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 installment includes huge new albums from Florence + The Machine and Gorillaz, an instant classic song from Mitski, and one of the best albums of the year from British teens Let’s Eat Grandma. It was a very good week.
Gorillaz — The Now Now
For the second album cycle in a row, Gorillaz deliver a second collection hot on the heels of the first. Just a year after offering up Humanz, an album full of marquee guests, the virtual band is back with The Now Now, a record that puts Damon Albarn front and center. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any special appearances — Snoop Dogg pops up for one — but The Now Now shows Gorillaz as not an easy project to peg down, always willing to take a left turn when you think you’ve got them figured out.
Florence + The Machine — High As Hope
Not quite a pop star, not quite a rocker, Florence Welch should take pride in being difficult to pin down. The truth is that she is greater than any of these labels, delivering theatrical, expansive tunes that are meant for the biggest stages possible. On her fourth full-length, Welch has spoken about going sober following the previous record, resulting in an album that “comes from a place of even getting underneath that because when you put the drinking down, all the other stuff is going to show up.”
Let’s Eat Grandma — I’m All Ears
On just their second album, the teens of Let’s Eat Grandma already prove to be at the forefront of the avant-pop world. The record works like a showcase for their talents, each song skipping to a different tone and sound with grace. In my review of the record, I wrote, “Let’s Eat Grandma knows that if you are going to make people travel a long road, you have to make the journey worth it.” It’s an album of continual rewards, and one that bodes very well for their future.
Mitski — “Nobody”
Okay, we’ve only heard two songs off Mitski’s upcoming new album, Be The Cowboy. But following up her breakthrough, 2016’s Puberty 2, it’s safe to say that the songwriter is hell-bent on seizing the moment. Her first new single, “Geyser,” might have been the most dramatic song of her career, while “Nobody” finds her in unprecedented disco territory. It is not an understatement to say that both songs are fantastic.
The Milk Carton Kids – All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn’t Do
I caught The Milk Carton Kids recently at Arroyo Seco Weekend and saw the duo in a whole new form, playing with a full band on what is their first tour with such. On their latest record, the changes are less perceivable, but gentle percussion and fuller arrangements can still be heard. At their heart, The Milk Carton Kids are still folk purists who don’t mind shining a light on the genre they’ve immersed themselves in.
Marissa Nadler — “For My Crimes”
Boston songwriter Marissa Nadler can flirt with gothy darkness, but her aesthetic is generally more complex than that. On “For My Crimes,” she crafts a song that would sound perfect paired with rain pattering against a window, with Angel Olsen showing up to provide atmospheric backing vocals. “Please don’t remember me for my crimes,” she pleads throughout. With songs this good, Nadler doesn’t have to worry about how she will be remembered.
Dilly Dally — “I Feel Free”
After nearly calling it quits after their 2016 album Sore, Toronto’s Dilly Dally are back and full of a rare fire. “I Feel Free” lives up to its name, pummeling with the force of its instruments and packing a vocal performance to match. It sounds like the kind of song that only a band that’s seen their own demise can make, in the best possible way.
Converge — Beautiful Ruin EP
In the world of hardcore, you don’t get much more respected than Boston’s Converge. This four-song EP was recorded in the same sessions as their last full-length, The Dusk In Us, and proves pretty much anything the band releases is an essential listen.
Mutual Benefit — “New History”
Using an untraditional method to debut a new song, Mutual Benefit gave a live performance clip of the sweet and hushed “New History.” It’s an intimate look from an often intimate band, with the song landing more straight-ahead and direct than the project usually does. Coupled with the recently unveiled “Storm Cellar Heart,” and there is a lot to be excited about for Mutual Benefit fans.
Eric Bachmann — “No Recover”
As a member of Archers Of Loaf, Eric Bachmann helped shape the sound of indie rock as we know it. But as a solo artist, Bachmann is mining a much more emotionally rich territory. It’s sparse and gentle, with its accompanying video of a barely moving lakeshore providing the perfect visuals for such a peaceful composition.