Indie Roundup | 19 New Songs For Your Thursday Perusal

Ease into Friday with help from Alison Mosshart, Fleece, Donovan Woods & more.

Alison Mosshart is on the rise, Fleece give love to the haters, Donovan Woods shows some growth, Mister Nobu sends his best and more in today’s Roundup. Wow, another week almost over. Time sure does fly when you’re sitting on your ass all day.

1 | Alison Mosshart | Rise

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fierce and fiery, a no-nonsense firestarter, Alison Mosshart is hardly a stranger to taking chances. Best known as one-half of acclaimed duo The Kills, when she’s not moonlighting as Baby Ruthless, the gnarly lead singer of blues-punk foursome The Dead Weather, Mosshart is a forever moving force. Today, she releases the first solo single of her already impressive career. Back in 2013, Mosshart first wrote the initial sketch of Rise, which finds the singer intoning, “When the sky is falling/ and the sun is black/when the sky is coming down on ya/baby don’t look back/we will rise.” Recalls Mosshart: “I didn’t ever forget it. I remember right where I was when I wrote it, sitting at my desk in London, missing someone badly.”

2 | Fleece | Love Song For The Haters

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal quartet Fleece have emerged from hibernation today sharing the video for the first of three planned springtime singles, Love Song For The Haters. The video, directed by Dylan Mitro, tells the story of a flower, a bee, and what it means to say goodbye. Love Song for the Haters is about saying goodbye to the people who hurt you. It’s a love letter to some friends whom vocalist/lyricist/keyboardist Matt Rogers had to cut out of his life. “It’s for the people that made me feel shame for being myself,” Matt says. “I don’t see them as bad people, but ultimately, this song helps me acknowledge that us being apart is better for both of us. I can only grow into the person I want to be without them. It’s about fully committing to yourself and knowing what you need to do to make that commitment.”

3 | Donovan Woods | Grew Apart

THE PRESS RELEASE:Donovan Woods releases a poetic new video for Grew Apart, the alluring new song previewing his forthcoming album. Produced by Cherie Sinclair (Big Sean, Carly Rae Jepsen) and directed by Woods’ long-time collaborator Ryley Burghall, the video was shot in Toronto. Co-written by Woods, Logan Wall, and Travis Wood, Grew Apart showcases Woods’ proclivity for intimate songwriting. “Grew Apart is about the little lies inside the words we use when we’re hurting after a relationship ends,” says Woods. “We wanted to tell a story in the video about men trying to help each other, and fucking it up, but trying. Men seem to think that there’s some physical trial we need to put ourselves through when we’re lovesick – drinking, fighting. The wrongheadedness of that idea is on display here. So often it feels like we can’t escape those breakup clichés. The song and the video are about why that might be.”

4 | Mister Nobu | Best Of Me

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mister Nobu (the solo project of Choir! Choir! Choir!’s Nobu Adilman) is sharing the new video for Best Of Me, the first single from his recently released album, Tavie. “For five days this past December, I found myself on Pamalican Island, south of Manila, a paradise that features the most stunning beach and sky I’ve ever experienced,” Adilman says. “Jet-lagged and armed with only a phone, my director pal Romeo Candido and I walked the beach for a couple early mornings and made my first video for the album. The huge expanse, emptiness, and beauty of our surroundings complimented the tune Best Of Me. And watching it now, opposed to most films and tv shows that feature people interacting pre-corona virus, it feels like it was made for a time of physical distancing.”

5 | Dylan Menzie | Wild

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The acclaimed PEI-based songsmith Dylan Menzie announces his new album Lost In Dreams, set for release May 22. Menzie also shares the animated video for the first single from the album, Wild. Speaking on the track and the song selection process Menzie explains, “When it came time to sequence this record and pick the singles, it’s many faces revealed themselves. Every time I tried to decide on a single, it felt like I was leaving the listener in the dark as to what the album was like as a whole. I decided to release the album in three parts, each focusing a different face of the record. The first being the poppier side of Lost in Dreams, the second the Country/Americana side and the third, the record as a whole. I loved the idea of giving each aspect of the record it’s time in the limelight, and how with each release there’s more to sink your teeth into.”

6 | Banisher | Extradition

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following the February release of Degrees Of Isolation, the fourth album from Polish death metal act Banisher, a new video from the album has been issued. The official video companion to the crushing track Extradition has been unveiled. Banisher offers with the video, “Extradition tells the story about inmates being held and transported between jails and the methods of treating them during the process. It describes the feelings and subjective perception of the free world from the point of view of a person being held in a custody. Appreciating all the views on the road, which were once in reach on daily basis, are now seen through barred windows of an armored vehicle. If you’re lucky enough to be extradited in a vehicle with windows at all.”

7 | The Hempolics | Gotta Thing

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Unstoppable British mash-up reggae group The Hempolics drop the video for Gotta Thing, from their album Kiss, Cuddle & Torture Vol. 2, out on June 12. Gotta Thing perfectly showcases the band’s trademark clash of styles, with American rapper Cojack adding his expert Hip Hop flow to a funked-up high-octane Reggae riddim’ interlaced with electronic and dub influences. 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 FaithlessGotta Thing is “a fast hip-hop house track laced with classic Hempolics’ reggae flavours, the track features Miami rapper Cojack who I linked up with and invited to record the track in my mum’s front room whilst he was in the UK playing basketball for the Tees Valley Mohawks.”

8 | Arthur | Fatalist

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia-based Arthur shares the new video for Fatalist, a track from his forthcoming album, Hair of the Dog, out May 15. Fatalist is “inside the still fearful mind of someone who is supposed to be unafraid of death.” Its accompanying video, animated by Sally Myers, presents colorful, off-kilter imagery, and reflects the track’s bright instrumentation and distorted vocals. Arthur is a manic extension of his own existence. Operating as one of several characters he continues to grow as he explores his own identity. In his own words, “the best version of your reality is the one you create.”

9 | She Hates Emotions | See The Light

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The ’80s – a decade of artistic and musical freedom, heyday of New Wave and Dark Wave, the pioneering years of the movement that led into the dark music scene and movement. These were the times that shaped the artistic path of Chris Pohl (Blutengel). Now he wishes to pay tribute to his musical influences: She Hates Emotions. “She Hates Emotions is minimalist synth music with an 80’s touch. The focus is not on the bombast or production, but rather on the catchy, melancholic melody,” comments Pohl — and it is precisely this pure approach that bestows the highly emotional songs with their luminosity. See the Light is the first single taken off the upcoming debut album Melancholic Maniac that is set for release on May 15. “For me, See The Light really has 80’s flair! The “ohoho”, as you know it from Laura Branigan’s Self Control, the synth hookline… A catchy song, which, I feel, will not repel the Blutengel fans at all!”

10 | Enterprise Earth | Scars Of The Past

THE PRESS RELEASE:Enterprise Earth are pleased to unleash the official new video for Scars Of The Past. The punishing track comes by way of the band’s Luciferous full-length, released last spring. Comments the band, “Scars Of The Past is reflection. The pain of our past mistakes, haunting with a shadow of fear that the pain animates across the bare walls of the present moment. The meaning it holds is an anthem to recovery. Letting go of the pain and recognizing that the pain we experienced is what made us stronger. It’s a part of who we are. This video was taken at a sold-out show in Atlanta, Georgia. It was able to capture what the song and metal as a whole stands for. Letting go of the past and living life to the fullest in the present moment. If we could turn back time, we would do it again.”

11 | RivetSkull | Narcissus

THE PRESS RELEASE: “American traditional heavy metal act Rivetskull has a new video for their single Narcissus in support of their debut album Trail of Souls. Rivetskull brings a comforting familiarity reminiscent of ’70s-’80s metal/hard rock albeit with a modern twist. On Trail of Souls there are a few longer “epic” songs, and some shorter almost punk heavy pop songs, if you will. Something for everyone for various moods. The band expands their view of the album: “We’d like to think we did a good job of delivering something that is familiar, yet fresh. Our musical tastes are all over the board and I think that comes across without being too manic and all over the place hopefully! Though it’s not a concept album or anything, there is a common theme that carries throughout the album and ties it all together.”

12 | Johnny Stimson | Hard to Say Goodbye

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Life isn’t about simply taking risks. It’s really about choosing the right risk. You could say that pop singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Stimson chose rather wisely. After landing high-profile syncs on The Vampire Diaries and Trophy Wife and building a growing following, the Dallas native urged a European booking agent to get him a show in London. He had a gut feeling something would happen in the wake of it, so he went across the pond for the gig. The next day, he got a rather unexpected, yet extremely welcome call. Stimson reveals, “Someone at the show knew Elton John, told him about my music, and Elton called me the next morning,” he smiles. “In the following months we built this incredible partnership. I recognized the importance of taking risks, because it was the only way I would’ve been able to do this.” New single Hard to Say Goodbye features Stimson’s gorgeous melodies over chilled out beats with R&B flavor. Hard to Say Goodbye is about being homesick even before you leave home. It is about noticing every bit of perfection on your way out the door.”

13 | ACxDC | Copsucker

THE PRESS RELEASE: “West Coast powerviolence faction ACxDC’s Copsucker is a riotous hymn from the band’s impending new full-length Satan Is King, set to drop next month. Notes vocalist Sergio Amalfitano of the band’s latest single, “Anyone that supports cops, politicians, judges, military, dictators, Nazis, fascists, and general authoritarians of that ilk are copsuckers. Bootlicking of any type other than BDSM is for posers. Firefighters are chill.” For a band whose full moniker is Antichrist Demoncore, it may come as no surprise that Satan plays a prominent rule across Satan Is King. However, Satan here serves as a motif; a motif for rebellion, for self-discovery, and for rejecting authority rather than as a literal figure of praise. With a tongue-in-cheek title that serves as a response to Kanye West’s Jesus Is King album, Satan Is King is the antidote to excess, greed, and mindless indulgence.”

14 | Jr Jr | The Way I Do

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Detroit indie-pop duo Jr Jr have released their new single The Way I Do, a taste of things to come from their infectiously catchy upcoming EP, August and Everything Prior, out May 1. “The COVID-19 virus was a year from even existing when we wrote the song, The Way I Do,” the duo says. “We were just attempting to write a fairly straight-forward love song — something that’s been scary for us to do at times. In the midst of our new day-to-day reality, it’s still a celebration of devotion, but the opening lyrics seem to feel different now with the line, ‘we knew it wasn’t gonna be easy.’ The universe is not without a sense of irony. We hope that this song brings you something useful for your world.”

15 | Lesley Barth | Woman Looking Back at Me

THE PRESS RELEASE:Woman Looking Back at Me from NYC singer-songwriter Lesley Barth is a reflection on negative self-talk chronicling Lesley’s journey of transformation as she quite her corporate job to rebuild her sense of identity. Lesley’s remarks: “Woman Looking Back at Me is a song I wrote on the bus after going to a friend’s holiday party where I felt super self-conscious and self-critical. I had begun meditating daily and I think that caused the flash of inspiration — all of the sudden, I thought, “wait a second, who is this bitch criticizing me nonstop in my mind?” Putting some distance between my negative self-talk and my true self was really helpful, and, you know, why not set it to a Blondies-inspired disco beat?”

16 | Angel Olsen | All Mirrors (Johnny Jewel Remix)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Angel Olsen presents a Johnny Jewel remix of All Mirrors, the title track off her album released last year. Jewel — a multi instrumentalist, producer, composer, and member of Chromatics, Glass Candy, Desire and Symmetry — transforms the theatrical All Mirrors into a dance-driven pop track. Olsen’s stunning, singular voice is backed by oscillating beats and pulsing synths. “I’ve been listening to Chromatics for years but I never thought I’d get the chance to meet them or work with Johnny,” says Olsen. “It’s always interesting to me what other people hear in something, how one slight movement can change a song completely. I love how he took my vocal lead melody and followed it, making a completely different route for All Mirrors as a wonder-dream dance song.”

17 | Nikavo | Yummy Miami

THE PRESS RELEASE: “San Francisco-based electronic duo Nikavo has released their new single Yummy Miami. Upbeat, eccentric and positive, they present their tasty mixture of house, techno, disco and rock’n’roll, combining depth with a feel-good vibe. Nikavo is a musical union of producers Philip Winiger and Alexey Laduda, each quite prolific in is own right. “In Yummy Miami, the lyrics speak for themselves. It’s about a direct experience that both of us had separately while working in the service industry and finally getting a time off, a break from the day-to-day grind and an opportunity to go somewhere where you feel happy,” says Philip Winiger. “It’s pretty transparent, there is no deeper meaning to that. An underlying desire for having fun and the excitement of getting there. We think most people can relate to that, everybody just wants to let loose and go nuts once in a while.”

18 | Rogue Wave | Aesop Rock

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Seminal Oakland-based indie rock outfit Rogue Wave have returned from a two-year hiatus to delight fans with a new single, Aesop Rock. The track’s title is a playful response to the cult-classic rapper Aesop Rock naming his latest single Rogue Wave earlier this year. Rogue Wave are also asking fans to donate to Tipping Point Community — a San Francisco-based non-profit that invests in the most promising interventions to break the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area. Quote from Zach Rogue about Aesop Rock and working with Tipping Point Community: “It’s hard not to feel powerless in times like these. For us, we talked about it and wanted to do something, anything to help. If you listen to our track, please consider donating to Tipping Point. They do amazing work in the Bay Area, directly helping families in need. No amount is too small! We were able to track Aesop Rock a couple of days before the shelter in place in California. Who knows, maybe Aesop Rock’ll bust a jam called Out of the Descended Shadow of Lake Michigan next?”

19 | Sizzy Rocket | Smells Like Sex

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sizzy Rocket is presenting her new single Smells Like Sex. Inspired by the lyrics of Marcy Playground’s ’90s hit Sex and Candy, Smells Like Sex is Sizzy Rocket’s loud, bold, and unapologetic declaration that she likes to — put simply — fuck. “I knew that I wanted to make a sex positive anthem, something clever and sexy but still smart. Like, how do I talk about pussy in a fun, intelligent way?,” Sizzy writes of the thought process behind Smells Like Sex. Marked with provocative lyricism, a pounding bass-heavy trap beat, and rap-pop vocal stylings, Sizzy holds nothing back on the new single. It’s a sex positive anthem twisted with her signature in-your-face energy.”