Indie Roundup | 20 Songs To Enhance Your Thursday

The Chats, Porridge Radio, Spinning Coin and more finish off your day in style.

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The Chats clap back, Porridge Radio get sweet and lowdown, Spinning Coin ghost you, Black Star Riders go to war and more in today’s Roundup. No dis to any of the acts in today’s lineup, but really, for me it all starts and ends with The Chats.


SONG OF THE DAY

1 | The Chats | The Clap

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian punks The Chats have announced their debut album High Risk Behaviour, out March 27. Today, they release an eye-watering video for lead single The Clap which is both a cautionary tale and the closest you’ll ever hear The Chats get to writing a love song. The Clap features guitarist Pricey on vocal duties and is the first track from their forthcoming album. High Risk Behaviour buzzes like an out-of-control chainsaw, propelled by Eamon Sandwith’s spoken-spit-sung vocals, their three-chords-is-one-too-many approach, and an exacting combination of youth, vigor and drunkenness. It’s a perfect name for an album that does not f*ck around – one that’s over in 28 blistering, funny, sweaty, unforgettable minutes.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

2 | Porridge Radio | Sweet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brighton, UK-based band Porridge Radio have announced their debut studio album Every Bad, out March 13. In conjunction, they share a Sam Hiscox-directed video for new single, Sweet, a creeping self-examination, striking in its minutely observed details. “Sweet is a song about holding grudges and learning how to have fun and letting go of an old version of yourself,” says lead singer Dana Margolin. “I was feeling light-hearted when I wrote it, but when we came together to play it as a band, it suddenly felt really dramatic and exciting. When we play it live, the energy in the room always feels really intense, and then suddenly we just explode altogether and it always feels really good.”


3 | Spinning Coin | Ghosting

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ahead of Hyacinth, Spinning Coin’s forthcoming new album – due for release Feb. 21 – the four-piece have unveiled a second song from the record, Ghosting, which arrives with a video directed by Canadian musician Sean Nicholas Savage. Ghosting was penned by Sean Armstrong, who says: “It was written in the small hours of a morning in my cockroach-infested flat in Glasgow, on the day that I was to move out. I hadn’t packed any of my things but stayed up all night sitting on the floor screaming into a microphone, drinking instant coffee. In the late am when my friends came to help me move, I still hadn’t put anything into boxes or slept, and was faint and dehydrated; but had written the first version of this song.”


4 | Black Star Riders | In The Shadow Of The War Machine

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Off the back of an extremely successful 2019, Black Star Riders greet the new decade with an incredibly relevant new video In The Shadow Of The War Machine, out today. The track describes the condition in which we all currently live in: a world where economical interest prevails over the common good; a world where we are forced to face constant uncertainties. As the band says: “vote for a clown … you have a circus”. The music perfectly reflects the content: the pounding rhythm of each verse echoes the oppression of the war machine; the heavier and more aggressive chorus underlines the frustration we feel rising every day.”


5 | Long Beach Dub Allstars | Tell Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s been 15 years since Long Beach Dub Allstars disbanded, but in 2016 the group continued their path of musical evolution and the legacy they started with Sublime. Now, after this lengthy hiatus, the Long Beach Dub Allstars have returned with their first new music in nearly two decades with a new album and their single Tell Me. The song is the lead track on their upcoming eponymous album, Long Beach Dub Allstars. “We haven’t released a full-length album since 2001 so this a paramount release for us. Tell Me is a happy song about either eating good or drinking but just having a good time with reggae,” commented songwriter and vocalist Opie Ortiz. “This album will show fans exactly where we are right now as a band and this album feels like a classic Long Beach Dub record from the moment it starts playing.”


6 | Go For The Gold | Let Me Go

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Arkansas based Go For Gold have released Let Me Go, a dynamic and upbeat punk-driven track, solidifying the band as a strong up-and-coming pop punk staple.”


7 | Lynne Hanson | Long Way Home

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning singer/songwriter Lynne Hanson shares the third single from her seventh studio album Just Words, due out on Feb. 7. Long Way Home is a dramatic heartbreak ballad accented by keyboard hooks from producer Jim Bryson (Skydiggers, Oh Susanna) and an aching guitar solo from Kevin Breit. “I’ve been sober for eight years now, and I’ve made that long walk home from the bar or wherever I was coming home from many, many times in my life. So it’s a really personal song for me. When I was writing it, I could really see the movie in my head.”


8 | Brandon Wolfe Scott | Summers On Fire

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Friday, Brandon Wolfe Scott will release his Burden On Your Shoulders EP. To celebrate the release he is sharing the new video for Summers On Fire, a song about climate change and the negative impact humans have on the planet. “Having spent a few years living in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, rising temperatures and wildfires have become an annual summer tragedy along with the coast of California, and of course the absolute catastrophe currently taking place in Australia,” says Brandon. “The narrative is not me preaching, but more about stepping outside my own echo chamber of ignorance. Looking to the future generation I think it’s important to inspire change and hope in the face of sadness and ecological grief.”


9 | R Grunwald | Age

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In a few short months, R Grunwald will release his debut solo piano LP. A session player for hundreds of musicians, the Toronto keyboardist has been faithful to two different singer-songwriters, jazz/pop chanteuse Jill Barber and songwriter Donovan Woods, for the better part of a decade. Now he’s ready to step onto the public stage with his own music—alone. But there’s one person who will be with him every night he performs, though she won’t be there physically. His 96-year-old grandmother, who has lived in Chile after fleeing her native Poland in 1946, is the primary inspiration for Grunwald’s Oma — the German word for ‘grandmother’. Grunwald’s favourite track on the record, and arguably the centrepiece of the LP, Age represents “a life cycle of a human,” he says. “It starts gently and delicate, like childhood and youth… then it gets more complex and heavy as life moves on, and by the end it goes back to frailty. That song makes me think of my grandmother’s life.” When the album was mastered, Grunwald went to Chile to play it for her, and also to record her incredible life story for posterity. While there, he and his partner learned they were about to have their first child. Now that both the album and the child have arrived, Oma plays as much more than just another meditative solo piano record. Though they might sound like lullabies, these bedtime stories belie their sparse simplicity.”


10 | Raphael Weinroth-Browne | Tumult

THE PRESS RELEASE:Worlds Within is the stunning debut solo album from Canadian cellist and composer Raphael Weinroth-Browne. Having been an integral creative force in groups such as The Visit, Musk Ox, and Kamancello, as well as having recorded and toured extensively with Norwegian progressive rock/metal band Leprous, this new solo effort sees him exploring his cellistic voice even further. Worlds Within takes full advantage of the possibilities of the instrument; all of the sounds on the album – melodies, harmonies, riffs, textures, and even percussion – were created on cello with amplification and effects pedals. In advance of the record’s Jan. 24 release, he unveils the visual accompaniment to the track Tumult.Tumult is meant to illustrate chaos and upheaval. Once again, the thematic narrative of the music is embodied by actor/dancer Heather Sita Black, but, this time, she appears in the form of a ghost or apparition instead of a physical being, trapped in the confines of stone ruins, in the same way that the mind can often be caged by recurring and destructive thought patterns. The veil that once defined her sense of identity now begins to choke and blind her. What begins as a dance gradually becomes an almost bestial struggle. At the end of the video, as the veil is lowered, she is able to see clearly for the first time, transcending the walls of the ruins into the ever-expanding horizon.”


11 | C. Shirock | Lost To The Night

THE PRESS RELEASE:C. Shirock is Chuck Shirock – founder, frontman and primary writer for internationally acclaimed band Shirock. The new music from C. Shirock is an evolution and a distillation of his previous work, cutting to the core of his identity, with a power and clarity not heard before. Blending anthemic choruses, musical builds and releases with heartfelt and personal lyrics, the new music from C. Shirock delivers a vulnerability, urgency and an aching vocal that is uniquely his own. Driving rhythms and bass are anchors to the soaring melodies, layers of keyboards, and programming that call to mind the emotive, intelligent pop music of artists such as Peter Gabriel and David Bowie.”


12 | Grayscale | Tommy’s Song

THE PRESS RELEASE:Grayscale have premiered the video for the live version of deeply personal track Tommy’s Song, filmed at the TLA in their native Philadelphia. Tommy’s Song was written for singer Collin Walsh’s cousin, Thomas Patrick Walsh, who took his own life last April. Tommy was just 20 years old. The song is told from Collin’s perspective of the event itself and the grief experienced thereafter. It was an incredibly difficult track for the vocalist to write — both vocally and lyrically. It was so difficult and emotionally gut-wrenching, in fact, that he doubted that he would be able to use any of the vocal takes. The band and its producer soldiered on and ended up using these raw, unfiltered moments on the final track, adding to its depth, emotional heft, and character. “It was challenging for us to write a song in a way that we felt captured the impact of the situation appropriately,” the band says. “Tommy’s Song was written with the help of our friend, Skylar Patzer, who beautifully performed the piano track on this song, and also featured a choir singing the reprise and carrying the song through its grandiose ending. The first (and possibly last) time we performed this song live was on October 5, 2019 at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA, on our first ever headline tour. We only wanted to perform this song the way it was intended to be realized, which was with a full gospel choir. The 1,100+ crowd sang with the choir in tandem, ‘I heard Gospels singing in my head’ to close out our most memorable show to date. The performance was exactly how we pictured it — beautiful and conclusive.”


13 | Broads | Happisburgh (Single Edit)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British electronic duo Broads have revealed their new track Happisburgh (Single Edit). This is the first taste of the new 6-track Ollust LP from the Norfolk-based duo, slated for release on Jan. 31. This spacious and upflifting ambient offering comes with B-side Red Pits. First single Happisburgh (pronounced ‘haze-bruh’) is built around ideas of a town disappearing into the sea – history being rendered in front of us, and future folk tales falling into place. The accompanying video, most fitting considering the thematic, was filmed and edited by Mark Jennings.”


14 | Umphrey’s McGee | Suxity

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Improv-rock group Umphrey’s McGee have always had an uncanny ability to melt down any genre of music, blend the molten styles, and hammer forge a new sound for each new song they write. While writing and recording their newest single, Suxity, the ingredients were — in guitarist and co-writer Jake Cinninger’s words — part Sly Stone, part Alice In Chains. Suxity was the first song Umphrey’s recorded during their sessions with producer Ryan Hewitt (The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Lumineers) at Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studio. “When I first heard Jake’s demo for Suxity, I immediately got excited and knew it would turn into something substantial, and that it would happen quickly,” recalls guitarist and co-writer Brendan Bayliss. “Right away, I was getting ideas in my head for melodies and lyrics, and I always take that as a good sign after listening to something for the first time.” Cinninger was looking for a “drastic contrast between the verses and choruses,” a sound which keyboardist Joel Cummins considers “two of Umphrey’s hallmark sounds battling it out.” “A James Brown style funk verse with a 90s grunge chorus,” Cummins muses, “and Jake’s guitar solo adds a dash of Steely Dan to round it out.”


15 | Squirrel Flower | Streetlight Blues

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Jan. 31, Squirrel Flower – the moniker of Ella O’Connor Williams – will release I Was Born Swimming, her debut album. Today, she presents its final pre-release single, Streetlight Blues. Following previously released songs/videos Red Shoulder and Headlights, Streetlight Blues is brooding, and features heavy guitar riffs. “I wrote this song because I was overcome by the image of insects flying towards streetlights and bug lamps in the late summer, attracted to the light but also flying to their death,” says Williams. “This song is angsty. It’s partly about blowing off your friends to dance alone in waves of emotion, partly about the end of something- life, seasons, a relationship, a streetlamp.”


16 | Tami Neilson | You Were Mine

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With only a month remaining till the release of her new LP, Chickaboom!, Tami Neilson is sharing another new track from the upcoming album. You Were Mine was written together with her brother Jay Neilson, Tami says “we had recently lost our beloved Dad and were discussing how, when you lose someone, it is such a line in the sand, a marker in time. We talk about everything in terms of “before” and “after”- each family event, each movie that comes out, each album that is recorded…”was Dad there for that? Did he see that movie or was it after? He would’ve loved that album…” So, this song is for anyone who measures time against a deep loss of love that was an integral part of the fabric that makes up your life.” The song was supposed to come complete with a music video for the track created by her brother Todd Neilson, however now is not the right time to share it. Tami says “while I am so incredibly proud of what an amazing visual clip he created, I have decided against releasing it at this time, due to the element of fire being a prominent part of the video. I am a Canadian / New Zealander who resides in NZ where the skies have been hazy, orange, and smoke-filled as we grieve for our Australian neighbours fighting the terrible bushfires. Please donate and help the beautiful people of this beautiful country.”


17+18 | Talk Me Off | Worry Wart + Insidious

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Richmond’s snotty punk trio Talk Me Off is coming out swinging in 2020. Their debut full-length album Cursed will be co-released on Feb. 14. In addition, the first two singles Worry Wart and Insidious have been added to streaming platforms so you can get a taste of their short, fast, and to the point punk rock. Cursed was recorded at The Orchard in Richmond, engineered by Josh Scolaro, mixed and mastered by Ian Marchionda, and produced by the band. Feel like nothing ever goes your way? Feel like you just can’t live up to expectations? Or do you feel like you’ve become a burden to your friends or loved ones? Cursed is a 12-song installment of the catchiest, harsh, and aggressive punk rock that you’ve never known you needed. It provides you enough to sing-along, but not enough time to catch your breath. Emotionally-driven and tackling everything from hating life to telling religious idiots to keep their opinions to themselves. This musical downer scratches the itch for the angsty teen hating their life all the way to 30-something burnt out corporate basement dweller wishing they weren’t required to wake up the next day.”


19 | Astari Nite | Capulet Loves Montague

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Miami, Florida-Goth Rock/Post-Punk artists Astari Nite release their new song Capulet Love Montague. Astari Nite pay homage to one of the most well known and tragic love stories in history, Romeo and Juliet. Capulet Loves Montague tells the tale of heartbreak and woe. How two people can fall in love but ultimately will be their undoing. Vocalist Mychael explains what inspired them to write the song: “Lyrically, Capulet Loves Montague came to life while my 11-year young best friend and I were fooling around with crayons on a rainy evening. Perhaps it was the colors that made it clear, a nursery rhyme was being created. A feeling of innocence came over me when the words “Christmas trees are frozen spiders, Cats are made from snow, terrified by what I think of, petrified in love” were written. I’m obsessed with silliness, which is often mistaken for my sadness, especially when it comes to storytelling.”


20 | Human Impulse | Behind Your Back

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Minneapolis-based punk/metal/noise trio Human Impulse is preparing to release their eponymous debut EP in late February. The band has offered a foretaste of their new effort, allowing the lead track Behind Your Back off the chain alongside preorders and other details on the record. Human Impulse was formed in 2017 by musicians formerly of Ambassador Gun, Path Of Destruction, Tinnitus, and others. Their sound, as proven on their impending self-titled EP, is structured upon punk and metal foundations, infusing elements of noise, experimental, and more. Densely layering these sounds into quick, blazing songs, all three members provide instrumentation and vocals through the assault. The lyrical content is influenced by the past, present, and future predicaments of the world. About how information is immediate, distorted, and easy to manipulate. Songs speak of mistrust, paranoia, disgust, hope, and despair.”