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.
For me personally, the summer is when I listen to The Cure more than any other time of year. The light ’80s vibes must be comforting or something. That’s sort of what’s going on with the finest albums I came across on Bandcamp this month: Most of July’s picks have an old-school-inspired sound that’s undoubtedly contemporary, so check out some throwback-leaning albums to look forward to below.
5. Bad Bad Meow — Giving Up
If the album art and artist name didn’t tip you off, Bad Bad Meow is a bit silly, but that doesn’t mean they’re no good. Their oddity is a big part in what makes them catchy as hell, in fact: The title track, a sort of expansion on “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” also borrows from Cake and They Might Be Giants for an insanely fun indie rock tune that goes a lot of places in just three minutes.
4. Stereo League — A Light On Each Side
The War On Drugs have thrust synthy heartland rock right into the indie mainstream, and it would seem that Philadelphia’s Stereo League are Adam Granduciel disciples. They’re right on that same wavelength, creating atmospheric, world-building, reverb-drenched rock that’s hard to ignore when it sticks with you as it does.
3. Smokescreens — Used To Yesterday
Los Angeles’ Smokescreens make no secret that they’re inspired by ’80s indie pop, a sound that they’re able to effectively translate into a modern context. “Used To Yesterday,” for example, has some early REM vibes, as well as a contemporary sounding sense of movement that makes classic power pop not sound so classic.
2. Bodies — Shitty Grin
This Canadian garage pop album is unmistakably lo-fi, but that lack of depth paradoxically creates more of it somehow, melding the surfy elements together into a wall of sound that doesn’t need the frequencies its missing. Tracks like album opener “Rita Hayworthless” give post-punk jangle pop a giant atmosphere in which to exist, one that’s a service to the tracks, which is perfect because these songs are big fun.
1. The Haiduks — Fluorescents
In 2007, Fluorescents by The Haiduks was supposed to be released. For one reason or another, it wasn’t, but now it’s 2018 and here it is. It’s a good thing it came out, because this album is a good thing. Album opener “On Air” has a strong Broken Social Scene feel to it, and as their brand has managed to age well, so too has this record. Propulsive and engaging indie rock never really gets old, and while the album’s origins may come from a decade ago, right now, it’s a breath of fresh new air.