Home Hear Indie Roundup | 14 Tracks To Maximize Your Midweek

Indie Roundup | 14 Tracks To Maximize Your Midweek

Wind down Wednesday with cuts from Stef Chura, the Millers and many more.

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Ada Lea picnics, Stef Chura cheerleads, Hælos pærty, Jesse Merineau knows, Buddy & Julie Miller hear double and more in today’s Roundup. Screw it, let’s do it to it:


1 Anyone for tea? How about tea outside at night? How about tea outside at a late-night with a woman wearing a fur coat? Still up for it? Then you’re ready to watch the video for Mercury, a spellbinding shot of unsettling dark electro-rock intensity, obsession and compulsion from Montreal’s Ada Lea (a.k.a. visual artist and musician Alexandrea Levy) and her July 19 release What We Say in Private. Does that apply at late-night picnics? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:What We Say in Private began with a need to document the ending of an important romantic relationship. Following a tormented period of staying up all night (sometimes days at a time), frantically painting or writing songs as a means of coping, she journaled for 180 days in the hope of finding herself again.” Guess it worked:


2 Far as I know, Detroit rocker Stef Chura is not a cheerleader: She just plays one in the video for the chunky outburst Scream, a preview of her album Midnight, which fittingly arrives midnight Thursday (or, in other words, Friday). Everybody hit the gym! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Behind its punchy veneer, it’s a track that Stef describes as being “partly about the loneliness of social media. How being popular online doesn’t equate to feeling whole in your real life, projecting a persona of an ideal ‘you’ online.” Say it loud:


3 Every time London-based electro quartet Hælos put out a single, I have to go hunting around my keyboard for the æ key. But I am willing to forgive them as long as they keep putting out funky jams like End of the World Party. The cut from their latest album Any Random Kindness is anchored by a classic James Brown sample updated with a plethorta of synths — blurry ones, bleeping one, swoopings ones, etc. — and a suitably celebratory vibe. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:End of World Party is a satirical look at disregarding the apocalyptic aspects of humanity and focusing on the now.” The pærty stærts now:


4 I am obviously old and cynical. Singer-songwriter Jesse Merineau clearly is the exact opposite. Perhaps this means that if the Sault Ste. Marie musician and I were ever in contact, we would implode like matter meeting anti-matter. Oh well. At least you’d still have his sweetly romantic indie-pop single She Knows to enjoy in the ensuing mayhem. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Being young, stupid, and head-over-heels for a beautiful girl is what sparked my new single, She Knows. All it took was putting pen to paper with the thought of her on my mind. She Knows is about good times and good vibes. If you see a beautiful person, don’t be afraid to say what’s up!” Seriously? ‘What’s up?’ That’s your line? You gotta up your game, son:


5 I long ago came to understand that every single city, town, village and hamlet in this world has at least one great punk band. Undoubtedly a city like San Francisco has plenty more than one. But just as undoubtedly, Reunions belong on that list. Give their anthemic tune Light Left On a shot and see if you agree. If you do, mark June 21 on your calendar: It’s the release date for their album Winter Heart, Summer Skin. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Written and recorded over the course of almost two years, Reunions refined that careful and dynamic blend of emo, melodic punk, and American rock across these 10 tracks. And although their influences are still clearly present, their approach to songwriting is delightfully straightforward, as if those years in the studio only strengthened their confidence in themselves and their songwriting.” See the light:


6 Used to be that bands put out albums, then release singles. Then they started putting out advance singles. Now Swedish proggers Night Flight Orchestra are taking it to the next level by releasing a teaser track to their upcoming song Satellite — which will presumably appear on their next album, whenever they choose to finish it. Meanwhile, enjoy all 48 seconds of their ’80s-influenced commercial. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The band is currently working on the as of yet untitled album at Nordic Sound Labs using the same drum kit that was used during the recordings of ABBA’s 1980 mega album Super Trouper!” Um, that’s good, right?


7 Bloodshed! Brutality! Battle axes! You find them all and more in the blood-red Viking-invasion video for Untamed, the latest thunderboomer from Swedish riff kings Grand Magus and their album Wolf God. Light the torch and vanquish your enemies! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Headbangers! We are proud to give you the video for Untamed. This feral and epic visualisation of our song was created by our good friend and directorial wizard Mr. Martin Björnlund. We hope you’ll enjoy it, best wishes from the north, Stay Heavy!!!” I would, but after all, it’s swimsuit season:


8 Sure, Grand Magus are Untamed. But death-metal vets Memoriam are Undefeated. Which of them would win in a fight? Well, they’re a bunch of musicians, so I suspect it would quickly devolve into one big sissy-boy slap fight. Anyway, enjoy their new lyric video for their latest missive of speed-freak brutality from their June 21 album Requiem For Mankind. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This track is a fist pumping anthem. It is a statement of strength and empowerment. We all go through life and experience hardship and pain, but it is how you come through it that counts. It’s a song that reflects how we feel about what we have achieved in our lives…I think that is something that everyone can relate to. The lyrics are about being true to yourself and through adversity retaining integrity and staying strong. Remaining undefeated.” You metal guys sure ask a lot of fans:


9+10 What’s better than one preview of Buddy and Julie Miller’s long-awaited new album Breakdown on 20th Ave. South? Two previews. And with that, I bring you the twinkling heartsqueezer Til The Stardust Comes Apart and the growling garage-rocker You Make My Heartbeat Too Fast (Live). Play them both until somebody makes you stop. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Both Buddy & Julie admit that Breakdown on 20th Ave. South took longer than expected. After initially starting work following the release of Written in Chalk in 2009, Julie was waylaid by health issues she continues to battle. With time on his schedule, Buddy became more in-demand than ever as a collaborator for Robert Plant & Alison Krauss during their Raising Sand tour and producing standout albums by Plant, Solomon Burke, Richard Thompson, Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, The War & Treaty and more.” Double up:


11 Any band with the word deaf in its handle is clearly a kindred spirit to the old Tinnitist. Especially when it’s one that rocks like Greek desert-rockers Deaf Radio do on their hard-rolling groover Astypalea. Lend them your ears. Then lend me yours. No, really. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Written on the rooftops of old churches in Astypalea, a secluded Greek island in the Dodecanese, lyrically it focuses on the connections and experiences between each band member, with marauding and majestic guitars reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age and Rise Against.” Deaf becomes them:


12 I have heard of a black mass. But what in the hell is a Blanck Mass? Well, it’s the solo electronic project of Scottish musician Benjamin John Power. He’s got a new album called Animated Violence Mind coming out Aug. 16 — but you can size him up with the epic preview track House Vs. House, a fusion of heavy percussion, twitchy electronics and plaintive old-school vocals. It’s an intriguing track … sorry, tranck. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “These eight tracks are the diary of a year of work steeped in honing craft, self-discovery, and grief – the latter of which reared its head at the final hurdle of producing this record and created a whole separate narrative: grief, both for what Power has lost personally, but also in a global sense, for what we as a species have lost and handed over to our blood-sucking counterpart, consumerism, only to be ravaged by it.” I wouldn’t eat that apple:


13 New Jersey Americana singer-songwriter Jonah Tolchin has friends in high places. His upcoming album Fires For the Cold — out Sept. 13 — includes cameos from Sara Watkins, Jackson Browne, Rickie Lee Jones and Fred Tackett. The former brings her fiddle and voices to his rustic and sincere first single Honeysuckle. It’ll warm your cockles. SAYS THE RELEASE:Fires for the Cold is a reflection of the conflicts that engulfed Tolchin over the last few years. “Every record I make is like a record in time,” Tolchin explains. “I found that for myself, and for this record, it has been important to delve into the depths of my emotions and confront them head on. The album became a healing process.” Enjoy the fire:


14 We all have goals. Some of us want to be rich. Some of want to be famous. Everybody wants to be happy. And what about Melbourne indie-rockers Possible Humans? Well, according the mind-melting psychedelia of this preview from their Aug. 2 album Everybody Split, their chief goal in life is Aspiring to Be a Bloke. That seems doable. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Steve Hewitt describes it as “the whimpering man in the strong dog and vice versa… sarcasm and paradox at the roots of depression.” Now I have a goal: To try and figure out what the hell he’s talking about. You give it a shot: