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 new singles from beloved artists like Death Cab For Cutie and Deafheaven, a taste of what’s to come from Grimes, and a record from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever that is among the best indie releases of the year. It was a very good week.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever — Hope Downs
It’s not exactly a surprise that Australia’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have delivered one of the best indie rock debuts of the year. If you’ve been following our posts about the best music for the past couple months, you’d have noticed that Rolling Blackouts C.F. have featured often. It’s a breezy, summer-ready affair from a group of childhood friends and family that are as much interested in the rock and roll experience as they are with “making it.” The result is a must-hear offering.
Sophie — Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
Though the hype around PC Music has faded, the loosely affiliated Scotish electronic artist Sophie is proving that her brand of experimental music does not need a scene to succeed. On her debut full-length, she sings and composes music that aims to reach the corners of the imagination — what’s even crazier is how often she succeeds.
Dirty Projectors — “That’s A Lifestyle”
Just a year after releasing a surprisingly controversial self-titled effort that aired relationship laundry with too much specificity, Dirty Projectors are back for another round of new tunes. “That’s A Lifestyle” finds the project in delightfully familiar territory, in what seems like a throwback that manages to hit on David Longstreth’s strengths. For anyone that was turned off the last time around, this could be the welcome back that they need.
Oso Oso — “gb/ol h/nf”
Sometimes your coworker shares a song on Twitter that makes you pay attention. When your coworker is Steven Hyden, this happens more often than others. So, though Oso Oso may not be a household name, this new track argues that maybe they should be. It’s an indie rock mover from a band that usually veers more emo, but that doesn’t matter when this track is swinging ahead, full steam.
Grimes — “That’s What The Drugs Are For”
Most of the press around Grimes of late has been regarding who she is dating, which should be a crime for one of the most captivating and original artists of our time. And though she has been promising new music for some time, our first taste of what she has cooking comes in the form of an Apple commercial. From what the clip shares, Grimes is every bit as melodic and adventurous as ever, which bodes well for the music that is still to come.
Death Cab For Cutie — “Gold Rush”
Our first taste of Death Cab’s new album, Thank You For Today, finds the Seattle band camouflaged by more production layers than usual. Maybe this relates to the departure of founding guitarist/producer Chris Walla, but the song interestingly speaks about how neighborhoods change and how our memories are tied to locations. The song fittingly sounds like the Death Cab neighborhood has changed, too, with a shiny new skyscraper sticking right up in the middle.
Devon Welsh — “Vampires”
If you were worried that the dissolution of Majical Cloudz would mean a lack of captivating vocal performances from its leader, Devon Welsh, then you should be pleased with the recent music he has offered up. “Vampires” gets everything right about what Welsh does well, delivering lyrics that look straight into the soul with an intimate and direct delivery. He’s a special singer, and let’s hope that people follow his work even without the more established Majical Cloudz moniker.
Deafheaven — “Canary Yellow”
Our second sampling of new Deafheaven is, surprise, another long-as-all-hell post-metal scorcher. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. Perhaps most interesting are the moments of unadulterated beauty that envelop the piece. The intro, in particular, seems like a step into new territory for the band, wallowing in gorgeous tones before the song explodes in on itself.
Spiritualized – “I’m Your Man”
The best Spiritualized songs sound timeless, like they have been rattling around your head since you were a child and hearing them only sparks that memory. “I’m Your Man” totally hits that sweet spot, with Jason Pierce sounding a fragile and weary as ever. It makes sense that it comes from an album called And Nothing Hurt because the song sounds like the musical interpretation of healing, or at least going numb.
Swim Good Now — Daylight
A lot of great art involves collaboration of some sort, but Swim Good Now’s new collection Daylight takes that idea to the next level. Featuring the likes of Ryan Hemsworth, S. Carey, Teen Daze, Stars’ Torquil Campbell, Dan Mangan, and Half Waif, the album is an indietronica wonderland, not quite as club-ready as it is for small bedroom gatherings.
Yuno — Moodie
It’s a particularly good week for Sub Pop. Aside from the release from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, we also have the debut offering from Jacksonville’s Yuno, an artist that is already defying easy classification early in his career. Dipping close to chillwave in one moment and maximalist, WU LYF-esque rock the next, Yuno has already put himself on the map as an artist to watch, just six songs into his career.