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Indie Roundup (Giving Up Edition) | 16 Tracks To Finish Off Your Friday

Set a course for the weekend with Franklin Electric, yApex, Danny Toeman & more.

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The Franklin Electric find trouble, Danny Toeman plays the field, The Silenced raise a racket, Erdling go to the dogs, yApex doubles down and more in today’s Roundup. I know Thanksgiving was yesterday (or last month, depending on where you’re from), but I’m still pretty damn grateful that the weekend is finally here.


1 | The Franklin Electric | Trouble

Here’s how lame I am: As soon as I saw that Montreal indie-folk collective The Franklin Electric’s new single was titled Trouble, I immediately started humming the jingle for the old board game: ‘You’ve got Trouble, wait don’t run / This kind of Trouble is lots of fun.’ Thankfully, that has nothing in common with this moody number — or the intense video that goes with. THE PRESS RELEASE:The Franklin Electric are sharing another new video from their upcoming EP In Your Heart, out Feb. 21. “Trouble is about “my relationship with my inner struggles,” says Jon Matte. “Learning from them and finding a way to understand why and where they come from. As if they are happening for a reason I should understand. We shot the video on a day off our European tour in London UK and went with a doom and gloom kind of Brit crime drama story with forgiveness and remorse.” Consider this your trigger warning:


2 | Danny Toeman | She’s Got Something About Her

London’s Danny Toeman doesn’t really look like a soul man. Or a ladies’ man. But judging by his latest old-school single and charming video, the dude is definitely a player — in more ways the one. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Danny Toeman is a vibrant and powerful performer who seamlessly blends the classic vibes of Funk and Soul’s golden age with his own inimitable London edge, delivering a modern and fresh ‘neo-vintage’ flavour. The North London singer who is known for his outstanding live performances that showcase his rugged vocals and altitude-defying falsetto, creates a sound oozing with character and emotion. Along with his seven-piece band The Love Explosion, Toeman stages an electrifying show filled to the brim with feel-good funky soul, designed to make you move.”


3 | The Silenced | Resist To Exist

Resistance is futile. Especially if you’re trying to fight against the unstoppable force of Finnish furies The Silenced and their video for the punishing new single Resist to Exist. THE PRESS RELEASE:The Silenced from Helsinki announce their first album Orator will be released in early 2020. Orator is a monster with earth pounding riffs and beautifully dry melodies. The nightmares sent into our living rooms through the news day by day inspires the relentless music of The Silenced. An angry storm that rises from the elements of Groove Metal and Deathcore. Bands such as Sepultura/Soulfly, Machine Head, Heaven Shall Burn and All Shall Perish echo as the heavy foundation and combined with larger than life melodies of Insomnium, the Finnish roots of the band are as present as the brutal riffing. And due to this special mix, this unique kind of music, The Silenced is one of the most interesting newcomers from Finland. Band states: “We are so f#%king excited about this deal and cannot wait for you guys to hear our debut album and see us kick your butt live! This has been long in the making and we are ready to ride, shoot straight and speak the truth. The beginning is near!!” Who can resist?


4 | Erdling | Wölfe der Nacht (feat. Chris Pohl)

To my extremely North American ears, Erdling sounds like it could be some form of extreme Alpine team sport — or what one might end up doing after celebrating victory in said sport a little too enthusiastically. In fact, it’s the German word for Earthling — and the name of these darkly melodic rockers. As for the handle of their new single and video Wölfe der Nacht, well, I think we can all handle that one: It’s Midnight Puppy, right? THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fearlessly Erdling spread over their full realms and cross frontiers while still standing true to their traits. Anthems such as Wölfe der Nacht feat. Chris Pohl of Blutengel distinctivly sound like Erdling.” Well, that must be a relief:


5 | Great American Ghost | Prison of Hate

We all live in prisons of our own making. Mine is this website. Of course, next to Beantown beatdown artists Great American Ghost and their self-described Prison of Hate, that seems pretty wimpy. Yep, that’s me. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Boston’s Great American Ghost plan to release a new LP titled Power Through Terror on Feb. 14. This will serve as the highly anticipated follow up to 2017’s Hatred Stems From The Seed. The new music video for Prison Of Hate was directed by Eric Richter and is the first bit of music we’re seeing and hearing from the group from the all-new LP. Extreme music is aggressive by nature, but Great American Ghost may be the angriest sounding band of all time.” Maybe it’s because the initials of their name spell GAG:


6 | Black Absinthe | Witness

Until about five minutes ago, I thought all absinthe was looked like cloudy green mouthwash. Turns out there’s also such a thing as black absinth — which I presume is even stronger than the regular stuff. That makes it a pretty good name for a metal band. Like, say, Toronto’s own Black Absinthe, who are looking for a Witness in their latest video. Along with a shot glass and some mixer, I can only assume. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video for the single Witness was shot at Toronto heavy metal venue Coalition T.O. just months before its unfortunate closure. The venue itself holds a very dear spot in the metal hearts of the band as they lived and performed just steps away from it for the last four years, meeting local and touring bands along with rocking out their own relentless run of shows. “The insanity of the front row has been the proving grounds of Black Absinthe’s sound, and the foreground to this video,” the band adds. “Live shows took the placeholder for releasing music over the past three years, and the energy in this video is how you will always find us live. We want this video to transcend people who have been there while offering a snapshot of underground metal venues found across the globe.” Cheers:


7 | Howlin’ Circus | Love Can Wait

Everybody has a soft spot at this time of year. Even a band with a rockin’ handle like Howlin’ Circus. How do I know? I just watched the acoustic video for their endearing new Christmas song Love Can Wait (which doesn’t sound like a very Christmassy sentiment, but hey, give it a chance). THE PRESS RELEASE: “This original Christmas song from their recently released, critically acclaimed album Run The Wrong Way perfectly captures the space between longing and hope through its warm guitar and shimmering sleigh-bells. It’s a heart-felt and relatable holiday song that is sure to capture yours. Singer Jafar Sandouk says: “It was my first Christmas in Toronto since moving from the UK. It can get pretty lonely this time of year when it’s too cold to leave the house and, given the state of things going on in the world today, it can be hard to not feel isolated from each other. I wrote this song to ward off the cold and the loneliness, and hopefully it warms people up along the way.” Wait no longer:


8 | Harpdog Brown | One Step Forward

Some folks end up taking two steps backward for every step forward. They’re apparently doing better than B.C. bluesman Harpdog Brown, whose regress-to-progress is currently running at a 3:1 ratio, according to his latest swinging single and retro-dance video. Good thing it doesn’t prevent him from enjoying himself to the max. It shouldn’t get in your way, either. THE PRESS RELEASE: “With Harpdog Brown’s distinct sound and colossal stage presence, One Step Forward shows diversity and how welcoming blues music is. All are welcome — young and old no matter the stripe, so to speak. “Blues is a celebration of our perfectly flawed lives. And that’s really what One Step Forward is all about,” says Brown. “Sometimes we take one step forward only to take three steps back and that’s ok. It’s important to laugh and celebrate anyway.” That’s always a step in the right direction:


9 | Larkins | Make You Better

At least once a week, some up-and-coming artist asks me how to get more exposure for their music. Make videos, I always say — even simple lyric videos can hold your attention if they’re done with a dash of creativity and a bit of inspiration. Like, say, this simple but effective clip for Manchester band Larkins’ compelling electro-ballad Make You Better. See for yourself. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Taking a more contemplative, minimalist production style from Dan Nigo (Sky Ferreira, Lewis Capaldi) to their earlier huge anthem-laden releases, it highlights an emotive, searchingly introspective vocal performance from singer Josh Noble that will continue the natural intrigue swirling around him right now. Josh states: It’s a song about waiting for the summertime. I think when you’re growing up you don’t realise how important your grandparents are and how benevolent they seem. Losing them was tough but it’s even harder when you still have so much more to say. Hopefully I got this song right, it’s our most personal release to date.” Watch and learn, kids:


10 | Sleepless Nights | Spendin’ Money

Comedy isn’t the only entertaining endeavour where good timing comes in handy. It doesn’t hurt in rock ’n’ roll either. East Coast rockers Sleepless Nights know that: Their thumpy new single Spendin’ Money arrived just in time for consumers to blow all their hard-earned doug at a big box store — probably after a sleepless night waiting for the doors to open. But if you think they’re just kissing capitalist butt here, think again. Turns out these guys know something else that comes in handy in rock ’n’ roll: A sense of irony. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Despite its arrival on the busiest shopping day of the year, Spendin’ Money is anything but a pro-capitalism anthem. Couched in classic rock tones, glam rock grooves, and fuzzed-out riffs, the latest from the Toronto-based band instead takes a critical look at endless cycles of debt and how we end up there. Whether because of “a torn diploma from another age” or from doing “menial work for a menial wage,” the track questions why ‘being in the black’ always seems so far out of reach.” Money, it’s a gas:


11 | Crowd Company | Lowdown

As we all know, two is company and three is a crowd. Eight, on the other hand, is Crowd Company, a funky British octet. To get the lowdown on what they’re up to lately, look (and listen) no further than their combustible new single, fittingly titled Lowdown. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hot on the heels of new single Express 76, acclaimed UK funk band Crowd Company return with another taste from their forthcoming third album in the form of Lowdown, a sassy slice of sister funk that once again features Ryan Zodis & Eric Bloom, the sax AND trumpet virtuosos from USA funk band Lettuce. We’re not quite sure what Crowd Company have been eating lately but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was some high-energy spinach cause they are on a roll and have never sounded better! If first singles Express 76 and Lowdown are any indication of what is to come, we’re ready to bet the next album will firmly cement the band’s standing as a force to be reckoned with in the global funk scene!” Their number’s up:


12&13 | Sonic Candy & yApex | Visualize the Scene / Grave Diggers

It’s always a good day when wildly inventive Midwestern rapper (and Friend of Tinnitist) yApex pops back up with a new track. It’s even better when he doubles down with not one but two woozy new headnodders — and introduces us to an equally talented new artist in the bargain. Which is exactly what he’s doing with the hallucinatory cuts Visualize the Scene and Grave Diggers, co-starring fellow beatmaster and fantastic freak Sonic Candy. Get these into your ears pronto. THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’ve known Sonic Candy since middle school and never once has he changed up. I just hit him up when I was back in town for Spring Break and asked if he wanted to work… dude invited to me to the crib for a whole week.I get there and this man just has stock piles of beats ready to go, I got stock piles of beats ready to go… each time he played something that blew my mind, and vice versa.” Stay tuned for an entire album in the first week of 2020. And plenty more to follow, if yApex stays true to form.


14 | Amelia Carey | Love Is Love

LGBT+ acceptance anthem of the day 1: Love is Love, the latest single from up-and-coming British popster Amelia Carey. THE PRESS RELEASE: “Helmed by buzzing producers AZTX and written by Amelia with AZTX and Push Baby’s Danny Wilkin, Love Is Love is a heart wrenching open letter to Amelia’s parents to accept her as an openly gay young woman. The track depicts a struggle that millions of LGBT+ people around the world will know all too well, yet the track proudly offers comfort and support to the LGBT+ community. Love Is Love is the perfect encapsulation of Amelia’s admirable strength of character and proves Amelia has a great future not just in music, but as a vital role model in the LGBT+ community who is unafraid to speak her truths.” Share the love:


15 | Nosoyo | Neverending Story

LGBT+ acceptance anthem of the day 2: Neverending Story, the new single by Berlin-based duo Nosoyo. THE PRESS RELEASE: “The world keeps taking small steps forward only to go back a few of those steps soon after. Rather than getting stuck in this loop, Donata Kramarz and Daim de Rijke believe it is important to focus on positive social developments: men are consciously advocating for feminist empowerment, movements like #metoo and #genderpaygap have become irreversibly strong social transformation, and women are calling for more ‘we rise by lifting others’-style collaborations. “In the music industry alone there has been so much progress. There are so many new networks and mentoring programs for young women in the industry,” says Donata. “That was not the case when we moved to Berlin five years ago.” Daim adds, “You can feel the positive effects already. But we still have a lot of work to do.”


16 | The Esprits | Rainbow

Some bands feel the need to blather on and on about their songs. Not German rockers The Esprit. At least, not when it comes to their new single Rainbow. This is not necessarily a good thing. Read on. THE PRESS RELEASE:Rainbow is the ticket to the place that many seek and few find. It’s not about the “where?” or “with whom?” For The Esprits it’s all about the “how?” The answer? As The Esprits understand Rock ‘n’ Roll: LIVE.” And if you understood that, you’re way ahead of me: