Indie Roundup | 35 Tracks For A Surprisingly Busy Thursday

New fare from Bully, Slift, Swamp Dogg, Kestrels & more where they came from.

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Bully make a good start, Slift rock on the wild side, Swamp Dogg goes it alone, Kestrels play with J, Tricky is headed for a fall, Shamir is his own man and more in today’s surprisingly busy Roundup. There’s a lot of good shit here, so let’s wrap the yap and get down to business:

 


TRACKS OF THE DAY

1 | Bully | Where To Start

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A very old saying goes that no one saves us but ourselves. Recognizing and breaking free from the patterns impeding our forward progress can be transformative — just ask Bully’s Alicia Bognanno. Indeed, the third Bully album, Sugaregg, may not ever have come to fruition had Bognanno not navigated every kind of upheaval imaginable and completely overhauled her working process along the way. “There was change that needed to happen and it happened on this record,” she says. “Derailing my ego and insecurities allowed me to give these songs the attention they deserved.” Check out the first single and video Where To Start.”


2 | Slift | Lions, Tigers & Bears

THE PRESS RELEASE: “French space-psych trio Slift are about to release their new full-length Ummon on this side of the Atlantic Ocean this June. Today, they share a mind-blowing live footage. Heaviness, riffs, psychedelic, science-fiction… Slift’s progressive sound is a colourful and legendary journey to the edge of kraut and stoner rock. The live video Lions, Tigers & Bears highlights the band’s magnetic creativity as well as powerful and unearthly jams. Recorded at Mix’art Myrys in Toulouse, France on March 7th 2020. A video by Jeff Morlais.”


3 | Swamp Dogg | Sleeping Without You Is a Dragg

THE PRESS RELEASE:Swamp Dogg, whose country/soul album Sorry You Couldn’t Make It received some of 2020’s top accolades so far, debuts a new video. As you may know, Swamp Dogg is a soul/blues artist who’s always had a country influence (and wrote Johnny Paycheck’s hit (Dont Take Her) She’s All I’ve Got which was also an R&B hit for Freddie North). The new Swamp Dogg album also also features two songs with his late friend, John Prine. (The previous album featured a collaboration with Bon Iver.) “The song Sleeping Without You is a Dragg is something we’ve all experienced at one time or another, trying to keep up with our quote-unquote loved ones. It describes the emotions of going through a bad relationship … And at the end, I reached back to the good old days of VHS and Beta tape with a commercial at the end for a song that’s yet to come out. But details on that one later!”


4 | Kestrels | Grey And Blue ft. J Mascis

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Dream or Don’t Dream, Halifax’s Kestrels live out a guitar freak’s wildest fantasies. The supercharged shoegaze rockers’ fourth full-length album constructs a towering devotional to tone with blazing riffs, powerhouse drums, and swooning hooks emerging from an enveloping haze. The first single Grey and Blue is a fuzzy, reverb drenched power-pop track featuring soaring solos from Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis. Guitarist and vocalist Chad Peck explained, “Grey and Blue is a song about being carefully and uncharacteristically optimistic and vulnerable. This song came at the end of a really rough period in my life and it captures the nervous excitement of that time. My thinking tends to get narrow and shallow during bad periods, and when I feel things start to change it’s almost overwhelming; I’m not sure if I should trust it, but I have to push forward anyway. It’s a good feeling when you meet someone who makes you feel like your eyes can open a little wider and makes the echos skip through your brain.”


5 | Tricky | Fall Please

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tricky announces his 14th studio album, Fall To Pieces, out Sept. 4, and shares its lead single/video, Fall Please. The legendary producer might be over three decades deep into his music career but he’s currently on an especially prolific run. In the last year, he dropped the enchanting 20,20 EP and put out an acclaimed autobiography, Hell Is Round The Corner. Fall Please, a song which Tricky likens to Washington, D.C. Go-go, has a strange and twisted accessibility that surprised even the man who wrote it. “With most of my stuff, there’s nothing else like it around,” he says. “But with Fall Please I’ve managed to do something I’ve never been able to before, which is that everyone can feel it — even people who don’t know my music. It’s my version of pop music, the closest I’ve got to making pop.”


6 | Shamir | On My Own

THE PRESS RELEASE:Shamir officially released a new anthemic single/video On My Own and announced an album coming out this fall. The indie rock figurehead’s new project reimagines ’90s Pop/Rock for the modern world in what he alludes to as his most accessible album since debut Ratchet … Produced by Kyle Pulley (Adult Mom, Kississippi), the single follows a Bandcamp Day track Shamir released on Friday, with proceeds supporting BLM Philly and more. Filmed in Shamir’s house, the clothing in this video is secondhand & the visuals are all his own.”


7 | Arlo Parks | Creep

THE PRESS RELEASE:Arlo Parks shares her cover of Radiohead’s Creep directed by Tom Dream as part of his upcoming short film Shy Radicals. The film, made with the support of the BFI Doc Society and the Ridley Scott Creative Group, is a portrait of Hamja Ahsan and the story behind his remarkable book and satirical manifesto, which calls for all shy, quiet, and introverted people to unify and overthrow extrovert-supremacy. Her performance of Creep is an effort to continue standing in solidarity with others facing challenges with introversion. Describing the meaning of the song for her and why she chose it for this film Arlo shares, “Creep is a simultaneously delicate and brutal exploration of inner turmoil and human relationships. This song has acted as a refuge for me, during times of self-reflection and low mood, for many years and Radiohead as a band has deeply influenced my music.”


8 | Naked Giants | Take A Chance

THE PRESS RELEASE:Naked Giants are set to release The Shadow on Aug. 21. The 11-song set was produced by Chris Funk of The Decemberists and follows the Seattle, WA-based trio’s Green Fuzz EP (2019) and debut album SLUFF (2018). Today, they share the video for the first single, Take A Chance, which was filmed by the individual members during self-quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Take A Chance is a new step in the dance-the-stress-away attitude we’ve had since the band was formed. This time around it’s a bit more focused – we’re exploring these big unanswered questions in our lives, like the mechanisms of privilege and oppression or the capitalist oxymoron of individualism and assimilation, and we’re pairing it all with a danceable backbeat to tell people it’s ok to get up off the couch and do something about it.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

9 | Crown Lands | The Witching Hour

THE PRESS RELEASE: ” Canadian powerhouse rock duo Crown Lands just released a special acoustic EP, Wayward Flyers Volume 1. The group’s name is indicative of their musical ambitions: Crown Land is a territorial area belonging to the monarch — or, as Cody (who is half Mi’kmaq, an indigenous tribe from Nova Scotia) puts it, “Crown Land is stolen land and we are reclaiming it.” They are on a mission to represent a sense of empowerment for marginalized communities. Here’s an acoustic performance of their song The Witching Hour.”


10 | Brother Dege | Old Angel Midnight

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Louisiana bluesman Brother Dege’s album Folk Songs of the American Longhair will get a special 10th-anniversary vinyl release on June 26. Today he shares a live-in-the-studio performance of Old Angel Midnight. Dege shares a bit of back story behind the record: “This is an album that gestated over the course of 10 years, while I was broke and living in cheap motels, trailer parks, and working kooky-ass odd jobs (embedded journalist, cabdriver, transport driver) and all that sort of comes out — not so much literally — but in a subtextural way in the songs. I wrote half the album while living in a trailer that leaned at a 10 degree angle from having been flipped in Hurricane Lili. Definitely a best of times / worst of times era for me personally. I later moved into a rent house and home-recorded the entire album, playing a cheap Dobro that had major noise issues. I named it Buzzo. Two years after the 2010 release, Quentin Tarantino heard Too Old to Die Young on satellite radio and decided to put it in Django Unchained. It’s been a wild trip. And the coolest thing about it is: it ain’t over yet.”


11 | Evening Hymns | Pyrenees

THE PRESS RELEASE:Evening Hymns – the ever-evolving project of musician, composer and producer Jonas Bonnetta – is sharing his new single Pyrenees, which comes with an official video directed by Monika Kraska. Pyrenees is the third song to be released from the long-awaited new album, Heavy Nights, out on June 26. “I woke up before the band on the last date of tour in one of my favourite places in the world,” says Jonas. “Sitting way up in a mountain villa on the border of France and Spain above the village of Sare. I played guitar to a beat I had programmed on my phone. I was feeling new life. Falling in love while on the road and thinking about all the what-ifs. It [the track] wasn’t something that I could take to anyone to help process, so it just lived inside my head for that tour. It felt like catharsis to have an outlet for this pent-up energy. All of the conflict just being obliterated by this new excitement for a big change.”


12 | Iration | Right Here Right Now

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration has released the official music video for their latest single Right Here Right Now featuring Eric Rachmany from Rebelution and Stick Figure. The visual for the reggae-leaning anthem for our present lives celebrates the essential frontline workers, first responders, and everyday people helping throughout the COVID-19 pandemic via a wide selection of fan-submitted photos. Iration’s footage was captured in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Hawaii with Eric’s from Guam and Stick Figure filmed in Los Angeles. Right Here Right Now is the lead single off the Hawaiian-bred, California-based quintet’s forthcoming studio album Coastin’, set for release July 10. “We made this video to honor those who have stepped up and gone above and beyond during the last few months to ensure the health, safety, and prosperity of their communities,” shares the band. “In times of global uncertainty and civil unrest, we all must realize that we are stronger together, and that starts in our own communities. Regardless of your beliefs, everyone eventually needs a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, a compassionate ear to listen, or a voice of reason to guide us along our way. Thank you to everyone out there who is striving to be part of the solution, Right Here and Right Now.”


13 | Wolf Rd | A Twisted World

THE PRESS RELEASE:Wolf Rd. premiere their new video A Twisted World. Packed with energy that mimicks the band’s unforgettable live show, the band lets their personalities shine in this infectious new single. Speaking about it they say: “We filmed the video for A Twisted World one day before Illinois went into a shelter-in-place order. We drove out to a warehouse overlooking a dock in Milwaukee and shot the video with Eddie Curran from Enterprise Films. Eddie did an amazing job capturing the energy of our live show. He was also totally on board when we saw this industrial elevator and joked about doing some shots of us throwing down in there . It was a fun way to spend the last day we could all hang out together before the pandemic really shut things down.”


14 | Taggart & Torrens | Terry Got Wasted (feat. Adam Baldwin)

THE PRESS RELEASE: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, Mr. D) — have just released their debut musical comedy album Bahds. TnT debuted a new video for Terry Got Wasted, featuring sports personality Dan O’Toole starring as Terry alongside east coast rock legend Adam Baldwin, who also co-wrote the song. “Everyone can relate to having that one friend who overshoots the runway at the party. We’ve given this person a name: Terry. Made in quarantine, this video is a celebration of Canadian cottage life … and that one friend who takes things a little too far.”


15 | Arrival of Autumn | Apocalyptic

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian metal upstarts Arrival of Autumn are proud to release the music video for Apocalyptic off their recent release Harbinger. Arrival of Autumn comments, “This video is super cool because we did everything ourselves. We took the current state of the world and used it as a challenge to be productive and make something with integrity to entertain the people stuck at home. It’s a creative vision made solely by Arrival Of Autumn from us to you and we are stoked to share it with everyone.”


16 | The Vacant Lots | Rescue

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn electro post-punk duo The Vacant Lots are sharing a new video, filmed from isolation, for Rescue – lifted from their incoming third album Interzone that’s due for release June 26. “We made this whole thing in isolation around the time we had to all social distance and stay at home orders were in effect in NYC … Rescue is about finding the signal in the noise and feeling the need to escape.”


17 | Vile Creature | Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Doom metal experimentalists Vile Creature have premiered a video for the title track from their upcoming new album Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!, out July 19. The video for this two-part opus is taken from the VHS version of the album. Vile Creature’s KW comments: “This song is the most cathartic, personally satisfying song I have ever written from start to finish, it honestly feels like the song we were meant to put out there. The first half was co-written with Laurel Minnes, a phenomenal vocalist and musician who we worked with on our EP A Pessimistic Doomsayer. Laurel, along with her band Minuscule, which comprises a full choir, made our grandiose idea a reality. Tanya Byrne of Bismuth also contributed the perfect companion instrumentation to the first half in her piano and organ, really pushing the whole song with forward momentum towards its latter half. We could not be more proud of this title track.”


18 | Golden Shoals | Love From Across The Border

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The road to Golden Shoals has been a long, fruitful journey for Amy Alvey and Mark Kilianski. The duo has toured on foot — gig to gig with backpacks and instrument cases — for weeks at a time; called Asheville, Boston, California, and New Jersey home; and lived in various moving vehicles on the road for the past seven years under different names and incarnations. After all of that, their new self-titled record, Golden Shoals, represents a fresh start for Alvey and Kilianski; one that is more inclusive of the inspirations they’ve taken in since beginning their musical journey. Out Aug. 7, Golden Shoals contains twelve new songs which examine love and loss, personal growth, and political strife; all through an inward-facing lens and void of pretense or preachiness. Today, they premiere Love From Across The Border, a rollicking, slide-guitar laden ode to empathy and righting the wrongs of the past.”


19 | Sima | Runaways

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Israeli/American hard rock solo artist Sima Galanti has released her pulsating new single Runaways along with its accompanying music video. “Runaways was written before the COVID-19 stay at home orders and the current protesting for racial injustices but its message resonates with the chaos and uncertainty that we are all experiencing right now, the despair and pain that people are feeling,” shares Sima. “Runaways is for all those people like me who left something in their past that didn’t allow them to grow and expand. People who question things, want more out of life, and can think for themselves. People who are unafraid to be considered outsiders. It also affirms that life as we know it will never be the same; a positive change as it pushes us outside of our comfort zone. There is a massive need for people and society to go through a deep evolutionary and revolutionary growth and I believe Runaways captures the spirit of those who’ve had enough and feel a change must come. Together, we can create it.”


20 | Whoop-Szo | Warrior Down Remixes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Recently, Whoop-Szo announced their EP of remixes of their acclaimed new album, Warrior Down, featuring alterations by Zoon, DOOMSQUAD, Ice Cream, AG47 (nêhiyawak), and more. Today, the band are sharing the visual album by director Travis Welowszky for the remix EP. “For this remix project, Travis delves deeper into our personal 8mm archive and stitches together over 25 minutes of visual stimulation to complement these thoughtful song alterations,” says Adam Sturgeon.”


21 | Summersets | Never Love Another

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Picture this: two people meet in small town northern Ontario on a Saturday night as summer is coming to end. A chance encounter that eventually will define the narrative of the rest of their lives. That is both the story that runs through the debut record by Summersets, and also how the new duo’s members, Kalle Mattson and Andrew Sowka, met growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The story of the album is highlighted by the centrepiece Never Love Another, which outlines the relationship from its first phases, through marriage, life struggles, forming a family, finally up to the last moments of one half of the partnership’s life.”


22 | Curse The Son | Suicide By Drummer

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Haven’s doom rock warriors Curse The Son unleash a second video taken from their dark and genre-defying fourth album Excruciation, available this Friday. Frontman Ron Vanacore explains: “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.”


23 | Wide Mouth Mason | Some Kinda Requiem

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian blues-rock duo Wide Mouth Mason have released an animated video for their song Some Kinda Requiem from their recent release I Wanna Go With You. Some Kinda Requiem is a masterfully crafted blues number featuring Shaun Verreault on vocals, guitars, and Safwan Javed on percussion and vocals. “The song is a middle finger raised for as long as possible to the face of an inevitable fate”, says Verreault. “We’re delighted by how the video lands somewhere between a Sesame Street animated short and a mushroom trip on the verge of going wrong. That netherworld as awake drifts into weird dreams, half tethered to literal images and half wild flying hallucinations.”


24 | Orlando Weeks | Blame On Love Or Nothing

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A day ahead of the release of his debut solo album A Quickening, Orlando Weeks has shared new track Blame On Love Or Nothing and its accompanying visualizer. A Quickening documents Weeks’ own experiences within the life-changing journey of fatherhood and is released as his son turns 2. A baby is born every minute, and yet the experience of becoming a parent — and the way it changes your life — is unprecedented. The songs are postcard snapshots of a new life taking shape. While they’re naturally rooted in domestic events, the emotions they explore are daunting: anticipation, fear, wonderment, love and the feeling that the future will be very different from your past. It’s explored from the perspective of the father-to-be, a figure both vital to the story yet also somewhat removed; in awe of what the mother goes through, yet largely helpless to do anything about it. As his son’s birth approached, Weeks realized that his creativity would be fueled by this new chapter in his life. “I just knew that it would be stranger for me not to write about it than to write about it,” he admits. “I was trying to find a course through something that happens all the time, but still feels exceptional.”


25 | Plants and Animals | Sacrifice

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal trio Plants and Animals unveil Sacrifice, a brand new, thumping contrasting song, from their upcoming album to be released in 2020. “This is a song about what people are willing to do for feelings of acceptance and quick tastes of happiness,” explain the band. “The goal was to have two contrasting sections pushed up against each other with abrupt transitions between them. First there’s this rhythmic cycle that’s hypnotic and intense, with a vocal line floating through it all dreamy and unanchored. Then, pow, the clouds part and there’s a chorus that’s straight up easy. It’s the clarity of hindsight. Relishing it. And maybe a bit cocky because then we go back to the crazy again. We love playing with tension and release. It comes with its own rush.”


26 | Bear Mace | Hibernation / Destroyed by Bears

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Since forming in 2012, Chicago death metal quintet Bear Mace has mostly operated in the shadows. Influenced by Death, Bolt Thrower and Massacre, the band made their presence known via a demo cassette and infrequent live appearances. Finally, in 2017 the band released a debut full-length, Butchering The Colossus, leading to positive reviews. However, work on a follow-up album was delayed by turnover in the band’s ranks. Finally, the wait is over, and Bear Mace is prepared to unleash their second album Charred Field Of Slaughter upon the world. From the opening battle cry of Destroyed By Bears to the anthemic From The Sky Rains Hell, Bear Mace clearly has something to prove.”


27 | Keleketia! | International Love Affair

THE PRESS RELEASE:Keleketla!’s International Love Affair is a celebration of our need to come together as one and the healing power of music. The song is an international collaboration featuring musicians from South Africa, Nigeria, UK and USA. Keleketla! started as a musical meeting ground between Ninja Tune cofounders Coldcut and a cadre of South African musicians (introduced by the charity In Place Of War). The final product is a future-facing assemblage of influences, drawing connections between different points in a jazz-tipped, soulfully-minded spectrum; it builds outwards, from the solid musical foundations of those first sessions, featuring the likes of Thabang Tabane, esteemed percussionist and son of the legendary Phillip Tabane.”


28 | The Midnight | Dance With Somebody

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Midnight share Dance With Somebody, the bubbly and irresistible new track from their forthcoming album Monsters, out July 10. “The record’s about isolation, loneliness, and the adolescent need for connection — how we don’t really realize that we’ve opened ourselves up too much until we get hurt and then we close off … Dance With Somebody is essentially telling the shy kid in the back of the class not to put up too many barriers and to take off your armor. Sometimes it’s Friday night and you just can’t help it, you have to go dancing,” says The Midnight’s Tyler Lyle about the new track.”


29 | Mastery | Wake Up

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fusing the blazing aggression of hardcore thrash with the prowess of progressive metal, the Toronto band Mastery focuses on bringing its listeners a lethal dose of pure metal with no compromises. Today sees the new single from the band called Wake Up, off of their upcoming album Severing The Earth. Guitarist Markus Armellini comments: “Wake Up was the first song Carl had to tackle when we tried him out as a vocalist. We really made this song flow with the drums creating a lot of different feels and that also set the tone for a lot of the other songs that are on this album. It was not going to make Carl’s job any easier though if anything it would test him even more. In the end, we were simply blown away by his performance and how it all came together!”


30 | Cosmo’s Midnight | Yesteryear

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Continuing their sensational ride into the new decade, prolific Sydney duo Cosmo’s Midnight share their glistening new single Yesteryear. Alongside the single comes an official video from the age of isolation, born from a cancelled shoot and the innovative minds of close creative friends. Speaking on the track and video, Cosmo’s Midnight say: “Yesteryear is a song reflecting back on the years past, the unchanging feelings of youth, growing up and contemplating the future. We tried to blend these feelings into the production by drawing inspiration from older pop records as well some more progressive records. Although it seems a lot of thought went into it, Yesteryear came about really quickly and naturally.”


31 | Keffa | Twenty Four Days

THE PRESS RELEASE:Aaron Alem (better known by the stage name Keffa) is a Canadian musician, producer, and songwriter from Toronto. Inspired by a long series of failed relationships and an appreciation for the mundane and melancholy moments, his EP Victimless Crimes makes light of heartbreak without trying to doll it up. Twenty Four Days is his newest track.”


32 | Fifi Rong | Love Yourself First

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rising UK star Fifi Rong stakes yet another case for being one of the country’s most vital artists of our time with her latest single Love Yourself First. Tapping into the emotional energy of our current climate, the new single toys with themes of self-doubt and inner-confidence with its moving production and faint, tender lyrics that are sung in both Chinese and English, expressing Fifi’s multicultural heritage. Fifi Rong has the following to say about the sentiments behind the her latest track: “This song acts as a reminder to the indestructible truth we all know deep down, but often neglect in these uncertain times of the world.”


33 | DeathCave | Death Cave

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Seattle-based doom/sludge trio DeathCave will release their Smoking Mountain debut full-length this August. In the meantime, the band has unveiled the opening psalm Death Cave. The track explores the band members’ own personal “death caves,” and sets the mood for the sonic journey to follow. “It’s about the darkest internal place that holds all our fears,” says Freiburger, “the place that holds all our self-doubts, failures, and sorrows, and what it’s like when one goes into a deep place and can’t get out.”


34 | Closet Disco Queen | Black Sorbet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A few days after sharing the live video of Délicieux, Indie/Krautrock/Stoner/Rock side-project of Luc & Jona from Swiss Hardcore/Noise/Punk/Metal quartet Coilguns, Closet Disco Queen duo just unveiled another excerpt from its upcoming effort with the song Black Sorbet. Like the previous one, this new track will featured on a live compilation album called Drink The Minibar – Live Recordings and coming out on July 10.”


35 | Oli Fox | Player 2

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Oli Fox returns with a cleverly-crafted straight-to-the-hook pop number, Player 2. In Oli’s own words, the song “has been a title with an empty page beneath it in my notebook for quite a while.” Opening up about his own emotions he adds; “I went through the classic back and forth of the early stages of a relationship when you’re not quite sure how much to tell them you’re into them. Eventually, I broke and told this person everything, which was so much better than playing games. I hope it reminds people of how much more fun it can be to tell someone how you really feel, which to me has even more relevance now that most people are dating from afar.”