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Indie Roundup | Nine Tracks To Improve Your Thursday

Andrew Combs, Dizzy, Beastwars, Hurricane Party and other make your day.

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Andrew Combs sees stars, Dizzy get twisted, Beastwars storm Mars, Hurricane Party live up to their name and more in today’s Roundup. Do you wanna go faster? I can’t hear you!


1 There aren’t many videos that are literal eye-openers — but the clip for California-style folk-pop singer-songwriter Andrew Combs’ breezy single Stars of Longing definitely lives up to the bill. Though it’s also kind of an eye-closer too, when you get down to it. See for yourself. Then get a load of his album Ideal Man — which also features covers of tunes by everyone from Lucinda Williams and Loudon Wainwright to The Strokes and Radiohead — when it drops in September. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “In the past, I’ve tended to pursue a studio sound that was really polished and clean, but I wanted to do something different this time, and I knew that working with Sam Cohen would lead to more of a loose, psychedelic, spaced-out vibe. We did everything live in the studio, even my vocals, and there’s a sense of immediacy and discovery in those early takes that you can’t recreate.” Look to the stars:


2 Everything comes back eventually. Someday, I am convinced, even The Twist will return to prominence. And for a brief moment, I believed today was that day, based on the title of Juno-winning Oshawa indie-pop outfit Dizzy’s single and video. However, their Twist is no chugging novelty number designed for hip-swivelling. Rather, it’s a gorgeously wistful and nostalgic ode to lost love. So I’m not disappointed. Nor should you be. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vocalist Katie Munshaw says, “I wrote the first bit of Twist in a hotel shower in Amarillo, Texas last fall. It’s about the hold someone can have over you even after they’ve left your life. We shot the video in a theatre in Toronto with a bunch of lovely humans. I think it captures the flow of the song. It weaves through scenes nostalgically and startled me a bit to see my memories brought back to life through wooden set designs. Shooting it completely brought me out of my comfort zone.” Come on, baby:


3 To the uninformed, Beastwars might sound like the title of a video game, a graphic novel or a very strange reality show. To those in the know, it’s the handle of a fittingly animalistic metal crew who are about to drop their fourth album — titled IV, of course — next week. Get into the ring with their latest preview track Storms of Mars, a string-sweetened behemoth set to a black-and-white video (complete with lyrics) filmed live in the studio. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “So heavy and heavily admired around the world, New Zealand’s legendary metallers are back this June with a new lease of life – quite literally – following vocalist Matt Hyde’s recovery from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. After undergoing six months of treatment in 2016 he is now in remission.” To the victor go the spoils:


4 Batten down the hatches and board up the windows: Florida-based duo Hurricane Party — who refer to their intriguingly entertaining cocktail of funky hip-hop-and breezy soft-rock as yacht rap — are releasing their debut album Juice on July 5. But not before they test the waters with their signature song Hurricane Party!!! — and a deliberately glitchy video to match. All aboard. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Nothing of any use. Hey, what else would you expect from Florida?


5 Yacht rap isn’t the only novel musical genre on display today. Meet Greek outfit Mechanimal, who refer to their gothy, industrial-tinged electro-rock and post-punk stylings as drone’n’roll. Nice one. Though they could also call it something perfectly suited for artsy videos like this clip for their track Red Mirror, which comes from their new EP White Flag Single. Douse the lights and crank the volume. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Red Mirror is a hymn to reconstruction, rebirth, and all that comes hand in hand with that, destruction, erasing and rebuilding. It’s about decline, but not necessarily with a negative outcome.” Well, that’s unexpectedly optimistic:


6 Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s San Francisco singer-songwriter Sarah Bethe Nelson, flying around the cosmos in the suitably spacey video for her dreamy indie-pop strummer Weird Glow — which also happens to be the title track from the album she’s releasing this Friday. That’s not so weird. But it is enjoyably mellow. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video for Weird Glow, directed by Justin D. Frahm, was inspired by low-fi superhero shows of the 80s and early 90s. It features Nelson flying coolly through a purple universe, singing along to her driving music for intergalactic travel. Her journey is aimless and steady with no particular destination, like driving down a long desert road, horizon line and sky blending in the distance.” Up, up and away:


7 Some of us have experienced love at first sight. Nearly all of us have experienced deja vu. Put the two together and you’ve got the sci-fi concept behind the clever video for Vancouver band Meltt’s latest atmospheric pop-rock swoonfest Love Again. Chances are you’ll fall for it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The simplified message of the video is that the love in a partnership will fade overtime. We start to question who we have chosen to be with, and the “spark” between couples is lost. So there is an experimental drug trial to revive that spark and remember what made us fall in love in the first place, i.e. begin to love our partner again. But at the very end of the video, you’ll notice the protagonist has gone through the trial 3 or 4 times, so the question is that, no matter what, does love always fade? Can love be forever?” No, but it can feel like forever. Take that how you will:


8 If you were a fan of Brooklyn indie-rockers Stringer, you might have thought you’d seen the last of them — and understandably so, since singer-guitarist Mark Fletcher tragically died earlier this year. But the surviving members have come together to complete some unfinished business: A video for the song Through the Walls that Fletcher began filming before his passing. We should all have friends that dedicated. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Mark Fletcher, our brother and bandmate passed on Feb. 19th, 2019. For six years we made music. We lived our lives together with a bond that can only be forged by the most intense and ecstatic experiences, we spoke in our own language. Mark and filmmaker Chris Elia made this video featuring a collection of strangers and his best friends singing his words. We think this is fitting because Mark made friends so easily and it didn’t take long for a stranger to become a best friend.” Meet some of them:


9 It is easy to feel dazed and confused in this world. It is harder — but ultimately more satisfying — to turn that state into a sensual electro-groove track like Montreal singer-songwriter and producer Saens has with his latest single, which just happens to be titled (yes) Dazed. Ease the seat back and take it in. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’m always torn between the need to do right by the people I love, and the darkness that resides deep within. Love, sexuality, sensuality, and vulnerability are the leading elements for this new chapter of my artistic journey … Combined with the beat’s sweet groove and positive energy, Dazed is an emotional yet provocative tune.” No confusion there: