Home Hear Indie Roundup | 16 New Songs To Complete Your Tuesday

Indie Roundup | 16 New Songs To Complete Your Tuesday

Check out new tracks and cuts from Clinic, Mac DeMarco, Steve Earle & more.

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Clinic shoot back, Mac DeMarco plays cowboy, TV Coma throw a bash, Racket Man roll, Defeater unleash a mother and more in today’s massive Roundup. Open wide.


1 It’s been six years since we last heard from the sugeon-masked weirdos of Liverpool’s Clinic. But based on their new single Rubber Bullets — not to be confused with the 10CC classic — time has not straightened them out one iota. Reminiscent of The Residents, the warped platter of retro-twang is an appetizer for their upcoming eighth album Wheeltappers and Shunters, titled after a bizarre 1970s British variety show. Because of course. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fifties rock’n’roll is the order of the day as Blackburn grunts “Neanderthal” over a twanging rockabilly guitar riff à la Scotty Moore.” Load up:


2 I gave up trying to figure out Mac DeMarco a long time ago. Now I just sit back and try to enjoy whatever the hell the eccentric and eclectic singer-songwriter (and former Edmontonian) has decided to do next. Though his new video for the laid-back ditty Nobody — starring him in a bathrobe, lizard makeup and cowboy hat, crooning away with a cigar in his hand — seems freaky even for him. How will it fit with his next album Here Comes the Cowboy? Your guess is as good as mine. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This one is my cowboy record. Cowboy is a term of endearment to me, I use it often when referring to people in my life. Where I grew up there are many people that sincerely wear cowboy hats and do cowboy activities. These aren’t the people I’m referring to.” Let that lizard loose:


3 Some people are the life of the party. “Self-hating millennial rock band” TV Coma are clearly not in that group. Not if you believe the lyrics to the U.K. glam-rock oddballs’ sardonic single Have a Party — though it does deliver an anthemic chorus that Queen would have been happy to write. Cue it up as the soundtrack to your next banger — or as a way to clear the room at the end of the night. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Have A Party was inspired by some absolute legends in Batchwood nightclub grinding up and down each other making grunting noises to DJ Fresh. It’s a plaintive yet celebratory singalong about how we might look happy on the outside but on the inside we are all so dead.” But at least we have balloons:


4 When you name your band Racket Man, you basically have two choices: You can be a Spandex-clad hair-metal outfit, or you can be a soft-rocking throwback to the ’70s that makes quirky, endearing videos based around rollerblading. Lucky for all concerned that these Cleveland kooks are in the latter category — at least on their new single scaredformore. Though if they ever want to try the former, I bet they can pull it off too. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song is rooted in past relationships that test one’s self-identity and expose the degrading effects of following one-sided love. This unrequited love challenges our sense of self-worth, leaving us confused and disenchanted in its wake. When faced with an opportunity to try again, we find ourselves fighting two opposing forces: fear of making the same mistake and the pressure of time urging us to continue.” Nothing to fear here:


5 They say a change is as good as a rest. Not for Defeater. They Massachusetts hardcore band recently had to take time off after burning out on the road. But now that they’re apparently recharged their batteries, they’re returning with their self-titled fifth album — and introducing it via the pummelling and firebreathing single Mothers’ Sons and a kaleidoscopic black-and-white video. Welcome back. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Mothers’ Sons features blistering guitars that take the song into something chaotic and beautiful.” Top of the world, Ma:


6 One step forward, four steps back. That’s where noise-rock crew Protomartyr are headed with their next release — a deluxe reissue of their obscure, hard-to-find 2012 debut album No Passion All Technique. Get in the mood with this video for the track Jumbo’s, a raw, serrated blast of thumping propulsion and wiry tension. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The band shares a video for longtime live staple and fan favorite Jumbo’s, directed by frequent Protomartyr-collaborator Yoonha Park – also responsible for the band’s Don’t Go To Anacita and Wheel of Fortune videos from their past two releases.” They’re down to clown:


7 Eleni Mandell wrote some of her new songs in prison. No, the veteran singer-songwriter wasn’t in the clink; she was teaching songwriting to inmates as part of the Jail Guitar Doors program co-founded by Wayne Kramer and Billy Bragg. But clearly, based on the character and content of her darkly dreamy single Circumstance — a preview of her next album Wake Up Again — she learned a few things too. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Circumstance was inspired by two different women. Neither accepted responsibility for what lead to their incarceration. One said, “it just happened.” The other woman claimed that it was all her boyfriend’s fault. The word ‘circumstance’ comes from ‘around’ and ‘stand’, which I thought applied so well to life in prison, which requires a lot of standing around.” Welcome to solitary:


8 Any week that brings news of a new Patti Smith album is good. But a week that brings news of three new Smith albums? That’s truly cause for celebration. Get the party started with The New Revelations of Being from The Peyote Door, the first of a triptych of albums the iconic punk poet is releasing with New York sound artists Soundwalk Collective, each focusing on a different French poet. If this tribal spoken-word soundscape — inspired by Anonin Artaud’s book — is a sign, it’s going to be a heady journey. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The poets enter the bloodstream, they enter the cells. For a moment, one is Artaud,” Smith says of becoming a conduit for the poet to speak through her, echoing the raw energy of the early punk scene. “You can’t ask for it, you can’t buy it, you can’t take drugs for it to be authentic. It just has to happen, you have to be chosen as well as choose.” Tune in and turn on:


9 Speaking of soundscapes: Toronto buzz band Bernice just released one. It’s called ambientmozza, which might make you think of subliminal cheese — and might be a self-deprecating joke on their part. But with its icy vibe, ringing tones and howling ambience, it’s essentially the sonic equivalent of standing at the top of a bell tower on a windy winter’s day. With cheese. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The collective has paired with The Toronto Dance Theatre for Persefony Songs, a performance that riffs on images from Christopher House’s acclaimed choreography Persephone’s Lunch (2001).” That’s nice:


10 Last time I talked to Steve Earle was on the day of his late mentor Guy Clark’s memorial in 2016. Not surprisingly, Earle spent some time reminiscing about his pal: “He was wise. He and Townes (Van Zandt) were pretty much opposites. Guy was pretty much nuts and bolts. Townes just told me to go read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee — and to put the cap on the bottle in case somebody kicks it over. And trust me, Guy believed all those things too. But he also showed me a bunch of things. He didn’t expect me to do them that way; he just thought it would be helpful if I saw how he did it, and he was willing to show me. I had a really old-fashioned, Old World apprenticeship. Not everybody gets that anymore. I was lucky.” Now, we’re the lucky ones — a decade after he paid tribute to Van Zandt on Townes, Earle does the same for Clark with his upcoming album Guy. He already shared the gritty roots-rocker Dublin Blues, taken us on a loose, lazy and lovely cruise down L.A. Freeway and tugged our heartstrings with The Randall Knife. Here’s a fourth preview: The sombre Old Friends, featuring old friends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Guy wasn’t really a hard record to make,” Earle says. “We did it fast, five or six days with almost no overdubbing. I wanted it to sound live…When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.” He should know:


11 For me, there are few prospects less enticing than being asked to listen to music made by an actor — a former child star, no less. So when I got the press release for electronica artist Eclipse — the artist previously known as Chadler (CAAAARRRRUUUUULLLLL!) Riggs from The Walking Dead — I girded my loins, rolled my eyes and pushed play on his song Endeavor. But much to my amazement, it wasn’t half-bad. It’s fairly dreamy and ethereal, with a skittery low-impact beat and a winsome melody, and generally avoids falling into cliches. All in all, I could stand to hear more. But let’s be clear: That kid who plays halfwit Henry shouldn’t get any ideas. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Music has been a passion of mine since my dad and I were rocking out to the Foo Fighters before I could even talk, and it always will be.” Best of all, nobody can kill you off:


12 Tuareg virtuoso Mdou Moctar is already acclaimed as a guitar hero. But during his American tour last month he became a real-life hero when he witnessed a car crash on a Tennessee highway, leapt from his van and kicked open a car door to help one victim to safety. That has nothing to do with the subdued charm and needlelpoint six-string work on his single Tumastin — the latest single from his forthcoming album Ilana (The Creator) — but listening to it seems like the least you could do for the guy. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “A departure from the high energy wedding rock synonymous with Tuareg guitar, Tumastin further showcases Mdou’s versatility, in what might be the first of its kind of Saharan shoegaze. Singing with ghostly reverbed vocals over echoing-with-whammy wow and fluttering guitars, Mdou sounds a plaintive note for his Tumastin, or “people back home.” Hit the cruise control:


13 Glen Hansard always keeps you guessing. After turning up the volume with various bands on his last few albums, the former frontman of The Frames and Swell Season unplugs and turns down the lights with his lush, woozy ballad Fool’s Game. But lest you think he’s in one of his moods again, the song takes a few interesting sonic and stylistic turns along the way. It comes from his next disc This Wild Willing, which seems like it will earn that title if the rest of it is as intriguing as this. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This song originated with a line I’d been rolling round my head: “It’s a fool’s, fool’s game, lover, that we have to play. I wanted to build something that felt like The Shangri-Las or Velvet Underground in their Pale Blue Eyes period.” Linger on:


14 You have to like a band that knows how to have a little fun. Case in point: French rock outfit The One Armed Man is releasing two albums — quite rightly titled 1 and 2 — this year. Even better: Going by the moody song Dive (from 1), they could give Pearl Jam a run for the money in the darkly sincere modern-rock department. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “For fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle, The Black Keys, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes…” Well, not really:


15 Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. For B.C. folk-pop duo Porteau, the inspiration behind their gracefully flowing and sweetly melodic single Penelope — along with their upcoming Water’s Gate album — apparently came from a painting of Andromeda by Gustave Doré. Well, sure, of course. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Penelope, the album’s latest single, was a direct result of this inspiration and draws on this imagery to explore and unearth personal experience. At a time where I felt powerless in certain relationships, Penelope was my way of saying that I could unwind myself from the pain and learn to be at peace with the fact that those I am leaving behind may not be okay.” Just let it roll off your back:


16 Sometimes, there’s a fine line between a humble-brag and a legitimate complaint. To be honest, I’m not sure which side Canadian dance queen Jayda G is on in the email that goes with her extended disco-mix single Move To the Front, from her upcoming debut disc Significant Changes. So I’ll let you read it and judge for yourself. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sometimes I’ll be playing and I’ll have a row of guys just standing there, not dancing, just staring… and in the distance I can see all the women who are dancing their asses off, and I wish I could just telepathically tell them ‘Move to the front’,” says Jayda. “Those are the people I’m playing for.” Ahem: