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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Home Is Where — “Yes! Yes! A Thousand Times Yes!”
Home Is Where made quite an impression on the emo scene with the memorable 2021 EP I Became Birds, which exploded with the off-kilter folky vibe of Neutral Milk Hotel but was singular and emotional enough to stand on its own. “Yes! Yes! A Thousand Times Yes!” leans into its midwest roots (despite the fact that the band is from Florida), bursting with cathartic instrumentation and expressive vocals.
The Gaslight Anthem — “Positive Charge”
The Gaslight Anthem’s first song in nine years is here. “Positive Charge” doesn’t waste any time; it kicks off with immediate exhilaration. A rush of intense guitars lead the listener into the track, and Brian Fallon’s introspective lyrics search for light: “I need a spark / I need a positive charge / Plug it into my veins and make me love this life again.”
Buggin — “Not Yours”
Chicago’s Buggin are one of the most in-your-face hardcore bands right now. Their new ripper “Not Yours” catapults straight into fiery territory, all metallic guitars and angry shouts that culminate into a seismic breakdown that’s sure to go crazy in a live setting.
Draag — Dark Fire Heresy
Los Angeles’ Draag declare themselves “not a shoegaze band” on their Twitter, but the opening track to their new album Dark Fire Heresy reverberates with the quintessential soaring, dreamlike sound kin to Slowdive or Ride. However, as the record goes on, it takes unexpected twists and turns, picking up the pace on the whirling “Demonbird” and buzzing exuberantly on the hallucinatory “Midnight Paradise.” It’s fair for Draag to not want to be pigeonholed in a genre that often doesn’t take risks; Dark Fire Heresy speaks for itself.
Beach Fossils — “Run To The Moon”
“Dare Me” was a strong lead single from Beach Fossils’ new album Bunny. “Run To The Moon” is another breezy preview that captivates with laid-back guitars and soft vocals as Dustin Payseur reminisces on tumultuous times: “Staying out all night / We’re all taking drugs / Acting stupid, having fun / Till the sun is coming up.”
Indigo De Souza — All Of This Will End
Singles for Indigo De Souza’s new album All Of This Will End, like “You Can Be Mean” and “Smog,” already proved that the record would be phenomenal. Still, it exceeded expectations with an abundance of unforgettable tracks, from the vibrant opener “Time Back” (It feels like I’m losing my best friend / But we’re going to love again / On the other side”) to the pained “Parking Lot” which recounts a moment of dissociation. No matter what the experience is she’s dealing with, she doesn’t deem it as good or bad — she sees all sides of things, because after all: “Who gives a f*ck? / All of this will end,” she declares on the title track.
Horse Jumper Of Love — “Heartbreak Rules”
Last year, Horse Jumper Of Love shared their new album Natural Part. They’re already back with a mini-LP called Heartbreak Rules, and the title track is out now. “When you pour a drink from one cup to another sometimes you spill a bunch on the table and you have less in the new cup. I was thinking about the heart being like that in transitional times of life,” vocalist and guitarist Dimitri Giannopoulos said about the song in a statement. At a little over two minutes, the ballad is thoughtful and melancholy: “Through the transfer / There’s always something lost forever,” he sings.
Thundercat, Tame Impala — “No More Lies”
A collaboration we never knew we needed: Thundercat and Tame Impala, for this new song “No More Lies.” It’s as dreamy as you’d expect, and their vocals enmeshed together make a gorgeous harmony as they navigate a complicated relationship. “You and I both know it’s harder than it seems / Love is a two-way street / I’m letting go because the both of us don’t need to drive / Baby, it’s one at a time,” Thundercat sings.
Beach House — Become
New music from Beach House is always a treat. Last year’s Once Twice Melody was a sprawling, hypnotic album and “Superstar” was maybe one of their best songs to date. Become is their new EP containing songs that were recorded during the session for that record, so inevitably it’s a glimmering, ruminative extension to Once Twice Melody, the five songs all mesmeric.
The National — First Two Pages Of Frankenstein
An album with features from Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens is obviously going to be an emotional experience — but especially when it’s an album by The National. First Two Pages Of Frankenstein is a vulnerable, poignant whirlwind that addresses mental health with candid honesty like on “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend” and vividly describes the end of a relationship in “Eucalyptus.”