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 excellent new album from Ryley Walker, another taste of St. Vincent’s forthcoming LP, and a collaborative Sharon Van Etten cover from Courtney Barnett and Vagabon. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
While we’re at it, sign up for our newsletter to get the best new indie music delivered directly to your inbox, every Monday.
Ryley Walker – Course In Fable
Two years removed from a very dark period that resulted in checking himself into treatment for drug and alcohol dependency, Ryley Walker has returned with what Steven Hyden calls for Uproxx “one of 2021’s most unabashedly gorgeous and grand indie records.” At just seven tracks, Course In Fable is without a doubt Walker’s best album to date.
Flock Of Dimes – Head Of Roses
Jenn Wasner is a very busy person – aside from fronting Wye Oak and touring as part of Bon Iver, she also has a solo project called Flock Of Dimes. Wasner’s latest solo release, Head Of Roses is what Steven Hyden called in a recent Indie Mixtape newsletter “her most bruisingly personal work to date.”
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
It seems there is an impending renaissance of British post-punk bands that employ aggressive talk-vocals over a spastic rhythm section. Dry Cleaning is the latest group catching attention, but their edge comes from lead single Florence’s Shaw’s “strikingly unique presence,” wrote Steven Hyden in the latest Indie Mixtape newsletter.
Ratboys – Happy Birthday, Ratboy
Ten years to the day after releasing their first EP, Ratboy, Ratboys surprise-released a brand new collection of re-recordings from that EP and other rarities, fittingly titled Happy Birthday, Ratboy. It’s a stark reminder of how far this band has come since their inception in 2011 to become one of the most exciting bands in indie rock after last year’s excellent Printer’s Devil.
Hit Like A Girl – Heart Racer
Three years after their sophomore album What Makes Love Last, Hit Like A Girl is back with Heart Racer, the band’s most polished and enthralling release to date. Featuring guest spots from Bartees Strange and Petal’s Kiley Lotz, Heart Racer shows why Hit Like A Girl has gathered such a cult following over the last few years and will hopefully set the stage for continued growth.
Pinkshift – Saccharine
It takes only a few seconds of Pinkshift’s new EP Saccharine to understand fully why we included the Maryland punks on our list of indie artists to look out for this year. The EP’s five tracks are chock-full of pop punk nostalgia, while also serving up a uniquely modern twist. Ashrita Kumar’s vocals are insanely catchy throughout, and the band certainly isn’t shying away from My Chemical Romance-esque grandeur.
St. Vincent – “The Melting Of The Sun”
St. Vincent’s new album Daddy’s Home is said to evoke “the sound of being down and out downtown in New York, 1973.” This aesthetic is on full display with the album’s latest offering, “The Melting Of The Sun,” a sparse and psychedelic affair that has Annie Clark paying tribute to Joni Mitchell and Marilyn Monroe.
Courtney Barnett & Vagabon – “Don’t Do It” (Sharon Van Etten cover)
The latest installment in the full-album covers series celebrating a decade of Sharon Van Etten’s Epic comes from Van Etten’s longtime friend Courtney Barnett, with help from Vagabon. “Don’t Do It” is a slow-burning number that keeps building toward a culminating distorted guitar lead.
Dinosaur Jr. – “Garden”
Dinosaur Jr. are prepping a new album produced by Kurt Vile. Sweep It Into Space is due later this month, and “Garden” is the latest taste of what we can expect. It’s a dynamic track that shows off the polished 2021 version of Dinosaur Jr., finding the group getting “back to basics, back home, back to the garden,” an attempt to dissociate from the order of everyday American lift.
Chloe Moriondo – “I Eat Boys”
After a string of singles over the last few years, 18-year-old songwriter Chloe Moriondo has announced Blood Bunny, her major-label debut. Despite its title, lead single “I Eat Boys” is a deceptively breezy and shimmering track that was inspired by the film Jennifer’s Body. “I hope the rock chicks and lesbians will love them!!!!!” Moriondo wrote in a statement.
Wavves – “Sinking Feeling”
Somehow, it’s been nearly four years since we last heard from Wavves. Nathan Williams is ready to get back into the driver’s seat with the new track “Sinking Feeling,” a buzzing surf-rock track that serves as a first taste of a forthcoming release and reminds us what we loved about Wavves in the first place.
Squirrel Flower – “Hurt A Fly”
Only a few months removed from the release of their 2020 debut, I Was Born Swimming, Squirrel Flower is already back with its follow-up. Planet (i) is set for a June release, and the first single “Hurt A Fly” is what Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx a “mid-tempo alt-rocker.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.