Today is National Donut Day, and that got me thinking that indie rock and donuts aren’t all that different. They come in many varieties, people are trying new things with them every day, and they may have holes, but that’s part of what makes them special. Also, they’re great with milk.
5. natural majique by Son Step
Genre: indie pop
If you like: Tennis, Vampire Weekend
It’s getting sunny outside, so how about some sunny sounds? Here’s a fine example of the type if light indie pop that goes well with a tall glass of lemonade and a vinyl lawn chair. But there’s also a bittersweetness defined by creative songwriting and impactful use of instrumentation.
4. Loud Forest by Loud Forest
Genre: indie rock, alternative rock
If you like: Manchester Orchestra, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Band of Horses
Anthemic and somewhat rootsy indie rock can so easily come off as a contrived Mumford & Sons rip-off, but Loud Forest incorporates a noise influence that sets it apart by giving it a refined edge. Also, opening track “Set You Free” could absolutely be an indie favorite if it had the name Cage The Elephant attached to it.
3. Riveter by Duckspeak
Genre: indie rock, alt-country, indie folk
If you like: The Decemberists, Wilco, The Mountain Goats
Good rootsy music should be timeless, and Duckspeak sounds like a product of any time between 1970 and present day. Their sound is comfortably familiar, but they consistently vary their pacing by incorporating influences from all across the folk, rock, and country spectrums.
2. Shade & Mirror by Floes
Genre: dream pop, PBR&B, electronica
If you like: The Weeknd, Sigur Rós, Radiohead
Canadian trio Floes seems to have tapped into what made the early mixtapes of fellow countryman The Weeknd so strong: combining R&B atmospherics with more indie-friendly instrumentation and aesthetics. Shade & Mirror is consistently engaging, and if there is any justice, it will position this group as one to keep an eye on.
1. Rainmaking by Field Studies
Genre: indie rock
If you like: Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Car Seat Headrest
Kicking off a release with an 8-minute track is always an audacious move, but my goodness does it pay off here. Field Studies’ second EP is one of the strongest and most realized efforts to appear in this column. It looks through a broad scope without sacrificing focus. It never evokes a sense that they know not what they do. All that, combined with singer Chris Bailey’s vocal similarities to Jeff Buckley, results in a confident and refreshing 24-minute endorsement of the power of indie.
Independent by Ravi Shavi
Genre: indie rock, surf pop
If you like: Best Coast, Oberhofer
“TRYS” by SEGA GENOCIDE
Genre: [see above]
If you like: [see above]
Beyond Realm by George Fields
Genre: electronica, instrumental hip-hop
If you like: Pretty Lights, Blockhead, Sound Tribe Sector 9
That’s all for now, but until next week, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).