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.
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Weyes Blood — And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
Weyes Blood makes music for people who want to transcend. Somehow she never misses. And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is a stunning, sprawling dive into a new world. “Hearts Aglow” feels like slow-dancing on another planet; “Twin Flame” has the texture of an electrifying love. Every song soars with ambition and sincerity.
Phoebe Bridgers — “So Much Wine”
It’s the holiday season, which means we get new covers from Phoebe Bridgers that will break our hearts. “So Much Wine,” a Handsome Family cover, accomplishes this off the bat: “I had nothing to say on Christmas day / When you threw all your clothes in the snow / When you burnt your hair, and you knocked over chairs / I just tried to stay out of your way,” she sings.
Tennis — “One Night With The Valet”
In 2020, Swimmer, the latest Tennis album, was a bit overshadowed by the pandemic. But it was full of beautiful, timeless tracks like the enchanting “Need Your Love” or the mesmeric “Runner.” They just announced a new record for next year, Pollen, and previewed it with “One Night With The Valet.” It’s a breath of fresh air, swirling with beauty, atmospheric and sweet.
DIIV — “When You Sleep” (My Bloody Valentine Cover)
DIIV are paying their dues with this cover of My Bloody Valentine’s classic hit “When You Sleep,” which was performed live at Murmrr Theater in Brooklyn. Somehow they make the words decipherable, trading in heavy noise for lighter instrumentation. They bring a new sense of clarity to the song, making it their own.
Andy Shauf — “Wasted On You”
In “Wasted On You,” Andy Shauf opens the new song by asking, “What happens when they die? / Maybe eternal life.” His voice is soft and thoughtful against tame instrumentation, accompanied with a playful music video taking place in heaven in the clouds. The four-minute ballad is a reprieve, but it also has a subtle layer of darkness.
Maz — “Maybe Love”
“Maybe Love” by Maz is a skittish pop song, compelling with her ethereal, curious vocals and a sputtering rhythm. An unexpected, electrifying guitar solo halfway through jolts the listener into an even more intrigued state; at fewer than three minutes, “Maybe Love” doesn’t waste a single second.
The Wombats — “Dressed To Kill”
The Wombats are celebrating 15 years since their classic debut A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation, which contains their timeless hit “Let’s Dance To Joy Division.” They haven’t lost any of their spark since then; their newest track “Dressed To Kill” is as ebullient and infectious as ever, determined and still dedicated to chaos: “Let’s have the best worst night / We’ve ever had in our lives,” sings bandleader Matthew Murphy.
Phantom Youth — “Stay And Run”
“Stay And Run” by Phantom Youth is a nice dose of disorientation. The song moves freely, interspersed with jittery sounds and hypnotic vocals. It makes time stop; all that exists is the boundless music.
Fred Again.., Romy — “Strong”
Fred Again.. is having a good year with the release of his new album Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022). Now, he’s teamed up with Romy for this atmospheric earworm that’s buoyed forward by an infectious rhythm and stunning vocals, putting the listener in a trance.
King Isis — “4Leaf Clover”
King Isis is an up-and-coming artist whose new song “4Leaf Clover” is enough to convince a listener of her expertise. Her vocals are sincere and compelling as she sings vulnerably against the sparse chords of an acoustic guitar; her lyrics hit the sweet spot: “What’s the rush? / You do too much / Or not enough.”
Fred Again.. is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.