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 Vampire Weekend album in six years, a Big Thief record that is sure to feature prominantly on year-end lists, and a moody new song from The National. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.
Vampire Weekend — Father Of The Bride
Vampire Weekend, the band of the internet era, are back. And while six years was a long time for many fans to wait, the 18-song collection strives to make that wait worth it. Writing about the record for Uproxx, Steven Hyden said, “One of the many small miracles of this lovely and wise comeback album is that it doesn’t feel like it was made by a guy in his mid-thirties pretending like he’s still a fresh-faced, post-collegiate twentysomething. Rather than reviving a remnant of his old, indie-famous life, Koenig has brought Vampire Weekend into the smaller, more intimate confines of his current family-man existence.”
Big Thief — U.F.O.F.
While Vampire Weekend certainly offered up the most anticipated indie album of the week, Big Thief might have the best one. Over the last couple years, the band’s leader and vocalist, Adrianne Lenker, has been offering up inspired releases both as a solo artist and within the band, but this newest offering shows that there is no ceiling for her reflective, often-brilliant songwriting.
Mormor — Some Place Else
A new year, a new EP for Toronto singer Mormor. Last year’s Heaven’s Only Wishful put him on the map, and on Some Place Else, he expands what he’s capable of. The release hits on the cracked-window dreaminess of Captured Tracks releases and on the genre-bending of Blood Orange, all while carving out his own distinct lane. Mormor is quickly becoming an essential artist.
The National — “Hairpin Turns”
The National have many speeds, ranging from all-out rockers to gorgeous slow jams and everything in between. “Hairpin Turns” definitely files under the woozy ballad territory, less a love song than a song that revolves around love, a faithful moon orbiting the complexities of human relationships.
Rhye — “Needed”
Rhye’s first couple albums have a multi-year gap between them, but it looks like his next one will be out much quicker. Spirit is being described as a return for project mastermind Mike Milosh to his love of piano playing, and that can be heard in “Needed.” But the hushed melodies and lusty vocal performances that fans already love seem firmly intact.
Daughter Of Swords — “Dawnbreaker”
Anyone who’s been through a breakup knows there isn’t necessarily a start and end to it all. The seeds were planted before you ever noticed, and the pain can linger indeterminately. On the debut from Daughter Of Swords, Mountain Man’s Alexandra Sauser-Monnig began her solo collection chronicling the end of her relationship before it had even happened. On the gorgeous and reflective “Dawnbreaker,” the simplicity of the daily sunrise holds greater implications for the future, with the song carefully balancing between comfort and confession.
Black Midi — “Talking Heads”
Even as the band has yet to drop their debut album, Black Midi have already established a distinct aesthetic. Their songs incorporate the angular, precise nature of math rock but through more accessible avenues than the genre typically explores. On their latest, “Talking Heads,” the band offers up their version of “pop music,” which means its grooves are dancefloor-ready, while just keeping things weird enough to keep listeners on their toes.
Stef Chura — “They’ll Never”
With a new album due in early June on Saddle Creek, Stef Chura dropped this rager to up the anticipation. Stacked with a yodeling vocal delivery, a driving tempo, and scorching guitars, the song serves as a microcosm for everything that Stef Chura does well, allowing her to stand out in a crowded indie rock field.
The Glow — “Weight Of Sun”
In 2016, Lvl Up released their Sub Pop debut and appeared to be a band on the rise. But just two years later, the band had hung it up, surprising many who saw them as an emerging indie rock force. The good news is that Mike Caridi is back with The Glow, offering up songs like “Weight Of Sun” that draw influence from the late-’90s indie canon and contemporary garage pop. The new material is melodically rich and endlessly warm, hinting at a fertile songwriting period from Caridi.
The Regrettes — “Dress Up”
LA-based rockers The Regrettes have been steadily dropping standout singles for the last year or so, and their latest, “Dress Up,” might be the strongest one yet. Bandleader Lydia Night might only be 18, but she is already a master of the garage and pop-punk forms, updating her influences with studio gloss that would sound equally sharp on big stages as well as small ones.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
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