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 the official announcement and first taste of Tame Impala’s fourth LP, a surprise new b-sides EP from Charly Bliss, and a “psychotic” cover of “Last Christmas” from Lucy Dacus.
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Turnover — Altogether
On their fourth LP, Turnover headed down a more experimental road than their previous record Good Nature, which used many of the same tropes that brought the band success on 2015’s Peripheral Vision. In the first few seconds of Altogether, there is a distant saxophone that sputters before the band kicks in, beckoning a new era of Turnover rooted more in lo-fi dance music than existential shoegaze. It’s an exciting step forward for the band.
Charly Bliss — Supermoon
Their sophomore LP Young Enough is one of the strongest releases of 2019, and Charly Bliss isn’t anywhere near finished. Supermoon is an EP of tracks that were left on the cutting room floor of the studio during the sessions for the album, but they come into their own as a self-contained b-sides EP, showcasing the band’s truly epic knack for catchy choruses and infectious melodies.
Cold War Kids — New Age Norms 1
Cold War Kids’ new album New Age Norms is being released as a trilogy of shorter releases, inspired by Kanye West’s slew of releases and collaborations during the summer of 2018. This structure allowed the band space to focus on each song and breathe new air into the release. It shows on New Age Norms 1, which is only eight tracks, and a very promising taste of what we can expect from the full-length project.
Tame Impala — “It Might Be Time”
At long last, Kevin Parker finally announced the fourth Tame Impala LP last week, and shared the new single “It Might Be Time.” The track “is very much focused on the drums while also being inspired by ’70s prog,'” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. Along with “Borderline” and “Patience,” The Slow Rush is shaping up to be one of 2020’s most exciting releases.
Pinegrove — “Phase”
On their new album Marigold, Pinegrove moved past the mostly live recording process they utilized on Cardinal and Skylight. Instead, they opted to isolate each instrument, making for tracks that sound a bit more polished, even though they were still recorded in the living room of the band’s shared house in upstate New York. “Phase” follows “Moment” as another gorgeous entry to the Marigold era, showcasing some of the band’s best songwriting to date.
Ryan Pollie — “No Woman No Cry” (Bob Marley cover)
Fresh off the release of his excellent self-titled debut album, Ryan Pollie has shared a sparse, emotional cover of Bob Marley’s legendary track “No Woman No Cry,” recorded in his intimate home studio, the streets of Los Angeles, and at a party with friends. “My dad used to always play this song for me growing up, so it had a nostalgic thing for me already,” Pollie said in a press release. “But I was going through a tough breakup from a 5-year relationship, and the song came on. I started crying, and realized it’d be a day well spent to get to know the song better and I knew there was a feeling of comfort in the lyrics that would be helpful for me to sing aloud and tell myself.”
Lucy Dacus — “Last Christmas” (Wham! cover)
Lucy Dacus doesn’t love Christmas, and you can tell. The latest entry in the songwriter’s holiday singles series of a cover of Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” albeit with the guitars turned up to eleven. While the original track is an iconic piece of the ’80s pop canon, “Dacus’ rendition is far more rocking and in-your-face, which makes for a refreshing and fun take on the track,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Beach Bunny — “Dream Boy”
An exercise of incredible luck and pristine songwriting, Beach Bunny is the first rock band (to my knowledge) that has truly and organically gone viral on the app TikTok. Now, after a label bidding war, the band has found themselves on esteemed indie Mom+Pop, where they will be releasing their hotly-anticipated debut full-length Honeymoon in early 2020. The album is preceded by the single “Dream Boy,” showcasing a polished studio version of the scrappy DIY band. “If you’re gonna love me, make sure that you do it right,” Lili Trifilio sings in one of the band’s biggest choruses to date. If the rest of Honeymoon follows the path of “Dream Boy,” expect Beach Bunny to continue their exponential growth in 2020.
Torres — “Good Scare”
On her fourth album under the name Torres, Mackenzie Scott documents the terrifying maneuvers of falling in love. Hence “Good Scare,” the title of the record’s first single. Over breezy and ethereal instrumentation, Scott’s real-time processing of emotions — even in her subdued vocal tones — makes “Good Scare” an especially potent lead single for the project.
Stef Chura — “How To Rent A Room” (Silver Jews cover)
Although Stef Chura has covered the Silver Jews before in the live setting, she wanted to put the cover to tape in tribute to the late David Berman . A portion of the Bandcamp proceeds from the faithful cover go to “MusiCares, a charity providing financial, health and rehabilitation resources to music people in times of need.” Given the untimely passing of the songwriter, the song’s message takes on a new light, making for an especially somber number.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.