Home Hear Indie Roundup (Friday Dump Edition) | 19 Tracks to Fire Up Your...

Indie Roundup (Friday Dump Edition) | 19 Tracks to Fire Up Your Weekend

Sam Bush, Pup, Joi Noir, Lyrics Born & more kickstart your Friday night.

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Music publicists are just working stiffs like anybody else. They have a stack of work piling up on their desk all week long — but come Friday afternoon, it’s all getting cleared off one way or another. Which generally involves sending more emails than a Nigerian prince who’s two months behind on his rent. And you know where all those missives land? That’s right; smack dab in my in-box. As a result, I have way too many new tracks and videos to share today. So I’m going to keep my pithy comments to a minimum — yeah, I know, that’s a real hardship for you — and just let the music (and the press releases) do the talking. Let’s roll:


1 High-voltage rock ’n’ roll duo Heart Attack Kids shared their ferocious first single Modern Decay, which features Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Founded in 2013 and based in London, ON, the band consists of Jared Ellul (vocals/guitar) and Nathan Stock (drums) who unleash a powerful, high energy sound that makes audiences believe there are five people playing. The explosive sonic concoction showcased on Bad Luck Like Gold is potent and compelling, cut at Vespa Studios with Liam Cormier as producer. The 12 tracks hit with the energy of an atom bomb and the urgency of its impending detonation. The album builds atop the foundation of relentless garage punk riffs and crushing rhythms established on their debut LP, 2016’s No Future.”


2 Toronto singer/songwriter Darcy Windover released a video for the single Lonesome Feather, from his upcoming album Cope. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The majestic Americana sound of Lonesome Feather is indicative of Cope as a whole, Windover’s most accomplished collection of material so far in his young career. Recorded with producer John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, NQ Arbuckle) and his trusted band, including co-writer and duet partner Stacey Dowswell, the album sparkles with sonic and emotional depth recalling classic Tom Petty and Blue Rodeo records, but with an immediacy that places Windover squarely in the conversation about the best up-and-coming Canadian roots rock artists.”


3 Bluegrass icon Sam Bush comes out swinging with his single Stop the Violence, an anthemic call to arms for today’s messed-up world. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Stop The Violence, written by Bush and long-time collaborator Jeff Black, is reminiscent of so many great rock and roll protest songs of the 1960s, but is focused on the here-and-now; a world of mass shootings, polarized politics, and continued social inequality. Classic Allman Brothers-esque twin-lead guitar, or in this case, electric mandolin and guitar, are interspersed throughout the song, driving home their point with urgency and fervor not commonly found in Bush’s usual world of bluegrass. Stop The Violence is a decree; a frustrated, weary cry to humankind to stop hurting each other and spread love. When asked about the song, Bush says only, “I’m jumping on that peace train. Stop the violence.”


4 Last fall, rapper Lyrics Born shared the audio version of his personally revealing single Can’t Lose My Joy, about his wife’s devastating health crisis. Today, he went one step further and shared the video for the moving track. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We kept my wife, Joyo Velarde’s 15 year battle with non-hodgkins lymphoma a secret from the public until now,” explains long-standing hip-hop artist, Lyrics Born, who has just released the video for his most difficult and personal track yet. “Can’t Lose My Joy (feat. Aloe Blacc) chronicles her being diagnosed at a time when we were working, touring, recording artists with our careers just beginning to blossom. We hope this song inspires you to keep pushing and staying optimistic. There is always hope.”


5 Globetrotting post-rockers and Friends of Tinnitist Joi Noir land with their video for Provincetown, the latest single from their outstanding album Celeste. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: The band take their name from their (erstwhile) constituent parts, namely Olga Gallo (voice), Igor Plotnikov (guitars) and their late drummer Jack Kuznetsov. Both hailing from Russia, Olga and Igor met in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo – hence the Noir in their moniker – before decamping to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where they conceived and recorded the outline of Celeste. “The album encompasses the celestial, the divine, the earth and humankind,” says Olga, who has a BA in Psychology and much experience working with teenagers with drug and alcohol problems. “Did God create man or vice versa? It is about the relationship between all these things.”


6 Indie duo Cleopatrick — the pride and joy of Cobourg, Ont. — text their way into your life with the lyric video for the song Sanjake. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “after the insanity of 2018, we began to feel a lot of pressure to put something out that could live up to this image of us that people were building in their heads. it was a year of exponential growth and awesome highs. it was also a year spent listening to old label dudes mumble about “momentum” and “follow ups.” somewhere along the line, we realized that the pressure to conform or to satisfy the vast majority of your audience… that’s the kind of shit that brought this genre down over the last 20 years. this preconceived notion of what we should be doing as a rock band.”


7 Italian melodic hardcore act Edward In Venice pushed their song High Tide out onto the airwaves to hype the release of their EP Empathy on April 26. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We consider High Tide to be one of the catchiest, and one of the slowest, Edward In Venice songs, so it’s going to have a new impact on the listeners,” says frontman Filo Greganti. “High Tide came together easily; we wrote it quickly and it just worked.” Edward in Venice are from Pesaro, Italy. They’ve been playing explosive, shout-along hardcore since 2011. The band’s sound is quintessential screaming-fast melodic hardcore, with catchy melodies and a pinch of pop punk/emo thrown in.”


8 Guide Dog, a Welsh indie-rock trio, unleashed their protest single Generation Y and its accompanying video. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Generation Y, the second single from Guide Dog’s second album of the same name, comes at a time when children are bunking off school to protest outside Parliament about Westminster’s flimsy and inadequate response to climate change – prompting a swift and aggressive backlash by the politicians who dismissed the adolescents and ridiculed their irresponsibility; and the American president staging an imaginary state of emergency in a vein attempt to bludgeon Capitol Hill into funding a giant border wall whilst triumphantly filling his house with branded cheeseburgers to feed his unpaid staff and denying climate change is even happening… so it’s probably an appropriate juncture for a protest song!”


9 Swedish riff-lords Grand Magus delivered the lyric video for Brother of the Storm, the second single from their upcoming album Wolf God. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Band frontman and general overlord JB states: “The moon has returned, and with it comes a change. It could be someone you know, it could be you. An aspect of yourself that has always been there.” Wolf God rises over the Heavy Metal scene majestically and lets the guitar riffs speak for themselves. The groove and heaviness that were featured on the successful predecessor can also be found on the new, ninth studio album which once again holds a number of future classics.”


10+11 Eastern European DJ Matroda doubles down by dropping two new cuts from his RED Tape: Do You Remember House? (presumably not about the TV show) and True G. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Side A of Matroda’s monumental The RED Tape, the Croatian producer showcases his #MatrodaSound across four heavy-hitting, bass-filled productions. Kicking off with Do You Remember House?, Matroda makes his manifesto clear, paying respect to the roots of house music by way of his own unique, thoroughly modern production. True G comes next, bringing rousing low-end frequencies, infectiously quirky percussion and sly vocals from BRUX. Side A closes with back-to-back sinister bass house sounds via That Beat and They Call Me.”


12+13 Hot on the heels of their tumultuous and triumphant appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers earlier in the week, Toronto punk troublemakers Pup unveiled two new songs from their upcoming Morbid Stuff album: Sibling Rivalry and Scorpion Hill. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Sibling Rivalry is a song for Stefan’s sister and their annual disaster-filled camping trips, and the epic Scorpion Hill, which Stefan says is “about embracing your demons and finding some humour in the darkness,” is the longest PUP song ever released, with an accordion outro to boot.”


14Two years after his debut full-length Love, Toronto power-popster Taylor Knox returns to action with the loud, crunchy and anthemic single City at Night. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:City at Night was produced by LA’s Rob Schnapf. Working with Rob, Taylor says, “It was a dream to work with Rob at his studio in Los Angeles. We instantly connected over some of our same favourite artists like Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell. I geeked out over playing some of his beautiful old guitars – a Jazzmaster from 1962 and Les Paul from the early 50’s. I liked his relaxed, laid back vibe – making me feel comfortable and open to sharing new songs and ideas. I even got him to play synth on this song which comes in on the last chorus. I wanted the chorus to sparkle like christmas lights, so I added lots of layers of 12 string guitars and some tambourines and shakers. This song builds on the power pop sound that I’m known for, but I feel like it’s taking it to a whole new level.”


15 New York rockers The Inoculated Canaries uncaged their single The Lawyer’s Wife. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Speaking about the song, Michael Rubin says, “I sat on the chord progression for this tune for about a year. I had a really hard time figuring out what sorts of lyrics would go with the song. After an all-nighter with a friend of mine, I wrote the lyrics in about 15 minutes. He told me the story of how his mother went from being a drug addict to becoming Amish, and eventually giving up on life because her husband cheated on her with a minor. I was deeply moved, and the lyrics just sort of came naturally. The song is not fiction, and every single lyric relates directly to an aspect of her life. I like to think that I created the music, but my friend’s mom was the one who really wrote the story.”


16 Seattle singer-songwriter Damien Jurado shared the beautifully sentimental Throw Me Now Your Arms, the upbeat third offering from his new album In the Shape of a Storm, coming out on April 12. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song paints a picture of love, support and healthy devotion. A stunning piece, it was preceded by the first single South, where Jurado is able to “wrangle every ounce of emotion” out of the stark, stunning simplicity of his voice and acoustic guitar. South was followed by the opening track from his new album, an unearthed two decade-old track, Lincoln, which had been slated for his third record but lost in a freak chance technical glitch, only to be re-discovered and re-recorded for In the Shape of a Storm.”


17 Grant Pavol, a teenage Philadelphia songwriter, wants you to try his single Vintage Clothes on for size. It appears on his Okay EP, which comes out May 17. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Vintage Clothes is about reconciling with a good friend after a period of estrangement. I had a silly and stupid argument with a friend of mine, after which I went through an extended period of useless bitterness and anger. The song is about the moment I finally realized that all of that negativity and resentment was pointless, and that I really just missed my friend. The song sounds a lot like a love song (which is intentional), however, it is one of platonic love, rather than romantic interest. The song is very much grounded in the beauty of a close mutual friendship (as tacky as it sounds). “


18 Tulsa roots-rock singer-songwriter M. Lockwood Porter fires up the electrifying protest-song title cut from his upcoming fourth album Communion In The Ashes. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Delivering some of the most engaging and electrifying songs of his career, the album addresses our modern-day social problems from a perspective of hope, encouraging those who listen to focus on activism and community-building rather than despair. Porter wrote the song in the wake of the wildfires that ravaged the San Francisco Bay Area while he lived there. He explains, “That fire is what finally made climate change feel real and immediate to me, after years of reading about climate science and understanding the threat on an intellectual level but not truly grasping the real-life implications on a gut level.”


19 Earlier this month, Janis Joplinesque Chapel Hill garage-rocker Reese McHenry introduced herself in these pages with the killer song Detroit, the first single from her upcoming album No Dados. Now she’s back with the followup Bye Bye Baby. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Combining a ferocious dose of ears-pinned-back garage rock with a penchant for expert songwriting honed in her years confined to a couch with her guitar, Reese McHenry has created an album that is at once exuberant and introspective, foreboding and exultant, violent yet warm, and always a whole lot of fun.”