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 Big Thief’s second stunner of 2019, Kim Gordon’s debut solo effort, and a different perspective on living from Anna Meredith.
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Big Thief — Two Hands
Big Thief’s second record of 2019 is just as compelling — if not even more so — than U.F.O.F., which was released just a few months ago in May. By emulating the prolific nature of today’s hip hop stars, “Big Thief are revealing how they’ve evolved past their indie-rock roots,” writes Caitlin White for Uproxx. “They are basing their choices off the current era instead of nostalgically looking backwards toward a past that’s receding.” Regardless of their motivations, two Big Thief albums is better than one for everyone involved.
Chris Farren — Born Hot
Chris Farren radiates positivity (usually complimenting himself) and love (also usually for himself), making him a beacon of light in today’s world where everything feels so dark. Farren’s latest album Born Hot is built around his voice and guitar, with flourishes of synthesizers and programmed drums. It’s a really fun record, with sweeping choruses that will bury themselves in your head for days to come. Plus, he challenged Chance The Rapper to a fight over who loves their wife more.
Kim Gordon — No Home Record
The former Sonic Youth member’s debut solo effort is a brash, experimental affair. But that’s what made Sonic Youth so special during their heyday — you never knew if you were going to get a radio anthem like “Teenage Riot” or a harsh noise track. No Home Record sits at the precipice of performance art and rock and roll, with sounds that range from brooding indie rock to African-inspired trap. Yes, you read that right. Hit play and join Gordon on her hero’s journey.
Blush Cameron — Ambiguous World
Philly-by-way-of-Michigan band Blush Cameron dialed up the “pop” on their bedroom pop jams, with simple but impressive choruses that are immediately satisfying. Songs like “Politics Of Love” and “Friendly Face” showcase the band’s knack for earworm songwriting that allow them to hold their own against notable indie artists like (Sandy) Alex G and Strange Ranger.
Devon Welsh — True Love
Formerly of Majical Cloudz, Devon Welsh has been consistently releasing solo work since the demise of his band three years ago. His latest effort, True Love, is a deeply intimate affair that observes — as you might be able to guess — love in all its forms. But the album is at its most striking when it zeroes in on love as an abstract metaphor. Yeah, it gets deep, fast.
Anna Meredith — “Inhale Exhale”
If you don’t know Anna Meredith’s name, you probably know her music from Bo Burnham’s award winning 2018 film Eighth Grade, just the latest entry in her fascinating career path. Meredith’s new record Fibs hones in on the frantic synth patterns that makes her music so impressive, and “Inhale Exhale” is a shining example. The track “is built on a foundation of anticipation-building synths, an appropriate mood for a song that Meredith says is about the anxieties of life as a more reserved person,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. Fibs is shaping up to be one of the most exciting records of late 2019.
Hovvdy — “Mr. Lee”
The latest in a line of excellent singles from Hovvdy’s new album Heavy Lifter, “Mr. Lee” is a lo-fi folk jam that once again showcases the Austin duo’s knack for enveloping melodies and songwriting structure. It’s a song about how significant very small things, telling the story of a fictional character living on the Mississippi gulf coast, where member Charlie Martin’s family resides. Don’t put a cap on your Best of 2019 list just yet. Hovvdy’s Heavy Lifter is just around the corner.
Cigarettes After Sex — “Falling In Love”
“Falling In Love” is a romantic second taste of the highly anticipated sophomore effort from Cigarettes After Sex. While most of their new album Cry was written in Mallorca, Spain, “Falling In Love” was one of the earliest tracks written for the record, originally penned in 2017 at Greg Gonzalez’s Brooklyn apartment. As for the song itself, it’s a reverb-soaked, “dreamy ballad,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Lucy Dacus — “In The Air Tonight” (Phil Collins cover)
Throughout 2019, Lucy Dacus has been releasing new holiday-themed tracks. So far, we have gotten songs based on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day (and Taurus season), Independence Day, and Bruce Springsteen’s Birthday. Now, for Halloween, she has shared an “eerie bop” rendition of Phil Collins’ iconic track “In The Air Tonight.” The track features various spooky sound effects like descending synth runs and industrial noise. And yes, the drum solo is included.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.