Browsing Category

Top Indie Music Blog

Indie Music Blogs UK


The term ‘indie’ in the music industry has become so ambiguous it has practically become as subjective as the meaning of life. Whichever way it is defined, it is still a massive part of the music industry in the UK and across the globe.

Originally, indie referred to how an artist distributed their music. Over the decades, it became a catch-all term for artists sharing the same sonic off-kilter edge; and, of course, the same moody yet inexplicably cool aesthetic. Indie, as a genre, only came around as the result of experimental artists in the 70s wanting to bring a new sound to the airwaves; instead of solely hoping for commercial success after appeasing one of the major record labels.

Indie artists adopted punk ethos they started to push the boundaries of pop. Instead of commercialising their sound, they pushed it into post-punk, shoegaze, synthpop, Britpop, avant-garde, noise rock and dream pop arenas. For all that separates bands such as Sonic Youth, the Cure, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, Elliott Smith and Radiohead, there is still so much that ties them together, namely their attitudes and the loud discordant style.

Along with the bands, iconic venues such as the 100 Club in London, the Hacienda in Manchester, and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow had a pivotal part to play in the traction of independent artists and music. New Indie labels, such as Rough Trade and Factory Records, were amongst the first record labels to truly embrace and encourage experimentalism and authenticity in the artists they scouted and signed – taking New Order and Joy Division as a prime example.

It may have been a while since there was an indie breakthrough act as successful as the Arctic Monkeys, but indie music has far from lost its resonance. Besides, Monkeys won over 42 awards and sold over 20 million records, so that’s going to take some beating, and they’re certainly not the only indie artists currently thriving.

The Welsh indie rock icons, the Manic Street Preachers, celebrated their first number 1 album in 23 years with the release of Ultra Vivid Lament in 2021. The Tarantino-Esque Liverpool outfit, Red Rum Club, released their debut album in 2019, and got to number 14 in the official album sales chart with their album, How to Steal the World, in 2021. Perhaps most impressively, the world’s first CryptoPunk rapper, Spottie Wifi, made just under $200k in album NFT sales in 90 seconds this year.

Nadine Finsterbusch Reclaimed Her Story & Embraced the Defiance of Youth in Her Alt Electro-Pop Debut LP, ‘My Space’

Nadine Finsterbusch’s debut LP, “My Space,” marks a fearless foray into alt-electro-pop territory, reflecting her determination to carve out her own niche. This album defies societal expectations for women her age, presenting an impetuous embrace of youth and raw emotion. At 44, the Berlin-based artist confronts the challenges that have defined her adulthood—early menopause, breaches of trust, and failed friendships—with a fresh, optimistic outlook reminiscent of youthful defiance.

The album’s 11 tracks are a rich synthesis of indietronica, pop, and rock, juxtaposing bitter realities with lush, harmonious tones. Finsterbusch’s voice, with its innocent yet vehement timbre, evokes the early influence of Björk This influence is unmistakable in the way her vocals weave through the album, combining playful innocence with a resolute sense of self.

“My Space” is a deeply personal narrative; Finsterbusch’s collaboration with producer Ramin Bijan provides the perfect backdrop for her introspective lyrics. The album was mastered by Dave Cooley, whose credentials include working with Tame Impala and Animal Collective, ensuring a polished yet authentic sound.

The lead single, “Why So Serious”, encapsulates the album’s ethos, inviting listeners to embrace their emotions without irony, much like teenagers do. Finsterbusch’s journey to this realisation—spurred by listening to Agust D’s “People”—adds ample to her work, underpinning her desire to enjoy the creative process and share that joy with her audience.

In “My Space,” Finsterbusch successfully balances sweetness without naivety and agony without ennui, creating a lyrically nuanced and emotionally resonant album. This work stands as a testament to her untainted dignity and her ability to transform personal adversity into compellingly relatable art. “My Space” is a triumph of self-expression, inviting listeners to reclaim their own spaces of joy and reflection.

Stream the album on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ander became the paragon of a post-grunge prodigy with ‘accident’

After the pensive melodic intro teases nothing more than an assimilation of Nirvana, ander catches you off-guard with the immense authenticity in the moody synthesis of grunge, emo, indie post-punk, and bruisingly heavy shoegaze within his latest single, accident.

At 17 years old, the solo artist is already putting the majority of artists to shame with his fusionistic outpours of visceral emotion which pull you into their intensity before striking every feasible raw nerve. Rhythmically tensile yet cataclysmically tumultuous, accident is a cultivated earworm which belies ander’s age. The vortex of distorted guitars as they thrash against the haunting narrative of introspection redemption couldn’t be more affecting if Deftones laid down the instrumentals.

With his ability to make most of his contemporaries sound tired, uninspired and as though they are just going through the motions while painting by numbers, we have no doubt that ander has what it takes to cut through the static of sonic banality and rise to the top of the alternative charts.

Accident was officially released on May 10th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Elizabeth Metcalfe prescribed synth-pop serenity with her latest single, Falling

New Zealand singer-songwriter, Elizabeth Metcalfe’s career reached its zenith following the launch of her latest single, Falling. The dreamy synth-pop melodies rival the ethereal pastel hues within Swift’s Tortured Poet’s Society album as Metcalfe transcends the soul delivered in the hyped-to-the-nth-degree LP.

If you’ve been sleeping on Metcalfe since she made her debut in 2019, there’s no better way to awaken your senses to her ability to push future-forward synth-pop into unchartered spiritual territory with the force of her arcane vocal register.

While some love songs only scratch the surface of the light love can bring to our lives and how it casts away the shadows of the past, Elizabeth Metcalfe delivered a love story that is arguably more fully rounded than the Notebook. It’s a panoramic Blockbuster encased in a 3-minute pop production that leaves you hanging on the outro lyric “What if give you my heart and you break it” which juxtaposes the soulful lyrical serenity and Enya-esque beguile that drifted through the chorus and verses.

If you can’t get enough of Metcalfe’s discography, you won’t have long to wait until she unveils her debut EP later this year.

Falling cascaded onto the airwaves on April 19; stream the single on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

stella. playfully broached the implausibility of equanimity in love with the twee maturity in ‘A Study in Balance’

If you prefer your indie pop sans filters, facades and pretension, the latest convivial offering from stella.’s upcoming EP, A Study in Balance, raises the bar for confessional candour and introspective expression.

The title single from the breakthrough NYC indie pop artist comes alive through innocently playful piano chord progressions and vocal harmonies which soften the blow of the lyricism which holds no prisoners when confronting the most conflicting aspects of relationship dynamics. By finding an affable way to allude to the implausibility of equanimity within a relationship when too much is never enough until it tips the balance in the other way, stella. released one of the most relatable singles of the year.

Somewhat ironically, the symmetry between twee tendencies and songwriting sophistication within A Study in Balance was right on point; we already can’t wait to hear the lyrical wisdom bestowed within the singles that are still to drop from stella.’s sophomore EP.

A Study in Balance was officially released on May 3rd; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

R34L dawned a fresh era of alt-electronica with ‘NEW WAYS’

Trippy, transcendent, and rhythmically compulsive, the latest artfully orchestrated installation of alt-electronica, NEW WAYS, from the producer duo, R34L, comprising Sarah Hartman and Cason Trager is a cultivated vessel to spiritual ascension, wrapped in the aura of Lynchian reverie.

Hartman’s vocal lines harmonise with the divine high above the leftfield mix of electronica that will heighten any Portishead and Caroline Polachek-orientated playlists. The sense of soul that Hartman brings to the release in synergy with the lighter textures of the luxe track allows tides of catharsis to wash over you as the strong glitchy backbeat juxtaposes the lush layers with a sense of gravity that you’ll want to anchor yourself to time after time.

Whether you find your body beat to it or use it to slip into a sense of serenity by following the dreamlike progressions as they exit material reality, NEW WAYS defies ambivalence with its potent alchemy, which is likely to be extended through R34L’s upcoming 13-track LP, Falling in Place, which promises to place the listener in the unchartered middle-ground of indie-pop & club music.

NEW WAYS was officially released on May 10th; stream the single on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Awakening to Bella Gate: ‘Sleepwalking’ Melds Classic and Contemporary with Masterful Artistry

If you’re still sleeping on the breakthrough UK singer-songwriter, Bella Gate, her revolutionary approach to power balladry exhibited in her latest single, Sleepwalking, will prise your heart and soul open to her immensely affecting artistry.

The classic songwriting style is enough to slip you back into the 70s before the Florence and the Machine artful touches pull you right back to modernity as Bella Gate’s vocals channel the spirituality of Stevie Nicks and the deep resonant timbre of Adele, with all the emotive authenticity to boot.

While looking back on chapters of teenage love and self-discovery, most will shudder at the naivety; Bella Gate is viscerally living through the torment within Sleepwalking; vicariously join her as the pop-rock piano keys dance beneath her endlessly ascending vocal register as they spill the agony in a retrospective call for clarity.

With plenty more singles in the pipeline for 2024, the 23-year-old Edinburgh/London residing artist is more than worth a spot on your radar. If she’s esteemed enough to have her debut LP mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Geoff Pesche, she, and her talent in bringing a fresh and innovative vibe to the industry, is one to watch.

Sleepwalking was officially released on April 26th; stream the single on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

J fired shots in his arcane parody pop-rock hymn, Our Men

Satirically blasphemous shots were fired at the military-industrial complex and the absurdity of piety in the latest single, Our Men, from one of the UK’s most enigmatic originators, J.

Having already witnessed J through his single Shame on You, we knew to expect a certain degree of endearing obscurity in this single, described as a stimulation of humour, intellect, emotion, body and soul, yet the one-man powerhouse exceeded all expectations in the spacey chorally psychedelic pop-rock hit that simultaneously gives Jonathan Pie, Prince and The Beatles a run for their money.

The cleverly meta single delivers intricate layers of depth that stack up to stand as a monolithic testament to J’s ingenuity. Not one to throw himself into expositions half-heartedly, Our Men cracks open the psyche of a warped military captain turned priest with a penchant for invasion and occupation. The parallels of tyrannical control were always there, it just took an audaciously bold artist to create a sonic boardwalk between them.

The guitar work that could make angels cry as it soars throughout the gospel-esque pop production towards the outro is the icing on this arcane parody’s cake. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear what J sinks his lyrical teeth into next.

Stream the official music video for Our Men when it premieres on YouTube on May 15th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Taking Back Tomorrow have made their supersonic orchestral indie rock debut, In This Moment

If anyone ordered the male version of The Last Dinner Party, judging by the cinematically theatrical flair of their orchestrally cut debut single, In This Moment, they’ve arrived in the form of Taking Back Tomorrow.

Exhilarating from the first augmented rock-licked breath, the symphonic pop-rock mash-up exudes the charisma of Queen, slick indie style in the same vein as Editors, and orchestral layers intense enough to bring Vangelis to climax.

The synergy exhibited between the instrumentals as they spark electricity and work their way towards Blockbuster OST-esque crescendos and within the euphonically layered harmonies is unparalleled. Pour into that mix the sticky sweet extolling of mindfulness and living for the moment and you’ve got a track that transcends your ordinary earworm; there isn’t a part of your anatomy that Taking Back Tomorrow will leave unaltered.

The first thing you’ll think after having your face melted by the debut is how long has the Stoke-on-Trent 5-piece been sitting on their virtuosic talent; the second is when are they releasing their sophomore single. If any newcomer in 2024 is capable of a sure-fire trajectory straight to the top of the charts, it is Taking Back Tomorrow. Watch this space; if they can come in this strong with their debut, there’s no telling what they will do next.

In This Moment was officially released on May 4th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Revel in the melancholic petrichor of Ludvik Langholm’s intimate lo-fi pop single, Empty Parking Lot

In Ludvik Langholm’s latest single, Empty Parking Lot, the intimacy of indie pop meets the raw elements of nature to create an aching auditory experience, born from the torment of introspection.

The Leeds, UK-based Norwegian artist plunges listeners into a stormy emotional landscape that mirrors the turbulent weather it sonically captures. Crafted with the lo-fi charm of bedroom pop, Empty Parking Lot occupies a stylistic nexus akin to Neutral Milk Hotel’s artistry and Mitski’s expressive depth. The track’s lush, ethereal textures and deliberate distortions evoke the sensation of a warped tape deck, producing hauntingly personal aesthetics.

Drawing from a rich tapestry of influences, including his queer and neurodiverse perspectives, Langholm layers instrumental and vocal melodies that convey complex emotional states. The song’s narrative explores the challenge of supporting a friend through difficulty, balancing the act of giving space with the desire to offer comfort. The incorporation of rain sounds and the rhythmic swiping of windscreen wipers immerse the listener in the scene, deepening the connection to the song’s themes.

As Empty Parking Lot builds to its close, the eerie harmony of layered modulated voices takes centre stage, embodying the haunting aftermath of loss. In this track, Ludvik Langholm successfully captures the essence of vulnerability and the poignant beauty of human connection.

Ludvik Langholm released Empty Parking Lot on May 2nd; stream the single on YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Visit the ‘Golden State’ with Out in Front’s Breakthrough Indie Pop-Rock Debut

The indie scene has been crying out for ingenuity; Out in Front answered the plea for sonic salvation from assimilative monotony with their debut single, Golden State, which may have only been on the airwaves for two months, but the LA newcomers have wasted no time racking up close to 100k streams on Spotify alone with their inaugural release.

After the prelude teases just another twee indie pop single to add to the indie landfill, Golden State shifts gears with a brashy crescendo of overdriven guitars that hark back to The Manic Street Preacher’s earlier records before the jangle pop melodies add yet another scintillating dimension to the dynamic earworm that you’ll beg to stay.

With the Southern Cali sound an integral part of their sonic signature, the trio who met by chance at a tennis court before jamming together and realising they had the epitome of creative chemistry to share with fans all across the indie pop-rock spectrum, Golden State drenches the airwaves with glistening golden tonal bliss, wrapped in a hazily hued aura that almost feels like a second skin when you’re immersed in this instant hit.

Golden State is available to stream on all major platforms, including Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast