Home Hear Indie Roundup (XXXIII Edition) | 33 Tunes For Your Weekend Playlist

Indie Roundup (XXXIII Edition) | 33 Tunes For Your Weekend Playlist

Refused, New Pornographers, Agnostic Front and more fill up your earholes.

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Refused are revolting, Neal Francis changes his tune, Anyway Gang have a big night, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes rides the rails, Joseph see green and tons more in a massive 33-song Friday Roundup. That should hold you for the next couple of days.


1 You say you want a revolution? Refused are only too happy to oblige with a fierce, firebreathing post-punk screed — and to choreograph the proceedings, as you can see from the stylish video for REV001, the second single from their long-awaited, much anticipated comeback album War Music, which arrives Oct. 18. You know it’s gonna be all right. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:REV001 is a protest song. A punk rock song. We like to think of it as incredibly violent pop music. Whatever you call it, we’re hoping it’ll get your blood boiling and that it’ll make you wanna dance (like it does our fearless captain @dennislyxzen in the video), ‘cause what else can one do in these desperate times? Well, we at the bottom could arm ourselves and go for those at the top, while smashing a few banks on the way? We’ll get there. Like we said, these things happen all the time. For now, we’ll leave you with these words, from author Ursula K Leguin: ‘We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable–but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.’ “


2 There are so many albums coming out at this time of year that it’s easy for some of the smaller ones to get lost in the crowd. It would be a shame if that happened to Changes, the debut album from Chicago singer-songwriter and pianist Neal Francis. Mostly because his sound harkens back to the groovy New Orleans R&B and southern soul of folks like Allen Toussaint, Leon Russell and Dr. John, among others. Thankfully,he just dropped a new video for the title cut so he’ll still be fairly fresh in your mind when the disc drops Sept. 20. Look out, you rock ’n ’ rollers. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “There is a deep connection between Francis’ childhood — his obsession with boogie woogie piano, his father’s gift of a dusty Dr. John LP — and the songs he’s created. The result is an astonishing collection of material without parallel in the contemporary funk and soul scene. Francis pays tribute to the masters but has his own story to tell: “It’s the life I’ve lived so far.”


3 Canadian supergroup alert: Anyway Gang is a spiffy new pop-rock combo that includes Sam Roberts, Menno Versteeg of Hollerado, Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club and Chris Murphy of Sloan. And if that doesn’t give enough information to figure out what they sound like, their first single and video Big Night should fill in the blanks. Watch out for the rabid raccoons. And keep your eyes open for their self-titled debut album Nov. 29. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “On the genesis of the band, Sam Roberts explained “Anyway Gang is a Frankenstein’s monster of a band with stitched-on limbs provided by Chris, Menno, Sam and Dave. The beast is brainless of course, but it’s gonna be a wild ride!”


4 You know what they say: If it sings like a Duck, and it picks guitar like a Duck, and it plays the blues like a Duck, it’s probably Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. OK, nobody says that. Except me. But it’s as good a way as any to introduce the video for Train Train, the latest preview of his Oct. 18 album Cypress Grove. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Jimmy “Duck” Holmes is an American blues musician and proprietor of the Blue Front Cafe on the Mississippi Blues Trail, the oldest surviving juke joint in Mississippi. Holmes is known as the last of the Bentonia bluesmen, as he is the last blues musician to play the Bentonia School. The new album, Cypress Grove, was produced by Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound in Nashville TN.”


5 Joseph just released their new album Good Luck, Kid. And no, I’m not using their as an alternate possessive pronoun. This Joseph isn’t a he — it’s three shes. Siblings Natalie Schepman, Allison Closner and Meegan Closner, to be precise. Now that we’ve introduced them, reciprocate by introducing yourself to their folk-rock sound with the live-in-the-studio video for their song Green Eyes. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The new album is a road movie in album form, an odyssey at turns emotional, existential, and entirely literal. With their intimate storytelling and restless intensity, Joseph detail that journey into songs that careen, sprawl and often soar, as it spins a narrative of life-changing transformation.”


6 Ricky Remedy is the man with the bag in his new video. And no, it’s not that kind of bag. Nope, it’s not that one either. Let me help you out: He’s taking about a Body Bag in this dark, dangerous and dirty cut from his forthcoming EP. Hope that’s your bag. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The colorful, Tragik-directed visual depicts the motley trio of artists flexing throughout a psychedelic, neon-laden trap house. Shot on location at the aptly named Los Angeles creative space Freak City (home of the Freak City creative collective, who recently collaborated with Billie Eilish on a capsule collection), the video highlights not only the show-stealing performance from Smokepurpp, but also Tragik’s innovative and unique visual style.”


7 San Diego metal outfit As I Lay Dying — whose singer Tim Lambesis recently got out of jail after serving time for trying to have his ex-wife murdered — would probably prefer you talk about their new video for Blinded, the fourth single from their comeback album Shaped by Fire, out Sept. 20. Good luck with that. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Lambesis comments, “We had an incredible experience working with Frankie Nasso, who chose to direct the video for Blinded based largely on his personal passion for the band. Additionally, there was incredible energy from fans who showed up for the shoot which made it an unforgettable experience!”


8 Halloween will be here before you know. But Helloween are already here. The German power-metal vets have carved out another live video for the song Forever And One, the third preview of their Oct. 4 release United Alive. Trick or treat? You be the judge. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “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.”


9 Here’s something I’ve noticed: If you come across a band with a truly shitty name, chances are they’re a pop-punk band. Like, for instance, Florida sextet Suck Brick Kid. Why would any self-respecting band pick that for their handle? More importantly, why do so many bands in that genre make such equally bad choices? You can ponder that while you watch their video from Get Even, an early look at their Oct. 25 album Salt To Taste. Even that would be a better band name. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song is about wasting your life (or a chunk of it) on a significant other,” explains vocalist Grant Tchekmeian. “Anyone who has dealt with a cheating ex that constantly lies can relate to the range of emotions that flood in. I wanted to put myself in a friend’s shoes and write about how they felt while dealing with that shit.”


10 Friday the 13th — especially the first one in 19 years to fall on the night of a full moon — would seem the perfect day for goth-rock demigods The 69 Eyes to summon a new video from the depths. And so they have. Here’s Two Horns Up, co-starring the one and only Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth. So you get the moon and a star. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: ”We’ve been friends with Dani Filth for 25 years and The 69 Eyes did our best-ever and legendary North American tour with them over ten years ago. We were partying with him on my 50th birthday at Hollywood’s Rainbow Bar & Grill last October and came into conclusion that he should sing some guest vocals on our new album. It is mind-blowing to have the world’s most recognizable extreme metal vocalist on the opening track on our album.Two Horns Up speaks about today and to everybody!” comments vocalist Jyrki.”


11 The 69 Eyes aren’t the only creepsters taking advantage of Friday the 13th. Wednesday 13 is also dropping a timely new video: The visualzer clip for the title track to the former Murderdolls frontman’s Sept. 27 release Necrophaze. Hope it makes your day. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The title track Necrophaze is one of my favorites on the new album, and not just because it features my shock rock hero Alice Cooper. Alice helps deliver the first brutal axe swing on this album, starting the record off and getting the blood flowing immediately. I like to compare Necrophaze to the movie Creepshow, as if every song is a different part of the story. This is the first part of the story and it cuts straight to the bone. Enter the Necrophaze.”


12 Life is full of hardship. Some people cope with it. Some people repress it. And some people turn it into moving and confessional art, like the single and video from Kingston alt-rock outfit Kasador’s mournful new ballad Again For Me, released in advance of their tellingly titled Oct. 4 album Brood & Bloom. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Again For Me is a minimalistic piano ballad showcasing the band’s depth and versatility.”


13 As band names go, S Y Z Y G Y X is definitely an interesting one. Granted, it looks like something somebody dumped out of a Scrabble bag. But I’m sure it means something very relevant and personal to the members of this D.C. darkwave duo. Too bad they don’t explain that in the press release that goes with their new single Ultra Doll, a cut from their Oct. 11 album Fading Bodies. Another mystery lost to the ages. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Our inspiration comes primarily from the our human existence, and the meaning of it. We also believe in the beauty of sound, if you can close your eyes and feel something when you listen, we’ve accomplished what we mean to do. We believe everything has a sound: the Universe, the sun, the moon, our surroundings. That is where our inspiration comes from. We are deeply connected to our spirit, and our soul, as those are directly connected to sound.”


14 A great song title is worth its weight in gold. And there’s no denying that New Bitch, Who Dis? — the handle of L.A. popster Cuja’s latest single — is a keeper. As for the song and video, well, let’s just say one of the other things about a great title is that it’s almost impossible to write a song good enough to match. Still, A for effort. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wanted to create a really beautiful aesthetic that was all confidence and fun! The song is so descriptive as far as the story, so I wanted the video to be a depiction of a woman who is having a great time by herself.” The song itself serves as a pick-me-up, as the song that you play when you’re getting ready for a night out, or, as Cuja explains, “when you need a friend to say ‘Babe, he’s not even worth it.'”


15 Some folks can dish it out. Some folks can take it. U.K. popster Leanne Tennant prefers to Bring it All Back, as she establishes on this buzzy new single and video from her forthcoming album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song is about two people in conversation with alternative views. One is suggesting that they open up the dialogue and explore alternative ideas and beliefs however their requests are futile as they’re communicating with someone who has a fixed mindset.”


16 Remember community access television? Man, those were the days. Anybody could go into the studio, get in front of the camera in crazy outfits and act goofy — while one of their friends pushed random buttons on the console to create all sorts of cheap video effects. For some reason, that popped into my head while I was watching the new video for the darkly groovy rocker Satellite Heart, the title track from Danish crew The Brotherhood of Sonic Love’s Oct. 4 album. Why did I think of that? Oh, no reason. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We had plenty of songs for the album, but many of them didn’t quite fit in. Satellite Heart was written as one of the last songs and ended up as the title track. We had this pretty simple riff, but the song really took shape in the studio. It has as dark dance-vibe that combines noisy guitars and psychedelic synths with a tight beat and lyrics about bittersweet love, destruction-drive and out-of-body experiences. It’s a song that marks where we might be heading musically.”


17 Who needs multiple cameras and editing and all the rest of that fancy video trickery? Not Ay Wing. The live video for Swiss singer-songwriter’s new retro-soul slowburner Fortunes was captured in one shot. From a boat, based on the visuals in this stylishly distinctive clip. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Fortunes describes the pitfalls of a modern love relationship – giving and taking, inner fragility and insecurity. Inspired by Romeo‘s exclamation “I am fortune’s fool”, the track takes the listener on an emotional roller coaster, soaked with dreamy synth layers and nostalgic-sounding beats.”


18 There are good dreams. There are bad dreams. There are fever dreams. And then there are nightmares. Wakeup Wakeup, the title cut from Alberta alt-pop outfit The Royal Foundry, is definitely not in the first category. I’ll let you decide for yourself which of the last three suits it best. For more, don’t sleep on their album when it arrives Sept. 27. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:The Royal Foundry are an Edmonton-based alternative pop/rock band led by the core songwriting duo and husband and wife team of Jared Salte and Bethany Schumacher.”


19+20 What’s better than listening to an artist you don’t know remix a song you’ve never heard? Why listening to two artists offer up different remixes of that song, of course. With that, I present two remixes of a song called Tip Toe by a Swiss group called Tim Freitag. The first is an upbeat version from someone called DJ Angry Ocelot (who is actually someone called Tom Hessler from a band called Fotos). The second is a darker take from Meow Meow Scratchy Face (seriously, that’s his name). Insert you own feline jokes here. Or don’t; there are plenty ahead. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Only in a really gorgeous remix-package can a song strut its true aura of glamor and importance – a secret the old tomcats of Tim Freitag now know very well. So, for Tip Toe, the Boys from Zürich dug deep down into their overflowing kitty-litter boxes and fished out two ginormous chunky thick hunks of delight – the one artistically molded into shape by Meow Meow Scratchy Face; the other pressed, pushed, pulled out from the creative lower depths of DJ Angry Ocelot. Enjoy some really heavy petting!”


21 They were punks before you were a punk. And they’ll be punks long after you’ve taken out the piercings and had those tats lasered off. They are legendary NYHC pioneers Agnostic Front, and they’re returning to reclaim their throne with the Nov. 8 album Get Loud. Get up to speed with the first single Spray Painted Walls here and now. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Roger Miret comments, “So excited for everyone to hear our new record GET LOUD! I really love the songs and it feels like a great mixture of what we have done our whole career! We put 100% into this from top to bottom! Everyone involved from start to finished just killed it! See you in the pit to celebrate these songs soon!”


22 It’s all about context. Especially these days. And especially for Tempest: Context is the title of the British neo-psychedelic rockers’ latest preview of their Sept. 27 Hot Motion. And now that’s we’ve put all that in … you know … you might as well check out the track. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Context was originally written as an observation of words being taken out of context, and how that changes the sentiment and meaning of words. This thought process crossed over into the musicality of the song. I wanted to reinvigorate the idea of the guitar solo, and also re-contextualise influences from my favorite musical pioneers. There is a nod to Les Paul and Mary Ford, and the guitar solo pays homage to a recording technique made famous on the piano sound on In My Life by The Beatles! We recorded the guitar solo at half speed, and then sped it up afterwards!”


23 The New Pornographers are living up to half their name again. And thankfully, not the back half. The acclaimed Vancouver pop-rockers have another new video on the scene: The gently throbbing, spaced-out animated clip for the track One Kind of Solomon, the latest glimpse of their Sept. 27 album In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. Savour their wisdom. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Frontman and songwriter A.C. Newman explains that, “in terms of keyboards, this record has such a Kathryn Calder stamp. There was a point where she started playing this part on Solomon and I feel like it just changed the record. When I heard what she did with it, I said, ‘Do this on every song.’”


24 Is it good timing or bad timing that Edmonton singer-songwriter Andrea Nixon’s romantic new single Stronger Than the Storm arrives in the wake of Hurricane Dorian? That depends on your personal taste, I guess. But there’s no debating the earthy beauty and homespun sincerity of the song and its empowering message. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This song is all about coming through a storm on the other side with the help of those you love and who love you back,” Nixon says. “Over the course of the last few years, the song has deepened in meaning for me. I wrote it initially as an apology to my husband; I was the storm and he was the one I was reaching out to. Now when I sing it, I try to send it out to everyone who has weathered the storms of life and, rather than being swept away, have found their wings.”


25 There are plenty of worse ways to spend your weekend than listening to a cover Prince’s I Would Die 4 U. Especially if it’s a cover sung by Juno winner Rose Cousins, with assists from Bear’s Den and Christof van der Ven. So what’s stopping you? Go ahead and treat yourself royally. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Prince died on my birthday,” Cousins says. “He was bigger than life and yet so utterly, humanly vulnerable. Everyone has their own relationship with his music; I find his story and talent fascinating and his death tragic. This particular song resonates with me and when I knew the Bear’s Den guys were in town I could hear us all singing it. We had no idea we’d all be in town at the same time until two nights before when I was at their show in Boston. I’m such a fan of these guys and I’m so pleased we got to collaborate again.”


26 There are some acronyms we all recognize instantly: MILF, MAGA, IMHO, IRL, NSFW, YOLO, FOMO. But how about RWLYD? Doesn’t ring any bells? Well, no wonder: It seems like something that Toronto pop-rockers Monowhales just pulled out of their collective butts. It stands for Really Wanna Let You Down, which is the title of their latest single — and a phrase that really doesn’t have much practical use in any everyday setting. Still, you gotta give them credit for trying to make it happen. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Really Wanna Let You Down encapsulates the feeling of relief and empowerment from “pushing back,” drummer Jordan Circosta explains, “Every step of the way we’ve dealt with pressure from people around us, the industry as a whole, and our own selves pushing us to sound a bit more like this, look a bit more like that, lose weight, change our hair, etc. Sometimes, the hardest expectations to contend with are those we place on ourselves.”


27 I realize there are only so many words in the English language. Even so, I always wonder what possesses people to write songs that have the same name as way more famous tunes. Like electro-pop singer-songwriter Iyves’ new single. It’s called My Way. Here’s the thing: It’s a perfectly good song — catchy and bouncy and everything you want in a good pop number. But giving it the same name as Frank Sinatra’s signature song just makes you wonder: Has she never heard of the other My Way? Does she think no one else will notice? You got me. In any case, I look forward to her next singles, which will presumably be called Bohemian Rhapsody, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Rock Around the Clock. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:My Way was such a fun song for me to write and record. It was really one of those songs that just wrote itself.”


28 Like most of us, Fløre spent her childhood playing guitar, singing and dreaming of the universe. Unlike the rest of us, the German singer-songwriter has kept on doing just that, as she makes beautifully apparent on her sweetly sweeping single Bikes, a track inspired by the darkness, sadness and alienation of growing up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Bikes has that lost youth-feeling to it. There is longing, grief and that kind of desperation between the lines. You’re not really grown up, feel too much of everything and all you want is having someone to keep you safe. Someone who stays with you even when the night has faded. Cause all you’re looking for is a place you can call home.”


29 When will Gavin Haley and Ella Vos join forces on a new single? Like you, it’s a question that’s kept me up at night for years. Well, we finally have the answer: Now. The two singer-songwriters have pooled their talents for the hypnotic new single The Way I Am. Thank heavens. If only because a relieved continent can finally exhale. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “When I heard Gavin’s song I immediately connected to it,” Ella Vos writes of the collaboration. “I’ve been someone who’s definitely not been vulnerable enough in relationships and have many times found myself saying ‘sorry for the way I am.’ I love the lyrics and I love how our voices sound together.” Gavin echoed a similar sentiment, explaining that the duo were able to “relate a lot outside of music” which made writing process a seamless experience. “I love when people are pushing to be the best versions of themselves,” he writes, “and Ella is a perfect example.”


30 There’s a time to crank it up. And a time to turn it down. Normally scrappy Halifax outfit Beauts are currently enjoying the quieter side of that equation — as you can hear on their shimmery single Good Measure. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We’ve sort of been increasingly mellowing out as a band, and this song is evidence of that. Instead of trying to hit people over the head with an intense anthem, we’ve been paying more attention to nuance, especially with the dynamics of a song,” says Beauts vocalist Jeff Lawton of the song’s creation. “But we also wanted it to still move fairly briskly, and we’ve been paying more attention to synths and hooks, and how they can be used more subtly.”


31 I don’t know how often you get to hear a song by an indie-folk dream-pop duo from Prague. I don’t come across them very often. In fact, Teepee’s No Reason might be the first. But if they keep writing and recording songs like this one, it likely won’t be the last. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-guitarist Tereza Lavičková gives her insight: “No Reason is a very important song for me. It tells a story about our history where men and women grew apart. We created ridiculous binarities of masculinity and femininity that has been damaging our minds and souls for centuries and we claim that it’s natural. We make wonderlands out of each other saying that someone is not able to be or do something because of their gender. I think that the most dangerous phenomenon in the world is when one group calls the other group “The Others” because most of the time it leads to injustice. That is why the message of the song is that we should leave behind the dichotomies. There is no reason to keep them because all genders are splendid.”


32+33 One new song is not enough for electronica producer Ka Fu. So he’s sharing a pair of cool gems today: Good & Grey and Frozen, both of which will return on his upcoming debut album Encoding: Master. Double your pleasure. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “From time to time in my life there is a freaking out point – a balance between doing super great and super shit. Basically, it’s like a pause when nothing really disturbs you, yet you know that it could be much better. So this is just Good & Grey. On Frozen, I used such a deep and raw synth for the breakdown of this track. I hope it will wake somebody up. Too many people are frozen in their mind boxes. It’s just a fact. When you meet a person who lives somebody else’s life, it means they’re frozen. Prepare to have a dull time together.”