Home Hear Indie Roundup (Finally Friday Edition) | Eleven Songs to Finish Your Week

Indie Roundup (Finally Friday Edition) | Eleven Songs to Finish Your Week

Set your sights on new clips by Murray Lightburn, Claude Fontaine and more.

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Murray Lightburn aims high, Danielle Todd goes off, Chainsaw Motel see green, Claude Fontaine takes another angle, Problem Daughter serve up a smile and more in today’s Roundup. That’ll do, pig; that’ll do.


1 Murray Lightburn wants you to hear him out. And why wouldn’t you? After all, he’s always delivered the goods with his ambitious Montreal indie-rock outfit The Dears. And on his poppy new single To The Top — a preview of his upcoming sophomore solo album Hear Me Out — he maintains his high standards with a hooky chorus and a darkly rich melody. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This track turned out to be a shout out to my family; an oath that I will never stop working to make our life together the best it can be. I wanted to make certain that it’s on record, that no matter what is hurled at me or at us, I’m gonna keep at it and that everything I do… (in a raspy voice) “I do it forrr yooouuu…” I hope that as personal as all of this sounds, that anyone can relate to what I’m saying here.”


2 We all go a little crazy sometimes. But few of us do it as colourfully and charmingly as Guelph country upstart Danielle Todd does on Crazy, her banjo-picking, harmonica-licking, two-stepping hootenanny twangfest of a new single. Full disclosure: It has absolutely nothing to do with the Willie Nelson-penned Patsy Cline classic. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking it out for a spin — though don’t be surprised if you end up going nuts over this hooky ditty. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I could write heartbreak songs for days, but I have been writing more upbeat and happier songs lately because that’s what I find fun and I find is needed these days. Crazy is fun; it’s one of those songs you bop along to when it comes on in the car.” That’s crazy talk:


3 Do you want to hear a love story? Or do you want to hear the Story of a Love Story? French stoner-punk duo The Chainsaw Motel sincerely hope you pick the latter, since it’s the title of their new single from their EP Bad Trip & Endless Roads. And since they spent all that money to hire an actress and cart their gear out into the woods to film this creepy video — which presumably tells the story of Story of a Love Story. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Influenced by artists, such as the Melvins, QotSA or Deftones, TCM is a mix between pure energy, melodies, and introspective lyrics.” Now you know the rest of the story:


4 The old ways are almost always best. Just ask Los Angeles singer-songwriter Claude Fontaine. Her new reggae single Cry For Another sounds like it could have been recorded in Jamaica’s Studio One in the 1970s. And no wonder; her sublimely breathy vocals are expertly backed by legendary session players like Tony Chin, Rock Deadrick, Ronnie McQueen and Jaime Hinckson. All of whom reorded the track — and shot this video — at iconic jazz trumpeter Chet Baker’s Hollywood studio. It doesn’t get any more authentic than that. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Cry For Another is about the feeling when someone is slipping through your fingers, and even though you know that person may not be right, you’re still pining for more,” says Fontaine. “Possibly to remind yourself of why they’re wrong for you, or perhaps to remember what you’re going to miss.” The old school is in session:


5 Musical trends come and go. But punk rock never goes out of style. Not even in someplace as straitlaced as Salt Lake City — or maybe that should be especially in a place like Salt Lake City. Either way, Problem Daughter are apparently one the best punk bands not only in SLC but in the state of Utah, according to a recent magazine feature. So their melodic little nugget Self-Amusing Smile — a taste of their March 22 album Grow Up Trash — is easily worth spending four minutes of you life on. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Not regulated to a mere two chords and screaming, the quartet take everything great about punk and pack it into songs varied in structure and melodies that never grow redundant. Their music smells like a sweaty basement show, tastes like cheap beer on a lamp-lit porch and feels like not wanting to go home at the end of the night.” Does cheap beer taste different on a candle-lit porch? Just asking:


6 “There is only one time that is important: Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.” If that sounds familiar, maybe you’re read Tolstoy. Or at least watched The Good Place, which quoted it a couple of weeks ago. But they’re not the only folks thinking about time these days: Bay Area modern-rockers Benvenue also tackle the topic in their muscular number Days to Years. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The challenge is sometimes living in the moment and embracing it. When you finally realize the lesson was for yourself, it always seems to come years later and that’s when you truly become free. We chose this song to be our next single because we feel it’s completely relatable to any person.” No time like the present:


7 Some bands take everything to the limit. Progressive San Francisco metal extremists Fallujah takes everything one notch beyond. Their guitarist rocks out on a seven-string axe. Their bassist clangs away on a five-string instrument. Their drummer pushes the band forward with hyperactive complexity. Their new vocalist primal-screams with enough intensity to cough up an internal organ. And when they put it all together on the single Ultraviolet — and decorate it with a seizure-inducing spectacle of flashing light and split-second edits — well, you should see the light. As in Undying Light, their new album out March 15. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Undying Light stands as a monument to creating the purest and most visceral version of Fallujah,” stated the band. “Through the blood, sweat and tears left on these 10 tracks, we usher in a new era for the band. We’d like to introduce you all to the voice of that new era and newest member of Fallujah, Antonio Palermo.” Flick the switch:


8 One massively successful band is not enough for EdGuy singer Tobias Sammet. So, when he isn’t belting out the speed-demon power metal, he also leads the more melodic Avantasia, an all-star rock-opera outfit that is poised to release its eighth full-length disc Moonglow on Feb. 15. On the guest list this time around: Kreator’s Mille Petozza and Blackmore’s Night frontwoman Candice Night — who takes the helm in this lyric video for the sweeping single Moonglow. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Yes, we’ve found a song on the new album that is below the 4 minutes benchmark and it would work as a single. And despite being rather short it’s also representative for the world of Avantasia. Somehow in hindsight I think that my admiration for Mike Oldfield shines through here, which wasn’t intentional but you can’t really control that. And by and large I find the song to be a typical Avantasia song nevertheless. The enchanting Candice Night did an amazing vocal job, and in all modesty, I think so did I, ha!” Talk about glowing praise:


9 There are two ways to cover a classic: Faithfully or inventively. Somehow, Dan Mangan manages to split the difference on his new version of R.E.M.’s Losing My Religion. Although he changes up the instrumentation, downsizing from a full-band number to a lush enigmatic hybrid of acoustic instruments and sequenced synths, he maintains the wistful, yearning quality of the original. It’s a win-win. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “When I was a kid, R.E.M. was a staple in my household,” says Mangan. “I remember air guitaring to this song with my brother and sister. It was such a massive hit but also so unlikely a candidate to be so. The chorus isn’t really a chorus. It’s long. It’s repetitive. It’s like a hypnotic cyclical trance of words that stick with you even if you have no idea what they’re about. I really wanted to try and approach it from a new angle. There’s no point in attempting to sing like Michael Stipe – there is only one Michael Stipe. So I tried my best to let it live in a new light while paying homage to the original.” That’s him in the spotlight:


10 Romance is mush, stifling those who strive. Legendary songwriter Billy Strayhorn made that argument in his classic ballad Lush Life. Something tells me Toronto singer-songwriter Mike Evin might have a few things to say about that — particularly in his endearing new piano-pop single Recovering Romantic, from his upcoming sixth album Evin on Earth. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I have a very romantic side of me that I’ve let guide me in the past. It’s lead me into some really beautifully intimate moments. But, in the past few years, I’ve gotten more guarded about letting that romantic side steer the ship. Somehow, I thought I was cultivating a more realistic view on love and the motivations behind loving someone. It’s probably also about wanting to somehow remain in control – when you’re in love or falling in love, sometimes you lose it. I didn’t want that feeling for a while…I wanted to feel like I had a complete handle on myself. I’ve really been suppressing this romantic part of myself, but it will always be here.” Here’s to love:


11 You’ve heard of The Black Plague. You’ve heard of Yellow Fever. Now meet The Black Fever. Thankfully, the Toronto post-punk trio aren’t harmful to your health — unless you’re allergic to nimble basslines, noisy guitars and high-angle vocals warning us of the detrimental nature of Marketing. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sometimes the only art or images we see while going about our daily lives are those trying to sell us something. Walking around Toronto, you feel the oversaturation of advertisement that everyone is inundated with on a daily basis. There’s nothing wrong with selling things, but it can be oppressive. We need to find a better balance between ads and public art – for art’s sake.” And money for God’s sake: