Indie Roundup | 24 Tunes To Make Wednesday Wonderful

No Ones, Japandroids, Digital Monks Danger Inc. and more make your midweek.

The No Ones are gone except for the great Scott, Japandroids sweat in the hall, Digital Monx find Eden, Danger Incorporated build a monster and more in your Midweek Roundup. Scroll down for some VIP cameos by Nick Lowe, Brittany Howard and more. You’re welcome.


1 | The No Ones | Gone

THE PRESS RELEASE:The No Ones (Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Frode Strømstad, and Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen) released their album The Great Lost No Ones Album back in March. Today, McCaughey’s homemade video for one of the album’s tracks Gone arrives. McCaughey said, “The song Gone was really speaking to me lyrically these days, and I stumbled upon this sorrowful solo version… It’s just lowly lonely me from The Dungeon Of Horror, safely distant at home in isolation. But this is where Debbi Peterson sang her beautiful harmonies on the album version of Gone, where lyrics were written, overdubs undertaken, where it was mixed. The spirit of Frode, Peter, and Arne is everywhere, and they approve. But I truly recommend you listen to the rockin’ and powerful version from The Great Lost No Ones Album, and come see us rage through this tune full-on, live and in-person, next year! Meanwhile, play it safe out there — the time will come for us all to get together.”

2 | Japandroids | Heart Sweats

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver duo Japandroids announce their first-ever live album, reverently titled Massey Fucking Hall after the historic Toronto venue where it was recorded and due out June 19. The band has shared the live version of Heart Sweats, which originally appeared on 2009’s Post-Nothing. “We’ve always loved playing that one live,” drummer David Prowse said. “It’s just got a great sense of momentum and never fails to get me hyped. During that tour we were playing it second or third in the set. It consistently feels like the moment in the set where I just get that sense of ‘oh yeah we’re cooking now,’ and everything just locks in and we’re ripping through the rest of the set. All the nerves are gone and it’s the moment where we’re just locked in and totally in the zone.”


3 | Digital Monx | Tinananay feat. Eden Derso

THE PRESS RELEASE:Digital Monx is the new project by Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan, founders of Balkan Beat Box. Today, the global bass pioneers shared the video for their debut track, Tinananay feat. Eden Derso. “Tinananay started as a beat we made in L.A. before we met Eden, who is one of the greats in the new generation of up-and-coming rappers in Israel,” says Kaplan. “We played her ten beats and she immediately gravitated to this one. It was a super match.” Eden Derso is a young Israeli artist of Ethiopian descent, who raps in English rather than Hebrew for the first time on this East meets West sound-system mash-up that blends MIA with a dose of Rihanna.”

4 | Danger Incorporated | Frankenstein

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The genre-blending duo Danger Incorporated release the video for their track Frankenstein, produced by Oogiemane of Working on Dying. Emerging from the creative depths of Atlanta, Danger Incorporated is here to redefine what it means to be free of limitations. Toying with genres since they were in high school, Louie Duffelbags and Boothlord have always found themselves looking for the next best way to morph and manipulate familiar sounds into something that is unabashedly Danger Incorporated. This never-ending search keeps the two endlessly inspired, always finding a way to be two steps ahead of their contemporaries.”

5 | Taggart & Torrens | Animals Sound The Same

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The lively video for new single Animals Sound The Same from Taggart & Torrens — featuring Jeremy Taggart, legendary rock drummer and multiple-Juno winner formerly of Our Lady Peace, and Jonathan Torrens, 30-year veteran of Canadian TV (Street Cents, Jonovision, Trailer Park Boys, and Mr. D) — co-written with ArkellsAnthony Carone will be the highlight of your week. Jeremy explains, “Animals Sound The Same is the introduction of Jean Guy & Alec, two men looking to change the Children’s Music game. Anthony really helped nail the kid-like authenticity in the music.”

6 | Skullcrusher | Day of Show

THE PRESS RELEASE:Skullcrusher, the project of LA-based songwriter Helen Ballentine, releases a new single, Day of Show, and an accompanying video. The track is off of her debut, self-titled EP, out June 26, and glows with melancholy guitar and faint, hovering synth. “I wrote Day of Show on a hot day last summer in my roommate’s bedroom because mine didn’t have AC,” explains Ballentine. “I felt dazed and restless from sitting around in the heat all day. It is a song about feeling trapped in yourself, unable to help yourself and reluctant to let others in. It explores the fragmented behavior and thoughts that arise from this feeling: a kind of daydreaming that can be really creative but also the darkness that also exists there. It’s musically inspired by a lot of the shoegaze music I listen to.”

7 | Koretsky | Call It A Day

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Summer 2018 was very hazy… I vaguely remember recording the song,” says multi-instrumentalist and producer, Olé Koretsky of his new single/video for Call It A Day. “I forgot about [the track] for a year. Next time I heard it, I was like, ‘Hold up, this sounds intense.’ There was a certain energy there and a kind of subtle grace about it, so I spent a day or two with a good friend and great engineer, Mike Dextro. We cleaned up the demo and sent it off to get mixed.”

8 | Nayana Iz | TNT

THE PRESS RELEASE:Nayana Iz, one of the UK’s most explosive new talents, has shared new track TNT, which is taken from her forthcoming debut EP Smoke & Fly, due out June 26. Iz is on a roll. Having introduced herself in the closing months of 2019 with debut track How We Do, the 19-year-old Londoner is now gearing up for the release of her EP and slowly taking the world by storm in the meantime. “TNT is about those people in disguise, undercover friends and acquaintances. TNT is my message that I see through it all — like an X-ray. It’s named TNT because I’m about to go off and confront it all; I’m done playing games and hiding. I live by straight honesty and loyalty now it’s time to surround myself with people alike. The cover is a photo of my grandmother singing and thang-ta dancing when she was my age. At this time in her own life she had a lot of dark things happening in her life which she had just escaped. She still held her soul and this photo is the epitome of pureness to me — a place where I hope to be one day.”

9 | Hail Spirit Noir | Crossroads feat. Lars Nedland

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Well this was a waste of time”, thought Darwin as the incense took hold of him. His head swirling, he watched as a silly millipede tried to speak to a baby and sighed as a flower played hide and seek with the sun. Its spot was so good it would never be found. There was one last chance, an ape, but it couldn’t make up it’s mind. The colours at the end of the tunnel were bright as with every automaton. You can watch the video and see yourself.”

10 | Not A Toy | Quit Quitting

THE PRESS RELEASE:Not A Toy have shared the video for their latest slow banger. “The past couple years of writing this album consisted of constant ups and down,” the band says. “We wrote Quit Quitting at the peak of our insecurities, and the song runs through the questions that were haunting our minds daily. We wanted this song to be the ultimate late night drive soundtrack — so that’s what we did. I think the video reflects that.” Not A Toy can’t be classified as simply a band. Rather, they are a collective of four creatives — Branson Hoog [lead vocals], Jeremy Marmor [guitar], Benji Spoliansky [drums], and TJ Wessel [violin, keys]. “Not A Toy is not just band; it’s a lifestyle of art and creation,” says Hoog. “We’re not the first to combine different genres of music, but we’re also blending other artforms — from streetwear to art shows. We’re a snapshot of this generation’s tattooed youth and bedroom beatmakers. We’re just creating, and there are no rules to creation.”

11 | Red Cain | Juliet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary’s Red Cain has put together a visually thrilling music video for their track Juliet featuring Daniel Louden (Benevolent Like Quietus). The award-winning video (Best Music Video at Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles) is in support of their debut album Kindred: Act I released this past January. The band explains the video in further detail: “Deep forests, thick fog, American muscle cars, and Russian pagan goddesses. Part film-noir, part 80s road trip, dressed up with horror tropes and set to the “bubble-gum horror” stylings of goth rock banger Juliet, Red Cain are proud to drop our latest award-winning music film. Directed and produced by Rik Zak and Jun Ren, the film crew behind the band’s previous story video Zero that took home 9 international film awards, Juliet tells the story of what happens when rock ’n’ roll and occult forces collide on the roads of Americana. So buckle up, throw on your aviators, grab your Jackson Warrior, and make sure you’ve got the protection of Veles before you venture out into the open highway! “I saw her, lace and leather and hell, where serpents reign” — and now, so will you.”

12 | -(16)- | Sadlands

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Godfathers of sludge -(16)- share their official video for Sadlands. The track comes off the band’s forthcoming eighth full-length Dream Squasher, set for release next month. The unsettling clip was directed by Michael Panduro (Devourment, Dead Cross, Job For A Cowboy). Comments guitarist/vocalist Bobby Ferry, “I wrote this song about witnessing an all-too-common injustice perpetrated by those who are supposed to care for the vulnerable but end up being the root cause of the suffering, where the victim’s only revenge is to escape the perpetrator’s clutches and leave them to self-destruct.”

13 | Shirley Collins | Wondrous Love

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On July 24, Shirley Collins will release Heart’s Ease. It’s the followup to 2016’s Lodestar, which seemed like a musical miracle — an enthralling new album from a woman who is widely acknowledged as England’s greatest female folk singer, but who had not recorded an album for 38 years. The first song to be shared from Heart’s Ease is Wondrous Love; its tune comes from an 18th Century English ballad about the infamous sea captain William Kidd, who was hanged for piracy in 1701. Collins first heard the hymn at a Sacred Harp Convention in Alabama (Collins and Alan Lomax recorded it on their field recording trip in 1959). Shirley has decided to sing it now, she said, “because songs are stored in my memory for a great many years, and suddenly it seems the right time to bring them out again.”

14 | Courtney Marie Andrews | It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician Courtney Marie Andrews’ new song, It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault, is debuting today. Directed by V Haddad and with cinematography by Adam Gundersheimer of Slopehouse Productions, the video was choreographed by Marlee Cook-Parrot — more widely known as Marlee Grace — a writer and dancer who has garnered widespread attention over the past few years for her focus on improvisation and self-expression. The song is the latest song unveiled from Andrews’ highly anticipated new album, Old Flowers, which will be released July 24.”

15 | Pat Keen | Cells Remain

THE PRESS RELEASE: “From Eau Claire, WI and now based in Minneapolis, Pat Keen has lived a few lives as a hired gun in bands such as Guerilla Toss, Ryan Power, Wei Zhongle, Ian Sweet and Humbird after cutting his teeth as a bassist and improviser at New England Conservatory. His newest iteration is more minimal. A solo guitar, a clarinet and synth pad invite listeners to arrive with the songwriter at a point of clearer perspective. Listeners will find energy here in curious melodies that could only come from truly committing to a weird impulse and seeing it through, believing in it before inviting friends to help set the rest of the song’s puzzle pieces in place. Cells Remain was recorded in Eau Claire, WI with engineer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Paul Simon). Co-producer/percussionist Shane Leonard (Field Report, Anna Tivel, Mipso), multi-instrumentalist Adelyn Strei (Adelyn Rose, Yohuna, Her Crooked Heart) and contrabass clarinetist John McCowen (Wei Zhongle, Tweakbird) add tasteful momentum with rhythm, woodwind and synth texture.”

16 | Thad Cockrell | Higher feat. Brittany Howard

THE PRESS RELEASE: “For Higher, the latest single from his album If In Case You Feel The Same, Thad Cockrell tapped Brittany Howard to sing backing vocals. Higher slips into gospel territory as Cockrell reflects on several significant losses (including multiple relationships and the death of his grandmother). “I wrote Higher in one of the most difficult times in my life, and I started thinking about how you never hear songs about showing gratitude for difficult things,” says Cockrell. “It became a song about being grateful for the defeat, the heartbreak, the sadness. It could be directed to a higher power, but to me it’s more about lifting each other up on a human-to-human level.”

17 | Wax Tailor & D Smoke | Keep It Movin

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Renowned producer Wax Tailor, in collaboration with U.S. rap sensation D Smoke, presents Keep It Movin, a solar banger with electro-funk accents. The track was recorded during the quarantine from both sides of the Atlantic and is not only a feel-good song but also a combativeness anthem. Wax Tailor reveals a little more about the creation: “I composed this track months ago, I immediately thought that would be great to work with someone who could inject some great funky energy but still a lyricist. Someone somewhere between Kendrick Lamar & Anderson .Paak. I knew he was the one I needed to bring the track to the next level & I’m happy we’ve made it. it’s the only positive thing about the quarantine, it gave us time. really had a great collab with Smoke, he’s brilliant, intelligent & we both got the independent DNA.”

18 | Romare | Sunshine

THE PRESS RELEASE:Romare — real name Archie Fairhurst — returns July 31 with his new album Home, his first full-length album since 2016’s critically acclaimed Love Songs: Part Two. Romare’s music has always sat comfortably in both the dance floor world and a more relaxed environment, Home being no exception. With euphoric, uplifting moments on Sunshine and Heaven through to more meditative and melancholy moments on Deliverance. “For me, the sweet point in music is when happy and sad come together,” comments Fairhurst, “when they meet in the middle, that’s what I try to create.”

19 | Bill Kirchen | Shelly’s Winter Love feat. Nick Lowe & Paul Carrack

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Upon tallying how many decades he’s worked as a professional guitar slinger, Telecaster master Bill Kirchen quips, “Well, they don’t make 50 years like they used to.” They don’t often make careers like his, either. From performing with his Who Knows Pickers jug band in Ann Arbor High School’s senior talent show (also on the program: the future Iggy Pop), to birthing the Americana genre with the original “hippie country band,” Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, this affable Austinite has been everywhere, man, flying alongside some of the planet’s coolest cats — including the Jesus of Cool, Nick Lowe. Kirchen has toured the world with Lowe, who produced an album by Kirchen’s post-Airmen band The Moonlighters, and appears on his 2006 Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods album, along with its 2010 follow-up Word to the Wise. Those albums, plus 2013’s Seeds and Stems, are being combined as a two-CD retrospective titled The Proper Years, out July 24. Today he shares the previously unreleased track Shelly’s Winter Love, featuring Lowe and Paul Carrack.”

20 | Kyle Sparkman | Mrs. Robot

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mrs. Robot is a groovy indie-funk tune centered on the theme of lightning-fast romantic disenchantment. With a driving, in-your-face disco beat, the chaotically-funky rhythm section is the glue that holds this song together.”

21 | Only August | Coast to Coast

THE PRESS RELEASE:Only August’s music reflects on love in hopes that his fans will find a connection and dedicate themselves to grow from his experiences. He has been hard at work to bring his debut album to life, and has just released a new single from the forthcoming record. Coast to Coast is a song of persistence, determination and resilience. It tells stories of lifetime adventures, traveling across both the East and West Coast.”

22 | 2Square / Mark Gardener | Chained

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mark Gardener presents Chained, a single for which he collaborated with 2Square, aka Stephan Haeri of France’s Telepopmusik. This song comes from a deep space, as Gardener eluciates on a past attempt to face, beat and get away from some personal demons and unhealthy situations and temptations. Recorded in Haeri’s small Parisian smoky apartment in the Strasbourg-Saint-Denis area, Gardener notes that this is “up there with my favourite collaborations ever”, saying this will “hopefully take our minds away from all current madness we’re living in”. Mark is best known as songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist with shoegaze trailblazers Ride.”

23 | Jána | Lotus

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Stockholm artist Jána is today releasing her new single Lotus, the second track to be lifted from her upcoming debut EP Flowerworks, out July 3. Co-written and produced by Little Dragon drummer Erik Bodin, Lotus is a song written about seeing beyond appearances and beauty. The idea for the song originally sprang from a conversation Jána had with a friend about the issues they face when presenting themselves. “My friend and I spoke about only being loved when showing off the ‘final product’, or ‘the perfect version of yourself’. The lotus is a flower that blooms in the most ugliest places. It can be seen as a metaphor to allow people to grow — something beautiful might grow from a less than beautiful situation.”

24 | Anna Tivel | Homeless Child (Acoustic)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Anna Tivel’s fourth LP, The Question, was released just over a year ago. Unlike her previous efforts, this one was recorded live with a full band at Hive Studios in Eau Claire, WI. The band, led by multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard, transformed Anna’s music with lush instrumentation and ambitious arrangements. As the listener is swept up in the beauty of these tracks, it’s easy to forget that all of them started as folk songs — just Anna and her guitar. On May 29, Anna will release The Question (Live and Alone). These new recordings feature Anna and her guitar tracked live to tape, just as she first imagined them. Homeless Child is the first single.”