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 a surprise Neil Young covers EP from Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevneson, a new track from Modest Mouse, and another taste of Andy Shauf’s highly-anticipated new record.
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Jeff Rosenstock & Laura Stevenson — Still Young
Jeff Rosenstock is great. Laura Stevenson is great. Both of them, together, covering Neil Young? Excellent. For the four-song EP Still Young, Rosenstock and Stevenson deliver mostly faithful renditions of two iconic tracks (“Harvest Moon” and “After The Gold Rush”) as well as two deeper cuts (“Ambulance Blues” and “Through My Sails”). The result is a rewarding listen for both Young-newbs and Young-heads.
Modest Mouse — “Ice Cream Party”
While Modest Mouse has been mostly silent for much of 2019, they’ve released a few new tracks here and there. “Ice Cream Party” is the latest installment of this one-off singles series, a six-minute number that “might sound lighthearted and silly,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx, but “is not as light as the title may suggest.”
Andy Shauf — “Try Again”
Andy Shauf’s new album The Neon Skyline is written to take place over one night at one local bar. In the scheme of the narrative, Shauf’s new track “Try Again” recounts “an awkward-but-welcomed reunion between the song’s narrator and a former lover,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. Consider me excited to see how the rest of this evening plays out in song form.
Ratboys — “Alien With A Sleep Mask On”
The lead single from Ratboys’ forthcoming album Painter’s Devil showcases the band’s knack for immediate and ear-catching hooks. Julia Steiner’s approach to both lyrics and vocals is a bit more dialed in than it was on 2017’s (still excellent) GN, and the song’s accompanying video is also wonderful.
Oyama — “Spare Room”
The first taste of their as-yet-untitled new album, the video for Icelandic dream-pop outfit Oyama‘s new song finds the band’s drummer, Rúnar Örn Marinósson, stuck inside on a winter day, believing he is transforming into a house cat. If there are more bands that sound like Oyama out in Icealnd, then sign me up for citizenship.
Okay Kaya — “Baby Little Tween”
“Baby Little Tween” is the second single from Okay Kaya’s forthcoming Jagjaguwar debut Watch This Liquid Pour Itself, and the lo-fi dance number is one of the more exciting tracks I’ve heard in recent memory. “I used to fight the feeling, always let it win,” Kaya Wilkins sings over muted electronic percussion and keyboard chords. Don’t sleep on this one.
The Bluechips — “Deception”
Four words to describe the first single from Westchester, New York trio The Bluechips’ debut full length Illegal Machine: Good clean rock music. “Deception” boasts one of those alternative rock choruses that would work really well on 90’s rock radio, and you can hear the influence it shares between Nirvana, Pink Floyd, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
Furbie — “Butterfinger”
With shows alongside Kal Marks, Bethlehem Steel, Pile, and more under their belt since the release of their debut single “Skiball” earlier this year, Chicago’s Furbie turn up the fuzz on their new track “Butterfinger.” The song opens with interweaving guitars that build until Annie Burns and Mercedes Webb (Slow Mass) share lead vocal duties as the band moves through an arrangement that shifts time signatures and an increasing heavy-loud dynamic.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.