Indie Roundup | 15 Songs To Liven Up A Surprisingly Laid-Back Thursday

Muzz, Protomartyr, Fast Romantic, Ohmme, Kid Dad and more take it up a notch.

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Muzz go underground, Protomartyr put the hammer down, Fast Romantics pick it up, Ohmme take it to the limit and more in today’s surprisingly quiet Roundup. Guess everybody’s waiting until tomorrow to release new singles and videos — all the better to get lost in the shuffle and fall between the cracks.


TRACKS OF THE DAY

1 | Muzz | Knuckleduster

THE PRESS RELEASE:Muzz, the new project of Paul Banks (Interpol), Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (The Walkmen), will release their self-titled debut album on June 5. Today, they unveil a new single/video Knuckleduster. On Knuckleduster, the band pull from their alt-rock origins. Brimming with wall-to-wall guitars, reverberating pianos and a thunderous performance from Barrick, Knuckleduster is Muzz at their most immersive and grandiose. Shot below the American Treasure Tour Museum, the Knuckleduster video brings the focus to the song’s spacious sonics and musicianship of Barrick, Banks and Kaufman. “While we were shooting the video for Red Western Sky, we discovered this great space underneath the museum. Unplanned, we quickly set up and started filming again — capturing the video for Knuckleduster on the same day,” says Banks. “Hair was greener and times were simpler back then.”


2 | Protomartyr | Michigan Hammers

THE PRESS RELEASE:Protomartyr release a new single/video, Michigan Hammers, off of their new album, Ultimate Success Today, out July 17. Michigan Hammers is fierce with staccato guitar and thrashing percussion. Singer Joe Casey’s voice is forceful and insistent: “The Michigan Hammers are on their way // A chant from the end of the bar, not all of them on pills // Break apart the surface lot // What’s been torn down can be rebuilt // What has been rebuilt can be destroyed.” The accompanying video was directed by Yoonha Park and was built entirely of found stock footage. Joe Casey explains: “Couldn’t make a ‘proper’ video due to the miasma. So why not make one using what tools remain? That’s sort of what Michigan Hammers is about I think — building with rubble. It’s probably about that and mules, syndicates, too many parking lots, camaraderie, the ideal happy hour, failure, and takin’ what they’re givin’ ’cause we’re workin’ for a livin’ until we start takin’ it to the streets. Or something like that.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

3 | Fast Romantics | Pick It Up

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed indie-rock band Fast Romantics have announced that their highly anticipated new album Pick It Up will be released on Aug. 6. Alongside the album announcement, the band has unveiled the title track and its accompanying quarantine-friendly video. Inspired by lead singer Matt Angus’ lifelong battle with depression and anxiety, Pick It Up is a spirit-lifting rock ’n’ roll ballad that acted as a personal pep talk for the singer as he overcame months of crippling depression. “I’ve fought depression and anxiety most of my life, at times it probably nearly killed me,” says Angus. “Sometimes it wasn’t related to anything I could control, but this time it was a self-inflicted episode… I didn’t know what I was doing it for anymore. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do much of anything except obsess about the news and chase my own tail.”


4 | Ohmme | The Limit

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ohmme — the Chicago-based duo of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart — will release their new album Fantasize Your Ghost on June 5. Today they present a new single/video The Limit, a dystopian dance rocker. With angular, winding guitar and Ohmme’s distinctive intertwining vocals, the track further stretches their already dynamic palette. Its eccentric video was directed by Hannah Welever, edited/VFX by Priscilla Perez, and animated by Connor Reed (Jazz Records Animations). It features Ohmme green screened over trippy clips and stock footage. “The video for The Limit was birthed out of the urge to create and collaborate with friends even while far apart,” says Ohmme. “Hannah Welever made it really exciting to explore the possibilities of creating a video together in isolation — putting new meaning to the song and applying it to the things we are experiencing now. Performing alone in front of a green screen was challenging, but left room for endless possibilities!”


5 | Kid Dad | A Prison Unseen

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Paderborn, Germany indie-rock band Kid Dad have announced that their debut album In A Box will be released Aug. 21. They’ve also revealed a new single — A Prison Unseen — with accompanying music video. The visuals are an abstract series of vignettes that are evocative of the song’s themes. Says vocalist and guitarist Marius Vieth: “A Prison Unseen is about loss of control and a lack of self-restraint that can be invisible to the world around you. The protagonist puts his threatened mental well-being over his physical body and embraces the possibility of an utter loss of his senses.”


6 | Gabriel Garzón-Montano | Someone

THE PRESS RELEASE:Gabriel Garzón-Montano is thrilled to announce his return with Someone and its accompanying video, directed by Anita Fontaine. Someone was composed and produced entirely by Garzón-Montano. He plays every instrument on the song himself with the intention and precision that, not only has become his signature, but wraps the listener in the emotion of the story. “I wrote Someone about a relationship that had arrived at an in-between place characterized by a string of escapist dinners + love making rendezvous at my apartment,” says Garzón-Montano. “On one such occasion — the final encounter — my ex asked for some head and then dipped immediately afterward. It added to my heartbreak — a strange blend of resentment and admiration that I felt the need to elaborate on in order to leave my lol mark on the canon of desperate so called R&B ballads.”


7 | Quinn DeVeaux | All I Need

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Off the heels of his retro R&B soul spectacular Book Of Soul, Nashville musician Quinn DeVeaux is offering a look into the passionate and electric synergies of his live band with the studio performance video for All I Need. Quinn explains: “When my band and I got back to Nashville from a month-long tour of Russia from the Far East to St. Petersburg last year, we were feeling good and decided to record some of the songs from tour. All I Need turned out fun and it’s no surprise ‘cause that song was always a favorite when we played it live. I’ve always loved vocal breakdowns and I don’t think they are done enough, so I threw that in and doing that live with the gals is always freeing.”


8 | Vaya Futuro | ((O))

THE PRESS RELEASE:Vaya Futuro will release their fourth full-length album, El Peso Del Mundo, Aug. 14. The album title translated in English means The Weight of the World and it includes themes of isolation and trauma; a diary of what happens when a person becomes shaped by hate while reaching into the darkest feelings of humanity. Today, Vaya Futuro shares the video for ((O)). The somber song encompasses the central conflict of the album, not defined by a word, it is merely a symbol — a graphic representation of pain. “I received a message from a friend in the middle of the night with very tragic news,” says vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter, Luis Aguilar. “The feeling that stayed with me after for days is what inspired me to write the song, total misanthropy, and despair. The title is this symbol that has two meanings; it’s a sun, mentioned in the lyrics, and a void, which is a graphic representation of the pain I felt from years of stress ulcers.”


9 | Melody | Room 111

THE PRESS RELEASE:Melody Caudill is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Coming from a musical family, and learning how to play piano at the ripe age of four, she’s been immersed in the creative world of songwriting since before she was in kindergarten. After picking up the ukulele at 13, learning guitar became the natural next step. With inspirations from artists like Priscilla Ahn, Phoebe Bridgers, and Elliott Smith, Caudill writes with a certain sense of vulnerability and confidence. Room 111 is about Melody’s 8th grade English class/teacher who saw herself in Melody and made her realize the feelings she was experiencing were totally normal and actually really special. Or as Melody puts it, the song is about “the longing for familiarity, but also the desire to move on and not be that awkward, sweaty middle schooler anymore.”


10 | I Prevail | DOA feat. Joyner Lucas

THE PRESS RELEASE:I Prevail have just dropped the powerful video for DOA, which features rap dynamo Joyner Lucas.Things keep rolling along for I Prevail. The band has generated well over 200 million total streams on last year’s sophomore blockbuster Trauma. The quintet also received nominations for two Grammy Awards in 2020 — in the categories of Best Rock Album for Trauma and for Best Metal Performance for the single Bow Down.”


11 | Chester Raj Anand | Prism

THE PRESS RELEASE:Strawberry is the debut album by producer Chester Raj Anand (aka Lord Raja) under his given name. On this collection of minimalist compositions, Chester uses synths, a tape machine, and field recordings to craft an album that’s deeply emotive and contemplative through its simplicity. While these are wordless compositions, many of the tracks carry the weight and melancholy of a love song, revealing his innate songwriting ability. The music conveys the feeling of being a lone observer, looking from the outside into a hyper-connected chaotic world filled with white noise and stimulation.”


12 | Hater | Sift

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Scandinavian group Hater return with new single Sift, a track originally planned to support the now postponed U.S. tour with Radio Dept. Radiating with elegant pop and classic rock hooks, Sift is effortlessly melodic with stunning guitar work and a twinkling melancholy. Their noise‐pop charms bring with it a darker undertone. A song about love, the human condition and the dimensions within these relationships. Recorded at AGM Studios, the track was mixed by Andy Park (Pearl Jam, Phoebe Bridgers, Now, Now) and mastered by Ed Brooks (Fleet Foxes, R.E.M.).”


13 | Zara Mcfarlane | Black Treasure

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This boundary pushing new music from Zara Mcfarlane is entitled Black Treasure. It’s a fresh departure in her creative direction, uniting her with experimental producers Kwake Bass and Wu-Lu. Black Treasure is inspired by an exploration of Zara’s Jamaican heritage, which included an extended trip in 2018, meeting academics, and researching the early folk rhythms unique to the island. Her new sound is the culmination of this research and a reflection on how the history of Zara’s ancestors affects her story today. Black Treasure explores how the echoes of colonialism still resonate in society today but it is also a declaration, proclamation and celebration of black British womanhood acknowledging what historically has been taken and what remains innate within.”


14 | Jimmy Edgar | Bent feat. Hudson Mohawke

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jimmy Edgar & Hudson Mohawke (TNGHT), two of electronic music’s most elite and versatile producers collaborate on the futuristic single Bent. What started off as a loop from HudMo turned into a Detroit-meets-London 21st-century sonic exploration by Jimmy Edgar. Futuristic beats from the forefathers of the electronic and beat scenes. The recording itself was synthesized using modal synthesis which is the synthesis mode that replicates metal, pipes vibrating. Its a sound quality that adds an additional layer of resonance that makes it sound as if there is more harmonic content. A lot of these sounds came about from Jimmy Edgar trading sysex files with Sophie, lots of resonators, delay chains, feedback, karplus strong, BBD, phasing techniques were used.”


15 | Roman Rouge | The Other Me

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.”