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.
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Citizen — “If You’re Lonely”
Citizen aptly described their last album Life in Your Glass World in four words in our 2021 interview: “Loud, quiet, angry, sad.” Their new track “If You’re Lonely” contains these conflicting elements, although the anger is more subtle. Trading in their signature emo-punk sound for indie-rock, Citizen are proving that they can pull off any genre.
MJ Lenderman — “Rudolph”
MJ Lenderman has signed to ANTI- Records and shared this new jam “Rudolph” following the immediate success of his 2022 debut Boat Songs. “Rudolph” has everything that his fans love: the charming indie-rock twang and wonderfully unorthodox lines: “Deleted scene of Lightning McQueen / Blacked out at full speed.”
Big Thief — “Vampire Empire”
“Vampire Empire” has been a favorite for many Big Thief fans despite not receiving an official release until now. It’s been performed on tour, as well as on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Though listeners are picky with this recorded version, it still possesses the singularly heart-wrenching lyrics that make this song stand out from other indie earworms: “I wanted to be your woman, I wanted to be your man / I wanted to be the one that you could understand,” Adrianne Lenker lulls.
Angel Du$t — “Space Jam”
Angel Du$t have announced their new album Brand New Soul to follow 2021’s YAK: A Collection Of Truck Songs. It’s predictably unhinged from the bat, a nonstop anthem that serves as an unconventional love song: “Come on won’t you be my girl? / I’m asking you to hold my hand / Never going back to earth,” Justice Tripp sings, “Baby, I’ll be your space man / Space Jam.”
Vagabon — “Do Your Worst”
Vagabon had a specific mission when it came to writing “Do Your Worst”: “I set out to make an instrumental that drew from the music you’d hear at an underground club in Germany or the UK yet still lived in the Vagabon musical lexicon,” she said in a statement. The track successfully pulsates with the lively energy of a club while balancing her signature indie textures.
Tame Impala — “Journey To The Real World”
The Barbie movie soundtrack is packed with memorable pop anthems, so Tame Impala’s cameo is quite unexpected. However, the song sticks to Kevin Parker’s typical dreamlike sound, but with an extra disco punch. The buzzing synthesizers add to the otherworldly, energized feeling.
Illuminati Hotties — “Trucker”
“If mortality is a jolting, jagged highway exit, then heaven is a truck as it rumbles through the unknown,” Sarah Tudzin said in a statement. “‘Truck’ is a gentle affirmation that the dream can change at no deficit of dignity. For Tim.” It’s a gentle ballad, different from her past, energetic material, but it keeps the listener captivated by its reckonings.
Restraining Order — Locked In Time
Restraining Order’s 2019 debut This World Is Too Much was a perfect showcase of their unrelenting, uplifting barrage of hardcore. Locked In Time is a promising follow-up that persists with blips of mayhem with shouts of resistance: “There’s gotta be something better than this,” he yells on the rapid-fire “Another Better Day.”
Francis Of Delirium — “Real Love”
“‘Real Love’ at its heart is a simple song about being in love with your best friend,” 21-year-old Jana Bahrich, who makes music as Francis Of Delirium, said in a statement. The sprawling, dreamy track captures the magnitude of this complicated feeling, especially with the riveting repetition of the poignant hook: “Real love isn’t real love when it’s not us.”
Beabadoobee — “The Way Things Go”
Beabadoobee’s “The Way Things Go” is a searing breakup song whose power can be found in its ability to hold back. With a delicate atmosphere, she lulls subtle slights: “And there’s so much left to say / I guess I’m just the bigger guy / And there’s too much on my mind / That I don’t even want to try.”