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 new album from Car Seat Headrest, a riotous track from Pup, and a dance-ready number from Jessy Lanza.
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Car Seat Headrest — Making A Door Less Open
Topping off our list of the best new indie music this week, Car Seat Headrest has returned with his first new music since 2016’s endlessly impressive Teens Of Denial. Since 2016, Will Toledo spent most of his time re-recording his 2011 album Twin Fantasy for an updated version. It was cool, but definitely didn’t replace the desire for something truly new to sink our teeth into. Enter Making A Door Less Open, a record that Steven Hyden writes “succeeds modestly because Toledo opts to not top his masterwork, instead carving a deliberately bumpier, less consistent path beyond it. This won’t be your favorite CSH record, but it will probably be the one you’re tempted to defend as ‘underrated.'”
Diet Cig — Do You Ever Wonder About Me?
After kicking off the year with a teaser of new music, Diet Cig has returned with Do You Wonder About Me?. Anchored by Alex Luciano’s infectious vocal stylings and Noah Bauman’s powerful percussion, the duo tears through ten power-pop tracks that showcase the band’s finest songwriting to date. It’s an album about lost love, but Do You Ever Wonder About Me? is bursting with enough love itself to make you feel warm.
Boston Manor — Glue
On the heavier end of the spectrum, UK punks Boston Manor’s third LP is peppered with riffs and hooks that pull from the peak of Britpop, with distortion pedals kicked all the way into high gear. It’s reflective and aggressive, diving into many of the issues plaguing the world today (including the fear and effects of isolation), resulting in a powerful statement from one of the UK’s brightest punk acts.
Petey — High Life From The Bottle On The Beach
One of the most exciting new projects we’ve come across recently, the latest EP from Petey features two versions of the same song, but they don’t sound anything alike. The highlight here is “More To Life Than Baseball,” one of those songs that is able to capture even the most passive listener and force them to rewind and listen again.
Pup — “Anaphylaxis”
In their first sampling of new music since last year’s epic Morbid Stuff, Pup tells the story of getting attacked by killer bees. As such, it’s “a song about fear, anxiety, and allergies,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. In typical Pup fashion, however, the song rollicks and thrashes until there’s almost nothing left.
2nd Grade — “Dennis Hopper In Easy Rider”
The latest entry from this exciting Philly upstart group, “Dennis Hopper In Easy Rider” is a breezy indie-pop tune that arrives just in time for the weather to warm up. Sonically and thematically, this one is interesting too: Carolyn Droke writes for Uproxx that “a catchy guitar riff provides an open space for lead singer Peter Gill’s lighthearted musings where he recites his ABC’s and lists off the cast members in the 1969 cult classic film.”
Jessy Lanza — “Face”
With the officially announcement of her third album All The Time, dance-ready producer Jessy Lanza has shared the shuffling new single “Face.” It’s a fitting preview of the party-bound (if there are ever parties again) album, wherein “crunchy synths and digital tones are at the forefront of Lanza’s off-kilter track,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Retirement Party — “Compensation”
The second single from Retirement Party’s upcoming LP Runaway Dog is accompanied by one of the most anxiety-inducing videos I’ve ever seen. The band’s van rolls thru the desert while the members climb out of the window and onto the roof, where they play the track atop of a moving vehicle. It’s fitting for a track that’s about weighing the possible financial benefits of letting a car hit you. “I’ll always know to look both ways before I cross the road / If I get hit all that means is compensation,” Avery Springer sings on the chorus.
Khruangbin — “Time (You And I)”
After blowing our minds with their collaborative project with Leon Bridges earlier this year, Texas trio Khruangbin has announced their third full-length album Mordechai and shared the endlessly funky new track “Time (You And I).” One of the more exciting tracks heard this year, “Time (You And I)” is another entry in “the group’s cross-genre catalog and is peppered with influences spanning from reggae to East Asian surf-rock,” Carolyn Droke writes for Uproxx.
Samia — “Is There Something In The Movies?”
Her first official release of 2020 after a string of singles last year, Samia’s “Is There Something In The Movies?” is what Carolyn Droke calls for Uproxx a “heart-tugging track,” one that discloses Samia’s ever-present feeling of disenchantment in the music industry and showcases her gorgeous, swooning vocals.
Remo Drive — “Star Worship”
In 2017, Midwestern indie rocking brothers Erik and Stephen Paulson released Natural, Everyday Degradation, a fun effort full of bops and riffs that gained them a solid following. Coming from the DIY punk scene, Remo Drive has a big of a lighter touch that gives them an edge to grow outside the scene. “Star Worship” previews their new album A Portrait Of An Ugly Man and continues on the indie-rock trend, a track that sounds more like Modest Mouse than Modern Baseball.
Fenne Lily — “To Be A Woman Pt. 2”
A month after “Hypochondriac,” her debut single with venerable indie label Dead Oceans, 23-year-old singer-songwriter Fenne Lily has returned with “To Be A Woman Pt. 2,” a track that shows her songwriting versatility. “While ‘Hypochondriac’ was a peaceful tune,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx, “‘To Be A Woman Pt. 2’ is less restrained in its approach, carried by its calm rumbling verses that lead to storms of guitar.” Get in early and add Fenne Lily to your Artist To Watch list for 2020.
Sweet Whirl — “Patterns Of Nature”
Another impressive project coming out of Australia, Sweet Whirl’s new album How Much Works is already shaping up to be one of 2020’s best. Esther Edquist calls the tender piano-based number a “Carole King moment,” featuring gorgeous vocal harmonies and light percussion beneath Edquist’s contemplative lyrics that deal with the desire to resist traditional gender roles in a relationship.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.