The year has kicked off pretty well for indie music, and per usual, there's a little something for everyone. A few veterans made their marks again, from Yo La Tengo continuing to perfect their warm, sweet guitar rock to Tegan and Sara's danceable synth-pop turn. But it's the newer kids that have us most excited: Local Natives' refined, subtle pop on album No. 2; Foxygen's studious yet playful repurposing of retro psych-pop; Ex Cops' brew of classic indie sounds that touch on everyone from Spiritualized to The Velvet Underground; Widowspeak's narcotic, Mazzy Star-like dream pop; and The Joy Formidable's female-fueled anthemic rock.
A trend that we can't ignore is the welcome rise in great punk and noise rock, spotlighted here with notable debuts by L.A. skate-punk hedonists FIDLAR, garage-rock/post-punk concocters Parquet Courts and Massachusetts sludge rockers California X. Read about and listen to all of these albums below, and check out our playlist, which includes tracks from even more indie releases from the last month, including new singles from Wavves and The Knife.