Maddie Ross makes miracles, Kelsy Karter faces the music, Leaf Rapids celebrate ma, Flat Worms get into it and more in today’s Roundup. Time to open the wine.
1 The magnificent Maddie Ross — trust me, you’re going to be hearing that name a lot going forward — hooked me like a flounder last month with Tell Your Friends, the first single from her upcoming debut album Never Have I Ever. Now the movie-loving musician is back with the come-hither beaut Miracle, another song written to complement a movie scene. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Miracle is specifically designed as an alternate score to the scene in Can’t Hardly Wait where Jennifer Love Hewitt walks into the party and everything turns to slow-motion. The song is meant to capture the feeling of when you see the girl of your dreams walking towards you, and the need to build yourself up to find the courage to talk to her and play it cool.” Roll ’em:
2 Perhaps you remember Kelsy Karter as the singer who pretended to get a face tattoo of Harry Styles a while back. Well, now she would like you to remember her for her punchy little rock ’n’ roll nugget What U, accompanied here by an energetic (and fake tattoo-free) video. To her credit, this is a way better thing to be known for. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “After the Harry stunt, and all the hate that came my way, I wanted to release something that would show my fans that no matter what circumstances you’re faced with, or trouble you find yourself in, you gotta do you and be the best version of yourself, no matter what. I’m not the girl that’s going to sit back and wait for things to happen. If I want something, I’m going to go after it.” U said it:
3 Mother’s Day is still a month away. But Winnipeg roots duo Leaf Rapids are mailing their love letter early with the dreamy Virginia, an old-timey ode to the most important women in our lives — and the latest preview of their forthcoming full-length Citizen Alien. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This song is inspired by mothers,” Keri Latimer says. “Struggling to hang on and let go at the same time. Trying to teach our children to be strong, while dealing with our own weaknesses. Trying to encourage independence while clutching onto them for dear life. It’s also about recycling paper bags.” Top of the world, ma!
4 Hey, did I see you at the record-release gig for L.A. post-punk trio Flat Worms’ Into The Iris EP last month? No? Well, that’s probably because I wasn’t there. If you also missed out, take heart: They just released a live version of the wiry title cut recorded at the show. Fun Fact: Ubiquitous rocker Ty Segall is apparently running the lights. Because of course. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Into The Iris is a frenzied, high-energy track about channeling inspiration. The video was recorded at their record release show at Zebulon in Los Angeles, and presents the band’s frenetic live performance.” Get into it:
5 Dead Can Dance’s exotic music is pretty much the audio equivalent of a travelogue. So it’s really only fitting that the video for Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry’s mesmerizing single The Invocation takes you on a journey to the wilds of Bulgaria — and an equally wild street festival. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “When we were contacted by Dead Can Dance we were very excited, as we had been fans of the band for many years and this was a great opportunity to create something for an act we admire. When we heard The Invocation the excitement grew as the song features motifs inspired by Bulgarian folklore music, and to see that our music and traditions can inspire them motivated us further. It was also an opportunity to create a narrative for a video based on ancient traditions that used to be practiced in our country and are still somehow preserved to the present day. The match between these peculiar rituals and the band’s music could not be better.” Can I have this dance?
6 You think Billie Eilish has a monopoly on creepy teen angst? Think again. Denver rapper ITSOKTOCRY — whose green hair, face tattoos and sui generis collision of rap, rock and industrial sounds made a memorable first impression here last month with LIL LOCK PICK — returns with the grim BI-POLAR FREESTYLE, which is every bit as disturbing as you might expect. But way catchier. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I freestyled the whole song in a few minutes, but I’m basically just trying to get a message across. Mental health, including anxiety and depression and bipolar disorder, have been kind of popularized by music and pop culture, and kids think it’s cool to have those things and they pretend to have those afflictions. When in reality those afflicted, including myself, are tormented every day. That’s why I say things like “I don’t know why the hell you want to be like me, my life fu*** miserable I don’t know why you like me” in the song. It’s just me speaking my mind on the matter. I was in my feelings when I made it.” OK, then:
7 Indie-rockers: They’re just like us. With all the insecurities and self-doubts that we all possess. Just look at Australian singer-songwriter Alex Lahey, whose crunchy new single asks the age-old question: Am I Doing It Right? Spoiler alert: She is. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Being a musician is considered a weird job without any explanation necessary, but one of the strangest parts about being a musician is that there is absolutely no set pathway you’re supposed to follow to get where you want to go,” says Lahey. “This song reflects on being thrust into a lifestyle and going with it while feeling like others are looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing all the right things by you and everyone else. It’s like fighting a losing battle while loving every minute of it.” That’s right:
8 They come in peace. Again. Brooklyn indie folk-rockers Big Thief return with the pastoral shapeshifter Cattails, the second single from their May 3 release U.F.O.F. (the second F stands for Friend). Think of it as a close encounter of the weird kind. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Cattails came about while we were at the studio in Washington in the pine forest. Writing it was just one of those electric multicolored waves of connectivity just sweeping through my body. I stayed up late finishing the song and the next morning was stomping around playing it over and over again. We thought why not just record it, so James sat at the drums and we practiced and by the time we’d finished practicing, Dom Monks – our engineer – had already sneakily set up mics and recorded it. It was beautiful that he’d captured it right away because when James and I were playing it felt like a little portal in the fabric had opened and we were just flying. Listening back to it makes me cry sometimes.” Awwww:
9 They wanna fly with us. We ain’t wanna fly with them. They wanna ride with us. We ain’t wanna ride with them. This immortal struggle forms the central message of nasal Dutch rapper JayJay Joshua’s swaggering single They Ain’t Ridin’. Of course, questions remain: Who are they? Who are we? Why ain’t we wanna fly with them? Your guess is as good as mine. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “JayJay released his debut single the other day with a guest feature from Pressa, who rose to fame in 2018 with collaborations from Tory Lanez and Co signs from Lil Uzi Vert.” But will he fly with them?