All The Best New Indie Music From This Week

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 new music from Waxahatchee, DIIV, Hana Vu, and more.

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Laura Jane Grace – Hole In My Head

Each Laura Jane Grace song is its own contained world. But the Against Me! frontwoman and punk dignitary bridges her stories together through universal themes of redemption, political unrest, abuse, and fascism. That’s the vision she attains on her second solo album, Hole In My Head. On songs like the Springsteenian, jaunty “Keeping The Faith” and the penultimate acoustic number “Hard Feelings,” Grace acknowledges the pain she has endured and finds a way through. Hole In My Head is another showcase for Grace’s gift as a talented songwriter, one in which she looks both inward and outward.

Grandaddy – Blue Wav

On social media and in recent interviews, Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle has quipped about how nearly every song on Blu Wav, the first album from Grandaddy since 2017, is slow and boring. It’s a slow-paced record, sure, but it is never boring. Named after Lytle’s amalgamation of bluegrass and new wave, Blu Wav is a contemplative record. It’s about taking your time. It’s about retreating to a quiet place, how your imagination can transport you somewhere comforting, distressing, or even both at once. From the gorgeous pedal steel on “East Yosemite” to the instrumental, piano-based denouement “Blu Wav Buh Bye,” Lytle’s latest work is a marvel. It’s easy to say that he’s still got it.

Snarls – “Heavy Drinker”

On the cusp of their second full-length album, With Love, Snarls are poised for a breakout moment. If lead single “Heavy Drinker” is anything to go by, then the Columbus trio are about to release one of the best indie-pop records of 2024. With production assistance from former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, Snarls takes on a new sheen of polish on “Heavy Drinker,” sparkling to life with bright guitars, hooky ebullience, and buoyant vocals.

Waxahatchee – “Bored”

Katie Crutchfield is one of the greatest contemporary songwriters we have. “Bored,” her new single as Waxahatchee, buttresses that title. Featuring Crutchfield’s conversational delivery and country-fried electric guitars, the latest preview of her sixth album, Tigers Blood, is another excellent addition to the indie-folk musician’s catalog. Yet its title is something of a misnomer; it’s hard to imagine being bored in the slightest when there’s a song this fantastic blasting out of your speakers.

DIIV – “Brown Paper Bag”

The famous metaphor about a frog in boiling water holds a lot of weight today. By placing a frog in a pot of room-temperature water and slowly turning up the heat, it will die. Given the current political landscape, one in which genocidal murders, U.S. gun violence, and capitalist exploitation occur on a daily basis, it feels like we’re all frogs in boiling water, further dissociating with every waking hour. DIIV’s upcoming record, Frog In Boiling Water, out May 24 and named after this analogy, speaks to that collective dread. “Brown Paper Bag,” its lead single, is a powerful thesis statement. “My mind’s at ease / When I’m in pain,” sings frontman Zachary Cole Smith, his voice scarcely above a murmur as noisy guitars envelop him. The Brooklyn-based shoegaze band may not offer a balm, per se, but acknowledgment is always better than willful ignorance.

Jessica Pratt – “Life Is”

The first instrument you hear on Jessica Pratt’s new single may come as a shock: drums. The Los Angeles-based indie-folk songwriter has largely shied away from percussion altogether, opting for nothing more save for her acoustic guitar, an occasional piano melody, and her entrancing voice. “Life Is,” the first taste she has given us of her fourth record, Here In The Pitch, takes her to what was once unmapped territory, but Pratt sounds right at home. Backed by the ‘60s-esque drums and acoustic guitar strums, she pontificates on the paradox of time: how it is simultaneously infinite and finite. “Time is time and time and time again,” she sings in the chorus. It’s a heady concept, but Pratt’s soothing voice provides the solace you didn’t realize you needed.

Hana Vu – “Care”

“Care,” the lead single from Hana Vu’s second album, Romanticism, documents the isolating experience of introspection, how our thoughts and emotions can feel like an internal burden that no one else can truly understand. “The more I think about it now / I’m just a book you throw away / ‘Cause you don’t know what I’m about,” the Los Angeles-bred songwriter sings in her lower register. Working again with Day Wave’s Jackson Phillips, Hana Vu’s latest song is another indie-pop gem, the shimmering production complementing her self-reflective musings.

Bess Atwell – “Release Myself”

Long Pond, New York, has become a hotbed for songwriters recently; everyone from indie darling Sharon Van Etten to pop-culture juggernaut Taylor Swift has secluded themselves there to record music. Add Brighton musician Bess Atwell to that list. She recently paid a visit to Aaron Dessner’s remote studio to make her latest album, Light Sleeper. Alongside the announcement comes lead single “Release Myself,” a ruminative indie-folk tune akin to the softer sides of bands like Big Thief or Dessner’s own band, The National. On “Release Myself,” Atwell chronicles her experiences with panic disorder: “I don’t wanna be scared anymore / I’m tired of being tied up,” she sings in the first verse. When the chorus arrives, she makes her triumphant declaration: “I can only release myself.”

Babehoven – “Birdseye”

Mixing indie-folk, slowcore, and shoegaze, Babehoven craft a sonic environment that is entirely their own. The New York-based duo of Maya Bon and Ryan Albert accomplish a similar feat on “Birdseye,” a hypnotizing single from their new record, Water’s Here In You, which releases this April. The song itself explores reconciliation with an estranged loved one after that person was diagnosed with a near-fatal illness. In its gentle instrumentation, featuring melodic acoustic guitars and tender percussion, “Birdseye” examines love from a distance and how reunion can heal old wounds.

Idles – Tangk

The Bristol post-punk band Idles used to operate in one mode: loud, abrasive, and often furious. Their sheer volume was their main signifier, but now they’ve partially softened up, adding more subtlety to their anthemic tunes. On Tangk, their fifth record, the intensity remains, but rather than going in a purely punk direction, they make their noisy guitars and unrelenting drums a bit more rhythmic. They’re embracing early-aughts dance-punk so much that LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Nancy Whang themselves make a cameo on (wait for it) “Dancer.” There’s also opening track “Idea 01,” which sees frontman Joe Talbot crooning like he’s Thom Yorke (Nigel Godrich did work on it, after all), and late-album cut “Jungle” mostly goes by at a steady pace, the toms locking into an insistent groove that lets up steam toward the end.