Indie Roundup (Super-Sized Edition) | 33 Tracks For a Massive Midweek

Muzz, Fake Names, Lickerish Quartet and plenty more mark the Ides of April.

Muzz reach for the sky, Fake Name toss a brick, Lickerish Quartet fadoodle with you, Satellite & Harpoonist phone it in, Stephen Clair sees the world and more in today’s unexpectedly super-sized Roundup. In one of those weird coincidences that tend to crop up around here, there are a slew of supergroups, dynamic duos and acts dropping multiple videos today. I’m not sure what’s up with that. But I’m down with it.

1 | Muzz | Red Western Sky

THE PRESS RELEASE:Muzz, the new project of Paul Banks (Interpol), Josh Kaufman (producer/multi-instrumentalist, Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen), announce their self-titled debut album, out June 5, with new single/video, Red Western Sky. The album, written, arranged and performed by all three, is dark and gorgeous, expansive and soulful. Red Western Sky, directed and produced by the band. is the first video to ever be shot at the immersive, psychedelic American Treasure Tour Museum, a location chosen after a Barrick family visit. “Ultimately, the music speaks for itself,” says Banks. “We have a genuine, organic artistic chemistry together. It’s partly a shared musical taste from youth, as with me and Josh, but then it’s also the souls of my friends that resonate with me when expressed through music. I think it’s cosmic.”

2 | Fake Names | Brick

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Punk rock supergroup Fake Names share First Everlasting, from the band’s forthcoming album. The band – which includes Brian Baker (Bad Religion), Michael Hampton (S.O.A.), Dennis Lyxzén (Refused), and Johnny Temple (Girls Against Boys) — will release their self-titled debut record on May 8. “It’s a more existential song, about taking a look at yourself and accepting the role you’ve played in your own life,” he Lyxzén about the track. “It’s about growing up and moving forward, and learning from past mistakes and failures.” Fake Names’ self-titled debut gives a nod to early UK Punk and Power Pop as well as the seminal groups from which the members emerged, yet remains modern and pertinent, with infectious melodies and vocal harmonies complementing Lyxzén’s heartfelt vocals and thought-provoking lyrics.”

3 | The Lickerish Quartet | Fadoodle

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Lickerish QuartetRoger Joseph Manning Jr., Tim Smith and Eric Dover — have released the lyric video for Fadoodle, the second video from their highly anticipated debut EP, Threesome Vol. 1 EP, which is set for release on May 15. Fadoodle is a Dover-driven look at how to rekindle the fires of a long-entrenched relationship. “Well, I’m always looking for new ways to say dirty things,” Dover observes with a laugh. “I found a big list of naughty words from back in the day for what people used to denote fornication. It’s fascinating, because this has the distinction of being a pop song that has the world’s oldest slang yet is released in the 21st Century.” Adds Manning, “This one has that eighth-note driving thing that was a big part of the glitter sound of the early punk wave, so it’s got that kind of energy right out of the gate. Thankfully, once we had Eric’s lyric in place, it was just a free-for-all in having fun with the vocal interplay.”

4 | Satellite & The Harpoonist | Ballet In A Phone Booth

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In January 2020, four musicians gathered at Vancouver’s Afterlife Studios to conduct an experiment. Shawn Hall of the acclaimed maverick blues duo The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer was the progenitor, his notion being to assemble three talented friends with whom he had previously worked, yet that had never met each other. Then, during an intense three-day exploration of alchemic creative collaboration within a self-imposed pressure cooker environment, they would record a 6-song EP – all under the gaze of a film crew. So, Satellite and The Harpoonist was birthed, with every labour pain and its exhausting entry into the world captured on celluloid. Today, the band shares the first glimpse into those sights and sounds with the video for the new single Ballet In A Phone Booth, the trippy, groove-heavy, rock ‘n’ soul lead single featuring a guest appearance from Royal Canoe’s Matt Peters.”

5 | Stephen Clair | Welcome To The World Now

THE PRESS RELEASE: “If you’re spending the pandemic the way I am, then you probably don’t know what time of day it is, what day it even is, which meal it is that you may or may not have last had, but what you do know is clearly this is what it feels like when you’re no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop. You’re wondering where these trillions of dollars are coming from, and how you can apply for your piece of a trillion. You’re laying low, and maybe most of the time — honestly — you’re kind of enjoying a little time to yourself. With such deprivation in the age of zoom, the social obligations are piling up, virtual as they are, and it’s hard to keep the liquor cabinet stocked, let alone find the time to even squeeze in a movie. Maybe you’re feeling good about yourself because you realize you don’t need to shop for stuff online or in the real world nearly as much as you had been. It’s actually cool to live lean. And all of a sudden we’re all hanging out with some of our favorite people over some platform or another, regardless of time zone and we’re wondering why we weren’t doing this all along. But will we learn from any of this experience? It’s a question.”

6 | Tim Burgess | Laurie

THE PRESS RELEASE:Charlatans UK frontman Tim Burgess has today shared a captivating video for new track Laurie from his upcoming album I Love The New Sky, out May 22. Of the track Burgess says: “Laurie is a love letter to the future from the past. An uplifting view of the world, written about a time when it’s hard to find positivity, but when you need optimism more than anything else.” The colourful part-animated video was directed by Callum Scott-Dyson with filmed content by Nik Colk Void.”

7 | Blandlord | Hyper Drunk

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A lot of Blandlord’s material is a commentary on the state of affairs we are living in, a tongue-in-cheek view of what’s going around us. Rather than provide people solutions or answers to the problems faced in these modern times, the band prefers to provide a soundtrack or a chance to think on those dilemmas. Blandlord’s new song, Hyper Drunk, is a reverb-heavy stoner rock track about control and excess and how easy it is to get caught in a loop.”

8-11 | Jaunt | All in One Visual Album

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto-based six-piece Jaunt are about to release their sprawling debut album, All In One. Today they are sharing a series of strangely prophetic visuals for the LP made in partnership with tranquilo. The collection of videos depict members of Jaunt in solitude at home within a moment of time. Jaunt’s drummer Duncan Hood notes, “These videos shot in January were originally intended to highlight the serenity found in everyday acts of escape in self-care — painting, cooking, listening, reading, cleaning, watching. Now in this new era we are all experiencing together, they seem less about escape and more about our collective confinement. In lockdown the intended meaning of the videos, let alone the album as a whole, has completely changed. Finding a sense of peace in the otherwise lonely aspects of routine felt, in January, aspirational. Now, it feels necessary, almost mandatory.”

12-14 | Soft Plastics | Here’s Where The Sun Was + The Party’s Still On + Wyld Thyng

THE PRESS RELEASE:Soft Plastics have released three new songs in anticipation of their upcoming album, 5 Dreams. One of these new tracks, Here’s Where the Sun Was, has an aquatic-themed music video directed by Allison Hrabluik. These three new songs follow Soft Plastics’ debut single, Rope Off The Tigers.”

15 | Hockey Dad | In This State

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian duo Hockey Dad injects a blend of raw energy and lovable irreverence into their dynamic, sun-drenched pop. Today, the band released their energetic new single In This State and announced the new release date of their upcoming album Brain Candy, now out on July 31. In This State, the leadoff track, follows a loser navigating a breakup. Hockey Dad came up with the concept for the song in 2018. “It’s the first song we completed when we were working on this album,” says guitarist and lead vocalist Zach Stephenson. “We came up with most of it the weekend of Splendour in the Grass. We had just played a You Am I song with Tim Rogers, and whilst rehearsing for it, I was playing around with the opening guitar chords. Tim seemed to like them, which got us even more excited to finish it and start playing it live. To me, it always felt like an album opener. The initial energy it brings sets a great pace for the rest of the album. It’s definitely one of the most energetic songs in the live set for sure.”

16 | Romano Nervoso | Babooshka

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Leading the charge into 2020, Italian-Belgian band Romano Nervoso tore into the New Year with the release of Wild Boy, the band’s debut single. Fast forward a few months and following the release of new album, The Return of the Rocking Dead, as anyone’s who’s ever listened to Romano Nervoso can attest, the band peddle a wide range of influences and take no prisoners in their pursuit of fast rock at full pace. With three studio albums already under his belt, this latest was written and recorded by Romano himself in his home studio in Belgium, with long-time collaborator Moorad Agjij. Watch The Godfather of Spaghetti Rock’s takes on Kate Bush’s Babooshka.”

17 | Facing the Gallows | Small Hands

THE PRESS RELEASE:Facing the Gallows are continuously growing and evolving, their vision is to try and incorporate different styles that resonates within them, which isn’t strictly metal orientated. Even though the core will always be heavy, they push to diversify what they’re doing sonically. Their lyrics are influenced by the surroundings they grew up and live in. Which at times can focus heavily on Political elements, since in South Africa it has a massive effect on their daily lives. But there’s always room for them to write songs about having a good time, enjoying the moment and sharing it with friends.”

18 | Pottery | Hot Like Jungle

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal’s Pottery have shared the smouldering surf-rock closing track from their upcoming debut LP Welcome To Bobby’s Motel (out June 26). Hot Like Jungle is accompanied by an animated video created by Pottery drummer Paul Jacobs. Speaking on the song’s inspiration, the band says: “This was written as a love song for Paul’s girlfriend. He had a job working construction one summer came up the lyrics almost as a sort of Springsteen parody, they’re very blue-collar, very working class. When Austin sings it we always picture him on a mountain shouting off into the distance with a girl out there singing back to him.”

19 | Pierce the Veil | Hold On Till May

THE PRESS RELEASE:Pierce the Veil have shared the quarantine version of the fan favorite song Hold On Till May. “We wanted to let you guys know that we are with you through this difficult time,” the band says. “Thank you to our hospital workers, our essential workers, and to everyone fighting to put an end to this pandemic. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or have been affected by the virus. We WILL beat this together. Love you guys so much!”

20-21 | Pharis and Jason Romero | Hometown Blues + Bet On Love

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The songs on Pharis and Jason Romero’s new LP, Bet On Love, are all related and intertwined, which is why they are releasing them in pairs. Having already shared New Day and We All Fall, the Juno Award-winning duo are releasing two more songs from the album, the LPs title track and Hometown Blues. Bet On Love is “the most personal and intimate song I’ve ever written,” says Pharis. “Most of our songs are about other people; it’s exhilarating to sing such a personal song. It’s a release, a permission to be frank about the outward charade I can create, and what it is I desire – ease, smiles, love. Knowing that love – especially for myself – is the channel that guides me best.” The other track, Hometown Blues, sees the sound, feel, and low banjo tuning inspired by one of the Romero’s musical heroes, John Hartford. “Hometown blues is that confusing state of mind where you love and crave the grounding of your home town, but know that you need to leave to really appreciate it,” says Pharis. “And you resist the old patterns that may follow you if you return.”

22 | Catherine MacLellan & Tara MacLean | This Storm

THE PRESS RELEASE:Catherine MacLellan and Tara MacLean, both award winning singer/songwriters from Prince Edward Island, have come together for their first musical collaboration This Storm. Their fathers, Gene MacLellan and Marty Reno, wrote and toured together for decades. It is only natural that Catherine and Tara have now joined forces. This Storm, though born from self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis, is truly a medicine song for the ages. It is about being there for one another even when we can’t be in the same physical space. It speaks to the struggle, the reservoir of strength and the light that we find during uncertain times. “For me, this song is about connecting. It’s a reminder to have patience and to know that in time all wounds are healed. There are moments, especially now, when we can’t be with those we love, but we can always reach out. We will find ways to be with one another, in person, virtually or spiritually,” says MacLellan.”

23 | Divergency | Mask (Alternative Version)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A couple of months after the official release of their new album Cassandre, Swiss metalcore outfit Divergency just shared an alternate “lockdown” version of the single Mask. Founded in 2015 around the area of Morges, Switzerland, Divergency quickly played its first gigs before releasing a first EP called The Frame Of Mind (2016). Then, the band began the work on its debut full-length effort Cassandre.

24 | Snny | Otito

THE PRESS RELEASE: “An electronic fusion of pop, hip-hop, and R&B, snny has announced his new Otitọ EP (due out May 8) alongside lead single Somewhere in Brooklyn. Born in Africa’s Ivory Coast before coming to the U.S. at the age of 5, his elegant and elastic R&B vocals anchor the pulsing synths and his deliciously rubbery production touches.”

25 | Unloved | Why Not

THE PRESS RELEASE:Unloved have released a new single Why Not. The track was featured in the first episode of Killing Eve’s third season, which launched on the weekend. “Something about this killer music filled me with a strange kind of defiance,” Unloved vocalist Jade Vincent says of the lyrics. “Suddenly I’m boldly retelling this lovelorn experience that really confused me to my core and changed me for the better. It’s an angsty cry of WHY! and a prideful response WHY NOT?! Or it could be the other way around. I still can’t tell because it felt so good, even with a hole in my heart.”

26 | Little Kid | Thief On The Cross

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Operating since 2011, Little Kid is Toronto-based band led by songwriter Kenny Boothby. Today the band are sharing a new single entitled Thief On The Cross. The track is a succinct illustration of the depth of the band’s songwriting, seeing Boothby use a clever biblical allusion in the service of earnest reflection on creative work and a bit of joking self-deprecation. “The song is about certain bands finding success while others don’t,” Boothby explains. “Feelings of jealousy that might sprout from that, some perceived obligations for more successful bands to help out the newer ones, the awkwardness that can come from shifts in those power dynamics… but it’s definitely very tongue in cheek. I’m kind of poking fun at myself a bit, kinda praying some bands we have played with will somehow take us along with them to the promised land as they gain more success and exposure.”

27 | Jaime Wyatt | Hurt So Bad

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. The album features Jennings on the song Hurt So Bad and Neal Casal on guitar, harmonica, and Wurlitzer in one of his final recordings before his death in August of 2019. Neon Cross is the follow up to Wyatt’s 2017 Felony Blues EP.”

28 | RAC | Carefree (ft. LeyeT)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Grammy-winning producer and songwriter André Allen Anjos, known as RAC, has shared a new video for Carefree (ft. LeyeT) the second single from his upcoming album BOY. “I met Lucas (Taggart) at a bar in Portland randomly on a Wednesday night. It’s one of many chance encounters that occurred on this album” says RAC. “We talked about all kinds of ideas, but I felt like he really understood the aesthetic and meaning behind the album. We were the last crew to shoot any video (at the YouTube Space) before all the COVID lockdowns began, again, pure luck.” BOY will be released on May 8.”

29 | Ela Minus | They Told Us It Was Hard, But They Were Wrong

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Colombia-born/raised and Brooklyn-based Ela Minus presents her new single/video, They Told Us It Was Hard, But They Were Wrong. Ela melds machines with her living body, creating complex electronic music that exudes a vibrant warmth, and a stark, celebratory affirmation that our breaths aren’t infinite. Self-made and punk in spirit, Ela uses only hardware synthesizers to perform, write, and record. On They Told Us It Was Hard, But They Were Wrong, Ela says, “When everything is taken from us, the ability to choose our attitude and create our own path forward is the only certainty we have.”

30 | Carrousel | Scream

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles duo Carrousel are presenting the official music video for Scream, a track from their recent full-length album, Magnificent Desolation. In keeping with the dystopian theme of Magnificent Desolation, the Scream video depicts only a shadowy figure, basked in multicolored light, moving to the beat of the music. It’s a somber yet hypnotizing visual encapsulation of the song. Comprising of Joel Piedt (songwriter, vocals, production) and Sharon Piedt (songwriter, vocals), Carrousel‘s futurist pop melodies wane toward the prophetic, delineating several genres at once with enigmatic cohesion and surprising grit. On April 2, they released their 10-track album, Magnificent Desolation, one part of a four-album project that pays homage to Joel’s hometown of Memphis.”

31 | Jána | Wild Roses

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish artist Jána (pronounced yah-na) is sharing her debut single Wild Roses. Working with Swedish heavyweights Little Dragon on its creation, Wild Roses places Jána’s soaring vocals alongside dreamy R&B and woozy, minimalistic electronica — lifted from her debut EP Flowerworks, due for release July 3. “It was both fun and nerve wracking writing Wild Roses — I let myself be personal. It’s about this person I was beginning a relationship with, my first impression of her and what our relationship might become. This is actually the first song I’ve ever used a pronoun in, mostly because I thought it sounded ugly before, but now I feel like this song has been a part of helping me to not be so secretive about who I like anymore. The wild rose is an ancient symbol for something told in secret so I felt that it made perfect sense.”

32 | Konradsen | Give It Back To The Feelings

THE PRESS RELEASE:Konradsen — the Norwegian duo of vocalist/pianist Jenny Marie Sabel and multi-instrumentalist Eirik Vildgren — share new single Give It Back To The Feelings, the opening track from their forthcoming EP, Rodeo No. 5, out May 1. On Give It Back To The Feelings, Konradsen assemble friends to contribute their voices, just as they did throughout their 2019 debut Saints and Sebastian Stories. “It’s one of those songs that just appeared to us,” says Sabel. “Eirik made a synth sound with his DX7, running through some effects. We recorded it properly and had Erlend Vesteraas do some vocals on it. In the end, the last thing we did was to record some violin with our friend Selma French Bolstad. The song is about being thankful, realizing that there are other people out there who are giving a lot.”

33 | Lettuce | House of Lett

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As Lettuce prepare for the release of their seventh studio album Resonate, out May 8, the Grammy-nominated funk-jazz-soul-hip-hop-psychedelic-jam-experimental titans have released House of Lett, the latest single off the forthcoming collection. “Some of us like to freak out with our beaks out, take off our shoes and get lost in the music until we enter another dimension,” shares bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes. “So, we did this song in honor of all the ravers, dancers, DJs, partygoing sandy-feet-dancing desert dwellers, house loving people of all ethnicities, walks of life and ages…and mainly, mainly, mainly for the LOVE. Peace Love Unity and Respect.”