Top 10 Albums from Mom + Pop Music

We celebrate a decade of great records from one of our favorite indie labels

Mom+Pop 10th Anniversary Ben Kaye Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett, photo by Ben Kaye

    Mom + Pop Music celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, marking a decade of truly great music from the NYC indie label that will last well into the future. Never an indie publication to miss a chance to champion another little guy making good, Consequence of Sound decided to look back on the very best releases during that first decade and reflect on the many memorable sounds courtesy of Mom + Pop. Listeners can only wait for the label’s next move, but their first years have been something incredibly special to rockers, ravers, and skaters alike.

    –Clara Scott
    Contributing Writer

    10. Ingrid Michaelson – Lights Out (2014)

    Ingrid Michaelson - Lights Out

    From the very first track on Lights Out, singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson is self-assured in her quest to uplift and to be uplifted. “Home” is a stunning opening track, a fast-mounted promise for the rest of the album to fulfill, and followed immediately by the pop hit “Girls Chase Boys”. However, even as the album carries on and dips into its mellower and more introspective moments, Michaelson never relinquishes the soothing surety that so distinguishes her music on Lights Out. She never loses the edge that accentuates songs like “Warpath”, even as she travels through a layered examination both of herself and of the world around her. It seems as though, by the time an artist reaches her sixth studio album, she might have little left to say — or, at the very least, little left to prove — but Michaelson uses her experience to her advantage, reinventing at every turn and proving that she has plenty yet to say and do. –Laura Dzubay

    09. Lucius – Wildewoman (2014)

    lucius - wildewoman

    Lucius’ 2014 record, Wildewoman, was the full-length studio debut for the Brooklyn five-piece, presenting the twin voices of vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig to the world for their first endeavor into the LP. The album is a carefully grown piece of art in every sense of the word, placing folk ballads like “Two of Us on the Run” next to ’60s-inspired girl-group pop hits like “Turn It Around” to form a very interesting mix of genre and tempo that somehow just works together in a natural way. The product is a work that frames Wolfe and Laessig’s voices in different lights that all focus on one common strain of longing, an emotional core of truth that shines through every track. Wildewoman was an outstanding second release after the group’s initial EP in 2013, showing audiences the strength and power of a woman’s voice through the mouths of two expert musicians. –Clara Scott


    08. Sleigh Bells – Treats (2010)

    Sleigh Bells - Treats

    Treats introduced the world to Sleigh Bells, and what an introduction it was. Eclectic and unabashed, metallic and sugary, Treats unifies bubblegum pop and noise rock so thoroughly that their melding almost feels like a tradition already established. Vocalist Alexis Krauss wields sighs and whispers like weapons, and guitarist Derek Edward Miller tracks powerful beats through tracks like “Infinity Guitars” and the inimitable “Rill Rill”. M.I.A.’s influence is all over this album, but Miller and Krauss take care to find their own direction, constantly switching up vibes over the course of the sparse half-hour-long album. The result is a record that sounds like the robot revolution meets a pep rally meets an action-packed party — the sort of party you’ve always wanted to go to, with crazed characters and the fun sort of danger, but you’d never been invited before. –Laura Dzubay

    07. Wavves – Afraid of Heights (2013)

    wavves - afraid of heights

    “No hope and no future,” Nathan Williams sings on “Demon to Lean On”, and indeed, that is largely the vibe that he and the rest of Wavves give off on their fourth studio album, Afraid of Heights. “Mystic” is industrial, stripped-away and chaotic; “Beat Me Up” is deceptively careless and perkily self-dismissive; “Paranoid” embodies self-doubt and, yes, paranoia. Yet, for an album so intensely focused on negativity, Afraid of Heights does carry a kind of exquisite feel to it, from the peppy, straightforward distress of “Lunge Forward” to the ghostly drama of “Everything Is My Fault”. Each track is wholly self-aware, and while not all of the record’s moodiness can be labeled ironic, so much of it is layered and self-referential that the emotions the surf rock group are mining come off consistently as raw and distinct from one another. Wavves’ venture in this album may be a dark one, but it is also fully realized and fully true. –Laura Dzubay

    06. FIDLAR – FIDLAR (2012)


    FIDLAR’s 2012 self-titled album sounds like an incredibly old leather jacket feels — cracked, full of patches, host to years of spilled beer and cigarette smoke, but undeniably comfortable, no matter how you cut it. FIDLAR is not a record for the faint of heart, but it’s a significant release for the skate-punk band, fusing their rough sensibilities with a slightly more polished approach to production. The group jumps between tracks like “Cheap Beer”, a frenetic romp about the virtues of terrible drinks, to “No Waves”, a surprisingly melodic reflection on addiction and fun with a roundabout hook, countering their extreme roots with a modern indie rock edge. The album is a perfect intro to FIDLAR’s music, because it offers the listener a tasting menu of the LA band’s different approaches to rock through the lens of punk, grunge, hardcore, and various mixes of the three. –Clara Scott