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 long-awaited and thoroughly satisfying new album from Fiona Apple, the debut solo album from Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, and a set of demos from Big Thief to benefit their touring crew.
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Fiona Apple — Fetch The Bolt Cutters
It’s been eight years since we last heard from Fiona Apple. On her new album, Apple sets a new high bar for herself by showing “how she has pared her music down to the barest essentials, while also deepening and broadening her lyrics, finding fresh nuances that eschew easy answers or reductions,” writes Steven Hyden for Uproxx. “She’s furious and forgiving, full of love and hate, and capable of both eviscerating and soothing her subjects.” This is Apple at her very best, and comes at a time when we needed it the most.
Ed O’Brien — Earth
The debut solo album from the Radiohead guitarist slowly took shape over much of the 2010’s while O’Brien was still unsure of whether he wanted to pursue work outside of Radiohead. “The resulting work is about what you might expect from the guy in Radiohead who is still enamored with the emotionally direct, guitar-centric rock music that the band made in the ’90s,” writes Steven Hyden for Uproxx. That said, rather than just taking inspiration from his band’s past work Earth is instead imbued with a sense of community that O’Brien has experienced while attending music festivals and other mass gatherings as a fan.
Lido Pimienta — Miss Colombia
With 2016’s La Papessa, Lido Pimienta became the first-ever Spanish speaking artist to win the Polaris Prize, a prestigious Canadian award. Now, she is back with another electro-pop collection with Miss Colombia. Here, the album features tracks in both Spanish and English, leaving Lido Pimienta primed and ready for a breakout year in the States.
Big Thief — Demos Vol 1
Last year we got two full-length records from Big Thief, both of which stemmed from a moth of recording in a cabin in Topanga Canyon, California. “34 demos came from those sessions, some of which went on to appear on the aforementioned albums,” explains Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. Now, the band has shared a handful of those unreleased demos to benefit their touring crew that is out of work due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. In addition to a few Big Thief tracks, the EP also features full-band recordings of two songs that ended up on Adrianne Lenker’s solo album, Abysskiss.
Steve Gunn — Livin’ In Between
Only a year removed from his excellent LP The Unseen In Between, Steve Gunn has released an EP of miscellaneous cover songs recorded over the last few months. The three tracks show Gunn’s eclectic music taste, spanning from Neil Young to The Misfits and display his ability to translate songs perfectly into his wheelhouse to the point that they don’t stand out much from his other work.
Florence And The Machine — “Light Of Love”
The latest in a line of tracks to benefit healthcare workers during the ongoing crisis, Florence And The Machine’s “Light Of Love” is taken from the same sessions that yielded the 2018 album High As Hope. As with many of Florence Welch’s best songs, “Light Of Love” can be categorized as an “anthemic ballad,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Bon Iver — “PDLIF”
Justin Vernon has been intermittently sharing new music over the last few weeks, the first arriving during a Bernie Sanders livestream, and now as an official release on streaming services. “PDLIF” stands for “Please Don’t Live In Fear” and comes as a benefit track for healthcare workers. “The song is based on a sample of Alabaster DePlume’s ‘Visit Croatia,’ and it features contributions from Jim-E Stack, BJ Burton, Kacy Hill, Rob Moose, and Michael Lewis,” explains Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. Maybe the time in isolation will yield a new full-length Bon Iver project sooner rather than later.
Jamie xx — “Idontknow”
The first Jamie xx solo single in five years is not necessarily a new song — it has been a staple of his live sets for at least a year. But now, the producer has shared the track officially, with a physical release coming later this year. Carolyn Droke for Uproxx writes that “Idontknow” is a “revved-up track,” marking the beginning of a new era for the producer, and one that we can’t wait to dive into.
Hayley Williams — “Why We Ever”
It seems that a week doesn’t go by without a new track from Hayley Williams. With her debut solo album Petals For Armor now just around the corner, “Why We Ever” recounts and introspective period in her life. “i was at the lowest point i’d been in some time,” she wrote in a statement. “my sadness shows. now i look back and credit this night as being the beginning of a new season of my life, where i hold myself accountable for learning to love better.”
The Front Bottoms — “Everyone Blooms”
After sharing the standalone single “Camouflage” back in December, The Front Bottoms have returned with another new track. “Everyone Blooms” is the latest export from the band as they finish up work on the follow-up to their 2017 album Going Grey. “This year has been a disaster, but we are pushing forward with positive and creative energy,” the duo said in a statement. “We poured ourselves into making ‘Everyone Blooms’ and are really proud of how it turned out. We hope you like it.”
Retirement Party — “Runaway Dog”
Retirement Party are proving themselves as one of the most exciting bands coming out of the DIY scene right now. On “Runaway Dog,” the guitars are bigger and the songwriting more direct and insightful, showing a band poised and ready to level up. “Over the intricate production, vocalist Avery Springer uses the narrative of a loss of a dog as a metaphor for breaking out of old, unhealthy habits and finding new meaning in motivation,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Diet Cig — “Who Are You?”
Diet Cig’s new LP Do You Wonder About Me is quickly approaching, set for a May 1 release. Thematically “Who Are You?” is directed at “anyone who’s ever received a completely self-serving apology from someone who’s hurt them,” vocalist/guitarist Alex Luciano wrote in a statement. “I learned that healing doesn’t wait for an ‘I’m sorry’ to appear, and it can feel silly to have one arrive when you’re completely over it. This song takes these bad feelings and turns them into a fun upbeat jam to dance around in your kitchen to!”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.