Indie Roundup | 19 Tracks For Your Tuesday Amusement

Make a day of it with The Rentals, Dirty Projectors, Died, El Shirota and others.


The Rentals launch a conspiracy, Dirty Projectors hit a triple play, Liam Kazar gets tight, El Shirota hit the city, Imani Coppola gets it together and more in today’s Roundup. Gotta say, this is an especially strong lineup for a Tuesday. See what you think.

1 | The Rentals | Conspiracy

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Rentals have released Conspiracy, the catchiest, most paranoia-laden pop song you are bound to hear in 2020. As the new single from The Rentals’ epic, outer space-themed double album Q36 opens, a couple of loose-goose acoustic guitars and George Jetson-grade synthesizers set the table for a massive, monster drum loop that’s been given the full Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT) bombastic crush. Moments later, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) drifts in from somewhere far off in the distance, creating new worlds for earthlings to inhabit with the expanse of his signature, cinematic guitar style. Ronnie Vannucci’s (The Killers) spastic little blasts of hyperkinetic drum fills break through all of this beautiful chaos. As Vanucci does with his day job, he provides an explosive flair that propels all of the melodic hooks forward with the urgency of a double agent spy holding extraterrestrial government secrets.”

2-4 | Dirty Projectors | On The Breeze Acoustic + Overlord Acoustic + Search For Life Acoustic

THE PRESS RELEASE:Dirty Projectors released three videos this morning. The videos are for 3 of the 4 tracks from Windows Open, and were shot in Dave’s home in Los Angeles in December (i.e. well before any social distancing rules were in place), featuring the current lineup of the band.”

5 | Liam Kazar | Shoes Too Tight

THE PRESS RELEASE:Liam Kazar, a Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, releases his debut single/video, Shoes Too Tight. Throughout the last decade, Kazar has been recognized for his adaptability and deftness in the studio and on stage, leading to tours and collaborations with Jeff Tweedy, Chance the Rapper, Steve Gunn, Daniel Johnston, Kids These Days, amongst others. His first offering, Shoes Too Tight, presents Kazar’s joyful and vulnerable world. Shoes Too Tight is born from the strange and quick combination of the well-worn sound of a clavinet, blended with whatever noise you get when you turn on that weird synth sitting in the corner of the studio. The track features childhood friends Lane Beckstom (bass) and Spencer Tweedy (drums), who have shared stages with Kazar since they were young, plus vocals from Ohmme.”

6 | El Shirota | La Ciudad

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Seven years may be a long time for a band to release their debut album, but for Mexico City’s El Shirota it was worth the wait. Today, they released their dizzying new single La Ciudad and announced the June 12 release of their long-awaited debut album, Tiempos Raros. “This is a song about the weirdness of time and moving forward,” says singer and guitarist Ignacio Gomez. “Sometimes things move too fast and you have to keep up the rhythm even if you are not feeling ready for what’s next. In our case, moving to the city was one of those times.”

7 | Imani Coppola | In This Together

THE PRESS RELEASE: “For the first time in my life, I was experiencing humanity on the internet, watching everyone’s daily videos and getting to know my friends during quarantine,” says the genre shifting and musically expansive artist Imani Coppola about her new video In This Together. Compiled of filmed bits from friends and celebrities such as Taylor Hanson (Hanson), Mike Patton (Faith No More), Larry Ratso (Uncut Gems, Sid and Nancy) while holed up in isolation from COVID-19, the video captures her friends making the best of the situation and singing her brand new single. “These videos would get me out of my head, sometimes out of my bed, make me laugh, inspire me and give me hope.”

8 | Snotty Nose Rez Kids | TMZ

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Indigenous Canadian hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids have premiered the video for TMZ. Featured on their new EP Born Deadly, TMZ is SNRK’s response to the invasiveness of the media and the reactive, ‘Twitter fingers’ nature of social media. The video sees Yung Trybez and Young D bombarded by in-your-face flashing cameras, disruptive press conferences, and some of the more scathing comments pulled from the internet. TMZ speaks to the resilience of SNRK in the face of criticism and shows them unafraid to be who they are. “We’ve learned that we have to stay in the lane we’ve created for ourselves, shut out the hate, and keep doing what we know is working.”

9 | Drakulas | Level Up

THE PRESS RELEASE:Drakulas, the art-rock quartet from Austin, TX, are pleased to present the music video for Level Up, a single lifted from Terminal Amusements, the band’s brand new Stuart Sikes-produced full-length album. Directed by Jay Hollinsworth, Level Up is an animated journey through the world of the Drakulas. At a seedy arcade called Terminal Amusements, lovers and losers indulge in vices and ply their trades. Games are played, substances are ingested and tongues meet in illicit moments behind the warm hum of video machines and the smell of cigarettes in the stained carpets. “It’s a made-up world that’s an amalgam of old New York movies that I saw when I was a little kid,” Drakulas’ frontman Mike Wiebe (Riverboat Gamblers, High Tension Wires) explains. “I’d never been to New York so my perception of the place was influenced by everything from The Warriors and Taxi Driver to the opening credits of Welcome Back, Kotter.”

10 | Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding | However Long It Takes

THE PRESS RELEASE:However Long It Takes is a song about choosing to see kindness and goodness in the world despite being fully aware of the darkness around us. It is a goal, a reminder, a chant, a hope. Here we all are — the entire world — held in a collective moment where we are forced to acknowledge the fragility of life and the things that actually matter: love, chosen family, health, truth, a safe home, art, music and the human spirit. Maybe this could be a wake up call that the pettiness, the twitter snark, the blaming and name-calling, the racism and hatred, all of that, is useless, wasted breath that only causes pain and more suffering. There is no more time for that. This song is my reminder. We are the broken frame. We are the constant storm. I will be filled with love, however long it takes.”

11 | Kyle Sparkman | Cami (feat. Mike Casey)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Cami is a dreamy-jazzy tune inspired by my time living in France. On an unseasonably warm and sunny winter Friday, I played a really satisfying show, then hopped on a last-minute opportunity with my friends to see Sugar Candy Mountain perform (a great psych rock band in town from California). It was one of those nights that you just know is going to be a fond memory for a long time to come. The character Cami in the song is the embodiment of that night – something that comes into your life for only a brief moment and lives on as a dreamy, idealistic memory.”

12 | West on Colfax | Barfly Flew By

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Apart from being in the band it seems we are all key workers too (NHS, teacher, grocery delivery and a train driver). We have also added a new member Ian Barton who is an accomplished multi – instrumentalist, we are really looking forward to him helping us round out our sound.”

13 | Alex Nicol | Trust

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal’s Alex Nicol releases his new single and video entitled Trust. Directed by Paz, Trust is taken from Alex’s debut album All For Nada. Speaking on the track Alex says, “Trust is about whatever meaning the listener finds in it. For me, it’s about doing laundry (appreciating mundane tasks), honoring old traditions, striving to be a more ecological person, the realities of climate change on everyday life … we decided to roll with the idea that hanging dirty laundry exposes one’s “weaknesses” in public. In this sense, dirty laundry is a synonym for our secrets, eccentricities, unique quirks — basically the basket of features that come to define each individual, in private and in public. I like to think that our socially mandated “weaknesses” are actually our strengths. In trusting each other to share bits of ourselves, life becomes more relatable, more invigorating. “

14 | I Break Horses | The Prophet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With their new album Warnings due for release on May 8, I Break Horses have today shared new track The Prophet. Of the track Maria Lindén says: “The misfit gets to be the prophet and preach to the faithful masses.” If I Break Horses’ third album holds you in its grip like a great film, it’s no coincidence. Faced with making the follow-up to 2014’s plush Chiaroscuro, Lindén decided to take the time to make something different, with an emphasis on instrumental, cinematic music. As she watched a collection of favorite films on her computer (sound muted) and made her own soundtrack sketches, these sonic workouts gradually evolved into something more: “It wasn’t until I felt an urge to add vocals and lyrics,” says Lindén, “that I realized I was making a new I Break Horses album.”

15 | Asdek | Switchin

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Parisian producer Asdek lights up with the fiery bass house party starter Switchin. Switchin continues Asdek’s takeover of dancefloors worldwide, following his techno-driven track Limitless and his February Habstrakt collaboration Es Isso. His ability to pull from different genres and mold them into his own distinct sound has earned him releases on labels such as Dim Mak, Confession and Monstercat.”

16 | Died | Less Life

THE PRESS RELEASE:Died is a four-piece, post-hardcore band based in NYC. Formed 3 years ago while studying at NYU, Alex Geisel (bass & vocals), Ian White (guitar), Caio Brentar (guitar), and Matthew Leichenger (drums), Died’s commitment to incorporating a vast array of musical influences ranging from hardcore to black metal to folk and everything in between has unified the band members’ visions and inspired them to write music that is confrontational and thought-provoking yet approachable for many types of listeners. Died started turning heads at the end of 2018 with their second EP, Anonymized Internal Criminals. Produced by Arthur Rizk (Code Orange, Power Trip), AIC was rated the #1 hardcore punk EP of the year and #48 out of all genres on Rate Your Music. To follow up the highly technical, heavier sound of AIC, Died went back to the studio and crafted an entirely new sound for their upcoming record, Less Life. Mixed & mastered by legendary engineer Steve Fisk, Less Life the most updated version of Died’s uncanny ability to meld genres together while still crafting truly memorable songs. The writing on Less Life is an amalgamation of over four years of work matched with updated production that resembles early records from key alternative bands like Slint and Unwound.”

17 | Expensive Music Band | Couples Weekend Away

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian suburban garage rock 4 piece Expensive Music Band present Leisure Rock, a debut album that explores the absurdity of the modern world. Lead single Couples Weekend Away is a satirical look at the perils associated with spending time with others in a world full of individuals.”

18 | E. Alvin | Appetite

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Left of center pop artist E. Alvin tells the painfully relatable story of a FWB relationship, where the “benefits” cause more harm than pleasure on new single, Appetite. Producer Zachary Koval soaked up E.’s love for cinema (John Waters specifically) to create a mournful atmosphere that builds to a furious finish. E. Alvin says, “My producer and I stayed in this old chapel-turned-Airbnb in upstate New York as a songwriting retreat. One night, after too many shots of Henny, I emotionally gutted myself and channeled it into Appetite. It’s told from the perspective of a masochist who continuously feeds their abuser’s desires, realizing too late the psychological damage being inflicted upon them.”

19 | Roman Rouge | Need A Friend

THE PRESS RELEASE:Roman Rouge is a R&B pop singer/songwriter from El Paso, Texas. Born with music running through his veins, the musician was exposed to the industry from a young age and never looked back. Despite various struggles which he faced throughout his childhood, including his single mother trying to make ends meet, Roman took every obstacle in his stride, ultimately building his character and making him who he is today. Through every failure came strength and eventually the hardships paid off. The passionate and driven artist now not afraid of anything that may come his way, is ready for the next step of his journey. Inspired by personal events and poignant moments in life, the singer confides, “The message in my music overall is always relatable, something you’ve been through can and always affect the decisions you make in the future. My songs are linked to each other, I like to convey a story and be as honest and forthcoming as I can.”