The Hudson Valley is home to a thriving independent music scene, with both local groups and transplants turning out some of the most thrilling contemporary music going. Recent months have been particularly bountiful and full of standouts.
These eight albums range from massive, arena-bound anthems to weepy folk ballads – don’t be surprised to find more than a few of them blasting from open windows and car stereos as the summer gets going.
The National – I Am Easy to Find
Release: May 17
Genre: Art Rock
For its eighth album, this long-running group enlisted a whole slate of female collaborators, trading off vocal and lyrical duties on its strongest collection in many years. Expect big-room music arranged with minute precision.
Macrofone – Happy for Both
Release: May 13
Genre: Smart Pop
Between them, Sammi Niss and John Burdick have been Hudson Valley mainstays for several decades, but this is the first record on which they’ve formally collaborated. For more, check out Niss’s fantastic record as Hiding Behind Sound.
The Felice Brothers – Undress
Release: May 3
Genre: Folk Rock
These Palenville-birthed WDST mainstays continue their exploration of American folk music’s many nooks and crannies, lacing it all with biting political sentiments.
Tiny Blue Ghost – Mend Again
Release: April 12
Marissa Carroll formed TBG while at SUNY New Paltz, and her gorgeous anthems betray those scrappy roots. Their self-recorded new album is both bigger and noisier than anything they’ve released before.
Laura Stevenson – The Big Freeze
Release: March 29
Genre: Indie Rock
You could describe the music of Saugerties resident Laura Stevenson in conventional language, but it would fail. Because as personal, as intimate, and human of an album as it is, The Big Freeze is also expressive, confrontational, even obscure, hiding as much as it reveals.
Amanda Palmer – There Will Be No Intermission
Release: March 8
Genre: Baroque Pop
Palmer’s music is high on artifice and yet purposely confessional, hiding nothing and adorning nothing. Intermission is frequently only Palmer at the piano, singing about grief, loss, and healing for five or ten minutes at a time.
Nightmares for a Week – Celebrations
Release: October 5
Genre: Pop Punk
Nightmares have been kicking around the Hudson Valley for well over a decade, carefully turning out three albums of anthemic, roots-informed punk that could ensnare fans of both Uncle Tupelo and the Get Up Kids both. Celebrations was released on the band’s own Boneshaker Records.
Peter Naddeo – Stubborn Horse
Release: August 10
Genre: Lo-Fi Power Pop
Naddeo first came to the Hudson Valley as a member of Laura Stevenson’s band, subsequently playing in a number of other bands as he slowly pieced together Stubborn Horse. These 19 tracks play like Big Star by way of Elliott Smith, and were self-released on local, artist-owned SubFamily Records.