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Indie review June 2024: The best songs and albums

Our eight favourite indie albums and five favourite indie songs released in June 2024 - featuring POND, The Mysterines, Been Stellar and more!

Welcome to the latest edition of our monthly indie review blog. In this edition, we review the best new indie music released from the month that’s just been.

June itself was an absolute bumper month for new music giving us plenty to mull over! With contributions from Matthew McLister and Neil Renton, here's a review of the best albums and songs from June 2024.



POND - Stung!

First up is the tenth studio album by Aussie psych-rockers (and cousins of Tame Impala) POND. On Stung!, POND excite most when contrasting upbeat vibes with lyrical restlessness. The menacing funk of ‘So Lo’ channels Prince while echoing – on purpose or not – the more experimental side of The 1975, its groove-laden sound contradicting Allbrooks sad boy vibe: “No / I feel so low / I should’ve learned by now to keep my expectations / Low”.

‘Last Elvis’ is another explosive burst of catchy power pop and infectious melody, though its eight-minute epic ‘Edge of the World Pt. 3’ that acts as the record’s highlight centrepiece: a captivating journey of psychedelic indulgence containing droning organs, flute and saxophone solos, as well as heavy space-rock ambitions. Following a false finish, the song builds to a theatrical Pink Floyd finale to raise the drama furthermore.

Arriving at 14 tracks spread over an hour, it would be remiss to mention that Stung! might be a little on the long side (at least, at first), certainly their longest yet anyway. But with music this exhilarating, POND's buzz eventually lands a memorable sting. And if this doesn’t help climb them from Tame Impala’s shadow, nothing will.

Check out my full review of Stung! on the Clash Music website.


The Mysterines - Afraid Of Tomorrows

Next is the sophomore album by Liverpool alt-rockers The Mysterines. Produced by Grammy Award winning producer John Congleton in LA, the quartet’s latest ventures deeper into the dark corners of singer Lia Metcalfe’s mind. Less immediate than their debut, sonically Afraid of Tomorrows is intimate at points while maintaining their typical rock boisterousness.

This is typified by soaring opener ‘The Last Dance’ which finishes on Metcalfe’s demented whispers: “Unholy kind of accidents / Happen when / The puppet cuts the string”. Elsewhere, singles ‘Stray’ and ‘Sink Ya Teeth’ reveal a similar knack for the punchy rock attitude of their debut.

After a frenetic start, The Mysterines then decide to push the boat out sonically. The ethereal soundscapes on ‘Another Another Another’ make for a seductive highpoint full of emotive lyricism (“You make the raindrops cry / Cry, cry, cry”) and ‘Tired Animal’ carries a similar industrial vibe to Kim Gordon’s recent work.

Closing on the rousing, country-barn title-track, Afraid Of Tomorrows somewhat widens The Mysterines musical palette by increasing their emotional depth and proving there’s more strings to their bow than first imagined. As exciting an alternative rock record as you’ll hear this year. (Words by Matthew McLister)

You can read my full review of Afraid of Tomorrows on the Stereoboard website.



What time is it? According to Eels main man Mark Oliver Everett it’s the exact moment that we take stock on where we’ve been and muse over where where going next.

Think of Eels and you often think of their two best known songs. ‘Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues’ at one end, ‘Novocaine For The Soul’ at the other, polar opposites of the mood spectrum. Where does this fit in?

Somewhere in between. It’s hardly going to pack the dancefloors in Zante this summer but it’ll leave you pondering things in a new light.

Everett has been through a lot such as open heart surgery and he’s now in his sixties. Yet he’s not being held back.

‘If I’m Gonna Go Anywhere’ finds him in a determined spirit, ‘Lay With The Lambs’ isn’t so much a wooly young sheep but an ear work that’ll have you nodding in approval.

The album ends with ‘Let’s Be Lucky.’ There’s more to the band than good fortune and this proves it.

Eels have always been the master of the lo-fi lullaby. When scratch below the surface there’s a lot going on. (Words by Neil Renton)


Orlando Weeks - LOJA

Consider myself blown away by the latest album by The Maccabees former frontman Orlando Weeks, LOJA – the moment he steps out of looming shadow of his old band and into a limelight of his own. Swapping his hometown from London to Lisbon, Weeks has offered up a truly stunning solo record and one that places the Portuguese capital city as a beautiful backdrop.

Across this assured collection of 11 tracks, the 40-year-old singer’s soothing tones and the beauty of the music come together superbly for an emotive yet uplifting listening experience. It all sounds refreshingly modern and intimate at the same time.

Importantly, LOJA, which is Portuguese for “store” and an ode to Orlando Weeks’ new art studio, is an album of zero skips and one akin to a gentle hug while watching the sunset. If you’re like me, you’ll be absolutely gripped for the entirety. And that’s a very powerful thing indeed. (Words by Matthew McLister)


Sea Girls - Midnight Butterflies

Sea Girls were my lockdown band.

Open Up Your Head was the album I listened to relentlessly during those solidarity walks we were encouraged to do. Straight away I connected with it and its tones bathed in the light from the inspiration from The Killers. Big anthems.

Follow up ‘Homesick’ kept the momentum going coupled with the fact they started to earn a positive reputation on the live circuit.

‘Midnight Butterflies’ doesn’t stray too far away from that winning formula.

The opening chords of the opening title track on the album feel so close to The Killers that you expect Brandon Flowers to get a writing credit but Sea Girls carry it off well.

‘I Want You To Know Me’ aims for the stars we try to reach when we’re in love. ‘Scream and Shout’ is the song you play when you want that special person back.

In ‘Workdays and Weekends’ they’ve crafted their most Sea Girls song yet. Swirling, inspiring and building to that chorus they do with ease.

They’ve not invented the wheel. Instead they’ve kept it going in the right direction. (Words by Neil Renton)


Been Stellar - Scream from New York, NY

Friend of the blog Karl Blakesley gave this album as a recommendation a couple of weeks ago and I’ve had it on pretty much non-stop since. As the album title suggests, Been Stellar are a new band from New York City well worth delving into.

They draw heavy inspiration from the bands featured in Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me In The Bathroom oral history book and subsequent feature film about the New York indie rock scene of the ‘00s, and thus draw comparisons to the likes of The Strokes, Interpol, The Walkmen and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Typically then, the five-piece produce gritty soundscapes and a melodic shoegaze sound packed with raw energy and confidence. You may think then that this is merely a copycat band, but rather their sound is fresh with the pulling of multiple influences into one coherent sound. ‘Sweat’ is probably the most earwormy and pop moment on the record, while ‘Can’t Look Away’ is explosive, dark and full of attitude.

Been Stellar leave the best to last with closer ‘I Have An Answer’ – an epic six-minutes of build up, spine-tingling highs and brooding rock atmospherics. This band will only go from strength to strength in the coming years. (Words by Matthew McLister)


Peggy Gou - I Hear You

‘(It Goes Like) Nanana’ was arguably the most iconic dance song of last summer and Peggy Gou has kept us waiting another year for the release of her debut album I Hear You. 

Released on the British independent label XL Recordings, the South Korean DJ’s LP is a total ‘90s nostalgia-fest designed for Ibiza dancefloors and soundtracking good times.

While it may possess a few filler moments, overall I Hear You is an irresistible collection of euphoric dance tunes consciously released for your summer holiday escape to sunnier climates.

‘All That’ features Puerto Rican rapper Villana Antillano and attempts a more funky, down-beat reggaeton vibe, ‘Seoulski Peggygou (서울시페기구)’ experiments by merging ferocious drum ‘n’ bass with traditional Korean sounds, ‘I Believe In Love Again’ guests Lenny Kravitz for a pure Balearic flashback, while tracks like ‘Lobster Telephone’ and ‘Back To One’ are vintage house tracks. (Words by Matthew McLister)


Kneecap - Fine Art

There’s a lot which has been said about Kneecap. The trio from Belfast have made a name for themselves for their performances, political views and the fact they rap in the Irish language.

They’ve become something of an underground sensation to the point that they’ve got their own film out soon.

You’d be forgiven for approaching this with the mindset that they’re being controversial for the sake of it. However there’s a lot going on to prove their not just a one trick angry kicking pony.

‘Rhino Ket’ builds to an absolute banger of a tune. ‘I’m Flush’ harks back to when Kasabian where the best act around and ‘Better Way To Live’ with Fontaines DC frontman Grian Chatten is a master stroke.

The whole thing is spliced with interludes and a lot more depth than you expect. The band have set the album in a fictional pub called The Rutz and you’re both gutted and happy it doesn’t actually exist.

It’s a challenge listen that won’t be to everyone’s taste and isn’t for the easily offended. If you can bear with them you’ll be rewarded with one of the most remarkable debuts this year. (Words by Neil Renton)




Fontaines D.C. – 'Favourite'

After the change up in sound and aesthetic on the dark and kooky ‘Starburster’, Fontaines D.C.’s new track ‘Favourite’ is, instead, a catchy little bop that will act as the closing track on their upcoming fifth album Romance. Its described by frontman Grian Chatten as having “this never-ending sound to it, a continuous cycle from euphoria to sadness, two worlds spinning forever”. A feel-good track with twinges of melancholia, the Dublin band continue to better themselves. (Words by Matthew McLister)


SOFT PLAY - 'Everything and Nothing'

SOFT PLAY’s comeback over the past few months has been simply marvellous with three punchy punk tracks reminding us of their continued relevance to the contemporary British rock scene. Their last single takes things down a notch, heavy in emotion and unexpectedly carried by a mandolin (R.E.M vibes, anyone?). Written during lockdown, ‘Everything and Nothing’ has the duo reflect on their intense and tragic journey. One of their rawest tunes yet and the closer to upcoming album HEAVY JELLY. (Words by Matthew McLister)


Jamie XX – ‘Treat Each Other Right’

For nine long years we’ve been waiting for South London DJ (and one third of The XX) Jamie XX to unveil plans for album number two and that announcement finally arrived earlier this month - In Waves is set for release on 20 September.  The news was followed by the release of ‘Treat Each Other Right’, another banging track combining drum ‘n’ bass with Motown. It carries a typically emotive punch and waves of nostalgia, yet still maintaining dancefloor appeal and swagger. (Words by Matthew McLister)


Pale Waves – Perfume

Pale Waves new single ‘Perfume’ is so delightfully infectious, it’s little wonder the song has been given plenty of airings on Radio 1 of late. The Manchester band’s latest sounds like a lovely mix of The Cranberries, The Smiths and The Cure, albeit with a couple of teaspoons of sugar thrown in for good measure. The chorus is one that’ll get stuck in your days: “I wanna make, I wanna make you / I wanna make, I wanna make you / I wanna make, I wanna make you / my gi-i-irl / Yeah”. (Words by Matthew McLister)


Bloc Party - Flirting Again

From being the hippest of operators in their '00s heydey, Bloc Party's recent work has been prone to throw in the odd martmite tune that sits somewhere between fun and cringe. For me, 'Flirting Again' is very much the former (though understandable why people might say the latter!). Their latest is a jumpy indie-disco bop not too dissimilar in style to 2016's 'The Love Within' and a "song about picking yourself up and carrying on" with Kele describing his chaotic experiences dating after heartbreak. (Words by Matthew McLister)


For the best tunes of each month, listen to our Best indie songs of the month 2024 playlist below.



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