This past October has been full of exciting releases from some staple artists in the indie scene. We saw the resurgence of bands that were a staple during the 2014 Tumblr era, reminding us that it’s not just a phase! But besides that, WLUW staff wanted to make sure we covered some of our favorite albums on repeat during this spooky month. With that being said, make sure you check out these honorable mentions!
The 1975 are back with their fifth studio album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language. It marks a call back to their self-titled era, but this time with a renewed sense of growth as they explore love and pain. Produced with the assistance of Jack Antonoff, BFIAFL retains a sonically exciting feeling, with upbeat instrumentation to a melancholic jazz influence. Tracks like “Looking for Somebody (To Love)” have the Antonoff influence, sounding similar to his solo project, Bleachers. However, what makes this album stick out from others is exactly how earnest it is, with powerful lyrics about the small things that make love wonderful. Tracks like “I’m In Love With You” are more direct, while others are more subtle. It also feels impactful in the way it reminds you just how much life has changed in the time The 1975 has put out music. “About You” is a track the band considers to be a continuation of “Robbers” and the influence is prevalent. Examining how past relationships have impacted you, and how amidst the pain there is still a piece of tenderness that stays with is powerful. Overall, the album is an impressive feat of sounding new while reflecting on your roots. It’s highly emotional and gets better with every listen.
The Aussie singer-songwriter, Indigo Sparke, has perfected creating music for introverts that love to sit at home and truly feel the lyrics and melodies pouring out of her songs. Hysteria produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner is the folk artist’s sophomore album released this October. The project started the summer of 2021 as Indigo moved to the U.S to work with Dessner who is also known for producing albums for Taylor Swift and Sharon Van Etten. This fourteen-track album embodies spacey, musical and lyrical elements about late night loneliness, grief, and healing. The first track “Blue” sets the tone for the rest of the album taking a deep dive into the artist’s trauma paired with simple and atmospheric guitar. Throughout the album there are naturalistic motifs tying to the artist’s emotional experiences and connection to being a woman. Even more, there is an interesting mix between ballads and songs with heavy build ups. The track “Infinite Honey” is like the calm before a storm, and it eventually bursts towards the end by chanting the lyrics, “you lie, you lie, you lie”. Sparke’s Hysteria is a frenzy of storytelling about the artist’s personal rage, but in a beautiful melancholic way that is guaranteed to make one feel like a stronger person after listening.
Canadian indie-pop group Alvvays have maintained an enigmatic reputation amongst indieheads throughout their career. However, since releasing Antisocialites in 2017 the band has been relatively absent: no social media posts, no new music, no word on what was to come. Now, five years later, the group is back with their third studio LP Blue Rev. According to the group’s Spotify bio, this album wasn’t supposed to take five years. They were hitting the road more than anticipated, which is not ideal for a band that doesn’t write on tour. Additionally, the group’s practice space flooded a day before singer Molly Rankin’s demo-filled recorder was stolen. Finally, this month the world was blessed by the joy that is Blue Rev. The 14-track album explores new textures and tones for the group but retains their Alvvays sound. Some tracks sound straight out of Sarah Records: jangly twee-pop songs accompanied by Rankin’s smooth falsetto. Other tracks explore a darker, synth driven world featuring playful voice effects. Blue Rev also explores lush, shoegaze-inspired soundscapes that reach a sort of sonic euphoria and release unlike any other. There’s so much emotion in both the instrumentals and vocals, but in an ambiguous and nuanced way, leaving it up to the listener to decide.
Take a listen and become entranced in the beautiful world of Blue Rev.
It would feel wrong to not give an honorable mention to this Philly artist who released an album in late September. Alex G has yet again stopped the Indie loving community in their tracks with his newest experimental release: God Save the Animals. This unique album consists of scratchy electronic to indie jazz and everything in between. His lyrics capture the uncertainty of life, sounding of depression, uneasiness, fever dreams, anxiety, and most importantly love. The most popular song “Cross the Sea” begins with low-fi autotune and ends with dreamy acoustics, this is not one to miss. There will be a song on this album where each person can find solitude.
– Chloe Rafferty