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 return of My Morning Jacket, the anticipated, Taylor Swift-featuring new album from Big Red Machine, and a roaring, adventurous LP from hardcore heroes Turnstile. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
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Big Red Machine – How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?
On their second collaborative effort under the name Big Red Machine, Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon gathered up a collective of their best musical friends (including Taylor Swift) to create a lengthy, sweeping and introspective LP. All told, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last is “some of the most approachable and pop-oriented material that Dessner or Vernon have ever produced,” writes Steven Hyden for Uproxx.
Chvrches – Screen Violence
Chvrches certainly aren’t the first band to make a record about the perils of the technology age. But few bands do it quite as well as Chvrches on their latest album Screen Violence. The album is a collection of ten electro-pop gems that Rachel Brodsky calls for Uproxx “some of the catchiest tracks of Chvrches’ career,” channeling horror movies and dark imagery to illustrate the dark underbelly of instant and constant connectivity.
Turnstile – Glow On
Turnstile’s major label debut, Time & Space, gave us a glimpse at what the Baltimore hardcore outfit was capable of, incorporating different genre elements for one of the most unique and exciting punk records of recent memory. Fast forward three years and the quintet’s latest effort, Glow On, has raised the bar once again. Featuring 808s, slick riffs, and not one but two appearances from Blood Orange, Glow On is in a world of its own, sonically and aesthetically.
Indigo De Souza – Any Shape You Take
After her self-released debut album won her slots on tours with the likes of Alex G, Beach Bunny, and more, Indigo De Souza returned to the studio with a newfound sense of purpose and direction. Any Shape You Take feels in many ways like a culminating moment, with De Souza fearlessly pushing boundaries and relaying her journey of self-discovery in a direct and approachable way.
Steve Gunn – Other You
Once named an “indie guitar god” by our very own Steven Hyden, Steve Gunn is back with his sixth studio album. Other You allows Gunn to explore the full spectrum of his musical sensibilities, featuring everything from atmospheric melodies to subdued ballads. Arriving just two years after 2019’s excellent The Unseen In Between, Gunn’s latest serves as another reminder why he’s one of indie’s true power players.
Gorillaz – Meanwhile EP
After inserting some new tracks into their setlist during their 20th anniversary celebration earlier this month, Gorillaz have shared the studio versions in the form of the three-track Meanwhile EP. The first track is also the title track, featuring Jelani Blackman with Barrington Levy, followed by “Jimmy Jimmy” featuring AJ Tracey, and finally a live recording of “Déjà Vu” featuring dancehall performer Alicaì Harley.
My Morning Jacket – “Regularly Scheduled Programming”
After sharing The Waterfall II last year, My Morning Jacket have returned with the announcement of their ninth, self-titled studio album. Along with the new album news came the expansive single “Regularly Scheduled Programming,” which Jim James described in a statement as a response to the overwhelming “need to help each other wake up to real love before it’s too late.”
Porches – “Lately”
The new album from Porches (aka Aaron Maine) still isn’t due for about a month, but the New York artist has been steadily rolling out music to tide fans over. “Lately” is one of Maine’s most straightforward rock-focused tracks in recent memory, though he does make sure to put his vocal through a melodic layer of autotune. The new track continues to set the stage nicely for the forthcoming All Day Gentle Hold !, which Maine said in a statement is “injected with as much love, urgency, and lust for humanity as I possibly could.”
Blackstarkids – “Fight Club”
Blackstarkids are awesome. Fresh on the heels of their excellent 2020 project Whatever, Man, the trio is now readying their proper debut album. Puppies Forever still doesn’t have a release date, but “Fight Club” is another entrancing track to keep us engaged. Featuring all three members trading verses over an homemade beat, “Fight Club” is another shining example of why Blackstarkids are a group to watch in 2021.
Scruffpuppie – “Assignment Song”
Phoebe Bridgers has been picking up all of the best and brightest indie rockers for her Saddest Factory label imprint over the last few months. The latest addition to the roster is Scruffpuppie, aka 20-year-old singer and songwriter JJ Shurbet. The announcement of Shurbet’s signing comes with “Assignment Song,” a power pop barn burner that opens with a subdued lone guitar before adding in a full band to complement Shurbet’s fuzzy vocal performance.
Hand Habits – “No Difference”
With the new album Fun House due in two months, Meg Duffy has shared “No Difference,” a reverb-soaked folk song with a chorus that feels reminiscent of the most melodic, harmony-focused moments of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s early output. As with many of Duffy’s songs, “No Difference” boasts a gorgeous sonic facade to disguise a track about loss, romantic longing, and childhood trauma.
Soul Blind – “Third Chain”
Hudson Valley, New York rockers Soul Blind have signed to Other People Records, who will release their new three-track EP Third Chain in September. The announcement arrives with the EP’s title track, a storming 90’s-indebted alternative rocker that has everything: drawling vocals, distorted guitars, and pummeling percussion.
Geese – “Low Era”
After garnering quite a bit of buzz, Brooklyn outfit Geese have officially announced their debut album, Projector, and shared the official lead single “Low Era.” Where many of the band’s tracks are a bit darker and heavier, “Low Era” takes a lighter approach for a four-on-the-floor dance number. “Once we stopped enforcing certain boundaries, it ended up working out without us expecting it to, and even ushered in this psychedelic 3-D element that ends up appearing throughout the album,” the band said in a statement.
Mini Trees – “Cracks In The Pavement”
Recent Run For Cover signees Mini Trees (aka Lexi Vega) are currently prepping Always In Motion, their first album for the label. “Cracks In The Pavement” is a gorgeous indie pop number that shows Vega’s knack for writing songs that evolve and morph through different styles and tones. According to Vega in a statement, the song’s lyrics detail “a realization that the grass isn’t always greener, and that the discontentment I needed to confront was internal rather than circumstantial.”
Gully Boys – “The Way”
Minneapolis trio Gully Boys cite influences like No Doubt and Hole, and you can definitely hear it on their latest track, “The Way.” Featuring roaring vocals and an impressive modulated guitar solo that brings new life to the nostalgic sounds of ‘90s grunge for a unique and modern rocker that will leave you wanting more from Gully Boys.
Ekkstacy – “In Love”
With a new album Negative due later this year, Ekkstacy has been rolling tracks over the last few months. Each song has been stronger than the last, and “In Love” is no exception. Opening with a sparse, dramatic grand piano and Ekkstacy’s reverb-soaked vocal, “In Love” is a track that reflects on his relationship with an ex. “It was hard to hear from her after so long, so I wrote this after she told me that her favourite song from me was ‘Love,'” he explained in a statement. “So this song is kind of like ‘Love part 2.'”
Annie Blackman – “Glitch”
Witty and tongue in cheek, the latest track from Annie Blackman was written after watching a documentary on simulation theory. Heavy stuff, but “Glitch” manages to pull it off seamlessly to the point that it almost feels fun. The song is currently trending on TikTok, so with any luck, Blackman will be an international megastar in the next 12-16 hours.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.