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Indie Roundup | 14 New Songs To Make Your Monday More Interesting

Kick off the week with the help of Alex Lahey, Ayumi Anime, Warhawks and more.

Alex Lahey gets punished, Ayumi Anime has it all, Rolling Blackouts Coast Fever space out, Warhawks deliver and more in today’s Roundup. Note to restaurant where I had lunch: Coffee is a flavourful, caffeinated beverage made from beans. Unlike what you served me, which was apparently tepid water into which someone had dunked a brown Crayon.

1 | Alex Lahey | Sucker For Punishment

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Melbourne-based songwriter Alex Lahey releases a new track, Sucker For Punishment. The song, about self-delusion, is written from the perspective of the deluded. Throughout, Lahey’s exasperated vocals are backed by buzzing guitar and a jaunty bass line. “We’re living in an era we’re the micro has become the macro,” says Lahey. “I don’t think there has ever been a time where our actions and attitudes as individuals have had such an impact on broader humanity and the planet. Whether it’s a ‘think about it later’ attitude towards climate change, the undemocratic consequences of sharing personal data to big business online, a lethargicness in the face of political engagement or the need to be validated as a worthwhile individual through obtaining arbitrary units of engagement on social media – we need to catch ourselves out before we suffer greater consequences.”

2 | Ayumi Anime | Everything I Need

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Korean/Ukrainian singer/songwriter, newcomer in pop, Ayumi Anime released her new video for her single Everything I Need. Known alternatively as a Penthouse Magazine’s Cover model and adult actress, Ayumi has been releasing cover videos and singles on Youtube. She used to interact with her fans though her Instagram and now, she’s learning how to interact through her songs. As an adult actress she appeared with girls only, so people were too interested about her orientation. Well, Everything I Need is an official reply.”

3 | Rolling Blackouts Coast Fever | Cars in Space

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Melbourne-based band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever releases a new single, Cars In Space, and an accompanying video. Cars In Space is “the swirling words and thoughts before a breakup,” says Fran Keaney. It’s bold and classic, and propelled by the band’s singular chemistry. Its accompanying video, directed by Nick Mckk and Julia Jacklin, is set in broad daylight at an old-school Australian drive-in.”

4 | The Warhawks | Deliver

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Warhawks released Stardust Disco on Feb. 1 and are keeping the momentum in their favor. The band teamed up with Brian Mietz to create a music video for their single Deliver. The song is a raucous of rumbling bass, big guitar leads, and gang vocals. You can watch the video here and can catch The Warhawks on the road over the next several weeks.”

5 | Lower Dens | Hand of God

THE PRESS RELEASE:Lower Dens released their newest creation The Competition at the end of last year. Today, they’re sharing the video for one of the album’s standout tracks, Hand of God, a colourfully psychedelic clip, directed by Aaron Brown & Robby Piantanida. Speaking on the origins of the song, the band’s Jana Hunter states: “It’s like Cowboy Krautrock. Imagine a wild west adventure, like City Slickers, with the star, a wealthy white man. He’s devised a way to conquer God. He has some kind of vaguely dangerous journey, then comes upon God and declares victory. In his hubris, he goes to shake God’s hand, at which time he is psychedelically humbled, his little brain imploding.”

6 | Gums! | You Are Everything

THE PRESS RELEASE:Temps, the debut album from Glaswegian DIY Pop band Gums! is out now! Function-suite romantics Gums! are the project of veteran Glasgow songwriter Martin J. Smith. Over his two decades in music, Smith has built a reputation on mining the mundane and the miserable for unexpected gems of wistful pop. On Temps, Smith’s trademark literary flair and narrative focus are given room to be breathe over 12 tracks of essential indie. Smith explains “With Temps I wanted to tell a story over a period of time. I focussed on the story of a relationship over the course of 15 years, the songwriting style and arrangement shift over the course of the album to highlight the passage of time and a growing sense of alienation.”

7 | Midland | Cheatin’ Songs (Live From The Palomino)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When modern traditionalists Midland revived a legendary North Hollywood venue last year, the buzz of a one-night-only event sparked a new album. The critically-acclaimed show will be released on Feb. 28 with a 10-track collection Midland Live From the Palomino. The Grammy-nominated trio recorded their set in front of fans, media and industry insiders who crowded into the iconic honky-tonk venue. “Places like this are disappearing,” explains lead singer Mark Wystrach, “so you want to remember, to grab the moments while you still can. You think about who’s been on that stage and you can’t help but feel connected to so much greatness. We live for hardcore honky-tonks, and to be able to hold onto that night and bring a little slice of it through this album to our fans is special for us.” The forthcoming live project features a live version of their latest offering, Cheatin’ Songs.”

8 | Bridesmen | The Times

THE PRESS RELEASE:Bridesmen is Los Angeles based Kenton Chen, an indie neo-soul, R&B singer/songwriter who has set out to encourage others to find power within themselves and use compassion to enact change. Known for his work on Sing-Off, as well as his performances with Postmodern Jukebox and Scary Pockets, Chen’s latest project is a radical departure from his jazz/a cappella roots. Chen strives to explore the darker side of human nature, the dichotomy of morality and how to be a good person in a world that ostracizes you, i.e. a ‘bridesmen’ at a wedding. The root of the new project Bridesmen is an outlet for Chen to convey the artistic side of himself, unrelated to other people. With a running theme of expressing individual freedom and responsibility, the singer narrates the emotions of loneliness and the effect it can have on people. Chen reveals, “We hurt when we don’t understand each other and we hurt when we are unwilling to change. The best thing we can do is be ourselves within the context of what we were given.”

9 | Mirabelle | one in a million

THE PRESS RELEASE:Laurence Hélie is a Montreal singer-songwriter who grew up in the rural Beauce region of Quebec in the ’90s listening to The Cranberries and Mazzy Star. She released two highly-acclaimed Francophone folk-country records in the early ’00s and then hit a wall. She calls it a musical depression. She didn’t want to sing anymore, and felt like a passenger, a pedestrian, closed in by her own genre. Guitar strumming made her skin crawl. She was convinced for a while that she was done with music. And then one day, she’s not sure when, she started singing again. Angry songs. Not unlike the ’90s stuff she grew up on. As the ideas developed, through some trial and error, she found her way into a collaboration with Plants & AnimalsWarren C. Spicer acting as producer, and began the journey of bringing these new ideas to fulfillment, to engage a sonic spectrum she didn’t foresee but was determined to find. Hélie’s work has culminated in a new collection of music under a new name, and today as Mirabelle she is unveiling her single one in a million. Minimal and elegantly constructed, the track features synths from Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux that gradually bloom under Hélie’s arresting vocal performance, stretching out down beautiful and often surprising pathways as Hélie’s hypnotic melody unfolds.”

10 | Katie Gately | Allay

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Electronic musician and producer Katie Gately shares the final pre-release single, Allay, from her forthcoming album, Loom, out this Friday, Feb. 14. Allay is unnerving, as Gately sings as a personification of the cancer that ultimately led to her mother’s death. The beginning of the track is relatively minimalistic and focused on breathy, layered vocals, before growing murkier later on. Following 2016’s Color, which deployed fractured rhythms, fierce licks, bold samples and her signature paintbox pop hooks, Loom reveals crepuscular textures. To solidify the enormity of a loss like her own, Gately has added the seismic rumble and aural grit of real earthquake recordings in her productions – alongside her signature adventurous sound design and earwormy melodies – to signify how grief like hers is like the shifting of the earth.”

11 | Tru Trilla | Warzone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brick City’s lyrical marksman Tru Trilla of 050 Boyz  will release The Seymour Chronicles EP on March 17, followed by his new album God of Barz on May 29. First out the blocks and taken from the EP is this new single Warzone, featuring fellow 050 Boyz sparring partner RIQ and long time affiliate Fly Kwa, produced by another New Jersey native Joey Loax. All deliver high on the verbal ballistics scale with hard bars and hook lines, while the bare knuckled beat scores blows for the classic sound of the east coast.”

12 | Field Works | Dusk Tempi (featuring Eluvium)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Stuart Hyatt returns with another sonic wonder in the Field Works series, bringing the listener into truly uncharted acoustic territory. Ultrasonic is perhaps the first ever album to use the echolocations of bats as compositional source material. For this special double LP, Hyatt has assembled an extraordinary group of contributors: Eluvium, Christina Vantzou, Sarah Davachi, Ben Lukas Boysen, Machinefabriek, Mary Lattimore, Felicia Atkinson, Noveller, Chihei Hatakeyama, John Also Bennett, Kelly Moran, Taylor Deupree, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Julien Marchal, and Player Piano. Dusk Tempi, featuring Eluvium, is the first window into this uniquely beautiful world. Stuart writes: “Such an honor to be working with Eluvium again. Dusk Tempi is one of the most deeply evocative compositions I’ve ever heard from him, particularly the way the bats become instruments in their own right. Listen carefully – right at the 3:37 mark – as the bats’ plaintive calls take over. It just tears my heart open in the happiest way. I’ve spent the past year outside with my microphones chasing this endangered species through forest and field; I hope Dusk Tempi brings the listener into that same magical world.”

13 | James Blonde | Hundred Bucks

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Niagara Falls three-piece James Blonde takes inspiration from the turn of the 21st century’s rock resurgence and great classic rock bands, to pump out electric performances both on stage and in the studio. Their new single Hundred Bucks is an upbeat, driving alt-rock anthem about finding happiness and fulfilment beyond relationships and commercialism.”

14 | Brielle Ansems | Ironside

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised in Montague, PEI, Brielle Ansems has grown up with music on her lips and a creativity fostered by Prince Edward Island’s artistic community. As an avid reader, writer, and a recent graduate of Holland College School of Performing Arts Theatre Performance program, her lyric-focused music is an emotionally charged, poetic experience. Brielle’s new single Ironside features her emotionally charged vocals over a building, hypnotic folk-pop track.”

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