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 very best of the indie releases from the past seven days. This week we finally got the new Tame Impala record, Beach Bunny’s full-length debut, and the official return of The Strokes.
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Tame Impala — The Slow Rush
“One thing I know for sure is that I won’t take five years next time,” Kevin Parker recently said in an interview with Uproxx. On the hotly anticipated new album The Slow Rush, Tame Impala embrace the pop sensibilities that gave them arena- and festival-headliner status after their 2015 album Currents, while also utilizing an array of vintage instrumentation that gives the album a timeless feel. To that end, Tame Impala’s latest has something that will surely satisfy those who have latched on to Parker’s music in the past, as well as invite new fans to dive in headfirst.
The Wonder Years — Burst & Decay (Volume II)
On the second installment of The Wonder Years’ Burst & Decay project, the Philadelphia punk outfit reinterprets some of their more abrasive decade-old tracks and offers up something equal parts refreshing and impressive. While the original version was an onslaught of guitars and overpowering drums, the reimagined “Washington Square Park” here gives Dan Campbell’s ever-impressive lyrical prowess room to fully present themselves and breathe. Burst & Decay (Volume II) is only seven tracks, but it illustrates a whole new side of the veteran band.
Beach Bunny — Honeymoon
Beach Bunny rode the wave of a viral TikTok hit to create something deeply personal, defiant, and resonant on their debut full-length album Honeymoon. After a string of self-released EPs, the Chicago band’s songwriting has become more focused and stronger than ever, earning them a slot on the roster of esteemed indie label Mom+Pop. Honeymoon is more polished than anything Beach Bunny has released to date, and proves that their TikTok hit “Prom Queen” wasn’t a fluke, but a promise.
Post Animal — Forward Motion Godyssey
Just a year after the release of their debut album, Post Animal is back with another full-length, which was written in only eight days. It’s clear across the eleven tracks that make up Forward Motion Godyssey that the Chicago quintet is using their psych-rock background as a jumping-off point, allowing the adaptive nature of the music — and their overwhelming chemistry as musicians — to take them wherever they need to go to make something special.
The Strokes — “At The Door”
It’s been seven years since the last full-length effort from The Strokes. That’s all about to change in April, as the band announced from the stage at a Bernie Sanders rally earlier this month that their next album, The New Abnormal, would be released in April. To coincide with the announcement, the band shared a new track called “At The Door” which “sees the group examining new sounds,” writes to Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. Where early Strokes albums leaned on fuzzy guitars and punchy percussion, according to Droke, the band’s new era is “instead opting for experimentation with buoyant synths and crisp vocal mixes. With a distinct clarity, Casablancas croons his earnest musings.
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit — “Be Afraid”
The sound of Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit has been getting harder and harder to define across albums like Southeastern and The Nashville Sound. To that end, the first taste of their forthcoming album Reunions once again sounds like an evolution. “Be Afraid” is what Carolyn Droke calls for Uproxx “a call-to-action for artists to use their music for a good cause. Underscored with jangly, driving guitar, Isbell belts about the need to take a stand.”
Ratboys — “Anj”
With their third studio album Printer’s Devil just around the corner, Ratboys have shared another excellent new track. “Anj” finds the band experimenting with their sound a bit, finding a balance between rocking and being more reserved. “With intricately layered riffs, vocalist Julia Steiner belts a story of platonic love through a bittersweet, pop-punk lense,” Carolyn Droke writes for Uproxx. Now with three singles available, it’s fair to say that Printer’s Devil is about to be one of the best indie LPs of early 2020.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever — “Cars In Space”
After a 7-inch single in 2019, Melbourne, Australia’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have returned with another new track — but no news of a forthcoming sophomore LP. The new song shows a fresh and polished version of the band’s sound, with propulsive percussion and intermingling guitars. Combined with last year’s two-track release, we can’t wait for whatever Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have planned for 2020.
Moaning — “Fall In Love”
With their new album Uneasy Laughter out next month, Moaning have released the album’s second single, paired with a retro video courtesy of Adult Swim. “Fall In Love” sounds like equal parts Joy Division and The Cure, a mixture of post-punk and synth-rock. It’s a track to dance to under the black light, and sets the bar high for Moaning’s forthcoming sophomore album.
Trace Mountains — “Lost In The Country”
You might know Dave Benton from his work in the acclaimed New York indie band LVL UP. Benton has been releasing music under the name Trace Mountains since before the dissolution of LVL Up in 2018, and the forthcoming album Lost In The Country is the result of an especially prolific period. The album is centered around its nearly six-minute title track, with ambient guitars and a sort of beatnik, stream-of-consciousness writing style. It’s very good.
Brendan Benson — “Good To Be Alive”
Brendan Benson’s latest solo track definitely doesn’t sound like what I was expecting from a Brendan Benson solo track. On “Good To Be Alive,” the singer-songwriter puts the acoustic guitars aside in favor of synths and pulsing drums. The result is a groovy, electronic track that marks an entry to a new musical era for the Raconteur.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.