The indie rock albums released in often occupied one of two spaces: quiet and subdued, or loud and biting. We also heard releases from indie rock greats like The National and Vampire Weekend, proving that even as bands grow and evolve, they can stay true to the indie rock sound. From the outside, the objective is simple: Stay clean long enough and the monkey on your back eventually hops off. But the reality is that breaking the cycle of addiction is a Sisyphean endeavor that keeps those undergoing it in an eternal state of recovery—only those on the inside can fully understand its tribulations. After the group released their sophomore album, Is the Is Are , Cole entered a long-haul inpatient treatment for heroin addiction, a struggle that became public in when he and his then-girlfriend Sky Ferreira were busted for possession. The wider, dynamic sound texture across Deceiver is one of the most apparent improvements from past records with a clear, crisp approach that avoids sterility. The sound matches the scope of blackgaze contemporaries like Deafheaven—who DIIV have toured with—without crossing the threshold into metal. Nonetheless, the lush, sometimes crushing instrumentation speaks to the daunting task Cole has undergone to restore himself. On their debut Plastic Cough , Seattle five-piece Great Grandpa took a good-humored, often light approach to grunge. For their sophomore effort, however, the group traded tales of zombies and pizza for darker, more personal lyrics and a more streamlined grunge-pop sound.
Sea Girls - Open Up Your Head
In a hyperspeed world, it is increasingly meaningful to sit with the vision of one artist for an extended period of time. From drowsy hip-hop to pitch-perfect pop, albums of all genres felt more profound than ever. Synthesizing devastating breakups and calling for revolution in every style of sound, these albums went all-in on what matters. Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify playlist and Apple Music playlist. All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, however, Pitchfork may earn an affiliate commission. British electronic producer Sam Shepherd has always exerted remarkable control over his meticulous musical output as Floating Points: With his favored instrument, the Buchla modular synthesizer, he can contour sound waves and alter circuitry to suit his needs. But Shepherd, like the rest of us, has comparatively little control over his input, and the chaos of the past three years—Brexit, Trump—shook something loose inside him. Out came Crush, a record that vibrates with sadness and anger, buoyed by squelching melodies that flutter and pop. The album is a wonderful scenario for an artist a decade into their career: a rewarding balance of consistency and growth, with subtle experimentation instead of the common midcareer misstep of transparently grabbing for radio play.
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Here are the 35 best. At this point, Jeff Tweedy has earned the right to rest on his laurels. And yet the beauty of Ode To Joy is that these veterans still feel compelled to push themselves. While the music is superficially quiet, this muted beauty seethes with rage about a world that is seemingly ambivalent about its own destruction. The resulting collection might be the strongest of a prolific career, on a record as self-assured as it is easy to get lost in. White Reaper are disciples of the jock rock greats from the s. But somehow, they manage to feel completely authentic, never falling victim to the gimmick. Marrying spectral piano with her own quavering, honeyed vocals, Pratt writes with the kind of wisdom that only experience can instill, but never loses her sense of innocence, either. Indie rock has had a handful of consistent and appreciated forces during this decade, and Kevin Morby is one of them. His latest album, Oh My God , shows off his ambition as a songwriter for the most fully-realized album of his career.
In the course of the pandemic many albums were pushed back and live music came to a halt. Despite that, the year saw a couple of great releases we want to highlight here. Not only did see great new releases by the likes of Fontaines D. Besides these established acts, Sea Girls, Marsicans and Boniface released their highly anticipated debut albums. Check out our list of the best indie albums to see who made the list and what you might have missed this year. Bayley is a disgustingly talented lyricist who is striding in confidence right now, each individual song on this album has multiple layers of his psyche embedded and ready to be peeled away. The rest came after. Every song is steady which makes When We Stay Alive the right album to help you collect yourself and become aware of your thoughts. Face your past head-on. The album sees the band mature and blossom beautifully, and has us hanging on for the return of live music.