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 very best of the indie releases from the past seven days. This week saw Charly Bliss offer up a bold power-pop statement, Jamila Woods showcase the majesty of her artistry, and Rhye giving us his second album in just two years. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
Charly Bliss — Young Enough
In 2017, Brooklyn indie-pop outfit Charly Bliss released their minor breakthrough album, Guppy, to much acclaim. But like any album that makes a splash, their follow up Young Enough emerges with much greater visibility, and the band is rising to the occasion. Writing about the album for Uproxx, Steven Hyden said, “Charly Bliss might still be underdogs slugging it away on the club circuit, but Young Enough sounds like it was made under the assumption that Hendricks is already a superstar. If there’s any justice, she’ll eventually get there for real.”
Holly Herndon — Proto
On the 2015 standout Platform, Holly Herndon’s music often felt like the intersection between humanity and technology, a circuit board made of flesh and blood. So, it’s only fitting that on the latest album, Herdon turns into the world of A.I. by collaborating with an entity named Spawn. Herndon’s project delves into some of the philosophical discussions surrounding A.I., using her recently completed Ph.D. from Stanford where she studied machine learning and music. If the future has a sound, this is likely it.
Jamila Woods — Legacy! Legacy!
To call Jamila Woods simply a musician would be to sell her short. She’s a poet, a thinker, and an artist whose work hits many levels — vast historical insight, deep emotional connections, a distinct social perspective — without selling any of them short. Her latest should further define her as an essential presence in the music community, even if her reach is so far beyond that.
Rhye — Spirit
Rhye’s previous album, Blood, was notable for how long the project took to gestate, revealing the many outside factors that can contribute when we hear new music from artists we love. But with label issues in the past, Rhye is now following up that 2018 standout with another album. Spirit finds the LA-based musician rediscovering his love of piano, reflecting in a focused effort that stays true to his singular perspective.
Alex Cameron — “Miami Memory”
Rappers aren’t the only artists bringing their personal lives into their art. On his latest single, rising Australian songwriter Alex Cameron presents a song that serves as both a love letter to his girlfriend, Girls‘ Jemima Kirke, as well as to the city of Miami. The song, and video, go to some unexpected places (The line “Eating your ass like an oyster / The way you came like a tsunami” is a particular standout), but it ultimately serves as a sex-positive, adventurous, and even tender reason for why bands like The Killers have turned to Cameron for songwriting help of late.
Idles — “Mercedes Marxist”
Fresh off releasing the best rock album of 2018, Idles return with a new tune that captures the same feverish energy. It makes sense, since the tune was written for the Joy As An Act Of Resistance sessions, with its personal frustration providing a fossil record of just how far bandleader Joe Talbot has come in the past couple years.
Crumb — “Ghostride”
Emerging Brooklyn band Crumb further expand their genre-defying sound on their latest. You can hear the jazz influence in “Ghostride,” as well as a woozy, gentle, retro-psych aesthetic. But at its core, Crumb sounds like a modern reinvention of dream pop on “Ghostride,” the kind of song that feels like diving deep underwater and watching the air bubbles slowly make their way to the surface.
Nylo — “Subtitles”
Songwriter Nylo returns with a spare, downtempo single that’s full of yearning. Speaking about the song in a statement, she noted, “The last few years I took a lot of time out to listen, to learn, and to be re-inspired when my muse was on vacation, or perhaps with another girl. After a long time away I came back to writing and it was such a relief to have a song like this pour out and explain everything to me all at once, so I could finally sleep.”
Kelly Lee Owens — “Let It Go”
This is not a Frozen cover. Returning after releasing one of the most underrated albums in recent memory, her 2017 self-titled effort, British producer Kelly Lee Owens leaves it all out on the dancefloor in this energetic romp. When her voice kicks in to repeat the titular phrase, it’s ghostly, barely present, letting the tune’s propulsive rhythm guide the mood.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
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