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 got a jovial new track from The 1975, a preview of the new Soccer Mommy album, and another heartbreaker from Andy Shauf.
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Okay Kaya — “Psych Ward”
Okay Kaya’s new single “Psych Ward” is “basically a Hospital Evaluation Form,” Kaya Wilkins explained in a statement. The song were written about Wilkins’ own experience in a mental health institution. “The last few days I was in a hospital a nurse unlocked one of the cabinets and let me use the rec room guitar, to play outside of art therapy class. I wrote what I saw to understand how I felt.” Needless to say, “Psych Ward” is a worthwhile listen.
Pinegrove — Marigold
On their fourth LP, Pinegrove took a cleaner approach to recording. Where 2018’s Skylight was made to sound like it was recorded in a spacious room (which it was), Marigold put the mics a little closer to the amps for a more crisp and personal sound. Tracks like “Spiral,” “The Alarmist,” and “Endless” are among some of the best the band has put to tape, using big literary terms and impeccable three-part harmonies in an attempt to reconcile and move forward.
Wisebuck — Flyworld
The debut LP from Casey Weissbuch’s new solo project, Flyworld encompasses a wide range of rock and roll sounds. Weissbuch has elected to follow in the footsteps of Dave Grohl and step out from behind the kit to showcase his own songwriting skills in ten tracks that defy all expectations.
The 1975 — “Me & You Together Song”
In a shift from what we’re used to from the band, the latest taste of The 1975’s now-delayed Notes On A Conditional Form is a straight-up love song. “Me & You Together Song” is “immediately upbeat, and the bright pop-rock tune stays that way for its three-and-a-half-minute run time,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. It’s truly wonderful.
Andy Shauf — “Living Room”
Andy Shauf’s hotly-anticipated new album The Neon Skyline is just around the corner, and Shauf himself seems to be as excited as we are. He shared a new track, “Living Room,” which is another entry in the album’s simple storyline: “The narrator goes to his neighborhood dive, finds out his ex is back in town, and she eventually shows up.” Lucky for us, we’ll only have to wait until next week to see how “Living Room” plays into the chronology of the full album.
Soccer Mommy — “Circle The Drain”
Soccer Mommy has a quick turnaround on her new record Color Theory. The album’s lead single “Circle The Drain” was just released this week, and the full album comes out in just over a month. While the last we heard from Sophie Allison was the sinister, disturbing track “Feed,” from the Turning soundtrack, “Circle The Drain” “goes in basically the exact opposite direction,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx. He continues: “The track is a warm and breezy indie-rocker that is a natural evolution from her 2018 album Clean.” Count us excited for what’s to come with the remainder of Color Theory
Higher Power — “Lost In Static”
Higher Power’s major label debut, 27 Miles Underwater, is coming up quickly, and sees the UK band heading in a more alternative, melodic direction than their previous efforts. “Lost In Static” is the furthest away from hardcore punk than anything we’ve heard from the band before, offering a glimpse into a whole new, very exciting world for the outfit.
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges — “C-Side”
The second taste of their collaborative Texas Sun EP, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges took a very different approach with “C-Side” than the project’s title track and first single. The track is a masterclass in funk and psychedelic rock, making for a very tasteful listen and a bar set high for the full project.
Moaning — “Ego”
Moaning is the latest heavy-leaning band to trade in their abrasive guitars for synthesizers. Two years removed from their self-titled debut, Moaning are set to release Uneasy Laughter in March. “Ego” is the first taste of this reimagined band, which a press release calls “a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound.” It’s a strong opening for what we can expect with Uneasy Laughter, and a promising taste of what’s to come from the band.
Laumé — “Voyeurs”
For her latest single, New Zealand-born songwriter Kim Pflaum recalled her study of Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rear Window, and “how in this kind of environment we are living our lives on a stage in front of everyone else, and equally, we are the audience (or voyeurs – a word which I use more broadly rather than specifically sexual, more the French ‘one who sees’) peeking out from our houses,” she said in a statement. The result is a funky, but thought-provoking track and video.
Σtella — “The Break”
With a new album out this week, Σtella has shared the final single before release, “The Break.” In a statement, Σtella explained the importance of taking a break. “Breaks create miracles and have the power to change the world’s course.” I’ve never heard anything more true.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.