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 the return of Damon Albarn’s The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a fantastic record from Seattle’s Sloucher, and the Karen O and Danger Mouse collaboration that we didn’t know we needed. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
The Good, The Bad & The Queen — Merrie Land
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Damon Albarn is one of the hardest working musicians alive. When I spoke with him about his Gorillaz music festival, he had the next year of his life mapped out with projects. The Good, The Bad & The Queen is the return of one of his beloved entities, where he makes tunes with Paul Simonon, Tony Allen, and Simon Tong and produced by legend Tony Visconti, resulting in an album that is distinctly British, and focused on what it means to be British in 2018.
Sloucher — Be True
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There are few cities with a musical history as rich as Seatle, so Sloucher has a lot to live up to. “Every track has its own vibe, with the band consciously trying to bring different angles to different compositions,” Corbin Reiff writes, noting that the band is the “the next great indie rock band” to come out of the Pacific Northwest.
Girlpool — “Hire”
Girlpool have just announced a new album out in early 2019, What Chaos Is Imaginary, and their first sampling from the project certainly ups the anticipation. The song finds Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad doubling down on attitude and angst in what Uproxx’s Leah Lu calls“a blissed-out exposition that captures the duo’s maturation both musically and mentally.”
Karen O and Danger Mouse — “Lux Prima”
Danger Mouse is a master collaborator, having worked with artists like Jack White, James Mercer, The Black Keys, and Sparklehorse. His latest cohort is Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O, with whom an entire album is expected out soon. Our first taste comes in the form of the sprawling “Lux Prima,” a selection that sprinkles mystery into Danger Mouse’s psych-pop formula. Most importantly, Karen O’s voice is just as captivating as always.
The Regrettes — “Poor Boy”
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of marching for gun control with Los Angeles rock band The Regrettes. Barely old enough to vote themselves, the group’s political activism is on display again in their latest song, “Poor Boy.” Written during the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, the song is a blunt anthem that shows songwriter Lydia Night unwilling to stay silent on the injustice she is witnessing. But even without the context, the song is a straight ripper.
Bon Iver — “Do You Need Power?”
Justin Vernon’s year has already included an album as Big Red Machine and live shows with a dance troupe. But to close it out, we get a brief track from the Creed II soundtrack. Mike Will Made-It makes his presence know as the production takes what we know about Bon Iver and gives it a hip-hop bent.
Ryley Walker — The Lillywhite Sessions
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Ryley Walker is one of the most fun indie rock follows on Twitter, never holding back his strong feelings on the current and past musical landscape. One thing he hasn’t been shy about is an appreciation of Dave Matthews Band and he showcases that with this cover album of a set of demos that were famously rejected by Matthews’ label. “I’m not trying to reappraise or make everybody think twice about it,” Walker writes. “It’s just, I grew up on this sh*t and I wanna do a record where nobody knows what it’s going to sound like.”
Chvrches — Hansa Session EP
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Fresh off the release of their third career album early this year, Love Is Dead, Scottish synthpop band Chvrches are back with some new interpretation of those songs. The offering includes some of the most liked songs from that album, “Graffiti,” “Miracle,” and “Get Out,” but with the synth removed and replaced by lush strings and acoustic instrumentation. Recorded at the famous Hansa studio in Berlin, this short collection highlights Chvrches’ ability as songwriters, all frills pushed aside.
Broods — “Everything Goes (Wow)”
After opening for Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour in Australia and New Zealand, Broods followed it up by debuting this magnetic new song. Writing about the song, Uproxx’s Derrick Rossignol called it “an airy and fun pop that’s a strong sign of things to come.”
Delicate Steve — The Christmas Album
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New Jersey native Delicate Steve knows his way around a guitar, that much has been proven over his musical output. But his latest offering finds him applying that skill to an unexpected form: The Christmas song. The instrumental collection doesn’t take the source material at face value and includes a 14-minute rendition of “Frosty The Snowman.”