Indie Roundup | 23 Songs To Improve Your Wednesday

Midweek goodness from Blitzen Trapper, Quinn DeVeaux, Third Kind & many more.

Blitzen Trapper deliver a dose, Quinn DeVeaux needs a holiday, The Third Kind reach for the stars, The Grahams share some heartbreak, ILS can’t win, Sloth Fist get it and more in today’s Roundup. Best social media comment I saw today: It should be noted that no one ever wrote a song called Fuck Tha Fire Department.


1 | Blitzen Trapper | Masonic Temple Microdose #1

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Portland, OR-based Blitzen Trapper released Masonic Temple Microdose #1, the second single from their album Holy Smokes Future Jokes, out Sept. 11. “This song is about American apathy and the nihilism that emerges from the bogus idea that complete personal freedom should be man’s ultimate goal, when in fact man’s ultimate goal should be ecological balance, all things follow from this,” offers frontman Eric Earley. “Comedy and horror combine on this track, teenagers dropping acid in a masonic temple at the end of the empire, the American consumptive death-drive laid bare as a desire for extinction.”

2 | Quinn DeVeaux | Holiday

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville musician Quinn DeVeaux has just written and released the soulful blues song Holiday, offering a musical look into his sense of grief and loss and the passionate need for positive change during these uncertain times. A song that chronicles the crimes and injustices lodged on African Americans throughout the ages, Holiday is a song that resonated heavily with him as he wrote it. Unfortunately, it’s a timeless song that would ring true in Emmett Till’s day as well as in the current modern climate of social injustice. Quinn knows all too well the need for moral and spiritual awakening in society and hopes this is finally a transformative moment. “A song like Holiday is pain I’ve felt for years, and anger I’ve felt for years, frustration and love I’ve known for years, and to wake up every day and expect yourself to pull it all out is tough. But over time, you get somewhere. I hope that we can keep the pressure on these lawmakers and keep having these conversations with each other. This is the best way to start making it safe for people of color in America.”

3 | The Third Kind | Man vs Earth

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New York City’s The Third Kind — formed by current and former members of All Out War, Bastard Clan, Vise Massacre, Awkward Thought and more — will release their debut LP Man vs Earth in less than three weeks. A raging video for the album’s title track is the newest single to be unleashed. Writes bassist/vocalist Rich Muller of the record’s title track, “Humanity pushes the limits of mother nature with ignorance and vulgarity resulting in changeless damage to both the planet and itself. We can start to make a change by working on the obvious flaws as history tends to repeat itself shifting advanced technology back to the 1950s over and over again.”

4 | The Grahams | One More Heartbreak

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Filmed live at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, England, The Grahams share their One More Heartbreak video. The track comes from their new album Kids Like Us. Captivating vocalist Alyssa Graham dives deep into heartache and torment, focusing all the power from these emotions into her performance of One More Heartbreak. Doug Graham’s backup vocals float into the mix, offering strength and security during the chorus, elevating the desolation expressed in this song. “One More Heartbreak is that epic ‘heartbreak’ song that we’ve always struggled to write,” Alyssa explains. “As many people know, Doug and I have been together our entire lives — since we were kids playing [childhood games] Ding Dong Ditch and Kick the Can in the Jersey suburbs. We’ve been in love the whole time, so writing a heartbreak song has always been a challenge. I think we wanted to tell the story of our greatest fear, which would ultimately be losing each other.”

5 | ILS | No Luck

THE PRESS RELEASE: “(Pronounced ilz) ILS is a 4 piece disaster chic band from Portland, OR. ILS consists of Tom Glose (Black Elk) on vocals. Nate Abner (The Days, The Nights) on guitar. Tim Steiner (Passerby) on drums and Adam Pike (White Orange) on bass. Their album Curse was engineered by Nate Abner and Stephan Hawkes, mastered by Stephan Hawkes, and will be released on July 4. No Luck is their new single.”

6 | Sloth Fist | Sloth Fist Will Be Annihilated

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Dallas, TX, Sloth Fist are a five-piece punk / rock and roll band that combine the melodic sense of The Descendents and Teenage Bottlerocket with the fierceness of bands like Motörhead and Turbonegro. The result is an eclectic mix of songs that will satisfy anyone who likes their music hard and heavy, but still catchy with hooks galore. Today they bring you a brand new music video for the track Sloth Fist Will Be Annihilated from the upcoming LP Mothman is Real. Filmed in quarantine times, each member filmed their own footage at their homes and / or practice space. For the end however, dozens of fans / friends submitted their own videos of themselves singing along to the song’s end chant, “Live Slow, Die Whenever – SLOTH FIST.” Some notable faces include Jeff Caudill (Gameface) and Peter Cortner (Dag Nasty / Field Day).”

7 | Hard Target | No Breaks

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With the impending release of his new album Joy Ridin on tap for July 10, Florida rapper Hard Target is back with a brand new video for No Breaks. The video was directed by Breadwin and features guest appearances by Juice Daley and Dusty Leigh on the track. Hard Target has been casting a spell on fans with his hypnotic rapid-fire flow and trademark chipmunk soul since the release of his 2013 album Karma. With a fiercely punk-rawk ‘do-it-yourself’ work ethic and a blue-collar mindset, Hard Target records/produces his own albums and is an acclaimed music video director known for his cinematic eye.”

8 | Flyckt | Spotlight

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Stockholm artist and producer Flyckt is sharing his debut single Spotlight. A spellbinding invitation into his curious world, Spotlight is the first track to be lifted from his debut EP Instant Gratification pt. 1, out Aug. 28. Flyckt said: “Spotlight was one of the first songs I wrote after I got out of a toxic relationship with my then-girlfriend. I remember thinking to myself why I let this go so far. Everyone is in the Spotlight in their lives, and maybe that can be counterproductive in some sense. Like, it’s harder to take action cause you’re afraid that everyone is gonna judge you. I believe this song was a message to myself saying that it’s gonna be fine. If you want change, you have to take action.”

9 | The Jailbirds | Watery Grave

THE PRESS RELEASE:Watery Grave is the latest single from The Jailbirds and first to be lifted from their forthcoming EP. Showing the band in fine form, with chunky and earthy riffs, ’70s classic rock sense, scintillating vocals and a power laden rhythm section. Watery Grave will more than pique the interest in fans of Corrosion of Conformity, Black Label Society, Alter Bridge and Soundgarden. Over the course of the last three years, the power trio — consisting of the intricate guitar work and powerful vocals from Myke Penney, the sludgy bass lines of Liam Hills, and the pounding drums of Eric Parent — have performed extensively across Ontario demonstrating, both in the studio and on the stage; they’re a band you simply must hear.”

10 | Grant-Lee Phillips | Straight To The Ground

THE PRESS RELEASE:Grant-Lee Phillips’ latest album, Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff, will be released on Sept. 4. The album’s new single, Straight to the Ground, premiered today with a lyric video. Lightning… is a turbulent and highly musical rumination that finds the veteran singer-songwriter addressing the strange fragility of life. “It’s an album close to my heart, one that I hope you’ll find offers some comfort and feeds the soul. The title owes a debt to my daughter. She coined the phrase at age 5. Standing in the backyard of our house one evening, she raised a long red branch of manzanita to the sky. I heard her say ‘Come on lightning! Show us your stuff.’ Then I heard the thunder crack. As we songwriters are known to do, I filed this memory away, to be revisited seven years later. Her words struck me as the kind of invocation that proceeds an act of creation. It stuck with me.”

11 | Naeem | Stone Harbor

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Baltimore-born/Los Angeles-based artist Naeem will release his debut album Startisha this Friday. Today, he shares a new single and album standout, Stone Harbor. Stone Harbor is energetic and percussive. As Naeem sings “Every word I read I think of you // Every song I hear I think of you // Every love I’ve had I think of you,” his velvety vocals blend into a euphonious chorus. It’s “a simple love song to my boyfriend, written in and named after the shore town he and his family spend their summers, Stone Harbor, NJ.”

12 | Concrete | World Tomb

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Albany, New York hardcore unit Concrete will release their battering Free Us From Existence full-length Aug. 7. In advance of the release of Free Us From Existence, Concrete unveil first single World Tomb, noting “World Tomb is about the inevitable extinction of the human species: We will destroy the one thing we need the most, but the earth doesn’t need us. We are seduced by fantasies, led by greed and we will all suffer for it in the end.”

13 | Phil X & The Drills | Right On The Money

THE PRESS RELEASE:Phil X needs no introduction, having been an integral full-time member of Bon Jovi since 2016, after also filling in for Richie Sambora on the 2011, 2013 and 2015 Bon Jovi tours. Now he is back with his band The Drills and a new single Right On The Money. Phil  X  (guitar/lead vocals),  Daniel Spree  (bass/backing vocals) and  Brent Fitz  (drums/ backing vocals) went into the legendary  Capitol Studios  with  Chris Lord Alge  so Chris could do a  Mix  With The Masters  master class  on how to track a band.  Right On The Money was one of three songs recorded  that day.  With an uncertainty of the arrangement and very few overdubs,  an incredible energy and urgency was captured by the band with Chris’s direction and here it is as a single for you, the fans.”

14 | Honyock | The Quarry

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brother-fronted indie rock band Honyock just released the first single from their upcoming #13 EP today, out July 10. It follows the band’s recent track on the Banded Against Racism compilation, with 100% of sales & donations going to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Named after an archaic Americanism used by their grandfather and inspired by a ’70s sound, the band’s 2018 debut was produced by Father John Misty’s David Vandervelde and recorded in Elliott Smith”s studio. Riley Geare (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Caroline Rose) engineered this new EP that mixes nimble songwriting with playful pop.”ᐧ

15 | Dan Drohan | Leave It Loading

THE PRESS RELEASE:Leave It Loading was one of the songs that the trio recorded together in Brooklyn. It was simple on the outside, but what a marathon of energy it was to play this one! Although the recording was then taking the next week and finally produced on my flight to India to tour with Sid Sriram, it was still the rawness that I left in there that could be unbelievable to some ears. The playing wasn’t edited as much as treated and mangled. The track served conceptually in my mind as a statement of patience and deciding to let something lie for a while before jumping to conclusions or jumping to a solution. It also a statement on just living! Staying off the computer, taking moments to go outside. Leave the computer loading, whatever you’re downloading and go do something else. The goal is always to have people find their own metaphor amongst the title and lyrics of the music. I don’t want to bang over their head any one particular concept.”

16 | Falconer | Kings & Queens

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On June 26, Sweden’s Falconer will release their new album, From A Dying Ember. For a preview of From A Dying Ember, the new single Kings and Queens can be heard now. Falconer was born out of the ashes of Mithotyn, who split 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.”

17 | Fleece | So Long

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal quartet Fleece released the second in their three-part single series So Long today. 100% of the proceeds from the single today thru July 10 will go towards the Black Youth Helpline, Native Women’s Association of Canada and Black Coalition For AIDS Prevention. Vocalist/lyricist/keyboardist Matt Rogers stated, “So Long was written before the COVID pandemic, but the lyrics certainly ring true for the time we’re living in. Although it’s a fun song, it’s really about transitioning and adjusting to change. The lyrics describe feeling as though your only connection to the world is through your phone. It’s about saying goodbye to the world we lived in before Twitter, smartphones and Reddit. The times when we used to show up to each-others houses unannounced and it wasn’t weird. Now, however, in the context of COVID-19, the song sounds like it’s about saying goodbye to the world we lived in before the virus. It’s kind of eerie how the lyrics sound in the context of the COVID pandemic. Either way, I hope people find themselves and their own interpretation in these lyrics and do so while dancing the day away. I hope the vibes the song brings can help people find some light in this darkness.”

18+19 | Jack The Radio | We’re Alright + Trouble

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Raleigh, NC roots-rockers Jack the Radio released Trouble and We’re Alright off their upcoming album Creatures, out July 10. Trouble (featuring Jeanne Jolly) is about persevering during times of struggle, We’re Alright (featuring soul singer Tamisha Waden) was written about the increasingly polarized state of our country and the desire to reconnect and support each other regardless of our cultural or geographic differences. This particularly hits home with George Hage, who grew up in the south as the son of Puerto Rican and Lebanese parents. “I was exposed to a lot at a young age with my family speaking a combination of English, Spanish, Arabic, and Armenian,” says Hage. “I knew I was different to the other kids I went to school with and because of this I experienced the good and the bad, the love and the hate in people. My hope now is the same as it was then that our country’s differences must be what brings us together.”

20 | Caveboy | Obsessed (Bright Light Bright Light Remix)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative-pop group Caveboy release Obsessed (Bright Light Bright Light Remix). The Montreal trio teamed up with the Welsh-born, NYC living artist to take a new spin on the track from their debut album, Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark (released this past January). “Caveboy are my favourite new band and I’m completely in love with their album;” shares Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light). “As soon as I discovered them we started chatting and as well as getting their gorgeous vocals on my own track it was SUCH a joy to remix a song that I’m LITERALLY obsessed with. At the start of lockdown, it was such a help having this killer track to work on, and making this remix really lifted me out of a slump and made me feel sassy, ridiculous and free, which I hope it makes everyone else feel while dancing to it!”

21 | The Killer Smiles | Raising The Stakes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New album for the power pop scene, The Killer Smiles are releasing Raising The Stakes digitally on Friday. This band of musicians from the the East Bay Area with a considerable pedigree in the punk genre, have moved forward to form The Killer Smiles. Featuring legendary Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray, vocalist Skip McSkipster (Ron Greer) from The Wynona Riders / Dead Kennedys formed The Killer Smiles with drummer Steve Wilson of TATU with bassist extraordinaire Greg Reeves. Raising The Stakes is produced by Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers guitarist).”

22 | Paranormales | Harakiri

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Barcelona-based visionaries Paranormales are ready to unveil a new song from their forthcoming new album Contra. Harakiri rides a propulsive synth riff as vocalist Ana Ruiz adds her lush voice into the mix along with tasteful solo work from guitarist David Toro. Producer Maurizio Baggio (The Soft Moon / Boy Harsher) gives the track a dark and moody feel but also foregrounds the melodic hooks and danceable drums that make you want to revisit over and over again. “Self destruction. All of us practice it, more or less. Sometimes the pressure of being a perfect glass statue forces you to want a giant steel hammer to hit you, tear you apart, and spoil everything. Chimes that announce an end or a beginning. Treble sounds that repeat in your head, dancing aimlessly. Turn up the volume and feel like sometimes, it would be perfect to throw it all away.”

23 | Hockey Dad | Good Eye

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian duo Hockey Dad is closing in on the July 31 release of upcoming album Brain Candy. Produced by John Goodmanson (Death Cab, Sleater-Kinney, Wolf Parade), the album is a refreshing blend of raw garage rock and dynamic, sun-drenched pop. Today, Hockey Dad releases the entwining Good Eye, a pillar of Brain Candy with guitar lines that hint of Sonic Youth and Pavement. Best friends since early childhood, guitarist and lead vocalist Zach Stephenson and drummer Billy Fleming make music that has grown in step with their lifelong friendship and blossomed into a rapidly building phenomenon.”