Home See Indie Roundup | 19 Tracks For Your Tuesday Afternoon

Indie Roundup | 19 Tracks For Your Tuesday Afternoon

Let Jambinai, Lenny Bull, Peter Perrett and more tune up your weekday.

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Jambinai make a big noise, Lenny Bull takes none, Peter Perrett has enough, Cinematic Orchestra share lessons, Yawning Man cross the line and more in today’s early Roundup. I might go to Costco this afternoon. Anybody need anything?


1-3 There’s more to Korean music than K-Pop. Much more. Like for instance Jambinai, a groundbreaking crew that fuses traditional sounds with post-rock artistry and doomy metal intensity. To preview their June 7 release Onda, they’re sharing two new audio tracks — the slow-building tsunami Small Consolation and the more meditative and tribal title cut below — along with a live performance video of the former (above). And they’ll still leave you wanting more. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Says band spokesman Lee Il-woo, “Onda means ‘come’ in Korean. The title track has the lyric, ‘At the end of your darkness, pain will turn into the shining stars and it’s going to come to you.’ I want to cheer people up when they hear that track. Onda also means ‘wave’ in Spanish, and I also want to say the third big wave of Jambinai is coming!” And like all good things, they come in three:


4 Once is good. Twice is better. Lenny Bull bowled me over last month the her single Don’t Talk About It, which you can (and should) watch here. And now, the Toronto singer-songwriter has made it clear that was no fluke with the followup Somebody’s Girl. From the lightly crunchy guitar chords and whistling keyboards to Bull’s sultry Chrissie Hynde vocals, it’s another slice of pop-rock straight from the glory days of the ’80s. Can’t wait to hear the rest of her EP Sharp Teeth when it comes out later this month. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Lenny Bull gives honest, witty insight to her musings with timeless songwriting. Sometimes mischievous, sometimes provocative, sometimes humorous, her songs dive into relationships, getting over yourself, and not taking any bullshit.” Attagirl:


5 We all have a friend who’s crazy as fuck. So why should former Only Ones frontman Peter Perrett be any different than the rest of us? Of course, there is one big difference: You didn’t write a cool, urgently catchy indie-rock number about your pal and he did. Once is Enough comes from his upcoming solo album Humanworld, out June 7. If this cut is anything to go by, you’d be crazy to miss it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Humanworld, there are songs about love, some peppered with optimism, others crushingly pessimistic and the old caustic side of Perrett the realist is everywhere, but he’s tempered, not mellowed his sentiments and delivers many crucial life lessons, not least of which is the stark “I’ve got to learn to take my own advice” on Once Is Enough.” One spin will likely not be enough:


6 When your band name includes the word cinematic, your videos really should live up to that adjective. And to their credit, The Cinematic Orchestra deliver the visual good by including some majestic aerial shots into the performance footage of their meditative, percussion-rich 10-minute instrumental Lessons. Grab some snacks and settle in. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Lessons was shot in Joshua Tree, CA and directed by Brian B+ Cross, and provides a small taste of what fans can expect from the band’s hypnotizing live show. “The desert has been an important reference for Jason and Dominic during the creation of this project,” says B+. “It was wonderful to go back out to Joshua Tree and hear the music performed live by the full band…to capture the energy in the room.” On with the show:


7 You’ve heard of Burning Man. You’ve heard Working Man. If you haven’t already had the pleasure, meet California’s Yawning Man. One of the first desert-rock bands on the scene, the instrumental trio formed in 1986, but didn’t release any recordings for nearly 20 years. Since then, they’ve been making up for lost time with majestic works like their latest sweeping single Macedonian Lines, the title cut of their June 14 album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Mario Lalli (bass) says about the new record: “Macedonian Lines represents the spirit of this band beyond the sound and composition. All the elements of this song were created in live improvisations during Yawning Man’s last European tour. The band refined the ideas night after night in front of live audiences. By tour’s end, the composition is what your hear on the new LP…. truly organic. The title comes from the band’s experiences crossing the Eastern European borders during this turbulent time of refugee migrations and political discord, while the music tends to add beauty to these observations.” Pass the bong:


8 Everyplace is somebody’s home. Including the Lunik IX neighbourhood of Košice in Eastern Slovakia. It’s the setting for filmmaker Phil Collins’ (no, not that one) documentary-style effort — made to illustrate and accompany singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon’s quietly yearning new single Home to You. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “In an age of discord, in which the politics of division and xenophobia — from Brexit to Trump — tears communities apart across nations and continents, it is crucial to stand in solidarity everywhere with those subjected to routine discrimination and denied a sense of belonging,” says Collins. “With its invocation of yearning, absence and loss, Cate’s hypnotic canon expresses this conviction with the lithe, acute awareness found in the best of critical pop, and speaks to its moment just like Ghost Town or Private Armies spoke to theirs.” Pay a visit:


9 Give Calgary’s Crooked Spies credit: The time-lapse video for their muscular mid-tempo pop-rocker Pay It Mind is more than an entertaining marketing tool — it’s also a brain-teaser to test your attention span (and perhaps your ability to count). SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rather than being dismissive or putting shit behind you, it’s important to recognize when you or someone you love is stuck in a slump. Acknowledging when you’re messing up can allow you to take the necessary steps to improve. By paying attention, you truly become present in your own life.” Watch it here:


10 There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Or reskin your songs. Take it from Donovan Woods. On May 3, the singer-songwriter releases his next album The Other Way — a stripped-down acoustic reworking of his Juno-winning 2018 release Both Ways. Get a taste of where he’s heading with this animated video for the first single Truck Full of Money, dramatically reimagined on 12-string guitar and mandolin. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:The Other Way brims with inspired interpretations that are intimate yet startling in their urgency. For a producer, Donovan enlisted ace guitarist Todd Lombardo, who recently played most of the guitar work on Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy-winning juggernaut Golden Hour. Donovan gave Todd artistic license not only to change the chords and song structures but to overhaul the arrangements.” Way to go:


11 Will Kimbrough is one of those musicians whose work you’ve undoubtedly heard — even if you’ve never heard of him. The veteran Nashville guitarist, songwriter and producer has lent his talents to Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, Todd Snider and countless others over the decades. This Friday, Kimbrough finally puts himself front and centre again with I Like It Down Here, his first solo album in five years. Ease into it with the bluesy, Tom Waitsian title track. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:I Like It Down Here, is in the voice of a white-trash gentleman joyously endorsing waking up at one in the afternoon and popping the first Bud Light of the day.” Cheers:


12 Working hard or hardly working? That’s the musical question posed in Foxygen’s darkly aggressive, low-grooving new single Work. Built around a cluttered backbeat featuring superstar session drummer Jim Keltner, it’s the latest preview of the L.A. duo’s pivotal April 26 release Seeing Other People — which seems like it should be another fine piece of work. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The album is filled with self-referential tales of touring, partying, of being young and in a band, and saying farewell to the grittier, darker aspects of it all; “Goodbye to the drugs, to the partying. Goodbye to my twenties now, Goodbye to my Saint Laurent-model-body. Goodbye to the touring circus — that’s right, no more shows or tours for a while. Goodbye, hopefully, to the anxiety attacks. Goodbye to beating myself up because I didn’t fit into those leather pants anymore. F**k it. Goodbye to the facilities. And goodbye the leeches in my life.” That works:


13 I don’t know how big or how old Amsterdam DJ and producer Ganz is, but I’m pretty sure the man born Jordy Saämena is way too heavy to be asking people to carry him. Maybe that’s why he enlisted vocalist Jantine to voice his sentiments on the buoyant and bright single Carry Me. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Heavy percussion and bright synths travel effortlessly throughout Ganz’s masterclass in sound design Carry Me. The euphoric single layers shimmering future bass melodies over beautiful soundscapes. The Dutch producer continues his sonic evolution on Carry Me. Working alongside vocalist Jantine, Ganz merges delicate bass and intricate synthesizers layered under a topline to create one of his most captivating tracks to date.” It’s a real pick-me-up:


14 Feeling restless? You’re not alone: Singer-songwriter and six-string virtuoso Kyle Sparkman shares your need to be moving. It’s already taken him from Philadelphia to his latest home in Lyon, France. And it hasn’t stopped there. He’s also channeled that energy into the groovy funk-pop single Restlessness, out today. It’s worth sitting still long enough to enjoy — provided you can keep yourself from getting up to dance. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Restlessness is an ode to impatience, anxious energy, and distraction—come to think of it, the track may have been better titled ‘woes of the social media generation’. I recorded the song in Philadelphia, and when my restlessness got the better of me, (see what I did there?) I moved to Lyon, France and put the finishing touches on it there. It’s heavily guitar driven—guitar is my first love and primary tool as a musician, and I wanted this song to showcase that since it’s the first one I’m putting out.” Get a move on:


15 I get a lot of songs from singer-songwriters. A lot of them are deeply personal. And honestly, a lot of them sound the same. Not this time. Guelph singer-songwriter Anna Wiebe’s Fortune stands out from the pack — partly due to her powerful emotions and delivery, but also thanks to serrated guitars and a beefy rhythm section that match her intensity. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Fortune is about trying to break free of a cycle; about growing up and the feelings of frustration that come with that process. This is the first single I’m sharing off of All I Do Is Move, my second full-length that will be out this coming July. The album focuses on cycles, and the mental growth and movement that comes with life’s lessons.” Listen and learn:


16 Dancing all alone sounds kind of sad. Unless Montreal popsters Winona Forever are doing it. Then it sounds positively buoyant and joyous — and like an indie-pop gem upgraded with some woozy jazz and smeared with R&B. Don’t take my word for it: Get acquainted with their song Gazing and hear for yourself. Then check out their new album FeelGood on June 7. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Our guitarist, Ben, laid down the initial demo over a year ago. While strumming some chords in his bedroom, inspiration struck and Gazing was pieced together in a matter of hours. The rest of the band then got involved, prioritizing punchy rhythms and fun melodies to punctuate the vision of the song. A lot of that first demo is still in the final version, to keep the vibe of that first session.” Step right up:


17 Some electronica artists come out swinging and hit you over the head with their tracks.Not Andre Bratten. Based on HS, the funky instrumental single from his June 28 release Pax Americana, the Norwegian producer prefers to sneak up on you and entice you with understatedly hypnotic beats and complex interwoven melodies and arrangements. Suits me just fine. You too, hopefully. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “He deliberately produced these track in an old-fashioned, analogue fashion, restricting himself to an 808, an old sequencer, a reel-to-reel tape and a vintage mixer that once belonged to ABBA in the 1980s. Bratten bought the desk from a rockabilly musician in Norway who’d acquired it from a Swedish TV station. Describing the bubblebath boogie of Pax Americana, he says: “I was trying to make a steady dance record without being swooshy. When I started listening to techno as a kid there wasn’t this melodic stuff, so the record is more of a vibe, a feeling.” Pax be with you:


18 Looking for the next big R&B/soul vocalist poised to take over the world? Look no further. Chicago’s Johari Noelle — the former castmember of BET talent search docuseries Chasing Destiny — releases her debut EP Things You Can’t Say Out Loud on May 31. But first, please allow her to introduce herself with the sultry, supple single Show Me. That should show you what she’s got. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Derived from candid conversations with herself about the things in life that are not so easily digestible, the extended play release is an internal dialogue set to music. Eschewing the refrain du jour, Noelle trades the easy tropes of objectification, self-indulgence and gross materialism for introspection, complex emotion and the labor –– not just the romance –– endemic to the act of love.” On with the show:


19 Have you been watching The Punisher on Netflix? I haven’t. But maybe I should: Apparently they’ve already featured two songs from Schenectady, N.Y., garage-rock outfit The Abyssmals’ forthcoming full-length Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash! If the rest is as good as the fuzzy saunter of Death Row Messiah, add it to my queue. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Death Row Messiah is another garage rock stomper that evokes a Stones meets Stooges sensibility. It’s a song about the greatest story ever told about a dead man walking as seen through the grand delusions of another dead man walking. The Abyssmals go from impassioned shout vocals to saccharine harmonies as a jangle of guitars crescendos to a full on rock and roll sermon before it descends and collapses in on itself like the fucking universe will someday.”