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 the sparkling debut from Clairo, the latest taste of the forthcoming Sleater-Kinney album, and the first new music from Elvis Depressedly since 2015.
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Clairo — Immunity
Maybe you were one of the almost 37 million people who watched Clairo’s “Pretty Girl” on Youtube. Exactly two years after that video hit the internet, Clairo has unleashed her proper debut album, the excellent and emotional Immunity, which co-written and co-produced by former Vampire Weekend-er Rostam Batmanglij. Sparkling but not too polished, the eleven song project is “as fluffy as cotton candy and impeccably restrained,” writes Caitlin White for Uproxx. “To achieve one or the other is a normal feat, to achieve both at once is remarkable.”
Slaughter Beach, Dog — Safe And Also No Fear
More folk-inspired than his previous project, Modern Baseball co-frontman Jake Ewald’s Slaughter Beach, Dog showcases a new side to the songwriter. With deeply personal and wildly relatable lyrics, Ewald has always been able to bury right into the soul of the listener, and this latest effort does exactly that. Lead single “One Down” sets the stage nicely for the rest of the record, starting out timid and building to a crescendo that will buoy the remaining tracks.
Baggage — Life In Misophonia
Another case of a drummer stepping out from behind the kit to morph into a full-blown frontman, there are parts of Baggage’s debut album Life In Misophonia that sound like the Foo Fighters (see “Misophonia” and “Fox Hill”). Baggage is the new project from Jonathan Diener, formerly the drummer of The Swellers, whose knack for excellent pop-rock songwriting has felt like a more or less lost art in the latter half of the 2010s. Life In Misophonia has riffs, hooks, and more that will keep you coming back for more. How did you feel about that rhyme?
Sleater-Kinney — “Can I Go On”
The rollout of the excellent new Sleater-Kinney album, The Center Won’t Hold, has been far from drama-free, most notably with the recent departure of the band’s longtime drummer Janet Weiss over what she called creative differences. But the show must go on, and the album’s rollout has not been affected by these new developments, still scheduled for release on August 16. “Can I Go On” is the latest and presumably final taste of the record, “a more straightforward indie-rock tune with bright undertones, despite its not-so-upbeat lyrical content,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. Put simply, the track is about a woman feeling pressures to perform likability while her internal monologue has her on the brink of self-annihilation.
Death Cab For Cutie — “Kids In ’99”
A year removed from their ninth full-length album Thank You For Today and fresh on the heels of a surprise appearance on Chance The Rapper’s new album, Death Cab For Cutie have shared news of another project, a brand new collection called The Blue EP. The new EP is previewed by “Kids In ’99,” which features very tight alternative production and Ben Gibbard’s signature vocal stylings as he reminisces about the three children who lost their lives in the 1999 Bellingham Olympic Pipeline explosion in Seattle, Washington. In most scenarios, any Death Cab is good Death Cab.
Angel Olsen — “All Mirrors”
A few months after announcing her first full-band tour in a few years, Angel Olsen has unveiled her new album All Mirrors will be released just before the tour commences in October. The record is previewed by its title track, “a dark alternative single that takes an epic journey over the course of nearly five minutes,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. From the looks of it, All Mirrors was worth the wait.
Long Beard — “Means To Me”
With each new single, Long Beard’s sophomore LP Means To Me gets more and more exciting. Co-produced by frontwoman Leslie Bear and Craig Hendrix of Japanese Breakfast, the new album revolves around Bear’s big move back home to New Jersey after a job change, but returning to find that everyone she knew has since moved away. Thus, the album is rooted in nostalgia and reflection, making for a soundtrack to transition. “Means To Me,” specifically, “captures a feeling of loneliness, with echoing guitars,” writes Hannah Zwick for Uproxx.
Mikal Cronin — “Show Me”
For his fourth solo album, Mikal Cronin retreated to a cabin in the Southern California mountains… that is, before he was forced to evacuate during the devastating fires that ravaged that part of the state late last year. It was this relocation in the wake of the fire that inspired most of Cronin’s new album, Seeker. The album is preceded by “Show Me,” a nearly five-minute track that is reminiscent of Tom Petty, complemented a swell of strings beneath Cronin’s crooning vocal that makes for a supremely wonderful soundtrack to driving through the countryside at dusk.
Elvis Depressedly — “Jane, Don’t You Know Me?”
On his first new project in nearly half a decade, Mat Cothran wrote something of a love letter to music itself. While the Elvis Depressedly of yesteryear was mostly known for a specific brand of bedroom pop, Cothran has taken the last few years of absence to evolve musically, headed out of the bedroom and into the club with a more electronic and psychedelic sound. “Jane, Don’t You Know Me?” features Cothran fully auto-tuned over electronic drums, marking a promising and beautiful introduction to the new phase of Elvis Depressedly.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.