Home Hear Indie Roundup: 13 Tracks to Try | Sept. 20, 2018

Indie Roundup: 13 Tracks to Try | Sept. 20, 2018

Tunes and videos from Striking Matches, Danny Michel, Graham Van Pelt & many more.

Every day I get press releases from indie bands with new songs, albums and videos to hype. Here’s the latest batch:

• Nashville duo Striking Matches (Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis) present a way-cool dual-guitar instrumental revamp of Kanye West‘s Gold Digger. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “They performed together for the first time on the very same day they met… in guitar class. The forthcoming album is what the band calls “blues-pop” — an amalgamation of their blues and roots-based guitar riffs, combined with pop melodies.” Check out the video up top. You’ll dig it the most.

• Criminally underappreciated Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel continues to release one song at a time from his upcoming disc White & Gold. Here’s the latest: The crunchy nugget Back Where You Started. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “In an ever-changing, crazy world maybe we need a little more crazy to stay sane. Danny delivers just that in Back Where You Started but, as always, wrapped in a sweet sentiment (even with an F-bomb). This song is for anyone in the middle of some type of life transition, and reminds that you’re not alone.” But he is:

• Former Miracle Fortress / Inside Touch leader Graham Van Pelt unveils Time Travel, the second single from his Oct. 19 LP Vanishing Point. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Immersing himself in the work of house music legends like Larry Heard, Vincent Floyd and Maurizio and the fragile disco of Arthur Russell, along with contemporaries like Jessy Lanza and Kelly Lee Owens, Van Pelt built the album from the bottom up, rooting every track in the crude sequencer of the Roland SH-101 synth, a decades-old dance music totem. The result are melodies that are simple but affecting, anchored to deep, wandering basslines.” Enjoy the trip:

• Chicago rapper Ric Wilson — a contemporary of Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa — debuts his day-in-the-life video for Sinner, from his EP BANBA (Black Art Not Bad Art). SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The track, which hit #1 on the Hype Machine main chart, features Kweku Collins (who also appears in the video), Nick Kosma, and Rane Raps.” Meet him here:

• Toronto experimental popsters Bernice release the serene, alpaca-centric video for Passenger Plane, from their disc Puff LP: In the air without a shape. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “What could be better than a day with Shelley and her alpacas?” rhetorically asks principal singer/songwriter Robin Dann. “She and her love for her long necked and deeply dopey herd were very, very sweet to behold and a perfect setting for a song about the city at night, old heartache resurfacing, and feeling like a speck in the universe. Ayisha brought bubbles and that helped too.” The petting zoo is now open:

• British electronica producer Jon Hopkins shares the Seb Edwards-directed video for the title track from his album Singularity. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is the single most epic video I’ve ever had made. Seb has been a friend and collaborator for nearly 15 years now, but this is the first opportunity we’ve had to work with total freedom on a video for my own music. The power of what he has done left me speechless the first time I saw it. He translated the themes of destruction and defiance that I fed into the music into a powerful, violent ballet between male and female and I totally love it.” Lights, camera, action:

• London band Public Service Broadcasting launch the title track to their forthcoming Titanic-themed EP White Star Liner. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The EP tells the story of the construction of the ship and its early, tragic, demise. The band focus on the perspectives of those who built and sailed her, whilst showing their own talent for using a mixture of music and archive audio footage to provide a new perspective on well-known events.” All aboard:

• Mysterious glam-rocker Art d’Ecco continues to tease his Oct. 12 disc Trespasser with the stalkery new video Who Is It Now? SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The (album) is a richly-realized confluence of the ferocious spark of trailblazers and a distinct sadness, with d’Ecco as mad scientist, stitching together delicious fragments and animating them.” Glam it up:

• Singer-songwriter Richard Swift passed away in July, but finished his latest album The Hex — which includes the poignant song Sept20 — shortly before his death. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “In Swift’s personal vernacular, The Hex is the grand folly of all human existence — that we have to lose all the people we love; that we feign control while sailing toward calamity; that we, in all likelihood, are spinning alone in an endless universe. First your good looks go. Then your dexterity. Then your parents. Then, you’re up to bat and Death is on the mound with his monster 12-6 curveball. As Swift often wrote, Even your drums will die. That is The Hex.” And this is Sept20:

• Tokyo-based American ambient composer Celer (aka Will Long) offers the half-hour composition Tetra from his Nov. 9 release Memory Repetitions. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE:Memory Repetitions serves to reflect on the labyrinthine body of work that comprises Celer. Spanning five pieces, each roughly thirty minutes in length, the compilation is being released as a 5-CD box set alongside its digital format.” Settle in:

• New Zealand singer-songwriter Connan Mockasin shares the sweet low-impact cut Charlotte’s Thong, from his forthcoming concept album Jassbusters, the complement to his five-part melodrama Bostyn ’n Dobsyn. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE:Jassbusters is the concept of a record made by a band of music teachers, fronted by Bostyn. Jassbusters was recorded less than one month after the filming of Bostyn ’n Dobsyn. It was then recorded live again and filmed for the end scenes of Bostyn ’n Dobsyn. Jassbusters is designed to be listened to after watching Bostyn ’n Dobsyn.” Got it?

• Yankee indie-popsters Papercuts unwrap the single Sing To Me Candy from their forthcoming sixth album Parallel Universe Blues, due Oct. 19. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE:Sing to Me Candy is about zeroing in on a blissful thought and holding onto it as long as possible. The origins of the song are a daydream about being serenaded by your favorite folk singer, while the focus shifts away from the chaos outside. The video, shot by the band, is an experiment with lighting and atmosphere, illustrating the attempt to reach a blissful state, while the repeated hook carries on like a mantra.” Ommmmmmm:

• Prolific Chicagoan Rich Jones pitches the R&B number Coin Toss, the first single from his Nov. 2 disc The Shoulder You Lean On. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “With The Shoulder You Lean On, Jones found a place he sits in perfectly, blending classic styles with modern production and hitting the right emotional notes. With production by J. Kelr from Blended Babies, the album’s soundscapes are gorgeous and piercing, with Jones describing it as “truth telling through melody.” Hear him here: