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 a Linkin Park remix from 100 Gecs, a collaborative cover from Vagabon and Courtney Barnett, and the latest new solo music from a member of Big Thief. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
Cheekface – Emphatically, No.
On their sophomore LP, Los Angeles trio Cheekface were inspired by the likes of Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, and Stephen Malkmus, the torch-bearers of great American talk-singing. Across thirteen tracks, the album dives headfirst into the break-neck pace of reality in the 2020’s, with lyrics about trying to balance everything at once, faltering mental health, the constant barrage of horrific news delivered right to our cell phone notifications, and much more. All told, Emphatically, No. serves as a document of millennial existence.
100 Gecs – “One Step Closer” (Linkin Park remix)
A few months after celebrating the 20th anniversary of Linkin Park’s debut studio album Hybrid Theory, hyper-pop act 100 Gecs has put their spin on the the album’s second track. “100 Gecs’ reinterpretation of the song is also sort of a cover, as the duo offers new vocal contributions as well as new instrumentation,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. “As one might expect, a new frenetic electronic energy is introduced to the song, and 100 Gecs’ sensibilities play into the song wonderfully.”
Vagabon/Courtney Barnett – “Reason To Believe”
A month before the world went into lockdown, Vagabon and Courtney Barnett shared the stage for a show in Los Angeles, which sparked a lasting friendship. Now, the duo has released a twang-heavy cover of “Reason To Believe,” which was originally written and recorded by Tim Hardin in 1965 and has existed in many different iterations over the years, with many artists taking liberties and covering the track. For this new version, Vagabon and Barnett elected to give their take on Karen Dalton’s 1966 cover of the song, putting a modern spin on a classic number.
The Hold Steady – “Heavy Covenant”
Just a few weeks out from the release of their eighth studio album, Open Door Policy, The Hold Steady have shared another preview of the LP in the form of the driving “Heavy Covenant.” The track is about technology and traveling, and the ways they interact in the modern age. “This song is a great indication of where the band’s sound is at in 2021,” vocalist Craig Finn said in a statement.
Buck Meek – “Candle”
While Big Thief took a break in 2020, the band’s members were unable to do the same. Adrianne Lenker released two lovely quarantine albums, and now it’s Buck Meek’s turn. Two Saviors is set for release this week, and the guitarist shared another new track in the form of “Candle,” which Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx “a mid-tempo alt-country tune on which his languid vocals sound contentedly at home.”
Tigers Jaw – “Hesitation”
Tigers Jaw is one of the most underrated and consistent bands in the indie-punk world, and their new album I Won’t Care How You Remember Me continues a path of impressive releases over the last decade. “Hesitation” is a track about realizing that the person you love is starting to drift away from you. Despite its heartbreaking premise, the song delivers in its unfaltering energy and pristine vocal hooks.
Rhye – “Come In Closer”
After rolling out a few singles throughout 2020, Rhye is ready to unveil his latest album Home, which drops later this month. The upbeat, disco-infused “Come In Closer” presents how, “as relationships deepen and you invite someone into your world, your life, your home, layers of appreciation, vulnerability, and patience reveal themselves,” said Michael Milosh in a statement.
Alice Glass – “Suffer & Swallow”
Seven years since departing Crystal Castles and four years since her last release, Alice Glass is back with her debut solo full-length, which is set for release a bit later this year. “Suffer & Swallow” is the first preview of the album, building upon Glass’s penchant for dark, doomy pop tracks. The track is built upon basic electronic percussion, while Glass’s modulated vocals oscillate between a near-whisper and a scream.
TV Priest – “Press Gang”
Ahead of their debut album Uppers, London post-punkers have shared “Press Gang,” on which they take a turn criticizing the complacency of mass news media and their role in creating a “post-truth” world. Vocalist Charlie Drinkwater’s seething vocals really take the front seat here, anchoring the driving post-punk track and setting the bar high for the remainder of Uppers, which is due in February.
Kiwi, JR. – “Waiting In Line”
After catching our attention with the engaging “Cooler Returns,” the title track from their new album, Toronto’s Kiwi, JR. are back with another new track. “Waiting In Line” is a fun, lo-fi indie track packed with energy, a driving organ lead, and an excellent singalong chorus.
Sun June – “Everything I Had”
Along with the announcement of their upcoming “prom record” Somewhere, Sun June shared “Everything I Had,” a superbly focused and shimmering track that serves as an ode to the ever-changing nature of their hometown Austin, Texas. It’s a song about nostalgia, and trying to fight the feeling like your surroundings are evolving without you — something I think we can all relate to these days.
The Sonder Bombs – “K.”
A few weeks back, I got an exclusive look at “The One About You,” a short and sweet number from The Sonder Bombs that evoked a classic old-fashioned doo-wop act. Now, the band has shared a heavier look at their new album Clothbound, which features some chugging riffs and explosive percussion. The full album drops later this month, and I can’t wait to see how the divergent sound of the two tracks function in the sequenced tracklist.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.