Home Hear Indie Roundup (XXX Edition) | 30 New Tracks For Your Weekend Playlist

Indie Roundup (XXX Edition) | 30 New Tracks For Your Weekend Playlist

New Pornographers, Strange Breed, Josie Pace & plenty more aim to please.

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ITworked so nice, I’m doing it twice. The last time I jokingly used XXX in a headline, the post amassed more than 90,000 views (and counting) from porn-seeking dudes around the world. So what the hey; let’s try it again and see what happens. And even though there’s no actual pornography here — unless you count the latest video from New Pornographers — I’m not lying about those Xs: There are 30 videos and tunes below. And as anyone who remembers their Roman numerals can tell you, 30 = XXX. So there you go. And here we go (Note: Everything below has been cut and pasted from press releases — I have better things to do than sit through 30 songs and videos and then try to write clever prose on a Friday afternoon):


1 Critically acclaimed group The New Pornographers debut The Surprise Knock, the second single from the group’s highly anticipated new album, In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights, due Sept. 27. Frontperson and songwriter A.C. Newman says, “The Surprise Knock had a different feel when we first recorded it — and I wouldn’t mind releasing that version at some point. But as I was listening to it, I thought, ‘Why don’t we play this song like New Pornographers 2005?’ Then we just replayed it with that feel. I thought enough time has passed that I feel like I can play songs that sort of sound like a classic a sound and not feel like I’m repeating myself, because it’s been so long. That was definitely a part of it: just wanting to…I hate to say ‘get back,’ but just get more slightly raucous and sounding more like a band.”


2 Vancouver’s all queer, all female alt garage-rock outfit Strange Breed release the video for The C-Word off their upcoming album Permanence, due Sept. 13. Written as a fun, lighthearted, almost step-by-step guide to how consent should work, the anthemic song represents their core values as a band and individuals. Lead vox Nicolle Dupas explains, “We stand for safe spaces at our shows, so in a way when we play this song it’s like taking our audience to that ideal space that we want to encourage, reminding people to ask and listen.”


3 Electro-rock/post-industrial artist Josie Pace releases her new music video Fire, which deals with the self-doubt and apprehension that many in the world go through on a daily basis and how it can wear you down to the point where you want to lash out. “Fire is about all the anxieties that creep into your mind. In my video, I used ski masks to represent the insecurities and anxieties, how you can feel suffocated by it all, how feeling those things can make you hot with anger and frustration. The choruses are the realization that the worries, insecurities, anxieties and the negativity are lies.”


4 Huntington Beach, artist Denm explores the seedier side of SoCal beach culture on the late-summer jam Blow It Up, from his Endless Summer EP out Sept. 6. “I wrote Blow It Up initially about my neighbors when I was living in the seedy beach town of Isla Vista. They were loud and wild. Always partying and fighting. I got punched in the face by one of them actually trying to break up a fight in the street midday on a Saturday haha. Classic vibes. They were good dudes though. Somehow there was always broken glass and syringes outside my house. Livin’ in a slum beach paradise what more can you expect? So it’s kind of a song written about life in Southern California. The seedier side. It’s not all Beverly Hills and Malibu. It’s tough and you gotta learn to be tough to make it. But it’s also a party and good time. There’s no place like it.”


5 With the celestial extravagance of Bjork or Kate Bush, and the smoky mystical aura of David Bowie’s Labyrinth, Kristeenyoung offers a sinister sojourn with her new video for Everyday SubTraction. The second track off her upcoming album The SubSet, out Sept. 4, epitomizes the harmonious yet aggressive polarity of her music. Taking on the shooting, editing, performing, and costume design all by herself, Kristeen creates a jolting visual that augments the song’s panache.


6 Mike Riley’s new song Marriage is an honest, folk-driven track about recognizing that any fulfilling relationship (a job, a friendship, a romantic partner) takes work and a conscious decision to stick it out. Though the song was inspired by his own experiences, the video centres around Toronto drag artist, BOA. It is a dark, glittery vignette about pursuing what you love and the moments that make it all worthwhile.


7 New Jersey’s Toothgrinder have announced their third album I AM drops Oct. 11. The band has just shared the new song and video for the title track. “I AM… a mantra, a prayer, a mediation, a belief, a value, an all encompassing way of life. The title speaks of unity and presence. Becoming comfortable in one’s own skin. To endure whatever life throws at you with grace and gratitude. To love the ones who surround you and accept the things you can’t control. I AM… two of the most powerful words, for what you put after them shape your reality.”


8 Popular Canadian indie four-piece Actors are premiering a new live video for L’appel du Vide. The band kicks off a 20-date European tour tomorrow in Frankfurt, Germany.


9 Indie-pop singer-songwriter Fintan releases a new single titled Way Up today, the first from his just-announced sophomore EP Better Broken out Oct. 25. The evocative 4-song EP is the follow-up to his acclaimed debut EP Then We Fall released earlier this year. Says Fintan, “My goal has always been to be as deeply honest as possible in my music — to take what I create from my most personal feelings, written in the loneliest hours, and make it available for anybody to listen to. It sounds scary, and I suppose it is, but when you really feel that what you’ve made is true to yourself, it’s comforting to know that whoever hears it will understand who you are. All I’ve ever wanted was for my songs to connect with as many people as possible, and hopefully be there for them in the moments when music is the only answer.”


10 Toronto-based instrumental indie rock band Dog Drive Mantis premieres their new music video Volta. Much like the band itself, Volta is fluid and expressive, taking listeners on an exciting sonic journey. Rising and falling like the ocean tides, it builds into a mesmerizing torrent before relaxing back down into tranquility. Volta was inspired by the imagery of a lighthouse on a desolate shore where the surrounding waters begin calm but quickly turn frenetic and frantic, working its way up to a cascading storm that reaches a breaking point before returning to a disoriented but calm state,” bassist Carmen Haines reveals.


11 Bellflower’s music is driven by a creative collaboration of eight musicians assembled around singer/songwriter Em Pompa. They will be releasing their third album titled Upside Down this October and just shared the title track. “Em was inspired to write the song when a friend was going through a hard time. We wanted to portray that life is not a straight line. There are a lot of ups and downs. Every decision that you make in life changes that line, that path that you’re on. So it’s ok to take risks, to feel fear and be vulnerable at times. Upside Down is that critical state where you have to decide what the next move is going to be. Either you dwell on that feeling of fear, or you can choose to turn it around and grow. That’s what makes us stronger and causes us to evolve.”


12 Finnish melodic metal titans Sonata Arctica will release their new 11-track studio album Talviyö (Winter Night) Sept. 6. Today, the band release their beautiful new single and video Cold. “It’s been a while since we released the first single A Little Less Understanding from our upcoming album Talviyö, and now it’s time to reveal the next piece in the puzzle. This single Cold is also our first music video from the album, with more to follow later on. We filmed the video in Tampere with the amazing Patric Ullaeus, and we had a blast once again. Just 2 more weeks until the whole album is out, meanwhile enjoy this treat. Cheers!”, comments Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg.


13 NOLA thrash metal legends Exhorder have released a neck-snapping new thrash anthem today, dubbed Hallowed Sound. The song is featured on the band’s first new album in 27 years, Mourn The Southern Skies, that’s due out Sept. 20. Commenting on the new track, guitarist Vinnie LaBella says, “Hallowed Sound is one that keeps in the tradition of The Law era with some new twists and turns. Mid-tempo/slow, heavy grooves with a mean yet soulful Kyle Thomas singing about our beloved NOLA music history, and future!


14 On Oct. 4 we can all revisit the Pumpkins United World Tour every night without even leaving the couch. What is served, is no less than the greatest hits from 30 years and a breakneck trip through the entire Helloween repertoire – a 14 month metal quake. In other words: Clear the ring for the next round of Pumpkins United madness! Today, the band release the second live clip and single for the classic Halloween.”The song Halloween live is the ultimate classic heavy metal experience – For the fans and for us”, comments Sascha Gerstner.


15 Alcest will once again open the gateways to the otherworldly and release their sixth studio album titled Spiritual Instinct Oct. 25. Today, the wait is over as singer/multi-instrumentalist Neige and drummer Winterhalter have revealed the first single Protection from the band’s upcoming album.
Protection is the first track I wrote for Spiritual Instinct. It’s probably one of our most heavy, spontaneous songs. It is about inner conflict, the tension between the spiritual and darker sides of a person, facing your own anguishes in order to embrace them and then fight them. Like the other tracks on the album, writing it was a very cathartic, healing process for me.”


16 Keeping On Records is proud to present the new but nostalgic sound of Perpetuals. Coming to life via the northernmost metropolis in North America, this doleful selection serves as the band’s proper introduction to the world. Downtown Apartment holds the listener gently, with an effortlessly intimate touch while stepping into the sparkling Fender Rhodes, deep snare hits & swirling synths, until a comfortable sway slowly says goodbye.


17 Following the release of her infectious debut single No Cry, new breaking pop princess Nykki enlists Leon Lour to create a killer synthwave-leaning remix. Keeping a perfect balance between rhythm and atmosphere, the talented producer/DJ/songwriter turns the focus on Nykki’s manipulated vocals before his signature EDM/pop sound meets Italo-disco-tinged progressions open a drop which screams end-of-the-night summer anthem.


18+19 The Dirty Nil have dropped the fourth (and possibly last) instalment in a series of cover sets. You’re Welcome IV features covers of Big Star’s September Gurls and Harry Nilsson’s Without You. Two classic songs now with more NIL. The You’re Welcome series has already included covers of Culture Abuse, The Jesus and Mary Chain, David Bowie, The Who, April Wine, and Van Halen. “We can say with complete honesty that we saved the best for last… trimmed down and dimed up!” – Luke Bentham


20 Blending together sultry house beats with Max’s smooth vocals and just the right dose of their signature electro-funk, New York duo Party Pupils (Max + Suave Yung Blanc) dish out enticing sounds on Bite My Tongue. Fresh off recent collaborations with Yung Bae (Fell In Love) and Pat Lok (From The Back featuring Dances With White Girls), Party Pupils continue to spread the funk with their latest single:


21 Slicing melodic vocals with hard blasts of energy, U.K. producer/DJ Tisoki serves up his signature take on dubstep with the single Razor Blades, the title track off his forthcoming EP, due out next month. Tisoki’s single sees the rising producer pull from his emo music roots to craft another moving soundscape, fleshed out with rousing breakbeats and with cutthroat bass. It follows his recent releases Don’t Lie and Relate.


22+23 From the ashes of Gold comes not one, but two other-worldly remixes to Iyves’ hit single released earlier this year. Gold sees very different re-creations from producer Charles Fauna and London-based duo Nimmo. First up, Fauna taps into his tactful electronic production talents to transform Gold into a euphoric symphony of sounds.

On the other end of the spectrum, Nimmo transform Gold into an upbeat dance-floor groove. Nimmo are two best friends from London, a queer pop duo, event curators and a fully independent female partnership. Combining punk roots with strong influence from the mid-90’s euphoria of their childhoods, Nimmo’s music reflects a nocturnal escapism.


24 Following up on her spectacular debut EP A Woman Alone, Freda James is revealing a surprise bonus track titled Her Hymn, out today. There is something both otherworldly and of this earth about Freda James’ music and Her Hymn is no exception. Inspired by her time in the Berkshires among friends, the song is liberated from traditional structure and written straight from the heart. On the songwriting experience, Freda elaborates, “I was just touching the keys till the right chords settled in. A melody arrived in my mind, words began to flow, and soon I had something that felt soothing. It was a true freestyle moment, a snippet of an otherwise long jam session.”


25 British singer-songwriter and producer Chantitown will release a remix of her single Sinking into Blue, courtesy of French producers Krono, who have made some extraordinary waves since their inception. With an impressive play count of over 400 million via YouTube alone it is no surprise that respected DJs such as Junior Sanchez and Miguel Campbell took stirring notice of them:


26 Less than two years after the official release of its debut full-length effort Directly For Your Eyes (2018), French stoner/fuzz/garage power-trio Prohibition Dead is about to release a brand new EP called Unless You’re Afraid To Change and coming out on Nov. 1. Stream the single Staying Around:


27 Marking the end of summer in style, Kim Harris releases Uproar — a lively new single that taps into the effervescent aura that has accompanied Harris throughout her lauded career. Evoking shades of powerhouse alt-pop artists such as Florence + The Machine, Hannah Georgas and Sara Bareilles, the track roots itself in propulsive piano lines. Supported by elegant string & horn arrangements, subtle yet ever-present hand claps, and bewitching guitar stabs, Uproar is graciously spirited. But make no mistake, beneath its bubbly frame Kim Harris’ candid lyrics and expressive storytelling continue to provide an emotional throughline that is consistently rich, deep, and moving:


28 Berlin-based Ay Wing returns to end the summer just right, with her latest single Orange Dreamer. The newest track by Swiss-born, singer-songwriter, speaks about nostalgia; a story that highlights a journey back to oneself. Wing reminisces about her time spent in Los Angeles last summer throughout the song’s lyrics, singing, “nothing ever stays the same, seasons changing, storm stopped raging…” The song was written while she was going through, and later recovering from, a rough patch in her life. Her latest, therefore serves both as a diagnosis, but also the cure for the troubling times she endured.


29 Legendary British producer Dobie is next up as remixer on Verasect’s Catch Your Breath. The track is lifted from Verasect’s upcoming EP, Awakenings Remixes which will include remixes from artists such as the late Øfdream, Kareful, and Blood Wolf:


30 After Highness the alternative pop duon Nosoyo presents now the second single from the new album Loud & Shameless which will be released in early 2020 with Glitter. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t need “glitter” in life?