Indie Roundup | 21 Tracks To Improve Your Thursday

Black Ink River, Figure Walking, Jimkata, Crystal Spiders and more make a day of it.

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Black Ink River look to the sky, Figure Walking share their last dollar, Jimkata come and go, Crystal Spiders get caught in their own web and more in your Thursday Roundup. Insert your own snappy patter here; I can’t think of any today.

 


PICKS OF THE DAY

1 | Black Ink River | Sulphur Sky

THE PRESS RELEASE:Black Ink River is back with a hard-hitting rock tune that’s a bit faster and more straight forward than the last single release No No No. Sulphur Sky is the second single from their upcoming album due to be released later this year. The band says that this song is a shout-out to all the crazy ultra-religious people out there and also an encouragement to live your life free of chains. The music video for this song is played out as a parody of the revival movement.”


2 | Figure Walking | Last Dollar (Green July)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Figure Walking is drummer Rob Gardiner (Conduct, Pip Skid) and Canadian independent music stalwart Greg MacPherson (baritone guitar, vocals, keys). Based in Winnipeg, minutes from the geographic centre of North America, Figure Walking makes music that is at once unmistakably local (fighting through the isolation and limitations of what is essentially a mixed up, outpost town) and reflective of the complex lives being lived beyond the horizon. Today, the band is sharing the first new track off their upcoming LP, Vertical / Horizontal. About Last Dollar (Green July), MacPherson says : “Whether it’s a fresh new pandemic cooked up by some dead-in-the-eyes STEM worker or it’s thousands of aging atomic weapons hidden in fields off the I-29, it seems sometimes that our civilization is getting good at being awful. Last Dollar is a song about Winnipeg this summer, it’s about being happy and in love, making out and smoking menthols over a giant pile of fireworks on the hottest day of July. “


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

3 | Jimkata | Wanna Go

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jimkata are a three-piece anthemic, synth-washed, electro-rock band based out of Ithaca and Los Angeles. With a triumph of swirling analog synths, infectious pop hooks and candid lyrics, Jimkata have built a distinct sound which has been resonating with listeners across the country. After taking a two and a half year hiatus following the release of six studio albums and the successful building of a vibrant, grassroots fanbase, Jimkata are back with a vibrant new single and accompanying visuals for Wanna Go. Wanna Go narrates the negative effects of social media and how it can make you feel insignificant. It’s about perception versus reality in a time when we are flooded with everyone presenting an idealized image of themselves and their lives to the world. The trio explain, “It took on an extra layer of meaning for us after the pandemic began and we all started quarantining, stuck in our houses and apartments, staring into our phones, longing for a different world and becoming overly acquainted with our immediate surroundings.”


4 | Crystal Spiders | Trapped

THE PRESS RELEASE: “North Carolina’s fierce doom duo Crystal Spiders will release their debut album Molt on Sept 25. Molt has nine instant proto-doom classics, dripping with enough swagger and fuzz to make the house crumble down. Enhanced by the unrivaled production of Mike Dean (Corrosion Of Conformity), Brenna Leath’s hoarse vocals strike hard on top of the duo’s devastating rhythm section, giving a strong, catchy hard rock depth to the whole record. Their cinematic debut video for Trapped was produced by cult Chariot Of Black Moth team, for a sprawling incursion into Crystal Spiders’ world.”


5 | Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music | Two Kinds Of Law

THE PRESS RELEASE: “NYC musician and acclaimed author Mickey Leigh is debuting Two Kinds of Law, a powerful and timely new single with his band Mutated Music. The track (inspired by a line in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and a quote from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech) and its newly released music video are now streaming everywhere. Says Leigh: “The importance of “equality” and “justice for all” has come to the forefront of our lives like never before. and, it’s a message that needs to be repeated …repeatedly. There aren’t many ways to repeat a message repeatedly without boring.”


6 | Jessy Lanza | Anyone Around

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jessy Lanza releases Anyone Around, the latest from her upcoming album All the Time due July 24. Anyone Around comes with a collaborative video featuring cameos from members of Junior Boys, Savages, Caribou and Boy Harsher among many others. “I’m very grateful to be connected with everyone in this video, even if we’ve never met in person. Thank you to all of the amazing contributors who made this video possible!” Jessy says. “I became absorbed in the world of online music production tutorials and message boards. Of course the feeling of isolation has taken on new meaning recently, as it’s become a new normal for people around the world.”


7 | Spun Out | Another House

THE PRESS RELEASE:Spun Out, the new Chicago-based band led by Mikey Wells, James Weir, and Alex Otake, announce their debut album, Touch The Sound, out Aug. 21. Today, they also present their lead single/video, Another House. Weir elaborates: “Another House is a musical boiling pot of a band break up, a search for a new artistic voice, mixed with imaginative studio exploration. We all know there are much bigger and more important things to discuss right now, but if this video and this song can transport you into a positive headspace, then the music has achieved its goal.”


8 | Avatar | Colossus

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As Avatar step closer to the highly anticipated release of their eighth full-length Hunter Gatherer, the band has delighted fans once again with the debut of their third single from the record, Colossus. Unsettling electronic instrumentation sets the tone as Johannes Eckerström provides the introduction to the track, from which the band bursts into chugging guitar lines, eerie verses and soaring choruses — culminating in one of the most dynamic tracks on the album. The accompanying video mirrors the dystopian reincarnation of the band as it explores humanity’s vicious and complex relationship with technology and control.”


9 | Big Little Lions | It’s Amazing

THE PRESS RELEASE:Big Little Lions have spent the past few months writing and recording a brand new EP full of songs inspired by the current times. Are We There Yet? will be released on July 23. Although these are much different times, Big Little Lions have been used to recording remotely — it’s what they’ve always done! Helen is based in B.C. and Paul is based in Ohio. With the lack of touring they dove into recording a new album and this is the result. Today, they released a video for their single from the album It’s Amazing, plus a new video.”


10 | Overcoats | Fire & Fury (Bedroom Mix)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Critically acclaimed Brooklyn duo, Overcoats, share the bedroom mix of their single, Fire & Fury, along with an accompanying music video. The song is taken from their The Fight (Continued) EP, which is comprised of five stripped-down renditions of tracks from their sophomore album, The Fight. Fire & Fury (Bedroom Mix), like the rest of the EP, serves to reinforce themes of the album: avowing friendship, striving for loyalty, and seeking hope in the face of adversity. Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell of Overcoats offer a rallying cry to push through the ubiquitous feelings of fear, uncertainty, and restlessness during these difficult times. “This feeling of restlessness and being stuck in your room is common amongst all of us, so we wanted to make a video that made that frustration beautiful and made us feel like we were all together,” Overcoats share.”


11 | Oli Fox | Player 2

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Oli Fox shares the self-shot official music video for his recently released single Player 2. The cleverly-crafted straight-to-the-hook pop number draws from Oli’s personal life experiences, showing his own vulnerability through crushingly relatable lyrics with a powerful message that “male ‘inexpression’ needs to be broken down in order to improve men’s wellbeing and mental health.” The video for Player 2, entirely self-shot by Oli on his laptop, phone and webcam with the help of friends, was inspired by the numerous dating in lockdown stories he had read online which really resonated with the lyrics. “I had the idea of using all the platforms that people have been using in isolation, such as Zoom, House Party, Tik Tok and Instagram to keep in touch with their loved ones and their friends,” he says. “I thought how cool it would be to film a home-made performance video through my laptop to show this new perspective of a lonely lover in quarantine reaching out to his player 2, to hope that she gets the message. It was a lot of fun to shoot, though a bit strange to have your house become the set.”


12 | In Parallel | Leave It With The Ghost

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville’s In Parallel are debuting the first track and corresponding music lyric video off their upcoming new EP Fashioner, out Sept. 4. The band, which consists of members of Celebrity & Hopesfall, made Fashioner over the course of 2019 in the band’s home studio, and it was mixed by Ken Andrews (Failure, Year Of The Rabbit). Guitarist Ryan Parrish says: “We’ve been big fans of Ken Andrews’ work for nearly two decades. When it came time to mix the EP, Mark asked who would be at the top of the list and we jokingly threw Ken’s name out there thinking there’s zero possibility it would ever happen,” Ryan tells us. “Unbeknownst to us, Mark tracked down Ken’s email address and sent him a few songs. Ken wrote back within a day or two and said he’d love to work on it — we were blown away. Sonically speaking, he really shaped and added to the depth of Fashioner. We could not be happier with the end result.”


13 | Solaris | Voce

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Italy’s post-noise merchants Solaris present Voce, a smashing editing of cult horror movie The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. Voce is off their new record Un Paese di musichette mentre fuori c’è la morte, out now. The band adds: “The video represents the foggy themes of the lyrics. The beginning, starting out with clear sounds, passes through distortions and dissonances, resulting in a finale marked by metallic sounds. The help of Martin Bisi was fundamental: he used all his creativity to insert those sounds inside the song the best way. The amber tones of the video, edited by our drummer Alan with scenes from Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, define what is the intensity of this song for us, with every single detail.”


14 | Crafting The Conspiracy | Cosmic Key III Dream Sequence

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Texas melodic deathcore quartet Crafting The Conspiracy have completed their second full-length release, The Cosmic Key II — the middle story in their ongoing Cosmic Key trilogy. The album will see release in late August, but here’s a lyric video for its first single, Cosmic Key III Dream Sequence. Vocalist Josh Miranda offers, “This song is about the real world today and how nobody can get along. Humanity has been fighting with itself for ages, and sadly there’s never going to be an end to it. Today, as you all have already witnessed for yourselves, there’s hatred, greed, religion, racism, and other obligations more than you’ll ever know that are taking over and tearing us apart. We believe humanity is the virus itself. We also believe in hope that one day everyone can and will come together and accept one another. Until then keep the snakes out of your grass and keep moving forward. No one in this world was meant to be alone.”


15 | Imogen Clark | The Making Of Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Imogen Clark unveils The Making of Me, the title track from her forthcoming EP, due for release on Aug. 21. The Making Of Me was written during a particularly dark time in Imogen’s life. “It’s about finding the strength to push through”, she says. “I had no way of knowing when we recorded the song, that I’d be releasing it in the middle of a pandemic right as people around the world are facing their darkest hours. If you’re struggling right now, I hope this song speaks to you and helps give you the strength to keep going.”


16 | Eyedress | Last Time I’m Falling In Love

THE PRESS RELEASE:Eyedress shares his new fever dream video for Last Time I’m Falling In Love directed by Bobby Astro. In just two and half minutes, Eyedress takes us on a love-fueled car chase through constantly shifting worlds, starring himself as a getaway driver and his pregnant girlfriend, Elvia, as a mermaid. Eyedress’’ upcoming full length, Let’s Skip To The Wedding, is due out on Aug. 7. The album is his first since relocating from Manila to L.A. in late 2018. A passionate exploration of his love and fears as he prepares to welcome a child into this ever-changing world.”


17 | Autogramm | Working Man

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Infectious power-pop trio Autogramm release a cover of the Rush classic Working Man. Autogramm is a synth-driven, power-pop trio from Vancouver drawing influences from the likes of The Cars, The Go Go’s, Gary Numan, 20/20 and Devo. The band members are Jiffy Marx of Brooklyn’s Hard Drugs and Vancouver’s Blood Meridian, CC Voltage of Berlin’s Dysnea Boys, London’s Loyalties and Vancouver’s Black Halos and Spitfires, and The Silo of Vancouver’s Black Mountain, Lightning Dust and Destroyer.”


18 | Dirty Streets | Tell The Truth

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Scan the press on soul-groove outfit Dirty Streets and you’ll see numerous references to rock, soul, and dirty-blooze touchstones like The Faces, Humble Pie, Otis Redding, CCR and more. Spin Dirty Streets’ records and you’ll hear all of those echoes, plus others — some jazz timing, some acoustic balladry. But by and large, what you’ll hear is a raw, rowdy blend of Motown, Stax and rock — the pure American blood-beat moving through the heart of Memphis groove. The July 31 album Rough and Tumble includes eight positively explosive takes from three of the Memphis trio’s previous studio albums, and also features two meaty, revved-up covers by the great Joe South, including Tell the Truth.”


19 | Kandle | Better Man

THE PRESS RELEASE: “B.C.-born singer-songwriter Kandle Osborne is catharsis personified. Embodying equal parts cabaret chanteuse and ambitious rock singer, she’s covered everything in her inky blues-influenced songs from heartbreak, sexual assault, chronic illness and a loss of power, providing an immense release for her listeners with her treacle dipped voice. Kandle wrote her newest single, Better Man, after she cut ties with someone she had entrusted with her career. She captures a mood of authority, inspired by theatrics of a German cabaret, flipping the script after wallowing in resentment for years.”


20 | Peter Himmelman | Press On

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When is the right time to release another record of original music? Ask the Emmy– and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman and he’s likely to answer with a question of his own: “When is the wrong time? … I think of writing songs like I do respiration. It’s about taking in, and giving out,” Himmelman says. “The things we see and feel are often too difficult to convey in normal conversation.” Press On, recorded live in the studio with the barest minimum of overdubs, captures the immediacy of Himmelman’s new songs and leaves his fervent vocals and guitar front and center. The album is out July 31, but the title cut is here today. “There are lots of wonderful moments that occurred organically in the live take of this track,” says Himmelman. “The musical conversation between Chris Joyner’s rollicking piano and Greg Herzenach’s bluesy Telecaster, the deep swing of Jimi Englund’s drums meshing with the steady pulse of Matt Thompson’s upright bass, and some very strange whoops and hollers in the background vocals as the songs fades to a close.”


21 | MJ Guider | Sour Cherry Bell

THE PRESS RELEASE:Melissa Guion’s Sour Cherry Bell retains the glassy gauze of her debut, 2016’s Precious Systems, but shaded starker and darker, framed by mechanical rhythms and humid industrial moods. She speaks of Sour Cherry Bell as something of a reckoning with her tools of creation: “I was curious to see how far I could go with them, even if that meant reaching the ends of their capacity to do what I wanted. But I never exhausted them and they never exhausted me.”