It’s Friday afternoon, and you know what that means: Publicists around the world are clearing off their desks — and filling my email box — before fleeing into the night. Which also means that it’s time for another instalment of the fat-free Friday Roundup. For some reason there are a lot of Hollywood / film / TV-themed clips today. I guess that means it’s also movie night!
1 Scrappy Toronto rockers Pink Leather Jackets give the Marvel Universe a run for the money with the action-packed video for their debut single Shed, from their upcoming Good Love EP. KAPOW! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Shed is inspired by the perspective of “the other man” who is fed up with his lying three-timing side chick. With the age of online “please-screw-me” dating apps, infidelity seems to be trendy. This song is intense, exploring the disaster of a scenario that juggling relationships can lead to.” Biff!
2 You might know Kansas City singer-songwriter Josh Berwanger from Radar State, The Only Children or The Anniversary. Soon, you’ll know him for his solo album Watching a Garden Die, due June 28. In the meantime, get a taste of what you’re in for with the zombie-comedy video for the garage-pop single Bad Vibrations. If Zom-Com isn’t already copywrited, I’m claiming it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Josh says, “On this new record, I often use the word “you”, but I’m actually referring to “me”. In other words, I’m talking to myself. This song is about my social anxieties because I usually feel awkward in public. Which makes me think I sometimes give off bad vibrations when most likely I’m just spaced out, off on another planet. Or maybe a better example is how Garth feels when Wayne ditches him on set in Wayne’s World.” We’re not worthy:
3 Congolese-born, Belgium-based artist Baloji goes big with his ambitious short film Kaniama Show, a fictional satire about collusion of state and media in the form of a Soul Train-style show. Want more? Check out his just-released remix album Kaniama: The Yellow Version, an update of last year’s 137 Avenue Kaniama. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Baloji is an artist in motion, a musician, poet, film director and man of many images and ideas. Baloji means “man of science” in Swahili, but shifted during the colonial period to “man of the occult sciences and sorcery.” With influences from Outkast and LCD Soundsystem to African rumba king Tabu Ley Rochereau and salsa music legends Fania Records, he mixes hip hop culture with Congolese guitars and a melodic approach with some French chanson structure.” Love, peace and soul:
4 The continually wonderful Maddie Ross continues to deliver the goods — and flip the script — with her latest single and teen-comedy video for Liv Tyler, another track from her hotly anticipated debut album Never Have I Ever, due May 10. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Liv Tyler video sees Maddie flipping through channels of MTV/VH1/Rom-Com content from her youth, but in her fantasy, all of the clips are queer, diverse, and inclusive. Throughout Maddie’s channel surfing, she comes across an alternate version of the movie She’s All That, only it’s a reverse-makeover into a nerd, and the love interest is a woman. She also flips past an episode of MTV’s Room Raiders (only the host is gender-queer and the contestants are all bisexual), a gay Coca-Cola commercial on the beach, and an interracial lesbian Polly Pocket advertisement. Maddie even sees herself being interviewed on VH1 Behind The Music, and getting Nickelodeon-slimed.” No flipping:
5 Singer-songwriter Old Man Luedecke picks his banjo in Beverly — Hills, that is — on Easy Money, the title track and introduction to his June 14 album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Easy Money was written and recorded in the recording studio at a songwriter’s retreat at the Banff Centre. With largely improvised lyrics and based on a traditional Harry Belafonte Christmas calypso, the recording preserves the original moment of composition. “It is, on record, the very moment the idea of the new album came to be, the first song in a batch of new tunes captured at its very birth,” says Luedecke. “The song sings about the pleasures of family, complains about travel and extols the virtues of good neighbourliness and guaranteed basic income all in less than three minutes of truthful glee.” Y’all come back now, ya hear?
6 Toronto art-popster Language Arts draws upon a dark event to inspire the colourfully creative video for Top of the Top, the second single from her upcoming album Lemon/Lime. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The artist, who is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms after being hit by a drunk driver years ago, notes that the video “really captures how I feel physically. It’s a window into how I experience my brain injury. Post-concussion syndrome can really diminish my quality of life. Writing this song helped me get these unbearable feelings out of my system and into an expression.” Wow:
7 Berlin-based Danish singer-songwriter BK Andersen navigates the waves of romance with his fresh neo-soul single Sinking Canoe, accompanied by a suitably emotional clip. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “With fresh guitar lines of Tom Misch and subtle-sweet vocals similar to Jordan Rakei, Sinking Canoe solemnly describes how the love between two people has evolved to the beginning of a breakup. BK Andersen uses a ‘sinking canoe’ as a metaphor to describe the feeling of drowning and being unable to save the relationship. The song reflects purity in meaning and thought. This track reflects inspiration from contemporary artists such as Mac Ayres, Bruno Major and Daniel Caesar. Evidently, the track indulges smoothness and calmness, blended with a subtle alternative feel.” Row your boat:
8 I know this is probably going to ruin your entire weekend, but I just heard that the EP from New York alt-country outfit Greens — which was slated to be released Friday — has been pushed back a week. Try not to take it too hard. And as compensation, the band shared this video for the song Bigger. Hopefully it will tide you over. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The EP meshes alt-country with with some atonal piano swirls and synths and surprising left turns.” And how:
9 Bauhaus / Love & Rockets bassist David J goes Hollywood with his latest single and video The Auteur — featuring none other than the outspoken Rose McGowan. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This single teases David J’s forthcoming double album Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy And Allure, which is set for release on Glass Modern Records in autumn. It also features a stellar line up of musicians, including Paul Wallfisch (Swans), Larry Mullins AKA Toby Dammit (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds), Sean Eden (Luna) and Emily Jane White (backing vox).” Lights, camera, action:
10 The elaborately named Turilli / Lione RHAPSODY — a new group featuring original Rhapsody members Luca Turilli and Fabio Lione, completed by former Rhapsody members Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers and Alex Holzwarth — unveiled a “visualizer video” (whatever the hell that is) for the song Phoenix Rising, the opening cut and first single from their June 28 album Zero Gravity. Maybe they should have visualized a better band name. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vocalist Fabio Lione states, “Phoenix Rising represents the bridge between our past and our artistic future, including some elements of the traditional symphonic metal school combined with heavy guitars, the modern sounds we love nowadays and an ethnic interlude featuring the unique voice of Mongolian artist Uyanga Bold. Once recorded, Phoenix Rising got immediately stuck in our head and we found ourselves singing the chorus all day long. For all these reasons we consider it as the perfect opener for our debut album and for our upcoming live shows!” See if you get a rise out of it:
11 B.C. berzerkers The Wild! unveiled their brand new single Helluva Ride, their first new song in a couple of years. Guess they’ve been nursing one helluva hangover from their last tour. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Helluva Ride is a song I wrote about looking back on my life and all the crazy shit I’ve done over the years,” says frontman Dylan Villain. “When I really think about it, it’s a miracle I’m still here, man.” Go wild:
12 Eastern European DJ Matroda dishes up Bang, the next instalment of his RED Tape due later this year. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Taking bass house to uncharted territory, Croatian producer Matroda crafts an icy soundscape on Bang. The cutting-edge Dim Mak single features deep wobbling bass and hypnotic bars from Dances With White Girls. Set to release this summer on all DSPs and as a physical red cassette tape, The RED Tape is Matroda’s double-sided ambitious homage to house music. Across eight tracks, the artist brings innovative bass-heavy productions to the forefront, in a pure display of his unadulterated #MatrodaSound.” See red:
13 Respected indie-rockers Protomartyr reissued their 2012 debut album No Passion All Technique this week — and shared the previously unreleased and magnificently titled bonus cut Whatever Happened to the Saturn Boys? to when your appetite. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “No Passion All Technique is a sometimes-messy look at one of rock’s most magnetic bands—and lyricists—just as they were coming to life. Primal, cerebral, heartbreaking, funny—it’s an accidental tour de force that’s also become an unlikely collector’s item. “My memory is shot,” Casey says, “but I appreciate now, looking back, how raw and off-the-cuff it was. There’s tons of mistakes in it and that wasn’t because we planned on it. We still can’t really admit that it’s as good as it is. You never want to say that your first is the best, but I’m happy that the first ended up not being terrible. It gave us doorway to what we’d want to do later.” Fire up the Saturn:
14 Singer-songwriter Valencia James turns tragedy into dark-pop triumph with her debut single Flames. Talk about playing with fire. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The courageous anthem blends playful instrumentation, powerful lyrics and soaring raw vocals, emitting a potent and intimate experience for listeners. The New York born, Sydney based artist wrote the stunning single after her family home was burnt down in the infamous Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado.” Feel the heat:
15 Since we’re almost back in summerland, it seems like the perfect time for 2 Heads singer-songwriter Coleman Hell to return to active duty. So he has, with the single Shadows Of Your Love, the first in a series of cuts to be released over the summer. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Coleman Hell is a multi-platinum, Juno Award nominated singer and songwriter. His debut LP, Summerland, achieved gold status, spawned two multi-platinum singles and earned him two Juno nominations, several MMVA nominations, a Socan songwriting award, and a host of additional accolades.” It’s not bragging if its true:
16 Texas DJ Riot Ten reinforces the notion that everything is bigger the Lone Star State with his extra-large Hype Or Die: Sun City EP. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Mixing everything from dubstep to trap to bass house and beyond, Sun City is a raw and rebellious addition to Riot Ten’s Hype Or Die series. Opening with mariachi-tinged heater Los Pinches, the Texas-based producer wastes no time turning out high octane material. Across six tracks he invites collaborators (Throwdown, Stoutty, Pierce, Basstrick, Foreign Suspects) and rappers (Bok Nero, Atarii, Hashu) to enhance the rail-breaking experience, carrying through on tracks like the relentless, heavy-metal influenced Ain’t Scared and the hip-hop tinged ShutYaMouth. Rounding out the release with a touch of tranquility, Riot Ten fades into the sunset on slow-burning outro Sun City.” Go big or go home:
17 Montreal producer, musician and vocalist MH Delorme — a.k.a. Foxtrott — follows up her Meditations I-II-III release with an eclectic remix EP of the album’s standout singles (fittingly titled Meditations I-II-III Remixed) on May 31. First up: Fellow Montrealer Ouri’s upscale version of Wait. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This remix is a hyperactive and obsessive version of the original … I didn’t keep the ternary feel in the end because it would have been too frenetic for this tempo. (This remix) does not provide intimacy, it’s wide, slightly futuristic and never stopping.” Never stop never stopping: