Indie Roundup (Two-Four Edition) | 24 Tracks You Should Hear This Thursday

LA Priest, Drew Thomson, Jaunt, Kilo and more give you a head start on Friday.

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LA Priest makes a point, Drew Thomson gives you a break, Jaunt share a musical delight, Sonic Route to Alaska make a long-distance call, Primal Sinner get the horn, Kilo have insomnia and more in today’s Roundup. RIP, Sweet Pea.


1 | LA Priest | Beginning

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With just over a month until the release of Gene, Sam Eastgate aka LA Priest has shared the albums latest offering, Beginning. Marking a dazzling opening to Gene, Beginning hits with an unescapable melody and the first introduction to Gene, the custom-built drum machine on which the album was made. As LA Priest says: “…and in the beginning there were drums and LA Priest said, ‘Let there be fire.’ ” Beginning is accompanied by a video directed by Joseph Bird, in which we see LA Priest in a total nomadic and exploratory state — almost shamanic — rambling across the vast expanses of his home of North Wales with a seven-foot Flying V guitar.”


2 | The Drew Thomson Foundation | Break

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Drew Thomson Foundation released a self-titled debut album in 2019 following a period of self-reflection and rectification to reveal surprising new sides of its songwriter. The album’s recording sessions found the Single Mothers frontman joined by bandmates and longtime collaborators to cultivate a collection of vulnerable lyrics into vivid, hook-laden anthems. Laying feelings bare on Thomson’s newfound sobriety, the death of a loved one, and pushing away people who he wants to keep closest, it welcomes listeners on his journey towards inner peace. Following the album release, The Drew Thomson Foundation set out on tour with PUP, which ended abruptly due to COVID-19. The band released a video for the album’s lead single Break,” made up of footage from the tour before the remaining dates were postponed.”


3 | Jaunt | Delighted To Be Spoken To

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Jaunt are sharing the new live video for Delighted To Be Spoken To from their debut LP, All In One. “We’re happy to have this video out for the masses, seeing as we had to cancel our planned tour due to the pandemic, we figured this is the next best thing,” says guitarist Pat O’Brien. “The production of this video was very much a DIY effort … I learned how to paint a large floor in under two hours, so I’m thankful you can now enjoy the fruits of my labour.”


4 | Scenic Route to Alaska | Call Your Friends

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Edmonton-based indie pop trio Scenic Route to Alaska have released a timely track, Call Your Friends from their upcoming LP due late summer. Written late last year after suddenly losing someone, it is a reminder to keep in touch with all the loving people your life before you don’t have the chance. Despite the inspiration, the song is a fun percussion layered track that should be played loud on the patio. The band filmed their music video during self-isolation and had the help of Johnny Jansen to string it all together.”


5 | Primal Sinner | Red Horn Calls

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Colombian band Primal Sinner have released a video of their last live performance, recorded before social isolation due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The show took place at the Europa-Escenario Estudio, in Cali, Colombia. “Since it seems it’ll be a long while for us with no shows at sight, we thought it would be nice to give a first taste to the people who are eager to be in a live performance of Primal Sinner.” The band is taking advantage of this quarantine period to finish creating a new album. “It has been a very productive time for us, since we´ve been able to stay eight hours per day struggling with all these sounds, ideas, images, stories and verses. Right now we’re in the final stage. Hope soon that victory will be ours. Regarding to the worldwide situation, I see things are still uncertain. But for now, we’ve decided to start the recording process of the new album by the second half of this year.”


6 | Kllo | Insomnia

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kllo — electronic pop duo of Melbourne cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam — will release their new album, Maybe We Could, on July 17. Today, they share the new single Insomnia, which simmers in a similar melancholy of lead single Still Here. Insomnia skitters with steely beats and tender keys. It’s one of the few songs written from separate locations when both artists were in North America independently, and its feeling reflects a sense of jet-lagged joy and displacement, the “high highs, low lows” as one line goes. “It’s one of our favourites off the album and is heavily influenced by our time in North America,” say Kllo. “The song is about laying in bed fantasizing that you’ll give your all to something and that someone else will too, but knowing deep down it will never happen. The moment of the night where you can’t switch off and differentiate your truth from your imagination.”


7 | Curse The Son | Worry Garden

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Connecticut-based doom metal warriors Curse The Son premiere their dark and ’90s-inspired new video Worry Garden today. The trio’s fourth album Excruciation is set for June 12 release. About this new video, frontman Ron Vanacore comments: “In this bizarro world we currently find ourselves in, a band’s life’s blood has been taken away. Who could ever have thought that live performances would be such an outlandish concept? Pre-Covid19, Curse the Son had already made the decision to unleash videos for every song on Excruciation! That decision appears even more relevant and necessary now! Fast forward a year and here we all are…isolated, lonely, nervous and frustrated. Fear not friends, music is alive and well. The presentation just may be a bit different for a while!”


8 | Junkowl | Crawling Up My Feet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Oozing with rock n roll vibes, Junkowl is coming for ya out of Montreal. A slick combination of stoner riffs, hardcore energy, and groovy bass, this is party animal blues. Expect their debut album Making Out With My Death on June 5. Vocalist Jesse Frechette explains the lyrical content on the album: “Most of my lyrics are about past regrets or self-destructive behaviour. Kind of indulging in negative thoughts and emotions. A lot of them were written while I was wasted. I like to think that the next album will have a much different lyrical theme but hey, old habits die hard.” This gritty take on real-life issues is confronted with the video from single Crawling Up My Feet, a song about “falling in love with someone when you’re depressed or struggling with addiction, and essentially about how it’s pretty much impossible to love someone properly when you don’t love yourself.”


9 | NeroArgento | Inside

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning Italian vocalist/multi-instrumentalist NeroArgento is sharing the new music video for the full length’s first single Inside. The single takes a step back to NeroArgento’s roots, a mixture between industrial and cyber metal, based on very low guitar riffing, heavy drums but also super catchy melodies, featuring typical cyber-electro oriented synths and grooves. The music video was also directed by NeroArgento along with Fabio Brunello. The video clip tells a story about humanity that has reached a point of no return in a near future, and a man in the middle of nowhere, with the help of brand new technology, saves everyone’s fate.”


10 | The Heavy Eyes | Late Night

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Memphis-based psychedelic stoner rock merchants The Heavy Eyes recently issued a video for Late Night. The groove-soaked anthem comes off the band’s Love Like Machines full-length released in March. On their fourth full-length and first new offering since 2015’s He Dreams Of Lions, The Heavy Eyes continue to churn out fuzzed out, bluesy, hypnotic riffs, this time with the addition of long-time recording engineer Matthew Qualls on second guitar. Adding a fresh layer of depth to their signature swagger, Qualls enabled the band to collaborate in a different way exploring new song structures, tones, and attaining a bigger sound overall without stripping any of the grittiness and love of ’60s and ’70s rock that has shaped the band since inception. The songs sing of doomed armies, of lost loves, and of course, of that damn meddling Wolfman. In short, there is something here for everyone: the bellicose, the poignant, the absurd.”


11 | Virginity | Bad Call

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Florida’s Virginity are debuting a music video for Bad Call, the first single off their upcoming EP Death to the Party, which will be released on June 5. Frontman Casey Crawford says, “I wrote Bad Call at a time about a year ago when I had a sore throat for what felt like three months and I was convinced I was gonna die, but I couldn’t go the doctor because of my insurance situation. I was just consumed by fear constantly and I wasn’t sleeping at all. The thing about me though is that I always do this to myself. I always feel like something bad is going to happen to me or my family, so I’m nearly always in an anxious state. I could never have guessed that its release would coincide with this shitty pandemic. I feel like the whole world feels anxious right now and like they themselves might have a bad call coming.”


12 | Miya Miya | Hometown

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging British band Miya Miya share insight into their forthcoming debut EP Cold Blood with Hometown. A five-track body of work fusing anthemic stadium sounds with alt-pop vibes, Cold Blood will be released June 26. Showing a more mellowed side to the multi-faceted production decorating Cold Blood, the ethereal synth flashes in Hometown elevate to an intoxicating blend of crashing drums, anthemic guitars and a bold bassline. “The original idea of Hometown was following someone who’s completely lost all hope, selling themselves short and making bad decisions. Although they’re in their hometown, they are completely lost. It’s from the perspective of a person who’s outside of this, trying to reach in and show they care and want to help them.”


13 | Breakbot | Be Mine Tonight

THE PRESS RELEASE:Breakbot, the French producer/DJ, has unveiled a brand new animated music video for his recent single Be Mine Tonight. The concept for the animated video was born out of an experience during Breakbot’s tour in Japan last year, where he became engrossed in the kitchy arcade scene that is prevalent in Tokyo. He found himself wanting to make a song to soundtrack that dopamine-inducing experience of achieving a high score at a public arcade. The animated video for Be Mine Tonight features a sprightly child achieving a new high score on an old-school dance machine her local arcade. “Animation is one of my lifetime passions, and also one of my early jobs. It was quite natural for Be Mine Tonight to use that inspiring art form, as I did on my first music video Baby I’m Yours.”


14+15 | The Barr Brothers | Red Moth Solar Companion + Saint Cecilia

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Barr Brothers are unveiling Red Moth Solar Companion, a two-track release of B-sides from the critically acclaimed Queens of the Breakers. The songs were written and recorded by Brad Barr, Andrew Barr and Sarah Pagé during the taping sessions for the record. Brad Barr shares his take on the two new releases: “Red Moth Solar Companion is a live, instrumental, off-the-floor improvisation that musically describes a patient journey through the heart of a star. Saint Cecilia has hints of Blonde On Blonde, it’s the pantomime of an experienced but misguided wayfarer who is fixated on the promise of redemption through Saint Cecilia, the patroness of musicians.”


16 | Hipertrópico | Mediterrânea

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’m Fernando, the vocalist of Hipertrópico, a band from Brazil (zil-zil)! We’ve just launched our first videoclip, Mediterrânea! It was recorded on a trip at the Amalfitan coast, south of Italy.”


17 | Kim Petras | Malibu

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kim Petras releases her brand new single Malibu, a bright blast of pure pop and a glittering, sun-kissed bop with instrumental elements and raw vocals, inspired by the silver screen, Baywatch fantasy of Malibu. “Malibu is a return to color, the feeling of being in love, and the escapism pop that I love the most,” says Kim. “I just want Malibu to be a fizzy, refreshing drink that comes to you during this quarantine and makes you forget all your anxieties. I hope this can be a little vitamin shot that brightens your day.”


18 | Le Ren | Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay

THE PRESS RELEASE:Le Ren is the project of Lauren Spear. The Montreal-based folk artist was introduced to U.S. audiences last year when she opened for Orville Peck on his national tour. Today, she presents the video for Love Can’t Be The Only Reason to Stay, a compelling waltz with quiet guitar. Le Ren sings with the wry smile of someone who knows real pain, knows there’s surely more to come, but who also knows it doesn’t erase life’s humorous, enduring beauty. Her voice is rich with a warm texture as she describes a strong love turning into an unhealthy relationship: “I loved you, my darling // You know that it’s true // I loved you till you beat my heart black and blue // But I just can’t stand to be treated that way // No, love can’t be the only reason to stay.”


19 | Nation Of Language | The Wall & I

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rising Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio Nation of Language premiered their new single The Wall & I. It will appear on their upcoming debut album, Introduction, Presence, due out on May 22. Discussing the ideas behind The Wall & I, songwriter-vocalist Ian Devaney stated, “The hardest part of the creative process for me are those moments when things don’t flow naturally at all, and you just have to sit and slug it out with your own brain, all the while knowing that you might spend hours mining your memories and working through feelings only to end up with nothing useable on the other side. In the time since writing The Wall & I, itself a product of many such fruitless hours, I have tried to make a mental adjustment to see the struggle itself as a kind of conceptual or performative dance — to make the conscious choice to spend a whole day locked in battle with my own aspirations wrestling against actual outcomes. As good as it feels to just sit down and knock a song out, there is a different level of satisfaction when you feel like you’ve bled a little bit and truly earned it.”


20 | Jon Hopkins | Singing Bowl (Ascension)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jon Hopkins presents Singing Bowl (Ascension), the first in a new series of Meditations available to stream now from Quiet, his 24-hour long playlist. Designed with deep meditation experiences in mind, Singing Bowl (Ascension) perfectly fits into Jon’s transcendent selections. “Like so many people I felt pretty paralysed by this situation when it first unfolded. All my plans for the year were cancelled, and everything felt so weird and dreamlike. But gradually I found I wanted to create something — to find peace and perspective through making music, as I have always done. It felt beautifully pure to just use one acoustic sound source, and no synths. It was liberating to write something without playing anything on a keyboard — to avoid the familiar diatonic scale for the first time, and thus avoid any of my own conditioned playing habits. There was a magic in setting this generative system in motion then just letting the vibrations of this bowl create their own world. I listened to harmonics layering on top of harmonics for hours and was transported.”


21 | The Lacs | Get Lost

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With musicians taking a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia-based country rap duo The Lacs have used the time to record stripped-down acoustic versions of classic tracks from their catalog. The second acoustic released video is Get Lost from their now classic 2013 album Keep It Redneck. The song has become an anthem for unplugging from the hustle and grind of the world around you and getting lost in the peacefulness that rural country life can provide.”


22 | Lindy Vopnfjörd | Cutting Room Floor

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Lindy Vopnfjörd has released Cutting Room Floor, the second single off his upcoming album State of the Heart. The album displays the synergy between the sound and vision of a meticulous perfectionist working out of a rural Southern Ontario studio and the soul of a self-described “joyologist and freedom nerd” who recently moved to Hamilton, Ontario. The resulting energy enlivens the beautifully crafted tunes.”


23 | Kal-El | Comêta

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Dark Majesty, the brand-new LP by the rising hard rock quintet Kal-El, is due for release in 2021.Originally formed in 2012, Kal-El’s star has been firmly in the ascension for some time following a progression of impressive and highly sought-after releases. With three albums already to their name — 2012’s Pakal, Astrodoomeda (2017) and last year’s critically acclaimed Witches of Mars — the band are set to release new album Dark Majesty in 2021. As new single Comêta showcases, the band’s glorious universe of sound comprises of bass-heavy grooves, detuned guitars and mind-warping lyrics, and like a wayward son of hard rock and heavy metal, the quintet have spent a lot of time on the road over the years, touring extensively across Europe.”


24 | Cappa | There With You Baby

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Electro-pop darling Cappa is serving up an infectious new single, There With You Baby. The new single is the second tease of a forthcoming EP. At its core, There With You Baby is a delightful, feel-good pop track. Explaining the concept behind the track, Cappa writes, “I wanted the song to capture that beginning feeling in a relationship when you feel like anything could happen and maybe love isn’t all that bad.” Combining a dance floor ready beat with superbly catchy lyricism and Cappa’s signature hypnotic vocals, There With You Baby perfectly captures the giddy feeling of falling in love.”