Indie Roundup | 17 Songs For A Thoroughly Thrilling Thursday

Hockey Dad, Today is the Day, Mass Hysteria, Kite, Khost & more bring the goodness.

Hockey Dad scratch that itch, Today is the Day burn for you, Middle-Aged Queers are on the make, R Grunwald makes a crossing and more in today’s Roundup. Hey dude! Don’t bogart those Brains!

1 | Hockey Dad | Itch

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian duo Hockey Dad injects a blend of raw energy and lovable irreverence into their dynamic, sun-drenched pop. Today, they announced the May 29 release of their forthcoming album Brain Candy. The announcement comes with the premiere of Hockey Dad’s new song Itch, as well as a music video that finds the zombified, skateboarding bandmates enjoying moments in the sun. Directed by Laban Pheidias, “The ‘video shoot was unlike anything we’ve experienced before,” says guitarist and lead vocalist Zach Stephenson. “We had a full-day shoot with costume designers, production crew, and makeup. We were coated in thick body paint and face masks during the steamy LA day while skating, but it was worth it to creep people out who were walking by us.” Stephenson explains that “Itch is the most non-Hockey Dad song we’ve ever written,” as it lyrically delves into themes of control and release in which “the person in this song has somebody under their skin and can’t get enough. It’s kind of saying, ‘come on in, keep me captive. I’m all yours.’”

2 | Today is the Day | Burn In Hell

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As visionary metal outfit Today is the Day prepare to release their 11th studio full-length, No Good To Anyone, at the end of February, they are sharing Burn In Hell, the first official video from the album. “Hard living and hard times collide in our new song, Burn In Hell,” states Steve Austin. “This song will knock out your two front teeth and put ’em back in. It’s a bareknuckle look at the wild side, but also the very empty and dark side of being away from home and missing the ones you love.” Leading with a gnarled, mid-paced rock approach, sanity quickly erodes, and the song explodes into one of the album’s most explosive crescendos. Its visual accompaniment follows a similar course. The Burn In Hell video introduces drummer Vishnu Reddy and a special guest appearance by Charlie Fell of Lord Mantis. Austin offers, “We got together with my buddy David Hall and ripped out this rocker in Portland, Maine. It was fucking out of control. A lot of stuff got broken. I had a fucking blast. Burn In Hell just simply rocks and explodes and it represents the high speed, hard living lifestyle that is rock n’ roll.”

3 | Middle-Aged Queers | Gary’s Making Biscuits

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Oakland, CA queercore sensations Middle-Aged Queers have dropped a new single and video titled Gary’s Making Biscuits. The song appears on the band’s upcoming debut album Too Fag For Love, out March 14. Crawling out of the primordial ooze of punk past, Middle-Aged Queers are a quartet of Jurassic Punx barreling down Interstate 580 on a mission to save Rock ‘n’ Roll with broken limbs and gear held together with duct tape. Seasoned veterans of DIY-Punk, Middle-Aged Queers feature ex-members of bands such as Flipper, Fang, Yaphet Kotto, Bread and Circuits, The Cost, Wet-Nap, Saviours, The Shudders, S.P.A.G., The Insaints, and No Alternative.”

4 | R Grunwald | Determination of the Crossing

THE PRESS RELEASE:R Grunwald is sharing the third new song from his debut solo piano LP, Oma, out March 6. Determination Of The Crossing is “cyclical, frenetic, and contemplative,” says Grunwald. “This piece is my musical interpretation of the act of escape.” The track comes complete with a video from animator Jacob Mittermaier-Zubeck. 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. He’s played with New York City’s Three Famed Cantors, and scored film and TV shows including the award-winning Yid Life Crisis (“It’s basically Curb Your Enthusiasm, but set in Montreal and in Yiddish,” he says.)”

5 | Kasador | Givin It Up

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kasador’s recent debut studio album Brood & Bloom embodies the duality of most everything in life. For example, the bookends of the album are messages of hope and striving for something positive and a realization of fear that one might never feel like their internal struggles are finished. Ahead of the deluxe release of Brood & Bloom (out Feb 28th), the band has released a video for Givin It Up that reflects the album’s theme of dealing with the hand you’re dealt. The track highlights the band’s base in rock and funk with harmony-laden choruses and dynamic guitar riffs.”

6 | Mass Hysteria | L’Enfer Des Dieux

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mass Hysteria are well known for always setting a new path over the years and albums. The crushing band name reveals exactly what Mass Hysteria is all about. Their unrestrained love for music and this indescribable alchemy between the band and their audience increases their fan base with every new tour. In France, the band has already set masses into hysteria and have become one of the most important metal bands in the country. Mass Hysteria are headliners at the most important festivals and have already shared the stage with Metallica. Now it is time to present this band to the rest of the world. This exceptional band is now releasing their first Best Of album, packed with their greatest hits and offering the perfect introduction in the world of Mass Hysteria. The live DVD from Hellfest shows the untamed live energy of this exceptional band.”

7 | Ani Cordero | Taza De Cafe

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ani Cordero released El Machete last year. It is a deeply felt album of immense emotional range, with songs about feminism, colonialism, anger, love, loss, and healing. Now, Cordero has shared the video for her song Taza de Cafe (Cup of Coffee), which describes the art of practicing fortune-telling with coffee grounds. There is a pain in her future, but she is eager to escape from the uneasy limbo of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The song offers a quiet, introspective moment, as Cordero pairs her gentle singing with nylon string guitar and hypnotic electronic beats. For the music video, the latest offering from El Machete, Cordero asked Puerto Rican director Pati Cruz to interpret the song through the lens of her own experience. Cruz filmed the gorgeous video in Puerto Rico with a team of fellow artists, actors, and friends.”

8 | Kite | Tranås / Stenslanda

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish indie-electro duo Kite has shared new track Tranås / Stenslanda. The song combines an adventurous sonic approach with a pop sensibility, and it’s a prime example of their sound, a dark wonderland of droning synthesizers and throbbing beats, full of majestic melodies. The track comes accompanied by a video directed by Marcus Malmström. Asked about the video, he said: ”Having grown up in a small, rural place myself, I wanted to capture that decade-long wait to get away and start a life for yourself. Those drifting, longing thoughts that become rarer as you get older and in hindsight shaped the person you are today.”

9 | Khost | Blood Gutters 6x4x1

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Birmingham, UK-based industrial metal duo Khost prepare for the release of their demoralizing new album, Buried Steel, set to be issued in March. With the album a month from release, a new video for the track Blood Gutters 6x4x1 has been unveiled. Khost describe Blood Gutters 6x4x1 and Buried Steel as a whole: “The sound of the gravitational downthrust of innumerable towers, granite pylons of guitar, and cavernous steel bunker percussion. Vertical mausoleums littering where we should live, built in haste by crooks now forgotten, driven by greed. Inside, inhabitants exist by day, completely unaware they are already dead or just a fragment of a dream and will in time be forgotten, buried as nature over time reclaims what once was stolen. Corrosive toxins are discharged and quickly evaporate, leaving behind rainbow, filthy machine spillages.”

10 | Riotron | There For You

THE PRESS RELEASE:Riotron a.k.a Electro indie-pop artist Jeff Fettes has debuted a new lyric video for his latest single titled There For You, off his forthcoming debut EP Dark Highway, due out later this year. “The lyric video for There For You was inspired by the art of James R. Eads. He uses these huge cosmic metaphors to explore the idea of basic human connection,” Fettes says. “I wanted to try and explore those same ideas but through a kind of 1980’s sci-fi aesthetic. There For You is about how thinking of the people we love can bring them to us any time we need them. It doesn’t have to be spiritual or metaphysical it’s just the power of our memories. When you can’t be with them physically, they can still be there for you across time and space. It sounds cosmic but it’s really kind of simple and comforting.”

11 | Nation Of Language | Rush & Fever

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn-based synth trio Nation of Language have announced their much-anticipated debut album Introduction, Presence, with a release date set for April 3. Today, they shared their new single, Rush & Fever. Inspired by the early new wave and punk movements, Nation of Language’s energetic anthems achieve a blend of upbeat energy with a healthy dose of sardonic melancholy. Their live performances have earned them a reputation for delivering frenzied nights of unexpected bliss. “Nation of Language was sparked by a period of personal awakening around early new wave,” says Ian Devaney, discussing the origins of the group. “Specifically, as I was listening to a version of OMD’s Electricity It occurred to me that a moment in time existed when it seemed everyone still had a kind of ‘beginner’s mind’ about how synthesizers could be used and fit into the musical landscape. They were wielding this technology as a blunt instrument, and it felt like I had been given permission to do the same.”

12 | Maya de Vitry | Better and Better

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This album is about losing your balance, and landing without breaking yourself or breaking your spirit,” says Maya de Vitry of her second album, How To Break A Fall, a collection of songs alive with de Vitry’s tenacity and perseverance — living breathing stories here to help others on their journey as they did de Vitry with hers. “The stories on this record are also about how to get on your feet, how to move, and how to keep trusting yourself to take another step.” Today, she premiered the first taste of How To Break A Fall, debuting the album’s first track and single, Better and Better.”

13 | DSM | Fanal

THE PRESS RELEASE: “About four years after the official release of their debut and self-titled album, French post-death metallers DSM are about to release their sophomore full-length effort called Elevations this spring. In the meantime, the band just premiered a first audio glance from their upcoming record with the song Fanal. Free and determined, DSM has been following a singular road since 2011 which led it from a first album dedicated to pop culture to a second focused on the sciences of the universe. Four musicians reunited as a single entity which exceeds their individuality, like the atoms of a single molecule in laboratory of research. Conceived as the radical opposite of their debut album Elevations suggests to consider the sciences of the universe and matter as a poetic subject. Deeper but direct, more detailed but easier to listen, Elevations is the result and the consequences of a new beginning for the band, the musical translation of new desires, new creative processes and new knowledge.”

14 | The Academy of Sun | The Parts That Need Replacing

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British psychedelic post-punk outfit The Academy of Sun announce they will be releasing their new album The Quiet Earth, an expansive album of breathtaking ambition, in April. Ahead of this, they present the highly dynamic power pop-infused lead single The Parts That Need Replacing. “The Parts That Need Replacing was written to sate my desire to ‘reconsecrate’ 16th Century Hungarian countess and noblewoman Elisabeth Bathory, whose reputed cannibalism and serial murders were most likely reputation-staining fantasies dreamed up by the church out of institutional jealousy. How could a woman possess such vast wealth and estates AND resist conformity with the church’s ways of being. Same tarring-brush as used on Jeanne D’Arc and Gilles de Rais,” says Nick Hudson. “Usually Bathory is immortalised in doom and black metal, so I wanted this reconsecration to take place by feeding these myths, scenarios and allegations of bloodbaths, black magic and eternal life into the medium of a hyper-catchy, high-energy pop song. (Replete with puns on her name, special effects in modern Hollywood, botched haircuts…) Also perversely I of course wanted to write an extremely catchy song with horrific lyrics to get people blithely singing along!”

15 | Fake Shape | Headspace

THE PRESS RELEASE:Fake Shape is an Alternative-Indie band from Hamilton, Ontario that formed in September 2018. They have been writing and recording at Fort Rose in Hamilton and are getting ready to release their debut EP, Night Swim. Their new single Headspace drifts through contrasting textures that fall between funk, psych, pop, and ambient electronic. “Headspace is a snapshot looking back on summer relationships and navigating rose-coloured memories. Listen to this song and imagine riding a bike on a hot summer day.”

16 | Madeline Finn | Love Me Like I Love You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The moody, midtempo Love Me Like I Love You showcases Madeline Finn’s musical range. Her voice is open and honest — resigned, disappointed, and melancholy — as she comes to the realization that it’s best to let a partner go, since their emotions just aren’t aligned (“You don’t bend me like I break you”). And while driven throughout by brittle piano, Love Me Like I Love You is bolstered by sighing backing harmonies, heartbeat-steady drums, and a thundering bridge full of scorching electric guitar fuzz. 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.”

17 | Mister Nobu | Deep In A Dream

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mister Nobu is the solo project of Nobu Adilman, co-founder/director of Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! Today, he shares a pop version of Deep In A Dream, the 1938 slow jam made famous by Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra, included on his upcoming album, Tavie, out March 27. “Chet’s cover of Deep In A Dream popped up on my feed on a day I didn’t have anything going on,” says Adilman. “I loved it and realized, as I spent the whole day learning and arranging it, that the lyrics spoke to the themes of love and loss that are all over Tavie – the perfect addition and the sole cover on the record. The narrator sits, all alone, smoking the night away in silence, as she, or he, reminisces a past love. The power of the memories fill the dark, lonely space, and, for a moment, we get to be at the centre of such happiness and comfort. Until it ends.”