Indie music has grown to include so many things. It’s not just music that comes out on independent labels, but speaks to an aesthetic that deviates from the norm and follows its own quirky heart. This can take the form of rock, pop or folk music. In a way, that says as much about the people who are drawn to it as it is about the people who make it.
Every week, Uproxx rounds up the best new indie music from the past seven days. This week we received another new track from Radiohead’s side project, The Smile, a Euphoria song by James Blake, and the announcement of a demo EP by Squirrel Flower. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
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Pine forest – 11:11
Montclair, Pinegrove, New Jersey is back with a brand new album. 11:11 doesn’t stray too far from the formula that put Pinegrove on the map with 2016 Cardinalbut definitely ups the ante in terms of production, thanks to a mix from Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla. 11:11 is largely an album about coming to terms with the realities of climate change, and Evan Stephens Hall’s lyrics are more pointed and direct than ever.
Squirrel Flower – Planet PE
Squirrel Flower has been on a roll lately, releasing a new project every year since 2020 (which is crazy to write about, since it always feels like the middle of 2020). New Planet EP is a compilation of self-recorded demos of songs that were recorded during the 2021 sessions Planet (I)and just shows that Ella Williams’ songwriting talents extend well beyond the confines of an album.
Why not – very why not PE
Minneapolis trio Why Not have finally arrived, with their (almost) self-titled EP. Covering the whole spectrum, from math rock to alternative rock and pop-punk, very why not is a unique and modern take on the ever-evolving genre of alternative music. On this project, Why Not is a prime example of genre flattening on all levels.
James Blake – “Pick Me Up” (ft. Labrinth)
I recently caught up Euphoria and were enchanted by the music throughout the show. The second season kicks off even better, with a new track from Lana Del Rey and now a great new collaboration from James Blake and the show’s composer Labrinth. “Pick Me Up” “inclines more towards Blake’s softer side, as it’s a piano and string piece that sees him flexing his falsetto,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
The Smile – “The Smoke”
Radiohead side project The Smile debuted live in a series of three live performances over the weekend, leaving many online wondering why these songs weren’t just released as Radiohead tracks. . While the trio’s debut single “You Will Never Work In Television Again” was a simpler rocker, the new track “The Smoke” blasts more into the experimental territory that recent Radiohead tracks occupy. “The melody’s first minute or so is entirely rhythmic, with drums and bass setting the pace before Yorke’s vocals enter, after which the atmosphere fills with brass, guitar and other sounds,” writes Derrick Rossignol for Uproxx.
Orange Rex County – “Keep It Up”
Rex Orange County has been a festival staple for years, making his major label debut in 2019. Now he’s ready to unveil his fourth album, We do not care?. The first glimpse of the album comes in the form of “Keep It Up”, which Derrick Rossignol describes for Uproxx as “a playful, string-laden melody that kicks off this album cycle on an upbeat note”.
Toro Y Moi – “Postman”
Toro Y Moi was one of the pioneers of the chillwave movement and is gearing up to continue building the legacy with their seventh studio album, mahall, which is expected in April. Lead single “Postman” features what Aaron Williams describes for Uproxx as “a stripped backbeat and groovy bass line”.
Warpaint – “Champion”
It’s been six long years since we last heard of Warpaint, in 2016 Heads up. The wait for new music ends in May, when the band’s fourth album, shine like this, finally falls. The band’s comeback is marked by “Champion,” a song about standing up for yourself and the people you love, anchored by what Derrick Rossignol calls for Uproxx “the band’s understated groove and atmospheric sounds.”
Tomberlin – “idkwntht”
Two years after the release of his EP produced by Alex G Screenings, Sarah Beth Tomberlin is back with a brand new track, hopefully indicating a bigger release on the horizon. “idkwntht” features Tomberlin singing in a beautiful duet with Told Slant’s Felix Walworth and “opens with a dark saxophone nestled alongside soft strings and piano,” writes Adrian Spinelli for Uproxx.