It’s quite incredible that Quinlan managed to make the song so unrecognizable that I listened to the whole thing without even realizing it was a cover of the legendary Boise, Idaho indie band’s biggest hit. Visit Juno Studio. Also grant that the tone baked into every Hinds record, from 2016’s Leave Me Alone to 2018’s I Don’t Run, pairs perfectly with warm, sunny days spent driving on beachside highways with the windows rolled down, even when they’re singing about loneliness, breakups and the neverending quest for hugs and cuddles. —Lizzie Manno, In 2017, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfeld quite literally blew the music world away. But Leithauser has spent his entire career on its wavelength, and dedicates The Loves of Your Life to the people who make the metropolis what it is, bringing all of his skills (he plays most of the instruments on the album) to bear on rendering their stories in poignant detail. H.e.a.t - H.e.a.t II. And from those roots, the band continues to grow, excelling at their characteristically propulsive rock while making room for more emotion-imbued softness and nuanced instrumentation to shine through, a natural progression that quietly slips an arm around the listener, rather than grabbing them by the lapels. Because you’ve been there (probably), and because Bridgers has been there, too, and she knows how to make this song about a stranger’s overdose into a highly relatable moment. Beabadoobee – Fake It Flowers [Dirty Hit] Fake It Flowers, the debut from the British singer-songwriter Bea Kristi, is such an earnest homage to the 1990s that it's hard to find fault with it. As … Written about real individuals, some old friends and others strangers, the songs are as manifold as the human lives they encapsulate, with Leithauser often stepping aside to speak in his subjects’ own words. The following is a list of albums released or scheduled for release in 2020.These are notable albums, defined as having received significant coverage from reliable sources independent of the subject. Hop Along actually began as a solo project in the mid-2000s, but by the time the band started to take off with 2012’s Get Disowned, it was a full outfit, complete with Quinlan’s brother Mark on drums, bassist Tyler Long and multi-instrumentalist Joe Reinhart, who has produced each of their records since. For 2017’s boxy form/a EP and 2018’s grief-stricken Lavender, she embraced synths that resembled icicles falling onto a patio and shattering—an element previously scattered, but not placed front and center, throughout her work—in service of songs as thoughtfully composed as they were towering and immediate. Hinds’ usual fuzzed-up rock aesthetic bridges the gap between The Prettiest Curse and I Don’t Run nicely. On Loner, Rose placed the system surrounding fame and celebrity squarely in her crosshairs. As an example, look back to “Funeral,” one of the highlights of Bridgers’ 2017 debut Stranger in the Alps. —Andy Crump, Listening to an Andy Shauf album in full is akin to binging a particularly compelling TV show: Both pull you in with characters that feel just as real as you or me, who populate a world we’d like to escape to. While earning their stripes as an opening band, playing with acts like Shame, Jay Som and Girlpool, it was hard to determine which direction they would go since their shows were much punkier than any of their recordings up until that point. There are moments of wonder and discovery, but often those are bookended by rough seas. Saint Cloud is a whole new world. Every aspect of the central storyline—an ex randomly showing up after moving out of town, bad jokes, drunken ramblings—feels like it could be happening at your local dive just a couple blocks from your apartment. That’s particularly obvious on “The Alarmist,” as Hall nearly whispers the final line of the first verse: “I whisper to myself / Then I’m spinning it half around / Like an echo / A faraway sound / Saying, ‘be good to me.’” Though the first stanza makes it seem like this is a song about the breakdown of a relationship and Hall’s inability to communicate effectively, that raw “be good to me” refrain feels wholly personal, directed towards himself and no one else. In comparison to the expansive sound of his recent work with indie four-piece Foxwarren, the woozy woodwind, warm piano and guitar (all played by Shauf himself) come across as if they are being played in the small back room of a bar. They want us to know that it’s okay to not have all the answers, and it’s okay to feel contradictory emotions. They’re also masters of grooves both meditative and invigorating, and they experiment with foreground and background sounds in mind-numbing ways. “I was in a really bad place,” she reflected in a more recent interview SPIN. Our full range of studio equipment from all the leading equipment and software brands. Their half-hearted performance brought to mind the women in the background of Robert Palmer videos, who serve as ornamentation at best. She shakes and shimmies as a smarmy male singer, while bikini-clad babes dance behind her or unconvincingly “play” instruments. In the case of our present moment, the year’s best indie rock albums are a healthy mix of extremely-indie albums, higher profile events and everything in between. Over the last 25 years, she has made five albums that have all—in due time—ascended to holy text status, even if it took some longer than others to come around to her genius. Most of life’s darkest days often occur after two people have committed themselves to one another: Loved ones fall ill or die, responsibilities mount and any number of unexpected catastrophes may land on your doorstep. Indie rock is an ever-evolving genre spanning bedroom recordings and Jack Antonoff-produced powerhouses. —Eric R. Danton, Let’s face it: In 2020, nobody is expecting a new Strokes album to compete with the band’s classic, essentially perfect first two albums. Now, Shauf is following up his 2016 effort with The Neon Skyline, another concept album about a couple of friends on a night out at the pub. The latter plays strictly in the mode of garage rock. Instead of aiming to melt the brains of tens of thousands of twenty-somethings in a field on psychedelics (though this likely still will, let’s be honest), Parker instead turns his eye toward dancehalls, replacing fuzzy guitars and impressive percussion with bouncy piano and dance-y synths. Hear the hot songs of the year and all important new cd releases of 2020 in one place. But on Likewise, Quinlan hashed everything out with just Reinhart in the studio, giving the tracks more space to breathe than ever before. Settling on even the best 15 indie rock records proved quite the task. Now that their Rob Schnapf-produced (Beck, Elliott Smith) first album Collector has arrived, we have an answer: It’s perhaps more uniform in sound than their debut EP and live shows would suggest, but it shows off their dynamic guitar triple-threat, down-to-earth lyrics and instantaneous pop know-how that made them so enjoyable and relatable in the first place. To say the album is derivative is to miss the point. Shadow Talk is all about finesse and dynamics—melodies cascade with subtlety and spark with a euphoric glow. The top 20 are: 20. (See: The 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020) It’s important to note that denotations such as indie rock and alternative rock and pop-rock, etc. In Fetch the Bolt Cutters’ case, these psalms beam clearer than ever before. After recruiting three more full-time members—Shannon Connor (guitar, keys), Logan Severson (guitar/backing vocals) and Brendan Manley (drums)—and signing to Saddle Creek for their debut album, Disq were fully equipped to bring their distinct charm and varying influences to life. But it’s put to such superbly squalling ends, resulting in the breakthrough of one of the best British indie-rock bands in ages. “Can’t Do Much,” a single released ahead of the record, possesses that old-time lilt and a head-over-heels chorus that sounds like something Lucinda Williams may have spat out on Essence. Headlining festivals and writing for pop and rap stars, Kevin Parker is finally confident. Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, the fifth studio album by Perfume Genius, boasts the best album title of 2020. Throughout “In August,” she looks back despondently on the fallout of a once-strong companionship: “I have lost your friendship / What does that say about me?” As pillowy synths burst into a mournful geyser of sound, the track takes on a rejuvenating air. The majority of this year's best indie rock albums feature guitars at the forefront. Discover and listen to new music releases and 2020's best new album releases this week and every week here. —Steven Edelstone, Rarely when uttering the words “for better or for worse” on their wedding day do couples really consider the latter half of that sentiment. Every Bad is the nuanced album that indie rock has needed for years. Some of these albums could easily find a home on other lists—pop, punk, or perhaps folk—but they also all fit here, under the indie rock umbrella. Her record Out in the Storm, which we named one of the best albums of that year, displayed a whole new side of the singer. Swimmer was borne from this heart wrenching period of time, a fitting name considering the sailing motif in Tennis’ discography (Cape Dory recounts their post-college sailing trip along the East Coast, and most of Yours Conditionally was written during their journey at sea from San Diego to the Sea of Cortez). —Max Freedman, In 2012, Kevin Parker was an introvert. Gone were the fortified bedroom pop of 2015’s Ivy Tripp, the rock-tinged freak-folk musings of her 2013 stunner Cerulean Salt and the brainy lo-fi recordings of her 2012 debut American Weekend. Through scratchy indie rock (“Don’t Ask Me Twice,” “Give/Take”), grand punk (“Lilac”) and even auto-tuned pop (“Something”), Porridge Radio take pop songs much further than listeners might’ve thought possible. Rose’s Lavender follow-up The Caretaker is smaller in scale. “I don’t forgive you,” she sings as a horn arrangement crests over this mind-numbing scene, “but please don’t hold me to it.” Later, in “Moon Song,” Bridgers traces the blurry boundaries of a complicated relationship before laying it all out in the final verse: “You are sick and you’re married and you might be dying,” she sings over a small crescendo, “but you’re holding me like water in your hands.” —Ben Salmon, Although Soccer Mommy’s 2018 debut studio album Clean transformed her into a critical favorite, indie-rock leader and tour opener for Paramore, Kacey Musgraves and Vampire Weekend, anyone who’s grappled with mental illness knows that success isn’t a salve. From the culture-shaking event that was Fetch the Bolt Cutters to the lesser-known records we’ve fallen in love with this year, here are the best indie rock albums of 2020 so far. All Rights Reserved. In a surprise to probably no one, Fiona Apple is now five for five. They shout repeated lines like they’re therapeutically screaming into the void, but surprisingly, listening to it is just as therapeutic. The album often resembles a reversion to her sparser early work and away from the cavernous jolts of her more recent output. Stephen Malkmus - 'Traditional Techniques' … ... the best 50 albums from this year have something for everyone. or studio (Universal, Disney, Warner Bros….). Each time we publish a list of indie rock albums, we’re once again met with the question of what actually defines an indie rock album. Superstar proves itself a tightly knit satire of celebrity, effective thanks to Rose’s sharp storytelling and her calculated use of distortion, which highlights the artificial quality of the protagonist’s new surroundings. —Scott Russell, Dan Bejar’s songs often sound like part of the soundtrack to a movie that exists only in his mind. Gone are the cathartic, fist-pumping moments from “Cadmium,” the louder, capital-R Rock aesthetics from “Then Again” or the bruising solos à la “Aphasia.” Hall & co. respond with a more refined batch of songs on Marigold. The things we want and need are always changing, and trying to communicate that to other people often leads to confusion or frustration. —Clare Martin, Some psychedelic albums reach a hypnotic end cheaply. Within 10 seconds, you know—without a doubt—it’s a Waxahatchee album. 59 votes, 42 comments. Shauf’s storytelling and uncanny realism have long been the linchpin of his appeal as an artist, though his previous release, The Party, showcased his talent on a whole other level. Tucked in among the record’s memorable melodies, clever arrangements and impressive guests are a steady stream of details that lend plainspoken perspective to Bridgers’ emotional highs and (mostly) lows. Quinlan has long had one of the best voices in indie rock, so why not essentially subtract everything else and give it 100 percent of the spotlight? On 2014’s KOTEKAN and 2016’s Probable Depths, Rose’s strings, pianos and powerful mezzo-soprano provided an appropriately plaintive background for her ruminations on distance and personal growth. Interpreting your own while trying to navigate the emotions of others is one of the hardest parts of being a human. But Apple isn’t just sitting on these songs during the long gaps between albums; she’s buffing them to perfection. It’s a world not unlike our own, but that’s part of the appeal, really. Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One (Remastered Expanded 50th Anniversary Edition), Daniel Romano's Outfit - How Ill Thy World Is Ordered, illuminati hotties - FREE I.H: This Is Not The One You've Been Waiting For, Catholic Action - Celebrated By Strangers, Hamilton Leithauser - The Loves of Your Life, Young Jesus - Welcome to Conceptual Beach, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - X: The Godless Void and Other Stories, The Airborne Toxic Event - Hollywood Park, Users' Highest Rated Indie Rock Albums of 2020. But rarely does an artist deconstruct and completely transform a beloved song to the extent that Frances Quinlan does with “Carry the Zero,” the Built to Spill classic that landed at number two on Paste’s best songs of 1999 list. It’s their first LP since signing with Secretly Canadian, and it follows their 2016 self-recorded debut Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers. Compounding that was the fact – in most cases – indie bands were unable to promote their releases with live shows. Effervescence is a key ingredient in all their music, but The Prettiest Curse’s bubbliness is more pronounced, the froth that shapes the band’s rising to the surface in a slightly broader coating. It’s an astute pivot for Rose, and an indicator that she is anything but your typical ascendant artist. Everything Indie Music related; from the newest releases and news, to discussion on … That stylized artificiality has been an unspoken running theme in Bejar’s music as Destroyer, at least since Kaputt in 2011. —Zach Schonfeld, Her sophomore album Punisher cements what may be Bridgers’ most understated gift of all: her seemingly innate ability to capture the mundanity of modern sadness in song. Fetch the Bolt Cutters is finally here, and it’s another miraculous case of bottled lightning. Yet, it’s different from anything she’s ever released before. She doesn’t like to do what is expected of her. Understandably, The Caretaker’s stories are often not pretty sights, even if the music always is. The former reads mostly the same, but occasionally brightened with layers of pop. Moore herself never learned to swim, just as most of us are not taught how to navigate the choppy waters of grief and strife. Written, recorded, produced and mixed in Leithauser’s cramped, DIY New York City studio The Struggle Hut, the album achieves a powerful sense of place, capturing the city and its innumerable narratives—NYC is well-trod creative territory, to say the least, and could have easily made for a mundane effort in the hands of a lesser songwriter. Brooklyn Vegan's Indie Basement placed 40 indie-rock albums from 2020 in its cellar - it's an interesting selection, covering the best, and some unexpected albums. Plus, when you’re battling your own demons, it makes things even harder. Now, though, as her star is rising, Rose has turned that critical eye inward. Eliot, searing, Dylan-esque vocal delivery, chiming guitars straight off Out in the Storm, pastoral folk not unlike that of her 2018 EP Great Thunder. She considered leaving music altogether. —Scott Russell, There should be a law requiring Hinds to release all of their future albums during the summer season in perpetuity. ... self-titled album is more indie-rock than anything else, it could be safely argued. Optimism led him astray. ... and Lilly Hiatt dove headfirst into R.E.M. —Lizzie Manno, Marigold is the first true collection of Pinegrove songs that addresses (or doesn’t) the events that have unfolded since lead singer Evan Stephens Hall’s admission of sexual coercion in late 2017 via a Facebook post. Contender for the indie music scene and the revolutionary all important new cd of... Others is one of the songs here feel a bit rougher around the edges which! 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