Home Hear Indie Roundup (Midweek Marathon Edition) | 15 Winners For Wednesday

Indie Roundup (Midweek Marathon Edition) | 15 Winners For Wednesday

Orville Peck, Cass McCombs, Rustin Man & more star in a humongous Hump Day.

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Orville Peck and Rustin Man head to Nevada, Black Belt Eagle Scout and Don Brownrigg go to the lake, Wild Nothings and Thayer Sarrano spread their wings, Tiny Ruins and Spellling space out and more in today’s epic-length Roundup. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin:


1 Who is that masked man again? Why, it’s Orville Peck, the mysterious cowboy whose full-length debut Pony arrives later this spring. But first, the lone stranger and enigmatic country crooner will treat us to another preview of the disc — in the form of torchy twanger Dead of Night and its complementary video, which is set in and around Nevada’s famed Chicken Ranch and features several of its employees in supporting roles. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Dead of Night is a torch song about two hustlers traveling through Nevada desert. Young drifters whose whirlwind romance takes us on a dusty trail of memories — racing down canyon highways, hitchhiking through casino towns and ending ultimately in tragedy. Orville recalls the adventures of his young love as he watches the boys silently pass him on the strip, haunted by the happy memories of his past.” But does the curtain match the rug?


2 When most people think of Icelandic music, they probably think of artsy-fartsy folk like Björk or Sigur Ros. Or perhaps poppier fare like GusGus and The Sugarcubes. Either way, chances are the first thing that springs to mind is not the punishing, doom-laden death metal so prevalent in neighbouring Nordic nations. But Une Misere are here to change that with their brutal single Damages — and a wide-screen cinematic video about a woman being pursued and seduced by a black-robed, long-taloned embodiment of evil. Hate when that happens. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Damages is about being at your breaking point. It is about being at the very edge and falling over. Damages is about facing the fact that mental diseases may never be cured; although the person can get better, one may never be fully rid of it. Depression, anxiety, addiction and so forth – they will always be there. The shadows — they will always be there. They will follow you — into the grave.” That’s it: Always keep a cheery thought:


3 Holograms are all the rage in the music industry these days. But New Zealand band Tiny Ruins aren’t talking about virtual Tupac concerts on their dreamy, gently floating new single and video Holograms. Singer-songwriter Hollie Fullbrook and co. apparently more concerned with the ability of science and technology to truly unite our emotions, minds and even bodies. Which is a lot to ponder in a 4:31 pop song, when you think about it. So you can’t say their ideas are tiny. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wanted a sense of longing for this sparkly, colorful other realm, where everyone is connected, in unity. The director Martin Sagadin and I both started out talking about how the song called for a sense of sci-fi, which led us to planets, which led to the idea that we would build planets out of lanterns … The idea of the video, is that I have a vision of this place I am trying to reach…I gather up particular objects that I feel will connect me to this place. But in the end, it’s futile.” We have liftoff:


4The Marx Brothers in a musical version of Apocalypse Now,” is how Rustin Man — a.k.a. bassist Paul Webb of British rockers Talk Talk — describes his new video for the song Judgement Train. That sounds totally cool. But it’s also a total lie, as you’ll see from the video, which fittingly features him playing poker with God on a train before ending up in an empty warehouse full of faceless dancing mimes. So really, it’s more like a group of morphsuits in a dance-recital version of The Seventh Seal. See the difference? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “He is a bit of a cheat and a chancer, confident he can outwit God to win his place in Heaven. As it develops, he realizes it’s not going so well and God has cunningly switched places with the devil. By the end, the guy has been out-played and realizes he actually has a lot in common with the devil. I like to think it has a happy ending!” What happens in the video stays in the video:


5 You wouldn’t expect there to be a lot of songs about people named Andrew. Actually, there are — including The White StripesSt. Andrew (The Battle Is In The Air), The Rolling StonesAndrew’s Blues, Magnetic FieldsAndrew in Drag, Mountain GoatsAndrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds and a few more. The latest: Singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield’s video for the single Andrew, a charming pep talk from her upcoming third album The Shape Of Your Name. Tell your favourite Andrew about it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Andrew could be a song to a friend or a romantic partner but at its core it’s note to self, a reminder to step back and look at the bigger picture instead of dwelling on the minutia. We all have friends who we want to shake sometimes because their priorities feel out of whack, but on the flip side of that sometimes we’re that friend who needs shaking. When things get messy and absurd it helps be able to laugh at yourself, to laugh with someone, to shake it off and move forward.” Getting a better haircut might not hurt either:


6 What’s the best way to deal with unrequited love? You could wallow in self-pity. You could go out and find someone new. Or you could head down to the river to dance away your feelings. The latter is clearly the choice of singer-songwriter Black Belt Eagle Scout (a.k.a. Portland-based Katherine Paul). Look no further than the surprisingly joyful clip for her latest single Soft Stud, which features longing lyrics set against a nugget of incongruously upbeat garage-pop. Go figure. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Demien DinéYazhí and I created this video on the traditional lands of the Chinook people along the Columbia River, where most indigenous people of the PNW travel to this day. We played with symbolism a lot within the work. Our relationship to water is prevalent in this video as well as the joy of being an indigenous woman. Release of feelings with birds flying away as well as connection to land play a part in the video.” Step right up:


7 You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. But where has it gone, you may have wondered. Well, now we have the answer — to an underground facility where shirtless men do avant-garde dances and women sport various forms of headgear. At least, that’s what I can glean from Gone, the new industrial-tinged single and video from electro-rockers Black Needle Noise — led by veteran synth-pop producer John Fryer and featuring vocals from Yvette Winkler. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Gone features ethereal electronic swaths throughout that mixes perfectly with Yvette’s intense and emotional vocals, leading to a gut punch of a hook that sticks with the listener. The accompanying music video matches the minor key vibe of the track, featuring a ribbon dancer seemingly acting out the lyrics Gone in a decomposing warehouse; a truly unique visual for the haunting song.” Going, going …


8 We all know what appearances can be. And based on the first few seconds of Don Brownrigg’s video for the new single Bad Timing — which finds the singer-songwriter strolling by a lakeside in a rustic sweater as the breeze gently wafts — you would think you’re about to hear a plaintive acoustic-guitar ballad about the beauty of nature. And you’d be wrong. The latest preview of Brownrigg’s tellingly titled upcoming album Fireworks quickly becomes a darkly insistent folk-rocker with just as much grit and soul as melody. And totally out of synch with that sweater. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Bad Timing is an empathetic view on not being available to someone but understanding what they need and want from you. Rarely do timing and feelings align perfectly — for me, at least. It is a song on the album about me having to back away and reject someone where several others are about me having unrequited love.” Last one in is a rotten egg:


9 We’re right on track. And picking up speed. Cass McCombs has already offered up a couple of audio-only previews from his upcoming Tip of The Sphere album. Now the criminally underappreciated singer-songwriter has unveiled the album’s first video clip — for the strummy folk-rocker The Great Pixley Train Robbery. Sadly, it doesn’t feature McCombs; just a lot of train-related footage and stills (and a picture of John Coltrane for shiggles). Even so, I’m not complaining. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:The Great Pixley Train Robbery kicks it up a notch, acting as an Old West-tinged tale that describes scenes of a violent train robbery, the greed for gold, and claims of insanity. Based on a newspaper article McCombs uncovered from the 1800s, the track shows off McCombs’ pure creativity and apt for vivid storytelling.” Tickets, please:


10 What do Barenaked Ladies, Dan Fogelberg, Third World and Oysterband have in common? They’ve all covered Bruce Cockburn’s Lovers in a Dangerous Time. Now you can add fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Twilight Fields — the pen name of North Bay’s Allister Thompson — to that list. He revamps Cockburn’s romantic ’80s roots-rocker on his upcoming album Songs From The Age of Ruin. Presumably because love never goes out of style, and times have never been more dangerous. Or else he just likes the tune. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wanted to pay tribute to one of the greatest protest singers in music history, my fellow Canadian Bruce Cockburn,” explains Thompson. “This is his most famous song, but probably also his best, known for its timeless lyrics. However, those lyrics about keeping faith in dark days have never been more timely, 35 years after its original release. My version pays homage to the original arrangement while amping things up a little. The video shows environmental destruction but also the brave people who fight against it.” Now’s the time:


11 If singer-songwriter Thayer Sarrano wasn’t really from the south, she might want to tell people she was anyway — if only because they’d be hard-pressed to believe otherwise. Especially after listening to Grace Goes On, the first preview of her upcoming fourth album Wings. Between the Southern-gothic shoegazer’s thick swampy groove, gritty low-neck twang and dark-angel vocals, it basically sounds like a leftover soundtrack cut from the first season of True Detective. And like something you’d expect out of a singer-songwriter from Athens, Ga. Unless she’s lying. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I had the groove for a while and knew its meaning had something to do with circles and cycles, because that was the feeling the riff was showing me,” she explains. “It made me wonder if I am ever learning or making progress when you feel like any moment you are right back where you started, just like in a video game where you have to repeat levels to move ahead.” Time is a flat circle:


12 I have heard of Blue Apron. I have heard of Blue Cross. I have heard of Blue Diamond, Blue Ivy and Blue Öyster Cult. But I had not heard of Blue Wings until Virginia’s Wild Nothing — the alter ego of singer-songwriter Jack Tatum — sent me this new synth-pop track with that name. Weirdly, the standalone single is a leftover from last year’s Indigo album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s intentionally a very bittersweet sounding song. I asked Ben Talmi who did the string arrangements on Shadow to help out with this very simple dissonant string part I was hearing in my head which is now my favorite element in the track. It’s a song about walking through to the other side of crippling self-doubt with the help of someone you love. It’s a reminder to myself not to let things spiral, hard as it may be at times.” Wing it:


13 Liberty is something no one wants to surrender. Especially not Lindi Ortega. Less than a year after releasing her widely acclaimed album Liberty, the Canadian singer-songwriter has revamped the disc into the instrumental sequel Liberty: Piano Songbook with the help of multi-instrumentalist Robbie Crowell. And if the first single In The Clear is anything to go by, these tunes wouldn’t be out of place emanating from the player piano in the Westworld saloon. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I created Liberty for people going through a struggle,” says Ortega, who wrote the songs out of her own vulnerabilities, including self-image issues. “I wanted to extend that with the Liberty: Piano Songbook, and I hope it adds an extra soothing element.” Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world. I choose to see the beauty:


14 Some people say there’s nothing new under the sun. And maybe they’re right. But that certainly hasn’t deterred Bay Area electronic-pop artist Spellling (yes, with three L’s) — also known as Chrystia Cabral — from penning the galactic, buzzing synth-pop ditty Under the Sun, the second offering from her upcoming album Mazy Fly. Nor should it stop you from soaking up its soothing interstellar tones. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Under The Sun is a cosmic prayer for good fortune,” says Cabral. “It celebrates the invisible energies that come together over time to create something radically new, like the birth of a star.” Open the pod bay door, Hal:


15 If you listen to just one new pagan-folk metal song today, well, it would probably have to be Fest In Midgard, the latest preview single from Swiss warriors Norvhar. Perhaps you remember them from their awesome video for Of Stone, Gold & Blood, which I featured here back in December (and which you should definitely watch at least 100 more times). And I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed there wasn’t a new clip to go with this tune. But hey, beggars and choosers, right? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Six friends offer a music which is inspired, epic, melodic, but which also makes you want to drink beers until the end of times. Vastly inspired by Tolkien’s universe, but also by Nordic mythology, the texts are dense and deep, filled with adventures and battles, with mystical tales and latent alcoholism.” Let the bacchanalia begin: