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 new track from Beabadoobee’s anticipated new album, a groovy dance number from Djo, and Robert Smith’s first song appearance in years on a new Gorillaz track. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
The Flaming Lips – American Head
If new Flaming Lips music wasn’t great news on its own, Kacey Musgraves joins the band for a handful of songs on American Head. After spending much of the 2010s working on esoteric projects, American Head is a welcome return for the veteran psychedelic band, airing closer to Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots or The Soft Bulletin than a full-album cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon or Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.
William Tyler – New Vanitas
William Tyler has been pretty prolific over the last year. The 39-minute EP New Vanitas marks his third release since 2019, and takes on a more ethereal guitar-driven approach. The EP is comprised of what he calls “ghostly and otherworldy self-recordings” that were captured during a period of studio sessions earlier this year.
Beabadoobee – “Worth It”
On the third track from her forthcoming debut album Fake It Flowers, 20-year-old Beabadoobee looks back to the height of alternative guitar rock with “Worth It.” It’s a track that “borrows its aesthetic from guitar-driven ’90s indie-rock, although it manages to avoid sounding old and played out while doing so,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Djo – “Keep Your Head Up”
Last year, Stranger Things star Joe Keery quietly released Twenty Twenty, his debut album under the moniker Djo. Marking a new era for the solo project, “Keep Your Head Up” takes on a more hi-fi approach, and “boasts crunchy synths and Keery’s feel-good lyrical delivery,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Matt Berninger – “One More Second”
With his debut solo record Serpentine Prison just around the corner, Matt Berninger has shared “One More Second,” the latest in a string of advanced singles. The track is what Berninger calls his interpretation of a “desperate love song,” with the writing intended as a response to Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” It’s a more moody number than the previous two singles, and shows a nice range of what can be expected from Berninger’s solo debut.
Gorillaz – “Strange Timez” (ft. Robert Smith)
The roster for Gorillaz’ Song Machine series has been far from lacking in guest appearances, and the world got a bit bigger this week with “Strange Timez,” featuring vocal contributions from the goth king himself: The Cure’s Robert Smith. Less upbeat than previous tracks on the project, “Strange Timez” has what Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx “an uneasy and alternative energy,” the latest preview of a star-studded tracklist.
Waxahatchee, Bedouine, Hurray For The Riff Raff – “Thirteen” (Big Star Cover)
We’ve been waiting for Azniv Korkejian of Bedouine, Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, and Hurray For The Riff Raff‘s Alynda Segarra to record music together ever since their collaborative 2017 tour. Now, the trio has teamed up for a cover of Big Star’s “Thirteen.” “With just a sleepy guitar and the three musicians’ soaring voices,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx, the cover puts on full display the raw talent of the three singers.
Slow Pulp – “At It Again”
Slow Pulp is gearing up for the release of their debut album Moveys next month and “At It Again” is a melodic shoegaze track that manages to take the shape of a pop song across its short runtime. If Moveys is as engaging as Slow Pulp’s 2019 EP Big Day, we are in for a treat when the rest of the album drops.
This Is The Kit – “Coming To Get You Nowhere”
You might recognize This Is The Kit from their support slots alongside The National, Sharon Van Etten, and more. For her new album Off Off On, Kate Stables teamed up with producer Josh Kaufman (Taylor Swift, The Hold Steady, The National) to push the boundaries of her songwriting. The resulting “Coming To Get You Nowhere” is an impressive entry into the catalog of This Is The Kit, and a promising indicator of what’s to come with the full-length album.
Shame – “Alphabet”
British post-punk outfit Shame has been more or less silent since wrapping up the support of their 2018 album Songs Of Praise. “Alphabet” marks the official return of the quintet, a surging and thrashing rocker that reminds us what was so great about the group in the first place. “At the time of writing it, I was experiencing a series of surreal dreams where a manic subconscious was bleeding out of me and seeping into the lyrics,” said frontman Charlie Steen in a statement.
Rhye – “Helpless”
Rhye (aka Michael Milosh) is an example of someone who has used their time in quarantine to expand their creativity. “Helpless” is a love song about Milosh’s partner, with whom he has been quarantining for the better part of 2020. While there is no indication that a new full-length Rhye album is on the horizon, it would seem that isolating with his partner has served as a source of inspiration for Milosh, and “Helpless” shows the potential for how fleshed-out and impressive his quarantine output can be.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.