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Indie Roundup | 12 New Tuesday Tunes

Ace, Wintersleep, Dad Brains, French Vanilla and more supply today's goodness.

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Ace Frehley gets animated, Wintersleep wake up, French Vanilla power up, Dad Brains put the pa in party and more in today’s Roundup. When did Tuesday get so busy? Oh, right — after a U.S. holiday Monday. Duh.


1 In all the hype and hoopla over the KISS farewell tour, everybody has kind of forgotten about Ace Frehley. So he’s back to reclaim a bit of the spotlight with his entertaining animated video for Mission to Mars, a track from his last album. Grab your spacebear and buckle up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The music video is entirely animated by artist Christopher Fequiere, a first for Frehley. Chock full of KISS fandom Easter eggs, this video is the second music video that we’ve seen from the Spaceman LP.” Initiate launch sequence:


2 You’ve got to hand it to Wintersleep: The Canadian folk-rockers use every part of the album. Before their latest disc In the Land Of came out in March, they released a multitude of singles and videos. But if you thought they were finished, you clearly don’t know them very well. Just in time for summer, they’re back with the impressively destructive animated video for the suitably hazy and smouldering (not to mention timely) track Forest Fire. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The director, Christopher Mills, explained the video: “We wanted Forest Fire to be a stage play on a grand scale, in which Mother Nature conquers over all. This was a fun video to make. Members of the band sent video performances over iPhones – I mapped and built these into ‘puppet faces’ on the houses, with the aim of giving each house its own personality, as our ‘hero house’ gently serenades his neighbor, soothing her with love throughout a series of catastrophic events.” Light it up:


3 As an ice cream flavour, French Vanilla might be bland — but as an L.A. band, they’re anything but. Don’t believe me? Check out the art-pop quartet’s exuberant girl-group single Lost Power, a preview of their June 7 album How Am I Not Myself?, and tell me different. And while you’re at it, tell me it doesn’t remind you just a bit of B-52’s. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Lost Power is a rumbling, danceable rumination on losing self-identity . The video, directed by Ryan Sluggett, presents an animated collage of drawings, with a staged performance by the band layered throughout. Lost Power is about singer Sally Spitz’s experience feeling comfortable in a relationship that was heteronormative and visible, which began to engender a feeling of lost self. Sluggett uses the visual motif of lights going out to symbolize the space that darkness creates for private expressions of desire and vulnerability.” Power up:


4 It’s never too soon to celebrate Father’s Day — not if you’re Dad Brains, at least. The California punk-rock troublemakers pay tribute to pa with their single and party-hearty video Father’s Day, the leadoff track from their Dadditude EP due June 14. Looks like your shopping is done. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Frontman Pat Pedraza says, “I’ve never heard of a Father’s Day song in my life, so I was like, hey, we might actually do something original???? Hahahaha. As most of us know, it’s kinda challenging to be original nowadays. I couldn’t ask for anything more with this video and the fun we had shooting it. Families, friends, and kids getting together, kids playing instruments, getting food and water balloons launched at us, and a 20-year-old with a camera filming it…This was the highlight of my musical career so far!!!!” Save some cake for me:


5 Some people take sports and fitness way too seriously. Then there’s Mauno. The Halifax duo make their position enjoyably clear in the video for their endearing indie-pop track Really Really, the opener from their forthcoming full-length Really Well. No, really. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Written by the group’s Eliza Niemi before she moved to Germany two summers ago, Really Really is about the fear of losing touch with friends and family who define your identity, and the realization that geographical distance doesn’t have to result in that. The song explores exhaustion and perseverance when faced with a seemingly endless and inconsequential task. Mauno’s very real and intensive exercise serves as a fitting way to represent this – placing the band in an arduous video shoot that pushed them to their physical limit. The accompanying visuals (directed by Max Taeuschel) ultimately posits that sometimes, when engaging in an absurd and terrible cycle, it’s best to simply stop.” Well, really:


6 You might expect a female-led band called Temptress to be seductive and yielding. But if you’re talking about this up-and-coming Dallas outfit, you’d be dead wrong. This Temptress kick ass and take names on their balls-out barnburner Hot Rails, a taste of their self-titled June 7 EP. Hold on for dear life. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Some words from lead guitarist and vocalist Kelsey Wilson on the new Temptress music: “I’m excited, we all are, to be taking the reins on this new project. Our material and lyrics are going to show the true side our nature: intense, sexy, fun-loving rock n roll. We put a lot of meaning and integrity into this new album, which I believe will shine through once it’s all said and done.” Ride the rails:


7 When you hear the title Ice Squinchies (Waiting for You), what does the music that pops into your head sound like? Well, unless it’s an infectiously low-rolling African groove topped with alien-like female vocals, decorated with synthesizers and scratched with violins, you’re way off. But South Africa’s Spaza will set you right with the song from their self-titled June 21 release. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “With a propulsive but understated bass and percussion groove underneath her, vocalist and trombonist Siya Makuzeni whips out her FX pedal, transmuting a mystical lyric about finding self, a higher force or perhaps a loved one into a textured, magical seance.” Ice, ice, baby:


8 It’s been a good month for Kalle Mattson. First, the singer-songwriter was honoured with two Northern Ontario Music + Film Awards: Outstanding Songwriter for Astronaut and Outstanding Video for Kids On The Run. Now, he’s returning the favour by honouring us with the animated lyric video for his gently swirling, memorable folk-pop thumper Ten Years Time. It’s worth yours. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The future is terrifying and the past never leaves you. This song is my first step in my return to my roots both sonically and lyrically. It was inspired by the infamous Sylvia Plath fig tree passage, about feeling stuck in between major periods of your life, feeling paralyzed by choice. Could we do it all again?” Sure we can:


9 Is Tuesday a big night in the dance clubs? Something tells me no. But just in case I’m wrong, here’s a new track to request: U.K. DJ Curbi’s colourfully eccentric number Flip It. Just don’t blame me if you have a craving for pancakes afterward. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Cheeky wordplay, rumbling bass and classic rave sounds come together on Curbi’s electro house bomb Flip It.” Over and out:


10 Sometimes you can have it both ways. Case in point: Winnipeg singer-songwriter Liam Duncan’s superb nugget of pop-rock romance Can’t Stop Calling You Baby, a peek at his June 21 album If I Don’t Feel Better. I’ll let him take it from here. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s about the song. It’s about the words. It’s about the feeling. You gotta chase that feeling. I’m obsessed with crafting songs, writing lyrics, being honest, and making music that punches you in the gut. Old habits die hard. When a relationship ends, you can’t call your partner ‘babe’ anymore. In fact, you can’t really call them at all. When you’re used to talking to someone every day, calling them babe, and sharing all your secrets, it’s pretty hard to just turn that off. This song is about someone who can’t stop calling their ex, and also can’t stop accidentally calling them ‘baby.’ ” Say hello baby:


11 You know what they say about all work and no play. But what will they say about No Work, the latest track from Torontonians The Black Fever? Well, if they say it’s a jangly post-punk pop strummer with a tenderly plaintive vocal — and the second single from their June 14 EP Unarticulated Wants — they wouldn’t be far off. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Freedom without money is of no use. Given the plight that many people are facing in the modern economy, the title No Work just came to us, and the lyrics flowed from there. It seemed appropriate to talk about given how tough it is – particularly for younger people or newer graduates from university or college – to find and keep a good job.” Nice work:


12 Despite constant evidence to the contrary, every now and then I am deluded enough to think that I’ve heard everything. Which is exactly the moment when somebody like Washington singer-songwriter John Van Deusen shows up with a song like Whatever Makes You Mine, a cathartically surging and generally magnificent emo-punk outburst inspired by Bigfoot. And since now I’ve really heard everything, it’s your turn. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Alone at a lodge in the Cascade Mountains, right at the heart of Bigfoot territory, I kept feeling like some big hairy creature was watching me sleep. I was frightened by the eerie creaks and noises while my mind obsessed over dark Sasquatch legends. I wrote Whatever Makes You Mine in the dead of night as a response to my loneliness and fear; my desire to be with someone (anyone), was overwhelming.” Go big: