Indie Roundup | 27 Tracks To Elevate Your Thursday

Action Bronson, Kid Dad, Zyclops, Dear-God & more ways to improve your life.

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Action Bronson drops a truly weird flex, Kid Dad have a dream, Zyclops see ghosts, DK-Zero want some mad money, Motorbike James is on a roll and more in your Thursday Roundup. Don’t scroll past Dear-God, Spun Out, Mountain Tamer and Laser Dracul if you know what’s good for you.

 


VIDEOS OF THE DAY

1 | Action Bronson | Latin Grammys

THE PRESS RELEASE:Action Bronson has unveiled his first new music of 2020 with the release of Latin Grammys. Over a slinky brass and guitar loop, the Queens legend raps with gusto about swim trunks stuffed with cash, driving like Dale Sr. (with his feet up), Dolph Lundgren and Derek Jeter. “It’s Young Baklava, you know me,” he reminds us. The video for Latin Grammys, directed, edited and produced by VIDEO CONNECTION, sees Action compete in 1995 World’s Strongest Man competition. Says Action: “It’s all about metamorphosing; this song is about coming of age. I love a good Latin-jazz, upbeat vibe. It’s got that funk, you know? You can do all kinds of dances to this song. You know a song is good when you can do all different types of dances to it, and you’re still on rhythm.”


2 | Kid Dad | What You Call A Dream

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kid Dad have released their new track What You Call A Dream, which follows the story of a protagonist who realizes too late that he has lived his life for someone else. A band performance music video has also been released alongside the track. What You Call A Dream was a spontaneous jam that came naturally to the band and was written in just an hour. “Marius, Michi and I were in the rehearsal room at some point and hadn’t actually planned on writing a song. The whole thing went faster than we ever thought it was possible. Everything came together without us having to think twice about what would happen next,” says Max (bass, backing vocals). The new track features on the band’s debut album In A Box, set for release Aug. 21.”


3 | Zyclops | Ghost

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Texas post-metal/sludge troupe Zyclops is pleased to debut their new video for Ghost. The unsettling track appears on the band’s debut EP Inheritance Of Ash. Says guitarist/vocalist Ryan Pankratz of the track, “The track is basically themed around a suspicion/declaration that there’s someone/something out there — something well aware of us, our kind, our intentions and basic nature, that does not want to be found. It could be God, aliens, Yeti, etc. Imagine a higher power, a life-form more advanced or maybe just more aware. Would it want to be found? Try as we might as humans to dissect every molecule of our existence, there are just some things that will evade our collective knowledge and pursuits. It could be right behind you — in light glares and shadows. They would know where you won’t look, and I think they would stay there. And watch us unravel.”


4 | DK-Zero | FU$

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Inspired by ’90s era music videos on MTV, DK-Zero release the music video FU$, the newest single off their new album Cyber Sex Inc. DK-Zero filmed the music video while in tour in Central and South America just before Covid 19 closed world borders. FU$ was filmed in on a day off from their tour in San Jose, Costa Rica at various parts in the city. The impromptu music video was filmed complete on an iPhone as the band was inspired by the city and its surroundings. FU$ blends a gritty fusion of Hip-Hop and Punk.”


5 | Motorbike James | Me Roll

THE PRESS RELEASE:Motorbike James is the musical brainchild and artist alias of Michael Werbicki, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer from Edmonton. Motorbike James’ natural prerogative is to live a life in the moment, for the moment. Elements of electronic, indie rock, psychedelic, and R&B poke through each song. Motorbike James’ recently released debut single Me Roll brings deep synths, hip hop inspired beats, and a laid-back vocal.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

6 | Obsidian Kingdom | Meat Star

THE PRESS RELEASE:Meat Star is the first music video from Obsidian Kingdom’s upcoming album Meat Machine, out Sept. 25. Directed by Ferran Ureña and Eric Morales, it features a top-notch production where classical myths and tarot archetypes crash into each other inside a minimal theatrical set. Reminiscent of the magickal works of Alejandro Jodorowsky or Kenneth Anger, Meat Star is a bizarre dream-like odyssey where symbols old and new walk hand in hand to convey a powerful message: the meaning of your existence will eventually find you, and the price will be some kind of death.”


7 | Satellite and The Harpoonist | Lee Dorsey

THE PRESS RELEASE:Satellite and The Harpoonist, the new supergroup led by Shawn Hall (The Harpoonist), share another new track from their upcoming debut EP Satellite Man. Lee Dorsey is a “tribute to the legacy of Lee Dorsey, a Black American singer from New Orleans whose work was produced by the great Allen Toussaint and backed by the legendary Meters,” says Hall. “In this incarnation the fellas channeled The Beastie Boys and Lee Scratch Perry to tell the story.” Joining singer/harmonicist Hall in this extraordinary project — his “people that want to play in the sandbox” — are Geoff Hillhorst (Hammond organ/piano/synthesizers) of award-winning alt-country-folk dreamers The Deep Dark Woods; Theo Vincent (percussion/congas/vocals) from Vancouver’s funk-soul powerhouse The Boom Booms, and on drums and Pencilina, Brooklyn’s Bradford Reed of out-there art-rockers King Missile III.”


8+9 | Cut Worms | Sold My Soul + God Bless The Day

THE PRESS RELEASE:Cut Worms, moniker of Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and multi-disciplined visual artist Max Clarke, announced his new double album, Nobody Lives Here Anymore, out Oct. 9. He also presented two new singles: Sold My Soul, with an accompanying video, and God Bless The Day. Sold My Soul takes a look back and ahead at the choices we make, with a thinly veiled punchline to soften the blow. Over jaunty guitar, Max’s voice is expressive as he sings “I sold my soul somewhere so long ago // Oh I didn’t think too much at the time I was young and I didn’t know // oh till I saw it late one night on the antique road show // expert collectors to appraise.” The accompanying video, directed and shot by Caroline Gohlke on Route 66 from Chicago to Oklahoma, captures the aura of stumbling through a deserted time.”


10 | Versari | Plus de Tristesse

THE PRESS RELEASE: “French Post-Punk/Rock artists Versari release the music video for their song Plus de Tristesse (No More Sadness). Plus de Tristesse is the latest single off their critically acclaimed album Sous La Peau (Under the Skin), released in April this year. Plus de Tristesse is a contemplative ballad that reflects on how you may live your life and how you look back upon it towards the end of it. Vocalist Jean-Charles Versari explains how they wrote the song: “The musical idea came from a free improvisation (as all our music does) and I took it home to structure and write, as I really liked what we had. It took me quite a long time to finish it, and it is the last song we recorded for the album — but I knew it was an important one. when we started playing it in the studio, we had to learn how to play it together, and play it well. In the end it turned out exactly how I wanted to have it.”


11 | Ela Minus | Megapunk

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Colombia-born/raised and Brooklyn-based musician Ela Minus debuts her new single Megapunk. It’s driven by an array of shifting instrumentation — blipping techno, a thumping drum beat, and Minus’ tempered vocals. Written last year and prescient given today’s progressive social movements, Megapunk is defiant, and an encouraging reminder to surge forward, despite resistance: “you don’t want to understand // you’re choosing to lead us apart // but against all odds // you still won’t make us stop.” Ela comments, “When I wrote this song last year, I was worried it would lose context if not released immediately. I could not have been more wrong. This is the perfect time to put this out. We have to keep going. Ánimo y fuerza.”


12 | Foxes | Woman

THE PRESS RELEASE:Foxes has released her second single, Woman, since returning from a game-changing three year hiatus. A bold single of empowerment and reclamation of control, Woman imparts a universal message of standing up to the unacceptable, with a powerful ability to be interpreted uniquely to each and every woman who listens. The song is paired with a powerful new animated video directed by Gemma Green-Hope. Talking about the single, Foxes (real name Louisa Rose Allen) says: “There’s a lot of injustices in the world right now and I hope this single can be interpreted by any woman, in any situation, facing injustice, facing any situation that they know is wrong, and helps to stand up and say no to what isn’t right.”


13 | Dylan Menzie | Lost In Dreams

THE PRESS RELEASE: “P.E.I. songsmith Dylan Menzie reveals the live video for his latest LP’s title track, Lost In Dreams. Dylan filmed the video at the stunning Confederation Centre of the Arts in his hometown of Charlottetown, P.E.I. earlier this year with the Daydream Orchestra. Dylan says, “My whole life I’ve dreamed of playing my music with an orchestra, and as this record came together I knew I had the perfect opportunity to make it happen with the song Lost in Dreams. I mean, if my six and a half minute opus about cultivating your passion isn’t the right song for an orchestral string section, I don’t know what is.”


14 | The Vacant Lots | Fracture

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Having recently put out their third album Interzone, Brooklyn duo The Vacant Lots are sharing a new video for Fracture. The song’s hazy ’80s synth-pop is paired with visuals recorded by the band in isolation and directed/edited by Sam Quinn.”


15 | Diagram | All Night (Remix)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Diagram, the electronic project of Hákon Aðalsteinsson (The Third Sound, The Brian Jonestown Massacre), has released a remix of All Night, originally lifted from last year’s Transmission Response LP.”


16 | Autotelia | Red Bloom

THE PRESS RELEASE:Autotelia is the new project from Demian Castellanos of The Oscillation and Tom Relleen of Tomaga. FFO: Mind-bending ambient/drone escapism that’s Tangerine Dream and Cluster by way of Spacemen 3 and Eno.”


17 | Library Voices | All The Things This Isn’t

THE PRESS RELEASE:Library Voices member and sound artist Michael Scott Dawson announces beautiful debut album Nowhere, Middle of, created from generative synthesis and found sound. The album will be released Oct. 16. Opening single All The Things This Isn’t begins with gentle, dulcet, tape-warmed swells of synth and fluttering, non-rhythmic percussive sounds before sparse single notes of guitar begin to echo through the vista. The accompanying video marries imagery of Saskatchewan’s wide-open natural beauty: sunsets over empty fields, freight trains passing through a quiet horizon, the rising of dawn over lonely telegraph poles.”


18 | Juanita Stein | Snapshot

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Striding out of Howling Bells’ long shadow, Juanita Stein emerges from the rolling plains of America and Until The Light Fades, clinging to the tracks of her tears on Album 3 Snapshot, set for release on Oct. 2. Juanita has now shared the video for the album’s title track — recorded using an iPhone and a homemade green screen during the lockdown. “It feels fundamental to understanding the devastation and eerie silence thrust upon us after his sudden death,” begins the Brighton-based, Australian songwriter, discussing the moment of great sadness that inspired her new record. “It was a daunting task to sum up the life of one man such as my father. He was endlessly inspiring, charming, deeply talented and passionately spiritual. He admirably, and at times frustratingly, carried the torch for his own musical career until the very end.”


19 | Mali-Koa | Me Before You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “London-via-Sydney artist Mali-Koa delivers her latest beautiful effort Me Before You — the third from her highly anticipated forthcoming debut album. A deeply personal affair with lyrics that speak right to the heart, the story of Me Before You is one of reconciliation as Mali seeks to overcome the pitfalls of heartbreak, returning to her former, greater self. With a spirited vocal performance that will strike a chord with many, she delivers her story over an elegant piano ballad, that continuously brews into a shimmering acoustic master work. Mali-Koa explained: “It’s an all-too-familiar feeling post-heart break, when you’re longing for what was before. Me Before You is about the journey back to myself, pre-someone or something. It pays homage to what was, with a message of hope for the difficult journeys ahead and the road to healing and new beginnings.”


FINDS OF THE DAY

20 | Dear-God | Buck

THE PRESS RELEASE: “19-year-old experimental hip-hop and hardcore artist Dear-God (Robert Ortiz) premieres Buck. It’s the first offering of new music this year from the newly signed artist, releasing the single. “Buck is a song about hypervigilance,” shares Ortiz. “To go ‘buck’ is to question everyone and everything around you … to puff up your chest and wear a mask of masculinity in order to survive. It’s very easy for every boy to fall victim to this mentality in their quest to manhood with all of the things we are taught about masculinity. I still experience this battle with my own personal quest, and maybe I will for the rest of my life.”


21 | Mountain Tamer | Scorched Earth

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Californian psychedelic sludge mavericks Mountain Tamer take it slow and low with their filthy new single Scorched Earth! Their new album Psychosis Ritual will be released Sept. 25. Psychosis Ritual is the sum of the trio’s first decade of exploration into the psychedelic arts, taking us on a journey through the occult rhythms and tones of worlds forgotten. Scorched Earth is a dark and mind-altering new single with voices from beyond. Here’s the story: “Scorched Earth puts you inside the mind of a soldier on the front lines. A soldier with only one thing on his mind: destroying the enemy. There is no happy ending to this war story, just a trail of destruction left by the American military-industrial complex.”


22 | Spun Out | Off The Vine

THE PRESS RELEASE:Spun Out, the new Chicago band led by Mikey Wells, James Weir, and Alex Otake (formerly of NE-HI), release a new single Off the Vine, from their forthcoming debut album Touch The Sound, out Aug. 21. Off the Vine is a culmination of the band’s dedication to collaboration. Anchored by a swirling bass line and Destroyer’s JP Carter’s trumpet, the track is woozy and groove-based. There are Talking Heads guitars and euphoric harmonies. It’s peak Spun Out and a microcosm of the multitude of ways this band works. “A collaborative piece that deals with humdrum introspection and the trancelike rhythms of everyday life,” says Wells. “Our second studio session when the people playing on the record really came together as a band. It starts with some heavy percussion and moves in and out with each person’s improvisations while recording wizardry keeps you guessing until the end. A real sonic trek!”


23 | Laser Dracul | Ashes & Dust

THE PRESS RELEASE: “All hail the return of Swedish sleaze merchants Laser Dracul! Their new album Hagridden is coming on Sept. 25, while their brand-new single Ashes and Dust is here now. Having first met in the late 90s over beers in Borlänge — a small Swedish town with a history forged from iron — Henrik, Lars and Michael struck up a pact whose potential would not be fully realised for almost 15 years. Apart and each to their own, bands came and went, guitars picked up and thrown down, lives lived, passions stirred, until one fateful day in 2014 when the trio came together once more to throw caution to the wind and horns in the air. Booking session time at Sellnoise Studio they instantly reconnected and in doing so produced a fantastic four-track, self-titled album of searing filth and down-tuned overtures. Old school doom. Sludge rock. Provincial folklore retold in aural form. Wherever the years had meandered prior and whatever promises borne, Laser Dracul had finally come of age.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

24 | Blue States | Trinity

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Oct. 30, 2020, Blue States will reissue Nothing Changes Under the Sun to mark its 20th year anniversary. It will be only the second vinyl pressing of the album since 2001 and comes with a limited edition bonus disc of previously unheard songs entitled Trinity Tapes. The title track of the bonus disc, Trinity is available now. Nothing Changes… was created by Andy Dragazis, working in his bedroom, locked away with a rudimental little set up — a sampler, a sequencer, and a few keyboards. Andy confesses that he was far from certain what he was working on, but he released a series of 12” EPs in 1998-99, each to increasing acclaim.”


25 | Rosa Mystica | Holding Rose

THE PRESS RELEASE:Rosa Mystica calls her music: “dreamy, melancholic rock n’ roll.” The 26-year-old Connecticut native has been honing her craft as a singer, lyricist, and pianist since she was 12. The name and concept for debut single Holding Roses was also inspired by the somewhat obscure Twin Peaks song. “I loved the way “holding roses” sounded and I also resonated with the image of holding roses for someone who couldn’t care less about this quintessential gesture of love,” Mystica says. “This is a song about unrequited love. I’m really inspired by groupie culture, and the idea of being devoted to a person that represents both art and love. I love bluesy/ psychedelic electric guitar from the ’70s, contrasted with a more soft and dreamy melodic vocal line that tells a story. My intention is to blend both masculine and feminine energy into my music. At my very core though, I’m really a singer-songwriter with a great appreciation for melody and storytelling.”


26 | Jyoti | Mama, You Can Bet!

THE PRESS RELEASE:Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Georgia Anne Muldrow shares the title track from Mama, You Can Bet!, the third album from her solo-jazz project, Jyoti, ahead of the album’s Aug. 28. The song is dedicated to her mother, Rickie Byars, who has a long musical history in jazz and spiritual music (Pharoah Sanders Ensemble, Sir Roland Hanna’s New York Jazz Quartet, and founder of the Agape International Choir). As Georgia puts it “I wanted my mother to know that she deserves passionate love, that I see her as a beautiful woman.” The song is a moving testament to Georgia’s respect and admiration for her mother beyond her role as a maternal figure.”


27 | Juletta and Ishan | But Judi, Everything Changes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Alt R&B artists Juletta + Ishan released their first ruminative single together, But Judi, Everything Changes. Processing and understanding age over beautiful vocal harmonies à la Imogen Heap / Bon Iver, Juletta examines the lives of women in her lineage, from her grandmother & beyond. The New York duo is also working on a larger project inspired by real stories Juletta collected from 30 women she interviewed over the past two years in New York City.”