Indie Roundup | 21 Tracks To Top Off Your Thursday

New sights & sounds from Malkmus, Khruangbin & Bridges, Orphan Donor & others.

Stephen Malkmus makes faces, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges get some sun, Orphan Door melt your eyeballs, Snotty Nose Rez Kids get deadly and more in today’s Roundup. Why did Adele cross the road? To say hello from the other side. Hey-ooooh!

1 | Stephen Malkmus | Shadowbanned

THE PRESS RELEASE:Stephen Malkmus releases the new single/video Shadowbanned from his forthcoming album, Traditional Techniques, out March 6. Shadowbanned bursts with flute-laced swagger and Malkmus as attuned as ever to the rhythms of the ever-evolving lingual slipstream as he sings of “Amazon wheatfields and rivers of Red Bull drip gush drip / Data driven skip to the part where the left bros parody TED talks.” Its video, directed by Jan Lankisch, features friends and fans of Malkmus, such as Kim Gordon, Mac DeMarco, Sharon Van Etten and Jason Schwartzman, performing Shadowbanned as a cartoon version of Malkmus. Their footage is interwoven with clips from older videos by Malkmus and Pavement in which the singer has been blurred, pixelated, and algorithmically replaced in order to render him invisible. The video represents two polar opposites: the involuntary erasure of a person in visual imagery and one’s desire to perform as a persona, thereby leaving the constraints of one’s everyday identity behind. “Identity is a matter of design. People like to play with characters and pretend to be someone else.”

2 | Khruangbin & Leon Bridges | Texas Sun

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Earlier this month, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges released their new collaborative EP Texas Sun. Khruangbin’s first time writing with a vocalist, Texas Sun was praised upon release for its seamless collaboration with Bridges. Today, Khruangbin and Bridges present a new visual for the project’s title track. Directed by Philip Andelman, the video highlights the unique Texan landscape, which Bridges also sings about throughout the track. “I had never felt this transported by a song, never felt such a powerful need to shoot anything before in my life,” says Andelman. “We traveled out to East Texas and just started driving, creating our own set of adventures as we went along: meetings with pecan farmers in Van Horn, mezcal dealers in Marfa, ranchers in Valentine. We didn’t have much gear, just a camera, some incandescent bulbs, a tripod and ratchet straps. We fell into a family of friends in Marfa who took us over the finish line, rustling up wardrobes and cars, a neighbor with a home to shoot in, an ex-boyfriend with a drone. Calling this a labor of love would be an understatement, it was the ride of a lifetime.”

3 | Orphan Donor | Salvia Is A Bitch

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Drop into another dimension of purely psychotic, animated bliss with Orphan Donor’s new video for Salvia Is A Bitch. The song comes from the outfit’s impending Old Patterns full-length, nearing release in mid-March, and its intensely hallucinogenic visual counterpart makes a public spectacle of itself for the first time. Allentown, Pa.-based Orphan Donor is the solo venture of Secret Cutter drummer Jared Stimpfl who performed, recorded, and mixed Old Patterns in his home studio, Captured Recording Studios. The album was mastered by Ryan Haft and completed with artwork by James Revelle, who is also responsible for the creation of the video assets for the album, including the concentrated visual madness of the Salvia Is A Bitch video. Stimpfl offers, “This was a real treat to have James do a video for this song. I love his art and his animations, so it was awesome having him go nuts with his vision… This song isn’t even about psychedelics funny enough, but a damn close visual representation of the closed eye fireworks show, that’s for sure.”

4 | Snotty Nose Rez Kids | Real Deadly

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British Columbia hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids have announced Born Deadly, their new EP slated to come out on April 3. Today, they premiered the video for the EP’s first single Real Deadly. Here’s what Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce and Darren “Young D” Metz said about Real Deadly: “We like to refer to things that are dope as real deadly. We wrote this song about feeling strong and confident in who we are as people and artists and want that to transfer to the listener. Much in the way that our track Boujee Natives spoke to the richness of indigenous fashion, style, culture, and identity, we want Real Deadly to be a positive, affirming song. A lot of the music we wrote for this EP was inspired by the energy we feel at our shows. The tracks are ‘turn up’ tracks, and we intended for fans to not only hear them on record, but at our live shows, too.”

5 | Marem Ladson | No Sentir Nada

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Madrid-based singer-songwriter Marem Ladson shares the music video for No Sentir Nada ahead of the single’s release tomorrow and her upcoming, bilingual EP Azul, out March 6. The EP marks the follow-up to her self-titled 2018 debut full-length. No Sentir Nada is a melancholic song about canceling out sad feelings and leaving the past behind — the song translates to feel nothing. In the music video, Marem portrays a fearless cowgirl who represents confidence, strength, and power, someone she strives to become. After losing her horse outside of the saloon, she falls into deep despair during her search and learns to shut out the painful sadness. The video was filmed in the Tabernas desert in Almería, Spain at the iconic Oasys MiniHollywood, which was originally built in the 1960s as the set for Sergio Leone’s classic Spaghetti western films A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly starring Clint Eastwood.”

6 | The Hempolics | Bongadashi

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Hempolics drop the visuals for their latest single Bongadashi ahead of their upcoming second album Kiss, Cuddle & Torture: Volume 2. In the words of the band’s mainman and producer Grippa Laybourne — who has previously worked in the studio with a variety of international top acts like Mattafix and FaithlessBongadashi is “a pure British reggae-funk stomper full of swagger and verve”. The song is about the inherent danger on the streets whether in London or Port of Spain in Tobago, the home of Hempolics collaborator Franz who lends the vocals to the track. “When fear comes out of the blue, when you’re walking down the street and someone starts on you not sure whether you’re safe or not on the streets — Bongadashi coming,” Grippa adds.”

7 | Thundercat | Dragonball Durag

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Jazz virtuoso Thundercat releases the video for Dragonball Durag, the second single from It Is What It Is, out April 3. The new track, produced by Thunder and Flying Lotus, encapsulates his love of humour in music and his passion for the cult Japanese animé Dragon Ball Z. “I have a Dragon Ball tattoo … it runs everything. There is a saying that Dragon Ball is life,” he explains. As for the durag: “There are two types of people in the world, the guy with the durag and the guy who doesn’t know what a durag is. The durag is a superpower, to turn your swag on… it does something, it changes you. If you have one in the wardrobe, think about wearing it tonight, and it may pop off because you never know what’s going to happen.”

8 | Bay Faction | Swan Dive

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Born out of an online message board looking for bandmates, Bay Faction emerged in the Boston DIY scene in 2015 performing at house shows and small venues. For a young band who have only just begun to make a full time living from their art, their new environment led them to examine their position in the community and the contrast of their lives with the day to day experience of their neighbors, which is the subject of their new single Swan Dive. “In a lot of ways, we’re antithetical to the traditional American values that drive the town”, says James McDermott. “Everyone here has real jobs with kids and social obligations. The thought of pursuing music as a career can be seen as hedonistic and selfish. There is a moral dilemma inherent in creating art as a job. No amount of hours spent in front of a computer can build community. Our “swan dive into hell” is an attempt at balancing the privilege of our vocation within the context of suburban New Jersey, while bearing in mind the only skill we really have requires us to be alone for 8 hours a day.”

9 | Sam Weber | Obligated

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sam Weber is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the vein of Jackson Browne, The Band, The Wood Brothers, and Gillian Welch — but he’s also increasingly unique in his virtuoso skill set. With two LPs under his belt, Weber has earned critical praise for his new album Everything Comes True, which features a superb slate of songs and a heavyweight roster of West Coast players. Today, Weber shares a new, live video for his song Obligated. “Obligated is about feeling compelled to reveal the truth to someone,” says Weber. “It’s about revealing the truth about feelings and circumstance to a romantic partner and feeling compelled to say things to them that although are true, will hurt them.”

10 | Kalbells | Cool and Bendable

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In April 2015, Kalmia Traver had just come out of an intensive 2-month writing retreat with 27 songlets, 10 of which would become Kalbells’ debut album Ten Flowers. Jeremy Malvin loved what she shared with him then, and the two began regular co-production sessions in his studio in Brooklyn, where classical percussion ensemble So Percussion also worked. Drawing inspiration from the abundance of acoustic sound-makers all around, Jeremy performed marimbas, cactus shakers, and massive bass drums, while Kal layered flute arpeggios, penny whistles, and saxophones through tape echo to make smooth harmonic waves of rainbow velvet layer cake. They pretended to be an orchestra. Cool and Bendable was inspired by a dream in which she held her yet-unborn child, but as Kal finished writing the song in the studio with Jeremy, she realized it was actually about holding herself, a body, a life. “Supple, strong, funny: a person, a being,” she says. “I also think I was celebrating in awe the general aliveness of our world, Earth.”

11 | Michael Peter Olsen | Mayday

THE PRESS RELEASE:Michael Peter Olsen has shared a stunning video for his debut single Mayday prior to its release tomorrow. The video was created by celebrated fine artist Trudy Elmore. Mayday, a first taste from what promises to be a fruitful year for Olsen, is a meditation on loss and rebirth, an ascension through sadness that still submits to an inevitable truth. Mayday, along with Michael Peter Olsen’s upcoming full-length album, showcases electric cello in ambient, avant-garde influenced compositions and transports the listener through a sound world of electronically altered and acoustic performance. Inspired by a combination of acoustic and pure synthetic sounds, meditations on late 19th-century impressionist harmony, and film scoring, the album promises to build a bridge between new classical and pop music communities.”

12 | Toxic Holocaust | New World Beyond

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Crossover thrashers Toxic Holocaust are pleased to unveil the official video for New World Beyond. The track comes by way of the band’s latest full-length, Primal Future: 2019, released last fall. The raucous clip was shot in Oregon City by band founder/principal songwriter Joel Grind and Jaime Robillard. Comments Grind, “New World Beyond is a song about a dystopian future where resources are scarce and daily life is a struggle for survival.”

13 | Olive Louise | Bad Things

THE PRESS RELEASE:Olive Louise is a singer, songwriter and composer from New York. Known for her championed ability to intertwine her classically trained background with a refreshing take on today’s contemporary pop landscape, Louise translates her vast wealth of experiences into music that is timely as it is timeless. New eerie single Bad Things, reminiscent of a broken lullaby, features delicate vocals which float atop the large rolling drums, creating a theatrical release. Bad Things narrates the singer’s struggle with anxiety at a young age, where she was consumed with constant premonition. Louise confides, “The main message behind this song is that even when you feel like no one gets what you’re going through or like nobody is really listening, you aren’t alone and you shouldn’t let it stop you from being open. Don’t bottle anything in. It is okay to feel your emotions and to be upset when life gets tough, but then own that feeling, and let it propel you forward.”

14 | Trauma | The Black Maggots

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Poland’s longstanding death metal outfit Trauma has issued a writhing lyric video for The Black Maggots, one of the standout tracks from the band’s impending eighth studio full-length, Ominous Black. Trauma delivers their anxiously anticipated Ominous Black, featuring nine crushing new tracks composed and recorded by the band’s Jarosław “Mister” Misterkiewicz. Trauma is one of Poland’s oldest and most experienced death metal acts. The band started in the late-1980s, known then as Thanatos. Under the moniker, two demo tapes were recorded, which helped them become known as one of the most interesting and musically advanced bands from the Polish metal scene. In December 1992, they changed the name to Trauma, and a few months later recorded their debut full-length, Invisible Reality. Since then, the squad has been remained continuously busy, releasing their brand of music for nearly 30 years.”

15 | The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus | A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Called LA

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are kicking off 2020 with the release of their first original new music since 2018, a nod to their emo roots called A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Called LA. This is the first song off their forthcoming The Emergency EP, to be released later this year. Front man Ron Winter explains: “This song was just really fun from the beginning to the end. It’s the story of how I met my future wife. As I was producing the lead vocal, the engineer tracking me stopped and said, ‘This is crazy. I was here this night!’ And he was there, so that was proof to me I really captured the essence of the occasion lyrically.” He continues “It’s a melodic roller coaster of nervous excitement, like when you first meet someone special. This is a fun, unashamed love song straight from the emo playbook. Don’t quit before the end because this song rides hard until the wheels fall off!”

16 | Craig Greenberg | All The Hate In the World

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New York-based singer/songwriter Craig Greenberg shared a new video for his recently released single All The Hate In The World (released 2/21). Written at the time of the last election, the piano-driven track is a gorgeously multilayered anthem that looks both outward at the state of the world and inward as he processes and copes with the reality. Blunt political themes aside, the Queens, NY-based troubadour again wraps his gracefully conceptual storytelling in a masterfully soaring melodicism that takes it to a sublime level. Says Greenberg: “I wrote the song in 2016 and it started out from a personal perspective, but it quickly morphed into a political song about the rise of a certain leader of the free world and the overall general amount of hate that seems to be in high supply these days. It also alludes to people who are able to put on blinders to it all. As much as I try to remain optimistic, sometimes I wish I could be one of those people…”

17 | August Burns Red | Bones

THE PRESS RELEASE:August Burns Red just dropped the new song Bones from their upcoming eighth full length, Guardians, out April 3. “Bones is a song about taking a step back and realizing that we need to preserve different cultures…even ones you may not agree with,” the band says. “Musically, it’s thrashy and hopefully catchy enough to be stuck in your head for days.” “Guardians is the culmination of a complete and total team effort,” said JB Brubaker. “Dustin and I collaborated musically more than we ever have before. Jake and Brent collaborated vocally more than they ever have before. Matt bounced more drum ideas off of us than we could even comprehend. It was the most time we’ve ever spent in the studio on one album. We’re all so proud of this record, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

18 | Whitney Rose | Just Circumstance

THE PRESS RELEASE:Just Circumstance is a new song from Texas-via-Canadian Maritimes artist Whitney Rose, from her forthcoming album We Still Go to Rodeos. According to Whitney: “I had a very specific character in mind when I wrote this song. I love crime TV and that prompted me to dig into the criminal justice system last year. I read about the system itself but also personal accounts. My mind was blown. It’s so easy to fall into that world and it’s so hard to get out of it- especially when you’re born into this world without privileges, which very much exist.”

19 | Middle-Aged Queers | Theme Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Oakland queercore band Middle-Aged Queers have released a new single titled Theme Song. The track appears on the band’s upcoming debut album Too Fag For Love, out March 13. Lead crooner Shaun Osburn says, “Our Theme Song is about loving yourself as a seasoned queer person in a culture that prioritizes youth and heteronormativity. The line ‘go fuck yourself’ is actually meant as a positive; masturbation should be sex with someone you love!”

20 | Errant | A Vacillant Breath

THE PRESS RELEASE:Errant, the brooding new solo project helmed by multi-instrumentalist Rae Amitay, will release its debut EP on April 3. In advance of its release, Amitay offers up opening track A Vacillant Breath for public feasting noting, “This was the first song I started writing for this project, and the last one I completed. It’s a departure from what people might expect to hear from me, and it felt like growth to create an opportunity for myself to experiment with different vocal styles and genre blends. This EP and this song in particular were a chance to fully express certain thoughts and ideas — some of which I haven’t delved into until this project.”

21 | Unconditional Arms | Westbrae Sunrise

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Oakland post-rock band Unconditional Arms is debuting a new track off the upcoming album Formation out April 3. Unconditional Arms is a brainchild of musician Jeff Wright. The band also consists of drummer Ross Traver and features musicians Randy Staat, Christopher Sturm, Tyler Thalken, Julie Lydell (who plays piano on Westbrae Sunrise), and Scott Goodrich. Wright says the latest single was written “for my best friend, Erin.”