Music

All The Best New Indie Music From This Week

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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 Weyes Blood offer up a contender for album of the year, Pup deliver the best punk album of the year so far, and The National proving their latest cycle might be an all-timer. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new indie music.

Weyes Blood — Titanic Rising

There might not be a better album this year. Los Angeles-based indie artist Weyes Blood has crafted a gorgeous new record, one where her deft songwriting and powerful voice equally showcase her artistic majesty. Writing about the record, Uproxx’s Steven Hyden called it “millennial-themed, new age-accented soft rock, in which the stoicism of Mering’s stirring voice plays against the conversational nature of the lyrics.”

Pup — Morbid Stuff

Pup’s steady rise from the Canadian punk scene toward rock notability has made them a band that is fun to root for, and their latest record pushes that narrative further than before. Writing about the album, Uproxx’s Steven Hyden said, “On Morbid Stuff, Babcock’s lyrics are more despairing, but the music is also catchier. It’s the darkest and poppiest record Pup has ever made, and also the best.”

The National — “Light Years”

The National surprised fans with the announcement of their upcoming album, I Am Easy To Find, in that their last record, Sleep Well Beast, is less than two years old. But with songs like “Light Years,” which they’ve been playing live for a while, and other new songs that have yet to be debuted, the band appears to be capitalizing on a particularly fertile period. No contemporary rock band has such a consistent output (Spoon is close), and The National continue to expand their sound and experiment in the process.

Vampire Weekend — “This Life”

With Vampire Weekend’s advance releases ahead of their fourth album, Father Of The Bride, we’ve heard jam band influences, choir choruses, and Haim backing vocals. But what we’ve yet to hear is provided by “This Life,” which is a razor-sharp, hyper-hooky, comforting nod to their past work, and one that can stand firmly up to their previous output.

Big Thief — “Cattails”

First with “UFOF” and now with “Cattails,” Big Thief is making big statements with their latest music. It’s not necessarily meant to hit you over the head, but it’s clear that Adrianne Lenker has found big inspiration with her songwriting, letting her fragile, damaged vocals exude a subtle take on indie folk that doesn’t quite sound like anyone else making As Uproxx’s Derrick Rossignol writes, “The tender track is led by fingerpicked acoustic guitar and Lenker’s wispy vocals, and as the song progresses, it builds into a subtle and satisfying climax.”

Palehound — “Aaron”

Boston’s Palehound are back with a new album in June, titled Black Friday, and the first taste is called “Aaron.” The song is about feeling comfortable in our bodies and in our own skin, both figuratively and literally, and uses the titular character to represent bandleader Ellen Kempner’s own partner, who is trans. Outside of the important messaging, the tune is remarkably well-crafted, laying a hooky verse next to a hooky chorus that’s equal parts polished and loose. It ultimately stands as a paradigm for what indie rock can be in 2019.

Billie Marten — “Cartoon People”

British songwriter Billie Marten’s latest single, “Cartoon People,” is definitively chill. It’s the musical equivalent of a hot bath and a good book, though lyrically, Marten is hardly as relaxed as she sounds. Written from the perspective of Donald Trump’s daughter, the tune reflects just how much she’s matured since her debut at age 15, now using her platform to craft things with more of a social conscience.

Hatchie — “Stay With Me”

It feels weird to say that Hatchie continues to be surprising, especially considering that she doesn’t even have her debut album out in the world yet. But that’s exactly how “Stay With Me” feels. It’s a warm, post-rave tune that feels equally informed by the indie, pop, and electronic music. The song is appropriate both to rev-up and cool down, revealing Hatchie as a new artist with more tricks up her sleeve than we’ve even seen yet.

Julia Shapiro — “Natural”

As a member of Chastity Belt, Julia Shapiro has already carved out a lane for her voice within the notable band. But her new solo effort finds the songwriter in turmoil, and channeling her hardships into learning how to craft an entire record by herself. “Natural” shows Shapiro taking the song’s titular concept and applying it to her art, proving beyond capable of standing out on her own. She excels.

Winnetka Bowling League — “Slow Dances”

Los Angeles’ Winnetka Bowling League makes music that sounds as good on indie rock playlists as it would on alternative radio. There’s a little MGMT in the sound of “Slow Dances,” from the hooky synth lead to a chorus that leaps out of the speakers. Winnetka Bowling League are a band that’s easy to imagine finding big audiences, and “Slow Dances” might be the song to get them there.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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