Indie Roundup (25 For 25 Edition) | Two Dozen and One Tracks For Your Midweek

Enjoy new cuts from Bobby Lees, Lovely Eggs, Big Loser, Sofia, Beauty Pill & more.

The Bobby Lees make a move, Dätcha Mandala stick to it, The Lovely Eggs take second, Architectural Genocide gorge themselves, Big Loser raise some blisters and more in today’s Roundup. Wanna making a bundle in the stock market? Put all your money into plexiglass retail shields and floor tape.

1 | The Bobby Lees | Move

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. Their sound mixes classic garage-punk hits with raw and emotive storytelling.” NOTE: I’ve heard this album. It’s fucking great. Simple as that. Also: I recently spoke to singer-guitarist Sam Quartin about the band’s unique backstory. Stay tuned for that interview closer to the album’s release date. Meanwhile, enjoy their latest single and video Move.

2 | Dätcha Mandala | Stick It Out

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Heavy blues trio Dätcha Mandala unveil Stick It Out, their bold and awakening new video taken from their new album Hara, out June 5. High voltage riffs, political and philosophical themes, Robert Plant-like vocals and an overflowing energy perfectly characterize Hara. On this sophomore LP, the heavy blues trio deliver their strongest, most generous and firmly rock ‘n’ roll record to date. Each one of these songs oozes their unstoppable live energy, and offers a wild ride through the ages of rock ‘n’ roll, from country blues to Bowie-esque digressions and The Beatles’ mighty pop rock ignition. Says the band: “We wanted to get a more modern sound, and stir analog and digital technologies together. On top of our will to root our blues rock, folk, and tribal sound ever further, Hara points out our desire to raise awareness about ecological matters, something strongly topical these days.”

3 | The Lovely Eggs | Still Second Rate

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a weird time in the world right now. It’s always been a weird time in EGGland. Acclaimed psych-punk duo The Lovely Eggs are due to release their new album I am Moron on April 3. This week, they premiered the video for the album’s second single Still Second Rate. Here’s what The Lovely Eggs, a.k.a. married couple Holly Ross and David Blackwell, had to say about Still Second Rate: “I suppose with the video, we wanted people to question what their idea of ‘second rate’ is. ‘Second rate’ means different things to different people. For some people, the idea of a pot noodle sandwich would be unthinkable, but to David it’s a delicious after-hours snack. Same with living in Lancaster and not having a label, etc. These are things that some people consider ‘second rate,’ but we don’t. So there are a lot of images in there that invite the viewer to question their opinions on what they value. Then there’s a load of psychedelic footage and random images to blast the mundane out into the universe, because it’s impossible to cope with the bleakness of day-to-day life without having some magic in there. So in a way, this video is like a microcosm of our world.”

4 | Architectural Genocide | Gorge On Deceased

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With their debut album, Cordyceptic Anthropomorph, drawing in a deluge of praise from death metal loving fans and critics alike, Architectural Genocide have decided the time is right for a brand new video release. Gorge On Deceased is undoubtedly one of the standout tracks from Cordyceptic Anthropomorph and the perfect soundtrack to this hilarious horror filled film – a salutary tale for those who enjoy solitary woodland walks.”

5 | Big Loser | Blisters

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Next week, Big Loser will be releasing the album Love You, Barely Living. The Austin-based quartet write anthemic rock songs with tinges of emo that draw comparisons to bands like The Menzingers and Spanish Love Songs. Blisters is a stellar example of what Big Loser has to offer. The guitars wash over open drums and the whole track bursts with soaring vocals. The video mirrors the song and as distance builds between a couple there is a breaking point that reunites them. “Blisters is a reflection of both the dissonance and harmony between men and women,” says Chase D. Sprueill. Pairing hard hitting lyrics with glistening song arrangements the band has quickly earned a seal of approval in the underground scene. Love You, Barely Living plays like a coming of age film where no matter how many times the protagonist falls you just know they are going to be alright in the end.”

6 | Foetal Juice | Gluttony

THE PRESS RELEASE:Foetal Juice, the U.K.’s lords of extremity, present the video for the first single and title track of their forthcoming new album, Gluttony. Following up their devastating 2016 album, Masters Of Absurdity, was never going to be an easy task for Foetal Juice, but early indications are that they’ve smashed through that glass ceiling in savage style. The band themselves offered up a few insights to that gruesome video! “The single we are releasing – Gluttony – is a good representation of the album as a whole. It has a mixture of Death Metal, Grind and Black Metal elements, that we use throughout the album. Lyrically this is about us and the rest of society being spoilt, greedy, selfish, and not worrying about the gluttonous consequences that come with it. We dramatised the idea of Gluttony into a comical horror film, but the general idea is still the same. The kebab in our video is the Holy Grail, and even when consumed, the people want a portion after being teased by the dangling strips of flesh.”

7 | Crucifix | Forsaken

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Georgia-based recording artist Crucifix has released his new music video for Forsaken. Produced by Burn County, the video was shot directed by Crucifix and Joshua Kirk, set in the backwoods of Wisconsin amidst a cinematic snowfall as Crucifix pours his heart out over every line. Forsaken is the latest single from Crucifix’s new album Desperado. Born in Atlanta and raised as the son of missionaries in East Africa, Cruce spent much of his early childhood bouncing from continent to continent, soaking in a very different and sometimes difficult perspective on the world. It’s these experiences that continue to fuel his music today.”

8 | Sofia | Closer

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brazilian-bred, Los Angeles-based alternative rock trio Sofia have released their new single Closer along with the official visual for the emotional track. Set against a steady drumbeat and spacey guitars, Closer tells the story of someone on the verge of giving up on the relationship because their partner seems to enjoy the chaos that comes from confrontation more than being happy and at peace with the relationship itself. The visual for Closer is the latest installment in Sofia’s six-part series of short films accompanying the songs on Stories For The Sleepless. The continuous visual narrative, filmed in Los Angeles and directed by the band’s vocalist/bassist Leonardo Bomeny, tells the story of its two main characters B and Tala. “As the story continues, Tala opens up about her past,” shares the band. “We chose not to have the vocals singing the lyrics in this film so that we could focus on the story Tala is telling B. We want to gradually take the audience into the world of the characters and in order to achieve that, in this part of the story, the only voice that should be heard is Tala’s.”

9 | Ellis | Saturn Return

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ellis – Hamilton, Ontario’s Linnea Siggelkow – will release her debut album Born Again on April 3, and today she shares the final single off of the record ahead of its release, the gloriously sprawling anthem Saturn Return. Much of Born Again finds Ellis immersed in rigorous self-examination, but the album – as evidenced on this track – also channels the pure joy and hard-won triumph of transcendence. “Saturn Return is an astrological term for the time in your life where Saturn literally returns to the same place in its orbit that it was the moment you were born,” Siggelkow explains. “The first one happens in your late twenties, and it’s a time of radical transformation. I am in mine now and have been feeling it big time! I wrote this record while reflecting on all the ways my life is changing, reconciling things from the past and making space to move forward.”

10 | Beauty Pill | Pardon Our Dust

THE PRESS RELEASE:Beauty Pill announces Please Advise, the first new music the band has released since 2015’s Describes Things As They Are, an album that earned widespread acclaim. The lead single Pardon Our Dust and accompanying music video features newest Beauty Pill member Erin Nelson. “Most Beauty Pill songs work by insinuation,” they explain, “but Pardon Our Dust is more abstract. It’s about oblivion. The dictionary says oblivion is “the state of being unaware of what is happening.”

11 | Pantayo | Heto Na

THE PRESS RELEASE:Pantayo are sharing the video for the new single Heto Na from their upcoming self-titled album out May 8. “Pantayo, in Tagalog, means “for us.” In their song, Heto Na, they sing, “Umindak ka na kaya. Kaliwa dalawang paa. Pakapalan no mukha. (Ready, set, go strut your stuff. To the left, lock in both your feet. Own up to that funky shit).” Inspired by OPM (Original Pilipino Music) disco songs from the 70’s, this song gently nudges listeners onto the dance floor; a space where vulnerability and bravado are seamlessly entangled. This invitation to let loose and “own up to that funky shit” seeks out a reparative encounter that is at once full of confidence and concession. Heto Na means “here we go” and is one of Pantayo’s many songs that is oriented towards hope, justice and a commitment to seek out an ethical relation to Filipinx history, geography, migration and the queerness that knots all of these sites together.”

12 | The Ritualists | I’m With The Painted People

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Ritualists just premiered the video for their second single off debut album Painted People. Songwriter Christian Dryden (also vocals & bass on the track) describes the song as a “celebration of finding your kin.” Dryden explains that growing-up while attempting to follow in the lofty footsteps of legends like Bowie, Bolan and LeBon, often-times left him with a feeling of loneliness. That is, until he met those who shared his vision and passion in the underground scene of the Lower East Side. “I’m with the Painted People is about this journey and the exuberance of realizing who you are and expressing who you are among kindred spirits,” Dryden concludes.”

13 | The Story Changes | Golden Age

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Story Changes (Mark McMillon and Christopher Popadak of Hawthorne Heights and Chris Serafini of The Stereo) head to a galaxy far, far away in their new Golden Age animated video. Lead vocalist McMillon says, “We grew up enamored with a galaxy far far away and had a great time working with our friend Chris to put together this animated parody video. Hopefully this can provide some laughs right now when I’m sure everyone could use a little distraction while staying at home.” Golden Age appears on The Story Changes’ latest album To Hell With This Delicate Equation, an energetic blend of late 90’s/early 2000’s emo, modern rock, and a moody aggressiveness that supplies a gritty edge in all the right places.”

14 | Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding | Last Flight Out

THE PRESS RELEASE:Last Flight Out is a contemplative and calming LP from Chicago songwriter Steve Dawson (of the criminally underrated band Dolly Varden) and his group Funeral Bonsai Wedding, comprised of three of the finest of Chicago’s thriving jazz and improvised music scene: vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, drummer Charles Rumback and bassist Jason Roebke. Rumback has released some great collaborative work with Ryley Walker lately, you may know him from that. A quote from Steve: “The more I think about this song, and the whole album, really, it seems to be about the feeling that we are all living through a giant collective ending. With climate change, global rage and violence, the undoing of the fabric of society it feels like an ending. So, the next thought is, “how can I best use the time that’s left?” This song feels like an acknowledgement of the situation. The song purposely has no tonic – no clear home base chord – and the strings wind through it like vines searching for places to hang on.”

15 | Soft Plastics | Rope Off The Tigers

THE PRESS RELEASE:Soft Plastics is the the new project and inspiration of Carey Mercer, former songwriter and leader of Frog Eyes. The songs on 5 Dreams were written by Mercer in the fall and winter of 2018–2019, mere months after the dissolution of Frog Eyes, the band Mercer shared for 18 years with Mel Campbell and a rotating cast of musicians. Soft Plastics is the start of a new collaboration between Mercer, Campbell, and Shyla Sellers; their influences on 5 Dreams are post-punk, new wave, mariachi, new-wave mariachi, dub, hip hop, goth-rock, while taking cues and according gobs of respect to Blixa Bargeld, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Talk Talk, Happy Mondays — all wrung through the grime of a northern port city.”

16 | Chatham County Line | Strange Fascination

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Raleigh, NC’s Chatham County Line share the lyric video for the title track of their forthcoming ninth studio album, Strange Fascination, which arrives April 24 (originally May 15). A staple of the North Carolina music scene for two decades, the band introduce a new sound and line up with Strange Fascination. The lush and tender title track, which features Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals, further represents a new era for the band, marking the first guest vocals since the band’s debut. Strange Fascination also inspired the group to move away from their signature single microphone set up in live shows in an effort to translate that high-fidelity to an audience. Marking a turning point in their steady growth and evolution over a 20-year career, the album serves as both the final release with co-founding banjo player Chandler Holt, the first line-up change since 2001 and the first to feature drums on every song.”

17 | Silentium | Unchained

THE PRESS RELEASE:Silentium is a Finnish Goth Metal pioneer that’s also received the dark blessing of a cult band status. Now finally Silentium has ended their decade-long hibernation to beat back with the powerful comeback single Unchained. Riina Rinkininen states: “The song is about beating the odds and not surrendering in the face of adversity, thus sending a fitting message for what the world is going through right now. I hope it can act as some encouragement in these trying times. I truly believe we can soldier through even the deepest turmoil – as humanity has in the past.”

18 | Ulcerate | Dissolved Orders

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Set for release on April 24, the unparalleled sound of Ulcerate finds its emotional apex on Stare Into Death And Be Still, as the band emerges from the claustrophobia and dissonance of their recent past to offer up a next-level exploration of melody, harmony, and power. The band’s signature, ultra-atmospheric blend of unorthodox death metal with the textures of futurist black metal is here pared down with the consummate hand of experience, giving stunning credence to the riff, the song, and the meaning. Thematically, the album explores the concept of “death reverence” – drawing on recent personal experience to confront the truism that death and tragedy aren’t always sudden or violent, that people are often passive observers trapped “in the silent horror of observing death calmly and cleanly.” In advance of the release of Stare Into Death And Be Still, the band is pleased to unveil harrowing album closer, Dissolved Orders. At once traumatic and cathartic, the track writhes under the weight of its own sonic enormity.”

19 | John “Papa” Gros | Please Don’t Bury Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Orleans native John “Papa” Gros (pronounced “grow”) has been celebrating the Crescent City’s culture with the world for over three decades. Today, ahead of the release of his third solo album Central City on April 17, he shared his take on John Prine’s Please Don’t Bury Me. “I played twelve years at the Original Tropical Isle, at a little hole-in-the-wall bar one door off Bourbon St. at Toulouse St.,” says Gros. “We played Yacht Rock before it became a genre, lots of Jimmy Buffett, soft rock hits from the ’70s, and assorted, off-the-beaten-path favorites. This is where I was introduced to John Prine’s music. and I have been a devoted disciple ever since. I have many favorites, but Please Don’t Bury Me was my first love. His storytelling inspires me with its simplistic wordplay, satire, and brutal honesty. I often wonder if Randy Newman and Prine are related.”

20 | Tops | Direct Sunlight

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal four-piece Tops are sharing another new song from their forthcoming album I Feel Alive out April 3. Recalling the best of Prefab Sprout, Direct Sunlight is classic pop songwriting highlighted by bouncy synth stabs, the ever breezy vocals of Jane Penny, and even a whimsical flute solo. Speaking on the song, Penny says: “I went to this outdoor pool with Olympic style diving boards one summer day in Berlin, and when I tried to jump off the middle one, I think it was about five metres high, I really surprised myself when I realised that I’m terrified of heights. My whole body entered this panicked state, the phobia kicked in right away, and I had to do the walk of shame down the ladder and back to the pool. I wanted to capture that duality, the way that even the sunniest days can have this underlying darkness to them, and how it’s not just the physical reaction to fear that casts the shadows, but more how the ever looming possibilities of loss or discontent are revealed. I wrote this song to remind myself that it’s up to me to choose the perspective that I take.”

21 | Enter Shikari | T.I.N.A.

THE PRESS RELEASE:Enter Shikari released T.I.N.A., the third track to be taken from the upcoming album Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, set for release on April 17. Despite being one of the heavier tracks on the album T.I.N.A.’s rhythms and vocal processing are heavily influenced by UK garage and electronica. The track begins with a tense Tubular Bells synth syncopating against a chunky guitar riff, underpinned by drums that sound like they’re being beaten by The Hulk, and accompanied by a sneaky Korg M1 organ bassline influenced by ’90s house. Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible was produced by Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds, who commented on T.I.N.A.: “So much of modern life is obsessed with individualism, but we’re currently being reminded that all of us on earth are part of a super-organism, a supranational collective, as we battle against COVID-19 … We live in unprecedented times, the threat of catastrophic climate change as well as the current pandemic of COVID-19 prove that now is the time for big, broad and bold thinking. We believe humanity can do so much better. We need to think about what is possible. We ask everyone to join the conversation, not kill it.”

22 | Naeem | You and I

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Baltimore-born/Los Angeles-based artist Naeem (full name Naeem Juwan) shares a new single: a gorgeous cover of the Silver Apples classic You and I. Restlessly creative in his artistic pursuit, Naeem creates impressionistic, genre-bending music. Reinterpreted for today’s fraught times, Naeem’s cover of You and I is deeply textured, emotional, and daring. “It sounds like a James Brown song to me,” says Naeem, “but if he sang it, he’d sing it as a slow song, and then I imagined myself crooning it. It’s an important song for people to hear right now, especially in terms of the ideas of self-care and the attention economy. The song’s about how we don’t have time for the little things, which feels really heavy and makes so much sense right now.”

23 | Rory Taillon | Welcome

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Rory Taillon is a road warrior, touring across the country and back again. He has the soul of the East coast but the sound of the West in his songs with a voice to match the majesty of the Rockies. Rory’s new single, Welcome, is a rhythmic, solemn folk track with layered harmonies.”

24 | Konradsen | The Year Is Over

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Less than a year after the release of their debut album, Norwegian duo Konradsen — vocalist/pianist Jenny Marie Sabel and multi-instrumentalist Eirik Vildgren — announce a new EP, Rodeo No. 5, and its first single, The Year Is Over, a soulful ballad, layered with processed pianos and a groovy bass. Sabel’s vocals are gentle and emotive, and she shares, “This song in particular is about leaving home, about that small gap in your life when everything is new and you feel invincible.”

25 | Arthur | Fatalist

THE PRESS RELEASE:Arthur will release his second album, Hair of the Dog, on May 15. Today, he shares its third single. Fatalist is energetic and experimental; Arthur’s warped vocals blend right into his bright synths and drum machine. “Fatalist is inside the still fearful mind of someone who is supposed to be unafraid of death,” says Arthur. “Being trapped but trying to convey that it’s a choice you’ve made.” Hair of the Dog is the follow-up to Woof Woof, Arthur’s debut album written in solitude in the woods of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.”