Leo Bud Welch does the Lord’s work, Ohmme throw divinity on the sand, Dearist turn tragedy to triumph, Royal Tusk smash expectations and more in today’s Roundup. Can I get an amen? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
1 Leo Bud Welch was in many ways a typical Delta bluesman. For better or worse. Although the Mississippi native played music his entire life, moving between the juke joints on Saturday night and the church on Sunday morning, he earned his keep doing the hard manual labour of a lumberjack. He didn’t make an album until he was in his 70s — and died last year after releasing just two discs. Thankfully, before he passed, he went into the studio with Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach and his band The Arcs. So now we have the wonderfully titled posthumous album The Angels In Heaven Have Done Signed My Name, due out in March. And if this anachronistic video for the song I Come To Praise His Name is anything to go by, this album is going to be truly heavenly. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Working with Bud was a true blessing and I’ll never forget it,” Auerbach shares. “Bud taught us the songs that he’d been playing since he was a kid. He was so soulful. When he sang, you listened. And his guitar playing was steady as a rock.” Amen.
2 Everybody loves The B-52’s. And everybody loves a great cover tune. Put the two together and you get this live video of Chicago outfit Ohmme — fronted by singer-guitarists Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart — cranking out a mighty, hard-hitting celebration of the Athens oddballs’ classic Give Me Back My Man. It also happens to be the B-side of their latest single At Night (which had better be an amazing song to compete with this. Just sayin’). SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Choosing The B-52’s because “their love of all things retro and kraut-rock created this amazing aesthetic that still feels so unique,” Ohmme puts their own spin on the track, roughing up the edges by using distorted, electric guitars and a vivacious spirit. “We love Give Me Back My Man in particular because it is one of their only tunes to really feature Cindy Wilson at the center and she kills it. The dynamic changes between her level voice in the verses and the explosion of rage in the choruses give such a strong statement of emotion.” Enjoy the candy:
3 People write songs about all kinds of things. Some good, some bad, some funny, some harrowing. And after decades of listening and reviewing, I was pretty sure I’d heard them all. But Colours — the new single and video from Wolverhampton indie-rockers Dearist — is definitely a first. I’ll let them tell the story. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The lyrical content is quite dark, I don’t think I’ve spoken before about what this is about, but I will. Basically a few years ago I saw my then girlfriend (now wife) get hit by a car and I think about the things that happened that day often and how lucky she is. But its inspired by how she must have felt as she lay there in the road waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Its not specifically about her on that day, but more about anyone that has been through an experience like that.” Hope she likes it:
4 Not gonna lie: When I saw this press release hyping a new video from Canadian rockers Royal Tusk, I thought it said Royal Trux and got all excited. Which is not to suggest that this black-and-white clip for their track Reflection doesn’t have its merits. Especially if you like your modern rock laced with a driving beat, plenty of low-neck crunch, a blistering solo and an undeniable chorus. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video for Reflection was a blast to make,” says the band. “We wanted to show the pure rawness that is a Royal Tusk live show, no bells or whistles. We avoided the usual quick edits and stylized after-effects you often see in performance videos by constructing a practical effect which was really challenging to pull off.” That’s seven years bad luck, dudes:
5 You might think a band named Running Red Lights would all be about speed, momentum and driving power. But you’d be wrong — at least when it comes to their new song Calls of Prudence, a slow, sombre work of indie-pop beauty and restraint. Even so, as the accompanying video makes abundantly clear, these Torontonians still know how to put the hammer down. Emotionally speaking, anyway. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nostalgia is an addictive comfort to snuggle up to when the present day seems intolerably bleak. Calls of Prudence is a moodier, more sorrowful track in comparison to our previous, most recent releases. It was penned during a moment where I felt myself longing for the vibrancy of youth, the thrill of experiencing things for the first time.” Hope they know a good drywall guy:
6 Sorry, magic fans. Singer-songwriter Mike Edel‘s new single and lyric video Houdini — the latest preview of his upcoming album Thresholds — is not an ode to the legendary escape artist. But the catchy, crunchy guitar-rocker — which might remind you of Tom Petty joining forces with Dave Grohl — definitely has a few choice things to say about finding your way out of emotional straitjackets, personal handcuffs and other intimate shackles. The key to your freedom? Love. Awwww. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Edel shares radio rocker Houdini, a song in which he blew out his vocal cords each day he tracked the song. “It’s one of my proudest moments as an artist because ‘letting go’, and co-writer Chris Walla’s heavy handed production, resulted in a song that sounds new and really stretched me to cross my own sonic thresholds.” Ta-daaa!
7 Two years ago, Weyes Blood gave us a Front Row Seat to Earth. Now, the California outfit fronted by singer-songwriter Natalie Mering take us on a trip to Andromeda with their suitably spacey new single and accompanying star-flight video. And that’s not all: The song also time-travels back to the early ’70s glory days of the Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter. That’s no strain. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Andromeda plays on a few themes (mythology, astronomy, technology), and is ultimately a love song about finding something long-lasting in an ever-changing world full of distractions, unrealistic expectations (“looking up to the sky for, something I may never find”) and past disappointments.” Go into the light: