Home Hear Indie Roundup | 16 Cuts To Kickstart Your Weekend

Indie Roundup | 16 Cuts To Kickstart Your Weekend

Finish up Friday to the sounds of Mounties, Car Astor, Omni, BAT! & others.

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Mounties man up, In the Valley Below get dirty, Car Astor hits the gas, HuDost go to church, French Vanilla take their time and more in today’s Roundup. Two more sleeps until Game of Thrones — unless I stay up and binge the whole series. Hmmmm ….


1 Get set to chew the antenna on your TV, kitties: Canuck indie supergroup Mounties — featuring Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat and Fur Trade, and Ryan Dahle of Limblifter and Age of Electric — scratch that rock ’n’ roll itch in your special place with the party-hearty single Hitchin’ Man. It’s the latest teaser from their long-overdue sophomore album Heavy Meta, which finally arrives later this month. Unless they delay it again. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We wrote this song after we finished the album,” Bays reveals about the Hitchin’ Man single. “It felt light and breezy, and we weren’t taking ourselves too seriously. It’s a summer road trip song that reminds one of being a young band on tour for the first time, or a kid in high school; with the early seeds of self identity sprouting up, as you start to question the world and call bullshit. We’re singing about Sony Walkmen, Ferrari Testarossas, VW Vans, laughing with pals, partying…ultimately, declaring who your crew is and who you are. I’m hitchhiking, so I guess that makes me a Hitchin’ Man.” Thumbs-up:


2 In The Valley Below offer up a naughty movie within a naughty movie in the NSFW video for Blue Sky Drugs, the latest single from their upcoming album and feature film The Pink Chateau, which both arrive April 26. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Blue Sky Drugs is inspired by old cheeky country duets. We learned every song from Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s cassette tape Making Believe, one time when we were staying at a cabin in northern Michigan.” I’m pretty sure Loretta and Conway never did a duet quite like this. On the plus side, it’s a surefire way to get people to watch your video:


3 New York-based electropop powerhouse Car Astor speeds back into view with the hard-driving, hooky new single and video Don’t Stop, Don’t Speak. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I was able to look to many of my earliest musical influences and nod my head to them with the performance aspect of the video” says Car Astor. “It was such a blast. I really wanted to pull on the tension and desire that surrounds the lyrics of the song, and execute that in a symbolic, dark ‘me’ way. Don’t Stop, Don’t Speak is a song that really pushed me to grow as an artist, and this video did the same exact thing,” says Car. “I’m super stoked with the end result. The project was a true labor of love from start to finish.” Gun it:


4 International folk-rock group HuDost tackle religious systems, women’s spirituality and oppression in powerful, symbolism-filled new video for Burning Church, the gospel-based single from their album Of Water + Mercy. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:HuDost’s Moksha Sommer says: “For so long there has been dispute between patriarchal religious systems and women seeking to claim their spirituality without oppression. This song is a plea to burn down unjust beliefs that prevent empowerment and love from being the basic rights of spiritual seekers; whatever their gender. So often, the peaceful teachings of religions are negated by the shackles of their own dogmas. I ask that injustice be smashed upon the rock of truth and that love and support be re-embraced. It is a dialogue instead of a fight. It is an outcry to rise to love.” Open your eyes:


5 San Francisco death metal pioneers Possessed double your evil pleasure with their latest single and video. Not only is the firebreathing Shadowcult a preview of Revelations of Oblivion, their first album in three decades; it also showcases a fearsome live performance from their performance at Live At Bloodstock Open Air 2017. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Jeff Becerra comments, “We had such a fantastic time at Bloodstock. The audience was on fire and we could just feel the excitement in the air. While England has always been an exciting place for Possessed this concert felt extra special. Very much looking forward to our next trip across the pond:” Join up:


6 L.A. feminist art-punk quartet French Vanilla start the countdown to their June 7 disc How Am I Not Myself? by dropping the groove-skronk single All the Time — and a playfully colourful (or is that colourfully playful?) video to go with. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:All the Time relates singer Sally Spitz’s experience leaving a long-term heterosexual relationship to be with a woman she fell for while the band was on tour. The song is about realizing and coming to terms with multi-faceted sexual identity; in making herself vulnerable to change and upheaval, a world of desire moved into view. The band focused on creating a strong, memorable chorus, bringing a greater pop sensibility than their previous work.” Now’s the time:


7 It’s been a minute since Swiss hardcore/noise maestros Coilguns released their album Millennials. But that hasn’t deterred them from release a new video for the minute-long outburst Wind Machines For Company. Hey, at least they’re not asking for a long-term commitment. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Recording their music live and uncut, generally written and recorded on the spot wherever they were at the moment, sometimes on the other side of the world when touring with their former band, German post-prog-metallers The Ocean, Coilguns sums up a total of four EP’s and one full-length.” Beat the clock:


8 Self-described smack-talking synth-pop band Tom Boy claim to make belligerent music for the masses from their Toronto base — and judging by the video for their heartland rocking single and video Lowrider (no, it’s not a cover of the War classic), they’re already getting swelled heads. Perhaps with good reason. Judge for yourself. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Lowrider is the perfect soundtrack for your spring road trips. It’ll invoke old memories while you make some new ones. Growing up in British Columbia, I lived in what was becoming a mountain suburb. The forests I spent my days in were quickly disappearing and – just like my environment – my internal landscape was changing, too. I didn’t fit in, and that feeling has never gone away. I’ve learned to embrace all that has made me who I am today. This year, we’re working to improve the health of our gut flora so eat your greens, drink lots of kombucha, and shine up your fancy shoes! We’re ready to dance and celebrate our weird!” Yeah, I caught that:


9 Newfoundland roots-rock singer-songwriter David Picco looks forward to the May 31 release of his fifth album Out of the Past by sharing the romantic alt-country single and video I Can’t Lose You. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I believe that my songwriting has improved with each album that I’ve done,” Picco says. “For a period of a few years I was writing mainly downbeat songs and struggling to write anything exciting. But starting with my last album, I’ve been able to go into a more rock ‘n roll direction and my current band has played a big part in this. They’re all top-notch musicians.” It’s a win-win:


10 For those who can’t get enough of the first three Beastwars albums, good news: The New Zealand riff-monsters fronted by human blowtorch Matt Hyde return this June with their fourth album, the cunningly titled IV. Get in the hunt with the fearsomely awesome single Omens — which chronicles Hyde’s recovery from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, making it just as emotionally heavy as it is musically — and its animated lyric video isn’t too shabby either. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Shaped by Hyde’s recent experiences through his diagnosis and subsequent treatment, he was given an opportunity to look into the abyss, beyond life as we know it. “Throughout the treatment I was numb,” he explains. “It’s interesting to have the ability to confront that, to confront the void, to confront the idea of mortality. I didn’t make peace with it either.” Fight on:


11 Swedish riff lords Grand Magus ponder the possibilities of the afterlife — and hype their upcoming album Wolf God — by unleashing a lyric video for the single A Hall Clad in Gold. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Band frontman and general overlord JB states: “Dear headbangers! We have reached the third track from our new album. This is A Hall Clad In Gold. Who knows what happens when death claims you? The only thing you can do is to be true to yourself and strive toward being the best you can be. Perhaps fate will decide the rest.” Dig it:


12 Wiry Atlanta post-punk trio Omni celebrate their new deal with Sub Pop by sharing the angular number Delicacy, their contribution to the label’s Singles Club series and presumably a track from their upcoming third album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Frontman for the band, Philip Frobos says “Delicacy was one of the first songs we wrote after a couple of years of non-stop touring behind Deluxe and Multi-task. It came naturally to Frankie and I but felt like we were headed someplace new. It’s written about falling in love, with who would become my wife, on a 23-hour layover in Casablanca, exploring a new continent, feeling intrigued and truly alive.” And wired:


13 Holy masked supergroup! Prepare to do the Batusi with L.A. psychobilly surf-punk trio BAT!, featuring members of Nekromantix, The Brains, Stellar Corpses and Rezurex. Judging by their debut single Revenge of the Batmask, their May 10 album Bat Music For Bat People — which includes covers of Tainted Love, Misirlou, The Damned’s Love Song and others next to many cartoonish originals — should be essential listening for every caped crusader and boy wonder. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “As we are leaning towards vigilante rock, these songs fit perfect with our agenda,” explains Blue Bat. “Fight for rock and roll and conquer our villain enemies at the same time. They’re the ones who hate rock and roll and we will do anything to bring it back. When we hear Top 40 radio now and shake our heads in shame. What has the world come to? Answer: we all need BAT! Saving the universe, we are here people. Viva BAT!” To the batpoles:


14 London psychedelic trio Wovoka Gentle softly spread the word about their upcoming debut album Start Clanging Cymbals with the shapeshifting, strangely soothing single Tell ’Em, Makoto! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Another example of their limitless sonic horizons, and of their winning way with a song title, Tell ‘Em Makoto! starts with a hint of sea shanty, goes Pure Folk, then deploys a sample of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson to devastating effect. Will from the band explains that the song was inspired by the book Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura. He talks about Mahalia Jackson and how people like her exist on the periphery of influence; they exert influence on people who are actual influencers, and that’s the role of art in society. And Mahalia Jackson is a good allegory for him. She was next to Martin Luther King during a speech that was flagging and she shouted to him, ‘Tell them about the dream, Martin!’ And that’s how the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech started.” You said it:


15 German-Luxembourgish electro-pop trio Say Yes Dog come clean on their catchy single Lies, from their May 10 sophomore release Voyage. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “In the production for the album, this was one of the first ideas that Aaron came up with and we all immediately fell for the rumbly flow and the catching simplicity of the demo version. We started working on it, spending time on arranging the parts, choosing the sounds, filling up the arrangement and letting it rest for a while until we realized that we lost something very important on the way during our enthusiastic dive into the production. So we almost went back to the start, this time only taking care of the elements that really meant something to us, and most importantly trying to preserve the original mood to get this strong feeling back that we had, when we first heard the idea of the song.” Take them for a walk:


16 Toronto electronicist Ted Kennedy (and yes, that’s apparently his real name) gets in touch with his inner goth with his shadowy single Not Enough. Seems like it’s more than good enough. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Not Enough, like a lot of music I have been writing recently, is inspired by the sounds of Toronto’s underground electronic music scene. Curating Frequencies, I’m constantly blown away by the amount of talent here. It’s tough to be an artist in this city, rents are high, venues are closing, and platforms big enough to give artists any meaningful exposure are nearly non-existent. Everyone has day jobs, roommates, and bedroom studios. Despite the challenges artists put in the work and create great things. This song is inspired by those artists, their sounds, their creativity, their energy. I just hope I did them justice.” It gets my vote: