Home Hear Indie Roundup | 14 Tracks That Make Your Tuesday Better

Indie Roundup | 14 Tracks That Make Your Tuesday Better

Ali Barter, Dan Moxon, Ada Lea, Leaf Rapids and more share their wares.

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Ali Barter does her best, Dan Moxon gets some retail therapy, Leaf Rapids enjoy the ride, Ada Lea makes sadness seem happy and more in today’s Roundup. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin:


1 The Australian indie-rock assault continues courtesy of singer-guitarist Ali Barter, who brings the crunchy riffs, the sugary melodies and the big choruses with her latest single Backseat — and even plays it for laughs with her charming video for the track. If this number is anything to go by, her Oct. 18 album Hello, I’m Doing My Best should be a winner — and prove she takes a backseat to no one. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ali describes the treatment as being about “two awkward people that get together one night at a bar. A girl admires a boy from afar but when she meets him they are so clumsy and over eager that they end up injuring each other during a late night jam session. It’s just like love really: a mess.” But at least she knows the Heimlich:


2 As anyone who’s ever gone to IKEA with their spouse knows, it can be a true test of your relationship. And now, thanks to soulful singer-songwriter Dan Moxon, it’s also the setting for his new single Where You Gonna Sleep Tonight (which seems like it should have a question mark at the end of it, but hey, I’m not the punctuation police here). Just pick me up some of those meatballs while you’re there, OK? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “If you’re conflicted on whether to confront all the issues in your relationship, or break up and move on, this one’s for you. This is really just a song about the push and pull of modern relationships. Not wanting to call it quits but struggling with the day to day distractions, busy lives and the trust between partners.” Don’t forget the meatballs:


3 Leaf Rapids cruise the streets of their (and my) Winnipeg hometown — along with detours into Germany and Holland — in the road-trip video for Citizen Alien, the title track from their most recent album. That’s bike sure gets around. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “About the song, Keri Latimer says: “In 1942, just weeks before my grandmother was about to receive her certificate in pattern design she was declared an enemy alien of Canada, along with around 22,000 other people of Japanese descent. Her family was evicted from their home which was built by my great grandfather on the berry farm that they owned in Mission, BC. They were told they could pack 100 lbs each, and were loaded onto a freight train to who knows where. Many parents told their children they were going on a vacation to ease their fears. They landed in Alberta where they were greeted by hard labour in the sugar beet fields and an uninsulated cow shed to house their family of 5 throughout the fierce Canadian winters. They were paid next to nothing, and not until 1949 were Japanese Canadians granted freedom of movement. Their farms, businesses, fishing boats and any other belongings were never returned. My great grandparents did bury some heirlooms under a big rock with the hope of one day retrieving them, but learned that the new landowners used explosives to remove the rock. I picture shocked faces and pieces of treasure flying through the air.” Hitch a ride:


4 What makes you happy? If the list includes glammy space-rock and videos of people dancing barefoot in the sand, good news: Ada Lea’s latest single what makes me sad (she’s not big on capital letters) is guaranteed to put a dreamy smile on your mug. Which might seem counterintuitive based on the song title, but hey, that’s how art works sometimes. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “To Alexandra Levy – who is also a painter – music and visual art are different vessels for communicating similar ideas. “It’s a world that I can build around me and sit inside,” she says. Through all her art, Levy explores the concept of womanhood as it feels and looks to her, as well as love and how it transforms over time. She doesn’t shy away from exploring uncomfortable and painful emotions, either. With the brightness of love, strength, and hope contrasted with the darkness of loss, suffering, isolation, and abandonment, the Ada Lea album what we say in private is a varied and vivid record that constantly seems to shift in the light, bringing together all the intricate influences she’s collected over the years.” Get happy:


5 Chicago rapper Matt Muse gets his hair done — and says the N-word more times than I care to count — in his video for Ain’t No, the first glimpse of his Aug. 9 album Love & Nappyness. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The second installation in his Nappy project series, Love & Nappyness is a collection of ‘love’ songs inspired by five types of love discussed in Greek philosophy and biblical text. Intended to show the different ways self-love manifests as one grows and matures, Ain’t No features braggadocio cockiness as a representation of self-love in a direct callback to Nappy Talk.” Hair today, gone tomorrow:


6 French prog-metal outfit Far Away have already graced these pages with a couple of their videos — but now the self-described “Earth-Metal” band deliver the goods live with this performance of the cut Nomads from their most recent album Viaje. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Inspired by the wonders of the Earth, the band will take you on a journey through the elements. Far Away feels involved in the protection of flora and fauna. By joining forces with various research projects and associations, it conveys an ecological message at its performances.” Be sure to recycle this clip:


7 Birmingham death-metal heavyweights Memoriam deliver another devastatingly heavy track — in more ways than one — with the video for The Veteran, which deals frankly and starkly with the brutality of battle and the effects of PTSD. You have been warned. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:
“The video was created by Daniel Dodd. Daniel was a soldier in the British Army, who came back from Iraq as a veteran in 2007. He is now a photographer, who uses his work to address the traumas he faced during, and since his deployment.” Their aim is true:


8 Being a city boy, I don’t do a lot of walking in the woods. But based on the number of videos I see featuring shots of bands rocking out between the trees, I would assume you can’t throw a rock in the forest these days without hitting some black-clad outfit — like, for instance, Indiana pro-metal quintet The Contortionist, who head into the bush in this clip for their angst-ridden cut Early Grave, a preview of their Aug. 9 release Our Bones. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Once I was finally able to get Robby to record that riff we started piecing together the song in the back of the van, while on tour in Europe,” singer Michael Lessard recalls. The result was lead single Early Grave, an expression of gratitude to the fans who’ve shared their stories of heartbreak, loneliness, and depression, and found new strength in the music of The Contortionist.” Guess they couldn’t find it indoors:


9 Speaking of the forest: Can-Rock mainstays The Northern Pikes are back in the game with Forest of Love, their first new album in 16 years. If you haven’t already caught it, here’s a chance to play catchup with the new lyric video to King in His Castle, which marries a fuzzy indie-rock riff to a chorus from Tom Petty’s playbook. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:The Northern Pikes were also recently announced as performers for the upcoming CFL Thursday Night Football Concert Series. The band is set to hit the stage on July 18 in Calgary. Pity they have to ruin the fun by having a football game:


10 You might expect a song called The Fly to be a buzzy little nuisance that flits around frantically. But if you were talking about singer-songwriter Cross Record’s single, you’d be wrong: A sneak peek at her self-titled Aug. 2, it’s a dreamy little electro-pop flight that’s far prettier and more graceful than its pesky subject. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I was thinking about the fragility of the mind under pressure, being on a brink of collapse and being aware of that, and finding the humor in it objectively,” says Cross. “The fly in old oil paintings is a signifier of death and impermanence. The viewer sees all of the perfectly ripe fruits, flowering buds at the height of their glory–but it does all end some day. I suppose it’s a song about brinks or being close to an edge: the edge of a meltdown, the edge between life and death, the moment you think you see something beautiful but it turns out to be a plastic bag, and that’s funny sometimes.” Take wing:


11 We’ve all been sent to Dumpville at least once in our lives. But as the rockin’ sisters of L.A.’s Bleached remind us in their latest throwback power-pop nugget, you don’t have to live there forever: You can always get back on your feet with a quick trip to Rebound City. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Rebound City is a guitar-driven, power-pop song that paints the landscape of a disintegrating 1980’s Sunset Strip era. Throughout, Jennifer references various mishaps – waking up with a friend’s ex, an obsession with a stranger, and the remorse that comes with breaking someone’s heart. “This song is a brief history of the mistakes I’ve made…except there really are no mistakes, they’re all lessons in the end.” Sure they are:


12 Some men would have trouble admitting they can appreciate watching an attractive man dance. Indiana singer-songwriter Kevin Krauter is apparently not one of those men, based on the lyrics to his latest single Pretty Boy. Good for him. And you, if you enjoy a soothing bit of strummy folk-pop with a dusty, tender vocal. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This song is a product of teaching myself a new way to play my guitar and learning new ways to express feeling through my instrument,” says Kevin. “I would sit and play this song on guitar for hours and hours before I wrote any words or melodies, just existing in it and meditating almost. Around the same time, I was undergoing a pretty major shift in perspective, and I began to find a lot of unexpected love and confidence in myself. The lyrics reflect those ideas.” You tell it, boy:


13 Tired of the grind? Try out a new grind: The noisy, hard-grooving Ghita from Portuguese DJ and Producer CØDE — today’s dose of dance music from superstar DJ and entrepreneur Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:CØDE is the solo project of Gonçalo Julião, one half of prolific EDM duo Club Banditz. Through CØDE, Gonçalo is exploring deeper, alternative sounds and gaining worldwide fans in the process. CØDE’s New Noise debut Ghita takes a daring approach to dance music, further showcasing why the rising producer is one to watch.” Hit the gas:


14 The bloody apple is back! Three weeks after Scottish electro-rocker Blanck Mass showcased his upcoming album Animated Violence Mind with a clip featuring the least appealing piece of fruit ever, the musician born Benjamin John Power is offering us another bite — in the form of the percussive and trippy epic No Dice. Which also happens to be my response to that Granny Smith. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:No Dice is led by crashing percussion and punctuated by warped vocals. “No Dice is about denial. It’s the voice in the back of your head stopping you from moving forward, the separation between your head and your heart.” How about your stomach?