If you’re anything like us, you’re probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust’s weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don’t have to. Every Friday, we’ll tell you what’s worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.
Told Slant, Point the Flashlight and Walk
Told Slant is the project of Brooklyn musician Felix Walworth, who wrote and recorded the entirety of their new album, Point the Flashlight and Walk, in the solitude of their bedroom. While the music of Told Slant is known for delicate, folksy instrumentals, the circumstances of Point the Flashlight and Walk amplify the songs’ dejected, yearning subject matter.
“Living is hard / When you don’t want me to,” Walworth sings in their deep croon on “Run Around the School.” “There is the one you love / And there is the love you want / And there is the want you love / And you can’t hold them all.” Gutting and visceral, Point the Flashlight and Walk is a fitting soundtrack for a gloomy winter.
For fans of Frankie Cosmos, Field Medic, and Florist.
William Basinski, Lamentations
William Basinski has long been considered one of the leading artists in ambient music, following the path of forebearers like Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. The composer’s latest full-length release, Lamentations, features reworkings and reimaginations of archival pieces that date back decades.
Basinski is often inspired by science, with his compositions sprawling like outer space; Lamentations is no exception, with tracks like opener “For Whom the Bell Tolls” that feel like being pulled into a black hole in the most peaceful way possible.
For fans of Stars of the Lid and Tim Hecker.
Ana Roxanne, Because of a Flower
While William Basinski might be known for more broad, immersive compositions, ambient up-and-comer Ana Roxanne explores the tiny universes in-between. The Filipina-American producer’s new record, Because of a Flower, is heavily inspired by traditional choral music, while interspersing snippets of analog drums, rippling water, and spoken word.
While most ambient music finds itself in vague visuals, Because of a Flower was made with a focus on emotion. “Suite Pour L’invisble” features hypnotic vocals and drone instrumentals, while the single “Camille” feels indebted to new-wave pop. In all its stages, Because of a Flower feels both incredibly detailed while maintaining a sense of intimacy and closeness.
For fans of Carla dal Forno and Laurel Halo.
The Bats, Foothills
The Dunedin sound is a subgenre of indie pop that first rose to prominence in the college town of Dunedin, New Zealand, in the 1980s. It was spearheaded by the independent label Flying Nun, who’ve released many records by the Kiwi four-piece the Bats—including their new tenth album, Foothills.
After a lengthy hiatus, the Bats returned in 2017 and then recorded Foothills in a week a year later. Foothills sounds like quintessential Bats, leaning heavily on jangly guitars and easygoing melodies. The band is a critical listen for anyone interested in the origins of indie pop.
For fans of the Go-Betweens and Orange Juice.
Amaarae, The Angel You Don’t Know
New York City native Ama Serwah Genfi—better known as Amaarae—is one of the most exciting Afropop newcomers today. Her debut album, The Angel You Don’t Know, blends elements of mainstream pop, Hip-Hop, and R&B, all while paying homage to her West African roots.
The album is a kaleidoscopic collection of shape-shifting dance jams, interjecting moments of humor: “I don’t like thongs / ‘Cause they ride up in jeans,” goes one incredibly relatable lyric. Whether Amaarae is catching eyes in the club or letting her emotions get the best of her at a party, joining in on the fun with her is irresistible.
For fans of Burna Boy and Rosalia.