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 a new Bon Iver track featuring Bruce Springsteen, another excellent single from Beabadoobee as part of an album announcement, and an epic 10-minute album-closer from Young Jesus. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
Washed Out — Purple Noon
Some of the best records are ones that you can throw on in the background and go about your day, only to realize later that every beat and lyric is ingrained in your memory. (Yes, this is how I studied for my Bar Mitzvah.) Washed Out’s latest is exactly this type of record, which marks Ernest Greene’s return to Sub Pop records. Purple Noon is a perfect soundtrack to any type of situation, with beats and jams that will rarely make you stop what you’re doing, but instead encourage you to keep going.
Baseball Game — Baseball Game EP
We’ve been following this Los Angeles/Nashville duo during the rollout of their self-titled debut EP, and now the four-track effort is finally here in all of its hazy, blissed-out glory. In a statement, the band called the EP “a collection of songs about nostalgia, desire, melancholy, and loss,” and you can hear the longing in the music before even digging into the lyrics.
Bon Iver — “AUATC”
Fresh off his appearance on Taylor Swift’s Folklore, Justin Vernon has dropped another track that showcases his increasingly impressive rolodex: “AUATC” features vocal contributions from Bruce Springsteen, Jenny Lewis, Phil Cook, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and more. Based around a rolling piano refrain, the track takes musical cues from the synthetic vocoder of 22, A Million and the sparse arrangements of i, i, heralding in a new era for Bon Iver that edges closer to superstar status than indie hero.
Beabadoobee — “Sorry”
Something about Beabadoobee’s music brings about a sense of nostalgia, but I can’t figure out exactly what I am feeling nostalgic for. “Sorry” is the second single from the 20-year-old’s forthcoming debut album Fake It Flowers, following “Care.” Both tracks take influence from ’90s alternative rock and are extremely good. “Starting softly with just her guitar, ‘Sorry’ erupts into a cascade of revved-up alt-rock chords and thundering drums,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. Beabadoobee is about to be a full-fledged rock star.
The Microphones — “Microphones In 2020”
The new song from The Microphones is longer than most albums. Clocking in at about 44 minutes, “Microphones In 2020” finds a middle ground between music and biographic recollection, with the music rarely shifting as Phil Elverum recalls moments from his life and career. The YouTube description even calls the video a “powerpoint karaoke slideshow/lyric demonstration/music display/photo flip/audio book.” It’s a very interesting project, to say the least.
Kelly Lee Owens — “Corner of My Sky”
With her new album Inner Song out in just a few weeks, Kelly Lee Owens has teamed up with former Velvet Underground member John Cale for a droning, electronic invitation into another world. Cale sings in both English and Welsh over Owens’ pulsing synths, making for an experimental affair that sounds, in some ways, like a modern interpolation of a Velvet Underground track.
Tim Heidecker — “Fear Of Death”
The ever-prolific Tim Heidecker is once again refocusing his attention from insane alternative comedy to non-comedic music. “Fear Of Death” is the first taste and title track of Heidecker’s forthcoming album, which features vocals and piano from Weyes Blood. “This record is a dream come true for me,” Heidecker said in a statement. “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.”
Young Jesus — “Magicians”
Two years removed from the release of 2018’s The Whole Thing Is Just There, Young Jesus is back with Welcome To Conceptual Beach, an eight-track effort that invites listeners into vocalist/guitarist John Rossiter’s personal mental refuge, an idyllic spot where all of his needs are met, that exists only in his imagination. “Magicians,” the final track on the album, is a ten-minute epic that takes you on a journey through genre boundaries, blending post-rock and emo and math rock to create something vibrant and beautiful.
Kate Bollinger — “Feel Like Doing Nothing”
Later this month, Charlottesville singer/songwriter Kate Bollinger will release her new EP A World Becomes Sound. “Feel Like Doing Nothing” is the latest sampling from the effort, a low-key, breezy folk track that features sparse instrumentation and hazy vocals. The track is “meant to feel playful and like an abandonment of all responsibility, but it’s also supposed to feel a little uneasy,” Bollinger said in a statement. “It’s a song about avoidance and escapism at its heart.”
Narrow Head — “Hard To Swallow”
While previous singles from Narrow Head’s new album 12th House Rock has incorporated big riffs and hooks, “Hard To Swallow” takes on more of a wall of sound approach. The track is the heaviest that we’ve heard so far, and “was inspired by Helmet and Quickness-era Bad Brains,” according to vocalist/guitarist Jacob Duarte. Sounds about right.
Del Water Gap — “Mariposa”
Del Water Gap’s approach to indie pop feels refreshing, with modern synth soundscapes acting as a foundation upon which more traditional instrumentation can float and move. While not part of a larger project, “Mariposa” is the type of standalone single that generates attention; it’s a love song that finds S. Holden Jaffe recalling that “the first time i was alone with you/i knew.”
Total Revenge — “The Fair”
You might be familiar with Ryan Pollie from his work as Los Angeles Police Department and as a solo artist. Now, he is back with a new project called Total Revenge, which shakes up his typical formula by adding on an aggressive layer of distortion to very bare-bones instrumentation. “The Fair” is what a statement calls “Lo-Fi to the point of sounding like a blown out speaker.” It’s pretty awesome!
Coupons — “Moz Disco”
Albany, New York rockers Coupons are set to release their sophomore album in September. “Moz Disco” is a fun dance number that features disco drum beats and a fun bridge that slows down the whole track for extra impact. Pick up the album on Bandcamp, where all proceeds will be donated to The Black Trans Advocacy Coalition.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.