Indie Basement is a weekly column on BrooklynVegan focusing on classic indie and alternative artists, "college rock," and new and current acts who follow a similar path. There are reviews of new albums, reissues, box sets, books and sometimes movies and television shows. I've rounded up October's best music, highlighting my favorite songs and albums, plus links to relevant features and news, a monthly playlist, and more.

October was an absolutely bananas month, both for albums released -- including three from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard -- and announced, making for an embarrassment of riches. Of all the stuff that came out this month, I picked my 10 favorite songs and wrote about them, and also made a playlist featuring those and 50 more.

I reviewed over 40 albums in October in Indie Basement, and whittled those down to my favorite five, but some of the runners up include Dry Cleaning's Stumpwork, Honey Harper & The Infinite Sky, Sloan's Steady, Lesser Evil's Subterranean, Sorry's Anywhere's Better Than Here, and The Orielles' Tableau.

Head below for all of Indie Basment's Best of October 2022 picks.

More from the month: Pavement's reunion tour hit NYC for four shows at Kings Theatre and opened a Pavement Museum; and documentary Meet Me in the Bathroom, about the early-'00s NYC scene, is finally getting a proper release.; and Happy Mondays are finally returning to the US (we'll see).

A reminder that there's an Indie Basement section of the BV shop whose virtual shelves are stocked high with vinyl and merch from Mogwai, The Flaming Lips, King Gizzard, Pavement, Wet Leg, Parquet Courts, Arctic Monkeys, Beach House, Broadcast, Stereolab, Belle & Sebastian, Talking Heads, Spoon, Lilys, Cocteau Twins, Can, Dinosaur Jr and lots, lots more.

Head below for Indie Basement's Best of October...

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INDIE BASEMENT - BEST SONGS OF OCTOBER 2022

SINGLE OF THE MONTH: Orbital & Sleaford Mods - "Dirty Rat"

UK techno greats Orbital spent most of this year looking back, celebrating their 30th anniversary, but now brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll have their eyes on the future again with a new album that features collaborations on every track. Let's hope the whole record is as good as "Dirty Rat," their inspired collab with Sleaford Mods, which both sounds like classic Orbital and totally modern. Opening with a very Sleaford Mods-style bassline, the song then lets Jason Williamson spew some bile about the current state of Britain before the Hartnolls kick in with pounding Orbital backing. An angry, cathartic banger, "Dirty Rat" gets bonus points for being released the same day British PM Liz Truss resigned after only 44 days in office.

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Billy Nomates - "Saboteur Forcefield"

Nobody else sounds quite like Billy Nomates (real name: Tor Maries), who takes elements of synthpop and post-punk and applies them to her brand of pop that includes a healthy dose of early-'90s country. "Saboteur Forcefield" is one of her prettiest creations to date, as Maries sweetly sings about her own inability to stay out of her own way: "Things are going well so I better put a stop to it / I'm the saboteur and you know I get a kick from turning you off."

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Dougie Poole - The Rainbow Wheel of Death"

Brooklyn's Dougie Poole is not your average country singer, having mined pathos from urban ennui on his 2020 album Freelancer's Blues, and now looks to get both more personal and universal on his upcoming third album, The Rainbow Wheel of Death. On the wonderful title track he equates waiting for things to go his way with a familiar computer problems. "To spin is all I know."

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Fever Ray - "What They Call Us"

Karin Dreijer is a master at matching creepy, unsettling mood with seductive, danceable backing, whether with her old group The Knife or with her solo project, Fever Ray. Her first new single in five years, "What They Call Us" is a dark, sinewy and emotional bout of alienation that keeps things at a low simmer, and its arresting video only adds to the purposefully uncomfortable mood.  The song was also written and produced with her brother and former bandmate, Olof Dreijer, basically making this a Knife song in all but name.

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Honey Harper - "Boots Mine Gold"

Honey Harper delivered a much more pure country experience with his terrific second album, The Infinite Sky, than with his debut which owed a lot to '80s dreampop, but he still had a few unusual tricks up his fringe coat sleeves. "Boots Mine Gold" sets Will Fussell's impossibly lonesome croon to a backing that's equal parts Bee-Gees and Michael McDonald, while its video pays homage to both midnight and urban cowboys as well as The Terminator.

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Meg Baird - "Will You Follow Me Home"

For her first solo album in seven years, Meg Baird is moving beyond the more pure folk of previous albums in favor of a lush production style incorporating drums, synthesizers, and vibraphone into her sound -- not to mention elements of shoegaze and trip hop. First single "Will You Follow Me Home" is a quiet stunner, swaying along a melotron breeze and a conga-powered groove, with Meg's ethereal voice really making it soar.

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Metronomy x Jessica Winter - "I Lost My Mind"

In the late '00s, Metronomy used to be as well known for their remixes for other artists as their own indie disco, and have always been forward thinking in getting others to remix their songs. On the upcoming deluxe edition of this year's Small World, they're doing something a little different, collaborating with artists on new versions of the album's songs that are more like completely new songs. Take "I Lost My Mind," which in its original form was pretty, psychedelic guitar pop, but in the hands of Jessica Winter is transformed into glittering, dancefloor-filling cosmic disco.

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Robert Forster - "She's a Fighter"

After Go-Betweens co-founder Robert Forster learned his wife Karin Bäumler had ovarian cancer, they decided to make music together as a way of coping, and they brought in their whole family, making the new album with their daughter Loretta and son Louis (former of The Goon Sax). "She's a Fighter" is a powerful love song that uses only two chords and as many lines. "I had written my first two-line song." Forster says. "I had just out-Ramoned The Ramones!"

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Sloan - "Dream it All Over Again"

"I don’t know if there are many other bands you can name that are still making records with their original line up 30 years in," says Sloan's Chris Murphy. "Look it up!” I didn't, but would add there's probably not another band whose lineup has stayed the same with as consistent a discography as Sloan, whose 13th album, Steady, is yet another powerpop gem. Best song: Jay Ferguson's soaring "Dream it All Over Again" whose chorus is entirely irresistible.

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The Tubs - "Sniveller"

A whole lot is going on in "Sniveller" which deftly mixes heavy post-punk, jangly Nick Lowe-style power-pop, and some nicely deployed electronic touches, but they make it sound 100% natural. The song also reunites frontman Owen 'O' Williams with his onetime Joanna Gruesome bandmate Alanna McArdle and when they sing together on its swooning chorus you're instantly pulled back a decade in time. Their voices were meant for one another. This is the title track off The Tubs' debut album, due early next year.

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INDIE BASEMENT: FIVE GREAT ALBUMS FROM OCTOBER 2022

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Alvvays - Blue Rev (Polyvinyl)

In this world of instant gratification, binge consumption and ever-shorter memory, five years is a long time between records, unless you're Kevin Shields or Axl Rose. But the half decade away since Alvvays' 2017 album Antisocialites seems to have worked in the Toronto band's favor. Blue Rev is like that kid in school who spends a year abroad as a foreign exchange student in Finland or somewhere and returns a much more mature, cooler, stylish person. This is still the jangly indiepop group who gave us "Archie Marry Me" and "Plimsoul Punks," but they are now carrying themselves differently. The guitars have extra sparkle and roar, the choruses soar higher, the hooks dig in deeper. As the center is singer-songwriter Molly Rankin who has become an even more confident singer, belting it out all over the place without losing the winsome charm found on Alvvays' first two albums. [Full review]

Pick up Blue Rev on blue marble vinyl

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Arctic Monkeys The Car
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Arctic Monkeys - The Car (Domino)

Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys continue to evolve in wonderful surprising ways on their seventh album. The Car is even more luxuriously loungey than Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, trading in synthesizers for an actual string section that surrounds them on nearly all 10 of the album's songs. There are swooping discotheque strings and soulful orchestra hits, but most of The Car is dripping with autumnal violins and cello that ache of regret, heartbreak and melancholy. [Full review]

Get 'The Car' and other Arctic Monkeys albums on vinyl

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Robyn Hitchcock - Shufflemania!
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Robyn Hitchcock - Shufflemania! (Tiny Ghost)

I would argue that Robyn Hitchcock has never made a bad record, but Shufflemania!, his 22nd studio album and first in five years, is particularly inspired. Fans may note the title seems to be a nod towards his 1985 album Fegmania! and this album recaptures some of the madcap energy of those Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians albums of the '80s. Made during the pandemic, Robyn recorded the basic tracks on a portastudio and them sent them off to friends to help finish them. Those friends include his former Soft Boys bandmates Kimberley Rew and Morris Windsor, as well as Johnny Marr, The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson, Sean Ono Lennon, Kelley Stoltz, Dr Dog's Eric Slick, and more. Shufflemania! is his most cohesive and fun record in ages. [Full review.]

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Luke Haines & Peter Buck - All The Kids Are Super Bummed Out (Cherry Red)

The pairing of Indie Basement Hall of Famer Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Black Box Recorder) and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck first came about after Buck somewhat randomly bought one of Haines' paintings of Lou Reed, and they hit it off and collaborated on 2020's Beat Poetry for Survivalists which was one of the best records either had made in a while. Happily, this inspired combination was not a one-time occurrence. All the Kids Are Super Bummed Out, which is an amazing title for this or any record, ups the ante in every way, a double album that weaves in conspiracy theories, terrorist plots, the Iranian hostage crisis, English painter Richard Dadd, revolutionaries and cult leaders from throughout history, the Red Scare, Korean cheerleaders, hacks, UFOs, and lots more into its paranoid, LSD-doused punk rock fever dream. All set to very catchy tunes, it should be said. [Full review]

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bill callahan reality
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Bill Callahan - YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я (Drag City)

YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я is an album about slowing down, unplugging, waking up, and looking at things with clear eyes, as Callahan faces fatherhood, mortality and an increasingly fractured, tech-reliant society. A songwriter known for sardonic, bleak humor, Bill is not exactly sunny here but more of a straight-shooter, seeing the world as it is (or as he sees it), but hoping for change or revolution. In someone else's hands, YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я could be preachy but he's more like a play-by-play and color commentator all in one, shooting straight while backed by Emmett Kelly, Jim White, Matt Kinsey and Sarah Ann Phillips for one of the more lively, band-oriented albums he's made in some time. [Full review]

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Here's a four-hour, 60-track playlist featuring all the best stuff from October 2022 according to Indie Basement, in both Spotify and Tidal forms

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Looking for more? Browse the Indie Basement archives.

And check out what's new in our shop.

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