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Indie Roundup | Nine Songs To Improve Your Wednesday

Get over the midweek hump with help from Gotobeds, Friiiday and many more.

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The Gotobeds tear up, Friiiday sell it, Wargirl look back, Where We Sleep hit the road and more in today’s Roundup. I think Friiiday should go on tour with Niggght. They could call it the Friiiday Niggght Tooour. You’re welcome.


1 Pittsburgh pop-punks The Gotobeds take the concept of suffering for your art to a new level in the video for their scrappy new single Twin Cities: The band apparently had someone pepper-spray them during the filming. Why? Well, we’re talking about it, so I guess that’s why. Just be glad nobody’s perfected Smell-O-Vision yet. And give it up for guest vocalist Tracy Wilson of Positive No, who was smart enough to appear via video. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Gotobeds frontman Eli Kasan said: “If you’ve ever toured or spent long stretches of time with the same folks you know nerves can fray. We found a way to release that tension by macing each other for the video. Ever seen the Purge? Me neither, but it’s the same idea. Twin Cities is about two people (the two narrators) having different experiences in the same city, and the video reflects that. Shot entirely on VHS as we’re all old enough to own VCRs, not from Urban Outfitters – take that 90’s nostalgia blowhards!” Yeah, that’ll teach them:


2 Here’s something I didn’t know: Berlin has R&B/hip-hop bands. Or at least one called Friiiday — yes, they spell it with three I’s — who sent us their new video for the seductive slow-groover Should I Sell My Soul? Something else I learned today: Berlin R&B/hip-hop bands make some freaky videos, judging by this trippy, alien-rich clip. Hope they didn’t sell their souls to cover the production cost. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Friiiday consists of three individual personalities from multi-cultural backgrounds: JuJu King, Liv Gold and Sami 9. With an expressive lyrical range, their uncommon style translates an intriguing blend of Hip Hop and R&B into one international language. Characterized by a versatile atmospheric production, the artistic interplay of their youthful spirit stands out with an unique presence and creates that unmistakably refreshing Friiiday sound.” Have a close encounter:


3 Retro-soul, funk, psychedelia and garage never get old. Which is kind of ironic when you think about it, since they’re old to begin with. In any case, there’s nothing ironic about Long Beach crew Wargirl and their devotion to the classic grooves, melodies and attitudes of the super ’70s. Check out the video for their song How You Feel — from their upcoming debut album — and see if they don’t get down authentically enough for you. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Think Santana’s early records, afrobeat recordings by Fela Kuti, the psychedelic masterpiece Forever Changes by Love and sounds from 70s psych funk masters War (who happen to also be from Long Beach) and mix that with element of reggae, disco, garage rock and post-punk and you’ll start to understand where WARGIRL is coming from.” Count me in:


4 London is a long way from the Mojave. But female-fronted British outfit Where We Sleep close the gap brilliantly with their ominous single The Desert, which puts down the top, eases the seat back and cruises through a dark, desolate landscape of psyche-fuelled alt-rock reminiscent of Garbage. See their upcoming EP Experiments in the Dark for more. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer Beth Rettig explains, “The road footage in The Desert video was taken when (guitarist) Axel Ray and myself took a road trip to the Mojave Desert in California, with trips to Pioneertown and Joshua Tree National Park. It seemed a shame not to use those visuals, albeit affected, for the song. As the song came first, it was a cool realisation that two people who did a song about driving through the desert together, were taking a road trip through the desert together.” Enjoy the ride:


5 I’ve said it before. I’m saying it again: I’m not sure Lust For Youth is the greatest band name this Scandinavian duo could have chosen. But hey, they’ve had it for a while now, so they’re stuck with it. Thankfully, their latest single and video By No Means — another darkly pulsing slice of classic ’80s synth-pop — is far easier to deal with. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video is a tribute to Mexico City and the beautiful people we met on our first trip there earlier this year,” they explain.” Gracias:


6 Speaking of trips south of the border: Mexican-American electro-pop eccentric Jackie Mendoza checks in again with the video for her new song Mucho Mas, from her LuvHz EP due April 26. Born and raised near the Mexico-U.S. border, Mendoza was influenced both by life in her hometown and the culture of her Mexican homeland. Listen for yourself and tell me she isn’t mucho mas raro than the rest. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Mucho Más is a self-assuring pep talk explaining that there is “muco más allá” or “way more out there” to confront and explore with courage and joy. The lyrics were written while Mendoza was too anxious to leave her apartment and the instrumentation was later fleshed out with frequent collaborator Rusty Santos. “Hidden reasons and lost causes, what’s a mystery now will make sense eventually,” says Mendoza.” If she says so:


7 If something’s worth doing, it’s worth redoing. Take it from Shura. The British synth-popster born Alexandra Lilah Denton released her emotionally yearning, sonically intriguing number BKLYNLDN last month. But now she’s back with this skittery 2-step garage remix from i_vu, which takes you to a whole new place. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song marks the start of a new chapter (musically, geographically, emotionally) for Shura. That timeless look at long-distance romantic longing – if told through the modern lens of apps, texts, and anxiety-inducing silences – it’s a cinematic, exquisitely intimate examination of what presence and absence means in modern relationships; a passionate, tactile record about connection in volatile times; and, despite its cleansed sonic palette, still the unmistakable sound of Shura.” Step up:


8 You can blend in the with the crowd. You can feel alone in the crowd. Or you can stand out from the crowd, as London singer-songwriter Tally Spear does on her new single City Girl, a muscular, rousing folk-rocker that hits harder and kicks higher than her older, softer sounds. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: ”I grew up in the city, and I’ve never lived anywhere else. It’s a strong part of who I am and how I think. Living in London, you’re always surrounded by people…by the hustle and bustle of everyone’s lives. But you can feel lonely just the same.” Hit the bricks:


9 His name is Yayo. Or maybe YayoPills. He’s a rapper. He hails from Lagos, Nigeria. And his latest track Dem Ah Know (feat. Jaga) is pretty crazy, with a relentless beat and mind-expanding sonics. That’s literally all I know about this guy. Oh, wait, I know one more thing: You need to hear it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Literally nothing, since he (or somebody else) sent me just a SoundCloud link. See if you can learn anything: