In addition to lo-fi rockers, there are also new and terrific 2016 singles from artists and bands like M. Ward, The Besnard Lakes, The Senior Service, Foals, Fat White Family, Shearwater and NARCS.
If you missed Volume One of the Best New Indie Rock Releases of 2016, you’ll want to check it out. It features a new streaming playlist. There is also our new built-in playlist below, featuring the top indie hits out right now.
Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger
One of our favorite lo-fi garage rock bands, Ty Segall, dropped one of the top ass-kicking albums of 2016 so far with the release of Emotional Mugger, a release that unleashes yet another set of raw, biting and explosive garage rock mixed with psych effects, punk, and sparring guitar notes, booming bass rhythms and hard-hitting, uptempo beats.
With heavy influences, as always, from The Beatles’ psychedelic, pop and rock styles, and glorious guitar and percussive rock from days gone by, Emotional Hugger, is one blazing organism of wonderful, lo-fi, psych-soaked garage rock noise on songs like “Diversion,” the title track, “Candy Sam,” and the terrific “Breakfast Eggs.”
MP3: “Diversion” – Ty Segall from Emotional Mugger on Drag City
METZ – “Eraser”
Sticking with the manic lo-fi, garage rock/punk of Ty Segall’s newest release, MENTZ kicks it up and knocks it down hard, with flesh to steel and sticks to skins on the split 7″ single, “Eraser” b/w “Pure Auto,” via Sub Pop. You know they rehearsed the balls off of these smoking tracks and the cops were called out a few times to pull the plug. How many complaints and evictions do you think METZ faced before finding a place where they could make this much magnificent noise rock?
MP3: “Eraser” – METZ from Eraser single
Penetration Moon – Penetration Moon
The new-to-us band Penetration Moon kicks ass rock and roll Ramones style on the debut single “Sluts In The City,” from the self-titled new album out on Burger Records. Really loving the tits on that track. Penetration Moon has achieved a high bar right out of the gate, which is why we dared to make a reference, every so delicately, to our beloved Ramones.
MP3: “Sluts In The City” – Penetration Moon from Penetration Moon on Burger Records
Dr. Dog – The Psychedelic Swamp
The title track from Dr. Dog‘s new album, The Psychedelic Swamp, is a different sound than most people are used to hearing from the popular indie rock band from Philly. It’s a more theatrical, psychedelic (surprisingly) rock sound that sometimes reminds us of artists from Meatloaf to The Beatles to a more pop sound from the band.
MP3: “The Psychedelic Swamp” – Dr. Dog from The Psychedelic Swamp
DIIV – Is The Is Are
Another title track from yet another fine new album, DIIV‘s Is The Is Are is a driving, echoey key and drum lead track that sounds a little like Arcade Fire, but that’s OK – lots of songs sounds like parts of other songs or artists/bands. DIIV prove once again why they are a popular band.
MP3: “Is The Is Are” – DIIV from Is The Is Are
Half Japanese – Perfect
Half Japanese‘s new single, “That Is That,” is raucous, distorted, lo-fi, garage rock with fast-grinding synths, and riveting sound effects to boot. There’s some Iggy and The Stooges gritty attitude in the lyrics and vocals, not to mention bumping bass, crashing cymbals and frenetic drumming – keeping right in line with the first half of this playlist featuring the best new releases of 2016.
MP3: “That Is That” – Half Japanese from Perfect on Joyful Noise
Night Beats – No Cops
Seattle band Night Beats unleashes blazing psych rock with components of R&B, garage rock and prog with big hooks, evidenced by the single, “Sunday Mourning,” from the LP No Cops. The song chugs along with a heavy, upbeat bass and drum jam with raw grit. It even reminds us of The Kinks quite a bit.
MP3: “Sunday Mourning” – Night Beats from No Cops on Heavenly
M. Ward – More Rain
The new album from the prolific M. Ward, More Rain, has received accolades from fans and critics alike. Not surprisingly. Above is the official video – complete with aerials over the southern California deserts and mountains – for the fantastic, uplifting, Paul Simon (post Simon & Garfunkel) like acoustic track, “Girl From Conejo Valley.” M. Ward continues to amaze.
MP3: “Girl From Conejo Valley” – M. Ward from More Rain
The Besnard Lakes – A Coliseum Complex Museum
The newest release, A Coliseum Complex Museum, from Montreal indie rock band The Bernard Lakes, and the lead single “Golden Lion,” harken back to the sounds of mid to late 60’s psych rock with 21st century guitar pedal effects.
MP3: “Golden Lion” – The Besnard Lakes from A Coliseum Complex Museum on Jagjaguwar
Note: Heaven Adores You – Elliott Smith
The Verigolds – For Margaret
San Diego indie band The Verigolds, who we originally featured last spring for the fantastic single, “Grunge,” have released their debut album, For Margaret, funded by Kickstarter. And we can see why there is excitement among their fans and followers. Songs like the infectious single, “Gloom,” make it a debut the band members can be proud of.
Foals – Birch Tree
The long awaited new album, Birch Tree, from Foals offers somewhat of a new sound for long-time fans of the band – there’s more programmed beats and bass (or at least sounds like it) and less of the stripped down rawness that we miss. The track and video for “Birch Tree” is one of the top highlights on the album.
MP3: “Birch Tree” – Foals from Birch Tree
Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on The Beach
The Fat White Family kick out psych rock mixed with elements of rockabilly, surf rock and even event grade Talking Heads type nuttiness that is both sweet and punk at the same time with Johnny Cash rhythm all the way through. Totally original, crazy and fun.
MP3: “Whitest Boy on The Beach” – Fat White Family from Whitest Boy on The Beach
Savages – Adore Life
The music video for the the UK frantic post punk outfit Savages’ newest single, “Adore,” from the band’s fresh release – Adore Life via Matador – has amassed more than 550,000 views in the past month. It’s a bit too Sinead OConnor-ish for our liking, but obviously there are people that love it, and we are huge Matador fans.
MP3: “Adore” – Savages from Adore Life on Matador
NARCS – “Pig”
Noisy, dark garage rock guitars and rumbling bass and crashing drums bellow out of the new single, “Pig,” from the Leeds alt. rock UK band NARCS, ahead of their expected album follow up to their successful debut. Having performed at the Leeds & Festival, the band then went on to tour the UK and are definitely revving up for U.S. exposure and perhaps an east coast tour.
MP3: “Pig” – NARCS
Shearwater from Jet Plane and Oxbow
A long-time local favorite in Austin, the band Shearwater with a continuation of their last album – 2012’s Animal Joy – featuring a collection of finely crafted pop rock songs that pulls clear influences of 80’s pop rock with driving rhythms, emotive vocals and hooklicious choruses and oodles of melody.
MP3: “Quiet Americans” – Shearwater from Jet Plane and Oxbow on Sub Pop
The Senior Service – Depth Charge
This is a top rate instrumental, but more suited for a 1960s Italian spaghetti western B-film. The Senior Service is group made up of members from a broad swathe of other bands. The Mighty Caesars, The James Taylor Quartet, The Masonics: even one of Billy Childish’s groups, The Buff Medways.
MP3: “Hall of Mirrors” – The Senior Service from Depth Charge on Damaged Goods