Indie Roundup | 28 Tracks For A Much-Improved Monday

Your week stars with Hawksley, Ray Wylie, Second Arrows and plenty more.

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Hawksley Workman has a dream, Ray Wylie Hubbard is drinking doubles, Second Arrows get galactic, Satellite and The Harpoonist man up, RBCF make a cameo appearance and more in your Monday Roundup. Dig deep to find buried treasures from Gypsy Pistoleros, Jaga Jazzist, Cass McCombs and Steve Gunn.

 


1 | Hawksley Workman | Just A Dream

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Hawksley Workman premieres a new single titled Just a Dream. The introspective, ethereal track sees Workman summon up long-lost teenage dreams through the neon-hued filter of his own adolescent decade: the era of Jordache jeans, Ramses condoms and Reagan-Russia nuclear dread. “Do you want to live forever? Do you want to go get high?” The earworm refrain of Just a Dream is like the quintessential teenage summation of the sublime and the stoner. “In the 1980s we tossed around the prefix ‘astro’ with an unbridled certainty,” says Hawksley. “Whether turf or whether domes, that grand decade was going to isolate itself from the darkness of the ones that came before it. A decade tripping over itself with the self-congratulatory swagger of widespread colour television ownership, an epoch full of contempt for everything that had gone before it. Yes, video had killed the radio star, and we were all perfectly fine with it,” he observes. “We’re a bit wiser now, of course.”


2 | Ray Wylie Hubbard | Drink Till I See Double ft. Paula Nelson & Elizabeth Cook

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Country bluesman Ray Wylie Hubbard enlists cowgirls Paula Nelson and Elizabeth Cook on his latest release Drink Till I See Double. Saddling up at Saxon’s Pub, watch Hubbard and Nelson’s performance here. The new track is another glimpse into his highly anticipated collaborations album, Co-Starring, due July 10. “Paula and Elizabeth are just so rebellious and cool, they’ll say anything,” Hubbard shares. “Women are fearless, and they put it out there. Writing about them is about the best thing there is.” Hubbard co-wrote the bawdy barroom stumble with Ronnie Dunn, the pair cleverly namechecking Reba McEntire and Gary Busey in the dirty, downhome lyrics. “It’s just an old school, two-steppin’ Country song,” he continued, “I’m very proud of it and grateful they came in and really made it work.”


3 | Second Arrows | Galactic

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Later this week, Second Arrows will release their self-titled debut album. The metalcore outfit features some prominent faces in the genre including current and former members of Deadguy, Every Time I Die, Nora, and Ensign. The band teamed up with Brooklyn-based photographer, George Douglas Peterson, to create a music video that captures the chaotic mix of hardcore and metal for their song Galactic. “No one in the band was particularly interested in a by-the-numbers video of us playing our instruments while wearing face masks. Working with GDP, what we ended up with is closer to video Rorschach test: You see in it what you want to see.”


4 | Satellite and The Harpoonist | Satellite Man

THE PRESS RELEASE:Satellite and The Harpoonist are sharing the music video for the title track of their upcoming debut EP, Satellite Man.Jonas Shandel and I set out to write the story of a reclusive guy living out a careless vision of a dream via his TV set, and the inevitable jonesing that one experiences going down that path,” says singer Shawn Hall. “When Bradford Reed showed up to the recording session from NYC, he encouraged all the players to channel Bobbie Gentry’s approach to the song (sleepy & dusty). As the session went on, It ended up sounding more and more like War’s version of Ode to Billy Joe, or Harry Nilsson’s Lime in the Coconut. Either way, someone was spending a great deal of time cocktailing with Sammy Davis Jr.


5 | Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Cameo

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following the release of their critically acclaimed second album Sideways To New Italy, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever return with the video for recent single Cameo. One of the record’s anthemic high points, Cameo begins with open guitar strums and Fran Keaney’s lone voice before building to a swirling roar, showcasing a band at the peak of their powers both instrumentally and lyrically. “This is a love song. It’s about reaching through time portals,” says Keaney. “The lyrics were pieced together over about a year like a little puzzle. I found the first pieces in Rushworth, and the last pieces in Darwin.” The song’s accompanying video — directed by Nick Mckk — finds the band in a particularly playful mood as they perform in a dimly lit club, sporting turtlenecks in the glare of spotlights and bursting through walls on office chairs. Look beyond the hi-jinx, however, and there’s romance afoot here, perfectly in keeping with the glistening love song at Cameo’s core.”


6 | Sameer Cash | Keep Kicking

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sameer Cash is sharing the new live video for recent single Keep Kicking, filmed live at the Burdock in Toronto on March 12, before the country came to a screeching halt. “Walking in to soundcheck, I had forgotten how it all felt,” says Cash. “How I had missed the stress and the laughter and the pride of actually getting it together — we did it, this might not suck! This was to be my first proper show back in years — a reintroduction of myself to the people I had met in and out of music the past 10 years. It was to be an intimate show in a small venue, packed with family and friends, with a new band, and a renewed faith in myself and my artistic vision.”


7 | Land of Talk | Footnotes

THE PRESS RELEASE:Land of Talk, the Montreal-based band led by Elizabeth Powell, share the video for Footnotes, the new single from forthcoming album Indistinct Conversations. Of the chiming track, where the cheery, propulsive wall of guitar fuzz belies the song’s anguished lyrics, singer/guitarist Powell says: “The music itself is the very sound of people connecting — lush and layered with swirling synths and dreamy guitar noise, driving drums — I envision us all sweatily, joyfully performing together on stage. Lyrically though this song has revealed itself to be about loneliness. How we get sidelined by/stuck in it, and the wish-hope-struggle to reach out and connect with others. The chorus promise ‘I’ll be there night after night’ is at once comforting and threatening. Is it a loved one talking or the loneliness itself?”


8 | Sheenah Ko | Bialystok

THE PRESS RELEASE:Bialystok is the third single from Sheenah Ko’s album Nowhere In Time, and her first attempt at writing a song with French lyrics. Best known as one of the core members of Montreal-based indie darlings Besnard Lakes, and as the touring keyboardist for Bedouin Soundclash, Sheenah’s unique brand of synth-pop is an amalgam of many styles. “With the help of the album’s co-producer, Navet Confit, we wrote these French lyrics so that they would be loose enough for a club song but also express our fears of global warming” said Ko. “ Bialystok demonstrates my love for the Quebecois culture through how I view Montreal; upbeat, messy, intense, real, and fun. The name Bialystok, however, comes from a town in Poland, which I was to scheduled to play in a club environment as part of their Halfway Festival. I wrote this song for them as a gift from Montreal.”


9 | From The Specials / Neville Staple Band | Lockdown

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Original Rude Boy Neville Staple — founder and co-frontman of The Specials, Fun Boy Three and Special Beat — teams up with his ever-talented wife Sugary Staple, to pump out a super 2Tone-style single that is both timely and relatable for people everywhere, who have been experiencing similar developmends in countries around the globe. Reggae and ska fans can relish Lockdown, which is about being made to stay home during the 2020 Covid-19 Lockdown. Written by Dr Neville Staple, Sugary Staple and Steve Armstrong, the lyrics reflect how many people feel about the virus and about staying safe and in one place. “Sugary came up with the idea to write a song about the lockdown, which, at first, was a very fast-stomping ska track. We then realised that it was too fun and happy a tune for the theme. Most of us have been quite down about the whole virus thing, so we decided to take it on a more sweet but moody 2Tone reggae route, in a similar vein to Ghost Town, with some music we had worked on previously with Sledge (Steve Armstrong).”


10 | Planeswalker | The Forever Serpent

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Inspired by Magic: The Gathering card game, Planeswalker is the new power metal band founded by Helion Prime guitarist Jason Ashcraft and former vocalist Sozos Michael. Today the band is debuting the music video for their first single entitled The Forever Serpent, which is based on the MTG bad boy Nicol Bolas. Jason Ashcraft explains the creation of the project: “For those who follow Helion Prime, understand that parting ways with Sozos was due to unfortunate struggles with visa issues as he lives in Cyprus, but I knew someday we’d work together again I just wasn’t sure how. I then got the idea to start a band based completely on Magic: The Gathering lore because between Helion Prime and Dire Peril I think I’m good on sci-fi based material and why wouldn’t I need ANOTHER project. When I first heard the song Sozos had written for us I immediately knew it had to be about Nicol Bolas.”


11 | Jill Barber | Suzanne

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This past weekend, singer-songwriter Jill Barber celebrated the release of her new French album, Entre nous. On the new record, Barber reaches a new level of intimacy with the French language. This is her first collection of original french songs, written with Francophone collaborator Maia Davies and produced by Montreal born-NYC based Gus Van Go. Inspired by french pop music of the 1960’s, Entre nous invites the listener on a musical rendezvous through champagne-soaked love songs, like this haunting interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne.”


12 | Lufeh | The Unknown

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sophisticated, progressive, and refined, Los Angeles based progressive metallers Lufeh (a band of both Brazilian and American musicians) creates an enjoyable experience, meandering through jazz styles, heavy metal foundations, and rhythmic Brazilian influences. The mind expanded sonic journey is something new and interesting to listen to. Released in April of 2020, Luggage Falling Down is a unique melodic story that continues to be demonstrated with their next video for the track The Unknown. Drummer Lufeh Batera shares his thoughts on the track: “The Unknown started as a keyboard-driven song and became perhaps the most technical and heaviest song on the album. It features every instrument, including guitar and bass shredding, a tremendously dramatic vocal melody, and great counterpoint.”


13 | DDent | Puissancerevee

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Instrumental post-metal project DDent present the third video taken from their massive and mind-elevating new album Couvre-sang, out on July 3. About the album’s concept, Louis Lambert explains: “Couvre-sang is a neologism describing all the concepts that hide the true nature of reality. Put together, song titles are forming an eye, the only organ with an unaltered relationship to reality. A child is the only one whose relationship to reality remains intact, but the language learning process slowly tears him away from it, reducing it to primary functions. The artwork’s eyeless child sums up this idea perfectly. Couvre-sang is my most personal work to date, dealing with a topic on which I’ve been working on for a long time. This album is a reflection that anyone can make their own.”


14 | Gordi | Extraordinary Life

THE PRESS RELEASE:Gordi’s new album, Our Two Skins, is out this Friday, and she’s sharing the final pre-release single/video, Extraordinary Life. Gordi says, “I was standing in a shower in a hostel in Ghent at 2am towards the end of 2017 and I started humming. I began recording the demo in stairwells across Europe while I was on tour with Asgeir and in most of the demo vocals you can hear distant chatter in Icelandic. For all the turmoil and anguish described in the record, this song just sits in pure joy. I like the idea that the ultimate gesture of love is to make someone feel exceptional; like they deserve an extraordinary life.”


15 | Another Sky | Fell In Love With The City

THE PRESS RELEASE:Another Sky have announced the release of their debut album I Slept On The Floor, due for release on Aug. 7. They have also released their brand new single Fell In Love With The City, by far their most ambitious and euphoric track to date. On Fell In Love With The City, Catrin Vincent (vocalist / lyricist) had to say: “I hate breakup songs. I don’t know why, it’s the most universal feeling. Maybe because the world has so many of them. Moving to London was a dramatic shift from small-town life where it didn’t even occur to me I could do music, where this vision of me as a housewife who never amounted to anything felt inescapable, in to a bigger world, of people from all over, of new ideas and a new version of myself.”


16 | Eugene Ughetti & Robin Fox | Transducer

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian master percussionist Eugene Ughetti teams up with composers Anthony Pateras, Liza Lim, Robin Fox and others to create a series of deeply textured and intensely executed solo percussion works on his album Agglomeration Of Measurements, out July 31. Exploding out the ideas of his chosen instruments, Ughetti’s work is relentless in its search for new articulations and extended readings, seeking entirely new methods of approaching percussion. “This album is a distillation of the many long-term relationships I’ve had with Australian composers. The music forms a body of work, spanning fifteen years, that provides a glimpse into my percussive language and a twenty-first century Australian percussion sound.” Sample Transducer right now.”


17 | Ocean Alley | Lonely Diamond

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Beloved Aussie songwriters Ocean Alley are stoked to release their long-awaited third album Lonely Diamond, which has been accompanied by a 12-track visualiser. The ‘masters of groove’ wrote and recorded the highly anticipated followup to 2018’s Chiaroscuro over 18 months, and discussing the expectation they felt to deliver on this record, Ocean Alley shared, “The pressure was immense for the band but also for each of us individually. We had never been so exposed to critique like that before and it’s not something we ever expected to experience when we started doing this. At times we all felt a bit out of control but it was important for us to go through it together so we can back each other up.”


18 | DLMT | Elevate

THE PRESS RELEASE:DLMT turns in a masterful tech house production complete with a groovy bassline and chanted rap vocal on his single Elevate, which is set to be one of DLMT’s biggest tracks this year. The playful song dials in a crisp beat propelled by cheeky vocals and a rumbling bassline, gifting fans an infectious lockdown groove. Over the last two years, DLMT has been shaping the future of the house music scene. With hard-hitting bass lines fused with euphoric and melodic vocals, his sound is one of the most recognizable styles in the industry.”


19 | Oneiric Celephaïs | From Beyond

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Florentian melodic, technical death metal masters Oneiric Celephaïs have premiered their new lyric video for the track From Beyond. It’s taken from the band’s debut EP The Obscure Sibyl, which will be released on Aug. 7. Speaking about The Obscure Sibyl, the band have said: “The EP plunges its roots into the nethermost recesses of human emotion and the listener will be guided by the Sibyl in a journey through visions and illusions to the uttermost fall of men.”


20 | Gypsy Pistoleros | Una Para Todo Es Bandido

THE PRESS RELEASE:Gypsy Pistoleros return with an Aug. 28 release, The Greatest Flamenco Sleaze Glam Band Ever! – a best-of 18 track anthology album. The first single, Una Para Todo es Bandido is out now! Una Para Todo es Bandido encompasses what Gypsy Pistoleros are all about. One minute you could be sitting in Cabo sipping the most exquisite tequila the next you are downing pints in an underground club in London. Unique, engaging and dangerous, it pounces between upbeat Mariachi and street born-and-bred sleaze-drenched, fiery rock.”


21 | Jaga Jazzist | Spiral Era (Prins Thomas Remix)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Highly esteemed astral traveller and Norwegian king of the disco Prins Thomas remixes Spiral Era from Jaga Jazzist’s forthcoming album Pyramid, out on Aug. 7. Truly a match made in heaven, Prins Thomas expertly elevates the eight-piece’s monstrous grooves skywards to the stars, conjuring a cosmic rework that unravels over a cool 11 mins and 17 secs. “We love this version and it feels like a full circle since so much of the music on this album is inspired by the Norwegian music scene fronted by Prins Thomas, Lindström and Todd Terje,” says Lars from the band.”


22 | Two Bird Stone | If You Wanna Come Back

THE PRESS RELEASE:Two Bird Stone is a dynamic new band founded by singer/songwriter Liam Thomas Bailey and featuring some of Nashville’s and New York’s finest musicians. The band formed in 2019 and will release their debut album Hands & Knees on Sept. 11. If You Wanna Come Back is their latest preview. “This story is told by a cheeky fellow who intends to convince his companion that his selfish absence is absolved by the depth of his return,” Bailey says. “The tenor of this track suggests that his love is true and that his commitment was fortified by his need to wander.”


23 | Chris Bell | Whispering Town

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Performing as a member of Wintersleep and working as a live sound engineer with the likes of Broken Social Scene, Arkells, and more have led Chris Bell to his most recent project — the self-produced full-length, Division Street. The album touches on all of Bell’s previous sensibilities while offering the most immediately accessible songwriting and multi-faceted production values to be heard in his already high quality body of work. Division Street is the culmination of Bell’s years as a budding and driven musician/producer into a finely balanced song cycle that, while bouncing between folk rock and hard rock, coheres into a listening experience that captivates, soothes and gets the toes tapping throughout the track listing.”


24 | Shuffalo | Stay On Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary-based pop-rock quartet Shuffalo have released the new single Stay On Me. The emotive, slow-burning gem is the first taste from an EP to be released later this summer; a followup to the quartet’s debut EP Heart Attack. Says lead vocalist Brayden Bell, “We recorded this song along with two others in a one week stretch. For one week straight we woke up early, drove to the studio, recorded all day, drove back into the night, and repeated the process. It was possibly the happiest we’ve been as a band consistently. We learned a lot about each other, not only in the musical sense, but personalities and characteristics as well. We came back to Calgary burnt out, united and happy.”


25 | Ryan Sawyer | Ituri Rain on Tin

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New York’s far-reaching drummer Ryan Sawyer will release Your Heart Will Be Your Skin, his debut solo LP and a unique collection of percussion-led cover songs, on July 3. First single Ituri Rain on Tin is a cover of Sonic Youth. As is key throughout the record, Sawyer refrains from simply playing the track’s drum parts alone, instead reinterpreting the entire track (melody, harmony, chords and all) into new instrumentation. It begins with thunder before Sawyer’s vocals — hopeful, expressive, reverent — drag us away from the ferocity of the drums.”


26+27 | Cass McCombs & Steve Gunn | Sweet Lucy + Wild Mountain Thyme

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Two of the greatest shapeshifters in modern roots music are Cass McCombs and Steve Gunn. On this intriguing collaborative single, they present a lilting, laid-back take on Michael Hurley’s psychedelic folk classic Sweet Lucy as well as a beautiful rendition of traditional Scottish tune Wild Mountain Thyme. “This 7″ was intended to be sold exclusively at our now-cancelled West Coast tour,” McCombs explained. “My side is a song written by Michael Hurley, Steve’s side is a traditional Scottish/Irish song. We did them both the same day, as quickly as possible, in a studio in Burbank. It was supposed to be a souvenir. I suppose it still is, but for a different reason. We decided to release a 7” of them on Juneteenth and donate proceeds to these organizations supporting black lives to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.”


28 | Cat Power & -M- | Toop Toop (A Tribute to Zdar)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “One year after the tragic passing of Philippe Cerboneschi (Zdar), -M- and Cat Power share a cover of Toop Toop by Cassius (a duet Zdar composed with Boombass). Originally released back in 2006, the song is one of Cassius’ flagship singles. “Chan (Cat Power) and Matthieu (-M-) wanted to pay Philippe homage at his funeral. A few days earlier, we met at the Motorbass studio to hear their rehearsals. We were standing by the entrance, not daring to enter the studio room as the events were too recent and surrealistic. It felt unreal to be there without him. Cat Power and -M- started humming Toop Toop … That moment was so magical that we decided to turn the console, plug in the microphones and make the first recording of this new chapter in life. This foundational event gave us the strength and encouraged us to preserve the future of his beloved studio.”