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 Old Sea Brigade’s celestial folk, Nedarb’s guest-heavy hip-hop, and delightful indie via T-Rextasy, so check it all out below.
Old Sea Brigade — Ode To A Friend
After releasing a handful of EPs over the past few years, Atlanta folk singer Ben Cramer is releasing his debut full-length record, and it’s real pretty. Cramer has a strong handle on what makes folk both gentle and exciting, a knowledge he displays fully on tracks like “Sinkhole.”
Nedarb — Amity
Nedarb has a lot of guests on his new album, and while a lot of them are rappers, there are a few moments that step outside of the genre as well, most notably the more electronica-leaning tracks with Alice Glass, formerly of Crystal Castles. She guests on “Eat Me Alive Interlude,” a brief track that’s eerie and dramatic, with Glass’ passionate vocals helping to create some serious tension.
T-Rextasy — Prehysteria
In an age where a lot of musicians are very self-serious, the sophomore effort from New York’s T-Rextasy is refreshing. Prehysteria is a whimsical and fun album that if full of tremendous DIY energy and smile-inducing moments, like the band’s introductions on “Theme From Prehysteria” and their new spin on the kids song “Down Down Baby” on “Baby.”
Chrome Sparks — Be On Fire EP
The Brooklyn-based producer’s new EP is his first release since his self-titled debut album from last year, and here, he expands on what made that album work. The EP features five synthy instrumentals that make up a diverse set, from the quirky “I Could Be The Voice Inside Your Head” to the jaunty title track.