Best New Indie – HAPPIE, rilles, Cara Louise, Herbert Walker

HAPPIE is hypnotic on their recent Heartbreak Season.  An exotic vocal seduces you into this retro futuristic indie pop trance.  There are elements of vintage soul, that same fabric that wove the spirit of Winehouse and Adele.  HAPPIE brings an additional lofi sensibility that recalls the psychedelic 60s.  It’s a hint of Jefferson Airplane and Nancy Sinatra with updated indie pomp. 

Happi Hoffman bears a seductive sultry delivery that is entrancing in way that begs EDM producers to give it the remix treatment.  She’s rare, and classic in her touch.  It has little in common with pop singers of today, rather, leaning more toward the draw of the 50s classics.  She has a trademark style that’s been well travelled, pulled through the world of indie folk before resolving to this new solo effort, one that we endorse fully.  Now with the backing of iRO music, HAPPIE is ready to chart her own course, including plans to drop more music in the next year. 

Get ahead of the inevitable stardom, hear Heartbreak Season now on our Best New Indie Playlist


Anchor is the debut single from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer rilles.  At the core of the song a looping tape sample intersects with building layers in constant evolution.  The rare sonic design is enough to entice us, but the artists catchy vocal really seals the deal. 

With melodic variation and awareness they adapt their vocal where most artists just resolve.  The composition is unconventional and exciting in the spirit of recent indie art projects.  Absolutely aware of everything that came before, rilles only exists to push indie forward.  We hear elements of art pop projects like Dirty Projectors and Barrie. 

rilles is a vibe. The immersive sound spectrum brings dreamy intent with a modern side plot.  This is the soundtrack of our electrical dream, the backing music to our computerized fantasy world where everything is plastic just like we always hypothesized.  Though undeniably organic in its musicality, the electronic textures bring additional conceptual brevity to this exciting work. 

Get lost in rilles now on our Best New Indie Playlist 

Cara Louise is a retro pool party vibe.

Cara Louise is convincing on To Be Dead (Is to Be Known).  Featured on her impressive new LP Wholesome Dread, the new single sways like a bitter Nashville revival, jiving in contempt of Country Pop’s painful takeover. 

Cara Louise recalls the Golden era of Country Music, icons like Dolly Parton and Linda Rondstadt who gave the scene crossover credibility.  There’s also a hint of 60s rock, with elements of Blues in the spirit of Janis Joplin and compositional movements akin to Laurel Canyon.  With an indie sensibility we hear evidence of Alabama Shakes or most notably Angel Olsen.  Like Olsen, Louise brings undeniable authenticity.  What sells it full circle is the vitality of her songs. 

To Be Dead is a catchy single in any era, at any moment in musical history.  The scorned vocal and heartbreak delivery rings with anger and bitter passion.  It’s that truth that pulls us in, turns this music necessary, as a source of healing and reverence.  So that we might be understood and in turn released by Cara’s acquired pain, in our assumed relatableness.  It’s all right there in the title, never appreciated in our time, never seen though always in eye view.  The lyrics about this metaphorical author are indirect enough to fit any narrative. Like any great songwriter, Louise sees a little bit of that Author in everyone. 

Hear Cara Louise now on our Best New Indie Playlist 

Herbert Walker

5 Piece art rockers Herbert Walker caught our attention with their new single Holesome.  Melancholy indie psych vibes have singer songwriter ethos.  Poetic lyrics are delivered with dreamy musical intention, as compositional shifts evolve in tandem with the ascending narrative.  There’s evidence that suggest these beach bums were delegated to the dusty desert, as the two worlds collide when a vintage trumpet companion guides you to the finish.  It’s as if the Tijuana Brass cut a track with Nielsen.  There evidence of recent slacker psych pop, and the group offers Drugdealer and Mac Demarco as fair comparable starting points.  

Holesome is part of a new 10 song album called How To Enjoy.  Make sure you stick around for the timely closer Ted Bundy Summer Herbert Walker are catching on as prolific rockers unafraid to make big album statements in this new era of singles.  We can dig it.  

Jump into Holesome now on our Best New Indie Playlist 

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