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Indie Roundup (Friday Night Score Edition) | 20 Tracks To Jump-Start Your Weekend

Clock out and rock out with Fat Freddy's Drop, Aruba Red, Blood Eagle & more.

Fat Freddy’s Drop are nothing but puppets, Aruba Red changes the seasons, Saults do it for Pete’s sake, Giants Chair run in reverse, Best Ex go bad and more in today’s extra-large Roundup. That oughta hold you for a while.

1 | Fat Freddy’s Drop | Special Edition

THE PRESS RELEASE:Fat Freddy’s Drop released a video taken from their new album Special Edition Part 1. The Special Edition music video features the return of Fat Freddy’s Drop marionette band vs Baby Dorge & a furry puppet posse grooving to the new single. Mark Williams aka M.C. Slave of Fat Freddy’s Drop and the video director says: “The Special Edition video is a collaboration with puppet master Jon Coddington. We first worked together with Jon on the 2013 Freddy’s Clean the House video. Jon made the marionettes especially for that. When asked to get the band back together Jon was all for it! Stating, “It was super cool to dust off Freddy’s marionettes, they were literally sitting in a box in a garage…”

2 | Aruba Red | Forever Summer

THE PRESS RELEASE:Aruba Red releases stunning visuals for Forever Summer, her latest single taken from the Holy Waters EP. Providing 4 minutes and 53 seconds of pure mystical vibes, the video features Aruba Red against a beautiful backdrop in Saint Anton, Austria. Aruba Red says: “Forever Summer tells the story of taking time away from romantic relationships in order to truly heal from past trauma so that we are ready to receive the abundance of healthy love. It’s a statement that no matter how badly we may have been hurt us in the past, we don’t have to carry this pain or judgement with us, it is possible to let it go, it is possible to be happy!”

3 | Saults | Leave Me Then

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In a recent interview, The Who’s Pete Townshend talked about new talents – and mentioned Saults: “They’re in league with The 1975; authentic and strong.” Quite the introduction for the French-born group made up of brothers Antoine (vocals) and Greg Saults (drums) with Axel Castets on bass. The trio relocated to London in 2017 on the strength of their debut EP which sold thousands of units and resulted in a debut show in Paris to a crowd of tens of thousands. The three-piece now drop their newest offering Leave Me Then — the latest teaser from their upcoming EP. Speaking on the track, Antoine states: “It’s about the end of a relationship… When the love is gone but you still want to know if there’s any possible second way before you leave for good. These moments that we go through and how we deal with them.”

4 | Giants Chair | Kids Running

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The music video for the new Giants Chair song Kids Running is a literal deep dive into their video archives — the clip consists of footage shot by a friend of the band while on their first West Coast tour with Boys Life in ’95. Drummer Paul Ackerman says: “I think Scott’s story in Kids Running is one of a young Midwestern kid yearning for escape, experience, and maybe a bit of adventure. It’s a road trip story – a ‘head west’ story. So when we saw the footage our old friend Jeremy shot from our tour out west with Boy’s Life in ’95, it seemed like the perfect way to visualize that story. That was our first real tour, so far from home, and the first time seeing the mountains and the Pacific Ocean for some of us. There were a lot of firsts, we had a shit-ton of fun – shaved head, tattooed hands and all – and we have lifelong friendships to go along with those memories. So yeah, it’s a pretty nostalgic piece, but just maybe some other Midwestern kids will see it and be inspired to head west as well.”

5 | Best Ex | Bad Love

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following the debut of her newest song Bad Love, Best Ex is proud to premiere the track’s glowing new video. The video echoes the sentiments of the song itself, featuring singer Mariel Loveland musing over a former partner in a snowy alley and neon-soaked rooms, serving as a perfect visual for the alienation and regret that Mariel sings about. “We filmed most of this video in a random alley in Brick Lane that I thought looked really cool. I’m not going to lie, it was just about the coldest I’ve ever been,” says Mariel. “That week the UK got hit with that massive cold front, the Beast from the East, and it was all over the news. Though I’d normally consider myself supremely unlucky to be filming outside in unusually frigid temperatures, it actually started snowing right as we began — and it basically never snows there. It couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s like the stars aligned, but you can definitely tell how cold I was if you look at the color of my nose.”

6 | Marko Hietala | Stones

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Finnish singer/ bassist Marko Hietala announces his upcoming solo album Pyre Of The Black Heart, to be released Jan. 24. Hietala himself describes the style of the upcoming release as Hard Prog, but to give his fans a first impression of what the new album is going to be like, he also reveals the first single and video Stones. Hietala comments, “Well, let’s put it this way: Nightwish is without any doubt my main band, and thanks to income from that direction, I don’t have to be that commercially aware… What I mean is that when I was coming up with the musical thoughts for this solo record, I was able to do simply anything without limits. So if I had a goal, it was to not have any kind of limits, but to prepare an unpredictable, spontaneous, adventurous, ferocious and intimate solo record. And now when I am listening to the final album by myself, I can say with my hand on my heart that I – or rather us – pulled it off… The record is a really diverse musical roller coaster ride that takes eager listeners into a world of strong emotions and deep feelings!”

7 | Lost in Static | All I Want For Christmas Is You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary’s Lost in Static are a new band to the Canadian metal scene in the vein of groups like Volumes, After the Burial, Veil of Maya, and Born of Osiris, and like fellow artists, are pushing their way up the ladder to be noticed by fans of the genre. Taking no pause to make more noise and stir up mosh pits once again, Lost in Static are ready to warm the hearts of fans this coming holiday season with their metal rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. Guitarist Lance MacBain explains: “I love Christmas and I love Christmas music. Ever since August Burns Red started putting out Christmas music I have been wanting to make some in my own way. So with the band starting to take off this year, it was time to finally write one. All I Want For Christmas Is You was picked because it’s one of the best-known Christmas songs and I had lots of ideas for it, so that’s what we went with! We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do!”

8 | Strigoi | Carved Into The Skin

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Old-school death metal fans, the wait has come to an end: Strigoi have unleashed their debut album Abandon All Faith. In addition, the group has launched a brand new music video for their track Carved Into The Skin, which was produced by the band themselves and filmed by Danny Biggin, Json Adriani, and Jake Mackintosh, who also took care of editing duties. It also features band founder Greg Mackintosh’s first music video appearance in roughly five years. Greg comments, “This, the grimmest track on the album is about depression, despair and self-harm. Musical asphyxiation.” Bassist Chris Casket states, “The production of the video was totally DIY including the ‘practical effects’ and filmed in studio and on location in Yorkshire, Suffolk and Milan. Initially, we wanted to gather background footage for a lyric video, but these sessions quickly escalated into a full video production, and the end result is a combination of performance, eerie locations, creeping insects and self mutilation.”

9 | Avatarium | Lay Me Down

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish doom metallers Avatarium‘s highly praised new dark gospel The Fire I Long For is finally out. To mark the occasion, the band have unveiled a brand new lyric video for the song Lay Me Down, which features guest appearances by Leif Sundin and Michael Blair. Guitarist Marcus Jidell comments, “Lay Me Down is maybe one of the best songs we’ve written thus far. It contains so many elements I think a good song should have: great and moving lyrics, soulful musical performances and psychedelic elements that might be a way of trying to understand and feel connected with other dimensions and spiritual energies.”

10 | Kinley | Run With You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and former Hey Rosetta! member Kinley shares new song Run With You. The super catchy pop rock inspired track, produced by Colin Buchanan with Greg Alsop (Tokyo Police Club) on drums, will appear on Kinley’s self-titled sophomore studio album due out Feb. 21. “Run With You is a letter to a cool Canadian rock singer I have always admired,” shares Kinley. “No matter what I am feeling the sound of her voice can make me drop everything and dance. In this song I wanted to thank her for the amazing music and the way it makes me feel. It is about how I want to hang out with her and not feel or care about anyone else’s judgement.”

11 | Blood Eagle | A Life That Rots Away

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Denmark death metal band Blood Eagle have unleashed the final To Ride in Blood & Bathe in Greed EP. In celebration, they offer fans the lyric video for A Life That Rots Away. The band comments, “Here we go, another death metal Friday! Yay! Today marks the release of To Ride In Blood & Bathe In Greed III, the third and final release from Blood Eagle. We hereby give you the first song from the EP, A Life That Rots Away, a full fierce, energetic and grinding piece. This is indeed one of the more innovative songs, combining melodies and riffing full of triples – which makes it challenging to play live. We hope you will enjoy the release and the first video, as much as we do. Please remember to leave some comments in the social media channels, if you like what you hear! Grind on!”

12 | Michael Doucet | Water Water

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Throughout history, philosophers, politicians, thinkers, leaders, and artists ponder the same question. At one point, they all query, “Why are we here?” Michael Doucet offers what might be the answer… “To have a good time,” he grins. “That’s why we’re here. It’s pretty simple when you break it down.” The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, artist, founder of BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, National Endowment of the Arts Fellow, and Cajun legend crafts the quintessential Louisiana soundtrack to a good time on his new solo album, Lâcher Prise, due out Feb. 14. “In French, Lâcher Prise means ‘let go’,” Doucet explains. “It’s also a Buddhist term. When it came to making this music, it was just total freedom. The new songs were different from what I typically do, so we formed a group of great people and musicians. I’ve reached a point in my life and career where I can do whatever the hell I want to do. There’s freedom for everybody because of the mutual respect though.”

13 | Names Without Numbers | The Dragonfly and The Owl

THE PRESS RELEASE:Names Without Numbers (Omaha, NE / Council Bluffs, IA) took a long break between their debut in the early part of the last decade but are back with a powerful and incredibly catchy follow up Silos & Smokestacks. It’s everything you want a good rock band to sound like and then some. If you’re into bands like Anberlin, Jimmy Eat World, Further Seems Forever, The All American Rejects, The Juliana Theory, Brandtson, Acceptance, Mae, and Eager Seas, then you’re going to fall in love with this new album. The song The Dragonfly and the Owl is a rock and roll lullaby, written in an attempt to communicate a parent’s love to their child, even though the child may not fully comprehend the depth of that love.”

14 | Marshall Crenshaw | Misty Dreamer

THE PRESS RELEASE:Marshall Crenshaw will re-release his 1996 album Miracle of Science on Jan. 15 via his own Shiny-Tone imprint. This is part of a campaign that will see five of his albums recorded between 1994 and 2003 re-released. In addition to Miracle of Science, the series will include 1999’s #447 and 2003’s What’s in the Bag?, plus 1994’s live My Truck Is My Home and 1998’s early demos collection The 9 Volt Years. Each album will include two newly recorded, previously unreleased tracks, which will appear on a bonus 7″ single on the vinyl editions and as bonus tracks on the CD and digital versions. Miracle of Science‘s bonus cuts include Misty Dreamer by Scottish indie-pop artist Daniel Wylie, and What the Hell I Got, a 1974 number by Canadian artist Michel Pagliaro, which was a regional hit in Detroit and made regular appearances on the radio station CKLW.”

15 | Judith Owen | Second-Hand Sexbot feat. Richard Thompson

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Internationally acclaimed pianist, vocalist and performer Judith Owen shows off her wicked sense of humour on her riotously funny new single. Second-Hand Sexbot finds Owen weaving a wondrously strange tale of loneliness and isolation as a reflection of the growing demand for lifelike AI-enhanced love dolls as replacement companions. Joining her on guitar for this track is her old friend, British folk-rock legend Richard Thompson, who shares Owen’s love of all things dark and twisted. Owen explains that she was inspired to write Second-Hand Sexbot after catching a late-night TV show documenting a man who had purchased an anthropomorphic robot sex doll. However, Owen’s head spun around when the man admitted that, due to the high price of AI dolls, he’d gone on a Craigslist-type website and bought a “second-hand sexbot.” “My eyes lit up,” Owen says. “I thought, ‘There’s so many things wrong with that.’ For instance, wear and tear?”

16 | Fløre | Blue Tide Eyes

THE PRESS RELEASE:Fløre spent her childhood playing guitar, singing and dreaming of the universe. Her songs are inspired by the dark- and sadness of growing up, feeling alienated and too soft for this world. The moon lover expresses the loneliness in her songs, she produces mostly on her iPad, which create a deep atmosphere of falling into an empty ocean. Her touching voice tells stories about her own fragility, devotion to unusual human beings and a broken love. “Blue Tide Eyes gives me the feeling what it must be like when your life begins. I’m still writing songs in my childhood room, which felt too many times like a prison, in a town I hated, being heartbroken about a love that never happened. The song has a glittery, airy and longing feeling to it. Like a romance you just dreamt about. Nevertheless the heartache is real when you wake up.”

17 | Prince Fox | Same Love

THE PRESS RELEASE:Prince Fox returns today with Same Love, the second single from his forthcoming EP, I Got U, slated for release in early 2020. The past year has shown an evolution in Prince Fox’s artistry. No longer hiding behind features, Fox has taken to writing, recording, engineering, and performing all of his latest records, proving himself as a true one-man music machine. Same Love was penned in Nashville with Chaz Cardigan and Dylan Ander. “From the moment we wrote the record I adored it, but couldn’t figure out the production,” Fox explains of the early stages of the record. “Finally, after about 17 different versions, I finally got it, and couldn’t be more excited to share.” The track may have been a labor of love but the resulting pop-heavy, emotionally-charged sound is sure to land with Prince Fox fans new and old.”

18 | Denm | Alright

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Huntington Beach, CA artist Denm has dropped a new single titled Alright. In 2015, Denm was no more than a bedroom producer playing in a band, touring North America, and producing some songs on the side in his spare time. “My solo project basically started out as something to do when I was bored on tour,” shares Denm. “We would all have our computers out, making our own music for fun on the road. I remember making this random dance song in the back row of a sprinter and thought it sounded pretty cool. I played it for a few friends and label people, and when they demanded to hear more, I took it to heart.”

19 | The Whiffs | On the Boulevard

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Can you smell what The Whiffs are cookin? Hint: it’s not Phish, Meat Loaf or a String Cheese Incident. Nope – Kansas City’s prodigal sons of power pop are sticking to what they know on Another Whiff, their debut full-length out Dec, 6. Since 2017’s Take A Whiff EP, the band has been busy allowing their auditory aromas to ripen with the addition of Joey Rubbish (of The Rubs) for a fuller, more robust sonic bouquet. While the band can still get it up for Stiff Records – their pop-centric punk remains in full force – the album takes detours down lonelier roads in broken-hearted ballads from the heartland; on a journey forged by pioneers like Alex Chilton and later Paul Westerberg, the looming legacy of Tom Petty and the cosmic country harmonies of The Byrds before them.”

20 | Kamchatka | Fool

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish hard rock purveyors Kamchatka unleash the new single off upcoming album Hoodoo Lightning, out Dec. 6. Bassist and vocalist Per Wiberg comments: “Since both me and Thomas sing it’s cool to mix it up and share verses and choruses. I’ve always liked rock bands that have two or more lead vocalists, like Kiss, Grand Funk & ZZ Top for example. It brings more life to the songs I think and also underlines the fact that we’re a band. Obviously it’s fun and entertaining for both us and the audience in a live situation as well and it takes away a little of the pressure of having one guy doing the majority of the lead vocals.”

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