Indie Roundup | 25 Tracks To Take Thursday Up A Notch

Kestrels, Sola Rosa, Zolas, Dream Nails and plenty more deliver the goods.

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Kestrels make their point, Sola Rosa works hard for the money, The Zolas get reanimated, Dream Nails celebrate the Jillian in all of us and more in today’s Roundup. It’s been one of those days when my brain is the only thing working slower than my fingers, so I’m cutting my losses and wrapping it up now. I suggest you do the same — but not before checking out that Warlung track. Shit smokes.

 


PICKS OF THE DAY

1 | Kestrels | Vanishing Point

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kestrels are sharing their second single from their upcoming album Dream or Don’t Dream, out on July 10th. The explosive and captivating opening track to Kestrels’ supercharged fourth album, Vanishing Point follows the J Mascis collaboration Grey and Blue. Guitarist and vocalist Chad Peck explained, “I liked the idea of the record opening with the band kicking in with this intense and hypnotic riff as opposed to a synth overture or a bunch of sound effects. This is a song where John Agnello took out some of the layered rhythm guitars to open the song up, and as a result it really jumps out of the speakers. He also ran the vocals through a Leslie which is a cool effect. Lyrically, it’s about recognizing a relationship is ending and the unease that comes with the undeniable, inevitable feeling of collapse, and recognizing distortions in your thinking. It careens between “wanting to hide” and “I don’t want to lie”, reflecting the oscillating feelings involved in letting go. The title comes from the David Markson book of the same name, one of the best I’ve read in the past few years.”


2 | Sola Rosa | For The Mighty Dollar

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Zealand artist Andrew Spraggon, crafting under the moniker Sola Rosa, teases more new music with for For The Mighty Dollar, featuring regular collaborator and former The Streets singer Kevin Mark Trail. The track is the second single from the forthcoming album, Chasing The Sun, due for release on Sept. 25. Long-time Sola Rosa collaborator Trail gives a poignant message about the track: “Money has been placed as the most important thing in the world and the divide between the rich and poor is still very wide. Many governments and corporations are still corrupt. Inequality, sexism, racism and injustice continue to reign. The aim of the song is to get people to think about the life we are living. The Covid-19 pandemic has given us time to question our values and direction, personally and globally, but what do we want? Who are we? What do we need? Where is the love? Could we be living better with each other and the planet as a whole?”


3 | The Zolas | Come Back to Life

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Zolas’ summer of Z DAYS continues today with the brand new single and video Come Back To Life. The track forms part of collection of apocalyptic songs that the band will be releasing each month this summer. The video for Come Back To Life carries on the Wong Kar-Wai-inspired lyric vignettes series to accompany each Z Day release. “We’ve been fans of Wong Kar-Wai for years,” explains Zach Gray, “especially his punkier ’90s movies like Fallen Angels, and had always chatted socially with the Amazing Factory guys about doing something together one day that paid homage to that vibe.”


4 | Dream Nails | Jillian

THE PRESS RELEASE: “London punks Dream Nails have been the subject of considerable excitement in the U.K. since they first emerged on the DIY scene. Today the band are announcing their debut self-titled full length, which will be released Aug. 28. The band have been compared to The Slits and Elastica in the past, and shades of both are present on their latest single Jillian, a song about queerness, body positivity and problematic TV fitness celebrity Jillian Michaels. “This is a song about realizing you’re queer while you’re doing a workout DVD,” explains singer Janey Starling. “It’s a personal-power anthem about finding the strength to come out; that’s what the line ‘I feel the fear leaving my body’ is all about. Both [bassist] Mimi and I discovered strength training through Jillian Michaels30 Day Shred home DVD, and the catch-phrases were too good to not make a song from! Since then, she’s said some uncool and unkind stuff to Lizzo, which we were really gutted to hear. This song is very much about finding your own strength, regardless of your body shape.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

5 | Korpiklaani | Harmaja

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The folk metal superheroes Korpiklaani premiere their new live video of Harmaja. The show was recorded with the brass section of the Lathi Symphony Orchestra at Nosturi, Helsinki. The band comments: “Since 2018 we have been performing with the brass section of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Our first show with them was Masters of Rock, which was probably one of our most fun shows ever! (Yes, it was recorded.) Early 2019, they joined us on our tour in Finland and this is one from the now closed Nosturi in Helsinki. Video was produced by Månsas Productions.”


6 | Junkowl | Crawling Under My Feet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Oozing with rock ’n’ roll vibes, Junkowl is coming for ya out of Montreal, QC, Canada. While the band has been under lockdown like many others, they were able to get together to record a new off the floor acoustic version of their track Crawling Up My Feet. The track is a stripped-down version of a song about “falling in love with someone when you’re depressed or struggling with addiction, and essentially about how it’s pretty much impossible to love someone properly when you don’t love yourself” and truly showcases the raw emotion it projects.”


7 | Might | Warlight

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With the debut album from Germany-based avant doom/shoegaze duo Might less than two weeks away, the band just issued a video for the single Warlight. The married couple Ana Muhi (vocals, bass) and Sven Missullis (guitars, vocals, drums) moved into their own studio in March 2020 to record their self-titled debut album. Missullis adds, “We have chosen the song Warlight as the second single release, because we consider that in combination with the first release Pollution Of Mind it offers a good view on the whole musical spectrum of our debut album. Shooting the video, we worked with backlight, shadows and darkness. We wanted to create a mystic atmosphere and again it was only the two of us. Ana and I have the same workflow, we are likewise uncompromising and meanwhile we even complement each other without speaking.”


8 | Half Past Two | I Will

THE PRESS RELEASE:Half Past Two is a nine-piece blend of ska, rock, reggae, and pop punk from Orange County, California. Their new EP Something Blue features three trad flavored ska tracks sure to please any ska fan, including a cover of The BeatlesI Will. After five studio releases and over 100 shows to their name, these veterans of the live local scene carry headlining credits and have supported national and international touring acts. Half Past Two’s strong connection to the Orange County music scene is evidenced by an Orange County Music Awards nomination for Best Alternative Band, airplay on KROQ radio and inclusion in the 2016 indie movie Confessions of a Womanizer (featuring Gary Busey and C. Thomas Howell).”


9 | Rarity | Leave It Alone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hamilton-based rock quintet Rarity make their return to the Canadian punk scene with Leave It Alone, the band’s first new single since the 2019 full-length, The Longest Lonesome. Leave It Alone is a testament to the band of longtime friends who came together to have fun and write one of their most exciting tracks. The lyrics came together in one night, a story put together from ideas jotted down in the Notes app. While touring has been put on hold due to the pandemic, the Rarity camp are eager for that green light — the go-ahead — ready for that first night they get to rip Leave It Alone live for everyone.”


10 | Sons of Butcher | Lockdown Phase One

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sons of Butcher, Canada’s most formidable “mock rock” band, has a new collection of music out, aptly named Lockdown In Steeltown, themed around the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the band share their new music video Lockdown Phase One, filmed collectively with fans in their own personal lockdowns. The Sons of Butcher add: “Sol Butcher sings about the new rules in the pandemic lockdown in Steeltown! We asked our fans to join us on zoom to rock out to the song and they answered the call!! We dedicate this to our loyal and devoted Patreon fans and all the other hardcore SOB fans that have stuck with us over the years!”


11 | Evangeline Gentle | Ordinary People

THE PRESS RELEASE:Evangeline Gentle is sharing the new live video for Ordinary People, directed by Rob Viscardis, from their self-titled debut LP. The song celebrates the strength it takes to stay soft in a world that can harden you with a single headline. This August, the LP will be released on vinyl. Produced by Jim Bryson at his studio Fixed Hinge, Evangeline’s self-titled debut album makes for a powerful introduction to this Peterborough-based singer/songwriter.”


12 | David Toop | Suddenly The World Had Dropped Away

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Apparition painting is the term used to describe a certain type of ancient Chinese painting of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In these works, often associated with Chan (Zen) teachings, the ink used to depict the subject was exceptionally pale, the background lacking in any detail. As Yukio Lippit has written: “This combination results in remarkably self-dissembling images that somehow compromise their own visibility. Apparition painting appears to capture its subjects in mid-fade, as if managing to preserve only a dimly translucent after-image of a bygone entity. Apparition Painting is the title of Toop’s upcoming album, which includes the track Suddenly The World Had Dropped Away.”


13 | Palace Winter | Top Of The Hill

THE PRESS RELEASE:Palace Winter release a trippy music video for the lead single from their upcoming album ...Keep Dreaming, Buddy. Top of the Hill, along with much of …Keep Dreaming, Buddy was written through a long distance correspondence while lead singer/songwriter Carl Coleman was living in Tenerife last winter. Though the song’s lyrics evoke images of Tenerife, Top of the Hill is, from its conception, a tale of two cities. The music video takes us on a trippy walk around Copenhagen with actress Carla Viola Thurøe, her gaze shifting between crystal balls, and visually-trailed flowers, inspecting their texture.”


14 | The Actual Goners | Diamond Dust

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Landing just ahead of their self-titled EP, Canadiana alt-roots rockers The Actual Goners are very much here with the release of their newest single Diamond Dust. “This is a song that celebrates the joy of shared experiences,” co-frontman Tristan Armstrong says, setting the scene. “It’s about those moments when you’ve felt like you’re truly on the same plane as those around you. The imagery in the song is an amalgamation of two different evenings spent wandering around on adventures with friends, far from the city, under the stars… While inebriated.”


15 | Shirley Collins | Sweet Greens and Blues

THE PRESS RELEASE:Shirley Collins will release her album Heart’s Ease on July 24. It is an enthralling new LP from a woman widely acknowledged as England’s greatest female folk singer, and her second new album in four years following 2016’s Lodestar. Today, Collins is pleased to share a second song from the record, Sweet Greens and Blues, one of the album’s non-traditional tracks. The lyrics for Sweet Greens and Blues were written by Shirley’s first husband Austin John Marshall. A graphic artist and poet who produced several of her albums, he had the inspired idea of getting Shirley to work with blues/jazz/world music guitarist Davy Graham on the extraordinary album Folk Roots, New Routes in 1964. The song found its way onto Heart’s Ease after Collins “came across a tape among the hundreds I have got — and there was me singing it in the ’60s, with Davy Graham playing guitar.”


16 | Locket | Everywhere

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Up ’n’ comers LocketBrad Garcia [vocals, guitar], Cory Bergeron [guitars], and Travis Morrison [bass] — have shared their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic Everywhere. “We recorded this before the world went into quarantine,” says Garcia. “Right now, I think it means something totally different to say ‘I want to be with you everywhere,’ because a lot of people aren’t fortunate enough to be with their loved ones. You don’t always have that luxury during lockdown. Ironic as it is now, it seems more relevant than ever. All that aside, I love Fleetwood Mac, and I love this song.”


17 | Gorgatron | Insurmountable

THE PRESS RELEASE: “North Dakota death metal/grind faction Gorgatron have unveiled a lyric video for Insurmountable, the latest hymn from the band’s Pathogenic Automation, set for release this August. “I write a lot of lyrics about cybernetic organisms,” elaborates vocalist Karl Schmidt of the track’s themes. “This tune is about a person who puts his brain into a robot to escape his crippling existential doubt. Somehow, he finds solace in mechanization.” Comments guitarist Paul Johnson, “Insurmountable opens up with riff that is undeniably influenced by a certain band of morbid fellas from Florida with some shifting harmonies thrown in to get things real creepy and make you feel gross. Bingo bongo, verse hits, riff descends into chunkville and drums thrash, keeping things moving … Larry David might say this song is pretty… pretty… pretty… pretty… good.”


18 | Los Coast | A Change Is Gonna Come

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Austin, TX-based Los Coast release A Change Is Gonna Come featuring Gary Clark Jr. Their version of the iconic Sam Cooke song follows the psychedelic alt-soul outfit’s 2019 debut Samsara. Los Coast frontman Trey Privott said, “We decided to do our version of this song last year. I think we’d come to a place where rather than writing a song, we wanted to pay tribute to the greats who’d come before us. My producer Jacob Sciba and I started working on some cover ideas. We thought ‘let’s do Sam Cooke!’ In my mind, he is one of the best singers in history, and I’d been singing his tunes since I was 16. I’d toured with Gary Clark Jr. earlier in the year, and we’d decided we wanted to work on something soon. Jacob hit him up to see if he wanted to get involved. He knocked it out of the park.”


19 | Liturgy & Leya | Antigone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Transcendental black metal band Liturgy and N.Y.C.-based avant-pop duo Leya are sharing a new collaborative track titled Antigone. “We recorded the song in late February before 2020 got so insane.” Liturgy’s Hunter Hunt-Hendrix said. “Originally its purpose was as a single to promote a tour we were going to do together last April that ended up getting cancelled. The track had a different name originally, and we would have put it out in early April, but held off, because we were hoping to postpone the tour and just use it for the later dates. When it became clear in April/ May we simply had to cancel it outright, we decided to just put up the track — and we’d gotten as far as uploading it to be released before I came out as trans.”


20 | Bedsore | Cauliflower Growth

THE PRESS RELEASE:Cauliflower Growth is the infected new single from Rome’s gruesome death metal outfit Bedsore. Bedsore’s Hypnagogic Hallucinations is a debut album of considerable imagination and subconscious peculiarity, an uninhibited first step for a band emboldened to travel to the farthest reaches of the possible within the celestial spheres of death metal. Like an Argento film, the Roman band paints the canvas of death metal in vivid bright washes of ornamented color and stabs of inventive horror that belies the corporeal grotesquery of the band’s name. Probing into the brain through psychedelic digression and winding hypnotic prog a protean world of weird organic contours and mysterious meaning take shape.”


21+22 | Cut Worms | Unnatural Disaster + Baby Come On

THE PRESS RELEASE:Cut Worms, moniker of Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Max Clarke, presents two new tracks, Unnatural Disaster b/w Baby Come On. The skeleton of Unnatural Disaster was written in 2013 when Clarke was living in Chicago and finished in Memphis last year. It moseys with twangy guitar and Clarke’s magnetic, textured voice. The upbeat b-side, Baby Come On, is a forthright love song as Clarke sings: “Hold me close // Say you will // And always be mine // Be the only one I ever wanted to find.” These first songs preview new Cut Worms music to be released later this year. “I guess you could say [Unnatural Disaster] took six years to write, though it mostly came all at once when It finally did come,” says Clarke. “Oddly enough, I recall way back in Chicago, at one point there was a placeholder lyric that said something like ‘to New York or Tennessee.’ Funny I ended up focused on both of those places.”


23 | Warlung | The Scorpion In The Sand

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Texas heavy rock unit Warlung will release their third full-length Optical Delusions on Oct. 9. Warlung describe their experience crafting this new album: “On Optical Delusions, we found a middle ground between the classic horror theme of the first album and the rock n roll aspect of the second. We continued to experiment with song structures and changing tempos to keep the music dynamic and interesting. This album explores everything we have done before while guiding us into something new.” Check out the title track now.”


24 | Mass Datura | Eternally Sold Separately

THE PRESS RELEASE: “London band Mass Datura release their sophomore album Wish Untitled on July 10. Today, they share new track Eternally Sold Separately. Merging their tongue-in-cheek lyrics with an upbeat tempo, Mass Datura jump straight into the deep end with this track as the driving bass line plummets through a tidal wave of garage rock. The rhythm guitar steers the band through a wave of sonar emotions from warped echoing ambience and orchestral crescendos, to all-out aggressive art-rock choruses.”


25 | Katherine Abbott | Wayward

THE PRESS RELEASE:Katherine Abbott is a free-spirited folk singer-songwriter from England. Growing up in a musical household, she has been singing all her life and began writing songs as a teenager which led to pursuing a musical career through busking & performance. Influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Bon Iver and inspired by the quest for freedom and the contrast between reality and dreams, Abbott composes songs on guitar that display poetic and thought provoking lyrical content and a haunting, soulful and soaring vocal delivery. Abbott’s songs blend contemporary subject matter with classic folk songwriting to create something truly unique & captivating.Abbott has performed up and down the country playing acoustic sets at festivals including Glastonbury, Rollright Fayre and Secret Garden Party and some of her personal highlights include playing in venues of great renown including Ronnie Scott’s & The Troubadour in London, as well as being invited to perform at the commemorative Nick Drake Gathering.”