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Indie Roundup | A Six-Pack of Tracks For Your Monday

Hot Chip, The Darcys, Dave Monks and more get the week off to a good start.

Hot Chip bed down, The Darcys cheer up, Boy Scouts get well, Mike Riley gets high and more in today’s Roundup. If you have not already watched the music documentary Satan and Adam on Netflix, I strongly suggest you do so ASAP. It’s a winner. Much like these six tracks:

1 Love is strange. Especially in the video for Hot Chip’s Spell, the latest dance-pop track from the British outfit’s just-released album A Bath Full of Ecstasy. I suspect the person who came up with was swimming in something a little more potent than E. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Directed by Simon Owens, the video for Spell takes the lyrics “Like a spell you are under | And now I feel your curse / It’s all that I wanted / A memory in reverse / Forever I’m haunted” and twists them into a weird and warped bedroom that wouldn’t be out of place in an Evil Dead film.” Though it still probably has fewer living creatures than your average hotel room:

2 Is your glass half-empty or half-full? These days, a lot of people probably go with the former. The Darcys clearly favour the latter — based on the optimistic nature of their buzzy new single Better Days and its lyric video, anyway. As for me, I embrace the third way: I try to keep my glass full all the time. After a few of those, I really don’t care how bad things are. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We knew wanted to write something that could become somewhat of a positive anthem… if anything, just for ourselves. We wanted a song that would remind us that it’s not all bad all the time, and to help us believe that better things are on the horizon. We figured… if it could navigate us through tough times, maybe it could help others too. The lyric video is an extension of that thought. Alon’s fun and creative visuals perfectly sync with the sentiments behind the song and add to the overall uplifting feeling we were chasing.” Cheers:

3 The musical act Boy Scouts contains neither boys nor scouts, far as I can tell. Instead, it’s the alter-ego of Oakland-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Vick. Even so, to her credit, she has come prepared with plenty of balloons, a couch and her trusty acoustic guitar in the video for her breezy folk-pop missive Get Well Soon, a preview of her Aug. 30 release Free Company. So she gets the merit badge anyway. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Get Well Soon reckons with the difficult epiphany that comes when you’ve worked overtime to help someone you love, only to realize they won’t meet you in the middle and help themselves. “It’s a hard thing to say. You’re hoping somebody will eventually feel better, but there’s also this weird new distance between you. You can’t do anything else, but you still really hope that they’re OK.” Sure, but really, you had me at balloons:

4 Used to be, there were only a few songs about drug dealers: Classics like Curtis Mayfield’s Pusherman and Steppenwolf’s The Pusher. Now, every second or third rap song features somebody boasting about selling drugs. Despite that ubiquity — or perhaps because of it — Ontario singer-songwriter Mike Riley’s quietly intense acoustic folk number Drug Dealer stands out from the pack. Here’s a taste to get you hooked. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Drug Dealer was born from a feeling of hopelessness in a small, shitty one-store-town where the only thriving business is the local drug trade. It’s about feeling stuck, full of envy and betrayal as you watch the only people you care about move on.” Inhale:

5 If you know more about dance music than I do — and honestly, most people probably do — you might already know Lena Leon. The critically acclaimed singer, producer, audio engineer and songwriter from New York City has apparently written songs for Tiesto, Deorro and Spencer Ludwig. Now she’s written one for herself: Walls, which is probably the most deceptively upbeat and catchy breakup number you’ll hear today. Unless you really know something about dance music that I don’t. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Walls represents both the walls of the room the couple lived in together and the walls they created between themselves. The lyrics tell a story of two people packing their bags, and moving out of the place they lived together after they’ve decided it wasn’t working out between them.” The dance of love:

6 Some artists’ solo releases sound the same as their band’s albums. Dave Monks doesn’t have that problem. The Tokyo Police Club frontman’s ambient single Bluebird — his first extracurricular offering since his 2015 EP All Signs Point To Yes — sounds nothing like his day job. Rather, it sounds like he spent the day in the studio with Eno or Nigel Godrich. Either of which seems like a fine idea. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “My two most-listened-to CDs in high school were Is This It and Kid A. Bluebird feels like it lands right in the middle of those influences, it’s personal and bluesy but also disguised and ambient. I almost overlooked it because it’s such a simple little song, but I recorded it on a whim Rob’s studio one night after we were done something else. It was just one take, playing a keyboard and singing. I think you can feel in the song that I’m playing without a metronome or anything. Just floating around between the chord changes. Hope you can float with it too.” Take flight: