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 a new Jeff Tweedy album that might be his best work in a decade, a new Grimes song that almost tore the music world apart at the seams, and a couple live entries from Boygenius as they wrapped their incredible tour. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
Jeff Tweedy — WARM
Between Wilco, Loose Fur, Uncle Tupelo, Tweedy, and Golden Smog, the world has never been at a shortage of projects to appreciate the work of Jeff Tweedy. But he hasn’t released a whole lot of music under just his own name, and that changes with this solo album. Without the pressure of Wilco behind the project, Tweedy is as relaxed and comfortable as ever, offering up a collection of songs that showcase the sturdiness of his craft.
Kaytranada — Nothin Like You / Chances EP
One of electronic music’s most exciting artists is back, at least in a limited sense. With little fanfare, Kaytranada has dropped a brand new EP, complete with appearances from Ty Dolla Sign and Shay Lia. It’s his first bit of new music since his amazing 99.9%, and will hopefully be the kickstart of the next chapter for this magnetic producer.
Grimes — “We Appreciate Power”
Remember when Grimes’ label, 4AD, had a big conflict with the singer and the world was left to speculate exactly why? Well, listening to the songwriter’s nu metal-referencing, AI-discussing, and honestly quite wild new single, it’s not hard to imagine what the issues could have been. Is this the most extreme of the upcoming new Grimes material or the most tame? We’ll have to wait to find out, but in the meantime, it’s hard to deny that she’s sticking to her guns and making music that literally no one else could.
Sharon Van Etten — “Jupiter 4”
It’s been years since the last Sharon Van Etten album, enough time for there to be a t-shirt campaign asking when the next album would be coming. And as seen on previous single “Comeback Kid” and now “Jupiter 4,” the time has been put to good use, crafting a whole new sound so the artist who could easily rest on her laurels. “Jupiter 4” is dramatic and grand, emotionally charged but pushing her aesthetic beyond just that. Van Etten has never sounded so rich and free, and it suits her marvelously.
Julia Holter — “Whether”
This song was included on Julia Holter’s recently released album, Aviary, but it’s so strong, it deserves to be highlighted here. Holter’s music defies easy classification, not quite comfortable in the rock or pop world, but never losing the sensibility to sit easily beside artists of either genre.
Blood Orange — “Smoke” (Remix)
The lives that Mac Miller touched in his too-short time on earth cannot be understated. In the music world, that reach sprawled from hip-hop to jazz to indie music. So, it’s not surprising to see someone like Blood Orange offering this tribute to Mac, as the two had previously collaborated. “Smoke,” whose original version closes out Negro Swan, now features the lyric, ” “I couldn’t even prepare for the loss / What could I do but cry / RIP my boy Mac.”
Harlem — “Queen Of Mosquittos”
Harlem continues to amp up the T-Rex vibes on their latest, “Queen Of Mosquitos.” It’s a sound that is so obviously indebted to another that it can hardly be seen as anything but an homage, but it’s also one of the best aesthetics ever, so of course it’s endlessly listenable. It’s a nice eveolution from the band’s garage rock roots, which eight years after their debut Hippies, now sounds particularly prescient.
Boygenius — “Read My Mind” (The Killers cover)
Sometimes you just see a news story that is more “your sh*t” than anything else conceivable. That’s exactly how I felt at the news that Boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus) covered one of the best Killers songs, “Read My Mind,” in Los Angeles. The cover turns a rocker into a weeper, which has always been a part of the DNA of my of the Killers arena anthems. The best covers make old songs new again, and working with top tier source material, that’s exactly what Boygenius managed.
Julien Baker and Matt Berninger — “All I Want”
From the exact same show, Julien Baker welcomed up The National’s Matt Berninger to the stage for the piano duet, “All I Want.” The song will be released for the upcoming Planned Parenthood benefit as a duo, but it will also be included in the soundtrack American Chaos as just a Berninger tune. The song’s co-writer Steph Altman joins the pair on piano for the sweeping tune.