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 the the long-awaited debut solo album from The National’s Matt Berninger, a surprise return from Steady Holiday, and a rewarding change of pace from Sturgill Simpson. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
Matt Berninger – Serpentine Prison
The hotly-anticipated proper debut solo album from The National frontman is finally here. While Matt Berninger’s bandmate Aaron Dessner helped deliver a full-blown indie album from Taylor Swift just a few months ago, Serpentine Prison instead channels the best of The National’s dad-rock energy, delivering what Steven Hyden calls for Uproxx “a languid, low-key record apparently designed for graying Gen Xers and millennials quietly sipping whiskey cocktails while their children tear apart the house during lockdown.”
Kevin Morby – Sundowner
After giving us one of 2019’s best albums with Oh My God, Kevin Morby is back with Sundowner. The ten-track effort is what Morby called in a statement “a depiction of isolation. Of the past. Of an uncertain future.” There is a discernible longing in each track, inspired by Morby’s isolation while writing that was only diminished when Katie Crutchfield (a.k.a. Waxahatchee) started visiting him during the writing process.
Helena Deland – Someone New
Helena Deland’s debut full-length was written and recorded over a period of two years. The amount of care that went into the process can be heard throughout the album’s 47-minute runtime. The album is rooted in Deland’s fears of getting older and her constant nagging feeling that she might be missing out on life while waiting for it to start, a sentiment I think we can all relate to these days.
Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1
The latest from Sturgill Simpson takes on a different approach than his 2019 album Sound & Fury, putting aside the blazing arena rock jams in favor of a simpler, more laid back affair. By stripping back all of the extra instrumentals, Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 is “the most sublime and delightful music he’s yet made on record, and the first album to truly harness the energy and charm he has a performer on stage,” writes Steven Hyden for Uproxx.
Beabadoobee – Fake It Flowers
The debut album from 20-year-old rocker Beabadoobee sounds like it could have been ripped right from the credits of a teen comedy of the ’90s or early 2000’s. Throughout the album, Bea Kristi never shies away from digging into the difficulties of coming of age, making Fake It Flowers what I recently called “an epic film score for growing up.”
Tomberlin – Projections
After catching our attention with the delightful 2018 LP At Weddings, Tomberlin is back with a new EP produced by Alex G. Projections takes on a more robust full-band sound than its predecessor, a very exciting taste of what can be expected from Tomberlin as she looks toward her sophomore full-length.
Lana Del Rey – “Let Me Love You Like A Woman”
Lana Del Rey owned 2019 with Norman F*cking Rockwell and she is already prepping the release of a new album called Chemtrails Over The Country Club. Although there are few to no details about the album, “Let Me Love You Like A Woman” is our first taste, which finds Del Rey reminiscing about a new love that she has only known for a short time, but already envisioning their future together.
Rostam – “Unfold You”
In recent years, Rostam has focused primarily on producing, working with Clairo on Immunity and Haim on their new album Women In Music Pt. III. Although the ex-Vampire Weekend member has not formally announced a new project, “Unfold You” is his first official new solo music since 2017’s Half Light. “Under a lulling beat, mesmerizing saxophone licks, and shimmering keys, ‘Unfold You’ speaks to Rostam’s willingness to be open to a new love,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Local Natives – “Lemon” (feat. Sharon Van Etten)
With a new EP called Sour Lemon on the way, Local Natives teamed up with Sharon Van Etten for “Lemon,” which addresses a feeling of asynchronicity. In a statement about the song, Van Etten said that “Lemon” exists as a document of her blossoming friendship with Taylor Rice, with the writing and production process covering nearly a full year of their relationship.
Cloud Nothings – “Am I Something”
For the first time since their 2012 breakout album Attack On Memory, Cloud Nothings have teamed up with esteemed producer Steve Albini for their upcoming album The Shadow I Remember. Featuring Albini’s signature snappy drum sound, “Am I Something” signals a return to the band’s roots as well as the start of a new era.
I Am The Avalanche – “You’re No Good To Me Dead”
Earlier this month, New York punk outfit I Am The Avalanche announced their first new album in six years. The recording sessions for the band’s new album Dive were completed on March 15, just a few hours before much of the country went into quarantine mode, and you can hear the earnestness in Vinnie Caruana’s voice as he sings the track’s rollicking chorus.
Mamalarky – “You Make Me Smile”
While “Schism Trek,” the first single from Mamalarky‘s self-titled debut album took on a more rocking edge, “You Make Me Smile” is a more laid-back affair. With light, precise instrumentation and dreamy vocals, it shows the versatility of the Atlanta quartet.
Steady Holiday – “Living Life”
Steady Holiday went mostly dark after the release of her 2018 album Nobody’s Watching, but now Dre Babinski has reemerged to share new music in the form of the cinematic and emotional “Living Life.” “With cascading keys and anticipation-filling drums, ‘Living Life’ gives snapshots of simple interactions over the course of one night,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.