Indie Roundup | 22 Tracks To Make Monday More Interesting

Start your week with new cuts from Peter Katz, Giby Clake, L.A. Guns & more.

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Peter Katz commits, Raays makes a long introduction, Immaterial Possession see things, Tedy declares war and more in an eclectic Monday Roundup. You’ve got everything from indie-pop and guitar-rock to post-punk and death metal on tap today — but Horseneck’s cover of School’s Out might be the best thing I heard today. And Ryan Sawyer’s take on Hanging On The Telephone is definitely the weirdest. Scroll down and judge for yourself.

 


1 | Peter Katz | I Will Never Leave You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Not to suggest that everyone needs to fall off a cliff to discover a renewed direction in life and art, but, as it turns out, it did work for Peter Katz. The accidental drop was his twisted and not a little bit painful road to making his startling new album, City of Our Lives. Due out on Sept. 18, Katz shares the new single I Will Never Leave You — co-written with Grammy-winning writer Rich Jacques (Lisa Loeb, Colin Hay) and produced by Juno-nominated Derek Hoffman (The Trews, RALPH, Caveboy). “When I first wrote the lyric I Will Never Leave You, I thought it was for someone else, but it became clear that the person I was writing for was in the mirror,” shares Katz. “Oftentimes the first person we sacrifice is ourselves, which ultimately means we can’t be of service to anybody. I’ve certainly been guilty of this at times.”


2 | Raays | Prelude

THE PRESS RELEASE: “About two years ago something beckoned Aaron Raays back to the West Coast. “It was a deep intuitive sense I was to come home,” he says. His return coincided with a renaissance of experimental new age-minded music percolating in L.A. — meditative daytime synth happenings in Highland Park, with frequent collaborations among many of the players. Raays, who previously performed with indie acts ranging from Gardens & Villa, leftfield club duo Playces, and New Jersey hip-hop hero Moruf Adewunmi, began a new exploratory project called Prelude. The album is the culmination of Raays’ many years studying improvisational jazz, ambient, world rhythms, and hazy beat-making. Prelude‘s keen interest in percussion unfolds across 23 minutes. Soft radio waves and crystalline wind chimes greet us at the gate, the blurry, lunar hip-hop production of Clams Casino a loose touchstone. Raays’ electronic drum rig cleverly mutates textures and cymbal crashes, conjuring marching band rhythms and jazz percussion odysseys, drawing on decades of experience; he’s been performing since the age of six. “I want the listener to superimpose their own experience onto the music, something words can’t always touch on,” Raays explains. “To create the basis for reflection. That’s what I’ve always loved about instrumental music.”


3 | Immaterial Possession | See Through Stares

THE PRESS RELEASE:Immaterial Possesion are a dark, psychedelic & theatrical outfit from Athens, Ga. The band draws inspiration from many sources including surreal & abstract theater, DIY post punk, dark pop & mediterranean ’60s noir-folk modes. The record falls right in line with the highly creative, rich and diverse Athens, GA scene associated with Elephant 6’s John Fernandes (Circulatory System, Olivia Tremor Control, Cloud Recordings). See Through Stares is a catching pop tale of altering the past through the present. A dissection of the subconscious, polishing the armor of intuition, fending for the sake of self-worth. “The protagonist of the song is followed as she dances through abandonment and hosts a medieval theater show in the pink rose garden. Shot on Ektachrome super-8 film.”


4 | Tedy | War

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter  Tedy releases a video for his latest track War, the second single from the Montreal-based artist. The video was filmed in the bare streets of downtown Toronto during quarantine. War  is a glimpse into  Tedy’s  past. It exposes his vulnerability as he  explores the conflicting emotions felt towards the end of a toxic relationship  and emphasizes the importance of breaking free. Tedy  explains,  “War  is about learning that no matter how much it hurts, you have to love yourself enough to get out of an environment that is toxic.”


5 | Liz Brasher | Sad Girl Status

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sometimes a piano and a confident voice are all a song needs to get its message across. Liz Brasher’s new release, Sad Girl Status, is just that; Brasher’s acclaimed half-Dominican, half-Italian, and soulfully southern voice upheld by her own piano accompaniment. “Sad Girl Status was really born out of what I felt was a low point in my career, and subsequently my life, towards the end of last year,” says Brasher, open and honest. “In that low state, I sat at the piano, and this super melancholy but really beautiful song just came out in a few minutes. I usually end up adding more instruments or layering sounds even within my initial early writing process, but this song sounded complete as it was.”


6 | Jasmine Dreame Wagner | Switchblade Moon

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jonathan Schwarz and I shot the video for Switchblade Moon on a hot weekend in early September. While Jon usually works with a sophisticated set-up on bigger film, television and commercial projects, he was excited to grab his DSLR and see what kind of images we could make, semi-improvisationally, as we careened around a suburban wasteland. Our original idea was to make a video reminiscent of the horror films we loved as kids and continue to enjoy. Who doesn’t like a good scare that you’re guaranteed to recover from?”


7 | Sabaton | Devil Dogs

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sabaton present a new video for their The Great War album track Devil Dogs, featuring live impressions and memorable moments from their The Great War world tour. ”Filmed during our last tour in North America this video really shows how good the vibe is in the audience when we play. Young and old people singing together and jumping along to our songs every night. I think anyone can see that we love what we do and we cannot wait to do it all again”, says Pär Sundström.”


8 | Vaya Futuro | Talión

THE PRESS RELEASE:Vaya Futuro announced the release of upcoming album El Peso Del Mundo (The Weight of the World) with the release of ((o)) — a graphic representation of pain, the track demonstrated a musical rebirth for the band. This evolution continues with Talión, an immersive sonic experience interpreting a revenge fantasy. “When we started recording, this song seemed like it wasn’t going to work, it was one of the slowest to complete,” said band principal Luis Aguilar. “In the end, the common thread ended up being Marco Martínez’s string arrangement, which is the only arrangement on the entire album that Arturo Vázquez-Vela did not make. The song’s title refers to the Law of Talion (an eye for an eye) and relates different forms of injustice as memories of the past and how these influence someone to fall into this type of anger.”


9 | Supernaive | Under Control (ft. NAL)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “French producers and brothers Supernaive just released their debut album Nekomata. Recorded between Paris and Tokyo, the record features elements of electronica and RnB akin to the esoteric stylings Jamie xx or Mount Kimbie. The band subvert expectations on Under Control (ft. NAL) with the guest vocalist’s impassioned washing over a kind of futuristic waltz full of vintage synths and canonical drum samples. In the accompanying visual from Bal, we are finally introduced to the two characters that form Supernaive — the liberated creative who finds joy in chaos, and the methodological thinker with a sense of laser-focused precision.”


10 | Daniel Joseph Cohen | Strange

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto-based indie-pop musician Daniel Joseph Cohen has released his first single Strange, from his upcoming debut EP. When the the lockdown first first hit Toronto, out of work and feeling disillusioned, Daniel used the opportunity reignite his love of songwriting and immediately got to work on crafting new songs. Strange is a timpani-thumping, Stratocaster-twanging, vocal-crooning rollercoaster of explosive melodic energy that depicts a fantastical landscape of a world on the brink of collapse and the whirlwind of emotion that comes with it. Drawing inspiration from albums like David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs and Cat StevensTea for the Tillerman fused with the modern driving intensity of bands like Arkells and Mumford and Sons, Daniel crafts a sound uniquely his own. A sound both upbeat and poppy, full of childlike whimsy, yet fuelled by angst and melancholy. “I am bashfully excited to share something close to the heart, something relateable, and the most honest version of myself I can put out to the world.”


11 | Dione Taylor | How Many Times

THE PRESS RELEASE:How Many Times is the first single release from Dione Taylor’s long-awaited album Spirits In The Water, arriving Sept. 11. Continuing on with her unmistakable Prairie Blues sound that she demonstrated on her previous album Born Free, Dione Taylor’s music is a mixture of Roots, Blues and Americana. Dione shares her inspiration for the first single How Many Times. “My faith in humanity and its ability to show equality and unconditional love towards every human being on earth is being challenged right now. We all deserve the freedom and the right to be our best and most authentic selves regardless of race, religion, creed, sex or gender. When our freedoms and rights aren’t met, in spite of seemingly endless admonitions and honest prayers, we feel more than frustration and anger. We feel helpless and hopeless. But, we still believe and dream of a better world.”


12 | Slit Your Gods | Cult of Supreme Blasphemy

THE PRESS RELEASE:Dogmatic Convictions Of Human Decrepitude is the debut EP from the Spain’s new purveyors of utter brutality, Slit Your Gods! Dogmatic Convictions Of Human Decrepitude delivers three songs of absolutely relentless death metal devastation. The insanely inhuman vocals of Jordi Mora are a bastion of strength at the heart of a maelstrom of jagged, jolting riffs and frenetic, pulverising rhythms; the voice of the anti-god roaring defiance and disbelief at the temples of deceit. These songs conceal vicious hooks within their battering onslaught, irresistible riffs that will ensnare you, drag you down beneath the surface of their tidal wave of horror. Dogmatic Convictions Of Human Decrepitude is a monolith of brutality…and this is just the beginning.”


13 | Gilby Clarke | The Gospel Truth

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In the world of rock, Gilby Clarke needs no introduction. From crunching legendary chords on his beloved Gibson Guitar in the stadiums with Guns N’ Roses, to getting down into the Snakepit to with his GNR buddy Slash, gracing our TV Screens on the widely watched rock reality show Rockstar: Supernova or creating pure, heartfelt rock music as a solo artist, Gilby Clarke has done it all. Out now, The Gospel Truth is the second single lifted from Gilby’s forthcoming album of the same title, and is about the concept of truth today. The truth is whatever someone says out loud, no one is accountable and it’s puzzling. Reflecting on an upbringing within the Catholic church, Gilby Clarke reflects on the idea that honesty shouldn’t come from fear, and encourages the listener to be brave, say what you mean, and mean what you say.”


14 | L.A. Guns | Well Oiled Machine

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following on from the release of their single Crawl back in April, L.A. Guns are set to drop their next track Well Oiled Machine. Also lifted from their forthcoming album Renegades (slated for release later this year), Well Oiled Machine sees L.A. Guns as just that; a well-oiled machine that is fuelled by high octane rock ’n’ roll. Whilst their classic L.A. rock sound remains, the band have upped the ante here adding a little more polish. Sonically, Well Oiled Machine easily drops into today’s rock market.”


15 | Volcanova | I’m Off

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Icelandic stoner rockers in Volcanova released a new single called I’m Off. It’s the second single from the band’s upcoming album Radical Waves, out Aug. 21. While starting off with a psychedelic, dreamy, and almost jam-like guitar riff laid down by Samúel Ásgeirsson, I’m Off soon shows its true face and turns into a full-blown mastodont of fuzzy sludge, with drummer/vocalist Dagur Atlason shouting “We’re gonna keep you all night, you’ll never get out alive!” Þorsteinn Árnason (Bass/Vocals) further explains the song: “This is a song full of uplifting moments with epic guitar solos, underpinned by headbanging bass grooves! I’m Off is all about the fun and tells the story of how to keep the party going because for obvious reasons, life shouldn’t be boring, it’s a party.”


16 | Atramentus | Stygian (Excerpt I)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Atramentus — with members of Chthe’ilist, Funebrarum, Gevurah, and more among its ranks — presents its debut LP, Stygian, now confirmed for August release. The icebound agony of the monolithic Stygian: Birthed on a cold winter night in 2012 and during an autumnal sunset in 2013, the cursed tale remained dormant for years, only recently being put to tape so the nameless knight’s saga could be told. Granted immortality through the gift of the God’s sword, the nameless knight eventually witnesses the death of the sun and the end of all life on Earth. Surviving the great deluge, he is left to wander amongst the ruins of a now frozen earth under a sunless sky for eternity, alone and unable to die even by the scorching-cold blizzard winds around him, enduring perpetual physical torture while haunted by the memories of his past life and everyone he once knew buried under miles of ice. Immerse yourself in the lead audio excerpt from Stygian now.”


17 | Ryan Sawyer | Hanging On The Telephone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New York’s far-reaching drummer Ryan Sawyer releases his debut solo LP, a unique collection of percussion-led cover songs, Your Heart Will Be Your Skin in July. Second single Hanging On The Telephone is a cover of a track originally by The Nerves’ songwriter Jack Lee, but popularised the world over by Blondie. Ryan tells us “I felt like Hanging on the Telephone had many dimensions to it based on who was singing it. The original by The Nerves is creepy and demanding, the Blondie version is demanding and sexy. My version had no intent other than to celebrate a truly amazing pop song. The Nerves’ version is incredibly stripped down with a death defying guitar lead that propels the song. It’s almost so good that it over shadows the lyrics. This version was an attempt to capture something that balances these ideas.”


18 | Sonn | Rumours ft. Lontalius

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Relaxed, lo-fi production with integrated hints of electronica are the soft bedrock to Rumours, with rolling percussion with lilting piano melodies at hand to lift the track. A beautifully controlled performance from Lontalius, his vocals mirror the serenity that Rumours exudes. With his output crossing genres and borders alike, Sonn continues his steady reign as being one of the go-to producers for many; a frequent collaborator with the likes of Ayelle and Nakala.”


19 | Rex | Hondje

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Known for post punk, new wave and Spanish rhythms, the Amsterdam-based band Rex explore topics on the darker side of life. In a chaotic whirlwind of lost love, loneliness and companionship, the band are soon to release their self-titled debut EP Rex. Despite sharing the same influential interests from the likes of The Bad Seeds, Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, the bands idiosyncratic sound stems from their own musical backgrounds. Frontman and guitarist Jonathan Rex was born with flamenco in his blood, while drummer Nout Kooij was raised as a die-hard punk, and bass player Sara Elzinga was introduced to blues music before she could walk. Hondje is a story told through the perspective of a dog and the bittersweet relationship that he shares with his companion. Discussing further, they say “The dog’s best friend has returned to him after time apart; someone he has really missed. Although the dog is glad to his friend, something is different. He follows his owner to the same bars and then a tragedy occurs. Together they want a change, but then he realizes it’s too late.”


20 | The Long War | Endless Summer

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver indie-rock band The Long War are releasing their newest single entitled Endless Summer along with a lyric video. “Endless Summer was written in the summer of 2018. The track feels like a cathartic break up anthem. It is about the pain of losing someone and dealing with that loss while being stuck in a summer that felt like it would never end. There was a heatwave and Vancouver felt crazier than usual. Endless Summer is the summer anthem the world needs right now; it balances nostalgia and heartbreak without being a melancholy. Throughout the entire track there is a drive, it crescendos, and fades out leaving the listener with the sweet taste of summer. The layered, honest vocals are the perfect compliment to the booming instrumentals that are never overpowering.”


21 | Horseneck | School’s Out

THE PRESS RELEASE: “West Coast post-hardcore/sludge metal unit Horseneck recently released a rendition of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. The track follows their Fever Dream full-length, independently issued earlier this year. Guitarist Anthony Paganelli comments, “During our Fever Dream recording sessions, we decided to record a few cover songs. Alice Cooper’s School’s Out being one of them. We all love ’70s rock and it’s a big influence in our songs and songwriting. School’s Out is a bad-ass song and that main riff is so catchy and super fun to play. We jammed on it a few times and decided to record it. The other cool thing about recording this song is that we all did vocals on it. All four of us sang. I even had my kids do the yelling part at the end. They thought it was cool to go in the studio and yell into a microphone a few times. But then again, who doesn’t.”


22 | Sam Valdez | Clean

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sam Valdez’s immersive indie-rock sensibility reflects her childhood growing up at the edge of the Nevada desert, and her formative musical experiences as a child violinist. The mystery, beauty, and haunting quality of desert life has shaped the LA-based artist’s sense of dreamy textures, and her flair for abstract but emotive lyrics. Classical music’s majesty has informed her imaginative arrangements, and cinematic sense of dynamics. Sam has melded in an intriguing blend of shoe-gaze, Americana, indie-rock, and pop into a signature aesthetic. “I’ve always tried to write from the most genuine place that I can, but, lately, and with this record, I’ve been working on sharing more sides of my views and emotions.”