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 an exceptional new solo project from Stephen Malkmus, the announcement of a new Haim album, and another taste of the forthcoming Porches record.
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Stephen Malkmus — Traditional Techniques
On his third solo LP in two years, the former (and upcoming!) Pavement frontman has delivered something completely different from what we’ve come to expect from him. It’s quieter and more stripped-down, a far cry from the “slacker rock” that he’s become known for. To that end, according to Steven Hyden for Uproxx, Traditional Techniques “stands as the strongest collection of tunes he’s put together in years.”
Disq — Collector
On their debut full-length, Disq provide a refreshing take on a variety of nostalgic sounds. In a recent Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A with the band, I wrote that “the fuzzy guitar-driven tunes sound like something from a bygone era, and the quintet have a supreme knack for melody that makes all the tracks feel distinct.” Collector is a rare instance of a band that wears their influences on their sleeves, while also pushing forward into the unknown.
Hot Mulligan — You’ll Be Fine
Hot Mulligan made a name for themselves on the strength of their choruses, and they deliver on their latest album You’ll Be Fine. Across the record, the band’s strong songwriting is on full display, with harsher vocals than we’ve become used to hearing from a pop-punk band. Additionally, twinkly guitar flourishes give Hot Mulligan a sort of virtuosic appeal and a bit of an edge on the other bands in the genre.
Snarls — Burst
Do you remember that really good band Adventures? No? That’s a shame. Well, Snarls sound a bit Adventures, which is a very good thing for all of us. Burst is Snarls’ debut record, but there is a sense of confidence that exudes on opening track “Walk In The Woods” that is immediately enticing, inviting listeners to stick around for the rest of the ride.
Worriers — You Or Someone You Know
Three years removed from the sophomore effort from Worriers, You Or Someone You Know displays a more polished version of Lauren Denitzio’s project, courtesy of production from John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Hop Along, Sonic Youth), and revolves around a Denitzio’s cross-country move after the dissolution of a relationship. It’s a true document of introspection, one that feels especially relevant in our current moment.
Talker — Wax
Talker stormed onto my radar with the truly kick-ass track “Suck Up,” one of those songs that quickly raises your eyebrows in interest within its first minute. Wax is the latest in a string of EP from Celeste Tauchar over the last few years. Coming in at a lean six tracks, Wax is a collection of raucous rockers that feel reminiscent of early Paramore in its stylings, packed with quick jams that will have you nodding along for its entire runtime. Don’t sleep on this one.
Ryan Pollie — Live At The Grove
A good song is nothing if it can’t be translated into the live setting. Lucky for Ryan Pollie, this isn’t an issue. On the new five-track Live At The Grove EP, Pollie moves tracks from his 2019 self-titled album seamlessly to the live setting, with just an acoustic guitar. Recorded in a grove on the side of a mountain, you can hear the birds chirping as Pollie plucks his guitar, for a fleeting glimpse at serenity.
Haim — “The Steps”
Haim are back next month with a brand new album, Women In Music Pt III. “The Steps” is the latest in a series of new tracks the sisters have been rolling out over the last few months, and is also the strongest. With noodling guitars underneath layered vocal harmonies, “The Steps” sounds like a perfect track for your morning commute, though the lyrics don’t necessarily agree. “Danielle Haim is frustrated with a romantic partner who doesn’t seem to understand them,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Porches — “Patience”
After months of teasing, Porches finally announced their new album Ricky Music earlier this year, set for release this week. “Patience” is the third single from the record, a “slow-burning number,” according to Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. As with many of the tracks on Ricky Music, “Patience” pulls inspiration from the places Maine stayed while on tour supporting the most recent Porches record The House.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit — “What I’ve Done To Help”
With their sixth studio LP set for release in May, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit have already shared a few samplings of the project. “What I’ve Done To Help” is the opening track of the follow-up to 2017’s excellent The Nashville Sound, a nearly seven-minute number featuring grand string arrangements and guitars big enough to fill arenas.
Pronoun — “Song 1.5”
Pronoun knocked us backward with her debut solo album, I’ll Show You Stronger, last year, and she’s not done sharing new music. “Song 1.5” is the first song Alyse Vellturo ever wrote for the project, before she even really considered it a project. “It was before I ever thought about putting out music, I was just messing around by myself, zero idea what I was doing,” she said in a statement. Despite the early origins of the track, “Song 1.5” certainly shares the strong DNA the made numbers like “Run” and “Stay” shine on the full-length.
Diet Cig — “Thriving”
Diet Cig took some time off after concluding a lengthy tour supporting their 2017 effort Swear I’m Good At This. Now they’re back with a new record, aptly titled Do You Wonder About Me?, and a single that shows they’ve been “Thriving.” On the track, Alex Luciano’s “tenor voice cuts through above an eruption of power chords and noisy cymbals,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. “I’m thriving thanks for asking,” she sings on the tongue-in-cheek chorus. It’s a strong showing of what to expect from the duo’s forthcoming album.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.