Indie Roundup | 13 Tracks to Improve Your Monday Luck

You can't lose with new tracks from Third Mind, Special Ops, Anna Calvi & more.

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The Third Mind head east (and west), Special Ops put a spell on you, Blaze Velluto Collection go fish and more in today’s Roundup. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a nap.


COVERS OF THE DAY

1 | The Third Mind | East West

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Third Mind, a new CA-based supergroup with an all-star line-up of players, has released the video for the third single East West, from their self-titled debut out Feb. 14. Created and directed by Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven, Sparklehorse), the 17-minute video features the bonus version of the song remixed by the Grammy-winning mixing engineer, Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Sheryl Crow, Arctic Monkeys). Featuring Dave Alvin (guitar, vocals), Victor Krummenacher (bass, vocals), David Immergluck (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Michael Jerome (drums, percussion), with special guest Jesse Sykes (guitar, vocals), the album was recorded and mixed by Craig Parker Adams at the late great Winslow Ct Studios in Los Angeles. “Dave loves Mike Bloomfield, and Immy owned one of Bloomfield’s old Telecasters,” says Krummenacher. “With Dave wanting to stretch out, Paul Butterfield Band’s East West seemed like the perfect song for The Third Mind project to dig in to. It was the first thing we recorded on the first day we were ever all in a room at the same time. It went better than I could have imagined.”


2 | Special Ops | I Put A Spell On You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal’s Special Ops have just released their latest music video for the cover of the classic I Put A Spell On You produced with Grammy Award-winning producer Steve Pageot. The original song was written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1956 and since then has been covered by hundreds of artists in many styles. “We originally sent it to him for an opinion since it’s a little different than our usual stuff. You know just to be sure. Turned out it was one of his favourite songs too and he offered to produce it! Now who would say no to that? Really cool cat.” says vocalist / guitarist AK Johnson. “To me, this song is about my relationship with the music industry; how it just keeps messing with you, keeps hurting you, but you just keep going back for more. We wanted to pay tribute to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, one of the founders of Rock N Roll as we know it today with his outfits and insane stage performances.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

3 | The Blaze Velluto Collection | Fish Mountain Part II

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Quebec City-based singer/songwriter Blaze Velluto is set to return again as The Blaze Velluto Collection with a new full-length, We Are Sunshine, due out this summer. For the lead single from the forthcoming 10-song set, Fish Mountain Part II, Velluto teamed up with the mysterious Japan once again to bring to life a colorful canvas where soothing gospel sounds meet expansive rock, daily situations collide with frenzied fantasies, and catchy riffs encounter brief prog forays. The video serves as a playful nod to his previous album Weatherman’s themes of lost love, while also introducing the trippy cast of characters featured in its follow-up.”


4 | Gomorra | Gomorra

THE PRESS RELEASE:Gomorra will stir up the Heavy Metal scene with their debut album Divine Judgement, a furious and relentless beast to be unleashed April 10! Insanely fast and groovy riffs of pure perfection, dynamic and energetic, an impressive balancing act of heavy power and thrash metal. No surprise, since the line-up consists of experienced and virtuoso thoroughbred musicians like Damir Eskic of German Thrash Metal legends Destruction (as well as being an ex student of Tommy Vetterli of Coroner, ex-Kreator) and members of well established Metal acts like Gonoreas.”


5+6 | Kristina Mihalova & Jakub Sedivy | Skies / I Wish

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kristina Mihalova & Jakub Sedivy are two young artists from Slovakia, who recently released two mesmerizing and intimate singles Skies and I Wish from their upcoming album. The gloomy but beautiful atmosphere of songs will immediately engulf you in their perception of the beauty of the acoustic performance. The combination of Kristin’s voice and Jaco’s playing creates a truly extraordinary musical experience. Their interplay sensitively creates an atmosphere with ease and charm.”


7 | Blonde Diamond | 4AM Eternal

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Shaping a soundscape of dreamy synth-pop bliss with unapologetic and captivating lyricism, Blonde Diamond have been on a trajectory that is hard not to be dazzled by. The Vancouver based dream-pop band have graced stages with stalwarts such as Portugal. The Man, Broken Social Scene, Bishop Briggs, Chromeo, Mother Mother, and more. Blonde Diamond’s offerings hone in on their strongest assets — frontwoman Alexis Young’s vocal prowess, reinforced by the band’s ethereal instrumentals. Their newest single, 4AM Eternal is equal parts mysterious and approachable, swirling guitars are accentuated by arpeggiated bass synths and snap-tight rhythms.”


8 | Vader | Shock And Awe

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Polish extreme metal veterans Vader are proud to release the first single, Shock And Awe, off their upcoming album entitled Solitude In Madness, which will be released in Spring 2020.Today, the band offer fans a first look at the album via a lyric video. Vader comments, “I am so excited to finally show everyone how the new album sounds! Shock And Awe is the opening track of Solitude In Madness and includes all that you would expect from Vader: speed, aggression and blasting brutality. The album has been finished for a while but the procedure requires a little bit more patience. Expect this frantic song to be included on the set list for the upcoming tour in US/Canada. And of course, more hellish thunder is to come soon…”


9 | Madeline Finn | Save Yourself

THE PRESS RELEASE:Madeline Finn has unveiled the video for the single Save Yourself. Directed by the Overlook Entertainment creative team of Rob Ortenzi and Deanna Zamudio, the video embodies the song’s deeply personal lyrics and themes. Finn says the song “is an exploration into instrumentation, emotion, and honesty…one that I felt led to share with anyone who has ever experienced the toil of unhealthy examples of love.” Madeline Finn touches on a wide range of sonic directions in her solo work: sparse folk, meditative piano ballads, twangy rock, and string-laced indie. Luckily, the Cleveland-raised singer-songwriter is also the rare vocal talent with the range to handle just about any music she wants to write. She’ll howl and whisper, rage and mourn, croon and conspire — always with breathtaking precision and heart-piercing sincerity. Finn has also fronted two bands (the pop-punk-leaning band Envoi, Americana-tinged trio Whiskey Hollow) and toured throughout New England, the Pacific Northwest, and her adopted hometown of Nashville. Currently she’s looking to put out a new solo album mixed by Dave Schiffman (Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Frank Turner) later this year.”


10 | Jason Wilson | The Tall Tales Of Lester Stuard

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Instead of forcing himself to choose between being a musician or a historian, Jason Wilson decided he could be both. In the past year, the Juno-nominated Toronto singer/songwriter and academic has brought to fruition two major projects in this vein — the album Sumach Roots, on which uses his musical talents to illuminate Toronto’s past, and the book King Alpha’s Song In A Strange Land, in which he uses his writing talents to tell the story of reggae in Canada. To mark the book’s publication on Feb. 6, the release of Sumach Roots on vinyl, and Black History Month, Wilson is sharing the track The Tall Tales Of Lester Stuard, a tribute to one of the few black men living in Toronto at the beginning of the 19th Century, who was known to entertain patrons at Ely Playter’s Tavern with fiddle playing and storytelling. Sumach Roots — the album and stage production — is packed with other fascinating explorations of Toronto’s cultural legacy, while drawing from a deep well of sounds, from traditional British folk to bebop jazz and classic reggae.”


11 |Anna Calvi | Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy (feat. Courtney Barnett)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In the summer of 2018, Anna Calvi released her third album Hunter. Calvi has now crafted a stunning reworking of Hunter into Hunted. Distilled to their bare essence on Hunted: her masterful guitar playing and formidable vocals, Calvi then asked Courtney Barnett, Joe Talbot (IDLES), Charlotte Gainsbourg and Julia Holter to collaborate. Today, Calvi is pleased to share the first song from Hunted, Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy featuring Courtney Barnett. On Hunted, Calvi said, “During a break from touring I went back and listened to the first recordings I ever made of Hunter. These recordings capture the very moment I first wrote these songs, and recorded them on my own, in my attic studio. I find something especially intimate about sharing these most private recordings with my favourite singers and asking them to lend their voices and artistic sensibility. Courtney Barnett is an amazing artist. Her voice and guitar playing together are mind blowing. Her ability to connect the profound to the smallest moments of human experience is the unique talent of a true artist.”


12 | Ruin Lust | Prison Of Sentient Horror

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New York City’s Ruin Lust has spent the better part of the last decade spreading a drape of black violence across the dank basement corners of the deepest underground. Though temporarily dormant after their debut, the band returned with new music in 2019 with their Sacrifice album. And now, in 2020, the third Ruin Lust atrocity Choir Of Babel marks the band’s debut with a new label. Thoroughly uncompromising and bestial, Choir Of Babel squanders no time on subtlety, laying waste with barbaric ferocity via a ruthless attack crafted not to disappear in a blur of forgettable noise but devastate with jagged menace and complexity. Visions of blood red bodies in mass graves, piles of broken skulls and decimated fields strewn with carrion pervades the war-like stench of death conducting this primal choir.”


13 | Ari | Anthem

THE PRESS RELEASE: “An Icelandic musician, the plan is to make a trilogy of albums and then quit music. The first one was called Fræ (means Seeds in Icelandic), the second one was called Radikoj (means Roots In Esperanto) so you see where I’m going with that. Right now I’m releasing five singles before the final album.”