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 new solo music from both Arcade Fire’s Will Butler and The National’s Matt Berninger, a tongue-in-cheek new mixtape from Illuminati Hotties, and another raucous new single from IDLES. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
Yo La Tengo — We Have Amnesia Sometimes
Every day during the month of July, Yo La Tengo pumped out a brand new song from the confines of quarantine. We Have Amnesia Sometimes is the culmination of that burst of creativity, composed mostly of extended, ambient drones that evoke a palpable sense of anxiety. Leave it to such a venerable institution to create perfect listening material for scrolling the internet and witnessing everything terrible happening around you.
Illuminati Hotties — Free I.H.
After cultivating a buzz from their 2018 debut album Kiss Yr Frenemies, the band elected to fulfill their controversial record contract with a noisy mixtape instead of a proper full-length album. The album was previewed by the cleverly-titled track “Will I Get Cancelled If I Write A Song Called, ‘If You Were A Man You’d Be So Cancelled,” which Carolyn Droke called for Uproxx “jam-packed with cunning quips and thrashing guitars that initially drew fans to Illuminati Hotties’ sound.”
Dehd — Flower Of Devotion
The sophomore album from this Chicago trio finds the band fully dialed in, with production value that takes a step forward from the very lo-fi, tinny approach of their debut, though still is far from polished. Flower Of Devotion captures a band simultaneously raw and fully in command of their vision. The instrumental arrangements are sparse (very rarely will you hear a cymbal crash throughout) and doused in reverb, leaving room for fully cutting lyrics and infectious vocal melodies.
Protomartyr — Ultimate Success Today
On their fifth LP, Detroit post-punkers Protomartyr open themselves up to musical opportunity, even recruiting a woodwind section to build out the band’s sound. This is not to say that the band has lost their edge, with Ultimate Success Today featuring some of the band’s most intense and driving music to date. Frontman Joe Casey is still seething as ever, evoking Lou Reed on tracks like “Michigan Hammers,” and there is a darkness that bubbles beneath the surface throughout.
Angel Du$t — Lil House
Following their excellent 2019 major-label debut, Angel Du$t have returned with three brand-new songs that continue the band’s sonic evolution since their hardcore punk debut. On the Lil House EP, frontman Justice Tripp is focused on settling down and starting a family, understandably dialing back the aggression of the band’s previous releases and focusing on intricate percussion patterns and a more acoustic-driven approach.
Matt Berninger — “Distant Access”
Back in May, The National vocalist Matt Berninger announced his debut solo album Serpentine Prison and shared the effort’s title-track. Now, he has shared the follow-up single, a meditative song that builds upon a single acoustic guitar, and was inspired by his collaborations with The Walkmen’s Walter Martin. “‘Distant Axis’ started from a sketch Walt sent me named ‘Savannah,’” Berninger said in a statement. “I think it’s about falling out of touch with someone or something you once thought would be there forever.”
Thank You, I’m Sorry — “Manic Pixie Dream Hurl”
In late August, Thank You, I’m Sorry are set to release their second album in less than a year. I’m Glad We’re Friends features full-band reimagining of the band’s 2019 debut, and “Manic Pixie Dream Hurl” previews the new effort. It’s a short-lived power-pop number with intimate confessions from frontperson Colleen Dow.
Idles — “A Hymn”
The latest preview from Idles’ forthcoming LP is “A Hymn,” another borderline demonic post-punk track that “rejoices in the sinister flesh-eating virus of the pedestrian,” according to a statement from Joe Talbot. “It sings the tune of normal’s teeth sinking into your neck as you sleep stood up with your eyes open. Amen.” The track acts as a pressure cooker that feels like it is building to explosion, before slowly dismantling itself until the only instrument left is a bass guitar.
Will Butler — “Surrender”
Best known for his work in Arcade Fire, Will Butler is set to return with his sophomore solo effort Generations later this year. The album is previewed by “Surrender,” which Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx a “jaunty tune” that sounds like a love song, but is actually more about platonic friendship and the ways that people change while still remaining friends.
Beabadoobee — “Care”
After building a lot of buzz around the strength of a series of EPs, 20-year-old Beabadoobee is ready to unleash her debut full-length album, Fake It Flowers. “Care” is the first preview of the new album, a “nostalgically rocking track,” according to Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx that finds Beabadoobee reckoning with the end of a relationship.
Michelle — “Sunrise”
One of the more exciting tracks I’ve heard in a long time, “Sunrise” combines elements of indie pop, funk, and R&B to create something truly unique and modern. It’s the latest in a string of singles from New York City’s Michelle, a collective refreshingly comprised of predominantly queer and POC members in their early 20’s.
Narrow Head — “Stuttering Stanley”
With their sophomore LP 12th House Rock slated for release later this summer on Run For Cover Records, Narrow Head have revealed their latest single, inspired by the best of heavy ’90s emo, shoegaze, and Britpop — AKA all good things. There are times on “Stuttering Stanley” where Jacob Duarte’s drawl evokes Liam Gallagher’s nonchalant delivery, making the track an exciting trip in nostalgia.
Shamir — “I Wonder”
On his second album of 2020, Shamir is focused on fine-tuning his songwriting, delivering some of his most fleshed-out work to date. “I Wonder” is a love song that also dabbles in a discussion of climate change, and “flexes Shamir’s talent as a songwriter, combining striking instrumentals with his far-reaching vocals and intimate lyrics,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Neck Deep — “I Revolve (Around You)”
It feels like Neck Deep have been teasing their new album All Distortions Are Intentional forever, and the record is finally out this week. “I Revolve (Around You)” showcases everything the band learned about songwriting from touring with pop-punk icons like Blink-182 and New Found Glory, featuring a soaring chorus and sappy lyrics about falling in love. If pop punk has ever floated your boat, Neck Deep is a band you should have an eye on.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.