Indie Roundup | 36 Tracks To Top Off Your Thursday

Get up to speed with the latest from Happy Fits, Flight Attendant, Pup & more.

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The Happy Fits dumb it down, Flight Attendant bring the chaos, Pup get the van a-rockin’, Gordon Koang is a problem-solver and tons more in a packed Thursday Roundup. Scroll down for deep-cut gems from Buddy & Julie Miller, Deerhoof & Wadada Leo Smith, 0171 and more. Phew.

 


TRACKS OF THE DAY

1 | The Happy Fits | Go Dumb

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Jersey trio The Happy Fits has announced their sophomore album, What Could Be Better, for an Aug. 28. The guys have kicked off summer with a bang with the infectious single Go Dumb and its time-warped video. Discussing the single, cellist, vocalist and principle songwriter Calvin Langman states, “Growing up, I always felt this pressure from my parents and classical music peers to be productive every second of every day. Six days a week it was nine hours in school, four hours of practice, and countless hours more of studying and rehearsal. As I got older and I discovered my love for writing and being creative, I realized I cared less for formal education and discipline and more about spending my time alone being introspective and imaginative. Saying “I want to Go Dumb” is a personal jeer to my past; if spending my time being creative will make me dumb, then I will gladly Go Dumb to do what I love.”


2 | Flight Attendant | Man of Chaos

THE PRESS RELEASE:Flight Attendant have unveiled the video for their single Man of Chaos. The video was created during quarantine by the band shooting themselves on iPhones, with the final product assembled by the band’s viola player, Nikki Christie. Pulsating with powerful, electric energy, Man of Chaos was produced by Grammy winner Charlies Yingling at the Blueroom Studios in Nashville. It is a robust, anthemic track that propels the listener into a trance-like state and serves as a fitting teaser of what’s to come. The psychedelic space rockers belong to that unique breed of bands made in Nashville — a sonic unicorn. “I think you could find some of our future tracks on ISS Radio in the year 2050,” says frontwoman Karalyne Winegarner of the band’s sound.”


3 | Pup | Anaphylaxis

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Pup released the massive Morbid Stuff last year to critical acclaim, earning countless year-end nods, their late-night debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers, and a largely sold-out world tour that had them on the road for a solid nine months. They returned a few weeks ago with Anaphylaxis, their first new material of 2020, and now they have created their first quarantine-induced performance for the single. After a few, uh, less successful attempts, Pup share an incredible video of the new single, performed live for the first time, straight from their respective homes (and tour van!) Says lead singer Stefan Babcock: “During our quarantine, I couldn’t go to our jam space. I also live in a small apartment and my neighbours understandably get very annoyed and/or concerned about my mental state when they hear me yelling my head off about getting stung by bees or killing my bandmates or whatever garbage these dumb songs are about. So I started making demos and recording in my car in a parking lot across the street from my house. Every few minutes, cops would slowly drive past to see what the unhinged kid in the busted-up Ford Escape was doing. But I’m white, so lucky me, my biggest worry was that they’d judge my precious lyrics. White privilege is real. Defund the police.”


4 | Gordon Koang | Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem With Anyone)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Legendary South Sudanese pop star Gordon Koang announces his 11th album Unity, out Aug. 14 and presents its lead single/video, Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem With Anyone). Unity is Gordon’s first album since coming to Australia in 2013. Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem With Anyone) is a jubilant blend of Gordon’s signature thom (an East African stringed instrument that he has modified to suit his unique style of playing), light percussion, and Gordon’s jubilant vocals. “We don’t have a problem with anyone! Music is the friend of everyone in the world,” says Koang. “We are doing it with happiness, we love people, we love our audience and we know our audience loves us.”


5 | Turning Jewels Into Water | Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars

THE PRESS RELEASE:Turning Jewels Into Water — the duo of Haitian-born drummer, DJ, educator and electronic music artist Val Jeanty and Indian-born drummer, producer and educator Ravish Momin — announce their new album, Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars, out Aug. 21. Accompanying the lead single is a video created by Art Jones. “The video for Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars explores the narrative of the Siddis — Indians of East African origin, who were merchants, sailors and even rulers of Indian territories, but have now been marginalized and have had their histories erased,” says Momin. “As the #BLM movement rightfully gains prominence across the globe, we wanted to raise awareness of the anti-blackness that is deeply embedded in other cultures as well.”


6 | Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith | Peradam

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The sounds of Himalayan winds, sacred mantras and water rippling in the holy river Ganges, invite us to Peradam, the transcendent new album by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith. The album, which features guests including Anoushka Shankar, Tenzin Choegal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will be released Sept. 4. Peradam takes as its entry point René Daumal’s early 1940s novel Mount Analogue: a Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, in which the French writer, critic and poet mapped a metaphysical journey to “the ultimate symbolic mountain” in search of meaning. In it, Daumal introduced the idea of the “peradam”, a rare, crystalline stone harbouring profound truths that is only visible to seekers on a true spiritual path. The band have shared a hypnotic video to the title track, directed by Stephan Crasneanscki and with editing and visual collage by Jenn Ruff.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

7 | The Oracle | Akeldame

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Worcester, Mass. avant electronics project The Oracle will release its debut full-length debut Hypogeum this August. Inspired at once by the grandiosity of film scores and classical music, the bleakness of black metal, and minimalist ambient music, Hypogeum is dark and at times ritualistic with its themes and complimentary visuals touching upon the rise and fall of messiah-like figures and cult leaders. In advance, The Oracle has unveiled a video for first single Akeldama, a place in Jerusalem biblically associated with Judas Iscariot, one of twelve apostles who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Comments The Oracle, “Those familiar with Akeldama may know it was possibly purchased with the money Judas acquired for betraying Jesus. Legend has it that he either returned the money before killing himself and the Temple used the money to buy the land or that he acquired the field and jumped into it to kill himself.”


8 | Private World | Hypnagogia

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Announcing Aleph, the debut album of polished, sophisticated synth-pop from Cardiff UK outfit Private World. In a sense, the songs that comprise Aleph are soothing vehicles that dart about pop history, stopping at touch points throughout the ‘80s to borrow from jazz-tinged synth, ambient music, and even cinéma vérité. The plot twist is while weaving this tapestry, they omit the familiarity of chorus-driven song, allowing space and mood to build melancholy transitions that feel whole and floaty. Aleph is an album you can pick up at any entry point and loop into its conscious nostalgia. Rather than singular statements, each song on the album nods to Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel, Talk Talk, Spandau Ballet in tandem. In a sense, it’s a rolling piece that spans ten movements, each informing a sphere of culture. Though it’s not forward-facing lyrically, Aleph is a culture driven work, as the duo offers it as an equalizer that transcends social boundaries or divisions — united passages meant to be heard and immersed by all.”


9 | Galexi | Us and Them

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Electro-space duo Galexi are exactly the rising stars that their name leads you to believe. Jo Alexis, ‘The Priestess’ and Alexander Johnson, ‘The Scientist’ are connecting electronica, smooth synths and lush vocals into a glittering map of sonic constellations. Based in Portland (though their home planet is called Issia), the group has made a home at Galexi Studios, where they’re able to discover and nurture morphing soundscapes. As ‘The Scientist’ explains, “we are experimenting with the never-ending Pandora’s box that is electronic music.” Their cover of Pink Floyd’s Us and Them is poised as a tribute, with both Alexis and Johnson admitting their lasting admiration for the revolutionary band. “We are big Pink Floyd fans so we spent a long time on this song,” Alexis reveals, “we struggled with the bridge and kept scrapping it and trying new takes — like 16 versions.”


10 | Tiña | Rosalina

THE PRESS RELEASE:Speedy Wunderground (the singles label responsible for discovering black midi, Squid & Black Country, New Road among others) has announced their very first full length release, coming from South London’s Tiña and titled Positive Mental Health Music, that will see release on 11/6. Today they shared first track Rosalina.”


11 | Crown Lands | Birds

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Last week, Crown Lands released a special acoustic EP, Wayward Flyers Volume 1. Today, they drop a new video from the EP: A cover of Neil Young’s Birds. 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.”


12 | Degraey | Not So Far

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Spanish post-metal four-piece group Degraey have just shared a music video for the track Not So Far, which is off the band’s second album Reveries. Released in 2019, Reveries builds on its predecessor Chrysalis’s success and foundations, leading ears, thoughts and emotions into new darker depths, brighter calms, and rousing atmospheric climates.”


13 | The Lacs | What I Need

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With musicians taking a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia-based country rap duo The Lacs have used the time to record stripped-down acoustic versions of classic tracks from their catalog. The fifth acoustic video the duo has released is What I Need from The Lacs’ 2012 album 190 Proof. The song sonically shows the duo remembering why they first fell in love and the good times to ensure they can weather the storm of their relationships.”


14 | Knuckle Puck | Breathe feat. Derek Sanders

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago’s Knuckle Puck — vocalist Joe Taylor, guitarist/vocalist Nick Casasanto, guitarist Kevin Maida, drummer John Siorek, and bassist Ryan Rumchaks — will release their third full-length album 20/20 on Sept. 18. The band just shared the music video for their new song Breathe, featuring Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade. Sanders also appears in the clip. “I find myself dwelling on things when they go wrong,” says Casasanto. “Maybe something happened that was beyond my control or I said something that I later regretted. When these thoughts enter my mind, they takeover and it’s hard to breathe, putting me into an almost dissociative state. It wasn’t until I discovered mindfulness that I started to regain control, telling myself to take a deep breath and purge the negative thoughts.”


15 | Julianna Barwick | In Light Ft. Jonsi

THE PRESS RELEASE:In Light featuring Jónsi proves a pivotal moment on Julianna Barwick’s July 10 release Healing Is A Miracle. Not only because a collaboration with the Icelandic singer has long been a dream — “I think he has the best voice in the world, and hearing my voice with Jónsi’s is one of the joys of my life” — but also because Jónsi is someone who has both directly and indirectly helped to shape the sound of the record. Recorded in the wake of a seismic shift in her life following a move from New York — where she had lived for 16 years — to Los Angeles where she is now based, Healing Is A Miracle is a record built on improvisation and a close affinity to a couple of trusted items of gear, from which Barwick spins engrossing, expansive universes.”


16 | The Ghost of Helags | Chemistry

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Ghost of Helags unveil the video for their current single Chemistry. Matching the nocturnal noir and ominous intensity of their surreal latest synth-pop venture, the Berlin-based duo have now released new visuals to complement it. “The video is homemade, but I think the vibe fits the song and mood quite well,” says Teresa Woischiski, vocalist of The Ghost of Helags. “We put together moods and images that fit the vibe of the song. The last scene especially is a reminder of the night drive from Vienna to Prague, where the song was created.”


17 | Speelburg | World Is Falling Apart (this version)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rising electro-pop artist Speelburg has issued the official music video for his current single World Is Falling Apart (this version). The tropical synth-pop song, a reflection on youthful narcissism with a message of underlying hope, is a taste of what’s to come from Speelburg’s debut album dropping this fall (details coming soon). “World Is Falling Apart was actually written back in 2017 when we were faced with a whole bunch of other problems,” shares Speelburg (Noah Sacré). “The world just hasn’t gone back to ‘America-in-the-’90s’ level of chillness yet. I, like many of my generation, am privy to youthful narcissism and thinking we have it the worst, that today is worse than it was at any time in the past. Some days are more doom and dread, some days are more ‘help your fellow man’ kind of days. This track tries to toe the line between the two, and maybe, hopefully, weighs a little more in favor of the latter. At the end of the world, I’m still going to choose optimism.”


18 | The Imbeciles | One Hand Tommy

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Taken from The Imbeciles’ acclaimed self-titled debut album, One Hand Tommy is its latest single and proves no matter how strange our world seems right now, it could always be stranger… In a blitz session of blood curdling vocals, disarticulated fretwork and wickelly deranged lyricism, One Hand Tommy sees The Imbeciles tell us the tale of Tommy; a child trapped in a dystopian landscape of nuclear annihilation with only a giant killer snake for company. Shedding further light on the song’s eponymous protagonist and star of the video, Butch Dante (the band’s rhythm guitarist), says: “Tommy is an almost mythical figure: An Everyman – or ‘Everychild.’ Vulnerable but brave, he represents innocence and hope in a desperate world.”


19 | The 69 Eyes | Change

THE PRESS RELEASE:The 69 Eyes released their album West End last fall and started their 30th anniversary world tour. Today, they reveal a new video for the song Change.The 69 Eyes was on our 30th anniversary tour earlier this year, in the USA, the Baltics, Ukraine and Russia until the pandemic hit. Actually we might even have been the last rock band on stage as we played our last show on March 18 in Samara, Russia! As this huge Pause button is pressed down currently, we thought to put out this lyrics video Change, taken from our new album West End. This was the last time we were being filmed on the road, so here’s some memories from that show at The Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood, USA.”


20 | Mors Subita | Sick

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mors Subita, the modern melodic death metal band hailing from Oulu in Finland’s North, just released their new video/single Sick, taken off their upcoming album. Eemeli Bodde, singer and the song lyricist. states about the new song: “Sick tells a story about twisted dark corners of the human mind and how one can use that sickness to manipulate others and force things to go your way no matter the cost. The track is pure aggression and spite from the first note to the last and is a great introduction to the brutal side of our next album.”


21 | 0171 | Follow

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hackney, London-based duo 0171 have announced the release of their second EP Change Nothing, out Aug. 14. They’re also today sharing new single Follow. Consisting of producers/singers Joe Bedell-Brill and Georgie Hoare, 0171 are breaking down societal conundrums and complexities; all played out to a backdrop of innovative, technology-warped pop. On Follow the duo were inspired by the relentlessly positive vibe of classic ’90s pop (the music of their childhood). “Songs like Sex On The Beach or VengaboysWe Like To Party come to mind; but we wanted to push those pop fantasies until they became sinister,” Joe and Georgie said on the new single.”


22 | Dutch Schultz | Brutus

THE PRESS RELEASE:Dutch Schultz have been barraging listeners’ ears with their outlaw brand of rock n roll for over 10 years. This is their new single Brutus, taken from the forthcoming album Friends Like Brutus set for release Sept. 18. With 2 previous well-received albums as a trio, mainstays Willy Mundell and Kevin Quinn (the tallest musician to take to a stage since Krist Novoselic), have been joined by guitarist Ryan “Snoop” O’Neill and bassist John McHugh in crafting their third album. The band further hone their sound; combining noisy earworm riffs, soaring harmonies, and catchy choruses with tales of misfits, booze and hammer wielding gangs.”


23 | Buddy & Julie Miller | Get Offa My Money

THE PRESS RELEASE:Buddy & Julie Miller have released a series of Public Service Songs from self-quarantine, produced by Buddy at his legendary home studio in Nashville. Here’s the markedly purposeful and no-nonsense, Public Service Song Number 5: Get Offa My Money. Julie Miller said: “I was so shocked to find out from a documentary that many of the architects of democracy were slaveholders. Even the writer of the glorious words ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…’ then packed up and went home to many slaves. I was disgusted. Then I realized my black friends were having to touch the slave owners pictures every time they used money. It is insane and cannot continue.”


24 | Angel Olsen | New Love Cassette (Mark Ronson Remix)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Angel Olsen releases a Mark Ronson remix of New Love Cassette, off last year’s All Mirrors. Ronson’s remix turns New Love Cassette into a dark, glitchy ode to romance. “The entire process of making All Mirrors has been about letting these songs become something bigger than what I can hear alone,” says Angel. “Though I know I’ll always be a songwriter at heart, and I’ll always keep a little bit for myself, I still love to experiment with material and to see what others hear when it comes to sonic backgrounds. A song can go in so many directions if you let it, I love hearing what Ronson hears in this remix of New Love Cassette.” Ronson adds: “It’s hard to remix a song you already love this much, but I dusted off my MPC 3000 and we had a grand old time.”


25 | Primitive Man | The Lifer

THE PRESS RELEASE:Primitive Man return after three years with the extreme, terrifying, and confrontational new album, Immersion, set for release Aug. 14. In advance of the release of Immersion, Primitive Man shares The Lifer. Frontman Ethan McCarthy comments, “The Lifer is about being cursed with and unable to shed the desire to create. The lack of financial security that comes with that. It is also about the ever present on-the-road psychosis touring musicians get as well as the enemies you meet along the way.”


26 | Every Scar Has A Story | Move On

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Post-hardcore act Every Scar Has A Story release their self-titled debut EP today. The duo is comprised of Robert Fish, vocalist of 108, The Judas Factor and Ressurection, and Tom Schlatter, guitarist for You & I and Hundreds of AU, who met nine years ago while sharing the stage together. Move On, the rawest of the three EP tracks lyrically, focuses on the person we are versus the person we aspire to be, and the need to move towards self-improvement rather than self-loathing.”


27 | Unborn Suffer | Pierdolę Was

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Polish deathgrind trio Unborn Suffer present a new lyric video for the succinctly devastating Pierdolę Was, a preview of their rapidly impending Commit(ment To) Suicide full-length, out next week. Declares Unborn Suffer drummer Lukasz Ziółkowski, “Pierdolę Was means ‘I fuck you all!’ These are the words of any entity that is fed up with systems of this world; political, religious, and any other system that disgusts a free man. The words were written in the ’90s but remain very relevant, even too relevant. The lyric, same as the song, is short but timeless with its idea.”


28 | Iration | Move Forward

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration drop their optimistic new single Move Forward from their forthcoming seventh full-length studio album Coastin’, due out July 10. “Move Forward is a song about growing up,” shares lead vocalist/guitarist Micah Pueschel. “It’s about overcoming struggles in life and coming out on the other side more complete and more in touch with yourself and your surroundings.”


29 | Watertank | Suffogaze

THE PRESS RELEASE: “After a dormant period of time due to some line-up changes, French post-hardcore/noise-rock group Watertank finally completed the work on their third full album and follow up to their 2015’s sophomore album Destination Unknown. Titled Silent Running, this new album is set for release on Sept. 4 and sees Watertank incorporating other influences like shoegaze and post-rock into their trademark post-hardcore sound, partially thanks to the involvement of the new members in the writing process. Guitarist, singer and main songwriter Thomas Boutet always revealed an extraordinary ability to balance grand melodies with big riffs and throaty vocals and this new effort is no exception, showcasing a more refined batch of songs that will surely dazzle fans of Torche, Helmet and Quicksand.”


30 | Expander | Hyper-Flesh Aedificium

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Austin, Tex.-based Expander prepare to deploy a caustic slab of raging thrash/punk decimation with the release of their second LP, Neuropunk Boostergang. The album’s lead single, Hyper-Flesh Aedificium, has been unleashed in advance of the album’s August street date. The band writes, “Hyper-Flesh Aedificium describes a landscape where human evolution becomes intertwined with our cities, buildings and artifacts. The monolithic structures described in the song are physically alive, breathing and self-healing, an extension of the body itself. These unimaginable architectures represent the first step of unification between Earth and outer space and offer a glimpse into an unsettling bio-mechanical future that Expander inhabits.”


31 | Utilitarian | Hateful Generation

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s time to wake up, to open our eyes, to stand up for what’s right and Utilitarian are the alarm clock to shock us from our comfortable beds. This Sheffield-based band are about more than just killer riffs and high energy songs, although they have both in abundance; Utilitarian are a philosophy and a way of life. Their debut album, Fight War, Not Wars. Destroy Power, Not People is a call to arms, an impassioned plea to our sense of common decency. Drawing on the pure adrenaline and explosive rage of the hardcore punk and crossover bands of the ‘80s and infusing it with the bruising power of contemporary extreme metal, Utilitarian have created the perfect vehicle for the delivery of their manifesto. This is confrontational, iron-willed music that will stand for no bullshit and accept no excuses. This is not about fashion, this is not about trends or scenes, this is not about fame or money. This is real music, performed by real people with a real desire for change.”


32 | Deerhoof & Wadada Leo Smith | Breakup Songs

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sharing its name with a line from Walt Whitman’s I Sing The Body Electric, Deerhoof’s new live album To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough captures the band of Satomi Matsuzaki, Ed Rodriguez, John Dieterich, and Greg Saunier in peak form, and culminates in a thrilling five-song collaborative set with legendary avant-garde jazz trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith as part of New York City’s Winter Jazzfest. Saunier says: “Part of what makes touring life so great was how unpredictable it is. All the unexpected encounters, promoters and audiences and performers willing to take a risk. That’s what playing together with Wadada was for us. The corporate world seems to want to define ‘musician’ as ‘internet content competitor’ but the actual people who make music have to find ways out of that trap. That’s why I’m touched that a master improviser like Wadada would bring up true democracy. To me, democracy and improvisation are linked, and they appear spontaneously at times like these, when strangers come together to take action, and there is no rulebook.”


33+34 | Goatsnake | Breakfast With The King b/w Deathwish

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Southern California’s Goatsnake have unveiled two rare tracks from the recording sessions of their Black Age Blues LP. The two tracks, Breakfast With the King and Deathwish, are burners previously only available as bonus tracks on the double vinyl version of Black Age Blues. The band writes, “Greetings Goat fiends! We hope all of you are keeping your heads up during these challenging times. We are making available two rare ‘Snake tracks that have not been available digitally until now! Proceeds will be donated to the Color Of Change organization to help further their absolutely vita work they do. Racial justice is an issue for everyone, and we all need to be proactive in working towards the goal of equal justice and fair treatment for everybody.”


35 | Tom Sanders | Baby All You’ve Got

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I guess this song is a kind of ‘note to self’ ; a reminder to stop being such a glass half empty guy. I wanted to write about that incessant need for the next thing to make us feel good, whether its an event, some new shoes, another drink, a relationship etc. A positive thing I gained from these weeks of isolation was some time to chill out and not chase all that stuff. I got a bit Zen, sat back in the moment and felt pretty lucky for where I was in life. I wrote the line ‘Spring is here but you just want Summer’ and later about how they want to get to the chorus as a commentary on how impatient we can be with life; maybe we don’t even notice the bits in between but that journey is actually everything. It’s now.”


36 | Sean O’Hagan | The Wild Are Welcome

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This April, the animals were coming back to the cities. I love our wild in London, the foxes and badgers — but then sheep, deer and goats started to stray back into the edges of urbanity, in Essex and on the fringes of Swansea and Edinburgh. So I imagined the conversations the animals were having as they acclimatised to the new norm. And of course it flipped the status for the rest of us not in captivity, as we stared out at the wild from our lockdown. As much as I have enjoyed the musical landscape that I have explored for 30 years, I want to creep beyond it. I can still drop the chords as I always have but I am enamored the 2020 RnB experience and here I have found new tools to put records together. Livvy keeps me informed and I increasingly run stuff by her, so when the idea of this tune emerged, I wanted a female vocal around which to hang an approximated vocal running through bit of crushing and transformers to get the ’sound’. The sounds of Sly’s Riot mixed with these vital new expressions. This is where I am at in 2020.”