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 another new track from Radiohead side project The Smile, a Euphoria song from James Blake, and the announcement of a demos EP from Squirrel Flower. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
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Pinegrove – 11:11
Montclair, New Jersey’s very own Pinegrove are back with a brand new album. 11:11 doesn’t stray too far from the formula that got Pinegrove on the map with 2016’s Cardinal, but definitely ups the ante in terms of production, courtesy of a mix from Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla. 11:11 is largely an album about coming to terms with the realities of climate change, and Evan Stephens Hall’s lyrics are more pointed and direct than ever.
Squirrel Flower – Planet EP
Squirrel Flower has been on a roll lately, releasing a new project every year since 2020 (which is wild to write, because it still feels like we’re in the middle of 2020). The new Planet EP is a compilation of self-recorded demos of songs that were recorded during the sessions for 2021’s Planet (i), and just goes to show that Ella Williams’ songwriting talents extend far beyond the confines of an album.
Why Not – Very Why Not EP
Minneapolis trio Why Not have finally arrived, with their (almost) self-titled EP. Spanning the full spectrum from math rock to alt-rock and pop-punk, Very Why Not is a uniquely modern take on the ever-evolving genre of alternative music. On this project, Why Not serve as a great example of flattening genre across the board.
James Blake – “Pick Me Up” (ft. Labrinth)
I recently caught up on Euphoria and have been delighted by the music throughout the show. The second season is off to an even greater start, featuring a new track from Lana Del Rey and now a beautiful new collaboration from James Blake and the show’s composer Labrinth. “Pick Me Up” “skews more towards Blake’s softer side, as it’s a piano- and string-driven track that sees him flexing his falsetto,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
The Smile – “The Smoke”
Radiohead side-project The Smile made their live debut in a series of three livestream performances over the weekend, leaving many people online to wonder why these songs weren’t just released as Radiohead tracks. While the trio’s debut single “You Will Never Work In Television Again” was a more straightforward rocker, the new track “The Smoke” airs more in the experimental territory that recent Radiohead tracks occupy. “The first minute or so of the tune is all rhythm, with drums and bass setting the groove before Yorke’s vocals come in, after which the atmosphere gets filled with some brass, guitar, and other sounds,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Rex Orange County – “Keep It Up”
Rex Orange County has been a festival staple for years, making his major-label debut back in 2019. Now, he’s ready to unveil his fourth album, Who Cares?. The album’s first preview comes in the form of “Keep It Up,” which Derrick Rossignol describes for Uproxx as “a jaunty and string-laden tune that starts this album cycle off on an upbeat note.”
Toro Y Moi – “Postman”
Toro Y Moi was one of the pioneers of the chillwave movement, and is gearing up to continue building the legacy with his seventh studio album, Mahall, which is due in April. The lead single “Postman” features what Aaron Williams describes for Uproxx as “a stripped-down backbeat and a groovy bassline.”
Warpaint – “Champion”
It’s been six long years since we last heard from Warpaint, on 2016’s Heads Up. The wait for new music ends in May, when the band’s fourth LP, Radiate Like This, finally drops. The band’s return is marked by “Champion,” a song about advocating for yourself and the people you love, anchored by what Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx “the band’s signature subdued groove and atmospheric sounds.”
Tomberlin – “idkwntht”
Two years removed from the release of her Alex G-produced EP Projections, Sarah Beth Tomberlin is back with a brand new track, hopefully indicating a larger release on the horizon. “idkwntht” features Tomberlin singing in a beautiful duet with Told Slant’s Felix Walworth and “opens with a somber saxophone nestled alongside gentle strings and piano,” writes Adrian Spinelli for Uproxx.