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 have highly anticipated albums from Big Thief, Spoon, Empath, Orville Peck, and more.
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Big thief — Dragon New Warm Mountain I believe in you
Big Thief’s new double album Dragon New Warm Mountain I believe in you may be a mouthful to say, but well worth a listen. The 20-track release was recorded in multiple locations across the country and is a perfect showcase of the band’s intimate, haunting songwriting and vocalist Adrianne Lenker’s soulful lyricism. Although ambitious, Big Thief performed the LP with conviction and Steven Hyden of Uproxx called it a “masterpiece”.
Spoon – Lucifer on the couch
After being mainstays of indie music for over two decades, Spoon proves they’re here to stay with new album Lucifer on the couch. It’s their first full project in five years and with revitalized songs like “The Hardest Cut” and “Wild”, the new album was well worth the wait. Spoon’s goal in recording the project was to maintain the high energy they would bring to the touring scene – and they definitely succeeded.
Orville Peck— Broncho: Chapter 1
Orville Peck’s music has been killing him on TikTok lately thanks to an HBOMax inclusion Euphoriabut the masked cowboy also just released the new EP Broncho: Chapter 1. The four-track project sees Peck lean more into his country music-inspired twang while combining atmospheric production with catchy riffs.
Empathetic — Visitor
Empath, four musicians from Philly, shared their highly anticipated album Visitor this week, taking their sound in a more fuzzy, synth-heavy direction. Incorporating samples taken from everywhere from Minecraft to an air conditioner, Empath shows off its innovative songwriting on the 11-track effort. “We never want to be tied down to one type of song or sound, and we love all kinds of improvisational music,” lead singer Catherine Elicson said of the LP.
Sharon Van Etten – “Door”
Dropping her first new solo music of the year, Sharon Van Etten returned with the electrifying track “Porta.” Layered with resonant synths and a groove-driven beat, “Porta” marks a departure from his previous guitar-focused discography. Contrasting the heavy pace, Van Etten said the song was actually written in 2020 at one of its “lowest lows”, referring to “episodes of depression and anxiety and coping mechanisms”. for much of his adult life.
Father John Misty—”Q4″
Father John Misty kicked off his new musical era with cinematic track ‘Funny Girl,’ and now he’s offering another look at his upcoming LP Chloë and the following 20th century with the triumphant title “Q4”. Draped in a dramatic string section, the song is heavily inspired by classic Hollywood and revolves around the story of a film adaptation of a book.
Mxmtoon – “Mona Lisa”
Armed with their singing lyrical delivery and a ukulele, Mxmtoon returns with the serious song “Mona Lisa”. The Mxmtoon song’s version of an uplifting anthem as she sings to prioritize her self-esteem. “‘Mona Lisa’ is about wanting to be the subject of the art for once instead of being the creator of it,” she said of the track.
The Beths – “A Real Thing”
After making waves with their second album Watch the jump rope, The Beths are back with a song that’s sure to put a smile on your face. “A Real Thing” is an upbeat, happy track that singer Liz Stokes describes as “confusing, a bit frenetic, a bit spooky” and was written just after the 2020 New Zealand and US elections. The song is meant to be a bright ray of optimism with a healthy dose of dread.
Chris Farren – Death Can’t Wait (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
While we were all discovering new hobbies like crocheting or an unhealthy TikTok addiction during lockdown, Chris Farren was hard at work. In just under three months, the musician wrote an entire score for a made-up movie, which he surprise released this week. Death Can’t Wait (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is inspired by iconic films like Bind series with surf rock and 60s French pop influences. The LP is mostly instrumental except for the album opener, which features stunning vocals from Laura Stevenson.
Orion Sun — “dirty dancer”
Kicking off a new musical era with the soulful track “dirty dancer”, Orion Sun proves that she is definitely one to watch. After finding success on her 2020 debut Mom + Pop Records Save space for meOrion Sun pursues her with his intimate songwriting and jaw-dropping vocals on “dirty dancer,” a song about overcoming insecurities and maintaining self-love.
Bean Sunflower – “Who made you do this?”
New York trio Sunflower Bean dropped the floating tune “Who Put You Up To This?” this week, officially announcing the band’s next LP A head of sugar. The soaring and euphoric single, like the album as a whole, deals with the impermanence that many have learned over the past few years. If nothing really lasts, then “why not do what you want to do on your own terms?” notes from vocalist/bassist Julia Cumming.
Queens Pillow – “Hearts and Minds”
Dublin band Pillow Queens have made a name for themselves touring with IDLES, Pussy Riot and Future Islands. After creating buzz around their 2020 album, Pillow Queens are back with a new single announcing their upcoming LP Leave the light on. Armed with resonant vocals and electrifying riffs, “Hearts & Minds” proves that Pillow Queens should definitely be on your radar.