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Indie Roundup | Four Songs For a Quiet Monday

Ease into the week with Dan Deacon, Sarah Harmer, Saxophones and more.

Dan Deacon gets high, Godthrymm go deep, Saxophones light it up and Sarah Harmer visits the Bay in today’s Roundup. Hope your Monday was as quiet as mine.

1 | Dan Deacon | Become A Mountain

THE PRESS RELEASE:Dan Deacon releases Become A Mountain, a new single/video from Mystic Familiar, his forthcoming album out Jan. 31. Following lead single Sat By A Tree, album opener Become A Mountain is a startlingly vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and distorted vocals. For the first time ever on record, Deacon presents his natural singing voice, unprocessed and with only minimal, all-acoustic accompaniment. Its animated video was created by Spain-based studio Rapapawn. On the track, Dan said: “During the 4 years over which I composed the songs that became Mystic Familiar, I began going to therapy and started a meditation practice. I felt raw and vulnerable while making this album, and I wanted the music to reflect that. Like many people who’ve been in a dark mindset for a long time, self-compassion and non-judgmental thinking were a real challenge for me, entirely new habits that needed to be learned basically from scratch. When I would try to embrace having positive thoughts, they didn’t feel like my own, but rather another entity’s thoughts trying to speak to me. While writing, I began thinking of these thoughts as a Mystic Familiar (my own personal supernatural companion) trying to communicate with me. Externalizing the thoughts made them easier to fully realize and reflect upon. The lyrics in Become A Mountain lay out the framework for the album’s overall concept: a Narrator and their Mystic Familiar. Our Narrator, in the opening verse and choruses, is trying to learn how to be self-compassionate, to live a life in the present while being able to deal with self-doubt and anxiety in a lifetime of great flux and foundational transformations. Meanwhile, our Mystic Familiar, in verse two and the pre-choruses, tries to help guide the transformations of our narrator through mantras coaxing me to be present in the now, even while also being an element of chaos itself.”

2 | Godthrymm | The Sea As My Grave

THE PRESS RELEASE: “UK doom metal trio Godthrymm – featuring vocalist/guitarist Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride, Vallenfyre, Solstice), drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels (ex-My Dying Bride, Anathema), and bassist Bob Crolla – are pleased to unveil the official new video for The Sea As My Grave. The forlorn hymn comes off the band’s forthcoming debut, Reflections, set for release Feb. 14. The black and white clip features live footage from a Godthrymm performance in Belgium last summer and was pieced together by Carl Assault. Further elaborates Glencross of the track, “Crushing waves of titanic riffs and pounding drums, punctuated with ghostly leads and mournful vocals… lyrically, The Sea As My Grave paints a picture of a broken, tired human giving up their earthly remains to the sea for an eternal rest in the vastness of the oceans. Musically, we believe this song perfectly defines us stylistically as a band and represents us perfectly as musicians.”

3 | The Saxophones | Lamplighter

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Saxophones — the Bay Area based duo of Alexi Erenkov (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, woodwinds) and Alison Alderdice (drums, vocals) — have shared the second single from their forthcoming sophomore album Eternity Bay, out March 6. Lamplighter is warm surf-pop that draws from ’50s exotica, west coast jazz, and ’70s Italian lyricism. Erenkov wrote Lamplighter after playing a show at the Sou’wester trailer resort in Washington state, and at the Lamplighter, where he spent the rest of the evening drinking Fireballs. He says Lamplighter is about his attempts to escape anxiety through alcohol and other vices; “While indulging, I often convince myself that I’m on some kind of path to enlightenment, that I’ll find an escape from impermanence and be able to touch the eternal, but all of my hedonistic impulses lead me back to the same reality. And I’m left to face the fact that even the truest love is impermanent. The song takes its name from a bar on the misty Washington coast where I spent an evening drinking with close friends after a show. The night and the following day’s walk on the beach were both enjoyable, but I was particularly struck by how much my conversations, thoughts, and actions were avoidant of the present. Whether through alcohol or simply distracting myself with thoughts of the future, I find ways to fight reality.”

4 | Sarah Harmer | St. Peter’s Bay

THE PRESS RELEASE:St. Peter’s Bay, the second song from award-winning singer-songwriter and environmentalist Sarah Harmer’s new album, Are You Gone (due Feb. 21), is out today. A haunting juxtaposition of the swell of emotions at the end of a relationship against the drama and hardness of winter, St. Peter’s Bay (the album opener) introduces Sarah’s first full body of work in 10 years. A cinematic love-letter to wilderness and the depth of human feeling – with a surprising backstory – Sarah said: “I wrote St. Peter’s Bay on the plane to Prince Edward Island for a Hockey Day In Canada theatre show, but the hockey part is only a prompt. The song is about the end of a relationship, set against the frozen shoreline of Lake Ontario. I thought what better way to start the record than with black and white pioneer era sound, and a tale of love burning down to its final ember.”