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Indie Roundup | Eight Tracks You Need to Hear Today

Eight new gems from around the corner and around the world.

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Aruba Red makes family time, White Lies head south, Renee Landry gets bossy, a double serving of Danish and more in today’s roundup. Does anybody else smell burning toast?

1 | Seeing red can be a good thing — when you’re talking about alt-soul singer-songwriter Aruba Red, that is. The FoT (Friend of Tinnitist) and daughter of Cream bassist Jack Bruce returns to follow up her superb Goddess Vibes video with a maternal clip for the sweetly soothing, spiritually uplifting title track from her Holy Waters EP. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Featuring a beautiful string arrangement from award-winning composer Nitin Sawhney and a soaring guitar solo transporting you to another dimension, Holy Waters is a musically rich, lyrically impressive celebration of love and transformation.” Float away above.


2 | Two things that never seem to go out of style: Propulsive post-punk and dark-hearted synth-pop. Believe it. And see for yourself on English post-punk outfit White Lies‘ latest single and video — appropriately title Believe It. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “A thing of enigmatic beauty, the video was shot in Tijuana, Mexico, and is directed by Mexican Academy of Film Award winning film director, David Pablos. Pablos describes the video “as a portrait of my hometown, Tijuana” and explains the approach behind the video; “not only the urban landscape, but its life, filled with contrasts and contradictions: a city of immigrants with a border wall that crosses it. What fascinates me the most about it is the ‘otherness’, that is, the people who are rarely seen, but also confirm the identity of the city.” Cross the border:


3 | Aretha Franklin demanded respect. Dolly Parton worked 9 to 5. Beyonce reminded us who run the world. Now, Ottawa soul songstress Renee Landry adds her own tale of empowerment to the mix with the fittingly titled and funky-as-all-get-out Like A Boss. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Filled with empowering lyrics, heavy horn lines, and catchy melodies, Like A Boss is a modern day anthem for women that will leave them ready to conquer the world!” R-E-S-P-etc:


4+5 | It’s something we’ve all wondered from time to time: Where are all the new Danish jazz-punk ensembles hiding? And when will they release some new live videos? Well, fret no more. Copenhagen’s own Pardans have arrived to meet your needs with not one but two live clips — for the skronkfest Hookers (With Hidden Depths) and the Beefhearty Over the Moon and Beyond. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Since forming in 2015, the five-piece has been building a reputation for its frenzied sound and energetic live shows. The band blends their punk roots with elements from a multitude of genres, and a diverse array of artists such as Ornette Coleman, David Bowie, Scott Walker and Captain Beefheart come to mind when listening to Pardans.” Enjoy the spotlight, kids:


6 | Danish bands are like potato chips; you can’t have just one. So, hot on the heels of Pardans, here’s another cool Copenhagen collective: Post-punk outfit Iceage, showcasing the new track Broken Hours from their album Beyondless. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “A five minute epic of doom-laden swing and crashing, spidery riffs that backdrop Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s howling incantation: ‘Dying figures, they settle in / Broken hours / It lingers on’ – it’s another heart-racing transmission from a band at the peak of their craft.” Them’s the breaks:


7 | If you remember The Beta Band, you might recall alpha male Steve Mason, the group’s singer-guitarist. After they broke up, he issued a series of solo albums under the handles King Biscuit Time and Black Affair before deciding to go by his actual (albeit it far more generic) name. Thankfully, his latest single Walking Away From Love — from his upcoming disc About the Light — is memorable enough, thanks to its Bo Diddley beat, wiry guitar and earworm refrain. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a beautiful, confident, positive, angry, loving and gentle album which once again moves what I do forward,” he adds. “David Bowie said that you should always be slightly out of your comfort zone if you want to achieve greatness, and for the first time perhaps ever, I deliberately pushed myself into that place. Who doesn’t want greatness?” Clearly, he hasn’t met me:


8 | Personally, I wouldn’t wish fame on my worst enemy. And I feel truly sorry for anyone who actively seeks it. Fame, however, should not be confused with The Fame, a fresh-faced indie-rock band from Toronto. They just dropped their first single Wide Awake, a scrappy little number that everyone should seek out — including all your enemies. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “What do you see when you look in the mirror? Wide Awake, our debut single, focuses on the topic of self-reflection and the happenings of everyday life. While crafting the song, we collectively drew from personal life experience and our rock music inspirations to create something that anyone can relate to.” Face it: