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Indie Roundup | 15 Tracks For Your Labour Day Weekend

Head into your holiday with new fare from Rings of Saturn, Phony and many more.

Rings of Saturn get alienated, Neil Berthier gets Phony, Earmon McGrath comes in like a lion, Dan Moxon gets fired up and more in today’s Roundup. Let the long weekend officially begin!

1 You want a video that’s out of this world musically and visually? Try the new clip from alien-themed tech-death masters Rings of Saturn. It’s called The Husk, and it’s the first single from their upcoming fifth album Gidim, landing Oct. 25. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We always try to raise the bar with each album made. Gidim is a callback to Rings of Saturn’s roots. The fan favorite parts of Dingir and Lugal Ki En have been considered for inclusion and expansion on Gidim.” If you say so, dude:

2 Nobody is ever going to accuse me of being a starry-eyed optimist. But Boston singer-songwriter Neil Berthier may have me beat in the cynicism department. The former member of indie-rock outfit Donovan Wolfington has dubbed his new band Phony, and titled his Oct. 18 debut album Songs You’ll Never Sing. Based on the first single Dr. Ayahuasca, a suitably wild ride that toggles between dreamy post-psychedelia and noisy post-grunge, I suspect he might be wrong about that last bit. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Musically, the song is supposed to emulate if Rivers Cuomo from Weezer took acid and how that would affect their pop rock formula,” explains Berthier. “Lyrically, it’s about a time an ex-lover and I took psychedelics during Mardi Gras a few years ago. It was midnight and she told me she hadn’t heard a lot of classic rock, specifically The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix. We lit 20 candles in the small studio apartment bathroom and sat in a bubble bath for four hours playing with this red ribbon in the water. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience and the classics never die.” The doctor is in:

3 Singer-songwriter Eamon McGrath’s 2018 album Tantramar was one of the best Canadian albums you probably never heard. Don’t make that mistake again with the Alberta-born Toronto resident’s next album Guts, which arrives Sept. 7. In fact, get a head start with the nostalgic video for his new single In Like a Lion, which also features Leah Fay of July Talk and The Devastation Trio. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:In Like a Lion tortured me since its initial composition in December of 2007. I was on tour in Windsor and sharing a bottle of whiskey with my bass player as we looked out across the Detroit skyline and its black, empty buildings. The GM crash had just happened and I had gone through a nasty breakup so it was a dark, cold moment in a dark, cold winter. I tried for years to refine it lyrically and musically and just couldn’t hit the right moment: we tracked it for both Peace Maker and Young Canadians, and just couldn’t get it right, so for almost a decade the recordings collected dust and the words were shelved away. The song was resurrected, rewritten and rearranged for the Guts sessions, and in that mythical zone of studio magic, it had finally found its time and place.” The time is now, the place is here:

4 Vancouver singer-songwriter and pianist Dan Moxon is probably best known for fronting the band Bend Sinister. Now, he wants you to know about his Oct. 4 solo debut Lounge Singer, so titled because he debuted most of the tunes during a semi-regular side gig in a hometown watering hole. What more do you need to know — besides the fact that his deceptively titled ditty Playing With Fire and its charming video are ready to roll right now. Put a dollar in the tip jar. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Citing influences from Motown, soul, and classic rock, Playing With Fire highlights his take on many different styles.” Fire when ready:

5 Indie rockers Red Arms sent me an email announcing that they plan to remain “willfully obscure no longer.” Swell. Though they might find that one way to achieve that is to tell people where they’re from, instead of making them waste time searching online to figure out they apparently live in London, Ont. No wonder they’re obscure. Anyhoo, their new single Ran Away rocks pretty solidly, which bodes well for their Sept. 13 album Critical State — assuming they manage to get their shit together enough to tell anybody where to get it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Ran Away splices together stills of us in the studio, the woods, and the Forest City juxtaposed with a vintage How to Run tutorial. Produced and directed by Justis Krar (of Single Mothers), the letterbox resolution video features fragmentation and image distortion, reflecting the song’s themes of isolation, running away and suicide. Justis’ style of visual storytelling embodies the messages we hoped this song would carry.” Away we go:

6 Virginia speed-metal punks Municipal Waste want you to catch the wave in their latest video. Unfortunately, it’s the Wave of Death. So you might wanna catch it from the safety of your couch while you wait for their Oct. 11 EP The Last Rager. Just a thought. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Back with 4 ripper tracks that embrace all the band’s punk and street metal roots without clutching the past. That honest formula has led the Waste to innovate the festival scene with the opening track and party of the summer Wave of Death.” Ride it:

7 You can’t go wrong with a short, sharp shot of classic rhythm and blues. Especially not when it comes from a guy who has spent more than a decade playing behind Charlie Musselwhite. Meet guitarist Matthew Stubbs, who leads the guitar-driven trio GA-20 with fellow fretboard master Pat Faherty. Their Lonely Soul album arrives Oct. 18, but you can get up on what they’re putting down by tuning into their single Lonely Soul, a 116-second hit of old-school twang, thump ’n’ wail. Speaking of lonely, as of this writing, the song has been spun a grand total of 13 times. Do something about that, will ya? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The project was born out of their mutual love of heavy traditional Blues, R&B, and Rock & Roll of the late ’50s and early ’60s. Faherty and Stubbs bonded over legendary artists like Lazy Lester, J.B. Lenoir, Earl Hooker, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Junior Wells. Feeling a void in current music, the duo have set out to write, record and perform a modern version of this beloved art form.” Feed your soul:

8 Start at the outside and work your way in. That’s the direction British indie-rockers Amber Run have been taking. A couple of weeks ago, they tackled smartphone addiction with their psychedelic single and video for Neon Circus. With the followup lyric video for The Darkness Has a Voice, they’re getting more introspective. Where will they wind up at the end of their upcoming album Philophobia? Tune in Sept. 27 to find out. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Our new record is all about connection. But one of the most important relationships that is forever forgotten is the constant dialogue we have with ourselves about ourselves. We would never be as unkind to the people around us, as we are to ourselves. The Darkness Has a Voice is about that internal conversation.” Embrace the darkness:

R If it’s Friday, that means it’s time for your weekly hit of EDM from Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label. Today’s offering comes from Texas dubstepper Riot Ten and L.A. trappist SayMyName, who join forces on the single Glocks (feat. Milano The Don). You’d better hit play before someone else shows up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Showing no mercy on the track, these two festival regulars produce stadium-booming drops and hype energy, uniting rail-breakers around the world.” Fire when ready:

10 Some people spend their whole lives chasing their dreams. Very few manage to make them come true. Even fewer manage to turn them into catchy synth-pop anthems like Sydney dark-popster Valencia James does with her latest single Dreamers. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wrote Dreamers at a time in my life when I was learning how to dream again and believe for dreams that I had forgotten about. It’s kind of that song where I was just like, ‘Why can’t I do all the things that I want to?’ I had just come out of a period of depression about my future and this was my song … let’s all just start dreaming again and going for what we want in life.” Dream on:

11 This week in random cover tunes: Electronic artist Gidon Schocken drops a bleep-bloop remake of Nelly Futado’s oldie Say it Right, with vocals by Tahel. Why? Why not, I guess. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This track was actually a bit of a happy accident. Tahel was auditioning for a TV show and they asked her to prepare a cover for a hit from the 90’s. She contacted me and asked if I’d like to produce it. We were both fans of Nelly Furtado and Timbaland so it was an easy choice. From that point on the sessions just really flowed well. At the time I was listening to alot of Sevdaliza and Bicep, most of the samples of the track are actually bits and pieces of Sevdaliza’s songs, and the drums at the end are a chopped up version of the drum break from Glue by Bicep.” You don’t say:

12 All good things must come to an end, right? But on the flip side, that must mean all good things have to start somewhere. Here’s a very good thing: Georgia, the muscular and melodic single from Kitchener rockers Hugo Alley, who plan to drop their sophomore EP Point, Place later this year. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Georgia is a song about love and loss. It’s a celebration of the good days that have come and gone, and an optimistic view of the remaining time we have with loved ones. Inspired by the difficult journey of coming to terms with mortality, Georgia stresses the importance of enjoying every moment while you can.” It’s right up your alley:

13 Sure, beauty is only skin deep. But materialism is even more superficial than that. And more brittle, according to the Montreal electro-rock duo Kashmir Winter — a collaboration between Manchester native junï and Dubai ex-pat Edwin Raphael. Hear for yourself on their buzzy groover We Are Pretty, We Are Porcelain, a preview of their EP due later this year. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:We Are Pretty, We Are Porcelain comes from a place of self-analysis, conceived during a sobering moment in which we realized how often self-worth and self-confidence are linked to materialistic things like dressing well, wearing flashy jewelry, and portraying a certain lifestyle. This attitude is common enough in society and isn’t nefarious in-and-of itself, but what’s truly disturbing is how naked we can feel without these things. We Are Pretty, We Are Porcelain is a warning not to totally eschew materialistic things, but to be weary of how much power we give them.” Pretty strong words:

14 Once a hussy, always a hussy? Perhaps. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. At least, not when you’re talking about Madison trash-pop trio The Hussy, who preview their Sept. 27 album Looming with the flute-tastic new single Sorry. You won’t be. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Looming takes the band in a decidedly dismal and defiantly dark direction. It tackles topics such as death, sudden loss, divorce, addiction and these politically depressing times we live in. The record is 16 tracks of trash-pop that run the entire gamut of punk-rock-n-roll. There are spacey leads, heavy sonics, slicing rhythms and generally gnarly sounds all tucked beneath The Hussy’s patented blanket of hook. This is the “new” heavier three-piece version of The Hussy, but the band hasn’t lost any of its knack for a sugar sweet melodies.” All apologies:

15 You have problems. Up-and-coming band Sunny State and frontman Chris Reed offer solutions. But before you start asking the Bay Area reggae-popsters for major life advice, know this: Solutions is just the name of their new single. Sorry to get your hopes up. On the plus side, it’s not a bad tune if you like that sort of thing. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “As I was writing, I thought about my two daughter’s Violet and Indigo and the type of world they’ve been born into. As flawed as it may be, it is still so beautiful and I want them to focus on solutions and not get caught up in getting down about the problems of the world. Instead, I want them to come together and help lead the charge in solving them.” There’s your answer:

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