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 another taste of Notes On A Conditional Form by The 1975, the first solo single from Sigur Rós’s Jónsi in a decade, and another comeback single from Bright Eyes.
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The 1975 — “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)”
We’ve been talking about The 1975’s Notes On A Conditional Form for the better part of the last year. Somehow, the album is still nearly a month away, but the band has shared another sampling of the 22-track effort to tide us over. “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” is another song from the band that sounds completely different from the last, an 80’s-tinged number that even features a “Kenny G-style saxophone interlude,” according to Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. “If You’re Too Shy” once again shows us how good The 1975 are at writing songs.
Bright Eyes — “Forced Convalescence”
The return of Bright Eyes over the last few months has certainly been welcome, and although the band was forced to postpone their comeback tour, they are still pushing forward with the release of their new album. “Forced Convalescence” is the latest taste of the as-yet-untitled album, and reminds us why we fell in love with Bright Eyes in the first place. Structurally, the song “gradually works its way to an apex before cooling off and ending the song on another build-up,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx,
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit — “Dreamsicle”
Reunions, the latest effort from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, is out in just a few weeks, but they aren’t slowing down with the release of new music. The latest offering is both triumphant and nostalgic, opening with intricate finger-picking on the guitar before diving into an almost Springsteen-esque narrative. “With his textured vocals, Isbell narrates the story of a boy coming-of-age and having a difficult time realizing he has to leave the town he grew up in,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Jónsi — “Exhale”
Jónsi’s work with Sigur Rós has kept him occupied over the better part of the last decade, and his solo work has been dormant in the interim. Now, he has returned to his solo work with “Exhale,” a unique and experimental orchestral single. “Opening with soft, resounding piano, Jónsi’s reverberating vocals wax and wane until a vivid crescendo of synths and percussive elements arrives part-way through the track,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
James Blake — “You’re Too Precious”
A year removed from the release of Assume Form, James Blake hasn’t slowed down with the release of new material. However, “You’re Too Precious” is the first sampling of new music since releasing a deluxe version of the album and several video treatments. The track was originally teased during an Instagram Live stream earlier in April, where Blake also covered songs from Billie Eilish, Frank Ocean, Radiohead, and more, as part of a commitment to playing more piano.
Helado Negro — “I Fell In Love”
Helado Negro has been prolific since 2017, releasing an album every year as well as a handful of supplementary standalone singles. “I Fell In Love” falls into the latter category, and is a sign that Roberto Carlos Lange has no plans of slowing down in 2020. Sonically and thematically, “the song uses rhythm and sound as a medium to explore the euphoric and comforting feeling of first falling in love,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
City Mouth — Coping Machine
On their latest album, City Mouth sound like a cross between Motion City Soundtrack, The Format, and The 1975. The music sparkles like early 2000s pop punk, but with more depth and a virtuosity that is not often heard from bands of this scene, anchored by Jessica Burdeaux‘s impressive and ear-catching drumming.
Destroy Boys — “Honey I’m Home”
Carrying on the Riot Grrrl legacy, Destroy Boys have earned high-profile fans like Billie Joe Armstrong and Laura Jane Grace, all before graduating from high school. “Honey I’m Home” is the band’s first new music since their sophomore album Make Room earned them slots on tour with the likes of SWMRS and Mannequin Pussy, and very quickly shows why so many are quick to latch onto the band.
Skullcrusher — “Places/Plans”
Ahead of her self-titled debut EP for revered indie label Secretly Canadian, Helen Ballentine has shared “Places/Plans,” a track that fittingly examines solitude and isolation. Ballentine takes a deep dive into her own psyche “armed with an acoustic guitar and her soaring vocals,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. “I thought a lot about my self-worth during this period of uncertainty,” Ballentine said in a statement. “‘Places/Plans’ attempts to communicate the beauty and vulnerability of being alone and what it means to let someone else in to see that.”
Golf Alpha Bravo — “Stuck Being Me”
You might know Gab Winterfield from his work in Jagwar Ma. Now, the Australian songwriter is unveiling his debut solo album, prefaced by “Stuck Being Me,” a track about being comfortable with yourself. “At a time where we’re all spending a lot of time with no one but ourselves, ‘Stuck Being Me’ seems weirdly apt,” notes Winterfield in a statement. “I think that our greatest strengths can often be disguised as our most perceived flaws, and perhaps the lyrics reflect that.”
The World Is… — “In Circles” (Sunny Day Real Estate cover)
It’s always great when a modern emo band with a really long name covers a classic emo band with a slightly shorter, but still pretty long name. For this reason, this new cover of the classic Sunny Day Real Estate track by The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die certainly does not disappoint. TWIABP have managed to inject the SDRE track with some space, extending the track out to a nearly seven-minute epic.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.