Shaping The Scene for 2014: The Best in Indie Music

James Vincent Mcmorrow

Andrew Shelton


New and returning indie artists are taking advantage of the new year with some great new albums. Though some may not come with a new sound, returning listeners will feel right at home, while new fans will come in – spoiled as usual.

 Here are the first 16 through February that have managed to catch my eye, including some not-so-indie big names from rap, pop, and the hardcore scene. Check out the facebook page and let The Bridge know what albums you’re excited for this year. Lana Del Rey and Foxes being among some mentionable others, coming later this year.

Fans of Bon Iver or James Blake’s style of droning experimental folk will love the album “Post-tropical”. James Vincent McMorrow’s new and second album was released Jan.14.

Stephen Malkmus is no new artist by far, though his sound has evolved more than most. His album titled “Wig Out at Jagbags” hasn’t seemed to upset a single long-time listener. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks showcase the song “Lariat” in a subtly sexy lyrical video that is sure to grab the attention of any hipster film fanatic. The album was released on Jan. 7

“Warpaint” comes in with mumbled female leads and an instrumental sound that fades in and out like waves at the beach. A drowsy tone with the perfect inception of highs and lows paired with a voice that keeps the mind wandering could make the album seem monotonal as a whole. If music had a smell, Warpaint’s self-titled album would be marijuana. A definite win for experimental. “Warpaint” hit the shelves Jan. 21.

I Break Horses released its sophomore album “Chiaroscuro” on Jan. 21. Chiaroscuro, in art, is the use of strong contrast of light and dark. The album’s name isn’t a far shot from the sound it delivers. Slow, busy, shifting electronic distortions, without a single quiet breather has landed this album with less hype than the band’s first album, which had a great first impression. Another female lead that is sure to slow down the mind.

Hospitality brings “Trouble” to music collections bearing similar sounds to Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, or Shiny Toy Guns, which released Jan. 21.

Young the Giant really doesn’t need a review, but some excitement should come from their Jan. 21, new album, “Mind Over Matter”.

Damien Jurado states in his album trailer, available on YouTube, that his 11th album is about a guy who disappears in a search for himself, and never returns home. For an inspiring story and some groovy soft folk, check out “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son” – released Jan. 21.

80s style neo trash-pop, Dum Dum Girls, delivers “Too True”, with its various upbeat to dark sounds on Jan. 28. Shiny Toy Guns fans that can’t have both Hospitality’s “Trouble” and Dum Dum Girls’ “Too True”, should skip “Trouble”. “Too True” is one of Dum Dum Girls’ best albums to date, and with a record label like Sub Pop backing her, it’s no surprise.

Rise Records’ Of Mice & Men brought “Restoring Force” this Jan. 28. From the hardcore genre, and from a former fan- this album does really well. Previous albums were always a miss for this writer, but ignoring the clean vocals, this one is perfect. Immediately, it was noticeable that it didn’t seem like the millionth time hearing the same song. The album had nice screams and appealed instrumentally, without sounding too done-up electronically.

 Bombay Bicycle Club’s “So Long, See You Tomorrow” is a great album to pick up for fans of Grizzly Bear or the likes. The almost orchestral, offbeat rhythms from playground instruments, can bring a more sanguine view to, even some of the worst ventures in life. An experimental folk band that brings the listener to an open field in the midst of trees, where everyone is gathered on stumps and playing what they want to play, yet it comes together perfectly. Fans of similar bands can already see the space-themed clay-creations used in music videos, typical to the particular style of music. Released February 7.

Fans of Georgia band, Band of Horses, can enjoy this live album, “Acoustic at the Ryman”, releasing February 11.

Christian rooted singer/songwriter, Noah Gundersen, with his folk styles, beautiful strings, thought provoking lyrics, and clean bass, drops “Ledges” on February 11.

Typical female lead, SoCal rock sound, can be found in Angel Olsen’s “Burn Your Fire For No Witness” on February 18. It’s good, but hasn’t quite offered anything new to the genre.

ScHoolboy Q, one of the many rap artists that appeal to the indie world, gives “Oxymoron” a place in our libraries, February 25. This guy, tho. Greater than.

St Vincent’s self titled album is out February 25. Picture a more upbeat, broken version of any previously mentioned female vocalist.

Lo-Fang’s debut, “Blue Film”, is out February 25, with 3 songs already available for download after pre-ordering. The artist, Matthew Hemerlein, performs all that you hear in the album. Artistically brilliant, with a voice to match. A little more pop and clean, but could be of interest to anyone who enjoyed McMorrow, or James Blake.

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