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 Tame Impala going further down the soft-rock rabbit hole, Charly Bliss further establishing their pop-punk bona fides, and Courtney Barnett continuing her prolific streak. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
Tame Impala — “Borderline”
Are Tame Impala going to title all their new songs after popular ’80s numbers? That remains to be seen, but after “Patience” (think Guns N’ Roses), the band has now offered up “Borderline” (think Madonna), which they also debuted on SNL a couple of weeks back. The song’s deep groove and infectious melody quickly embed themselves in the listener’s consciousness, the kind of tune that is deeply familiar even after one listen. Tame are clearly tapping into new territory for the project, and the results are extraordinary.
Courtney Barnett — “Everybody Here Hates You”
Among the things that Courtney Barnett does not get enough credit for — including her incredible songwriting and majestic live presence — is her prolific nature. Even after releasing a couple albums in the last two years, she’s still been releasing standalone songs at a steady clip. Her latest lives up to the high bar she sets for herself, with our own Chloe Gilke noting, “Barnett channels Jeff Buckley’s honesty, but in her own riotous, rebellious style. The song’s refrain of “we’re gonna tell everyone it’s ok” is a rallying cry for the hurting, healing weirdos of the world.”
Charly Bliss — “Hard To Believe”
New York punky indie rockers Charly Bliss are about a month off from releasing one of the most anticipated rock records of the year. And “Hard To Believe” only increases that feeling, as the band is consistently knocking it out of the park with their advance releases. Writing about the song for Uproxx, Chloe Gilke said, “’Hard To Believe’ is a roaring, guitar-driven song about the endless, unbreakable cycle of a bad relationship. You want out, but when the pull between you and another person is that strong, it’s easier said than done. “Hard To Believe” captures the frenetic energy of being at war with yourself, aware of your best interests but ignoring them anyway.”
Crumb — “Nina”
Brooklyn four-piece Crumb offered up a pair of EPs over the last few years, built mainly out of songs that songwriter Lila Ramani had written during college. Now, the band is ready to offer up their debut album, and have shared “Nina” in advance. Blonde Redhead comes to mind when hearing the twinkling keys, and gentle psychedelia of the track, as it pushes its atmospheric charms with an assured steady hand.
Aldous Harding — “Fixture Picture”
New Zealand songwriter Aldous Harding is releasing her third career album, titled Designer, on 4/26 via 4AD. In the video for her latest advance taste from the collection, Harding performs on a hilltop to capture the meditative quality of her music, as serene as it is emotionally forthcoming. But maybe best about Harding is how she juxtaposes her songwriting and pristine vocal delivery with an air of looseness by never taking herself too seriously. It’s this complexity that makes it easy to hear why Lorde called her “the most interesting musician around.”
PJ Harvey — All About Eve Orignal Soundtrack
English recording legend PJ Harvey is just a few years away from celebrating 30 years in the music world that’s seen her offer up landmark albums in each of the last three decades, including her most recent, 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project. Her latest release is something very different, a mostly instrumental score for the West End stage production of All About Eve. For the songs with vocals, we hear them sung by the production’s stars Gillian Anderson and Lily James, resulting in a release from Harvey unlike anything we’ve heard from her before.
Penelope Isles — “Chlorine”
Jack and Lily Wolter are siblings, their songwriters, and they are key components in the band Penelope Isles. With their just-announced debut album due out in July, titled Until The Tide Creeps In, the band emerges with “Chlorine,’ sounding like Kevin Parker leaving the insular nature of Tame Impala behind and forming an earnest, fuzzy indie rock band.
Joanna Sternberg — “This Is Not Who I Want To Be”
Every once in a while a voice will stop you in your tracks, and that’s true about Joanna Sternberg. They offer up this spare piano ballad with the news that they’ve signed to Conor Oberst’s label Team Love, and it’s enough to pique some serious interest in the upcoming debut album, Then I Try Some More, out on 7/12. The song reads as a poignant look at addiction with just the right balance of regret and reflection, so forthcoming that it feels powerful enough to make the ground shake.
Fontaines D.C. — Dogrel
Along with Idles and Shame, Fontaines D.C. represent a recent trend of post-punk throwbacks emerging from the UK and Ireland. On their debut album, Dogrel, the Dublin band presents pummeling rock with the right amount of wit, attitude, and irreverence.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
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