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Indie Roundup | Six Songs to Put On Your Playlist Today

Burnt Tapes, Yves Jarvis, Cass McCombs and more make fresh tracks.

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Burnt Tapes send their regrets, Yves Jarvis introduces himself, Cass McCombs sings Juan’s praises, Flight of the Conchords finally land and more in today’s Roundup. Put on your business socks.


1 If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s this: We need more obscure music sub-genres. Well, good news: Burnt Tapes are happy to oblige. The London quartet have referred to their sound as Regret Punk, which seems pretty self-explanatory — and a way to describe your sound without calling yourself Emo. Though really, they could have just said they sound like Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, Lawrence Arms and Superchunk. Hear for yourself on the serrated, melodic and surging Yuzi from their coming debut album Never Better. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE:Yuzi is about putting the puzzle of yourself back together after the end of a relationship you thought defined you. That’s kinda the theme throughout our songs in many ways, and the video ties in a lot of those themes but mainly its about finding a place where you can finally find some peace.” Feel the burn above.


2 Everybody hates their own name sometimes. But Jean-Sebastian Audet seems to have a real thing about it. First the Montreal musician went by the handle Un Blonde. Now, even though he presumably came up with it himself, he says he can’t identify with it anymore. So he’s changed it again — to Yves Jarvis. Yeah, that shouldn’t be confusing at all. Perhaps it’s reflected in the delicate keyboard tinkles and howling guitars of his atmospheric dream-pop single Fruits of Disillusion. It sure seems to have something to do with the title of his upcoming album The Same But By Different Means. But hey, what do I know? SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Where the last record was the joy of the morning, and optimism, this record is the pain of the night before sleep. I find it so painful before sleep, and this midnight blue is what this whole world is. The night is just completely imposed and weighing so heavily and this is a much more difficult realm to walk around in, texturally.” Hear it before he changes his name again:


3 It’s been more than 15 years since Cass McCombs released his first album. But the California singer-songwriter remains one of the finest artists most people have never heard, despite near-universal acclaim and the occasional high-profile spot on shows like Ellen. Will his forthcoming ninth album Tip of the Sphere tip the scales in his direction? Probably not. But it’s almost sure to be another winner, based on the smoky Leonard Cohenesque ballad Estrella — supposedly a tribute to Mexican singer-songwriter and actor Juan Gabriel. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE:Estrella presents a dreamy narrative, woven with McComb’s strong apt for storytelling and wonder of words, music, and dreams.” Dim the lights:


4 How bad is air travel these days? Even the Flight of the Conchords keep you waiting. More than two months after the New Zealand comedy-folk duo returned to HBO with Live in London, their first live comedy special in forever, they finally decided to stream the hilarious divorced-dad duet Father and Son online. Which is fine, I guess. Though you could probably just watch the actual TV performance. Or watch them playing it on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to preview the special. But for those who prefer their live comedy with all those distracting visuals, colours and movements, here’s the audio-only version. Say hi to Trevor for me:


5 To quote the philosopher Barbra Streisand, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. That would seem to make Tommy Paxton-Beesley one unlucky dude. The Toronto vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist — who makes music under the handle River Tiber — doesn’t seem to need anybody. As usual, his wonderfully woozy latest single Deep End finds his taking DIY to the extreme: He played keyboards, bass, violin, drums and vibraphone, creates his own samples, and of course wrote, sang and produced the track. All he didn’t do was write this intro — though I’m more than happy to let him take over if he wants. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “When I was recording the vocals for this song there were these fighter jets from the CNE airshow flying overhead that were so loud. So I hit record and got an hour or so of these incredible sounds and used them as transitions — the sound of burning oil.” Good to know:


6 Is there a Canadian sound? I once spent several weeks asking artists that question for a feature story. Some adamantly swore there was; others ridiculed the very concept. I don’t think I spoke to the guys in Wintersleep about it. But maybe I didn’t have to; based on the press materials for their upcoming album In the Land Of, the disc has a lot to say about our home-and-native-you-know’s culture, geography and identity. And based on the first single Surrender — which is definitely not about mommy, daddy and getting your KISS records out — it sounds pretty Canadian. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The somber, misty waltz sees Tim D’Eon’s guitar, pushing through dark, rippling triplets that patiently ascend and descend, heralding a record that is in no rush: it is purposeful and spacious … a love song, wrapped up in the relinquishing of control over one’s feelings. It introduces a strain of anti-heroism and fatalism that is present through the record, one that is on some level wrought with existential worry.” What could be more Canadian than that?