The best in indie rock and pop includes the return of Cat Power, Beach House's highlight-packed 7, and the debuts of Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, and the Orielles. Additionally, albums by Superchunk, tUnE-yArDs, Julia Holter, and Thalia Zedek sought to reckon with the strange state of the world.

Alice Bag

Blueprint

The L.A. punk pioneer's second solo album is intelligent, eclectic, and impassioned music by a gifted songwriter and vocalist.

Beach House

7

Working with Sonic Boom and live drummer James Barone, the duo delivers some of its widest-ranging, most exhilarating music of its career.

Cat Power

Wanderer

Forged by personal and creative struggles, the singer/songwriter's tenth album is some of her most tender and uncompromising music.

CHAI

Pink

Bubbly, thrilling, weird and always surprising debut album from a genre-smashing Japanese indie pop quartet

Clearance

At Your Leisure

The Chicago quartet shake off their slacker vibes on this lean, well-crafted second outing that channels Kiwi rock, jangle pop, and post-punk.

Culture Abuse

Bay Dream

The hooky West Coast quintet cloak some keen songwriting under a facade of big dumb fun on their debut for Epitaph.

Django Django

Marble Skies

The U.K. art-pop architects turn in a more focused though still exploratory third effort.

Ethers

Ethers

Excellent debut of garage punk with brains and huge hooks from ex-members of Heavy Times and Radar Eyes.

Ezra Furman

Transangelic Exodus

As confrontational as it is confessional, combining experiences from the singer's own past with a fictional dystopian narrative.

Field Music

Open Here

The Brewis brothers show no signs of running out of ideas, crafting (yet) another brilliant album of smart and shiny pop.

Fred Thomas

Aftering

Fred Thomas vividly describes his life experiences through energetic rock songs as well as sprawling experimental pieces.

Fucked Up

Dose Your Dreams

The Canadian punk iconoclasts throw musical boundaries to the wind on a sprawling and strikingly accomplished concept album.

Guided by Voices

Space Gun

With a great lineup, fine songs, and solid production, this is one of the group's best efforts since the dawn of the 2000s.

Iceage

Beyondless

A study in sonic evolution delivered with more clarity and bombast than before, underpinned by R√łnnenfelt's signature, sardonic drawl.

Julia Holter

Aviary

The multifaceted artist's sixth album responds to the chaos of 21st century life with some of her most challenging and beguiling music.

Let's Eat Grandma

I'm All Ears

The duo's vibrant second album dives into synth pop epics and introspective rock with thrilling results.

Low

Double Negative

The slowcore icons create a disturbing and evocative set of soundscapes depicting a dark, forbidding time and place.

Matchess

Sacracorpa

Whitney Johnson completes a trilogy of albums as Matchess with her clearest, most optimistic-sounding work yet.

Melody's Echo Chamber

Bon Voyage

Free-flowing prog-psych made under the imaginative direction of Melody Prochet with help from members of Dungen and the Amazing.

Mind Spiders

Furies

Synth punk band strips down its sound, ups the sonic impact of its songs, and releases its strongest work to date.

Mint Field

Pasar de las Luces

Remarkable debut full-length from Mint Field, a Mexican duo who play an abstract yet accessible form of dream pop.

Mitski

Be the Cowboy

The follow-up to Puberty 2 switches to a fictional perspective with equally compelling results.

Mount Eerie

Now Only

Written shortly after the heartbreaking A Crow Looked at Me, Phil Elverum explores the inevitably changing nature of loss.

Nap Eyes

I'm Bad Now

The cerebral Canadians examine inner and outer philosophies on their strong third outing.

No Age

Snares Like a Haircut

A new label doesn't change much for the L.A. duo, and this is another thrilling blast of noise rock and shoegaze thrills.

Ovlov

TRU

The re-formed band overload the speakers with guitar noise and pluck heartstrings with melancholy songs on this instant classic indie rock album

Public Access T.V.

Street Safari

The indie rockers' Patrick Wimberly-produced sophomore LP delivers another top-tier batch of strutting, shrugging power pop.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Hope Downs

The band's debut album surpasses the jangle pop potential of their previous EPs to become an instant, hit-packed classic of the genre.

Say Sue Me

Where We Were Together

Great dream pop/noise pop/shoegaze with a bit of surf and garage from a young South Korean combo.

Shopping

The Official Body

The trio's frequently dazzling third album is a joyous celebration of post-punk's outsider status.

Snail Mail

Lush

The full-length debut of singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Jordan and band impresses with soundscape and sentiment.

Soccer Mommy

Clean

This Gabe Wax-produced official debut retains the former bedroom project's intimacy, vulnerability, and distinctively sinuous style.

St. Lenox

Ten Fables of Young Ambition and Passionate Love

The excellent third installment of Andrew Choi's engaging biographical pop narratives takes aim at finding love and building a career.

Stephen Malkmus / Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Sparkle Hard

A dazzling, diverse, and sincere record from Stephen Malkmus.

Superchunk

What a Time to Be Alive

Written and recorded in a burst of passion after the 2016 elections, the album is full of fire and powerful, political punk-pop anthems.

Superorganism

Superorganism

Fresh and fun sample-heavy pop jams from a London collective that sounds like the house band on a Pee-wee's Playhouse reboot.

Teleman

Family of Aliens

The drifting synth pop of the band's third album feels like a soft-spoken declaration of independence.

Thalia Zedek

Fighting Season

Nine songs of resistance in a time of chaos and division; a literate and compelling album from the former leader of Come.

The Beths

Future Me Hates Me

An impulsive, infectious debut loaded with melodic hooks, guitar riffs, and lyrical discontent.

The Breeders

All Nerve

A decade after its last album -- and 25 years after Last Splash -- the band delivers one of its finest blends of sugar and swagger.

The Dodos

Certainty Waves

After taking a break that involved Meric Long learning about synths, the guitar-and-drums duo returns with a noisy, invigorated seventh LP.

The Joy Formidable

Aaarth

The Welsh trio have crystallized their sound into something truly sublime, fulfilling the promise set forth on 2011's The Big Roar.

The Orielles

Silver Dollar Moment

Stunning debut by a young U.K. trio that gives the baggy indie dance sound of the early '90s a serious upgrade.

The Shifters

Have a Cunning Plan

Australian lo-fi group reveals plentiful wit, enthusiasm, and melodic smarts on its spare but engaging debut.

Totally Mild

Her

The Australian dream pop combo hit their stride on their sublime sophomore effort.

tUnE-yArDs

i can feel you creep into my private life

The duo's vibrant fourth album explores the political and cultural tumult of the late 2010s with anthemic heft and individualistic perspectives.

Virginia Wing

Ecstatic Arrow

The duo's heartfelt, innovative third album is its finest work yet.

Warm Drag

Warm Drag

The duo's hallucinatory rock & roll collages make for a fantastic debut.

Whyte Horses

Empty Words

Brilliantly kaleidoscopic follow-up to the group's stunning debut adds new vocalists and a couple stylistic left turns along the way.

Wussy

What Heaven Is Like

Cincinnati's greatest indie rock band once again delivers a compelling album full of bad luck and glorious guitar noise.

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No Age