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 the anticipated return of Bright Eyes, the impressive new album from The Killers, and two new tracks from Father John Misty. Check out the rest of the best new music below.
Bright Eyes — Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was
It’s been nearly a decade since we last heard from Bright Eyes. While Conor Oberst has been incredibly active in the years since, there was a Bright Eyes-sized hole in our hearts that has now been filled. Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was is an apt title for an album released in 2020, and Steven Hyden writes for Uproxx that the album “unfolds as a series of epic Americana mini-symphonies, each one more grand and big-sounding than the last.”
The Killers — Imploding The Mirage
Three years removed from Wonderful Wonderful, The Killers are back with an unexpectedly impressive effort. The record’s strong streak kicks off with its first track “My Own Soul’s Warning,” which Steven Hyden writes for Uproxx is “a Killers song in 2020 doing exactly what I always want a classic Killers song to do, against my will even. I could only laugh at my reaction: Were the Killers … kinda great again?
The Front Bottoms — In Sickness & In Flames
The Front Bottoms are more focused than ever on their fifth full-length. This becomes abundantly clear on the album’s second track “Camouflage,” which features one of the band’s most bombastic choruses to date, and showcases their ever-improving pop sensibilities. Watching this band grow over the last several years from writing eccentric acoustic ballads to arena-filling pop-rock anthems has been a true joy.
Bully — Sugaregg
On their latest album, the Nashville rockers turn up the fuzz and distortion, while also locking in for their most refined and polished work to date. Sugaregg is an album that was written during a chaotic period, when leader Alicia Bognanno turned to music as a method of finding clarity and pressing onward. The result is a perfect soundtrack for all of our collective existential dread.
Phoenix — “Identical”
It’s been relative radio silence from Phoenix since the release of 2017’s Te Amo. Now, they’re starting to tease a new album with the release of “Identical,” a new contribution to the soundtrack for the upcoming Sofia Coppola film On The Rocks, starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. The eclectic synth pop track feels like something that could have appeared on 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which is definitely a good sign for an album that Thomas Mars is calling a “weird Frankenstein of an album.”
Father John Misty — “To S.” / “To R.”
On his first original songs in two years, Josh Tillman delivers what we love most about Father John Misty. “To R.” and “To S.” are both piano-led numbers, with Tillman’s soft vocals floating above light percussion and orchestral flourishes.
Angel Olsen — “Waving, Smiling”
On the last taste of her new album Whole New Mess, Angel Olsen is vulnerable and introspective. “Armed with just her guitar and lilting vocals, Olsen croons a reflection on coming to terms with the end of a relationship,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. “The singer has mourned and cried over the loss, now it’s time to smile and accept the relationship has come a close.”
Kate Bollinger — A Word Becomes A Sound EP
It’s hard to classify Kate Bollinger’s work into traditional genre categories. Her new EP A Word Becomes A Sound incorporates elements of pop, folk, jazz, and even some electronic experimentation. On the five-track effort, the Charlottesville, Virginia singer feels like a blast from the past at the same time as something uniquely modern.
Tomberlin — “Wasted”
Before rolling out her sophomore LP, Tomberlin is previewing a new slate of music with a five-track EP called Projections. The EP was produced by Alex G and the first single “Wasted” features a repeating Alex G-sounding drum beat (which was actually played by Alex G). The excellent, laid-back number leaves the mood up to the listener: “Sad song or summer banger? You tell me,” Tomberlin said in a statement.
Lomelda — “Hannah Sun”
On the latest preview of Lomelda’s forthcoming album Hannah, the eponymous Hannah Read explores the difficulty of finding a connection and maintaining effective communication. These concurrent struggles serve as a bit of a thesis statement for Lomdela’s new record, her most deeply personal to date.
Into It. Over It — “We Prefer Indoors”
I’m still not sure where Into It. Over It lands on the spectrum that exists between emo and indie. On his latest LP Figure, Evan Weiss doesn’t let back on the intricate guitar parts, but turns up the vocal melody and hooks for something truly infectious.
Katie Melua — “Leaving The Mountain”
This track was influenced heavily by a playlist Katie Melua made of all the songs that Bob Dylan mentioned in his book Chronicles Vol 1, and you can hear it. “Leaving The Mountain” has a timeless feel to it that is hard to come by these days, which finds the Georgian-British songwriter’s smooth vocals hovering over light piano and percussion, with orchestration Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ian Sweet – “Dumb Driver”
Ian Sweet (AKA Jilian Medford) has signed to Polyvinyl, and her first new song with the label is “Dumb Driver,” a shimmering dream-pop track that continues building as Medford mourns a broken relationship and repeats a plea for self-preservation.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.