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.
Every week, Uproxx is rounding up the best new indie music from the past seven days. This week we got the anticipated new album from Car Seat Headrest, a riotous track from Pup, and a dance-ready number from Jessy Lanza.
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Hayley Williams — Petals For Armor
It seems like we’ve been including a Hayley Williams song on the best new indie music list every week for the last six months, but the debut solo album from the Paramore singer has finally arrived, and it doesn’t disappoint. Mixing elements of R&B, art rock, and everything in between, Petals For Armor illustrates Williams’ versatility as a songwriter and another impressive step forward after Paramore’s After Laughter signaled a sonic shift in the band’s repertoire. Songs like “Over Yet” and “Dead Horse” have their pop sensibilities, while the Boygenius-featuring “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” sounds closer to an early 2000’s experimental Radiohead song than the pop-punk that Williams made her name on.
Gordi — “Volcanic”
The release of Gordi’s sophomore album Our Two Skins was delayed after she decided to go back to work as a doctor to combat the coronavirus. However, she is still periodically rolling out new music to preview the record. “Volcanic” is the latest installment, a track that “gently murmurs with urgency” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. Over gentle synth tones, “Volcanic” details Gordi’s experience with anxiety, a fitting soundtrack for today’s world.
St. Vincent — “The Eddy”
As part of the soundtrack for La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s new Netflix series The Eddy, St. Vincent has offered her take on the show’s title track, a crooning, jazzy ballad. “The track shows off St. Vincent’s otherworldly versatility, as sultry jazz joins experimental pop, straight-up rock, and other musical styles on a long list of things she does well,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Fontaines DC — “A Hero’s Death”
Just over a year after dropping their full-length debut, the Irish snot-rockers Fontaines DC are back with another record. A Hero’s Death is preceded by its title track, a gritty post-punk number wherein Grian Chatten sings about “a list of rules for the self… principles for self-prescribed happiness that can often hang by a thread,” as revealed in a statement. He continues: “The title came from a line in a play by Brendan Behan, and I wrote the lyrics during a time where I felt consumed by the need to write something else to alleviate the fear that I would never be able to follow up Dogrel. But more broadly it’s about the battle between happiness and depression, and the trust issues that can form tied to both of those feelings.”
Wet — “Come To You”
Earlier this year, Brooklyn indie-pop group quietly started unveiling new music. First came “This Fog” and now we have “Come To You,” a track that was originally slated for the band’s 2016 debut but didn’t end up making the cut. “‘Come To You’ opens with moody synths and slight percussive elements, leaving room for vocalist Kelly Zutrau’s earnest musings to stand at the track’s forefront,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. Although details of a new Wet album are still being kept under wraps, anticipation is certainly starting to build as new music creeps out to the masses.
Rhye — “Beautiful”
While the world has been completely upended due to the pandemic, Rhye believes that you should never forget to seek out beauty in the world, and he’s spreading the wealth on the new single “Beautiful.” Sonically, the single “slots nicely into the subtly funky Rhye oeuvre,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx, and marked the beginning of a weekend-long project called “A Beautiful Weekend,” a continuous livestream launched last Friday that features the new track over cycling footage of nature, kids enjoying time in the pool, empty city streets, pandas eating bamboo, and more.
Le Ren — “Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay”
Lauren Spencer, AKA Le Ren, is latest signing to venerable indie label Secretly Canadian, and has celebrated the occasion with the re-release of an old single that originally appeared on her self-released 2018 EP Songs I Oughta Sing. “Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay” is what Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx “a brief, delicate, and restful folk gem,” one that marks Le Ren as an artist to watch as her official Secretly Canadian debut draws closer.
Mamalarky — “How To Say”
Originally formed in Austin, Texas, the members of Mamalarky recently moved to Los Angeles and quickly found themselves support slots with bands like Crumb, Beach Fossils, Jerry Paper, and Faye Webster. “How To Say” is the first in a series of new singles from the group, and it sounds like it was put through a tape emulator to achieve a lo-fi sound that feels warm and personal. Thematically, the track “approaches the concept of shared love and the difficulty in communicating new feelings,” the band wrote to me in an email.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.