Indie Roundup | 23 Tunes To Choose This Tuesday

Melkbelly, Electric Jaguar Baby, James Blonde, Bobby Lees & more make a day of it.

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Melkbelly get pithy, Katie Von Schleicher comes uncaged, Electric Jaguar Baby stab your back, James Blonde shells out big bucks, Gordi serves sandwiches and more in today’s Roundup. Jaguars and snakes and bats — and The Bobby Lees too. Oh my.


1 | Melkbelly | Humid Heart

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago-based band Melkbelly will release their new album, Pith, on April 3. Today, they release their second single/video, Humid Heart. Humid Heart is “about how the grief of losing someone suddenly disorients everyday life,” says frontwoman Miranda Winters. The video was directed by Weird Life Films. “For Humid Heart, we wanted to let the mood and tone of the song guide our direction, rather than forcing anything too specific into the video,” says Weird Life. “Loosely based upon the notion of going through everyday life with any sort of heightened emotions can weigh someone down, we followed our hearts and that of the song and fell down a rabbit hole. That being said, we have no regrets.”


2 | Katie Von Schleicher | Caged Sleep

THE PRESS RELEASE:Katie Von Schleicher announces her new album Consummation, out May 22. Today, Von Schleicher presents its lead single, Caged Sleep, as well as an ominous accompanying video directed by Matt Strickland. Caged Sleep is a jagged, upbeat Krautrock track, and one of the last written for the album. “While the rest of the songs were being mixed, I had a vivid dream with a snake the color of lapis lazuli,” says Von Schleicher. “That became Caged Sleep, an ode to a dream that ended a period of my life. Some people hate dream stories, so for those humans: I have included saxophones, synthesizers and claps to court your attention.”


3 | Electric Jaguar Baby | Backstabber

THE PRESS RELEASE: “About four months after the official release of their debut full-length album, the two Parisian acid-fuzz/stoner/psych rockers of Electric Jaguar Baby just premiered a brand new music video illustrating the song Backstabber, extracted from the album. Since their birth in 2015 in Paris, Electric Jaguar Baby have non-stop praised the cult of fuzz, offering it tracks born from a gang-bang with Ty Segall, Josh Homme, Jack White and Ozzy Osbourne, sprinkled with retro and occult 70’s vibes. Kitschy shirts and a Big Muff (volume on 11) are enough the fire up the stage, their favourite playground. 4 European tours in 3 years, with groups like Go! Zilla, Black Rainbows, You said strange, Butcherettes, ZigZags, Death Valley Girls, & L.A. Witch.”


4 | James Blonde | Hundred Bucks

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Niagara Falls three-piece James Blonde take 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.”


5 | Gordi | Sandwiches

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian musician Gordi, moniker of Sophie Payten, shares the new single, Sandwiches, and its accompanying Justin Ridler-directed video. Sandwiches is a soaring, post-new wave anthem, and a tribute to her late grandmother. One of the first true Gordi “guitar songs,” it shimmers with the lush-yet-fragile momentum of The Cranberries’ classic Dreams. Her late grandmother was, in Gordi’s words, “a great feeder of people.” So when she fell ill, Gordi and her mother took it upon themselves to nourish the visitors gathered around her hospital bed. As they passed around sandwiches, “someone called out that she was gone. The gravity of the moment was poignant for its softness and mundanity. Gordi approaches the totality of a loved one’s life as measured in the small memories that stay with us. She sings, “When I think of you a movie-reel of moments plays / We’ll be in the car or after mass on Saturdays / You’ll be walking down the driveway, you’ll be in your chair / You’ll say ‘See you round’ or ‘Say your “Three”’ / And now you’re everywhere.”


6 | Christian Rich | Everything Looks Bigger Closer

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kehinde Hassan and Taiwo Hassan, also known as creative duo Christian Rich, release their latest short film with accompanying soundtrack, Everything Looks Bigger Closer, directed by Axel Byrfors. The soundscapes are influenced by classic Chicago House and Berlin’s Berghain. The influences of House and Techno are clear and well sorted. Set in Paris (France), the short dark comedy follows the rise to fame of Yinka, a Nigerian teenager, ping-pong talent, and her contender Dele. The story tells of their rivalry but also uncovers their differences in motives. Yinka’s main interest, rather than success or fame, is coming close to Dele’s pet Iguana. Along the road comes a talent scout and underground ping-pong promoter. It is with his help and the secret reporting of a local duck, that their names will be known and the Iguana ending up in the hands of the most adorning admirer.”


7 | Why Bonnie | Voice Box

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Austin-based band Why Bonnie announce their new EP, Voice Box, out April 10. Today they premiere its title track and an accompanying video. Voice Box fumes with quiet wisdom, and is “about the societal pressure to silence yourself, and the frustration and self doubt that comes with battling sexism,” say the band. The video, directed by Shelby Bohannon, features the band and highlights the rift between reality and what is expected of a person. The Voice Box EP celebrates unhindered expression through beguiling, propulsive guitar pop. Fuzzed-out guitars and crystalline vocals drive a tough-edged struggle in the space between suppression and artistic liberty. Front woman Blair Howerton explains: “It encapsulates a disconnect between my inner and outer world, and not being able to express myself authentically because of that. But, ultimately knowing I will crash and burn if I don’t.”


8 | Turmion Kätilöt | Sano Kun Riittää

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Earlier this year the Finnish industrial metal act Turmion Kätilöt gave the world a sharp warning and announced the release date of their 9th album Global Warning: April 17th. The first signs of the warning are out for everyone to see and to hear: The single Sano Kun Riittää has now dropped along with a charmingly macabre video. Vocalist Raaka Pee comments on the new single: “While on tour, I bought a kalimba from Gothenburg. I was playing it at home by myself, and it sang to me: ‘A nightmare needs a dreamer weak enough to believe. Words formed by Satan himself, the image of a man. The bringer of eternal pain, creator of all evil. Sweet dreams.’ “


9 | Sorry | Snakes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “North London’s Sorry have today shared new track Snakes and its accompanying video, directed by the band’s Asha Lorenz — another taste of what their heavily anticipated debut album, 925, will offer on March 27. Together with co-producer James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Nilüfer Yanya), best friends Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen have woven 925 like a dreamscape in which idyllic and hellish scenes intermingle, forcing the question of what is real and what is make believe. Inspired by everything from Hermann Hesse to Aphex Twin, their precocious approach — an open-mindedness towards genre, self-producing the music, and directing accompanying videos — marks them out as a thoroughly 21st century band.”


10 | Field Works | Dusk Tempi

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. Ultrasonic is part of a broader storytelling project about the federally endangered Indiana bat. Generously funded by the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and the National Geographic Society, each album contains an official printed booklet of The Endangered Species Act of 1973.”


11 | Jonny Polonsky | Ghost Like Soul

THE PRESS RELEASE: “American singer-songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonny Polonsky presents his new single Ghost Like Soul, featuring Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta/At The Drive-In) ahead of his forthcoming Kingdom of Sleep LP, slated for release on March 6. This video was directed by Paul Elledge, a legend in the world of professional photography. Hailing from Chicago and now based in NYC, Jonny Polonsky writes interstellar anthems for a new generation of mindfreaks. Songs of sex and death and love…hymns of despair and transcendence. A celebration of what it feels like to be human; from the exalted, grandest moments of euphoria and bliss, to the universal pain of loss and letting go. Beauty at every turn.”


12 | Kelly Lee Owens | Melt!

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Convention-blurring techno producer/musician Kelly Lee Owens will release her second album, Inner Song, on May 1. Alongside the announcement, she presents its lead single/visual, Melt! Inner Song finds Owens diving deep into her own psyche — working through the struggles she’s faced over the last several years and exploring personal pain while embracing the beauty of the natural world. It’s a leap in artistry from a musician who burst forth on the scene with a confident, rich sound, and is steadily enticing. Although sonically distinct from the rest of Inner Song, Melt! is an essential piece of the album. Throughout, Owens comments on the ever-pressing issue of climate change, right down to its structural composition, which includes samples of melting glacial ice and people skating on thin ice. “I wanted to create something that sounded hard but with organic samples. I felt those were great representations of what’s happening in the world, that every moment you’re breathing and sleeping, this is ​taking place,” says Owens. Its accompanying video, directed by filmmaker Laneya Billingsley (aka Billie0cean), creates a connection between our bodies and the earth, and shows how the two are not separate.”


13 | The Rentals | Teen Beat Cosmonaut

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Rentals have released Teen Beat Cosmonaut, the latest single from their forthcoming album Q36. The Rentals features Matt Sharp, Nick Zinner (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Ronnie Vannucci (The Killers), Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT), The Gentle Assassins Choir, and Los Angeles-based string ensemble The Section Quartet. On Teen Beat Cosmonaut, which clocks in at under three and a half minutes, they pack in a full-on, vintage Moog synthesizer freakout, sprawling cinematic FX-laden electric guitar landscapes, operatic, choral, arm-in-arm sing-a-long, and grandiose, symphonic crescendo, all bursting into a silly little technicolor fantasy about a former teen idol and astronaut named Steve. Blast off!”


14 | Carrousel | A Solitary Soul

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles-based duo Carrousel — the project of Joel Piedt and Sharon Piedt — are dropping the official lyric video for A Solitary Soul, one of the tracks off their newly released EP, I Wasn’t Well. The I Wasn’t Well EP kicked off an exciting year of releases for the band. Influenced by a broad spectrum of sounds ranging from the blues, to psychedelic rock, to shoegaze, to new wave, Carrousel are determined to carve out their own sonic universe. Their futuristic pop melodies wane toward the prophetic, delineating several genres at once with enigmatic cohesion, and surprising grit. Alongside the bevy of new visual content, Carrousel will also release a 10-track album later this Spring titled Magnificent Desolation, an homage to Joel’s hometown of Memphis.”


15 | The Bobby Lees | I’m A Man

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Bobby Lees’ new record Skin Suit was produced by underground punk legend Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion and will be released on May 8. The Bobby Lees are a young bone-shaking Garage Rock band out of Woodstock, NY. In the past year they’ve played with The Chats, Future Islands, Boss Hog, Daddy Long Legs, Shannon & The Clams and Murphy’s Law. They will be on tour in the US and Europe throughout 2020. Their sound mixes classic garage-punk hits with raw and emotive storytelling.”


16 | Land of Talk | Weight of That Weekend

THE PRESS RELEASE:Land of Talk, the Montreal-based band led by Elizabeth Powell, announced a new album titled Indistinct Conversations will be released on May 15. Indistinct Conversations follows 2017’s acclaimed Life After Youth — at the time Land of Talk’s first album in seven years. The album’s first single Weight of That Weekend, out now, finds Powell delivering a soulful, impassioned plea over an expansive musical terrain. Says Powell of the new single, “Weight of That Weekend is a recognition of having been on the receiving end of a lifetime of sexual coercion, assault, boundary violations, and subsequent gaslighting. It all just came to light after an especially heavy weekend a few summers back,” explains Powell. “I was so sick of carrying all this weight that wasn’t mine to bear. So sick of being owned by all of this. Imposed on me mostly by men. I grew so sick of suffering and being slowed-down by this weight. The song is a prayer for a lightness of being. A prayer for capital ‘L’ Love.”


17 | Riot Ten | Lost Your Mind

THE PRESS RELEASE:Riot Ten keeps his fans on their toes with this unexpected (yet thoroughly effective) tech-inspired, bass-laden house single Lost Your Mind. The Texas producer drops what could be one of his biggest singles to date. Boldy branching out from his vicious, sweat-filled mix of dubstep, trap and hip hop, Lost Your Mind possesses an unexpected underground twist, holding its audience captive via transfixing warehouse vibes.”


18 Odette | Feverbreak

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Soulful and dramatic, passionate and unpredictable, Sydney-based singer-songwriter Odette showcases her inimitable style with the release of her new single Feverbreak. It features the electronic production duo Hermitude and marks her first musical release since 2018. “For me, writing this song was a relief,” Odette explained. “I could finally allow myself to feel the anger I was locking away in my heart. This song is about rage. To have been able to explore this with Hermitude was a privilege. They created this chaotic, electronic world that I was free to scream in.”


19 | Irreversible Entanglements | Bread Out Of Stone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements will release their new album, Who Sent You?, on March 20. The album’s closer, Bread Out Of Stone captures Irreversible Entanglements in a rare, simmered mode, coming down from 40 minutes channeling a significant plume of fire. Bass, drums and hand percussion creep as poet/MC Moor Mother whispers down a list of metaphysical magic words — a recipe for how they’ve been able to use their instruments and implements to “make bread from stone.” Irreversible Entanglements is Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother), saxophonist Keir Neuringer, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Tcheser Holmes. Who Sent You? is the punk-rocking of jazz and the mystification of the avant-garde. This record weaves kinetic soul fusion, dreamy yet harrowing poetry, and intricate rhythms into warmth-giving tapestries that comfort and conceal, confront and coerce all at once.”


20 | Mayflower Madame | Swallow

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Psychedelic post-punk outfit Mayflower Madame present their darkly sinister single Swallow, a taste of their new album Prepared for a Nightmare, a dark and distinctive blend of post-punk, shoegaze and psychedelia. “Swallow is the second single from our upcoming album, showing a dreamier, more pop-oriented side of the band compared to the darker, more hard-edged first single Vultures. We have not really been conscious about it while writing the song, but it kind of sounds like inspirations from shoegaze and surf-psych have been blended in with our more typical aspects of psych-noir and post-punk. However, we still feel that it’s true to our “signature sound” while also contributing to the upcoming album’s variety and wholeness. ‘Swallow’ is a love song — it’s about the dependence and fragility one might feel in a relationship — involving both a fear of and a desire for submission,” says Trond Fagernes.”


21 | Frank Moyo | Friend Of Mine

THE PRESS RELEASE:Frank Moyo is a slow player in a fast world. The Canadian-Italian singer grew up in Toronto and first learned chords as a child, picking up what he could from family, friends and later the live shows he could get into. Frank recently released a new single, Friend Of Mine, featuring his smooth and serenading vocals over folk-informed rhythms that mingle with pop sensibilities.”


22 | Pantayo | Divine

THE PRESS RELEASE:Pantayo explores what’s possible for contemporary kulintang music with the atonal blend of kulintang ensemble instruments with vocals and electronic production. The album features eight diverse songs speaking to Pantayo’s musical influences as queer diasporic Filipinas. Pantayo is an audio diary of how the ensemble has grown together as writers and performers. The songwriting process started with members workshopping and performing traditional kulintang pieces from the Southern Philippines, often instrument-switching on the kulintang, agongs, sarunays, gandingan, bandir, and dabak. Adapting kick drums and synths to the modal tuning of the gongs further expanded Pantayo’s ability to incorporate modern musical expressions such as punk and R&B. “If you listen to the recordings of our rehearsals and songwriting sessions, you can hear us deconstructing the kulintang parts section-by-section and practicing our songs in different styles,” says keyboardist and vocalist Eirene Cloma. “You can also hear how close we’ve gotten and how our creative workflow strengthened over the years.”


23 | ABQ | Neon

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Irish four-piece ABQ have released new third single Neon, a hard hitting upbeat Indie Pop masterpiece with hooks aplenty. The song captures the almost magnetic pull of a big city’s bright lights and the endless possibilities that lie within it. A neon light that leads you out of the dark and helps guide your decisions. Hailing from Belfast and now based in London, ABQ have already built an impressive unreleased catalogue. ABQ are fronted by singer / songwriter Paul Shevlin, who provides a distinctive and memorable vocal for this bold and impassioned young band.”