Indie Roundup | 28 Tracks For A Late Wednesday

Call it a day with tunes from Tim Heidecker, The Hoo Has, Oginalli, Luna Aura & more.

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Tim Heidecker has plenty to be afraid of, Eyes go the distance, The Hoo Has mince no words, Oginalli know who to blame, Luna Aura plays it sweet, Aladean Kheroufi delivers the goods and more in your Midweek Roundup. Sorry for the delay; I decided to go out for dinner and drinks for the first time in months.

 


1 | Tim Heidecker | Fear of Death

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tim Heidecker, the Los Angeles-based actor, comedian, producer, musician and podcast host, announces his new album Fear of Death, to be released Sept. 25, and presents the title track with a video. Fear of Death is a Serious Album about Serious Topics — a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and the inevitability of death. It’s Heidecker’s biggest sounding and most fleshed out album yet featuring an all star band comprised of Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering, Drew Erickson (Jonathan Wilson, Dawes), The Lemon TwigsBrian and Michael D’Addario, Jonathan Rado, and string arrangements by Spacebomb’s Trey Pollard (Foxygen, Bedouine, Waterboys). “I didn’t know that this record was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” Heidecker says. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”


2 | Eyes | Distance

THE PRESS RELEASE:Underperformer is the debut LP by twisted hardcore quintet Eyes, who have just released a video for the album’s first single Distance. Eyes lead singer Victor Kaas states: “Distance is the shortest and most aggressive track on the record, by a small margin, as the whole record is pretty fucking aggressive. It was also one of the first songs we wrote for the album and it ended up being the song that really shaped the sound of Underperformer. Lyrically, the song is about discovering when something isn’t as it should be in your life. The feeling of reaching out, only to be met with dismissal and misunderstanding. If you’re depressed; don’t stop reaching out. Not everyone will understand; someone will.”


3 | Hoo Has | Tell Me How It Is

THE PRESS RELEASE:Hoo Has (Jamie Handover and Mark Thorne) create music that ranges from bluesy cuts to punk riffs — “Captain Beefheart meets Blur, what’s not to love,” says good friend Gaz Coombes. Hoo Has continue to impress with their off-kilter style and their effortless ability to create those sweaty, beer soaked floor fillers that will make you long to be back in a gig venue soon. Returning with their first single of 2020, Tell Me How It Is is a testament to the difficulty of coming to terms with the end of a relationship. Featuring Simon Nilson (Francobollo) on drums and Jack Driver (Damsen) on bass, Tell Me How It Is layers alt-rock instrumentation with Jamie’s brutally honest lyricism to create a hypnotic mix. “You know that feeling when you look back on a relationship and you know things could have been said earlier. When you realise it is over, you both know it — it’s about being honest quicker, saving the drama and pain. Everyone has experienced regret, when being honest is hard but it just needs to get done!”


4 | Oginalli | Scapegoat

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The tumult of 2020 fueled the creation of Pendulum, the newest record from Nashville’s Oginalli. Created in part during the quarantine season, Pendulum stands in stark contrast to the band’s well-received debut Cause & Affection. While that album hinted at darker themes and tones, Pendulum swings all the way into the darker and bleaker side of life. Oginalii will release Pendulum on Oct. 23. Today, they release the video for Scapegoat — the first song written and recorded for Pendulum. “I began writing the base of the song during a really odd time in my life where a lot of difficult changes and events were happening around me,” says frontwoman and songwriter Emma Hoeflinger. “I felt like some of the people closest to me were beginning to fall out of my reach. One of the main themes of this record is the understanding of the way people change around you and thus, you change as well.”


5 | Luna Aura | Honey

THE PRESS RELEASE:Luna Aura recently announced her forthcoming EP Three Cheers For The American Beauty, and today she shared her new single Honey. Inspired by the likes of Garbage, NIN, Hole, and Gwen Stefani, Luna Aura writes unabashed music that gets to the crux of what it means to be a female in the modern world. Her new EP focuses on the female identity and its relationship with American Culture. These are not songs about women who just sit still and look pretty. Each one corresponds to a short story that follows the narrative of an anti-hero and her journey into self-realization and rebellion. This is an interactive multimedia project that will allow listeners to follow and be a part of the characters’ stories, alongside the music that inspired them.”


6 | Aladean Kheroufi | Good

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Algerian-Canadian multi-instrumentalist/producer Aladean Kheroufi is sharing his new single Good, the latest to be taken from his forthcoming EP Beauty Beyond Grief. Good actually arrives as a half cover of his friends’ band Ghost Woman — Dean worked with their melody whilst attributing his own lyrics, chords, and progressions; it captures a similar haunting take on blue-eyed soul, a compelling mesh of minimalism and heartbreaking lyricism. The new EP, produced and recorded throughout the pandemic, is a collection of reworkings of classic soul tracks that provided Dean with a sense of belonging and solace throughout the pandemic. It arrives as a product of a tumultuous few months — notably the pandemic, of course, and the end of a longterm relationship.”


7 | Lotus | Bjorn Gets A Haircut

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As they prepare for the release of their new studio album Free Swim, out Aug. 21, long-running instrumental-electronic quintet Lotus have released a second track off the forthcoming collection, Bjorn Gets A Haircut. The in-studio, animated video for Bjorn Gets A Haircut was filmed at Spice House Sound in their hometown of Philadelphia, where the entire album was recorded earlier this year. “Bjorn Gets a Haircut is a head-bopping cosmic disco tune,” explains Luke Miller (keyboards, guitar). “It takes cues from the Nordic disco playbooks of producers like Todd Terje and Lindstrom.”


8 | Sarah Walk | Nobody Knows

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sarah Walk has released Nobody Knows, the latest single from her defiant sophomore album Another Me, out Aug. 28. Produced by Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Belle and Sebastian, Brian Eno), Another Me tackles the challenges of being a queer woman head on. “I wrote Nobody Knows during a time of depression for me where I felt like I couldn’t muster up the ambition or drive to get through the discomfort needed to get to a point of creation,” explains Walk. “It’s like a double-edged sword because you feel depressed so you don’t want to do anything, but then you feel even more depressed because you haven’t felt able to get anything done. I was feeling stuck in the middle of that cycle and not sure how to break out of it.”


9 | Crucifix | Mindfield

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Georgia recording artist Crucifix has released his new music video for Mindfield. Produced by Wess Nyle, directed by Crucifix & Joshua Kirk, Mindfield is the seventh video from Cruce’s latest album Desperado. The video takes viewers on a cinematic journey into the battlefield of the mind as Crucifix discovers that overcoming struggles isn’t about just surviving the fire, but learning to dance in the flames. Born in Atlanta Georgia, raised in Central and East Africa, Cruce spent most of his early childhood bouncing from continent to continent, soaking in a wide influence of music, language and culture. It’s these experiences that continue to fuel his art to this day.”


10 | J. Vague | New Life

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a new life for the mysterious singer behind New Life. The artist now known as J. Vague has previously released and played with a number of fairly well-known independent acts, but grew disillusioned with the music industry as years went on. J. Vague left the industry, stopped writing songs, took his talents elsewhere but simply couldn’t leave it all behind, couldn’t turn off the music in his heart.”


11 | Night Laser | The Game

THE PRESS RELEASE:Night Laser just launched their new video single The Game! The upcoming Night Laser album Power To Power will be released on Aug. 28. Night Laser has captured the live energy from innumerable shows with bands like W.A.S.P., Rage, Powerwolf, and Bonfire and put it straight onto the record. Their hair-metal anthems are the perfect soundtrack for wild metal parties.”


12 | The Clockworks | Can I Speak To A Manager?

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Surfing on a wave of essential new bands coming out of Ireland right now, The Clockworks are back with a new single: Can I Speak to A Manager? Inspired by the straight-up social commentary of lyrical icons like John Cooper Clarke, Mike Skinner, and Ray Davies, Can I Speak To Manager? sees James McGregor exercising his songwriting abilities with a similar no-nonsense and observational approach. “Musically I think it is one of the starkest and darkest tracks that we have” says McGregor. “In essence it’s a simple story of getting a dodgy laptop and having no luck on the phone to the company who sold it. Without the “fast-food distraction” factor I hoped the laptop would provide, I looked around for something else to do and found nothing. Nothing on TV, nothing in the fridge, showering for some purpose … Spending money to try and buy some purpose just makes me more cynical.”


13 | Bearcraft | Outside in the Morning Snow

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Bristol music collective Bearcraft have just dropped a mysterious and magical video for their foreboding new single Outside in the Morning Snow. Taken from their forthcoming electronically charged LP Fabrefactions, out on Sept. 4, Outside in the Morning Snow, explores the essence of acceptance of impending doom from fractious political factions or forces of nature. The video was shot on VHS by Say Goodnight Film and further accentuates the lyrical narrative of the track with dreamy aesthetics. Speaking about the production process, Paul from Say Goodnight said, “Beginning with abstract concepts and building a narrative was helpful on where we could utilize the location of home/space we had during lockdown to create an original and dreamy video.”


14 | DJ Shub | The Social ft. Phoenix

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Former A Tribe Called Red member and indigenous producer DJ Shub collaborates with Phoenix on potent new single The Social, taken from DJ Shub’s upcoming album. Since the release of Phoenix’s 2011 debut album Books, Bucks & Beats Vol. 1, she has been an integral part of the hip-hop scene in North America, both as a member of the notorious hip-hop collective The Sorority and as an independent solo artist. Speaking about the new track, Phoenix said, “The Indigenous and Black communities have very similar struggles. We both come from generations of hurt, pain and trauma. We’ve both been uprooted and displaced and have every reason to rage, and yet we continue to contribute so much beauty to the world. I stand with each and every one of my Indigenous brothers and sisters in the fight against injustice and will continue to be an ally, as they have for us. We are in this together.”


15+16 | Nils Wülker | The You of Now + Hidden Intentions

THE PRESS RELEASE: “All systems GO. The album title is tailor-made for a musician and a human being like Nils Wülker — always on the move, curious and forward-thinking, his head full of musical ideas. A man who moved from Hamburg to Munich with his family so he could be closer to the mountains. GO is Wülker’s excursion into the world of elegant electronics. It presents some of his most beautiful and emotional songs, and the most direct and dynamic trumpet playing beyond his live albums and concerts. Recorded with members of his popular live band, as well as Viennese keyboardist Albin Janoska, the sound expert behind SOHN, and American trumpeter Theo Croker, and produced with Ralf Christian Mayer, known for his work with German stars like Clueso or Die Fantastischen 4, the ten original compositions on GO showcase the most extreme and energetic side of the award-winning musician.”


17 | The Troops of Doom | Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brazilian death metal unit The Troops of Doom will release their debut EP The Rise Of Heresy on Oct. 9. In advance of the EP’s release, The Troops of Doom, led by Jairo “Tormentor” Guedz, former member of original Sepultura lineup, are pleased to unleash a lyric video for first single Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea. Comments Guedz, “This first song is a trip back to the ‘old days,’ and the EP in general will bring listeners back to that nostalgic vibration, in a very good way, of course. We want to offer a full experience where the listener can feel as though they’re in time machine, exploring that primitive and nasty metal sound from the ’80s, inspired by my own Sepultura years as well as all those iconic bands we love like Slayer, Kreator, Celtic Frost, Sodom, Possessed, and Death, among others. It’s a true homage to the old! That’s what we’re trying to revisit with this debut and I hope the diehard metalheads catch this and enjoy it, playing loud!”


18 | Laang 冷 | 我的漂浮屍體

THE PRESS RELEASE:Laang 冷 (meaning “cold” in Chinese) release the debut single 我的漂浮屍體 (My Floating Corpse) from their upcoming second album Xinteng (Sadness) in the form of a lyric video. The music of Laang is based on the horrifying visions seen during a near-death experience of frontman Yang Haitao while medically dead. While the subject matter of the first album Haiyang (Ocean) primarily explored feelings of terror, Haitao reports that Xinteng will be strongly focused on the melancholic and depressive overtones of life after death.”


19 | Pup | A.M. 180

THE PRESS RELEASE:Pup have shared a cover of one of their favorite songs, a genius take on indie rock band Grandaddy’s timeless track A.M. 180. “Grandaddy are one of the unsung hero bands of indie rock,” says Pup drummer Zack Mykula. “A best-kept secret. I mean, forgive me for going ham, but this song is like a lily in an otherwise barren valley. An outstanding piece of songwriting, doing more with less than most any other song of the same caliber. So, that’s why we decided to cover it.”


20 | Grant-Lee Phillips | Mourning Dove

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Critically lauded Nashville-based singer/songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips shares Mourning Dove, the latest track revealed from his forthcoming 10th solo album, Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff, out Sept. 4. “Of the entire album, Mourning Dove is among the oldest songs,” Phillips offers. “I lived with it for several years and it went through various stages before its completion. I began writing it in consideration for The Narrows. Like so much of that album, it’s a reflection of what we hold dear, what we value, ‘The things we chase that can’t be kept.’ It was one of the first things I wrote after moving to Tennessee. The imagery of dogwood trees and wildflowers were inspired by my connection to this place. It’s also a vision of a world beyond strife or a rest after a long battle.”


21 | Dirk Powell | I Ain’t Playing Pretty Polly ft. Rhiannon Giddens

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Renowned producer, songwriter, fiddler and sideman Dirk Powell has achieved near-legendary status in the international roots music scene. His bonds with Louisiana and with the mountains of Kentucky are unmistakable, but so is his far-reaching vision and ability to translate the essence of tradition for modern audiences that need the timeless and sustaining messages that tradition brings. Today, Powell is premiering his song I Ain’t Playing Pretty Polly, which is featured on his new album, When I Wait For You. The song came about when he realized he could no longer sing the words, or back the sentiment, behind traditional Appalachian murder ballads that sing of violence towards women. “I grew up playing and singing Pretty Polly,” Dirk says. “I was really proud to have learned a unique version of it in the “overhand” banjo style from my grandfather in Kentucky. One evening I was singing it during a soundcheck and heard the words “he stabbed her through the heart and her heart’s blood did flow” coming out of my mouth… and I just stopped cold in the middle of the verse. I’ve seen the looks of hurt and confusion on my daughters’ faces when violent words like these are accepted or brushed aside. And I’ve seen fear in my grandmother’s eyes as she gave warnings to my sisters about men. And I decided, ‘I’m never singing this song again.’ ”


22 | Pepper | Work That We Do

THE PRESS RELEASE:The House That Bradley Built, due Sept. 4, is a new compilation that features never-before-released acoustic covers from the catalogue of Bradley Nowell’s band Sublime, performed by 20+ bands. Profits from the record will go to The Nowell Family Foundation to build Bradley’s House, a rehab center in Southern California named after the late frontman. “Bradley James Nowell died of a heroin overdose on May 25, 1996. It was a devastating loss for his family, friends and fans,” comments Jim Nowell, Bradley’s father. “From this pain, came a burning desire to help others who battle with opioid addiction to overcome the disease before it takes their lives. That’s why we started the Nowell Family Foundation.” Pepper’s cover of Work That We Do is the first single.”


23 | Camo Brian | Already Famous

THE PRESS RELEASE:Camo Brian has released his debut single Already Famous. Written by Brian and Andrew Hardman, Already Famous fuses country and hip hop to deliver a positive message about loving someone just the way they are. With inspiration ranging from Ray Charles to Nirvana to Andre 3000, Camo Brian is here to bring some fresh, exciting sounds to the world.”


24 | Stevie Zita | Indigo

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A melodic new track from Toronto-based Stevie Zita, Indigo is a melodic delight. Stevie describes it as “a hazy lullaby about getting out of the drowning city life.” Coming from the rural outskirts of the greater Toronto area, Zita brings his eclectic sound from his bedroom to the world. A sound that has been shaped by years of playing with different acts and different genres — a Trini steel band, a post-rock band in high school, even begrudgingly joining the local church band. With a wherever, whenever, and whatever mentality Stevie Zita curated a signature sound that can easily be heard but hard to identify. After years of playing drums, bass, steel pan and guitar for other acts, Stevie has finally begun to release his own bedroom creations.”


25 | Low Float | Here Before

THE PRESS RELEASE: “After realizing he wasn’t cut out for music school, Gabe O’Brien-Szczesniak dropped out and created his first album. He’s now releasing his debut under the moniker Low Float, starting with the single Here Before, a moody groove-driven R&B/pop track.”


26 | Anne Malin | Empty Is The Day

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville duo Anne Malin has released Empty Is the Day, the first single from their upcoming album Waiting Song, due Oct. 2. Waiting Song explores what it means to be forced into stillness. At times meditative, at times defiant, Anne Malin’s latest album turns inward, moving through themes of impatience, ambition, confinement and memory. Ghosts haunt the landscapes of these songs — ancestors, friends who left the earth too soon, aging and sick loved ones, violators — as if to remind the band of its own impermanence. Written by singer and poet Anne Malin Ringwalt and brought to life with long-time partner William Johnson, Waiting Song punctuates the already still and already violenced landscape of 2020, inviting its listener to inhabit its dreamscape while bringing their own pains and jubilations along.”


27 | Snny | Postmodern Black

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Born in Ivory Coast, raised in Boston and currently residing in Iceland, rising international musician Snny has released his latest single Postmodern Black. The single is the first off Snny’s upcoming debut album. Speaking of the single, Snny provides further insight: “Postmodern Black is, to me, a sonic manifestation of my own self-reliance. It’s almost a superpower to be able to trust your instincts, and I wanted to render that notion with melody and instruments. As a young African man creating in this era I have a responsibility to my kinfolk to champion independence and fortitude during these divisive times. The title of the song is inspired by an essay written by bell hooks in 1990 called Postmodern Blackness.


28 | Lone Kodiak | Make It A Weapon

THE PRESS RELEASE:Make It A Weapon is Lone Kodiak’s new single. “It’s our first new song since our bassist recovered from a serious motorcycle accident, which led us to a dramatic overhaul of our sound. We committed to big, loud guitar lines and brought in a drummer that isn’t afraid to hit hard. Make It A Weapon t feels like “motorcycles and protests and getting in trouble.”