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 live album from The War On Drugs, a collaboration between Fiona Apple and her longtime inspiration, and a very New Jersey focused, Bruce Springsteen-featuring track from Bleachers. Check out the rest of the best new indie music below.
The War On Drugs – Live Drugs
On their first career-spanning live album, The War On Drugs’ songs are longer, the guitar solos are more virtuosic, and the roar of the crowd is enough to make anyone well up. According to Steven Hyden for Uproxx, the “lushness and flat-out bigness of Live Drugs culminates the atmospheric and insistently anthemic heartland rock of the last two studio records… Whatever the band does after this will feel like the start of a new era, The War On Drugs 2.0.”
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Idiot Prayer
Back in July, Nick Cave got in on the livestreaming craze with a solo piano set, streamed in full from London’s Alexandra Palace. Now, the official recording of that performance is out in the world, an evolution from Cave’s recent speaking and music “Conversations With…” tour that finds him performing stripped-back and alternate versions of tracks from throughout his discography. “I felt I was rediscovering the songs all over again,” Cave said in a statement.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – KG
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard can’t be stopped. KG marks their second full-length studio LP in the span of a little more than a year, a year that was filled with new EPs and live albums, one of which was released on the same day as KG. While not as thrashing as the band’s 2019 album Infest The Rat’s Nest, the new effort is another impressive entry in the band’s constantly growing and evolving discography.
ManDancing – The Good Sweat
On their sophomore LP, New Jersey’s ManDancing dial up the intricate instrumentation to build each track toward a feeling of controlled chaos. There’s a reason this band is often compared to Manchester Orchestra, with swelling choruses and introspective lyrics delivered by Stephen G Kelly’s quivering vocal.
Mamalarky – Mamalarky
Mamalarky‘s self-titled debut is a cacophony of noisy production and garage rock aesthetics. The album was cobbled together with the help of a string of producers, combining home recording and studio sensibilities into something raw, intriguing, and truly original. All told, Mamalarky indicates a lot more to come from the Los Angeles quartet.
Phoebe Bridgers – Copycat Killer EP
As if one Phoebe Bridgers studio album wasn’t enough for 2020, now the songwriter has enlisted Grammy Award-winning composer Rob Moose to help reimagine songs from her sophomore album Punisher for the Copycat Killer EP. Moose contributes an array of strings, samples, and atmospheric soundscapes to create a sonic world for Bridgers’ ethereal voice to occupy and suck you in.
Shameika — “Shameika Said” (Feat. Fiona Apple)
On Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Fiona Apple’s epic comeback album released earlier this year, she remembers being bullied in school and being encouraged by a classmate named Shameika. Turns out that Shameika is still out there and making music herself. Now, Shameika has delivered her recollection of the events, using Apple’s vocal sample. “A much groovier and beat-driven take on the song, it skates toward hip-hop as Shameika raps her bars, and trade most of Apple’s piano for horns and bass,” writes Caitlin White for Uproxx.
Eddie Vedder – “Matter Of Time”
After performing at a charity livestream, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder shared two new solo singles, one studio recording and one live recording. “Matter Of Time” was “written for everyone worldwide afflicted with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB),” according to a statement, and features Vedder’s iconic vocal accompanied by just a haunting grand piano.
Bleachers – “Chinatown” (Feat. Bruce Springsteen)
Jack Antonoff went full New Jersey on the first offering from Bleachers since 2017’s Gone Now, a shimmering and soaring ode to his home state that raises the stakes with a guest spot from none other than Bruce Springsteen. Of the collaboration, Antonoff said in a statement that “its the honor of a lifetime to be joined by him. he is the artist who showed me that the sound of the place i am from has value and that there is a spirit here that needs to be taken all over the world.”
Andy Shauf – “You Slipped Away”
Andy Shauf penned nearly 50 songs for his latest album The Neon Skyline, which was released earlier this year, and has been steadily rolling out some of the tracks that didn’t make the original tracklist. “You Slipped Away” is one of those outtakes, crafting what Carolyn Droke calls for Uproxx “a sense of lovelorn nostalgia with rolling guitar chords and eloquent piano scales.”
The Sonder Bombs – “The One About You”
The Sonder Bombs’ sophomore album Clothbound is right around the corner, and “The One About You” shows the full range of what we can expect from the effort. The band’s songwriting is more focused and concise than ever, and the latest single is an impressive entry to the catalogue, what I recently called “a short and sweet number that evokes a classic old-fashioned doo-wop act.”
Wild Pink – “You Can Have It Back”
Although Wild Pink’s forthcoming album A Billion Little Lights is still a few months away, John Ross has already been teasing the album with a handful of singles. In a statement, Ross said that “You Can Have It Back” was inspired by Fleetwood Mac and Townes Van Zandt and features vocals from Ratboys’ Julia Steiner. The breezy and warm track boasts one of the most infectious refrains in the Wild Pink discography and sets the stage nicely for what to expect from A Billion Lights.
Pærish – “Violet”
French four-piece Pærish paired up with producer Will Yip for their new album Fixed It All, and “Violet” is an excellent preview of what’s to come from the band. Opening with steady distorted guitars, the clouds part for a soaring chorus that sounds reminiscent of early Weezer.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.