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 a terrific Midlake solo project and an album from somebody you may have seen in a critically acclaimed movie last year, so check it all out below.
E.B. The Younger — To Each His Own
Texas folk group Midlake hasn’t put out a new album since 2013, but the band’s members have kept busy over the past few years. The latest example of that is Eric Pulido’s new E.B. The Younger album, which features tunes like the warm Americana track “When The Time Comes” and the rollicking “Used To Be.”
Ben Dickey — A Glimmer On The Outskirts
If you liked Dickey in his leading role in the Ethan Hawke-directed Blaze — which also featured Alia Shawkat, Sam Rockwell, and others — then you’re in luck. He portrayed country musician Blaze Foley in the movie, and it turns out he knows his way around a song in his own right. His new album is led by highlights like “I Think It’s All Different,” a psychedelic country tune that proves Dickey to be a star in more ways than one.
The Wild Reeds — Cheers
Singers and multi-instrumentalists Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe, and Sharon Silva come together (alongside drummer Nick Jones and bass player Nick Phakpiseth) come together once again to share a new album that’s both exploratory and confident. “Lose My Mind” has a hint of R&B, while “Giving Up On You” is a smile-inducing alt-country delight.
Sasami — Sasami
Sasami Ashworth, a former Cherry Glazerr member, is now striking out on her own, mononymously going by her first name. She teamed up with Devendra Banhart on “Free,” a mellow track that feels like it’s on the cusp of exploding until it does in an appropriately subtle way, with the introduction of some light percussion towards the song’s conclusion.
Indoor Pets — Be Content
A thousand new indie bands pop up every day, but unlike many of their contemporaries, the UK group can do indie in a variety of ways, whether it’s dream pop on “The Mapping Of Dandruff” or breakneck punk on “Pro Procrastinator.”