Indie Roundup (XXXI Edition) | 31 Songs To Soundtrack Your Weekend

Finish your Friday with the help of Macabre, Keith Mosfet, Heather Valley and more.

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Macabre bring back Ted, Keith Mosfet wants you, Howlin’ Circus run the wrong way, Elephant Stone cry, Heather Valley trawls and much more in a massive Friday Roundup. Is that all you got?


VIDEO OF THE DAY

1 | Macabre | The Ted Bundy Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Chicago legends of Murder Metal/Death Metal, Macabre, have come back recharged and are making their entire discography available digitally. In celebration, the band offers fans a music video for The Ted Bundy Song off their 1993 album Sinister Slaughter. Directed by Jeffrey Sisson, the video features Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation as Ted Bundy.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

2 | Keith Mosfet | It’s You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When I was writing the lyrics for my new single It’s You, I hoped to describe the small moments in which one can fall in love. This softer side of me is paired with my love of psychedelic, high-energy guitars and souring yet raw emotional vocal melodies, perfectly complementing the array of emotions felt when falling in love.”


3 | Howlin’ Circus | Run The Wrong Way

THE PRESS RELEASE:Howlin’ Circus are excited to announce the release of their debut music video for their anthemic and defiant title track Run The Wrong Way. From a gritty graffiti-laden concert venue to an outdoor space with a stunning backline view of Toronto, the video was shot at various locations throughout the city. Lead singer Jafar Sandouk said: “It’s what living in 2020 feels like. The world is on fire, literally, and nuclear apocalypse is just a Tweet away. We’re powerless in so many ways and Run The Wrong Way is a defiant call to reclaim some of the things we can control. We set out to make something that’s true to us, and I think we captured it on the album. Making the music video was a sweet way to round off the work we put in over the past year and it was great fun to collaborate with some very talented Toronto artists.”


4 | Elephant Stone | We Cry For Harmonia

THE PRESS RELEASE: “After taking time to explore new collaborations and sounds (MIEN, Acid House Ragas) and remixes for paisley underground legends (The Dream Syndicate) and French pop-auteurs Tahiti80, Montreal’s Elephant Stone will release their new album Hollow on Feb. 14. “For the We Cry For Harmonia video, I wanted to make a series of animations that would take you through the music. The song itself is like riding a smooth wave through time. I wanted to make sure the visual elements had a similar feel to bring you through to the other side. This was a really fun project to work on. A few of my favourite cell animated clips came out of this. I’m really excited to see it released. Thank you Rishi and Elephant Stone for letting me be a part of this,” says director Mike Turzanski.”


5 | Heather Valley | Trawler

THE PRESS RELEASE: “We were sitting on the loveseat. It was the only piece of furniture in my cavernous living room. I couldn’t afford anything else after paying his rent in Buffalo all fall. He’d disappeared so many times only to reappear, swearing his love, and I wanted so badly to believe it was true. It was just a few weeks before he would be arrested in front of me at the border. He strummed the guitar and I wrote the lyrics then sang, shakily, along. Neither of us acknowledged that it was about him. Trawler tells the story of my first year with the man who broke my heart. A grifter and a womanizer. A great ship trawling the seas, catching up the mermaids, tangling them in its lines. He burned every bridge he had when I knew him. I posted an early version of this song online the day he was arrested. A former friend of his found it: “possibly one of the best descriptions of all time” he wrote. The comment is still there.”


6 | The Ah | Just Relief

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Ah — solo project of composer and musician Jeremy Gustin (Rubblebucket, Okkervil River, Delicate Steve, Marc Ribot, Albert Hammond Jr, etc) — shared the music video for Just Relief, the hypnotic third and final single from the forthcoming sophomore album Mere Husk, releasing Jan. 31. The video’s director, Yuka C. Honda (of Cibo Matto), shared her process: “I approach music and video in the same way as cooking. For me, it’s all about understanding the ingredients and creating something that uses their character to the fullest extent. In other words, I don’t write the story and look for the performers. I write the story based on the characters I am already aware of, with whom I am working. Jeremy sent me this music and asked me to make a video. I love the song very much. Somehow, it made me think about the last scene of the film Black Orpheus. When the protagonist dies at the end, children emerge. They pick up the guitar that he dropped, then regard the sunrise and start singing and dancing. Life goes on. Death is heart-wrenching. But there are children who will keep on dancing, playing the guitars that we dropped. I thought, “I can make this video!”, because I knew I wouldn’t mind listening to this song 600 times while editing.”


7 | White Stones | Worms

THE PRESS RELEASE: “From Martin Mendez, bassist of the ubiquitous Opeth, comes White Stones, a solo death metal project. Recently, they announced that their debut album named Kuarahy (pronounced Kwa-Ra-Hee) will be released on March 13 and today, they offer their fans a first insight into the album with the first single Worms. Martin Mendez comments: “Finally it’s time to release a piece from the album, we are feeling very excited about sharing this song with you all! hope you dig it!”


8 | Chris Landry & Seasick Mommas | Everything Ends Tonight

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This time of year, well it’s so damn dark … ” So begins Everything Ends Tonight, the latest single from Chris Landry and the Seasick Mommas’ sophomore album Two Ninety Three. Releasing it in late January seemed appropriate for the Ottawa-based alt-country crew, although it also serves to showcase Landry’s songwriting range. Two Ninety Three’s late 2019 release caused it to slip under some peoples’ radar, but Landry is gearing up for a busy year ahead with shows both with the band and solo. About Everything Ends Tonight, Landry says, “I wrote the song in winter time when it gets dark so early. It can be a real grind, even hopeless sometimes as it just seems like you wake up, go to work, come home and go to bed and do it all again until you die. Seems kind of morbid now.”


9 | The Word Alive | No Way Out

THE PRESS RELEASE:No Way Out doesn’t hold back, as it instantly pulls you into the darkest day of my life,” says singer Tyler Smith. “It’s a story I needed to tell for myself just as much as someone else may need to hear it. The worst thing a person can do is lose themselves completely, and that’s exactly what happened to me.”


10 | Izzy Thomas | Mad

THE PRESS RELEASE: “London based singer/songwriter Izzy Thomas is the epitome of a 21st century female alt pop/rock artist. With her seductive, fiercely powerful vocals, guitar lead melodies and electronic beats, Thomas has created her own unique sound and vision. Thomas is dropping the highly anticipated Mad. The infectiously catchy single is a melodic scream of irritation towards the endless sea of emotionally unavailable people we see in society today. The song is an homage to every emotion you feel when faced with the prospect of unrequited love. Thomas’ tongue in cheek, unforgettable lyrics and fresh approach, turns a tragic topic into an anthem for our times. Thomas confides, “In the single world, there seems to be a sea of emotionally damaged, unavailable people. Sometimes we subconsciously inhabit our ex’s ways and display them in our next relationship, because we’re afraid of opening up again. For the people ready for love this is irritating as hell! So this song is a light hearted poke of fun, about how ridiculous it all really is!”


11 | Irist | Burning Sage

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Georgia heavy metal powerhouse Irist will release their debut, full-length album Order of the Mind on March 27. Today, the band has unveiled a monstrous new song titled Burning Sage, with an accompanying music video.“Burning Sage’s frantic rhythmic patterns and ritualistic imagery made our choice to work with Mount Emult rather easy,” says vocalist Rodrigo Carvalho. “We wanted to convey this song’s dark atmosphere. Mount Emult’s exciting collage work allowed us to do just that. Burning Sage is about overcoming negative emotions – the process is represented as a ritual in which these emotions are purged. It made sense to use imagery that were a part of different cultures to illustrate how universal this theme is.”


12 | Joey O’Neil | When I Forget

THE PRESS RELEASE: “From haunting reflections to hopeful projections, Yukon-based folk-country songstress Joey O’Neil’s new album Ever Ahead is bold, clever and deeply honest. Set for an independent release on April 3, the LP eloquently speaks of disposable culture, fixing up things rendered broken, and taking care. Written while the songwriter drove her trusty 1989 Jeep on its yearly venture across the Trans-Canada Highway from the Yukon to Ontario and back, Ever Ahead is the quintessential ‘ode to the road’ album that in the words of O’Neil reminds us to “keep on truckin’”, as the next great personal epiphany is ever ahead. Today, Joey O’Neil releases When I Forget, the moody, self-reflective first single off of her forthcoming album. At its core When I Forget is about the struggle to break a cycle and the desire to learn a different way of being.”


13 | Cellar Darling | Love Pt. II

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Swiss prog-rockers Cellar Darling unveil the new lyric video for Love Pt. II from their latest album The Spell. The band comment: “It seems the world desperately needs more love. So, here you go with an animated video of Love Pt. II, from our concept album The Spell. This is the 10th video in our ongoing series, in which every one of the 13 album tracks will receive a visual interpretation by Costin Chioreanu. We hope you enjoy it!” The entire album will be visualised with animated music videos to present the whole story of The Spell in the enchanting and unmistakable style of Costin Chioreanu’s visual imagination. The remaining videos will be released later this year to complete the story so far.”


14 | Kinley | Washington

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and former Hey Rosetta! member Kinley releases Washington, the third single from her anticipated self-titled sophomore album due out on Feb. 21. Winner of the very first Women’s Freedom Song Contest award, Kinley had this to say on the inspiration for the song: “After attending the Women’s March in Charlottetown on January 21, 2017, a friend of the family told me I should go write about what we saw. I went home and watched hours of live footage from the Women’s March in Washington happening the same day. I wrote this song to do my part in the fight for equality. I entered and won the Women’s Freedom Song Contest, an international songwriting contest to “find the next female anthem”. I recorded this song on an album with Dennis Ellsworth called, Everyone needs to chill out. My mom always said more people should hear this song so I recorded it again, with a different feel.”


15 | Marko Hietela | Pyre Of The Black Heart

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Finnish singer/ bassist Marko Hietala releases his solo album Pyre Of The Black Heart. To celebrate the occasion, he also releases a new lyric video for the new single Runner Of The Railways. About the goal behind his solo album, Marko 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!”


16 | Miss FD | Keep Going

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Inspired by overcoming adversity and hardship, Miss FD wrote her new song Keep Going as a way to inspire and encourage listeners to stay focused and optimistic in 2020. “I felt I needed to create a song that would empower listeners, a motivational song to start 2020 on the right track”, says Miss FD. “I constructed the sonic framework for Keep Going with a minimalistic electronic vibe to maintain focus on the positive message”. In conjunction with the song release, Miss FD shares a lyric video for Keep Going.”


17 | Matt Zaddy | Brighter Days

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Since the release of his latest album Be in late 2019, Toronto singer/songwriter Matt Zaddy has been winning over new fans with his brand of heartfelt folk-rock spiced up by just the right amount of vintage soul. He’s about to release the album’s second single, Brighter Days, timed to help support Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 29. “When I wrote Brighter Days, I was thinking about some people in my life that were going through some hard times, specifically mental health,” Zaddy says. “Sometimes when we are in the thick of our problems, it can feel like we’re trapped and it can be difficult to talk to anyone about. Especially in those times, it is so important to remember that things can get better, and there are people in our life that care about. There will be Brighter Days.”


18 | Big Gigantic | Free Your Mind (feat. Kidepo)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A pioneer of live electronic music with colossal funk induced tracks and an optimistic narrative, Big Gigantic has built a stadium worthy stage presence over the past decade. Since its inception in 2008, saxophone player, Dominic Lalli, and drummer, Jeremy Salken, have cultivated a blend of infectious electronic dance music that has transcended across generations of fans. Their new album Free Your Mind comes out Feb. 28, and the single Burning Love is here now.”


19 | Tandm | Earthworm

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Indie pop and ambient rock band Tandm release a new song titled Earthworm, their first track following the releases of debut EP Reflections, Vol. 1 and subsequent Reflections, Vol. 2 in 2019. Earthworm is fast-paced and confident. Vocalist and guitarist Maxine Beck-Sinderby explains that “the inspiration came from our personal experiences, having been asked okay, I get that you’re into music, but what are you really going to do? It’s our response to the people who don’t believe music-making to be a professional career, or in a musician’s ability to succeed.”


20 | Bear Grillz | Smile Without U

THE PRESS RELEASE:Bear Grillz projects confidence and empowerment on Smile Without U, his punchy future bass single featuring vocals from Nevve. Smile Without U inaugurates the new year as the latest tease from Bear Grillz’s forthcoming EP, due to drop this spring.”


21 | Personality Cult | Telephone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “What started as a solo project for North Carolina’s Ben Carr has evolved into a full-band supergroup of sorts, featuring past and present members of Paint Fumes, Last Year’s Men, Natural Causes, Bass Drum Of Death, Missing Pages, Mind Spiders, Sweet Talk, Sweet Knives, and probably a bunch more that we’re forgetting about! Fast propulsive punk with hooks for days, and dark undercurrents swirling underneath. These guys really nail the delicate balance of taking a familiar sound and putting their own unique spin on it, in the end sounding like nothing but themselves.”


22 | Euglossine | Nightflowers At The Beach of Oblivion

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Digital wunderkind Euglossine is releasing a new single today called Night Flowers At The Beach of Oblivian. Keith Rankin (Giant Claw, OMR co-owner) penned his thoughts about the track: “Nightflowers at the Beach of Oblivion is one of the album’s more dynamic tracks. A giant whale-like synth tone provides a foundation, with what sounds like automated electronic mallets scurrying underneath. I think of aquatic life, each sound is distinct and takes up its own very specific space in the tracks ecosystem, allowing for a lot of intricate interplay while maintaining a sparse and light feel. Euglossine is a name you can encounter over and over again if you dig through the underground digital music world. He’s blessed with the ability to produce purely electronic frequencies that wind up sounding human, organic, and life affirming. Psaronius will take you to places you could never dream of, and I highly recommend going along for the ride.”


23 | The Weight | Explosion

THE PRESS RELEASE: “What goes up, must come down. An old saying which holds a lot of truth about the tragic of being human. It was the late great Jim Morrison who famously sang the line ‘The end is always near.’ So no matter how triumphant our victories may be, the transience of each moment can’t be denied at any point in time. However, we keep on striving for the impossible, knowing that any keen undertaking eventually must be in vain. And that’s what The Weight’s new single Explosion is all about. Even when failing seems imminent there can still be a lot of fun in it. In fact The Weight’s music is hard rocking and bouncing all over the place and behind all that moaning and groaning of Explosion one can easily sense the exitement and satisfaction of a well oiled rock’n’roll machine. Consequently, in the second half of Explosion there are no more words needed to reach a final climax and thus the end of a true musical adventure. There may be an end to anything except for the repeat button.”


24 | OvO | You Living Lie

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Best described as an apocalyptic dance track, You Living Lie showcases the different extremes that make up OvO’s wildly unique sound. Heavy sludge-doom rubs up against a funky, minimal, electro beat, while vocalist Stefania Pedretti terrorizes with maniacal vocals, spewed out in her native Italian. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020 – with over 1,000 shows played, nine studio albums released, and a slew of splits and live recordings – OvO is a singular force in the underground. With a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, founding members Pedretti and Bruno Dorella take influence from the likes of Swans and Diamanda Galas.”


25 | Kaskade & Brohug | 1990

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kaskade’s brand new single is a throwback to the most significant years in music. For 1990 he teamed up with the Swedish trio Brohug (consisting of John Dahlbäck and Lunde brothers). Kaskade and Brohug took Snap!’s iconic The Power, pulled it apart and reworked the recognizable vocals with their signature sound.”


26 | Johnny Stimson | Hallelujah

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Life isn’t about simply taking risks. It’s really about choosing the right risk. You could say that pop singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Stimson chose rather wisely. New single Hallelujah is soaked in synths, soulful vocals and heart-wrenching lyrics. The song acts as a reminder to be thankful for every moment, no matter how high or how low. Stimson shares, “I am grateful for all the ups and downs, love and heartbreak, life and loss, and everything in between. Every breath is a beautiful gift and I hope this song reminds whoever is out there listening to hold on because you are worth it and you are loved”.


27 | Ritual Dictates | Give to Despair

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ritual Dictates – a new metal band formed by Justin Hagberg (3 Inches of Blood) and Ash Pearson (Revocation) ready to crush skulls in 2020 – reveals the new single Given to Despair. The track is the first to be revealed from their forthcoming debut album, Give in to Despair, set for international release on April 3. Ritual Dictates are inspired by a wide array of styles and instruments. The music itself has straightforward elements of metal and grind, with detours into anything from black metal to good-time rock ‘n’ roll. Picking up on inspiration from their respective previous bands Allfather and Angel Grinder, ex-3 Inches of Blood members Justin Hagberg and Ash Pearson (drummer of Revocation) are continuing down the heavy metal path while fusing their eclectic influences of black, grind, death metal, and classic rock into interesting new places.”


28 | Highasakite | Under The Sun

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Critically acclaimed Norwegian outfit Highasakite unveil another slice of intimate pop with Under The Sun. The new track comes just weeks before the bands fast-approaching-album, The Bare Romantic Part 2 will be released on the Feb. 7. Talking about the emotionally charged song the band explains; “at the time the media was filled with news about the Syrian refugees. There was such a contrast in how the public reacted to the images of those people in need. While some people answered with plain hate and rejection, other people put their life on hold to help them out.”


29 | Tim Freitag | Call Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Right from the get-go, the Call Me kick-drum jackhammers out of the loudspeakers, pounds us towards the dance floor, to where Tim Freitag’s guitar grabs our hips, primed for a quick party fling. My place or yours? Whatever! Main thing is to not go home alone. There, the primal drumbeat bangs even harder ‒ and then what? You leave your number behind… and dial that of an Uber. See you next time, but only if the dance floor doesn‘t satisfy. You know, ‘You only call me when you‘re lonely’ sort of thing.”


30 | The Rhymes | Take Me

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Rhymes are currently the Swedish insider tip. Everyone who has seen the band live knows what we are talking about. The Swedish stagedive band gave their first concert in Berlin on Jan. 9. Today they release Take Me. “It was one of the worst moments of my life. I woke up to hear her banging her head against the wall, with tears all over. We’d been in love, but we’d just broke up. Take Me is our story.”


31 | Regina Gently | Whole Wide World

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Regina Gently (Re-Jean-ah), the drag alter ego of musician Gentleman Reg, returns with her dance-floor ready single Whole Wide World. Written by Regina and James Burton (Ohbijou, Light Fires), this single is the follow up to Regina’s 2019 debut single, Good People. Produced by techno and dub-house twin brothers Matt and Mark Thibideau (Repair), the track was recorded using all analogue synths and drum machines giving it a very 80/90’s club friendly dance floor feel.”