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 gave us a surprise new album from Dowsing, the return of Vivian Girls, and the epic official solo debut from Brittany Howard.
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Brittany Howard — Jaime
Despite a few side projects over the years, Jaime is the first official solo album from the Alabama Shakes’ frontperson, allowing her to push through the frustrating lack of progress that was plaguing her band. Able to explore fully on her own, she proves her talent once and for all with an excellent collection of tracks that are “darker, weirder, groovier, and more psychedelic than anything Howard was previously put to tape,” writes Steven Hyden for Uproxx.
Vivian Girls — Memory
On their first album since 2011’s Share The Joy, Vivian Girls dialed up the fuzz once again to prove themselves a strong contender for the most vital band to come out of a post-Meet Me In The Bathroom New York City. Memory is twelve tracks of buzzy garage rock that will satisfy the longing you’ve felt since the band called it quits early in the decade.
Dowsing — Sky Coffin
Three years since their last full-length release, midwestern emo stalwarts Dowsing dropped a brand new album out of the blue last week. With members spread across the country, one of whom is holding down a job with NASA, Dowsing has found themselves in a spot providing them with a unique approach to their music. This certainly comes across in Sky Coffin, which the band calls reflective of “years of hard work and rebuilding.” The wait was worth it.
DIIV — “Blankenship”
The latest taste of DIIV’s forthcoming third LP is also the most impressive. The band sounds more dialed-in than ever, with Zachary Cole Smith’s dream-like vocals floating atop driving but beautiful guitars. Where the other two singles from Deceiver were very heavy on the band’s shoegaze influence, the chorus here is a bit of a return to form for DIIV, with the band exploding into a fit of reverberating guitar madness.
Soccer Mommy — “Lucy”
Sophie Allison has certainly come a long way since her days of self-releasing music on Bandcamp. The singer-songwriter recently signed to esteemed indie label Loma Vista, and “Lucy” is the first preview of what we can expect from her forthcoming release. It’s a track that feels “larger and more polished than anything she has made before,” a testament that “Allison is certainly continuing her artistic growth,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Say Sue Me — “Your Book”
After earning international acclaim with their 2018 album We Belong Together, South Korean indie rockers Say Sue Me prove their staying power with the new single “Your Book,” part of a two-track release due out on October 4. “The track is a light, mid-tempo tune that finds itself venturing into noise rock territory during its second half,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Jealous Of The Birds — “The Grass Begins To Eat Itself”
Just a few short weeks after taking part in the Indie Mixtape Presents series, English singer-songwriter Jealous Of The Birds has shared another excellent new track, “The Grass Begins To Eat Itself.” The indie jam “reflects on the implications of self-criticism and how damaging it often is to be too hard on yourself not only as an artist, but as a human being in general,” according to frontperson Naomi Hamilton on YouTube.
Varsity — “Second Act”
The latest signing to legendary Boston indie label Run For Cover, Varsity’s “Second Act” is an exercise in dream-pop excellence. “Second Act” is taken from The Basement Takes (2015-2016) , a compilation album that collects all of the Chicago band’s standalone singles from several different recording sessions with Dave Vettraino (Lala Lala, Ne-Hi, Melkbelly), along with a few new tracks. The hooks here are very impressive, combined with jangly guitars reminiscent of Jay Som and Alvvays. Don’t sleep on Varsity.
Max & The Martians — “Please Hold On”
“Please Hold On” is an old fashioned-sounding song from New Orleans singer-songwriter Max Bien-Kahn. This is not a bad thing; it’s actually a refreshing change of pace to hear a new track that sounds like it could have been performed in the streets of San Francisco at the height of the Summer Of Love. It’s gloomy, but still hopeful.
Caracara — “Dark Bells”
A little over two years ago, I premiered the first track from Caracara’s debut LP Summer Megalith, and now they’ve released a brand new track ahead of their first full US tour. As with the rest of their music, “Dark Bell” is produced by in-demand engineer and producer Will Yip, and shows the band really coming into their own with sweeping choruses that look toward the past while also reveling in the dark dystopia of the present.
Devon Welsh — “Grace”
You might know Devon Welsh from his work in Majical Cloudz, but his solo work feels a little more direct. Gone are the soundscapes that often existed beneath Welsh’s vocal stylings, with the new single “Grace” instead utilizing a lightly strummed acoustic guitar to accent Welsh’s lyrics. “Grace” is the latest in a line of singles previewing True Love, Welsh’s second solo record.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.