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 a new surprise album from Sturgill Simpson, a live album from Belle And Sebastian, and an extremely good new song from Sun June. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 2
Last week, with no warning, Sturgill Simpson fulfilled his wish of surprise-releasing a new album. Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 2 dropped out of the sky on Friday, featuring re-recorded versions of songs from throughout Simpson’s discography. With this second volume, Simpson made a point to record “everything I was too afraid to do on Volume 1,” he explained in a statement. The result is a collection of bold and imaginative versions of tracks.
The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You
Since The Avalanches took a 16-year break between their first and second albums, they have been very productive in the way of new music. We Will Always Love You is the Australian group’s second album in less than five years, delivering a staggering 25 songs with guest spots from Blood Orange, Leon Bridges, MGMT, Johnny Marr, Karen O, Rivers Cuomo, and more. Although the album runs more than an hour, the ideas never seem to stale, and each track feels fresher than the last.
Belle And Sebastian – What To Look For In Summer
After the release of new live albums from Arctic Monkeys, The Postal Service, Deafheaven, and more, Belle And Sebastian have joined the trend with What To Look For In Summer. The double live LP is culled from the band’s 2019 tour and “Boaty Weekender” cruise concerts, existing as a reminder why they should be considered “twee-pop legends,” as Steven Hyden called in the December 7 issue of the Indie Mixtape newsletter.
Osees – Panther Rotate
Ever prolific, Panther Rotate is the third release of 2020 from Osees, after Protean Threat and Metamorphosed. Despite its labeling as an outtakes collection, the LP shows how strong and versatile the band are as songwriters, even for those songs that were ultimately left on the cutting room floor when putting together the final album. There are two songs that span more than six minutes, and some that last less than one minute.
Rostam – “Under Control” (The Strokes cover)
Few things are more Meet Me In The Bathroom-core than an original member of Vampire Weekend covering The Strokes. Both bands were born on the streets of New York City, but represented very different parts of New York life. Rostam’s cover of The Strokes’ Room On Fire works really well and shows the shared blood of both bands, but the piano-driven cover also puts into perspective the difference in sensibility between the two bands.
Another Michael – “I Know You’re Wrong”
The forthcoming debut LP from Philadelphia trio Another Michael is one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. “I Know You’re Wrong” is the album’s first proper single, and is the type of lo-fi indie-pop jam that you will find yourself humming for days and weeks to come. But good luck hitting those high notes on the sparse chorus.
Sun June – “Bad Girl”
Two years removed from their debut LP Years, Sun June are already gearing up for their sophomore effort. The band has been teasing Somewhere with a series of singles, and “Bad Girl” is the strongest of all. The track takes on a soft, somber tone, telling the story of Laura Colwell’s desire to return to the recklessness of her childhood, “back when being bad was cool and being cool was everything,” they wrote in a statement.
Justus Proffit – “Peace From Medication”
Although Justus Proffit has been focusing much of his attention during the pandemic on his new low-key fashion label, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had time to create some new music. “Peace From Medication” is a standalone single that serves as an extension of the sound that Proffit presented on his excellent 2019 effort L.A.’s Got Me Down, driven by synths and drum machines for an infectious, relatable sound.
Proper. – “Don’t”
Proper.’s first song since the 2019 LP I Spent The Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better was co-written with The Wonder Years’ Dan Campbell, and serves as a call for justice in the name of those Black individuals who have recently been killed at the hand of police. “When the news broke of Elijah McClain’s passing, for a split second I truly believed it was my bandmate, Elijah, on my phone screen,” vocalist Erik Garlington wrote in a statement. “The last names don’t even match but the resemblance was uncanny enough to make me doubt for a split second, and that split second was horrifying.” It’s not an easy listen, but it’s an important listen.
Avery Springer – “Earlybird”
During the pandemic, Retirement Party’s Avery Springer has been working on a collection of solo work. “Earlybird” showcases one of Springer’s best vocal performances to date, and examines the reality of being a generally nervous person surrounded by very confident people. Relatable!
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.