6. Become What You Are by The Juliana Hatfield Three
I actually think this was one of the few albums of Juliana’s that was put out on a major label but whatever, it has a very D.I.Y. attitude. Juliana Hatfield was basically the Every Girl of the ’90s. She wrote super relatable pop songs about being a girl and having anxiety and lusting over boys. This album put her on the charts with its irresistible hooks and sing-songy vocals. It just feels so earnest. Her heartache is palpable in the way that she delivers her vocals. You just want to give her a hug and talk shit with her.
7. Self-Titled by Vivian Girls
Vivian Girls were yet another buzzband who made good on their hype with their first album. I can’t really describe what makes this album so special. The songs are short and all occasionally blend together, but there’s this energy that just leaps out of the music. It makes every chord and beat ring with a sense of urgency that draws you into the sound. Plus, who can resist a bunch of girls ripping on their guitars?
8. You Forgot It In People by Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene are the U2 of the indie rock world and I mean that in the best way possible. Their music is sweeping arena rock and they deliver some of the most exciting sounds in music today. They switch from genre to genre seamlessly with a team of indie rock’s finest like Emily Haines of Metric and Feist. You Forgot It In People shows the band in its prime. Songs like “Anthems for A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” and “Lover’s Spit” are haunting and will tug at your heart strings while more aggressive tracks like “Stars And Sons” will have you almost dancing. The record is seriously like an indie rock buffet and it tastes so good.
9. Last Splash by The Breeders
Ugh, I’m sorry there is so much vagina on this list but I guess that’s just how I roll. Kim Deal is one tough bitch and she roars through this record like a bat out of hell. “Cannonball” is perhaps their most famous song but jams like “No Aloha” and “Saints” are equally delicious. What I liked about indie acts in the 90s is that they weren’t afraid to be completely poppy. Records like Last Splash are unabashed in their catchy melodies, which makes me think they weren’t afraid to write hits. Their attitude was indie I guess but their records screamed pop. Love that. You can still be subversive while writing music that gets stuck in your head. Look at Le Tigre!
10. Crazy For You by Best Coast
I was so scared to put this on the list. You guys have me living in FEAR. There are a lot of haters out there but I don’t care because I love this band. Crazy For You is an amazing record from start to finish with its honey-soaked vocals and jangly guitars. What I like about this band is sort of what I liked about the chicks from the 90s. They’re going to write the most mainstream music while still maintaing an indie edge and they don’t give a fuck. Clearly. They’re going to “ooh ooh baby” their way to the top and I love them for it.