Indie Roundup | 26 Tracks To Wind Up Your Wednesday

Make the most of midweek with Ron Hawkins, Los Benders, Giants Chair & more.

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Ron Hawkins and his Do Good Assassins call for an insurrection, Los Blenders surf like it’s 2016, Giants Chair ride a Russki racehose, Blitzen Trapper take Billie Jean way too seriously and more in your Midweek Roundup. Is 26 new songs too many for a Wednesday? If it is, too bad.

 


TRACKS OF THE DAY

1 | Ron Hawkins & Do Good Assassins | Teenage Insurrection

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Beloved singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ron Hawkins has released a thumping new single Teenage Insurrection with the Do Good Assassins. Long-revered as one of Canada’s great contemporary singer-songwriters, Hawkins is probably best known for his work as principal songwriter and lead vocalist for legendary Canadian band Lowest of the Low. The track is the first single from Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins’ forthcoming self-produced album titled 246, to be released on Aug. 28. “Teenage Insurrection is a call to every human to tap into that insurrectionary energy we had access to as 16 year olds. To put a shoulder to the wheel and do positive things in our lives,” explains Hawkins. “I feel like the excitement, earnestness and drama of our early teenage years is packed with the kind of inspirational energy that we sought to capture with the organic buzz of this song.”


2 | Los Blenders | Mazunte 2016

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Mexico City surf-punk quartet Los Blenders announce the Sept. 25 release of Mazunte 2016 and share the video of the title track. In the video, Alejandro Archundia, the band’s frontman, disconnects with his surroundings while sitting on his apartment’s rooftop and takes a trip to an alternative dimension. The place is Mazunte, a beautiful sleepy beach town on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. Its spectacular views were filmed on Super 8, which adds to the hazy nostalgia of a past time where things seemed easier. “The song touches on letting go of daily stresses, getting the imagination running, and not caring about other people’s opinions of you,” says Archundia. “This is why, in the video, the people basking in the sun and swimming in the ocean aren’t actors, but common people living in a dream.”


3 | Giants Chair | Russian Racehorse

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Veteran Kansas City post-hardcore/emo greats Giants Chair are premiering their video for Russian Racehorse. Of the politically-charged track and video, frontman Scott Hobart shares, “As a middle-aged, white, midwestern guy writing songs, I’ve generally left ‘protest’ lyrics of any real political or religious specificity to the professionals. What do I really have to say that isn’t already being voiced more eloquently by sharper folks? Or maybe I just didn’t have the balls. But, as the ignorance and arrogance of the Trump era woke me to new, more dangerous levels of reckless absurdity every day, I finally reached the point — maybe the obligation — that I needed to express my frustration in some way, if only for myself. I like metaphors because I think they let language do more work as they encourage more engagement on the part of the listener, so I didn’t feel the need to name names in the song. I guess it’s about politics AS religion and the frenzied futility of human beings telling themselves they have it together in the face of the unfathomable universe. Thanks for listening!”


4 | Blitzen Trapper | Dead Billie Jean

THE PRESS RELEASE:Blitzen Trapper share Dead Billie Jean, the third track from their debut Holy Smokes Future Jokes, out Sept. 11. Led by existential questions about life and death, Holy Smokes Future Jokes finds frontman and lyricist Eric Earley ruminating on the intermediate period between a person’s separate lives on earth, “and what it means to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth.” Of the track he notes, “Pulling together George SaundersLincoln in the Bardo and MJ’s Billie Jean wherein the real Billie Jean has indeed killed herself as she promised Michael she would and now living in a state of rock and roll immortality kicks it in the Intermediate States with Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Abraham Lincoln (?!) smoking mad dope, though she remains unaware of her death somehow as though her death ultimately was an awakening and reinvention.”


5 | Primitive Man | Menacing

THE PRESS RELEASE:Primitive Man have unveiled an unsettling new video clip for Menacing, off the band’s extreme, terrifying, and confrontational new album, Immersion, set for release next month. Comments guitarist/vocalist Ethan McCarthy, “Menacing is about asking the unhinged whirlwind of chaos that controls life to guide you through the various trials and tribulations one might encounter and in what ways that can mold/shape a person’s character. I also speak on the lonely road that one can follow when they refuse to compromise on what they want in this life. Whatever that may be. And that there is a certain level of self-doubt and insanity that blankets all of this. Life is messy.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

6 | Bulletbelt | Punishment Of God

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Zealand black thrash four-piece group Bulletbelt have just revealed a music video for Punishment of God, which comes off the band’s fourth album Warlords, released earlier this month. Recorded at the Surgery Studio in Wellington by group founder Steve Francis (drums) and long-time bassist Tim Mekalick, and co-produced by James Goldsmith (Beastwars, Mermaidens), Warlords was released on July 1.”


7 | Richard Barone | The Streets of New York

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The tribute album Willie Nile Uncovered (Celebrating 40 Years of Music) arrives on Aug. 21. This two-CD collection features 26 songs from the New York rocker’s entire recording history performed by an array of both veteran and emerging artists, each putting their unique stamp on his songs. Here’s the latest preview: Richard Barone tackling Willie’s Streets of New York. Says Barone: “One of the many things Willie Nile and I share in common is a true love for New York City. It comes through not just in lyrics but in the way we play and how we sing. It’s a particular kind of defiance that is always apparent. I first heard this song when Willie and I were on tour in the U.K., in Wales I think, and it didn’t just speak to me, it kinda spoke for me. Especially when we were far away from home. It’s the song I knew I had to sing for this album. The past few months here in NYC, filled with loss and dread, have made me love and appreciate the City even more. To me, this song, so beautifully written, and this video — so beautifully shot by Bryan Berrios — are an open love letter to New York City.”


8 | Kai Whiston & EDEN | Stingray

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The latest from Kai Whiston is the final component in the New World Tapes project, a collaboration with EDEN for new single Stingray. While distorted textures and splintered sampling fill the track in its entirety, Kai creates a sense of uniformity and continuity with its compilation predecessors. EDEN’s ever-present vocals ebb and flow in tandem with the production creating the kind of suspense that only his voice can provide.”


9 | Jared & The Mill | Eliza

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jared & The Mill’s new video for their single Eliza has dropped today. Lead singer Jared has been living the life we’ve all had for the past four months, so while he’s been at home in Phoenix, AZ, he decided, why not do some connecting! The video is a collage of online life, patchworked together into a lighthearted nod to quarantine and how a smile can still make someone’s day. It’s a bit of an Easter egg hunt as well, you might recognize a few folks — there are over 25 different cameos from the band’s friends including Orville Peck, Katie Toupin (formerly of Houndmouth), kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars Josh Lambo, and Jess Haney from Rainbow Kitten Surprise!”


10 | Psychosomatic | We Don’t Trust You

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Invisible Prison is the ravenous new LP from long-running Sacramento thrash-metal squad Psychosomatic, who are completing the album for release in late August. The Invisible Prison’s lead single We Don’t Trust You arrives in the form of a lyric video created by Ben Garcia/Rage4Order (Ministry, Queensrÿche). Psychosomatic bassist/vocalist Jeff Salgado offers, “We felt this song is a good introduction to the album as well as for thrashers who’ve never heard us. A quick anthem of pure hatred for betrayal.”


11 | Masn | Hate Me!

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Artist on the rise Masn releases the music video for his latest track Hate Me! today. The 19-year-old Eagle Mountain, Utah native exploded onto the scene last year when his hit single Psycho! dropped. Masn’s expansive creative palette distills into a dreamy melting pot of lo-fi beatcraft, indie experimentation, hip-hop fluidity, and lush pop. He amplifies every side of himself within his songs and is looking forward to sharing his debut EP How To Kill A Rockstar, which is due out later this summer.”


12 | Ramallah | Dead Boys and Dead Girls Anthem

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ramallah will officially release Last Gasp of Street Rock N’ Roll on Friday, but you can check out the brand-new video for single Dead Boys and Dead Girls Anthem now! The video for Dead Boys and Dead Girls Anthem was made by the band while under quarantine using live footage provided by hate5six, stop time photography by Jeremy Saffer, and You Are Not Alone photos to show solidarity.”


13 | Flyckt | Instant Gratification

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Stockholm artist and producer Flyckt releases his second single Instant Gratification, the title track from his upcoming debut EP Instant Gratification pt. 1, out Aug. 28. New single Instant Gratification deals with feelings of instability and confusion in the aftermath of the breakup of his former band Urban Cone. “After the breakup with my band, dealing with chaos and being generally unstable and confused, I started thinking about happiness. I think it’s impossible to be happy without love. But I also believe self-fulfilment is a big part of happiness. Instant Gratification is a song about things I’ve been doing wrong. It’s about me and people’s urge to have more, and the struggle to find balance. I believe balance is key to happiness. It’s a song about being patient, and investing time and love into whatever you want to do with your life.”


14 | Brimstone Coven | When The World Is Gone

THE PRESS RELEASE: “West Virginia heavy wizards Brimstone Coven share a brooding new excerpt taken from their fourth album The Woes of a Mortal Earth, coming out this Aug. 21. Summoning eerie forces from times past to create a rich and melodic blend of occult and classic rock reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, Coven or Deep Purple, Brimstone Coven deliver a wholehearted brand of sonic witchery that will hold any soul captive inside its magic circle. The past and future collide in a dazzling big bang, melding foreboding atmospheres with Corey Roth and Andrew D’Cagna’s bright and intoxicating vocal duet.”


15 | Holy Motors | Country Church

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Estonia’s Holy Motors are announcing Horse, the follow up to the group’s critically acclaimed 2018 debut album, Slow Sundown. Horse is due out Oct. 16. To mark the occasion the band are sharing lead single Country Church alongside its accompanying video. From the album’s opening moments, songs like Country Church, with its major key and classic rhythm and blues guitarline, make it clear that Horse — even if it may not accomplish the impossible task of demystifying this band of ex-Soviet cowboys — will at least show you that there’s more to them than the near-impenetrable darkness of their work to date may suggest.”


16 | Land of Talk | Now You Want To Live In The Light

THE PRESS RELEASE:Land of Talk, the Montreal-based band led by Elizabeth Powell, share the video for their plaintive new song Now You Want to Live in the Light, which Powell calls “a poem set to music. A tender negotiation between the light and dark parts of ourselves.” The gentle track is the fifth single released from the Montreal-based band’s forthcoming album Indistinct Conversations, out July 31. “In developing the visual image, I anchored myself in the pulse of the song,” explains director Lara Kramer of the video, “I wanted to mobilize in ways we think, feel, and do in our self-confronting states.”


17 | Tempesst | Mushroom Cloud

THE PRESS RELEASE: “London-based band Tempesst release their new single and video Mushroom Cloud, the second track to be lifted from Sept. 30 debut album Must Be A Dream, a wide-eyed excursion of folk-tinged psychedelia with nods to Spiritualized, Galaxie 500, Flaming Lips and The Beach Boys. “Mushroom Cloud was the first song that we completed on the album and it set the tone for a balance of familiarity, the element of surprise and the weighty dark topics that I wanted to explore,” recalls singer Toma Banjanin. “Mushroom Cloud isn’t my story, though. I found it easier to write this song as a confession from the perspective of the antagonist. It’s equal measures apology, justification and threat, the kind of confusing grey area that only exists within intimate relationships. It’s love that becomes all-consuming and suffocating. It’s that destructive primal default buried deep within each of us. The Saboteur present in every moment of regret…that will do or say anything in an attempt at self preservation.”


18 | My Silent Wake | Warhawks

THE PRESS RELEASE:My Silent Wake will release their latest album of experimental, acoustic, ambient soundscapes, Damnum Per Saeculorum, on July 29. My Silent Wake have always been different from the rest and stood apart from their peers. Their music is unconstrained by expectations, blissfully unaware of the rules that govern the genres they wander through; the only limits upon their sombre sound being their own far reaching imaginations. Nestling amongst their canon of heart wrenching doom lie albums of unexpected experimentation and exploration, albums that embrace acoustic and ambient textures, that paint in different hues and dream in different colours.”


19 | They. | Play Fight ft. Tinashe

THE PRESS RELEASE: “R&B’s electric duo They. continue heating up the summer releasing their new song Play Fight featuring rhythmic pop/R&B singer, songwriter and producer Tinashe, off their upcoming project The Amanda Tape. The Amanda Tape is built off of the concept of nostalgia, detailing the most intimate parts of our souls. They. use The Amanda Tape to explore the light and darkness of familiar feelings and to create new memories for fans, lovers, and all the Amanda’s — whoever and wherever they might be. They. possess the ability to make music that connects with their fans most intimate feelings and in turn expose them to their own unique experiences. It’s both of these things that make this dynamic duo’s meteoric rise one to watch for 2020.”


20 | Fair Visions | Feels Right

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Scintillating and audacious, Fair Visions’ debut EP A Way Out poses the questions that keep you up at night against a crystalline backdrop of electricity. The Brooklyn-based post-punk trio, led by songwriter Ryan Work, is set to release the six-track EP on Aug. 14. Feels Right was one of the first songs written for what would become A Way Out, in a period of transition for songwriter Work that led him from Boston’s Berklee College of Music to Brooklyn. The anonymity of New York, by turns liberating and crushing, fired a slew of new songs. He reflects: “To me, the song is just a checking out of a world that’s too occupied with itself to even notice you’ve drifted off.”


21 | Psymon Spine | Milk

THE PRESS RELEASE: “After a three-year hiatus, Brooklyn psych/dance outfit Psymon Spine returned with their new single Milk. At the time it was written, band members Noah Prebish and Sabine Holler were also playing in the dream-pop group Barrie, and had asked Barrie Lindsay to contribute vocals and lyrics to a then-instrumental Milk. The result was a funky, bubblegum psych-pop jam ostensibly about “aliens going to a show,” says Lindsay. A track that had started out with a darker electro-pop backbone along the lines of New Order and Art of Noise had, with Barrie’s contributions, taken on a sunniness akin to Blondie and Tom Tom Club. The song debuts Psymon Spine’s new approach to fusing huge melodic hooks with left-of-center dance sounds, and hints at still more adventurous directions to come.”


22 | Buck Meek | Roll Back Your Clocks

THE PRESS RELEASE:Buck Meek (guitarist of Big Thief) presents a serene new single, Roll Back Your Clocks. Buck wrote a handful of songs in the throes of the Covid-19 lockdown, and asked Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Bon Iver) to produce a recording of one to share. Roll Back Your Clocks is a breath of surrender in the face of isolation and fear, and an attempt to embrace the quarantine — to try to make something beautiful and honest and new without denying the limitations, but to move within them. Roll Back Your Clocks is “a reminder to trust our telepathic instincts, and to value the connection with our loved ones as something that we always have access to, even in solitude, regardless of proximity,” says Buck. “ It felt healing to create, and we hope that it will help bring some sense of peace to you.”


23 | Mary Lattimore | Silver Ladders

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore returns with Silver Ladders, the full-length follow-up to acclaimed album Hundreds of Days. Recorded over nine days at Neil Halstead’s studio stationed on an old airfield, Silver Ladders finds Lattimore exercising command and restraint. Her signature style is refined, the sprawling layers of harp reigned in and accented by flourishes of low-end synth and Halstead’s guitar. The music can feel ominous but not by compromising vivid wonder, like oceanic overtones that shift with the tides. This material is colored by specific memories for Lattimore; “Neil has this poster of a surfer in his studio and I’d look at it each day, looking at the sunlight glinting on the dark wave. In these songs I like the contrast between the dark lows and the glittering highs. The gloom and the glimmer, the opposites, a lively surfing town in the winter turned kinda rainy and empty and quiet.”


24 | Bee Bee Sea | Day Ripper

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Castel Goffredo in Lombardy, Italy, Bee Bee Sea formed in 2013 and have since released two albums: the self-titled debut in 2015 and Sonic Boomerang in 2017. They have been consistently touring in Europe, the UK and the US, supporting the likes of Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips and Idles. Day Ripper is the new awaited album from Bee Bee Sea. It will be released on Oct. 9.”


25 | Sheenjek | Monkey Brains

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Portland’s Sheenjek will release their debut LP entitled Unclever on Aug. 28th, but you can check out the first single Monkey Brains now. The “unclever” path for the band took longer than expected as the band embarked on their venture of fitting in with other Portland bands with many left turns and constant room clearings. Not metal enough to play metal shows, not punk enough to play punk shows, and not “post” enough to win over any of those shows. Yet being the odd band out in any genre is never a bad thing and in the end the consciousness came. There was indeed no value in fitting in and the band turned up the volumes on their Hiwatts and Marshalls, and started to write the songs they wanted to write. Borrowing from the decades of riffs that had influenced them, Hooks that were ingrained in their DNA, whether they had originated from 80’s TV theme songs, Iommi scriptures, or Post Punk anthems.”


26 | Broken Bones Matilda | Everafter

THE PRESS RELEASE:Broken Bones Matilda create an enigmatic hybrid of sound, influenced by ’70s rock to the early ’90s surge of raw, post-grunge bands they grew up with. Hailing from Bath and now based in London, the duo have been described as Nick Cave meets Fleetwood Mac, oozing raspy lead vocals and soaring harmonies over well-crafted songs. Their latest single Everafter is a teenage romance song. Narrating young love and the feelings of insecurity and shyness you have when you like someone but don’t have the courage to ask them out, the song reminds us of those distant high school memories and the voices inside that shout, “Hurry up or you’re gonna be too late!”