Indie Roundup (Blackjack Edition) | 21 Tracks That Win This Thursday

Start the weekend early with Avatar, Plague Years, Alec Lytle, Nite and plenty more.

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Avatar share their odyssey, Plague Years victimize you, Alec Lytle goes to the mountain, Nite share there dreams, Carrousel go it alone and more in today’s Roundup. Onward and … somewhere.


VIDEO OF THE DAY

1 | Avatar | Legend of Avatar Country: A Metal Odyssey

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The King and His Elite Orchestra, Avatar, are excited to debut Legend Of Avatar Country: A Metal Odyssey, their musical featurette inspired by the album of the same name. Legend Of Avatar Country: A Metal Odyssey marks the finale of the Avatar Country story for the band. In the words of Johannes Eckerström: “We are in the middle of creating something very special. I think people have come to understand that we are all about reincarnating as a new monster every time we put something new out. While we’re doing this we want to make sure to give Avatar Country all the proper send offs we can think of. It was all such a unique thing to do and it was the concept that proved to us that everything is possible and that our fans are just as crazy as we are. It will be fun to watch a flick with them.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

2 | Plague Years | Play The Victim

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Michigan-based crossover death thrashers Plague Years will unleash their punishing Circle Of Darkness full-length on May 22. Like an icepick to the face, Plague Years arrives with an electric surge of sudden pain. An unrelenting end of the world assault of the cataclysmic convergence of thrash and hardcore, with bits of blackened death and midtempo madness to spare, the Detroit master blasters are here to crash the crossover party. Summoning the primitive spirit of the singular moment when the heaviest of metal first smashed into a circle pit, Plague Years reignites the flame with sharp fury. In terms of lyrical aggression, songs like Play The Victim blend traditional death metal blood-and-gore fantasy with the unrestrained bravado of Detroit’s grittier contributions to rap, like LOM Rambo and Motown upstart Icewear Vezzo.”


3 | Alec Lytle & Them Rounders | The Mountain

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Northern California-based band Alec Lytle & Them Rounders premiered their latest music video The Mountain today. The song follows Landslide, the first single from their upcoming album, The Remains of Sunday, which is due out April 17. The Mountain music video was filmed in Alec’s neighborhood bar, coincidentally called The Mountain House. It is famously known as the location where Neil Young shot the music video for Harvest Moon. “We tried to pay subtle homage to Neil’s video because he’s been such a huge influence on all of us locals that live near his ranch,” Alec says. “The owners of The Mountain House are still the same as they were when Neil filmed here. I love that we can extend the traditions of our community in small ways like this.” Alec continues: “When I was first writing this song, I was playing with the little upbeat guitar riff, and the oohs that make up the refrain. It really had the feel of the hills and mountains that we live in… a little backwoods porch feel that sounded fun and a bit melancholy at the same time. I’m always trying to write songs that feel true to where I am from and create some imagery that might help people connect to this place.”


4 | Nite | All You’ve Ever Dreamed Of

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Dallas, Dream Pop/Electronic Rock twin duo Nite announced the release of their third album Sleepless. Sleepless is a collection of stories about the twins and how they were experiencing different seasons of life. For Kyle, his songs are based around his sense of identity and past experiences that have formed him into who he is now. Myles’s songs focus more on the pursuit of something to come, rather than reflecting on what has passed. The twins were heavily inspired by classic songwriting and vibes from bands that not only programmed synths but were also more organic in their approach, artists such as Roxy Music, The Blue Nile and The Style Council. Sleepless will be released April 17. The music video for All You’ve Ever Dreamed Of is out today.”


5 | Carrousel | A Solitary Soul

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles-based duo Carrousel — the project of Joel Piedt and Sharon Piedt — are sharing the official music video for A Solitary Soul, one of the tracks off their newly released EP I Wasn’t Well. Carrousel took the challenge of shooting the A Solitary Soul video entirely on iPhones. Instead of feeling stifled by the device limitation, Joel notes that it actually “sparked something creatively” for the band. Throughout the video the duo don 50s-inspired sci-fi spacesuits and even shot at the same location used for some of Star WarsTatooine scenes, creating a highly cinematic and otherworldly visual experience that unites reality and absurdity all at once. With each new visual and single release, the LA-based duo embrace their artistic freedom and welcome listeners and viewers into the world of Carrousel.”


6 | Enter Shikari | The Dreamer’s Hotel

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following the announcement of their sixth album Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, out April 17, Enter Shikari have shared the video to first single The Dreamer’s Hotel. The video was shot in Paris in February 2020 and directed by visual artist Polygon (Tame Impala, Bring Me The Horizon), who also directed Enter Shikari’s previous single Stop The Clocks. “We took another wonderful trip to Paris once again to record a video with our friend Polygon. We built minimal hotel sets and used psychedelic analogue effects to create a space that reflects the hope but also the desolation of the song,” said Rou Reynolds. Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible is produced to dazzling effect by renowned frontman and visionary Rou Reynolds from a band at the peak of their creative output with a unique story, underlining their 13-year succession as a pioneering and uncompromising musical force. This is an album about possibility, the unnerving irony of endless possibility, the band asking themselves what they can achieve as the world questions “what is possible?”


7 | Austra | Anywayz

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Being in a toxic relationship can sometimes feel like being lost in a maze. Every attempt to turn a corner lands you back where you started. Today, Austra (aka Katie Austra Stelmanis) announces her fourth album, HiRUDiN. Set for release on May 1, HiRUDiN is both a bold acknowledgement of such patterns of behaviour and a testament to the power of breaking them. Now Austra shares new single Anywayz. The album’s opening track, Stelmanis says of Anywayz: “It explores the fear associated with leaving someone, and the terrifying realization that without them in your life, the rest of the world will continue unscathed as if nothing has changed.” The director of the video for Anywayz, Jasmin Mozaffari, adds: “I wanted the video to feel as dramatic and chaotic as heartbreak can be, bringing this fear into fruition. The concept focuses on Katie as a heightened version of herself, sequestered inside a barren mansion that resembles a cage of her own spiralling thoughts. She resists moving on, yet as time persists and the outside world thrives, it eventually forces itself upon her.”


8 | Porches | Patience

THE PRESS RELEASE: “From his forthcoming new album Ricky Music, due out March 13, Porches aka Aaron Maine has shared a new track, album opener Patience. It comes alongside a video directed by frequent Porches collaborator Nick Harwood, who also directed the video for Porches’ previous single Do U Wanna. Maine says, “Patience feels like holding hands jumping out of a tree, and all you can do is laugh at the mess you’ve gotten yourselves into, while the two of you spiral towards the grass in a beautiful sunset.”


9 | The Dirty Clergy | Lucy

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With 2020 marking a decade into their musical careers The Dirty Clergy vacillates between shoegaze-esque ruminations on love and struggle and more straightforward garage numbers that surge into ecstatic cacophony all accented by eerily laconic vocals, The Alabama-based trio (featuring vocalist/guitarist Brian Manasco, bassist Ky Carter and drummer Cody Moorehead) are looking to expand their already respectable discography with their upcoming full-length, the aptly titled In Waves. Today they share the music video for Lucy.”


10 | Jaunt | Delighted To Be Spoken To

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto-based six-piece Jaunt are set to release their debut album All In One on April 16. The band formed in 2016 as a casual recording project that, upon the release of their debut EP Chat, became a local overnight sensation. Today, Jaunt share Delighted To Be Spoken To, the second single to be taken from their upcoming LP, a song about resisting self-pity by developing a practice of gratitude for the fleeting, simple, joyful details of life. The accompanying video visually reflects that sentiment. The video is the first in a series of 6 tableaus – 1 for each band member – depicting mundane, yet vibrant and playful environments caught, slowed down, under a microscope, on repeat, and in reverse shot on 16mm. This first one is of vocalist Caitlin Woelfe-O’Brien.”


11 | Jr Jr | Good Old Days

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Detroit indie-pop duo Jr Jr have announced the release of their infectiously catchy new EP August And Everything Prior on May 1. The EP’s lead single Good Old Days is out today. Good Old Days serves as the centerpiece of August And Everything Prior. Both heady and groovy, the track grabs the listener’s attention from its opening line: “What if somebody really does break the internet?” Conceptually, it’s a pass-the-torch-to-the-next-generation kind of song, brimming with 1960s acoustic folk, balmy harmonies, an infectious beat, and poetic purposeful lyrics. “This one is about our desire to welcome and encourage the next generation, because most generations end up holding onto their control for far too long. It’s inspiring for us to see young people who are doing their best to make impactful and necessary change,” says Josh Epstein, who plays as one half of Jr Jr alongside his bandmate Daniel Zott.”


12 | Lili Kendall | I Am My Own

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles-based Aussie artist and songwriter Lili Kendall is presenting the official music video for her single I Am My Own. Made in collaboration with feminist filmmaker/director Caroline Iaffaldano, the highly cinematic video revels in extravaganza and absurdity, following Lili through a trilogy of intergalactic travels. Kendall wrote I Am My Own while trying to find comfort in a time of transition and doubt — her move from Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles, California. Through self-exploration, Lili came to the realization that she can be her own home, her own temple, her own safe place, and her own familiar feeling. It’s about loving and honoring the relationship with self.”


13 | Intronaut | Speaking of Orbs

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Feb. 28, Intronaut released their sixth full-length Fluid Existential Inversions, which features some of the most dramatic and epic sounds of their career. Now they’ve released a video for the track Speaking to Orbs. It’s been a five-year gap since 2015’s The Direction Of Last Things, the longest between any two Intronaut records, but with good reason. “Some of this music was written within a week of the last record being released, and we originally wanted to get into the studio to make this album back in early 2017, but I think the band was kind of burnt out, and I personally was definitely burnt out, and we decided to take a year off before committing to a new album and the touring stuff that comes with it. After a little time off, I kept writing on my own and I realized I love making this music whether we’re an active band or not.”


14 | Julia Bhatt | I’m Cool

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Genre-jumping indie artist Julia Bhatt turned 18 in January, graduated high school last week and today she releases her psychedelic ode to 90’s VHS I’m Cool Lyric Video. Working with producer and mentor Elliot Jacobson (Elle King, Ingrid Michaelson, Verite), I’m Cool features exuberant melodies, Julia’s fast-paced wordsmithing and a slight twang that adds a shuffle to the robust sense of confidence. “Everyone’s cool. There’s no need to pretend like you’re superhuman to be cool. Crying and going through rough times doesn’t make you any less cool,” Bhatt explains.”


15 | Tilman Robinson | Bartholomew, Glowing

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian composer Tilman Robinson’s third album Culturecide is an investigation of the anthropocene; a seven part lamentation for our chaotic world. Culturecide is a rich sonic collage, harvesting sounds from a range sources including field recordings, medical machines that monitor the human body, traditional instruments and synthesisers, often melted electronically. The result is an unsettling paradox with sounds constantly on the edge of recognition. Bartholomew, Glowing embodies the anxiety brought on by our post-truth world. The voices in the music are insistent; biting and battling each other for prominence without cohesion. Printing presses decay in the texture as the digital and physical merge.”


16 | Evan Uhlmann | Prime

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago based singer / songwriter Evan Uhlmann‘s second single Prime is the second single off his upcoming new album Tea Lady, out March 27. “Prime is a song about moving on from past relationships that didn’t work out, but at the same time being able to remember some of the good times that were had. In some ways, it’s a goodbye song. I talk about how good it feels to be out of a relationship, while also saying that I appreciated the person even though it wasn’t a good fit. I also wrote it to process how I was a feeling, and as a way to move on from what was happening in my life. The chorus reflects on a younger and more naive version of myself that was in a relationship. In a way, it’s kind of an ode to young love and the euphoria that we feel, even if things weren’t meant to last.”


17 | Nation Of Language | Tournament

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn-based synth trio Nation of Language has released their latest single, Tournament, continuing to build momentum into their much-anticipated debut album Introduction, Presence, out April 3. Here’s what songwriter/vocalist Ian Devaney said about the meaning of Tournament: “The song is about coming to terms with your circumstances — some big decision has been made, a path has been chosen — and accepting that things will be much harder than you imagined, but there’s nothing to do but to keep going. I moved to Brooklyn thinking I would be able to simply plug into a scene I had known, only to realize that it didn’t really exist anymore. Venues had closed, people had moved away, and I found myself essentially adrift in an almost comically uncaring city. I came to understand it was simply a matter of work — playing to mostly empty rooms in the hope that the bartender would like us and want to have us back. All I knew was that we weren’t going to quit, and that is still pretty much all we know.”


18 | Courtney Marie Andrews | If I Told

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician Courtney Marie Andrews will release her highly anticipated new album Old Flowers in June. In advance of the release, the new album track If I Told is premiering today. Created in the aftermath of a long-term relationship, Old Flowers features Andrews’ most vulnerable writing to date on ten new songs that chronicle her journey through heartbreak, loneliness and finding herself again after it all. Andrews reflects, “Old Flowers is about heartbreak. There are a million records and songs about that, but I did not lie when writing these songs. This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with. It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but okay with that, if it means truth. This was my truth this year — my nine-year relationship ended and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.”


19 | Andre Comeau | Son Of A Gun

THE PRESS RELEASE:Andre Comeau, the “rocker-guy” on the original season of MTV’s groundbreaking reality series The Real World, releases his new solo EP Wrong Within, March 27th. Wrong Within is 5 songs of straightforward Hard-Rock written and performed by the guitarist and vocalist. On Wrong Within Comeau returns to his roots, fronting a heavy rock band with veteran session musician Darren Elpant on drums. Toeing the line between classic and cutting edge, Comeau proves that guitar-rock can still be vital, original, and relevant in 2020. Now listen to his song Son Of A Gun.”


20 | Architectural Genocide | Pleasure Induced By Agony

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh from a killer performance with death metal legends Blood Red Throne, Architectural Genocide have unveiled a new visual feast of horror. Taken from the band’s acclaimed debut album, Cordyceptic Anthropomorph, Pleasure Induced By Agony is a vicious beast of a track. Epitomising Architectural Genocide’s ability to mesh technical ability, gutting hooks and brain pulverising brutality into an inescapable razor wire cage, Pleasure Induced By Agony is undoubtedly one of the band’s finest and most ferocious songs. You can experience this savage assault right now.”


21 | The Warlocks | The Chain

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles’ seasoned psychedelic rock group The Warlocks are ready for the release of their tenth studio album The Chain on April 3. “Creamy, dreamy, glass breaking-style storytelling,” describes frontman Bobby Hecksher of their soon-to-be released acid-soaked new album. The first single Double Life was released today. “We’re telling a story this time,” Hecksher explains about the album’s ripped-from-the-headlines concept, which he says had been percolating for a few years before it suddenly came to him with the delirious intensity of a fever-soaked dream, like that “out-of-body experience you get at a show when you’re drenched in sweat and suddenly feel so alive.”