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 best new indie music from the past seven days. This week we got new albums from The Hold Steady, Another Michael, and Wild Pink, as well as new tracks from Manchester Orchestra, Matt Berninger, and more. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
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The Hold Steady – Open Door Policy
The Hold Steady have been more or less prolific since their 2004 debut, and Open Door Policy is their second album in two years — as well of one of their best in recent memory. The album marks what feels like a new beginning for the veteran rockers, with Steven Hyden calling it “their most mature record and one of their darkest, but it also evinces the genuine joy that’s enabled them to endure.”
Another Michael – New Music & Big Pop
After their debut album was delayed significantly by the pandemic, the three members of Another Michael had time to re-contextualize the record and discover a whole new appreciation for it. Despite the delay, New Music And Big Pop is still an overwhelming achievement, imbued with what I called in a recent feature, “a sense of liberation and raw talent that feels rare in 2021, a breath of fresh air that creates a unique lane and a promising future for a new band like Another Michael.”
Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
One of indie’s best and most underrated bands is back with another new album. Spanning just ten tracks, A Billion Little Lights is full of of gorgeous Americana flourishes and synth-rock soundscapes. In a recent feature for Uproxx, Steven Hyden called the album John Ross’s “most ambitious and overall best work, infused with deep lyrical craft and impeccable melodies that set Wild Pink apart from the indie-dude pack.”
Katy Kirby – Cool Dry Place
Katy Kirby is a force to be reckoned with on her debut album Cool Dry Place, which showcases the Nashville-based songwriter’s full range of skill. Across the album, you can hear the influence of Kirby’s musical upbringing as a singer in church, channeled through a unique indie rock lens.
Cassandra Jenkins – An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
Cassandra Jenkins’ sophomore album is a lean affair, spanning just seven tracks. But the album’s shorter tracklist allows Jenkins to keep the songwriting focused and polished, often incorporating aspects of character study to examine grief, helplessness, and fortitude in the wake of tragedy.
Manchester Orchestra – “Bed Head”
Almost four years removed from 2017’s A Black Mile To The Surface, Manchester Orchestra are finally back for more. Their sixth studio album, The Million Masks Of God, is prefaced by “Bed Head,” an upbeat rocker that Andy Hull described in a statement as “two old friends existing in two separate realities. It’s a conversation about the lives they lived, the consequences of life’s decisions, and finding purpose in trying to be better.”
Serpentwithfeet – “Same Size Shoe”
After gaining traction with his 2018 debut, Soil, Los Angeles songwriter Serpentwithfeet is gearing up for his sophomore LP Deacon. “Same Size Shoe” is the latest preview of the album, a swooning single that “explores both the tender and passionate sides to love,” writes Carolyn Droke for Uproxx. “Over a fluttering beat, Serpentwithfeet gently delivers heartfelt lyrics about finding passion with someone who fits into his life in more ways than one.”
Matt Berninger – “Let It Be”
Matt Berninger’s excellent solo debut Serpentine Prison was released late last year, but there were a few tracks that were left on the cutting room floor during Berninger’s early sessions with producer Booker T. Jones. Now, some of those tracks are set to see the light of day on a deluxe version of the album due out next month, starting with “Let It Be.” The track is what Caitlin White calls for Uproxx “a harmonica-laden affair that is decidedly not a Beatles cover.”
Ian Sweet – “Sing Till I Cry”
Ian Sweet’s forthcoming album, Show Me How You Disappear, was written in the wake of time spent at an intensive outpatient psychiatric care program. “Sing Till I Cry” is a reflection on the aftermath of trauma and an exploration of finding meaning in the little things, culminating in what Carolyn Droke calls for Uproxx a “euphoric and resonating” track.
Man On Man – “1983”
With their new collaborative project Man On Man, Joey Holman (HOLMAN) and Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, Imperial Teen) refuse to be limited by the classification of genre or even time period. “1983” incorporates modern indie rock fuzz to it, with an electronic drum track reminiscent of the new wave era. In addition to releasing new music, Man On Man have launched Chosen Family, a project to connect the LGBTQIA+ community in meaningful ways, starting with a worldwide pen-pal project and newsletter.
stillhungry – “Best Costume Wins/”Paper Lanterns”
Stillhungry originally began as an exercise in songwriting, but has since evolved into a full-fledged project. The double a-side single, comprised of “Best Costume Wins” and “Paper Lanterns,” is the first glimpses at the group’s unique combination of the best of alt-country and infectious indie pop that is sure to make waves around their Tri-State area homeland.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.