Crate Digging is Uproxx Music’s monthly exploration of the depths of DIY music distribution platform Bandcamp, in an effort to unearth some hidden gem albums that just might find their spot among your favorites.
There are a lot of big highly anticipated albums to look forward to next month; The two that immediately stick out in my mind are the new ones from Robyn and Kurt Vile. Before we start salivating for those, though, let’s take a second to pull out the magnifying glass and look at what we may have missed this month. Sometimes browsing through Bandcamp feels like the needle in a haystack routine, but if you root around in there long enough, you’ll find something sticking into your fingers. This month, there’s fun alternative synth pop, lo-fi and energetic indie, surf rock with some bite, and a record that hearkens back to vintage alternative music without getting too nostalgic.
5. Maya — Claro
It’s a shame that summer’s coming to an end, because Maya is perfect for it… although, sunny vibes are always welcome, because who doesn’t need a pick-me-up sometimes? Songs like “Astro” and “Estructuras” come off like a more electronic Tame Impala, but there are more guitar-driven rock vibes and plenty of other pleasing ideas to be found on Claro as well.
4. Boy — Her
There are points on Boy’s latest where the production almost sounds too lo-fi, but there are also points where that’s a big part of its charm. Most notably, album opener “Life Givers” sometimes sounds like Television’s “Marquee Moon” played through a broken speaker, but this also creates a sense of energy and chaos in the post-rock-leaning epic that really begins the record on a tremendous note.
3. Posterboy Machine — Vol De Nuit
French musician Posterboy Machine’s latest opens hot with “Entre Deux Eaux,” a delightfully airy throwback-sounding track with an infectious groove. He then proves himself capable of repeating that trick throughout the rest of the release, which is filled with beautifully produced and performed synthpop that’s a fitting tribute to eras passed.
2. The Vandaliers — An Island Abroad
Surf rock has a reputation for being soft, neutered rock music (at least it does in the confines of my brain), and while The Vandaliers are surf-ish, there’s a definite edge to them. They get the sunny vibes across just fine, but there’s plenty of bombast worked in, whether it’s with a tasty lick or a ripping guitar solo.
1. Spesh — Famous World
Classic alternative influences come together in one place on the Seattle group’s latest (is that a reference to Blur’s Parklife I see on the album cover?) for a record that is pleasingly rooted in both the past and present day. Album opener “Teflon” is an adrenaline shot to kick things off, and it’s also a kinetic early-’90s-styled trip that sounds both like you’ve heard it a thousand times and like you’d enjoy it a thousand times more.