Indie Roundup | 21 Tracks To Try Out This Tuesday

Settle in with new tracks from The Rentals, Muzz, Dirty Projectors and plenty more.

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The Rentals do some serious social distancing, Sweet Lizzy heed the call, Muzz break their tambourine, Dirty Projectors search for signs of life, Peter Himmelman shelters in peace and more in today’s Roundup. For those playing Republican Hypocrite Bingo at home, you can now cross Death Panels off your card. Congratulations! Unless you have a grandparent in Texas.


1 | The Rentals | Invasion Night

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Rentals debut the official music video for their recent single Invasion Night, is a fantastical slice of Armageddon-inspired science fiction. The short film takes place just moments after a vengeful alien adversary instantly and effortlessly brings near total annihilation to our unsuspecting, naive planet. In the aftermath of this global apocalypse, a connection forms between the last two living beings on Earth, a lone woman and a small dog… Invasion Night is their story. The song/video may not have been created as a reaction to the pandemic, but it is difficult not to let your mind unconsciously look for metaphorical connections, as we are all likely looking for allegories in everything these days. In Invasion Night, these accidental correlations are thoroughly unintentional, but the two main characters (the Woman + the Dog) of this eerie tale do, ultimately, set a fine example of how to practice meaningful social distancing, by the video’s breathtaking conclusion.”


2 | Sweet Lizzy Project | Ain’t Nobody To Call

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Every debut album represents a journey, but few have come as far or struggled so tenaciously for the chance to be heard on their own terms as Cuba’s Sweet Lizzy Project. The five-piece rock band built a strong following in its native Havana with scant resources or infrastructure to support them, in a cultural setting where they could never be entirely themselves. The band’s U.S. debut album Technicolor is a statement bigger and bolder than the gulf separating Cuba and the United States, or even than the album’s polychromatic, pulsing sound. It’s a musical bridge SLP hopes others will cross. The feisty, infectious album draws on several eras of rock and pop, adding subtle Latin undertones.”


3 | Muzz | Broken Tambourine

THE PRESS RELEASE:Muzz is the new project of Paul Banks (singer of Interpol), Josh Kaufman (esteemed producer/multi-instrumentalist and one third of Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (drummer of Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen, and Fleet Foxes’ touring band). Today, the trio release their first official single/video, the loungey and romantic Broken Tambourine. Broken Tambourine begins with sparse, floating piano by Kaufman, before surging with Banks’ rumbling vocals, Barrick’s low percussion, and a lilting clarinet, while an open door during recording brings in the surrounding nature sounds of the studio in Woodstock and augments the song’s spacious atmosphere. Written, arranged and performed by all three, it perfectly encompasses the collaborative essence of Muzz, a group with recordings dating back to 2015, but, cosmically speaking, with seeds planted long ago.”


4 | Dirty Projectors | Search For Life

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This Friday, Dirty Projectors begin a new chapter with the release of Windows Open. The first collection of new Projectors material to feature the lineup of the 2018/19 Lamp Lit Prose tour, these four songs are laidback and yearning, poetic and a bit whimsical. If you’ve seen Dirty Projectors live in the last two years, you no doubt saw Maia Friedman rocking the Silvertone and Stratocaster stage left – now she sings lead on all of Windows Open. Today, the band shares Search For Life, a classic Projectors ballad with a stunning string arrangement from Oliver Hill. In the context of this month’s global crisis, it seems to carry a different and deeper resonance.”


5 | Peter Himmelman | Shelter In Peace

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is a song I wrote last Friday, March 20. It was inspired by a text from a good friend of mine. She signed off by saying: ‘shelter in peace.’ I guess that’s how songs work. You hear something, you feel something, and then. if you’re inspired and not to preoccupied, it sometimes comes out as music. I don’t have to explain this one, I don’t think.”


6 | Fet.Nat | Your World Is My Mystery Gift II

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Since founding in 2010, Fet.Nat has created a musical universe all its own, crossing leftfield punk, trip-hop, free jazz and afrobeat, on a backdrop of absurdist humour. The enigmatic Hull, Québec foursome built its reputation on fiery live performances that clash maniacal theatrics with confounding musicianship. Fet.Nat’s 2019 masterpiece concept record Le Mal shone a light on the band’s studio prowess, blending menacing electronics with warped poetics, seemingly contorted to pre-vision a version of the terrifying future we as a species and a planet are currently, already living. As if on cue, Fet.Nat shares its music video for closing track Your World Is My Mystery Gift II – a plodding, nearly beatless dirge of heavily processed vocals and degraded electronics. Through juxtaposed images of humanity and the wake left behind it, visual artist André Bluteau captures the disparity of our world, intimating the imbalance propelling us toward imminent collapse. Of his video – the first official music video for the veteran band – Fet.Nat comments: “Seeing this video made us realize that the song is not about now. It’s about the future. The mystery. Whether good or bad, the current experience, and the potential outcome, resonates deeply with all of us.”


7 | Why Bonnie | Athlete

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ahead of the release of their new EP Voice Box, out April 10, Austin-based band Why Bonnie share a new single/video, Athlete. Following the recently-released title track, Breeders-inspired Athlete endeavors self-doubt in a blistering metaphor of failed sportsmanship. Over loud, anthemic guitar and crashing percussion, frontwoman Blair Howerton sings “about the frustration of not being able to keep up with the ‘team’ and learning to laugh when you fumble.” Its accompanying video, directed by Alex Winker, is essentially a charming, fun day for the band filmed on VHS. “Athlete is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage,” says the band. “Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.”


8 | Solo Ansamblis | Fosforinis Baseinas

THE PRESS RELEASE: “An exciting new voice in an emerging Baltic scene, Solo Ansamblis mixes moody post-punk and robotic techno, with lyrics sung entirely in the band’s native language. Using a combination of live instruments and electronic elements, the quartet conjures thumping energy and monotone melancholy, masterfully playing with the tension between these two extremes. Fosforinis Baseinas translates to Phosphorous Pool in English. The band states: “The atmospheric, improvisational video for Fosforinis Baseinas was created by Šarūnas Akelaitis, mixing performance and documentary film styles. The video experience ties into the lyrics, questioning surrealistic apocalypse and lost desires. What’s important today? How important are human relationships after all? The video looks best in the dark.”


9 | Tafari Anthony | Centerfold

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tafari (pronounced Ta-far-eye) Anthony is a Toronto based artist whose music blends R&B, pop, and soul. He is a creator who embodies the spirit of the modern musician. Not just a musician, but a creator. Known for his sleek vocal tones, sultry melodies and music which oozes with personality, Tafari leaves listeners in awe — somewhat apt considering his name means “He who inspires awe”. Tafari is unveiling the confident new single Centerfold. The track sees the musician taking a different direction, to what he calls his own interpretation of pop music. Soaring with atmospheric synths and cascading pop melodies, Tafari showcases his impressive velvet vocals, with a hint of sass. Centerfold is the ultimate “go fuck yourself” send off to a self centred ex-lover. Tafari confides, “I’m a pretty calm guy, but when I get to my breaking point, it’s hard to hold my tongue. This song was written from sheer frustration of trying to let him down gently and realizing that he just refused to understand.”


10 | Melkbelly | Sickeningly Teeth

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago-based band Melkbelly will release Pith, their multidimensional and strikingly textural new album, on April 3. Today, they offer a new single/video, Sickeningly Teeth. Sickeningly Teeth is in step with Melkbelly’s unabashed loudness and is “a cough syrup induced self-reflection.” Miranda Winters’ bright vocals are delayed and hazy over raucous instrumentation and periodic tempo shifts. The Sickeningly Teeth video completes the Melkbelly Trilogy and is an obvious homage to the greatest trilogy of all time, The Matrix. It stars, among others, John Reynolds, and is tastefully laden with delightful gross-outs.”


11 | The Claudettes | 24/5

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago’s The Claudettes return with their fifth album, High Times in the Dark, on April 3. Produced by Grammy-winner Ted Hutt (Violent Femmes, Old Crow Medicine Show), the album provides a particularly potent batch of compositions that highlight the quartet’s undeniable chemistry. Johnny Iguana’s piano remains a driving force within the group while Berit Ulseth’s inimitable vocal style remains front-and-center throughout this latest batch of material. With co-founder Michael Clasky and guitarist Zach Verdoorn rounding out the band, The Claudettes have stepped comfortably into their finest moment yet via High Times in the Dark. The new single is 24/5, which spotlights the group’s ability to marry humor with uncompromising musical ferocity. Speaking from his home in Chicago, Iguana discusses the piece’s unlikely introduction. “It’s got a jazziness at the top that might be a little arcane for some people,” Iguana says. “When I play it live, I say that I’m offering complimentary champagne music. It’s a supper club jazz intro, which then gives way to a pretty punky little number. It was written on piano, but the guitars kind of took over. Berit has a great vocal on that one.”


12 | Nude Shoes | Billy’s Here, Love, I’ve Got to Go

THE PRESS RELEASE:Nude Shoes (the Asbury Park, NJ based project of musician Andy Katz) has released a new single titled Billy’s Here, Love, I’ve Got to Go. The band is also debuting a video for the track. Katz says, “The song is about losing someone close to you so suddenly. It is dedicated to a dear friend of the band that passed away very suddenly last year. We miss and love her very much.”


13 | Oranssi Pazuzu | Uusi Teknokratia

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Two weeks ago, Finland’s experimental anti-traditionalists unleashed Uusi teknokratia, the first single of their new album Mestarin kynsi, out on April. 17. Today, Oranssi Pazuzu release a hypnotic yet consensual music video for this song. The band states, “The video Zev Deans made captures the paranoid vibe of the track and expands it further by adding a whole new visual realm in to it. An apocalyptic vision that leaves no other choice but to obey.”


14 | The Foxies | Call Me When Your Phone Dies

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Foxies have built their uniquely feral brand of rock ‘n’ roll out of thrashing punk energy and the hypnotic pageantry of electronic pop. The Nashville-based power trio announced the May 29 release of their EP Growing Up Is Dead with Call Me When Your Phone Dies, a new single that mixes grunge and second-wave EDM and turns the other cheek on a Rolodex full of wannabe players. “It’s just the ode to all the fuckboys out there,” says frontwoman and band founder Julia Lauren Bullock of the synth-driven standout, a headbanging masterpiece which crashes through a wall of male-dating privilege. “It’s like, ‘Hey, listen. I had a night with you, but I shouldn’t have. You can’t do anything for me, and that’s that.’”


15 | Bicep | Atlas

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Having been teased in numerous DJ sets over recent months — and predictably leading to much excited anticipation among their fans online — Bicep announce their new single Atlas, their first new music since 2018’s Rain EP. “It would’ve been unthinkable to foresee the circumstances this track would be released in when we were making it. Our frame of mind was so positive then, fresh off the back of our live tour, full of excitement for the next phase. Atlas was our attempt at summing up some of the euphoric moments we experienced on that tour across those two years. It feels like those moments are very far away for all of us right now, but we hope this serves as some form of distraction amidst all this chaos.”


16 | Squid | Sludge

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brighton-based five-piece Squid present their richly percussive and sonically shifting new single, Sludge, which sees the band opening up their sound with the experimentation and playfulness that made them such an exciting prospect when they burst on the scene just over a year ago. Thematically, Squid’s previous releases have been more character driven with Squid looking at the people around them, but on Sludge the band is in a more introspective state of mind; simultaneously seeking a wider commentary, but approaching it with an idiosyncratic precision and a lighthearted demeanor. Sludge was initially conceived during a soundcheck while supporting seminal post-punk group Wire, a fitting way to begin this new chapter for a band who have built so much of their reputation on their incendiary live shows.”


17 | Trivial Shields | For The Best

THE PRESS RELEASE:Trivial Shields is the moniker for the songwriting and sonic explorations of multi-instrumentalist Christian Carpenter — a long tenured touring and session bassist for a gamut of musicians, including Renata Zeiguer, Luke Winslow-King, Kent Odessa, and more. His previous band, My Dear Disco (with Theo Katzman and Joey Dosik), also preceded the creation of Vulfpeck. Carpenter will release the next Trivial Shields album on April 10 — an EP featuring collaborations with a cast of stellar musicians that includes Sandu Ndu and Geneva Harrison (Bells Atlas), Angelica Bess (Body Language), and Sarah K. Pedinotti (LIP TALK). Recorded in a subterranean studio on the Lower East Side, the Levity EP presents three different vignettes of the surprising clarity that punctures through the haze of a post-breakup malaise. Today Trivial Shields has shared track 2 from the EP, called For The Best, featuring Angelica Bess. It’s a joyful break-up song that recognizes and celebrates the end of a relationship. “Whenever I play [For The Best],” Bess says, “this feeling of relief overcomes [me] and it releases all that has left me heavy. It has a spring-like feel to it, and it reveals a story of the end of something held dear, but also the rebirth of something that feels rejuvenating.”


18 | Katie Von Schleicher | Nowhere

THE PRESS RELEASE:Katie Von Schleicher shares her new single, Nowhere, from her upcoming album Consummation, out May 22. Nowhere quietly swells with steady percussion and airy synth. Von Scheicher’s voice is contemplative and delicate as she sings “‘about the close and tight feeling of being alone. It can be a hard spell to break,” says Von Schleicher. “The narrative is simple: I’m at home and promising someone I’ll leave any minute. I go out into the night, driving alone. Everything conspires to ride the line between comfort and the unknown – that’s my aim at least.”


19 | Selci | Hide Forever

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary soundscaper Selci is returning with the languid electro-R&B number, Hide Forever, which will appear on her second EP in less than a year, A Soft Place, set for release on June 23. As the world is gripped by the Coronavirus pandemic, the track’s message of finding comfort in isolation seems especially fitting in these uncertain times. Hide Forever is a slumbering reflection of the artist trapped in a sleep state during a periodic low. Produced with the help of prolific Vancouver beatmaker Neighbour and tempered by Selci’s narcotic vocals, the track flows like a curl of smoke. “I wrote Hide Forever when I was in a major depression and I wasn’t able to face the world,” Selci says. “Sleep was my only place of solace. The world would shut off and I could drift away.”


20 | Jaime Wyatt | Just A Woman feat. Jessi Colter

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jaime Wyatt will release Neon Cross on May 29. The 11-song set was produced by the two-time Grammy Award-winning producer Shooter Jennings. Today, she premieres her trad-country feminist anthem Just A Woman which features the legendary Jessi Colter. Wyatt said, “I wrote Just A Woman to advocate for the vast majority of women who have not been heard, empowered, or encouraged to be anything more than meek, selfless, and beautiful.”


21 | Hala | Why Do You Want Anything To Do With Me?

THE PRESS RELEASE:Hala, the project of Detroit-based musician Ian Ruhala, will release his new album, Red Herring, on May 1. Today, he shares a new single, Why Do You Want Anything To Do With Me?, which hums with the neon hyperness of mid-aughts alt-pop and is an homage to musical revolutionaries like The Clash, Richard Hell, and The Damned. “Lyrically I drew from headlines and stories regarding non-violent criminal offenders,” says Ruhala. “This discussion has come to a head in recent years with the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana use around the United States. This further enticed me to learn more about the push for prison reform, and justice for the wrongly convicted. This song is my attempt to critique the societal stigma that seems to be placed upon these people.”