Now Reading: 7 Indie and Alternative Album Releases to Look Out for in May 2018


7 Indie and Alternative Album Releases to Look Out for in May 2018

May 2, 201813 min read

Indie and alternative musicians have the infuriating tendency of taking long stretches of time before releasing new music. Thankfully, though, there is always enough new indie music coming out to keep any fan occupied in the meantime. 2018 has already seen several big names (at least, big in the indie world) releasing new albums over the past few months: MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, Jack White, two members of The Strokes working on their side projects, Editors, Car Seat Headrest, Frankie Cosmos, and The Vaccines, just to name a few.

And it looks like May is going to be no different. Here are 7 artists releasing new albums this month that are bound to get you your indie fix.

1) Iceage, Beyondless (May 4)

Beyondless album cover (photo from Consequence of Sound)

Copenhagen-based post-punk garage band Iceage have seen critical acclaim since their 2011 debut, New Brigade — which was released when the 4 band members were only 18 and 19 years old—for their equal parts gloomy and sensual bass-heavy and baritone-laden repertoire.

Iceage taken by Steve Gullick (image from The Fader)

Catch It and Pain Killer, featuring Sky Ferreira are some of their upcoming works. Catch It is true to classic Iceage form: doom-and-gloom guitars accompanying frontman Elias Rønnenfelt’s perishing, vaguely Robert Smith-esque vocals. Pain Killer, on the other hand, is a foray into a poppier and experimental sound, with Ferreira’s powerful guest vocals perfectly matching the upbeat, gritty sound of the track.


  1. Hurrah
  2. Pain Killer
  3. Under the sun
  4. The day the music dies
  5. Plead the fifth
  6. Catch it
  7. Thieves like us
  8. Take it all
  9. Showtime
  10. Beyondless

Beyondless will be out May 4th via Matador Records.

2) Arctic Monkeys, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (May 11)

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino album cover (photo from Genius)

Ever since drummer Matt Helders announced in March that the new Arctic Monkeys album —their sixth—will be released in May, fans of the English garage indie rock band have only continued to lose their minds. (After all, we’ve been waiting since 2013!) It certainly doesn’t help that the band have refused to release any singles off the album before it is released in full.

Arctic Monkeys in 2018 (photo from NME)

Nevertheless, the band have given some teasers over what it may sound like— a Far Out Magazine article has revealed that it’s going to be different from their previous work, with guitarist Jamie Cook stating that ‘It’s definitely not a guitar-heavy record, not typically what we’d do. It took a lot more thinking about. Perhaps it may sound like Still, even though the album might not sound like what we have come to expect from the leather jacket-donning Sheffield rockers.


  1. Star Treatment
  2. One Point Perspective
  3. American Sports
  4. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  5. Golden Trunks
  6. Four Out of Five
  7. The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip
  8. Science Fiction
  9. She Looks Like Fun
  10. Batphone
  11. The Ultracheese

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino will be out May 11th via Domino Records.

3) Beach House, (May 11)

7 album cover (photo from Beach House’s Facebook page)

Dream pop masters Beach House have already released three tracks off their seventh studio album (aptly named 7): Lemon Glow, Dive, and Dark Spring, which were wellreceived, as the first two were named ‘Best New Track’ by Pitchfork. Otherworldly and ethereal as ever, the tracks seem to hint at new territory to be explored by the duo, with more ambitious arrangements and compositions reminiscent of dream pop and shoegaze legends Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, whilst simultaneously showing off Beach House’s own unique take on the genre.

Beach House in 2018 (photo from Stereogum)

A recent Pitchfork interview details the duo’s endeavours to combine both beauty and darkness in their music, especially in this upcoming release. When asked to come up with a mood board for the album, vocalist Victoria Legrand responded with “Glamour and destruction mixed with youth and nighttime and black cars and The Left Hand of Darkness.”


  1. Dark Spring
  2. Pay No Mind
  3. Lemon Glow
  4. L’Inconnue
  5. Drunk In LA
  6. Dive
  7. Black Car
  8. Lose Your Smile
  9. Woo
  10. Girl Of The Year
  11. Last Ride

will be out May 11th via Sub Pop Records and Bella Union.

4) Parquet Courts, Wide Awake! (May 18)

Wide Awake! album cover (photo from Genius)

New York garage rockers Parquet Courts have achieved something of a cult status amongst indie and garage rock enthusiasts everywhere—their discography has seen much critical acclaim, with their latest release, Human Performance in 2016, making it to many “best-of” lists at the end of that year, and with Rolling Stone lauding them as “one of the most exciting young rock bands in America.”

They’ve released a couple of singles—Almost Had To Start A Fight / In And Out Of Patience and Wide Awake—which they’ve also recently performed on Ellen. Wide Awake, an irresistibly catchy and groovy tune, features a funky bass line, dirty electric guitars true to Parquet Courts’ classic garage rock form, and anthemic vocals to match. Danger Mouse, known for collaborating with other artists such as The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Gorillaz, is producing the album.

  1. Total Football
  2. Violence
  3. Before the Water Gets Too High
  4. Mardi Gras Beads
  5. Almost Had to Start a Fight/In And Out of Patience
  6. Freebird II
  7. Normalization
  8. Back to Earth
  9. Wide Awake
  10. NYC Observation
  11. Extinction
  12. Death Will Bring Change
  13. Tenderness

Wide Awake! will be out May 18th via Rough Trade records.

5) Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel (May 18)

Tell Me How You Really Feel album cover (photo from Barnett’s Bandcamp)

Her second solo studio album, Tell Me How You Really Feel comes at the heels of Barnett’s success collaboration with Kurt Vile in 2017, Lotta Sea Lice. Barnett’s drawling vocals and quirky-yet-painfully-relatable lyrics, as showcased in her breakout debut album Sometimes I Think and Sit, and Sometimes I Just Sit have charmed indie fans the world over, and her upcoming album seems to be no different. In chiding toxic masculinity, ‘Nameless,Faceless’ cleverly references Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in the chorus: I want to take a walk in the park at night/Men are afraid that women will laugh at them/I want to walk in the park at night/Women are afraid that men will kill them.

In an interview with Pitchfork, Barnett details the difficult to discuss topics which make up the upcoming album. This conveys a sense of anger and frustration on the singer’s part over issues such as toxic masculinity, her own personal struggles, and with emotional vulnerability, but, at the same time, conveys a sense of hope. Barnett then goes on to say that “the album starts off in this slightly negative, hopeless place, but it ends really optimistically.”


  1. Hopefulessness
  2. City Looks Pretty
  3. Charity
  4. Need a Little Time
  5. Nameless, Faceless
  6. I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch
  7. Crippling Self Doubt and a General Lack of Self-Confidence
  8. Help Your Self
  9. Walkin’ on Eggshells
  10. Sunday Roast

Tell Me How You Really Feel will be out May 18th via Milk! Records.

6) CHVRCHES, Love Is Dead (May 25)

Love Is Dead album cover (photo from Genius)

Scottish synthpop trio CHVRCHES’ third release might have a bluntly grim title, but it seems to mark an exciting period for the band. The album is their first not independently produced, as it features producer Greg Kurstin. In addition, the album features collaborations with Eurythmics’ David Stewart and The National’s Matt Berninger (who provides vocals for “My Enemy,” released in February).

Frontwoman Lauren Mayberry has given details about the style of the new album, stating that “it’s the most pop stuff we’ve done,” Judging from the 4 tracks that have been released, particularly Miracle, the description seems fitting—the tracks are expansive, ambitious and demonstrate the band’s progression to a more mainstream appeal as compared to their debut album.


  1. Graffiti
  2. Get Out
  3. Deliverance
  4. My Enemy
  5. Forever
  6. Never Say Die
  7. Miracle
  8. Graves
  9. Heaven/Hell
  10. God’s Plan
  11. Really Gone
  12. ii
  13. Wonderland

Love Is Dead will be out May 25th via Glassnote Records.

7) Snow Patrol, Wildness (May 25)

Wildness artwork (photo from CoolFM)

Their first album in 7 years, Wildness is about “the wildness of the modern age, all it’s confusion, illogic and alienation and a more ancient wildness.” The band recently released a single off the album, ‘Life On Earth’ (the title being most likely a reference to David Bowie’s Life On Mars) which features the band going on a voyage to space—a video vaguely referencing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddysey‘s visuals. The single showcases the Snow Patrol we know and love: heart-rending lyrics are interlaced with melancholic musical compositions—a downer, for sure, and yet the track carries with it a certain power that makes the song more than the sum of its parts.

Speaking to The Telegraph, singer Gary Lightbody recently opened up about his battle with alcoholism and depression, stating “I used to think about not existing.” In the same article, he details a 2016 health scare which jolted him to sober up and end his substance abuse, but that made him confront his depression. It’s good to know that music can help both listener and musician, as Lightbody mentions Wildness is a ‘hopeful‘ album.


  1. Life on Earth
  2. Don’t Give In
  3. Heal Me
  4. Empress
  5. A Dark Switch
  6. What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?
  7. A Youth Written in Fire
  8. Soon
  9. Wild Horses
  10. Life and Death

Wildness will be out May 25th via Republic.

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Alexine Castillo Yap

Alexine is 19 and an undergrad in Tokyo. When she's not frantically trying to meet her deadlines you can find her selling out the post-punk revival sections of secondhand CD shops or chilling in a quiet Saigon café.