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 the first taste of a new album from Father John Misty, the debut single from a Radiohead side project, and the latest track from Gang Of Youths. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
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Waxahatchee – El Deafo Soundtrack EP
Late last year, Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield) announced that she had penned a few new songs for the AppleTV+ adaptation of Cece Bell’s acclaimed 2014 graphic novel El Deafo, a process that she called in a statement “an amazing experience all around.” Now, Crutchfield’s original compositions for the series have been released by her label, Merge Records, in the form of a five-track EP. They definitely sound like Waxahatchee songs, but with an extra sense of levity that comes with composing for an animated children’s show.
Mydreamfever – Rough And Beautiful Place EP
One of the sleeper hits of 2021 was To See The Next Part Of The Dream from anonymous Korean musician Parannoul. Now, it would seem that the same personality behind that record has shared another, under a different name. Where Parannoul’s music is a driving, shoegaze-inspired indie affair, Mydreamfever’s new EP Rough And Beautiful Place is a more ambient experience, centered around enveloping piano and soundscapes.
Father John Misty – “Funny Girl”
After a lot of cryptic teasing on social media that culminated in sending unmarked spoken-word vinyl to fans, Father John Misty has officially announced his new album Chloë And The Next 20th Century and shared its lead single. “Funny Girl” is described by Adrian Spinelli for Uproxx as “chock full of the FJM whimsy, with a throwback ballroom vibe.”
The Smile – “You Will Never Work In Television Again”
While Radiohead is taking a breather, Jonny Greenwood certainly hasn’t been. He’s been a near-prolific film composer, and now has returned with a new project called The Smile, which he formed alongside Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. The new band made their debut during a livestream back in May and they’ve now officially dropped their official debut single. “You Will Never Work In Television Again” is one of the most straightforward rock songs the members of Radiohead have made in about 20 years, with “propulsive drums [that] drive the song forward as Yorke’s musings melt over a wall of washed-out guitar riffs,” according to Carolyn Droke for Uproxx.
Gang of Youths – “In The Wake Of Your Leave”
Gang Of Youths’ anticipated new album Angel In Realtime is due next month, and the latest offering is one of the most expansive and exciting previews yet. “In The Wake Of Your Leave” is another meditative reflection on the passing of Dave Le’aupepe’s father, and features what Adrian Spinelli describes for Uproxx as “propulsive drums, beautiful strings and Le’aupepe’s forceful delivery [that] showcase the sound of a killer band that’s firing on all cylinders.”
Let’s Eat Grandma – “Happy New Year”
Two Ribbons, the new album from Let’s Eat Grandma, isn’t out until April but they haven’t been shy about giving us a taste of what to expect from the LP. “Happy New Year” is an example of the duo’s symbiotic relationship, though it was originally borne out of a lengthy rift between them that comes through fully in the song’s tension. “Luscious vocal textures give way to a jump up chorus, celebrating what it takes to make friendship work,” writes Adrian Spinelli for Uproxx.
Bonobo – “From You” (feat. Joji)
While many of Bonobo’s compositions for the forthcoming album Fragments are instrumental, there is the occasional guest spot on the tracklist. Lucky for us, Joji was able to hop on to the atmospheric track “From You,” laying down some vocal lines that add to the track’s sonic exploration. The final product is what Adrian Spinelli describes for Uproxx as “whirling number that plays into the album’s theme of yearning for a sense of normalcy amid the isolation of a global pandemic.”
Jana Horn – “Time Machine”
Jana Horn originally self-released her album Optimism back in 2018, but now the album is getting a wider release in partnership with No Quarter Records. It’s a good thing, because it gave us another opportunity to discover Horn’s beautiful, esoteric songwriting. “Time Machine” is a minimal affair, built upon a lightly strummed acoustic guitar and a single egg shaker, with some additional harmonic flourishes.
Sasami – “Say It”
Last October, Sasami announced her forthcoming genre-defying record, Squeeze, promising a range of sounds from metal to folk pop. The album’s latest offering, “Say It” has an industrial vibe to it, sounding more like Nine Inch Nails than Julien Baker. “The track opens with a basement club bang, before pulling back to let Sasami’s vocals be front and center as the flashing drum beat remains,” writes Adrian Spinelli for Uproxx.
Why Not – “Casket”
Minneapolis-based outfit Why Not, described to me by a friend as a “punk rock postal service (good sounds with the bleep bloops)” shared “Casket” earlier this week, which definitely lives up to that description. As I’ve written in the past about artists like Kississippi, it’s always exciting to hear a band like this, with roots firmly in DIY/punk, but with a vision that goes much further than the confines of the local basement scene. Keep an eye on Why Not.
Young Guv – “It’s Only Dancin”
Every new track from Young Guv’s forthcoming LP, GUV III, is equally fun and full of energy. “It’s Only Dancin” sounds like a lo-fi version of Cheap Trick and The Cars, meaning that the melodies are infectious, the choruses are massive, and there’s a great guitar solo. If you aren’t on the Young Guv train yet, you’re going to be left behind!
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.