Indie Roundup | 19 Tracks To Make Wednesday More Wonderful

Get through the midweek with the help of Tim Burgess, Itus, Vlad Holiday and more.


Tim Burgess goes to the devil, Itus get primordial, Vlad Holiday feels lazy, Arlo Parks introduces Eugene and more in today’s Roundup. Sorry for the delay, but I didn’t really feel like doing this on the plane. Not when I could watch Jojo Rabbit instead.

1 | Tim Burgess | Empathy For The Devil

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tim Burgess has announced his upcoming new solo album, I Love The New Sky, to be released May 22. To celebrate the occasion Burgess has shared a fiendishly brilliant video for lead track Empathy For The Devil. While in The Charlatans, Tim’s indefatigable energy has been a consistent fuel for the band across 13 high-charting albums, his solo adventure has been no less extraordinary, scaling new heights in 2020 with his fifth solo release to date: I Love The New Sky. It features wonderfully connective songs of everyday minutiae and universal experience, of love and anger, of loss and belonging, all united by elaborate yet natural arrangements and an effortless but deceptively expert way with melody.”

2 | Itus | Primordial

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Itus is the latest in Canadian doom featuring heavy, brooding and psychedelic tones meshed with horror-inspired sounds. They have been toiling away, working on their debut EP Primordial set to be released on March 13. Atmospheric and energetic, this EP is a step in a new musically direction for the duo of Brandon Lucking and Reinier Vandenbosch. First single and title track Primordial is both abrasive and calm, and the accompanying music video is shot like a horror film to accentuate the brutality and dark riffage in the track. Itus details the track: “We chose to make this the first song we release because to us, it embodies the aspect of human savagery. Primordial uses the idea of coming out of a euphoric bliss into a hellish existence. Its lyrics comment on what forces within people work to pull society back down to chaos. This is the most aggressive song on the EP with its crisp, and aggressive guitar tones that really make it stand out from the other songs.”

3 | Vlad Holiday | Lazy

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn based lofi artist Vlad Holiday is releasing his debut EP Fall Apart With Me. Written, produced and recorded by Holiday in his New York City studio on tape and instruments from previous eras, he found his creative process by using the old to create something new. “Lazy was written about the moment you decide to give in and just let go of everything on your plate that needs to get done for the time being. When all the weight and stress goes away and you get to just relax and enjoy not doing anything. It’s a good feeling. I recorded the guitar solo with a fuzz guitar pedal that was gifted to me by Jack White. I’d been a huge fan of his my whole life, and I’m an even bigger pedal nerd, so when I got to meet him through a mutual friend and he gave me this pedal I was kind of blown away and knew I had to put it to good use. The pedal itself sounds really insane and has a life of its own, so I thought that juxtaposed in a cool way with the song’s laid back theme and groove.”

4 | Arlo Parks | Eugene

THE PRESS RELEASE:Arlo Parks has shared her first new music of the decade: The euphonious Eugene. An intimate, yet immediate song about having complicated feelings towards a friend, “it explores the agony, jealousy and confusion that comes to light when the lines between platonic and romantic love blur,” writes Parks. The official video was directed by The Coyle-Larner Brothers, Ben and Ryan. Ben (Loyle Carner) is predominantly known for his work as a musician, but his multi-disciplinary approach to creative expression took him behind the camera for Eugene, working alongside his brother to create a vision that perfectly brings to life the tone and lyrics of Arlo’s track. “Arlo’s enigmatic voice perfectly complements our visual style, the track is banging”, says Ryan.”

5 | Greystone Canyon | Keeping Company With The Dead / Astral Plane

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australia’s Greystone Canyon premiere their music video Keeping Company With The Dead / Astral Plane off the band’s Wild West-inspired debut album While The Wheels Still Turn released during 2018. If you’re a fan of classic metal in the vein of influences such as Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, and Megadeth, then this will be right up your alley. While The Wheels Still Turn is an album that could not only sit well beside the works of those legends, but with the current tsunami of all things the 70s and 80s inspired, Greystone Canyon are in the right place at the right time. We are traveling back to the future and they are the soundtrack! As vocalist/guitarist Darren Cherry proudly states: “We really wanted to make an album similar to old Ozzy Osbourne record where songs like I Don’t Know and Goodbye To Romance can sit comfortably. This is music from the heart and soul!”

6 | Marko Hietala | War Pigs

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Recently, Finnish singer/ bassist Marko Hietala released his solo album Pyre Of The Black Heart. Today, the band release a live video for their cover version of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, recently recorded in Prague. “Here’s a nice little live video from Roxy, Prague. We’re doing Sab’s War Pigs because it’s a true classic and, frankly, both these right & left wingers everywhere should examine their bull vs. history and learn. Liars are transparent,” comments Marko Hietala.”

7 | Seth Glier | If It Wasn’t For You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-nominated Seth Glier is a singer-songwriter, producer, and multi instrumentalist. His critically acclaimed, emotionally dense catalog of work often draws upon traditional roots music, experimental instrumentation, and moody atmospheres that result in soulfully intelligent stories that can alternatively fight the power or break your heart. His new single is If It Wasn’t For You. “The title was inspired by an answer Malala Yousafzai gave in a press conference after accepting her Nobel Peace Prize. She was asked “what would you say to the two members of the Taliban who tried to kill you if you ever crossed paths with them again” and her answer was “I’d thank them because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have the platform I have now to talk about women’s education.” I wouldn’t be who I am without the pain that others caused me so to deny them love is to deny myself of the same. I thought Malala gave us such an exquisite example of blaming responsibly and wanted to capture that idea of giving proper credit to the people who trespassed against you into a song.”

8 | Hebe | Out of Sight

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Amsterdam riser Hebe shows her vulnerabilities with Out of Sight, a new slice of organic soul-influenced electronic-pop, out now as an independent release. Lifted from her forthcoming debut album, Cards On The Table, planned for release in late 2020, Out of Sight is “an open question about love and if it can survive long distances”, Hebe says about the song. Inspired by the long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, the lyrics perfectly capture the fear of uncertainty that comes with physical separation. “I regularly travel between The Netherlands and Uganda to visit my boyfriend who lives in Kampala. Before we started this adventure, all these questions and insecurities came over me. I was afraid to express my thoughts, fears and expectations, so I wrote down all I wanted to say and that became Out of Sight.”

9 | RAC | Never Let You Go

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-winning producer and songwriter André Allen Anjos, known as RAC, has released a cover of Third Eye Blind’s Never Let You Go, featuring singer Hilary Duff and her husband Matthew Koma. Released just in time for Valentine’s Day, Never Let You Go is Hilary Duff’s first track to be released since 2016, and RAC’s follow up release to his 2019 EP, Closer. “This started as an inside joke, something we were doing just for the fun of it,” says RAC. “I think you can hear that in the song. Sometimes the best things come out when you’re not really trying.” Matthew Koma described his and Hilary’s Duff’s appreciation for the song, “We are both ‘90s babies and mega Third Eye Blind fans! I’m guilty of trolling Stephan Jenkins a bit but it’s all in good fun. RAC, being in on the joke, asked if I’d want to sing on a cover of Never Let You Go and when Hil heard it she was at the studio and immediately put headphones on to hop on. We consider it an informal dinner invite to Third Eye Blind.”

10 | Emilie Zoe & Christian Garcia-Gaucher | The Painter

THE PRESS RELEASE:Emilie Zoé was invited in 2018 by the alternative film festival 2300 plan 9 à Les Étranges Nuits du Cinéma in La Chaux-de- Fonds, CH to create a live soundtrack for a movie of her choice. She asked Christian Garcia-Gaucher, who had recently produced her second album The Very Start, to join the project. They chose together Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence for its hypnotic rhythm and its overall contemplative atmosphere and worn out colors. Within a few days, they wrote a collection of delicate themes and slightly melancholic interludes that they could play along the original feature. The show sold out and it felt crucial to everyone that such an exciting project would not end there. They gathered few months later in Swiss producer Louis Jucker’s tiny attic studio to lay these sounds on rusty second hand tapes. These 11 demo tapes merged spontaneously into a rich collaborative album, that assembles lo-fi pop hits and intriguing field recordings into a surprisingly coherent whole. Now The Painter is the first single from the album is coming out. Emilie about the song: “A painter chooses what he puts in his drawings, a filmmaker chooses what he puts in his movies, and I like to think likewise we can choose what colors we want to put in our lives. Making a song is quite similar: to the green of the guitar notes and to the blue of the words, we added the orange of the automatic chords of the Bontempi that Christian played, and then everything turns yellow in the choruses as we sing together. Is this all in our heads or can we create reality?”

11 | Righteous Fool | Low Blow

THE PRESS RELEASE:Righteous Fool are sharing the unreleased track Low Blow, featuring late Corrosion of Conformity co-founding drummer Reed “The Mule” Mullin on drums and vocals. Mullin passed away on Jan. 27 at 53 years old. The news of his loss continues to stun the hardcore, punk, and metal communities, all of which Mullin inadvertently influenced not only by the lasting impression of his drum prowess but with a universally captivating personality that seemed to warm the souls of all those he crossed paths with. Righteous Fool was a trio featuring Mullin alongside Corrosion of Conformity bassist Mike Dean, and guitarist Jason Browning, who all shared vocal contributions. The band released one two-song seven-inch in 2010. The track Low Blow was recorded in 2011 at Studio 606 in the San Fernando Valley with the intention to be included on a debut full-length that never came to fruition. The stream serves as a tribute to Mullin on what would have been his 54th birthday (Feb. 12). “Reed was talking to Jason a few weeks before he passed away and mentioned a song called Low Blow that he regretted not releasing,” relays Dean, “It was the standout for sure and really showed his potential as a singer.”

12 | Tops | Witching Hour

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On the heels of announcing their new album, I Feel Alive, out April 3, Montreal four-piece Tops are sharing a new song. Witching Hour is one of the album’s deceptively upbeat and jubilant moments and follows the release of the album’s title-track last month. It sees singer Jane Penny trying to negotiate the pressure to be feminine and find true feminine power. Penny explains: “Witching Hour is a song about reckoning. David [Carriere] wrote the chorus of the song, and when he showed it to me I gravitated towards the idea of a witching hour as a time of night for unconscious thoughts and uncomfortable visions. The pressure to be feminine has twisted my experience of my own sensuality in this nightmarish way, and I wanted to articulate that by conjuring the nefarious ways that trauma emerges in dreams. There’s a sense of reprisal in witchcraft, of retribution as a means of expression, and I wanted to explore that side of feminine power.”

13 | Lychgate | Incarnate

THE PRESS RELEASE: “UK-based black/doom metal outfit Lychgate is preparing to unveil their new record, Also sprach Futura, in March. With the release date closing in, they are streaming the new single Incarnate. The follow-up of their critically acclaimed The Contagion in Nine Steps album, Lychgate’s Also sprach Futura is the latest work of dystopian singularity from a band engaged in an intense process of evolution and refinement since their eponymous 2013 debut. Melding the swarming, stained-glass complexity of 20th Century classical, the phantasmagoric, intertwining riffage of progressive death metal, the heft and texture of funeral doom and the conceptual density of forward-thinking black metal into four of the most addictive, propulsive, and potent compositions the band has created to date. Thematically, Also sprach Futura examines nightmarish, all-too-real concepts which include transhumanism, simulacra and simulation, post-humanity, the uncanny valley, Pygmalionism and the fictional machine Golem XIV, which exceeds human intelligence. The record is a sui generis juxtaposition of the transcendental and the guttural, myth and metropolis, the weird and the eerie, fin-de-siècle aestheticism and a startling vision of a deeper, darker future indeed…”

14 | Flat Worms | Market Forces

THE PRESS RELEASE:Flat Worms, the Los Angeles-based trio of Will Ivy (guitar), Tim Hellman (bass) and Justin Sullivan (drums), announce their new album, Antarctica, out April 10, and share lead single, Market Forces. Antarctica is for people invested in the future, despite a world in flames, deserts in permafrost, and everyone in their own corners, looking down into their hands. It considers the chaotic, dysfunctional contemporary landscape and reflects a situation that’s dire, but not hopeless. Since the release of their 2017 debut LP – even since last year’s Into the Iris mini-LP – Flat Worms’ sound has hardened, with the polarities of psych and post-punk smelted into a brutal cobalt alloy. No doubt they’re aided by the Steve Albini-engineered sound rendered at Electrical Audio, where the album was recorded and mixed (in collaboration with Albini and Ty Segall) in six days. The rest of the evolution is down to Flat Worms, whose world view and musical viewpoint pulse with a remorseless drive and a sense of collaborative unity. Ivy’s cortex-scorching guitar leads are in united space with the full-body rhythm of Hellman’s bass and Sullivan’s drums.”

15 | Colpocleisis | Third Degree Gurns

THE PRESS RELEASE:Colpocleisis reveal plans for a triptych of videos, exploring the harrowing concepts of degradation and dehumanisation. The proponents of the most challenging and confrontational slam death imaginable have revealed plans for a triptych of single releases, each with an accompanying video, that together will form an exploration of dehumanisation and degradation, the decline and decay of the human species. The first chapter in this trilogy of disgust – Third Degree Gurns – is currently streaming and is available to watch now! These individual injections of sickness will satisfy fans who are waiting hungrily for the follow up to Colpocleisis’ virulent debut album, Fallopian Fallout, which was released in 2017. Colpocleisis are here to grind your face into the filth and detritus of humanity’s dark underbelly. Strap yourself in and prepare for a wild ride.”

16 | Matt Karmil | PB

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed UK producer and engineer Matt Karmil is pleased to announce his new album, STS371, out March 27, and today presents the album’s lead single, PB. STS371 is his most concise album to date, with his signature mix of minimalism and reverb-drenched house still being the backbone of his warm, rich, atmospheric and melancholic sound. STS371 was made largely while Karmil was travelling. Anticipating the completion of his music studio in England, Karmil favored “on the fly” production methods to finish his album. “It was not a linear process of recording,” says Karmil, “and in the end the majority of the work was to arrange and choose the right sounds and vibe.” Of PB, Karmil states: “I made PB over an extended period, having made a 120bpm tune with the same texture and then resampled it and upped the tempo one evening in cologne. I wanted to make committed acid track that draws you in and worked hard to get the Drums, percussion and main melody working in harmony, but swapping roles a little.”

17 | Hallows | Subtle

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Seattle’s dark electronic duo Hallows will release their debut Subtle EP in early April 2020. Ahead of that, they present the title track, along with an enticing teaser. Also sitting comfortably in the darkwave, post-punk and goth electro realms, Hallows formed in 2018 in Minneapolis / St. Paul, but have since made their way to the west coast. Consisting of Dom R. (vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming) and Vanee D. (vocals, synth, bass), their music presents layers of yearning sounds that bleed into uplifting, sanguine beats. Their compositions offer intimate messages about modern-day malaise conveyed through an exposed, vulnerable lens. The title track Subtle cautiously blends euphonious words about overwhelming struggles with unease and angst that one cannot overcome. Raw, aggressive cries of the same nature emerge, first acknowledging and then surrendering to the shadows. Subtle is about ultimately yielding – about that point when one feels the lowest, giving in and giving up, ending with a sorrowful, yet enraged “I can’t fight, I won’t fight.”

18 | Jack Trades | Body Language ft. Madison Olds

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jack Trades’s brand new, euphonious release — Body Language ft. Madison Olds, just has been released. Body Language is a dance-pop record, sonically and lyrically perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day.”

19 | Chief State | Reprise

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver pop-punk five-piece Chief State has announced details for their upcoming LP Tough Love which will be released on March 27. The band has dropped Reprise, a new single off the album. Frontman Fraser Simpson says: “Reprise was written about a situation where I felt like I couldn’t help someone I loved. The metaphor of running round in circles and being trapped in a loop is not only how I felt about this person but subsequently the situation I found myself in recently. It‘s ironic that this song has flipped on me but it has been a tough year personally. I hope it helps others realize that going in circles and expecting different results is never the answer, no matter what the question is.”