last record, 2020’s Moveys. Against distorted guitars, an infectious hook is sung lazily and memorably: “You’re a summer hit / I’m singing it.”
Blonde Redhead — “Melody Experiment”
Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino explains that her new song “Melody Experiment” is a “conversational piece between two people. One is questioning the intentions, integrity, and consequences of one’s emotions and actions. She is hypersensitive. The other keeps things simple, allowing himself to go with the flow.” The track is capricious and bewitching, immediately pulling the listener in with the intriguing opening line: “How would you feel if I kept you a secret?”
Anjimile — “Father”
The King is Anjimile’s forthcoming LP, and it’s looking to be a powerful experience. “Father” is a touching ballad that reckons with his experience getting sober and his appreciation for his parents’ support: “Are you still drinking? / What were you thinking? / On my heart, weighing / I am still praying,” he lulls.
Ratboys — “The Window”
“I walked across the green grass / To where I knew you laid / The way the sun was shining down / I only saw your shape,” sings Julia Steiner in the moving new Ratboys single, “The Window.” The song builds cathartically with infectious instrumentation and emotional lyrics; their forthcoming album of the same title will be strong.
The Armed — “Sport Of Form”
The Armed are back, and it’s a big return. Their glitchy, eccentric new song “Sport Of Form” oscillates between slow, endearing moments and rapid-fire explosions. It culminates into the disorienting repetition of the line, “Does anyone even know you? / Does anyone even care?” The anthem leaves the listener feeling changed.
The Japanese House — In The End It Always Does
The Japanese House’s In The End It Always Does is full of highlights, from the sprawling, dream-pop earworm “Boyhood” to the buoyant “Sunshine Baby” with The 1975’s Matty Healy. The whole album is a hypnotic fantasy, Amber Mary Bain’s vocals breezy and mesmeric against fluttering instrumentation.
Blur — “St. Charles Square”
“I f*cked up / I’m not the first to do it,” Damon Albarn kicks off the new Blur song stating. The invigorating, catchy track is the latest taste of their forthcoming comeback LP The Narcissist, and it stays true to their brand of weird, infectious rock.
Del Water Gap — “All We Ever Do Is Talk”
Storytelling is the centerpiece of Del Water Gap’s new track “All We Ever Do Is Talk”: “And what happened? / To meeting you at the hotel, 3 am / Pull the belt from your robe, pushing me on the bed,” he sings against an exuberant rhythm, though the adds a thick, complicated layer of melancholy: “But will we ever get that feeling again?”
Magnitude — “Rectify”
Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Magnitude make unforgiving, brutal hardcore, and “Rectify” is a great dose of their sound. The two-and-a-half-minute track only intensifies as it goes on, jumping at every opportunity to pick up speed and get louder. The guitars are invigorating, and the final breakdown is pure mayhem.
Bad History Month — “Breakdown Lane”
Bad History Month’s “Breakdown Lane” is an off-kilter, brooding song, packed with screeching guitars and soft vocals. It feels like a haunted daydream: “I rest my eyes and the day just dies / Another day just dies another day just dies / Another day just.” It comes from their forthcoming EP True Delusion, which is ominously explained on their Bandcamp page: “Spring 2021. Vaccines. Everybody out again. I started my first rock band and joined a cult. The end of the world was good for me. Happiness is a true delusion. And all of it was real.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.