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 the catchy alternative rock of Sego and adventurous indie from Rozi Plain, so check it all out below.
Rozi Plain — What A Boost
The UK musician is busting out some truly compelling indie rock, and doing so in a variety of ways. The kaleidoscopic “Swing Shut” features hints of Foals and Warpaint, and “Conditions” is an indie folk skeleton wearing an indie-electro-bedroom-pop skin. What A Boost also works when the aesthetic is more straightforward, like on “Symmetrical.”
Sego — Sego Sucks
Let’s make something clear: Sego does not suck. The Los Angeles alt rock group take clear and direct inspiration from Beck on songs like “Heart Attack” and especially on the rapped/sung verses of “Neon Me Out” and “Shame.” Beck is of course one of the most successful indie rockers ever, so if you’re even doing as much as drawing those comparisons, you’re on the right track.
W. H. Lung — Incidental Music
It’s not 1982, but it kind of sounds like maybe it is. W. H. Lung have a firm grip on what it takes to effectively pull off the new wave aesthetic in multiple ways, and they’ve spun that into catchy tunes like the electronic-leaning “Second Death Of My Face” and the more The Cure-influenced “Simpatico People.”
Ioanna Gika — Thalassa
Greek-American musician is fully capable of creating stark and enveloping environments with her music: The eerie yet anthemic “Swan” is a strong example of that, as is “Out Of Focus,” which leans more into trip-hop territory in a darkly satisfying way.
Martha — Love Keeps Kicking
The peak of pop-punk may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean today’s artists can’t learn from the genre. On Love Keeps Kicking, indie punk Martha prove that the style can still work in 2019, with moments like the hooky pop-punk chorus of “The Void” and the general upbeat nature of “Into This.”
Idlewild — Interview Music
The Scottish band are storied veterans of the UK indie scene: Their commercial peak came with their 2002 album The Remote Part, which peaked at No. 3 on the UK charts. There’s still plenty of magic left to infuse into Interview Music, like on the dreamy, Pink Floyd-ish, and appropriately titled “Dream Variations”, and on the more immediately rocking “Same Things Twice.”