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 career-best effort from Kevin Morby, Japanese Breakfast’s first bit of new music in a couple of years, and the incredible return of FKA Twigs. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
Kevin Morby — Oh My God
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On his fifth career album, Los Angeles-based songwriter Kevin Morby crafts a “non-religious religious record.” You don’t need faith to be moved by the effort, with our own Caitlin White writing, “Even if nothing here saves your soul on first listen, it’s very possible multiple listens of Oh My God could save your life. The gospel usually does, whether religion is involved or not.”
Various Artists — For The Thone (Music Inspired By The HBO Series Game Of Thrones)
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If you aren’t aware that Game Of Thrones is currently airing their final season on HBO, it must be comfortable under that rock you are living under. In celebration of this last season, artists ranging from The National to The Lumineers have offered up this album of songs from and inspired by the show. Mumford & Sons, Muse’s Matt Bellamy, and Rosalia all appear on the record.
FKA Twigs — “Cellophane”
She’s an incredible singer and songwriter, an amazing dancer, and has an aesthetic eye like no other. And on “Cellophane,” FKA Twigs’ mighty return, she puts them all to work. The dramatic piano-driven piece is as vulnerable as it gets, with her voice quivering with emotional outpouring as the song expands into technicolor. It’s almost impossible to talk about the song without talking about the glorious video, which speaks to the majesty of both.
Japanese Breakfast — “Essentially”
In the two years since Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner released her great album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, she’s become a bona fide star. Between her excellent live show and proven songwriting prowess, she’s easily one of the brightest beacons of the indie scene. On this new song, “Essentially,” she crafts a danceable groove full of yearning, expanding her sonic palette to prove mighty at most everything she tries.
The Black Keys — “Eagle Birds”
Ohio’s favorite rockers have now announced their new album, appropriately named Let’s Rock. The duo takes the title to heart on their latest single, “Eagle Birds,” which is a straight-ahead bluesy barnburner that fits neatly in their oeuvre. The more things change, the more they stay the same, and it’s nice to know that The Black Keys remain a reliable institution.
Mannequin Pussy — “Drunk II”
Philadelphia indie punks Mannequin Pussy are making the move to Epitaph, a suitable home with acts like Joyce Manor and La Dispute already on their roster. For their new single, “Drunk II,” the band is as endearing as ever, crafting a warm, expansive anthem that showcases their ability to intrigue both lyrically and melodically. It’s a head-turning song for a band that’s sure to keep the new attention they are receiving.
Craig Finn — I Need A New War
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The Hold Steady’s frontman Craig Finn hasn’t offered up a new album from his main band since 2014’s Teeth Dreams, though they’ve been steadily dropping pairs of singles over the last couple years. Finn has been something of a prolific solo artist over that time, with I Need A New War standing as his third offering over that time. This new one might be his finest to date, completing a trilogy and cementing him as a career-minded artist.
Local Natives – Violet Street
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Los Angeles’ indie institution Local Natives have now been releasing towering tunes for a decade, and even with their relative success, it’s always felt like they could blow up even bigger. Their fourth album could be the moment to get them there, as the band expands their sounds to include new production techniques while staying true to their core ethos.
James Blake — “Mulholland”
We’re a couple months past the release of James Blake’s latest, quite good album, Assume Form, and still he’s offering up new music into the world. “Mulholland” will feature on the vinyl release of the album, and it’s pitch-shifted vocals and unpredictable production make it a worthy addition.
Better Oblivion Community Center — “Little Trouble”
Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst are keeping their great project Better Oblivion Community Center going through the summer, and have finally offered up the studio recording of this live favorite. The bouncy number has a bit of a different tone from the rest of their offerings, which is maybe why it was not featured on their album, but the song’s playfulness soars live and is a strong addition to their oeuvre.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
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