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, of pop, or of 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 offered up a new collaboration from Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner called Big Red Machine, a fiery debut from Tash Sultana, a record from Idles that will make you want to kick through a wall. It was a pretty great week for indie music.
Big Red Machine — Big Red Machine
Big Red Machine has been a long time coming, dating back to 2009’s Dark Was The Night compilation album when Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner first collaborated. Nearly ten years later, and the pair who are also behind the PEOPLE streaming service have unveiled their first album for this long-gestating collaborative project. The good news is that it sounds like a happy medium between the two musicians’ main projects, The National and Bon Iver. As our own Steven Hyden writes, “Big Red Machine seems expressly designed to be heard as a sustained mood piece, like the second half of Sleep Well Beast with rougher, jammier edges.”
Idles — Joy As An Act of Resistance
Post-punk is a genre that always seems to have something a little fresh to offer, a slight spin on what has been done before with new vitality and urgency. Bristol’s Idles certainly fits under this umbrella, evoking recent runs from Savages and Protomartyr for an album that sounds definitively British, reeking of a spilled car beer that’s been left in the sun for a day to dry. Somewhere, there are young people hearing these sounds for the first time and feeling their world turn upside down. But even if there is familiarity here, Idles still has a certain immediacy in their music that virtually forces the listener to turn up the volume and get thrashed.
Tash Sultana — Flow State
There must be something in the water in Australia, because in addition to Troye Sivan, Tash Sultana is another artist from Down Under that is making huge waves this week. Tash’s debut album, Flow State, finds the multi-instrumentalist recording with remarkable maturity and playing many different instruments on the collection. In her interview with Tash on the record, Uproxx’s Chloe Gilke calls the album “bold, innovative, and masterful, much like the artist who created it.”