Indie Roundup | 29 New Tracks Of Magnificent Midweek Music

Nadine Shah, Chai, Alison Mossheart, Muzz and more Wednesday goodness.

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Nadine Shah bucks up, Chai keep it real cheeky, Alison Mosshart dances in the dark, Muzz have a bad feeling, Wolfhounds can’t see the light, King Nun double down and more in today’s Roundup. Happy birthday Stevie Wonder. And belated happy birthday to Homer Simpson.


SONGS OF THE DAY

1 | Nadine Shah | Buckfast

THE PRESS RELEASE:Nadine Shah has a new album coming called Kitchen Sink on June 26. This is the followup to the British singer/songwriter’s 2017 Mercury Prize-nominated Holiday Destination. She just released a new track today called Buckfast about being stuck in a bad relationship in close quarters … very fitting for the moment! With the same ferocious determination and distinct voice Shah now turns her sights closer to home with an album that explores her own story as a woman in her 30s and the societal pressures and expectations that come with that. The album also tells the stories of countless other women she has met and their differing yet equally very similar experiences. Shah explains more saying: “It’s a conversation between me and so many of my friends in our 30s. There’s that panic that so many of us have that we are running out of time, when it comes to having children. It’s like when we were younger we all made our own timelines in our minds of when we thought we would do certain things. If you were to tell 14 year old me I’d be 34, unmarried and have no children I’d have never believed it. Lots of my friends I’ve spoken to did this very same thing.”


2 | Chai | Ready Cheeky Pretty

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Japanese quartet and advocates of NEO-Kawaii Chai release a new single, the self-championing Ready Cheeky Pretty, and an accompanying video. Following the recently-released No More Cake, Ready Cheeky Pretty promotes self-love and finding motivation and confidence from within. Over jubilant synth and a steady snare, Chai sing: “we are the upbeat cheeky monkeys ! // look up the mirror // oh! It’s pretty monkey! // we are good already // keep it real.” The band elaborates on the track: “Keep it real! Go back to the real you! It’s all about moving forward and living by instinct! To go forward with the voice of your heart! Nothing symbolizes this more for us than the carefree nature, strength, and purity of a monkey. We pay homage to this in Ready Cheeky Pretty because we feel that animals have the ability to be REAL more than humans. It’s this type of song! Take a listen!”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

3 | Alison Mosshart | It Ain’t Water

THE PRESS RELEASE:Alison Mosshart (The Kills, The Dead Weather), shares her second solo song It Ain’t Water. Written late last year, It Ain’t Water was recorded with Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, PJ Harvey). Mosshart had been sitting on the track for quite some time, and every time the singer found herself battling a bout of writer’s block, she’d pick up her guitar and sing it. Alison on working with Alain Johannes: “Working with Alain on It Ain’t Water was a blast. He’s such a talent and such a kind person. His mind is wide open. He understands and sees the beauty in imperfection, magic moments, accidents- the soulful human stuff, and the spirited super-human hard to explain stuff that makes a song great. Working with him was an honor, and also, hot damn he can play any instrument like a champ… like he invented the instrument himself. Alain Johannes IS music.”


4 | Muzz | Bad Feeling

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Leading up to the June 5 release of their self-titled, debut album, Muzz, the new project of Paul Banks (Interpol), Josh Kaufman (producer/multi-instrumentalist and one third of Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (drummer of Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen, and Fleet Foxes’ touring band), release their first-ever live recording — a performance of Bad Feeling. For the video, the trio play from the cities where they’re currently staying home — Banks in Edinburgh, Kaufman in Brooklyn, and Barrick in Philadelphia. They give a mellow, more stripped-down rendition of the song, using the available resources in their respective homes. “Decided to try something live-ish! Here’s a song of ours called, Bad Feeling, played to each other through our funny telephones and then back atcha, through yours. Sincerely hope you enjoy it. ✌ Muzz


5 | Wolfhounds | Can’t See The Light

THE PRESS RELEASE: “London-based C86 legends Wolfhounds have announced their new album Electric Music, set for release on July 3. Ahead of this, they present lead single Can’t See the Light, a powerful track that opens fire on side one of the forthcoming record with captivating video by David Janes. “Musically, Can’t See The Light has a discordant guitar line — perhaps carrying echoes of John Barry’s The Persuaders theme — until it reaches a desperate crescendo; this feeling is captured brilliantly by David Janes’ claustrophobic and darkly psychedelic video,” says Wolfhounds’ frontman David Callahan. A spitball of melancholy fury, this is an explosive tune about how anger turns inward after the low expectations of a country’s myriad self-defined gatekeepers have crippled the ambitions of those who want change for the better. With a bass-heavy rush, Can’t See The Light builds desperately to a semi-tonal release of noise, sounding simultaneously claustrophobic and liberating.”


6+7 | King Nun | Tulip + Mascara Runs

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Back in March, King Nun were one of a handful of acts selected to take part in the British Music Embassy Sessions, a series of live-streamed performances hosted by the British Music Embassy and its partners in the wake of the cancellation of SXSW. The band’s trip to SXSW was to follow a whirlwind 18 months which saw the Londoners release debut album Mass. Watch performances of Tulip and Mascara Runs now.”


8 | Little Kid | Losing

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Operating since 2011, Little Kid is Toronto-based band led by songwriter Kenny Boothby. Today, Little Kid have announced their debut LP Transfiguration Highway, and are sharing the album’s first single Losing. Transfiguration Highway is a major refinement of Little Kid’s sound to this point, and Losing provides a clear example of the way the band have elevated their production and aesthetics for their label debut. A piano-driven indie folk track that wrings lush textures from its intimate, homespun arrangement, the song is a precisely rendered character portrait that highlights Boothby’s eye for songwriting detail. “This song tells two fictional stories about characters experiencing some kind of loss,” says Boothby. “In the first verse, the narrator’s friend loses their savings on a drunken bet on a dog race. In the second, the narrator expresses regret for choosing to leave a person they still find themselves in love with. Musically, the song is inspired by 60s and 70s Canadiana like Neil Young and The Band, and there’s a certain peppiness to the piano that hasn’t really been present in a Little Kid song before.”


9 | Absolutely Free | The Office / The Community

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Known for its transportive works in sound and vision, Toronto psych trio Absolutely Free recently released its original soundtrack recording for the art-house film Two Cares Due None. The gorgeously haunting and masterfully responsive score distills the film’s dramatic landscapes with suspenseful notes of magic-realism and minimalism. Its stirring, mysterious instrumental compositions range from reflective ambience to polyrhythmic electronic music, bringing to mind the iconic film scores of John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, Cliff Martinez, and Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury. Two Cares Due None marks the band’s first foray into feature-length composition, after previously scoring short films by Norman McLaren for the National Film Board of Canada. Now, Absolutely Free opens a window onto the geographic and cultural landscapes that shape Two Cares Due None with the music video for The Office / The Community. Featuring footage captured by directors Melissa Fisher-Rozenberg and Chris Boni on location in Iceland, Italy, and Canada, Absolutely Free articulates the dark pastel images of towering countryside with a tense blend of whistling synthesizers and shuffling electronic rhythm that forms one of the score’s central melodic themes. “The film entranced us into a distinct musical universe,” says the trio of Michael Claxton, Moshe Fisher-Rozenberg, and Matthew King. “There was no resisting its aesthetic demands, which lead us deep into compositions that indulge mood over melody, exploring the subtleties at the periphery of what we have created live and on record up to this point.”


10 | The Blind Staggers | Party Friends

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Chicago five-piece, The Blind Staggers, release a new video for Party Friends off their third album, Doing Alright… Considering. In many ways, the song Party Friends is representative of the album as a whole. “It sums up what this record is about for me,” Damien Christian Wilburn said. “There were a lot of personal things going on within the band during the writing of this album. Laura Zielinski and (guitarist Tony Lee) got married and moved to Denver. I had quit drinking and working at the bar I called home for 10 years. So, there was a lot of uncertainty. Change was coming, but there was a strong desire to hold on to what matters – good times with good friends.” Laura Zielinski added, “It seemed like a fitting tune for the time and for us as a band right now. We’re all getting older and priorities are changing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to have a good time. Because believe me, we do. And that’s a lot of what this new album is about.”


11 | Nobody’s Girl | Tiger

THE PRESS RELEASE: “We always joke that it started out by accident,” offers singer-songwriter Rebecca Loebe when asked about the fortuitous aligning of stars that officially brought her and fellow Austin-based troubadours BettySoo and Grace Pettis together as Nobody’s Girl. “Well, actually, Grace and I like to joke that we tricked BettySoo into being in a band with us …” BettySoo, sitting across the table from her two bandmates at a post-rehearsal Tex-Mex dinner, laughs at this, but Grace is quick to correct the record. “It’s not really a joke, though,” she insists with a mischievous grin. “It’s true!” But that “power of three” they share has never been stronger than it is now, and it’s captured like bottled lightning on the trio’s strikingly assertive — and yes, striking fun, too — full-length debut: Nobody’s Girl, out Feb. 5, 2021.”


12 | The Royal Foundry | Okay?

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Edmonton’s The Royal Foundry have released their new video for Okay?, the third single from their album Wakeup Wakeup. The band partnered with animator Hudson Munshaw (based in Calgary) to create a really unique and creative music video that tells the story of two astronauts in space falling apart and ultimately being separated on two worlds. We follow their struggle with these worlds and the paranormal as they try find each other again. The first part of the story is told through the video and the second part resolves the story in comic book form which will be available for purchase as a digital download or a limited edition physical copy on the band’s website in the coming months.”


13 | Hannah Georgas | Same Mistakes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed indie-pop songstress Hannah Georgas debuts a new, original single today titled Same Mistakes, from her forthcoming collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Dessner, best known as a founding member of Grammy Award-nominated band The National and for his production work with artists like Sharon Van Etten, Frightened Rabbit, This Is The Kit and Local Natives. A counterpoint to the insistent pulse of her first single, Same Mistakes is a deeply personal song about reckoning with the past, presented in a bracingly vulnerable context. Georgas’ singular voice is framed by a sparse, clockwork-like machinery of production that shifts in and out of focus around the arresting central force of her nuanced and subtly powerful performance.”


14 | Keaton Henson | Career Day

THE PRESS RELEASE:Keaton Henson is pleased to return with poignant new single Career Day. The track is accompanied by a montage of personal family footage that was filmed when Keaton was a young child. Reflecting on the video, Keaton explains: “The video is a collection of often abstracted shots from deeply personal home videos. I just liked the idea of hearing an aging weary man, singing about his failings over distorted shots of his childhood, and how it colors those captured gleeful moments with the sadness of the passage of time.”


15 | Peter Himmelman | This Is How It Ends

THE PRESS RELEASE:Press On, Peter Himmelman’s forthcoming 13-song album, was recorded live in Los Feliz, Calif. in a total of three days. “We used a simple creative forcing frame for our three-day marathon session, which consisted of four rules,” Himmelman says. “Upright bass on every song, little to no cymbals and high-hats, no professional background singers, and as much live recording as possible. We wanted anyone listening to the music to feel as if they were in the room with us as we were recording.” Recorded with the help of Himmelman’s longtime bassist/collaborator Matt Thompson, drummer Jimi Englund, keyboardist Chris Joyner, and guitarist Greg Herzenach, the spare, soulful sounds of the debut single, This Is How It Ends, allow room for Himmelman’s biting, and sometimes, nearly clairvoyant lyrics to rise up through the swirls of gospel-like colors within the musical arrangement. “As with many songs of mine that I wind up being most attracted to, this one was also a surprise when it emerged,” Himmelman muses. “I asked myself then and now, where did this come from, what does it mean?”


16 | Jon Stancer | Chase The Moon

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jon Stancer released his latest single, Chase The Moon, another piece of finely crafted alt-pop the Toronto singer/songwriter has become known for since the release of his 2017 full-length debut album For The Birds. Never afraid to inject his personal views into his music, Stancer describes Chase The Moon as a response to our “chaotic and mystifying world. There’s a growing uneasiness and uncertainty that I haven’t really sensed to this extent in my lifetime — the ‘Anxiety Age’ as it’s been called. And now with this pandemic, I was imagining the end; the desperation, the hope, and the futility of making a run for it.”


17 | Katherine Aly | Misty Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Greece, Katherine Aly has developed a sound unique to herself. Vocally, she has taken influence from some of the indie greats from yesteryear. Influences include Florence And The Machine and Bjork, but yet she delivers fresh and raw performances which put her on a stage of her own. Misty Me is a beautifully produced track with an angelic harp setting the way for Katherine’s awe-inspiring vocal. Sound wise we see Katherine take on a new direction. She once fronted a rock band, but we see a more mellow side to her here. Although a new route, the track stays faithful to her edgy qualities, and it leaves you itching to get more.”


18 | Facing the Gallows | Dead Mindset

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The second single from Facing The GallowsDead Mindset is out now! The video features their live performances that show the high energy of their shows. “Dead Mindset is a song that channels the daily frustration of watching the world collapsing around us. We’re more powerful, stronger, and capable of doing something to change it. It’s about taking the step and initiative to do so”, says James, guitarist, about the new track. “Dead Mindset is definitely one that gets us every time when we perform it live. It has an intense energy that definitely gets the pits spinning and crowds singing.”


19 | Michael Schenker Fest | The Beast In the Shadow

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Last year, guitar legend Michael Schenker released his second Michael Schenker Fest album Revelation, that features the ever-legendary Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White on vocals. The album also features guest singer Ronnie Romero. Today, the band are pleased to reveal a lyric video for track The Beast In The Shadow. Michael Schenker comments: “Even if we’ve had to postpone concert dates and even if we have to stay home right now — let’s never give rock ’n’ roll a break in our lives! I’m hoping to cheer up all rock fans out there with our new video for The Beast In The Shadows. It’s a great song that contains a very heartfelt performance from Graham Bonnet, and the video shows Graham in an even more heartfelt fashion. It´s a fantastic video with some very pure emotions being expressed by Graham.”


20 | Underer | 1:19

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Code is the debut LP by Camden, New Jersey-based Underer, the solo project of avant-garde multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Nick Shellenberger (Cleric, Shardik). Underer was conceived in 2016 as an escape from the mentality of writing and performing in a collaborative setting. While the music of Underer explores a markedly minimal sound palette and writing style, Shellenberger’s compositions are meticulously crafted with the rhythmical chaos, creepy electronics, and volatile dynamics he has refined throughout his experimental career. The Code brings together the precision of programmed drums with the experimentation of free and improvised composition, telling a harrowing tale over the course of seven acutely distressing tracks. Listen to Underer’s 1:19 now.”


21 | Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, & Damu The Fudgemunk | Tulips

THE PRESS RELEASE:Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, and Damu The Fudgemunk release new single, Tulips, from their forthcoming collaborative album, Ocean Bridges, out May 22. Tulips opens with a quiet array of keys, growing with bursts of saxophone and Raw Poetic’s emotive lyrics. “During the studio session, the spontaneous music that would later become Tulips was the second idea we laid down,” says Damu The Fudgemunk. “It would set the vibe for much of the recording that followed. Raw Poetic’s lyrics really illustrate the deeper meaning behind the Ocean Bridges album title on this tune.” Raw Poetic adds: “I let the spring vibe name the song, and the flower that bloomed was a tulip. Sometimes you gotta let the music spell it out.”


22 | Dawn of Ashes | The Antinomian

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles Industrial Metal veterans Dawn of Ashes announce their anticipated new album The Antinomian. Staying true to their style of blistering, in your face guitars, with potent drums, DOA harkens back to their early years including more electronic elements of EBM and Dark Electro on The Antinomian. Vocalist and composer, Kristof Bathory expands on the inspiration: “We are witnessing a critical era where a mass amount of human beings follow a herd mentality. Corruption is all around us and our leaders are the ones who are planting this seed. Society is full of mindless machines who live their lives to bow down to the wretched ones. Hollow and empty there is nothing inside.” The Antinomian will be released July 10. The lyric video for their new song Pawns of the Wretched can be seen below.”


23 | Commonwealth Choir | No End

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia’s Commonwealth Choir will release the EP No End on June 19. A new track, Light, is now streaming online. Commonwealth Choir is constantly searching for the space between light & dark … somewhere to crack a smile while the storm rages on. What began as a folk-rock project loosely stemming from the likes of AA Bondy & Rocky Votolato, rough iPhone demos quickly attracted a mountain of influences as the band’s lineup took shape in late 2011. Pop-punk influences like Saves The Day & Brand New collided with formative behemoths such as Elvis Costello & Tom Petty — all while holding the power of simple storytelling above all else.”


24 | Threadbare | Silver Dollar

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jason Stein has spent the last 15 years injecting audiences’ ears with such a singularly unique approach on the bass clarinet that Eric Dolphy may finally find himself denied as the go-to reference for the instrument. Currently Stein leads two bands, Locksmith Isidore and the Jason Stein Quartet, and co-leads Hearts & Minds and Nature Work. Stein’s work with Threadbare, his latest project, places him beside two gifted young Oberlin College graduates and recent Chicago transplants. Composers Ben Cruz (guitar) and Emerson Hunton (drums) lock in perfectly as a rhythm section, carefully walking a wire between jazz and rock (they also play together in the indie band Moontype). All three members of Threadbare grew up on rock ‘n ‘roll and their version of it is as thrilling as it is fierce. Cruz’ Silver Dollar sounds like he watched the Dead C’s Armed writhing on the floor for 25 minutes until he finally proposed the question “Hey, what if we help this thing get up and walk?” To hear Cruz and Stein trade off energy wheezing over Hunton’s leg-stomp thudding is a sheer joy.”


25 | Falconer | Desert Dreams

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On June 26th, Sweden’s Falconer will release their new album, From A Dying Ember. For a preview, the first single Desert Dreams can be heard now. Falconer was born out of the ashes of Mithotyn, who split up in 1999. After disbanding, one of Mithotyn’s founding members — Stefan Weinerhall (guitar) — had a demo for a solo project, which eventually led to the creation of the folk power metal group Falconer.”


26 | Leo Lauren | Lovesick

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles artist Leo Lauren’s pop/new wave-tinged single Lovesick was produced by Heather Baker (NoMBe, Bea Miller, Adam Lambert) and drums are by current My Chemical Romance drummer Jarrod Alexander. The song will be included on his upcoming EP which will be announced in May.”


27 | Ka Fu | Beautiful Noize

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Burgeoning experimental electronic producer Ka Fu has released his latest single Beautiful Noize feat. Saughtons. Beautiful Noize is the second taste of Ka Fu’s second album set to drop later this year. Speaking of the collaboration with Saughtons, Ka Fu tells us: “You will be surprised but this is my collab with the piano player Saughtons however there is no piano in that song. Everything was transferred from the piano notes to the synth sounds and that’s how Beautiful Noize was born. Means we don’t even know how, like we were playing in our favourite sandbox with a certain mood to experiment and create something fresh and interesting.”


28 | Tafari Anthony | Live in a Dream

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tafari (pronounced Ta-far-eye) Anthony is a Toronto based artist whose music blends Pop, R&B and Soul. Having taken a break from music in 2018 to focus on creating new material which explored his own personal soundscape, Tafari returned early 2020 with the release of Centerfold. Following closely in its footsteps is the infectious Live in a Dream. Narrating the struggle to find contentment in your current situation, Tafari confides, “We are constantly trying to strive for more, and I know personally I feel a great deal of failure or shame if I don’t live up to expectations. Far too often in my career I’ve had many people try to tell me who I should be and try to mold me into something that they’ve already seen. The promise of a greater future if you do this and that, had me do many things I would’ve never done in order to chase someone else’s vision. But I had to slow down and stop worrying about what I don’t have, and who I don’t know and be happy to live my own personal journey.”


29 | Civic Center | High Beams

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In the brief time they’ve been around, Chicago industrial trio Civic Center have dropped five collections of seething electronic music, but it’s all led up to their debut LP The Ground Below, in which they take the most thrilling aspects of their creative process, up the production value, and add a slight pop sensibility. “Musically we’re constantly striving to find the harmony and disharmony between electronic and organic elements,” explains frontman Jack Brockman, “trying to inject something unusual into industrial.” Civic Center maintains a firm hold in the industrial tradition, and their music may be dark, but it isn’t nihilistic. On The Ground Below, they still exist in the shadows, but the shadows have never looked more alluring.”