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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Palehound — “My Evil”
Palehound has a one-of-a-kind sound. El Kempner has a way of balancing a sense of beauty with a haunted texture. This idea is reckoned with on their new song “My Evil”: “I waste time with it / Pour wine with it / Bake bread with it / Give head with it,” they sing, like reading off a grocery list, then clarify, “It’s my evil.” No matter how sweet the songs sound, there is a darkness there.
Beach Fossils — Bunny
All of the singles from Bunny, the new record from Beach Fossils, previewed a dreamy, soft album. It’s finally out, and it’s sprawling, moving at its own pace, unhurried. “Numb” floats with hazy guitars and tired vocals, nearing shoegaze territory; “Feel So High” feels like a dizzy spell.
Bully — Lucky For You
Bully’s Lucky For You is a grunge supernova. With infectious hooks and scrappy vocals, Alicia Bognanno captures the bleakness of life and turns it into a sick pop-rock anthem. It’s electrifying off the bat with the soaring “All I Do,” especially in “What A Wonderful Life”: “What a wonderful life. / My hearts breaking on the bathroom floor,” she sings.
Speedy Ortiz — “You S02”
“Scabs” was the first taste of Speedy Ortiz’s forthcoming record Rabbit Rabbit, mixing playful instrumentation with acerbic words to make for a protest anthem. “You S02” operates similarly as Sadie Dupuis quips, “Falling in love with LA / Where the cars cut you off from the right lane.” Dupuis clarified the song is about the occasional time “someone whose work I love(d) reveals themselves to be anti-union, or anti-‘woke,’ or some other gear-grinding ugliness.”
Joanna Sternberg — “People Are Toys To You”
Joanna Sternberg’s new ballad “People Are Toys To You” is predictably heartbreaking. “You said you stayed ‘cause you felt bad for me / How sweet of you to call me charity,” they sing resentfully. “The funny thing is,” Sternberg said about the song, “that Soundcloud Pro’s ‘who is listening’ feature told me the person I wrote this song about listened to it four times when I posted it on Facebook. Oops!”
Spy — Satisfaction
Triple B Records can be trusted with putting out the best hardcore. From Restraining Order to Sunami, the label is stacked. Spy demand attention with this new record, fittingly titled Satisfaction, which can not possibly be louder or faster. The. tumultuous instrumentation blares as noisily as the brutal roars do; it’s a whirlwind of mayhem.
Claud — “Crumbs” & “Wet”
Claud’s new album Supermodels comes out next month. “Crumbs” and “Wet” follow the first single, “Every F*cking Time,” retaining the emotionally vulnerable texture. Both tracks are introspective and intimate: “I’d kill for you I killed for you and I did it for love / ‘Cause the little things are adding up,” they sing on “Crumbs.”
Bloc Party, Kennyhoopla — “Keep It Rolling”
The crossover between Bloc Party and Kennyhoopla was inevitable; Kennyhoopla’s idiosyncratic hits have always been tinged with the influence of their 2006 classic LP Silent Alarm. Their voices mesh well together against the brooding, dynamic instrumentation.
Grian Chatten — “Last Time Every Time Forever”
The Fontaines DC frontman is getting ready for the release of his debut solo album Chaos For The Fly. “All my words / They fail me now / And I have seen it all / And I have no doubt,” he sings on the new single “Last Time Every Time Forever” in an almost nursery rhyme style. The track sparkles with a sense of gloom.
Longings — “Expensive Graves”
“Expensive Graves” by Longings immediately explodes with catchy, heavy riffs that immerse the listener into this powerful sound. The lines are mere fragments, adding to the unsettling texture: “I have this burning inside / A smoldering sound / A forest in my mind / It’s hauntingly clear.”