Squid say it’s “amazing to see” so much independent music in UK charts in 2021

Mogwai and Architects have both picked up #1 albums this year on indie labels

Squid have reflected on the “insane” amount of independent music that is reaching the top end of the charts in the UK this year.

So far in 2021, both Mogwai and Architects have scored Number One albums released on indie labels, while Maximo Park pushed the latter band all the way for a top-two finish.

Speaking in a new NME cover feature, Squid – who release their debut album ‘Bright Green Field’ on May 7 via Warp – say it’s “amazing to see” so many independent artists getting chart success this year.


“It really is just insane at the moment, the amount of good independent music that’s coming out and is getting into the charts,” drummer and singer Ollie Judge told NME.

Mogwai were Number One – I don’t think there’s ever been an instrumental post-rock album at Number One before. And Black Country [New Road] getting a Top Five record… it’s just amazing to see.”

NME Cover 2021 Squid
Credit: Ashley Bourne for NME

Elsewhere in the cover feature, Squid spoke of the importance of protecting independent music venues during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Places like the Windmill [in Brixton], they’re not just venues – they have their own locals and communities that have almost become dialectical for new and exciting music,” guitarist Louis Borlase said.

“There was the Five Bells, which sadly closed down, in south London, which was always such a fun place. You’d go there and there’d be some experimental art-rock band playing but then a group of old men at the bar like, ‘Shut the fuck up, this is horrible!’ When there’s a synergy between the two, you realise you’ve got a kind of happy medium.”


Ahead of the release of ‘Bright Green Field’, Squid shared new single ‘Narrator’ back in January along with the album announcement, following it up this week with second track ‘Paddling’.

The album will follow 2019 EP ‘Town Centre’, which NME called a “fascinating record of left-field post-punk and masterful storytelling” in a four-star review.