Spring and Summer 2018 have been amazing for new Indie Rock. New albums from Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Lykke Li, Beach House, Arctic Monkeys, and so many more. Emerging bands like Alvvays and brand new bands like Sunflower Bean and Middle Kids also released new albums and are touring the world.
It’s a great time to see a concert. I’ve been taking full advantage by attending outdoor concerts at Governor’s Ball, the Prospect Park bandshell and Forest Hills Stadium. I’ve also stopped by some great Brooklyn venues like The Music Hall of Williamsburg where I caught Courtney Barnett and even last night, when I saw Beach House at Kings Theatre.
So celebrate the summer of Indie Rock with a few highlights of the last few months:
The Summer Of Indie Rock Playlist
Middle Kids – On My Knees
Parquet Courts – I’m Wide Awake
The Decemberists – Severed
Courtney Barnett – Nameless, Faceless
Death Cab for Cutie – When We Drive
Chvrches – Get Out
Full YouTube playlist: The Summer of Indie Rock
Full Spotify playlist: The Summer of Indie Rock
Women are front and center in Indie Rock. To commemorate International Women’s Day don’t forget to download new albums by some of the best female singers around. Each of these have new album either just released or soon to be released:
Neko Case – Just dropped the first new song from her upcoming new solo album “Hell-On” coming out June 1. The return of the queen of Indie Rock.
Beach House – With lead singer Victoria Legrand, just dropped the second song, “Dive” from their upcoming new album “7” coming out in May. Between their hypnotic sound and their hypnotic graphics – just sit right down and listen and watch.
Tune-Yards – With lead singer Merrill Garbus, just released a new album, “I can feel you creep into my private life” in January. What a powerful, unique, and important voice.
Sleigh Bells – With lead singer Alexis Krauss released a new EP, Kid Kruschev, late in 2017. I caught them at Brooklyn Steel in their current tour – absolute knockout band.
YouTube playlist: Women Leads with New Music
Spotify playlist: Women Leads with New Music
Beach House is well known for their dreamy sound. It’s been a minute since they’ve put out a new album and they’ve just dropped a new song! New album coming this Spring. So think warm thoughts and check them out. This new song shows they continuing to be inventive. I think we can anticipate a great summer now with Beach House leading the way.
When I think Beach House the word that comes to mind is “Chill.” Sit back and let the music hit you. The lead singer, Victoria Legrand, has a low dusky voice that brings so many emotions to the surface. This is a band for a lazy sunny afternoon or a slow dance at the prom. Can’t wait to hear what comes next.
On this playlist: Lemon Glow (the new song), Space Song (from their last full album), and Zebra (some classic Beach House for you).
Check out the 2001 Space Odyssey film clips set to their music. Float on!
YouTube playlist: Beach House
Spotify playlist: Beach House
No one drops it harder than this power rock duo. Start with a killer beat, now bring on Alexis Krauss, midriff bare, shaking the stage, screaming her heart out and add in Derek Miller turning his guitar into a weapon, and you have an idea of what you’re in for with Sleigh Bells.
There are a number of influences here. M.I.A. for sure – you’ll hear it on the first song. They are known as “Noise Pop” but they’ve moved beyond that label, still keeping the intensity, but incorporating more. More guitar, more meaning, and even some more quiet but still very intense and engaging songs (listen to “And Saints”).
I saw them last night (along with opening act, “Sunflower Bean” who were fantastic and I’m downloading their new album March 23rd as soon as it hits) in Brooklyn. Wow, what an intense performance. Alexis was super-hot and super-pumped. I was happy to be right up front, losing it to the beat. These guys are still as hot as ever. Check their music on the playlists below and definitely see them live.
On this playlist:
Riot Rhythm – You’ll get the M.I.A. influence hear right away
Favorite Transgressions – From their new EP – more guitar, same intensity
And Saints – Also from the new EP
Comeback Kid – More classic Sleigh Bells (2012)
Bitter Rivals – Watch the video. Cute and sexy turns to wild and crazed in the blink of an eye.
YouTube playlist: Sleigh Bells
Spotify playlist: Sleigh Bells
Ty Segall is a prolific songwriter and Rock & Roller. He is tremendously creative and musical, his songs are mostly bangers, and you can count on some serious guitar. There is plenty of classic rock influence here, but his songs vary with his fancy. In other words Ty Segall’s music is whatever Ty Segall wants it to me at any given time. That means you may hear straight up rock, a hard core punk sound, a ballad, or an anthem; but it’s always rock and roll for sure.
Hopefully this playlist will give you a good start with the straight-up “Break a Guitar” and including “Alta”, a song that is part ballad, and part rock anthem.
He’s got a brand new album out called Freedom’s Goblin. All but the first song on this playlist are from that album, but you’ll see it’s a pretty broad range of musical types. Enjoy.
(Segall’s music is not all on Spotify so I’m providing a link to his Band Camp page instead. No Spotify playlist in this post. )
In this playlist: Break A Guitar – She – Alta – Every1’s a Winner
YouTube playlist: Ty Segall
Band camp Ty Segall link: Ty Segall
(photo credit: Will Oliver)
A couple years ago I got to see The War on Drugs at a festival in New York. I had heard of them, but didn’t really know them. I was immediately impressed and they quickly became my favorite new band. Since then everyone has come to know them as the new face of rock and roll culminating with a Grammy for the Best Rock Album of 2017.
The War on Drugs has a dreamy, road trip kind of feel. Almost like a Springsteen meets the Grateful Dead. They bring a real sense of a deeper kind of rock music that you just won’t get on pop radio. They are songs that tell of life experience and of life fully lived. Get to know them and you’ll see what I mean.
On this playlist:
Under The Pressure – Holding On -Burning – Pain
YouTube playlist: The War on Drugs
Spotify playlist: The War on Drugs