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Indie Roundup | 10 Songs To Elevate Your Thursday

Tami Neilson, Sarah Harmer, Jackie, Kliffs and more raise the bar with new tunes.

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Tami Neilson keeps on trucking, Jackie does some backseat driving, Kliffs make the best of bad news, Laurent Bourque makes some mood music and more in today’s Roundup. The woman who takes care of our cat when we’re away thinks her stool is too hard. I have no idea what to do with that information.


1 | Tami Neilson | Ten Tonne Truck

Being Tami Neilson is easier said than done, apparently. THE PRESS RELEASE:Tami Neilson is sharing the new video for Ten Tonne Truck, from her upcoming album Chickaboom! “When my brother and director Todd Neilson came up with this concept, he originally had a male actor in mind to pull the truck. But, we then agreed that having me play both the roles would be a more fitting analogy of what it’s like to be an artist. There’s the ‘glamorous’ persona that the public sees: the made-up, beehived and sequined, Instagram-worthy artist who is always smiling and perceived as successful. Then there’s the reality behind all the smoke and mirrors, the relentless grind, pulling that whole thing on your back with blood, sweat and tears, head down as you try to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. That said, in preparation for all the money this single is going to make, I’m already researching used Ten Tonne Trucks online [laughs].” Heave-ho:


2 | Jackie | Lifetime In A Touch

If this is a rental car, I hope they paid for extra coverage. Either way, it was totally worth it. THE PRESS RELEASE: “If you must put them in a box, it’s best you call Jackie a black sheep. Jackie rises from the ashes of The Mohrs (you may have seen them share stages with the likes of Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction and The Glorious Sons). Originally from Winnipeg, Jackie Mohr and Marc Girardin have been playing together since they were teenagers. Moving to Toronto in 2012, the pair eventually hooked up with Max Trefler and released their debut rock album before renaming. Lifetime In A Touch conveys a funky sense of wonderment and a nod to pop legends.” Buckle up:


3 | Kliffs | Sadness

Tragedy is only a phone call away. Then again, so is happiness. THE PRESS RELEASE:Kliffs share the new single and video Sadness, taken from their forthcoming debut album Temporary Cures, out on Nov. 29. Kliffs are Berlin-based Canadian duo Mark Bérubé (guitar, keys, voice) and Kristina Koropecki (cello, synths, voice). Bérubé says, “I was hanging out at Kristina’s place with a bunch of friends, enjoying a lovely afternoon, when out of the blue I got a call from a friend in Toronto, telling me that one of my closest friends had just committed suicide in Vancouver. I lived the full spectrum of emotions in the span of 2 minutes, but that’s simply how it goes.” This is why I don’t answer the phone:


4 | Laurent Bourque | Lightning Mood

It’s definitely more mood than lightning. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Blue Hour by Laurent Bourque invites you into an exploration of loss and new beginnings through pensive, chic piano-driven pop. The Toronto singer-songwriter presents 11 titles drenched in poetic expression anchored by shining piano melodies, sweeping synthesizers, and blissful orchestral arrangements. Collaboration would be the creative key to the material in Blue Hour. “When you write with other people, you can bounce things off each other and the best idea always wins,” he says. “Which always makes for better art.” If you’re in the mood:


5 | Dan Edmonds | Beside You

I’ve never been a sleepwalker, but it doesn’t seem so bad — at least you’re getting in some steps. THE PRESS RELEASE:Dan Edmonds doesn’t like to repeat himself, and on his upcoming album, Softie, he appears in a guise that will likely surprise anyone familiar with his past work. Softie is the Hamilton artist’s second solo effort following 2016’s Ladies On The Corner, and it’s evident from the sounds on the new collection that Edmonds spent a lot of the three-year interim pushing his songwriting into previously unexplored territory. New single Beside You is an impressionistic pop track with layers of pulsing synths and treated vocals, setting a bright and enigmatic tone for the album. “The intention of Beside You was to examine the imbalance between love and insecurity. Specifically, it was written in a moment in which I was deeply invested in someone, perhaps too much for my own good. I was trying to capture a specific feeling — when you’ve built up an idea of someone, and believe it to be true. It can crush your spirit when what you’ve built falls.” Wakey, wakey:


6 | Legal Vertigo | Napster Vertigo

A lot of people think there are no bad ideas. They’re wrong. See for yourself. THE PRESS RELEASE:Legal Vertigo is releasing his debut LP Tragic Future Film Star tomorrow. Here’s the video for album track Napster Vertigo, a title taken from his project’s legally prohibited former moniker. A nod to his studio background, the video is a send up of ’70s and ’80s studio video motifs that gradually introduces an increasingly surreal and gigantic group of performers that eventually includes a disembodied, distended singing puppet face a singing glasses player and a man seemingly decked out in Imogen Heap’s Mi.Mu motion tracking music gloves.” Wicked guitar solo, though:


7 | The Room in the Wood | Charmed

This just in: Rich people suck. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Liverpool-based The Room in the Wood have announced they will release their new album We’re The Martians, Now in early 2020. Ahead of this, they present Charmed, the first and rather timely single from this release. “Charmed is about the entitled arrogance of the privately educated rich. It’s about disaster capitalism as pursued by the Moggs & Johnsons of the world, who use jingoism as a mask for self-interest – effectively fiddling while our culture collapses. The music references faux ’60s optimism,” explains Dave Jackson.” Pass the champagne:


8 | Olive Louise | Fool

This might be the best argument yet against self-driving cars. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Olive Louise is a singer, songwriter and composer from New York. Known for her championed ability to intertwine her classically trained background with a refreshing take on today’s contemporary pop landscape, Louise translates her vast wealth of experiences into music that is timely as it is timeless. New single Fool details embracing your most authentic self and not feeling guilty about being happy in life. “I was at a really low point in my life, I had gained weight, was too nervous to run into people I knew for fear of judgment, and felt like some of the people I had been there for the most didn’t want the best for me. It was hard to trust myself and my judgement”. Fool is a self-love anthem which screams the attitude of ‘paint me how you want, nobody has the power to hurt me anymore’.” If you say so:


9 | Sarah Harmer | New Low

Remember Sarah Harmer? It’s OK if you don’t. Thankfully, this comeback single is pretty memorable. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Multi-award-winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter and environmental activist Sarah Harmer will release Are You Gone, her first album in a decade, on Feb. 21. A deeply personal and political collection of songs motivated by the beauty of life, the urgency of the climate crisis, and the question of loss, Sarah called the album a spiritual successor of sorts to her acclaimed 2000 debut, You Were Here. Lead track New Low captures the prescient energy of the album – a rollicking, empowering electric guitar-laced call-for-uprising in the face of global disasters.” About time:


10 | The Big Takeover | Where Did I Go Wrong?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself countless times. And with good reason. But I honestly have no clue why these New Yorkers are worrying: This ska-tinged single is basically flawless and infectious. THE PRESS RELEASE:Where Did I Go Wrong? is the second single off their upcoming album Spilling Water (out in 2020) and features the band’s signature blend of popular Jamaican music and retro-soul.” If this is wrong, who wants to be right?