It has been reported that 99 percent of all music streaming activity comes from just 10 percent of all available songs, meaning that the most popular tracks are pretty much all most people listen to. Even if those reported numbers aren’t completely accurate, that still feels true. That’s great for those artists, but what about everybody else? What about the folks who don’t have as much promotional firepower in their arsenal but are still releasing terrific material that ought to be heard? Well, this is my small attempt to help level that disparity: A list of this week’s finest indie albums that you may not have heard, or even heard of.
There were some solid releases this week, like new-wave influenced indie via Pure Bathing Culture and the familial synchronicity of Bailen, so check it all out below.
Bailen — Thrilled To Be Here
A lot of siblings can’t get along, but then there are those that form a band together. That’s what Bailen has done, and their efforts are good enough to be produced by the esteemed John Congleton. The new album features songs like “Something Tells Me,” which kicks off with Everly Brothers-style vocal harmonization before the song shifts into an epic indie love ballad, while “I Was Wrong” incorporates alt-country and soul influences into a surprisingly cohesive package.
Claude Fontaine — Claude Fontaine
Fontaine said of her new album, “I wanted it to feel like those lost records, like it got lost in the dusty bottom bin of some world music store in London.” That’s a vibe she’s totally achieved, thanks to a diverse set of songs that features the samba of “I’ll Play The Fool” and “Pretending He Was You” and the reggae-influenced “Hot Tears.”
Jackie Mendoza — LuvHz EP
Mendoza is hard to pin down on her new EP, because there are elements of dark electronica, Latin rhythms, ambient soundscapes, dream pop, bedroom folk, and probably other influences repeat listens will reveal. One highlight is “Mucho Más,” a moody track that features the occasional glint of light poking through its sludgy and engaging rhythm.