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 gorgeous and unexpected fall surprise from Fleet Foxes, long-awaited new albums from Sufjan Stevens and Deftones, and the divisive latest effort from Idles. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension
It’s been more than half a decade since Sufjan Stevens released his last proper solo album, Carrie And Lowell. In many ways, The Ascension feels like the antithesis of Carrie And Lowell, marking some of Stevens’ darkest and angriest music to date. The album was created mostly by himself with a collection of drum machines and synthesizers, The Ascension “sounds more solitary than he ever has before — and that’s saying a lot for someone with an extensive solo acoustic discography,” writes Philip Cosores for Uproxx.
Fleet Foxes – Shore
Released out of the blue last week to coincide down to the minute with the autumnal equinox, Fleet Foxes’ fourth studio album is by far their most accessible and instantly exciting. Shore, according to Caitlin White for Uproxx, is “an album purposefully designed to warm and comfort the listener, immediately establishing that though Fleet Foxes may be back, the band is continually growing and evolving.”
Deftones – Ohms
Since their inception in the late ’90s, Deftones have been working to differentiate themselves from the metal mainstream, both with a range of influences far larger than many of their peers and the intensity of their longevity as a band. Ohms, their first release since 2016’s somewhat disappointing Gore, is what Steven Hyden calls for Uproxx “their strongest work in years, a return to form that finds them reconnecting energetically with their heavy, hard-rock roots.”
Will Butler – Generations
The second solo album from one of Arcade Fire’s many multi-instrumentalists is both jubilant and political. The album’s ten tracks are versatile in their sound and lyrical content taking cues from the best of indie pop and punk rock and making for a truly engaging and impressive record to tide us over while waiting for new Arcade Fire.
Idles – Ultra Mono
Idles had the title for their third album Ultra Mono before they wrote a note of music. They used the phrase as a guiding light while writing, all of the band’s members working together toward what Robert Ham calls for Uproxx “the singularity of purpose of any band — various talents and personalities joining forces to create a unified sound,” making for some of the band’s most prescient and progressive songwriting to date.
Sylvan Esso – Free Love
With two albums under their belt, Sylvan Esso were feeling a new sense of confidence going into Free Love. The confidence pays off on the album, with Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn digging into their small arguments as a married couple to craft ten gorgeous tracks which work together to provide a gimpse into their shared life that is “more intimate and cohesive than ever before,” writes Josh Modell for Uproxx.
Nana Adjoa – Big Dreaming Ants
Nana Adjoa’s debut album is always on its toes, bouncing back and forth between elements of soul, folk, jazz, and more. Across the album’s unique and uniquely original selection of tracks, I wrote for Uproxx, “it seems like the sky is the limit to what Adjoa can accomplish on a song.”
Terminal Crush – Columbus
Although Grey Gordon’s other work in bands like Kill Surf City and Summerhead air on the heavier side of the spectrum, the Terminal Crush project originally started as a bedroom pop recording. However, it wasn’t long before a label offered Gordon funding to make a proper Terminal Crush record. The result is a lush, guitar-centric release inspired by dreamy indie rock of the ’90s, and a perfect soundtrack for dreary days.
Mat Kerekes – Amber Park EP
You might know Mat Kerekes as the frontman of the modern grunge outfit Citizen, but his solo work takes on a completely different approach. On Amber Park, Kerekes dials back the aggression of his band in favor of acoustic-driven ballads that air a bit closer to Ed Sheeran than The Smashing Pumpkins. Each of the EP’s six tracks showcase Kerekes’ true talent as a songwriter, and it wouldn’t be surprising in the least bit if his solo music pumped out a hit in the near future.
Shamir – “Other Side”
With his self-titled album just around the corner, Shamir has unveiled a cinematic new single that was inspired by the true-crime series Unsolved Mysteries. Regardless of the song’s lyrical inspiration, the track’s arrangement “displays Shamir’s ability to lean on different musical styles as it opens with undulating guitar riffs, banjo, and steel pedal reminiscent of a dusty country-western score,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Emily A. Sprague – “Star Gazing”
When she’s not working on music for Florist, Emily A. Sprague is putting her intimate knowledge of synthesizers to good use with the arrangement and production of ambient music. Her new ambient album, Hill, Flower, Fog, was released briefly on Bandcamp earlier this year, but is now slated for proper physical release in November. The sprawling, pulsing track is supremely relaxing, lasting nearly seven minutes of bliss.
Souvenirs – “Be Sweet”
The lead single from Souvenirs’ new album is a love song disguised as a recollection of an argument that songwriter Tim Riley had with his wife. In a statement, Riley credits his wife with being a guiding light and a source of compassion in the face of insurmountable change, and the breezy shoegaze-inspired “Be Sweet” is a beautiful tribute.
Garcia Peoples – “Gliding Through”
Only a year after their last full-length, Garcia Peoples are back with Nightcap At Wits’ End, a new studio album. “Gliding Through” is the LP’s opening track, finding the psych-rock band reveling in the anxieties and circular nature of modern life. It’s a promising preview of what can be expected from one of our favorite underground bands.
Sonder Bombs – “What Are Friends For?”
For their sophomore LP, Cleveland’s Sonder Bombs teamed up with producer Joe Reinhart (Hop Along, Modern Baseball, Beach Bunny) to fine-tune their breezy, melodic sound. “What Are Friends For?” is a track that would fit nicely on alternative rock radio, and an extremely impressive introduction to the new era of the band.
Bikini Trill – “All In”
Despite almost sharing a name with an iconic feminist punk band, Bikini Trill doesn’t sound anything like Bikini Kill. Instead, they take on a more funky, R&B-inspired sound that is equal parts dreamy and instantly engaging.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.