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 first new Black Keys song in five years, an album from Helado Negro that is among his career best, and the unexpected the return of The National who continue to prove why they are one of the best bands of this era. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
Helado Negro — This Is How You Smile
This gentle, meditative album evokes the likes of Caetano Veloso and Devendra Banhart in both its relaxing take on Bosa Nova and its effortless use of bilingual wordplay. But even if you only speak one of the languages being presented, there’s enough truth in the melodies and arrangements that the emotion can be gleaned without following the words. This Is How You Smile is a special album that doesn’t hide how personal it is for the artist, and it’s all the better because of it.
Warm Human — Ghastly
Chicago songwriter Meredith Johnston lovingly refers to her Warm Human project as “sludge pop” in the press materials, and the debut album is bedroom pop in its most literal sense, even if you can’t tell by listening to it. But regardless of how it is classified, Warm Human is instantly presented as music that can’t be ignored. Writing about the record for Uproxx, Sasha Geffen said, “These are bold, capital-P pop gestures kidnapped from their native environment and thrown against the wall in new and surprising formations.”