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 very best of the indie releases from the past seven days. This week we got a special Angel Olsen album, Wilco’s best album in years, and the shoegaze-tinged return of Diiv.
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Angel Olsen — All Mirrors
The version of All Mirrors that we have now is not the original version that Angel Olsen planned to release. The original iteration was a melancholy solo effort. Backed by a full band, the updated life of All Mirrors “is a mesmerizing mood record of the first order,” Steven Hyden writes for Uproxx. Sign me up.
Diiv — Deceiver
Recently, Diiv bassist/vocalist Colin Caulfield revealed on Instagram that the band more or less broke up after the release of their 2016 album Is The Is Are. The next few years were spent repairing and rebuilding, and focusing on what was most important: the music. Deceiver is the product of what Caulfield calls “a stupid amount of work,” influenced more by the heavy distortion of My Bloody Valentine than the jangly shoegaze of Slowdive. Diiv is back, and stronger than ever.
Wilco — Ode To Joy
On their eleventh(!!) studio album, Wilco continue to prove the fact that they are one of the most consistent and important bands of the modern indie rock scene. Ode To Joy is being lauded as the band’s best work in years, but Steven Hyden argues for Uproxx that, “if Wilco is as great now as they’ve ever been, perhaps it’s because Wilco has never stopped being great.”
The Menzingers — Hello Exile
Always consistent, Pennsylvania dad-punk legends The Menzingers are back with their latest effort, full of rollicking choruses and vivid storytelling. For the new record, the band returned to Will Yip‘s Studio 4, and the result is exactly what we expected and needed: swelling sing-along choruses that will make you spill the foamy beer in your hand as you stand in the back of the venue while the kids mosh and crowd surf.
Harmony Woods — Make Yourself At Home
While Harmony Woods’ debut album Nothing Special was steeped in melodrama, the sophomore effort Make Yourself feels a bit more focused and refined, each song crafting a poignant narrative above a floating soundscape of beautiful instrumentals. Nothing Special set the stage well, and Make Yourself At Home solidifies Harmony Woods’ place as one of the most promising young voices in the canon of indie rock.
Chromatics — Closer To Grey
Seven years after Kill For Love, Chromatics unleashed a brand new album out of the blue in the middle of the week. Closer To Grey was preceded by the video for “You’re No Good,” which sets the stage well for the remainder of the excellent album. Across its twelve tracks, Closer To Grey feels like a perfect statement of re-entry for Chromatics — it certainly doesn’t feel like the band was away for the better part of a decade.
Turnover — “Parties”
Turnover’s new album Altogher feels like a change of pace for the Virginia punk-turned-shoegaze band. They haven’t fully put away the jangly guitars here, but “Parties” is another step forward for the band, turning up the danceability and focusing on melody. The track sounds like the soundtrack of a late-night bar dance party that shrouded in smoke. There is also a disco ball, obviously. Did you think there wouldn’t be?
Tigers Jaw — “Eyes Shut”
Since their self-titled debut album in 2008, Tigers Jaw has been consistently pumping out perfect emo jams. “Eyes Shut” is a b-side from their excellent 2017 LP Spin, but it still packs a punch. “It’s not your fault that I’m not strong enough,” Ben Walsh sings over muted guitars before Brianna Collins comes in with the keyboard accents and beautiful vocal harmonies. Chef’s kiss.
Great Grandpa — “Bloom”
“Bloom” is one of those tracks that makes your ears perk up when you’ve been passively listening to a playlist. It sounds like nothing else that I have heard in the 21st century. While Great Grandpa’s debut album Plastic Cough was indebted to the grunge greats of the 90’s, their new album Four Of Arrows sounds a little bit more like Alanis Morissette. “Bloom” is perhaps the best example of this comparison, but the song also heads in directions you would never expect in its nearly five-minute runtime, making for a truly impressive and exciting number. Keep an eye on Great Grandpa.
Slow Hollows — “Heart”
You can tell that Tyler The Creator produced this track because of the chords. Tyler loves chords. Supremely groovy and vibey, “Heart” is the latest taste of Slow Hollows’ new album Actors, which is out later this month. It’s an introspective and reflective track, with Austin Anderson lamenting that, “I’ve been walking in circles.”
Hit Like A Girl — “No More Dysphoria”
No More Dysphoria is a non-profit dedicated to assisting members of our trans community with resources both emotional and financial, and this track is the unofficial theme song of the organization, which was founded by Hit Like A Girl mastermind Nicolle Maroulis. A combination of emo and synthpop, “No More Dysphoria” is the band’s first release since 2018’s excellent LP What Makes Love Last, and one that should not be overlooked for its importance in the current cultural conversation.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.