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Indie Roundup (Friday Dump Edition) | 16 Songs To Finish Off Your Week

Cœur de Pirate, Frankiie, Combichrist and plenty more help close out Friday.

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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 full-sized Friday Roundup. Punch it!


1 Sometimes, Cœur de Pirate — the musical alter-ego of Beatrice Martin — can come off as someone who takes herself very seriously. Fortunately, this is not one of those times. The singer-songwriter’s video for the dancehall-infused single Ne m’appelle pas is a playful romp full of kooky costumes, cartoon graphics, colourful antics. All of which is made all the weirder by the fact it’s a breakup song. Go figure. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Ne m’appelle pas is about breaking free. Sung in a flippant, detached tone, the song tells the story of a destructive and doomed relationship. The lyrics and music express a feeling of emancipation. Bold melodies and exuberant arrangements support the confident voice of Béatrice Martin, who wrote, composed, and coproduced the song with Ruffsound. A departure from the artist’s more sober and sensitive work, the track shows a new side of Béatrice’s versatile sound.” Avast:


2 Vancouver indie-rockers Frankiie (yes, with two iis) cross the line between dreams and nightmares with the video for their new number Dream Reader. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Dream Reader (was) written around a series of dreams I’d had while the band was feeling directionless. I was struggling to maintain my belief in the importance of creating music and our ambitions as a group. These dreams of drowning, stranded horses, and flying janky planes kept coming. I looked a few up in a dream dictionary and found that many of them were about new beginnings, emotional rebirth.” The dream is aliive:


3 Do you like apples? How about Good Will Hunting? Then you’ll probably appreciate Minor Poet’s video homage to the classic Matt Damon movie, which the Virginia duo filmed to go with their stately new pop cut Museum District. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Minor Poet’s Andrew Carter and Sho Kellam co-directed the Museum District video and had this to say, “Good News Hunting tells the story of a songwriter and janitor who neglects finishing his new album, instead spending his days drinking in bars with his buddies and getting into fights in the Museum District of Richmond, VA. But after the advice and counseling of both his therapist and his best friend, he finds the courage to finish his new EP, The Good News.” How about them apples?


4 Seattle folk-pop singer-songwriter Fences, the not-too-secret identity of face-tattooed Christopher Mansfield, is truly a man on A Mission with his searing slow-burner single from his upcoming Failure Sculptures album — and trying to outrun evil in the accompanying surreal video. Good luck with that. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Mansfield says, “In 1959 Jack Kerouac appeared on The Steve Allen Show. In the interview he said it took him 3 weeks to write On The Road but was on the road for 7 years. Nearly 60 years later this hit me. Life is long and art is short. It gave me a sense of relief in the fact it takes me some time to release new music. I can’t write what I haven’t seen with my own eyes. Most days I would trade this obsession with normalcy and happiness but paint can be toxic and paintings so beautiful. A Mission is the first song to be released off Failure Sculptures. The video was made by my dear friend Cheyenne Randall. I am scared half to death. I love you all so much.” Make up your mind, pal:


5 Andy LaPlegua is his own man. And his own band. The singer, songwriter and sole permanent member of Atlanta industrial-metal outfit Combichrist is bringing the heat again with his June 7 album One Fire — and fanning the flames with the blisteringly heavy preview Understand. Understand? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Cold industrial and heavy riffs seal a sinister alliance, driven by pounding rhythms, forged in 15 years of successful career. Because One Fire is retrospect and forecast in one, traditional, but not looking back. Formed of aggressive music and unchained live shows around the full globe, Combichrist return to their roots and celebrate the sound that made them great. Provided with a cover that expresses pure chaos crafted by Deka Sepdian (known by the fashion line Deathrod by singer Andy LaPlegua) One Fire is an album that enables you to channel and come over your anger and frustration.” Set it off:


6 Beyonce-like Chicago singer-songwriter Johari Noelle gets the Invisible Man treatment in the artsy black-and-white video for her soulfully husky and earthy offering Too Much, the second preview of her thought-provoking May 31 EP Things You Can’t Say Out Loud. See if you think Too Much is not enough or just right. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “There are times in life where our patience is tried and our souls are damaged by our negative encounters with others,” says Noelle. “We often run from what has damaged us. We stand guarded, sometimes paralyzed from not moving on. We hide from it hoping that it will heal us. This is a song to embrace all stages of the healing process.” That’s a wrap:


7 Before you ask, Halifax indie-rockers The Drug Rugs take their name from a hippie hoodie. And on their zippy, swirling new surf-pop nugget Sandbar, the female-fronted outfit borrow a lick from Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. Maybe they should have called it Born to Rug? Then again, probably not. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The shimmery pop single spins a tale of a protagonist at her wits-end with an unsympathetic and inept lover. One of the band’s earliest songs, Sandbar took on a new surf-pop life through their work with producer Adam Warren, epitomizing their newfound sound and aptly serving as their forthcoming EP’s first calling-card.” Last one in is a rotten egg:


8 Bass mistress and Australian DJ Godlands returns with the funky freakfest Back Now, the first single and video from her forthcoming 4 U Only EP. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Proving why she’s tipped as one of Australia’s hottest exports in bass music, the Adelaide producer levels up with rolling snares, wobbling bass, and all around hype production on her Dim Mak single.” Get back:


9 You know how it is with chips: You can’t stop at just one. Case in point: Last month, Hot Chip unleashed the comedic and cinematic video for the song Hungry Child, from the June 21 album A Bath Full of Ecstasy. But they didn’t stop there. They’ve taken the cut to a new place with an epic 10-minute remix from Paul Woolford Sunrise. Don’t be a pickle-dick. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Wooly was the first person we asked to remix Hungry Child. He is one of the most experienced DJs/producers in the business, responsible for so many great club moments – from Erotic Discourse to Hang Up Your Hang Ups and many more under his Special Request alias. His remix is a superbly minimalist take on the song.” The water’s fine:


10 What’s the difference between These Eyes and Those Eyes? Glad you asked. These Eyes is a piano-heavy CanCon classic from Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman and the Guess Who. Those Eyes is a piano-heavy CanCon newbie from Toronto collective New West, the first taste of the June 7 debut EP Call Me When You Hear This. That should sort out any confusion. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “As the opening track on the EP, Those Eyes portrays the beginning of a relationship between two people in the midst of what is often referred to as the honeymoon phase. Each verse describes the intimate moments between two lovers ultimately suggesting that these small collected memories are often what keep people together even when they are physically separated. Two people once longing are now falling into a newly found love, an intense communion of personalities and emotions.” The eyes have it:


11 As if Stranger Things hasn’t already had enough impact on the world, it’s now the inspiration behind singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson’s upcoming album Stranger Songs. And the inspiration behind the sweet ’80s synth-pop vibe of her track Missing You (not to be confused with the John Waite classic). SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wanted to create something through a different lens,” she says. So the singer transformed her obsession with the throwback sci-fi/horror drama Stranger Things into Stranger Songs, a mellifluous reflection on the human condition—that also happens to be filled with Easter eggs. Yet the album remains universal, most of it sweetly tapping into romance as nostalgia, beginning with its first single, the flirty, palpitating Missing You. “There’s something about Stranger Things that’s really comforting. It reminds me of my childhood,” she says. “It’s the best kind of escapism.” Don’t be a stranger:


12 Brooks Paschal must be partial to surprises. Or at least used to them. After all, it’s the name the former Sullivan singer-guitarist has given to his new solo project. And it’s certainly the best word to describe the inspiration for his narrative tale El Salvador, a wiry, melodic firecracker from his May 31 Natural Disasters album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooks says, “The back story for El Salvador was too damn crazy to actually write about specifically. I was co-writing an album in Guatemala with my friend Brian Howe. He’s a bit of a prankster, and a night out on the town turned into me being held in an underground bunker that housed an illegal prostitution ring in Central America. I still have no idea how i survived that night. When I finally sat down to write the tune I wanted to paint the picture of the landscape without giving away the details. There is this Spanish James Bond shit that happens in my head when I hear the song. The ultimate goal of the song was to have some fun and to reflect on a crazy night that could never be explained with words alone.” Have a nice trip:


13 London psych-popsters Imperial Daze know what you are. And they’re not afraid to tell the world on their jangling, sharply hooked deep-groover People Are Animals, an introduction to their June 7 EP Surfaces Sensibles. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:People Are Animals (is) another great example of their unique psych-pop sound, is a commentary about humans in the digital age. The song, they explain, “hints at the glaring contradiction that, although we are ever more digitally connected, these digital connections can ultimately be incredibly superficial and render us alien to those around us. This is a point often made, but as animals, we are less and less present with our kind. The concepts of digital immediacy, AI, pornography and the potential mental malaise and degradation of the mind due to technological addiction come in to play here.” No wonder they’re dazed:


14 Stanfields frontman Jon Landry has a new gig: He’s started up his own Atlantic Canada-centric label called Ragged Head Records. To mark the occasion — and give you a taste of what you’re in for — he’s sharing the hard-hitting Shake, a track from Nova Scotia’s The Royal Volts, the label’s first act. Get on your bikes and ride. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Powered by the monstrous back beat of Quenny Steven’s drums, the guttural thud of bassist Brady Leights and textured by the howling interplay of lead guitarist Wesley Thomas and singer/guitarist Jordan Pirri, The Royal Volts’ sound can be described as classic rock grandstanding with a healthy dose of modern histrionics.” Reimburse the universe:


15 Last time I had a bad chest cold I ended up taking way too much cough syrup and getting all woozy. I was reminded of that listening to Toronto singer-songwriter Olive B’s new cut Playmate, which melds a syrupy R&B groove and smeared sonics to Olive’s angelic vocals and lyrics of love gone wrong. It’s a glimpse of her With or Without You album out May 29. I’m voting With. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song was inspired by a relationship I was in, where I felt fully committed to this person, and eventually, it became one-sided. He didn’t seem to care about me, but he put more effort in when I acted the way I thought he wanted me to. The song is split between a vulnerable submissive side and one where I felt powerful and comfortable with being myself. At first, writing this track was emotional, but the more I started writing the more empowered I felt.” Just what the doctor ordered:


16 “Have you burned every thought of me?” asks East Coast singer-songwriter Kim Harris on her lustrous, burnished new track Heirloom. I really don’t know how to answer that. Maybe give it a spin and see if you come up with anything. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song is an acceptance of the idea that after massive upheavals, some of us have no choice but find a way to continue to live in the destruction, mining ourselves for energy we have carried over lifetimes to keep us alive and moving forward,” says Harris. “Fireweed flourishes in this destruction. Its growth requires a state of recovery. There is no better flower for me to wear on my corsage rolling up to life.” Light the darkness: