Indie Roundup | 36 Tracks For A Top-Notch Wednesday

Level up your midweek with OBGMs, Ron Hawkins, Idles, Andy Martin & more.

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The OBGMs are itching for a fight, Ron Hawkins brings on the heartbreak, Idles visit a model village, Andy Martin feels the heat and plenty more in a remarkably high-quality Midweek Roundup. If you don’t find at least three new artists to add to your playlist out of today’s offerings, you might be doing it wrong.

 


PICKS OF THE DAY

1 | The OBGMs | Fight Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto punk trio The OBGMs (that’s The oOoh Baby Gimme Mores) will release their rampageous new album The Ends on Oct. 30. The record sees the band emboldened by the body of work they’ve crafted. Along with the news of the album’s release, The OBGMs have released cathartically combative single Fight Song. Vocalist/guitarist Densil McFarlane says it how it is: “You ever sitting in your 9-5 and someone talking reckless and you really want to punch them in their head top? You ever get that passive aggressive email from that disrespectful person and you want to walk to their cubicle and tell them about their mom? I wrote this song so I wouldn’t have to hold my tongue. We want the smoke. All of it. You don’t like us, fight me, or get the hell out of the way. You can’t stop us, this is how we die.”


2 | Ron Hawkins & the Do Good Assassins | Heartbreak in Hopper Street

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Beloved singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ron Hawkins releases the second single and immensely creative stop-motion video for Heartbreak in Hopper Street from his forthcoming self-produced album with the Do Good Assassins. 246 will be released on Aug. 28. Detailing the story of the peoples’ revolution, and self-described as Sly and the Family Stone meets The Jam, “Heartbreak in Hopper Street is about collective power, to the people. A call to action,” Hawkins reveals. “Consider the kind of grassroots uprising that we need to get some real change in this world, and to topple a status quo that is only interested in dehumanizing us and maximizing profits. We are powerful when we are united in a common cause that is greater than ourselves.”


3 | Idles | Model Village

THE PRESS RELEASE: “World-renowned filmmakers Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry have produced an animated music video for Idles’ new single, Model Village. Idles’ lead singer Joe Talbot says the themes explored in Model Village come from a place of “complete despair” with regards to aspects of our current society: “I hated growing up in a city that was really a town that was really a fishbowl. I left as soon as I could, only to realize the fishbowl didn’t exist … just the fish, and they’re everywhere.”


4 | Andy Martin | Heat Of It All

THE PRESS RELEASE: “High energy indie-rock musician Andy Martin has shared the video for his latest single, Heat Of It All.Martin finds inspiration in the classic stylings of British rocker Sam Fender, guitar virtuoso John Mayer as well as the Australian songstress Gretta Ray and a fair amount of folk music. In turn, Martin’s own comparisons sit close to associations with the likes of Sam Fender, Catfish & the Bottlemen and Circa Waves. The rising star goes on to describe the creation of Heat Of It All: “Most of the songs I write come together in a matter of hours. Heat of it All’was not one of those. I actually wrote the hook/chorus for this around 3/4 years ago. I had been playing around with progressions and some of the verse lyrics. That is why I am so proud of this song. It shows how I have evolved as a songwriter of the last few years. If you want to dance, cry, laugh or hold somebody, this ones for you (so everyone!).”


5 | Brendon Randall-Myers / Dither | Trem Chorale

THE PRESS RELEASE:Brendon Randall-Myers and the Dither quartet release Trem Chorale, a new single edit and music video from their upcoming album Dynamics of Vanishing Bodies. Directed by Derrick Belcham, the video pairs a live dance performance with a seething, frantic moment on the album. The director describes the process of creating the video: “The footage for this piece was taken from a live performance piece called Mutiny. The piece involved sound reactive samples of choreography triggered by a solo saxophone performance by Patrick Breiner… throughout the piece, the dancer’s movements became increasing strained and frantic until a breaking point in which the images of the now-still women looked down at the performers on stage until they stopped, at which point prepared solos with diegetic audio from the taping day were played, as if the dancers had broken free of the controls of the men and the technology on stage and took agency over the direction of the performance.”


6 | Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu | Renegade Breakdown

THE PRESS RELEASE:Marie Davidson is back with a new album, a new band, and a bold new sound: Renegade Breakdown is set for release on Sept. 25. Today, she unveils the title track of the album. The new LP arrives under the banner of Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu, a trio formed of three old-time friends and long-term collaborators with shared roots in Montreal’s DIY scene: Marie, Pierre Guerineau and Asaël R. Robitaille (the former two are also husband and wife, and partners in the group Essaie pas). Drawn to the idea of the eternal return, they deliver a forward-facing, innovative pop record that builds on the classic tenets of Marie’s music to create something that strikes out towards a broader audience.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

7 | Grant Pavol | Men Who Taught Me Chords

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Grant Pavol released a poignant new single and video, Men Who Taught Me Chords, off his debut album About A Year, out Sept. 4. Grant explains: “Several of the artists who profoundly influenced me musically were later outed for various forms of personal misconduct. This song is about the regret that I often feel when reflecting on my past influences, and attempting to navigate the music industry in a positive, just, and kind way.”


8 | Beans On Toast | Save The Music

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As the world takes its first steps on the long road back to normality, Beans on Toast returns with what will be the last in his series of lockdown releases: Save The Music. In a search for viable solutions to this major problem, the last few weeks have seen the music industry trying a variety of measures for how to safely bring gigs back (along with all of the livelihoods that depend on them). As a musician and activist, Beans on Toast has of course been readily involved. The video for Save The Music was filmed at The Clapham Grand (a 120-year-old independent music venue facing permanent closure), where Beans recently made history by performing at the UK’s first indoor independent live gig since lockdown began, playing alongside Frank Turner and Ciara Haidar.”


9 | Miya Miya | Cold Blood

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging U.K. band Miya Miya have released their dramatic new sci-fi music video Cold Blood. The song is about the uncertainty that comes with not knowing whether a tricky relationship is meant to be or if it is simply being forced to work. The band worked with the award-winning director Bailey Tom Bailey to bring their vision to life of being stuck in this difficult situation, but also matching it to the strange times surrounding the pandemic. Cold Blood is another marker of the British band’s ambitious creative intentions which they have been gaining traction for, merging exciting storylines with hugely gripping cinematic visuals. The single is lifted from Miya Miya’s recently released debut EP Cold Blood, a collection of five immersive, layered tracks embodying the four-piece’s anthemic stadium sounds.”


10 | Skofee | Polished

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles-based pop artist Skofee is sharing the music video for Polished. Filmed and animated by Louis Harboe, the video features Skofee walking through lively illustrations while singing catchy lyrics such as “If I could be polished, if I didn’t lose shit. If I was more modest, would you like that?.” The written scribbles throughout the video are reflections of her jumbled thoughts — the opposite of polished modesty. According to Skofee, “Polished is about constantly coming up short and wondering if your legacy is going to be a collection of ‘what if’s’. I wrote this song after a frustrating few hours of trying to songwrite and coming up with nothing. Once I took a step back and started addressing the negative thoughts bubbling in my subconscious the song came easily. I hope listeners can relate, and also see the importance of being kind to themselves through any self doubt.”


11 | Knifey | Can’t Stop Feeling

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Since forming in 2015 and releasing their debut LP, Beached, in 2017, the music of Toronto’s Knifey has since evolved into a more varied sound that combines elements of power pop, introspective ballads, surf rock, and straight up punk. Knifey’s sophomore full-length, Sleepwalker, is a tale of growth. The varied collection of songs offers a glimpse into the inconsistencies and contradictions of being in your mid-20s; about the struggle of taking on increased routine and responsibility, while at the same time trying to cling onto the carelessness and energy of youth. Sleepwalker’s latest single, Can’t Stop Feeling, tells the story of a lover’s inner dialogue as their partner departs on a long and distant adventure. The song is a product of the toxic blending of normally unrelated fears; the fear of two different types of mortality — romantic and literal.”


12 | J’Moris | Off the Porch

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Enigmatic Hillsboro, TX hip-hop artist J’Moris crafts punchy, authentic Southern Rap shaped by sly street smarts and a love for the hustle. His first new music since his s full-length album Blac February, Off the Porch is a certified jolt of adrenaline and a taste of J’Moris’s realness. When asked about the meaning of the term, J says “Off the Porch means I’m not dependent on my parents. I’m out of the house and in the streets grinding. Basically, you put in work and didn’t wait for handouts. Since you’re in the streets grinding and putting in work, you’ve “jumped off the porch.”


13 | Keaton Henson | Prayer

THE PRESS RELEASE:Keaton Henson is very pleased to announce details of his new album for release in the fall. Monument will be released on Oct. 23. It will be Keaton’s first album since 2016’s Kindly Now LP. Launching today is Prayer, the album’s vulnerable centrepiece. Prayer arrives in two distinct parts; firstly, there’s the preparation for loss that, in truth, will never truly prepare you at all, and then the orchestral second half, a final goodbye to his father. Keaton elaborates: “Prayer is a meditation on the act of preparing to lose someone, in whatever form that takes. It’s about the feeling of helplessness, and the realisation that there are no words you can say to someone before they leave that will make it less painful when they do, as much as we feel like there must be. The orchestral section is a more personal statement; I didn’t know what to say to my dad before he left and I don’t really know what to say now, so it is, for once in the record, just simply goodbye.”


14 | The Medea Project | Reaver

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Immediately before the lockdown restrictions came into force, The Medea Project were due to begin a U.K. tour in support of their debut album Sisyphus. They managed to play just one show, a hometown album launch gig in Nottingham, before the live music scene came to a juddering halt. Luckily, Rassoodocks Media were on hand to film the event and footage from the show has been artfully assembled to create a new video for the crushing album track Reaver.Reaver is an unapologetic, no holds barred, blackened/death song that draws in our more extreme elements. It originally started as a much slower track with the introductory riff, but we were never happy with the direction it was going in, so one day we sped it up and the rest just fell into place. Sometimes we find, you have to step back from a thing to see where it is supposed to go instead of forcing it in a direction.”


15 | Crawford Mack | Depends On Where You Stand

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Glaswegian singer-songwriter Crawford Mack releases accompanying soul-stirring visuals to his latest single Depends on Where You Stand. Directed by Bryan Novelo, the new music video weaves through a string led melody of guitars and strings around the tale of two former lovers attempting to make sense of their feelings. The apprehensive pair play out a gracious dancing sequence; evoking a determined spirit of commitment and a resilient romance.”


16 | Gwyn Ashton & The Born-Again Sinners | Down & Dirty

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning Australian guitarist/singer/songwriter Gwyn Ashton has assembled a trio in his hometown of Adelaide, South Australia and recorded this lofi production of one of his latest tracks Down & Dirty, that he penned with Garry Allen. Also on the recording is Michael Bryant on bass and Enrico Mick Morena on drums. Using only one microphone to capture the entire drum kit and one mic on the guitar amp, Ashton took the raw files and mixed them on his mobile studio. “During this COVID thing I’ve locked down in the middle of an Australian tour and can’t get home. I’ve put this time into creating some new music. I hope that you like it. Down & Dirty is a ’70s funky energetic rocking Stratocaster cranked through a tweed amp kinda song with a rhythm section that drives the track HARD through the grease and sleaze. This song lives up to its title.”


17 | Tropical Fuck Storm | Legal Ghost

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australia’s Tropical Fuck Storm announce their new Legal Ghost 7”, out Sept. 11, and today present its A-side. “Legal Ghost originally appeared on Gareth Liddiard and original Drones member Rui Pereira’s experimental home four-track recordings LP Bong Odyssey, recorded in the ’90s when they were pot-smoking teenage morons. 20 years down the track, TFS have re-recorded the song for old time’s sake. Says Gareth, “This is the first song I ever wrote that I thought was actually a decent song. Everything before it was kinda a big tantrum, but this song had a touch of class. When I was putting together the Bong Odyssey record a few years ago, I heard it again and thought this was something that could work really well with TFS, although the original was really cool, it still sounded more like a sketch of a song, and wasn’t quite fully realised, so I took the song to TFS and we fleshed it out a bit.”


18 | They. | All Mine

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Electric R&B duo They. get on “demon time” releasing their new song All Mine off their upcoming project The Amanda Tape. Paying homage to the great songwriters and distinct voices that celebrate black woman, black women’s bodies and black love — the guys had this to say about the racey tune: “This song is one of the bedroom jams of the album. We both grew big fans of The-Dream and wanted to make something with that delivery and attitude he always brought. A lot of us got those on-again/off-again-type of relationships that always seem to come full circle. My ex told me that she was with a new dude and happy. I’m just like ok, we’ll see lol.”


19 | Anklegod | Showstopper

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging Vancouver rapper Anklegod releases the lead single Showstopper from his anticipated forthcoming debut album Only Time Will Tell. Anklegod has cemented himself as one of the premier acts emerging out of the Pacific Northwest due to his innate ability to craft energetic verses with lyrical content that deeply connects with listeners. Being only 18, Anklegod is only at the beginning of his career, but the pieces are in place for Showstopper to be the song to ignite the fire that has been building for months. Anklegod’s rap skills, coupled with the catchy production on his new single, shows why he has emerged as one of the most prolific and unique young voices coming out of Canada.”


20 | Teenanger | Trillium Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s DIY scene purveyors Teenanger have shared their blistering new single Trillium Song, the second to be lifted from the new record Good Time, out Oct. 2. Trillium Song draws once again on striking melodies and a wiry new wave sound palette, this time utilising a two-pronged vocal foray with both Melissa Ball and Chris Swimmings lending their voices. Swimmings says: “This song is about the province of Ontario where we all reside. Mainly about the current provincial government’s way of dealing with the education system and the environment. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Doug Ford (the song’s primary subject) was making good headway at polishing his public image by being hands-on. He made promises of people not losing their jobs and tenants not being evicted. They were timely promises in the beginning as we are now seeing many tenants in Ontario face eviction due to not being able to make ends meet in the pandemic.”


21 | Bob Moses | The Blame

THE PRESS RELEASE:Bob Moses (Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance) are back with a new single The Blame, the second of six continuously mixed tracks that make up their upcoming new release, a concept record for the club titled Desire due out Aug. 28. Desire is a love tale for the digital age: all about the positives and pitfalls of humanity’s driving wants, especially in these technology-driven times. The Blame is the realization of pain from actions taken in the heat of desire, finding Howie singing, “I could tell you that my heart beats all alone / tell you that I’ve got no soul / tell you that I lost control.”


22 | Chancroid | Bestial Perverse Of The Anomalies Psychoneurotic

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The scene was set for the full-length debut album from Indonesian brutal death metallers Chancroid, when their limited-edition CD-R single Maximum High Tension Penetrating, sold out in double quick time, back in 2018. And now the wait is over … one of the most savage releases ever to emerge from the gore obsessed Indonesian scene is here – Bestial Perverse Of The Anomalies Psychoneurotic! The sound of dark cellars, darker thoughts and vile atrocities visited upon the bodies of the innocent is unleashed in all its senseless, sickening glory. There is no point trying to reason with this beast. There is no escaping this massive onslaught of death. It’s killing time!”


23 | Ski Team | Knicks Suck

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Jersey-native and Brooklyn-based Ski Team celebrate the return of the NBA season with the tongue-in-cheek Knicks Suck, an “ode to all the Knick fans who stick it out, despite years of torment” says Lucie Lozinski (aka Ski Team). But “under the surface, Knicks Suck is about relationships that bring pain. It’s hard to quit things you love, even if they let you down.” Writing with a sense of humor and existentialism, Lozinski sings: “The New York Knicks/Are a very bad team/But you won’t give in/Like you won’t give up on me/you’re a masochist/used to being pissed all the time.”


24 | Josh Johnson | 856

THE PRESS RELEASE: “L.A.-based multi-instrumentalist Josh Johnson — whose vital presence in the vanguard of new jazz music is evident by his features on countless critically-acclaimed projects like Jeff Parker’s Suite for Max Brown and Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings — has released his first solo single 856. An electronic track that displays his musically omnivorous DNA, 856 reveals a love for the proto-house explorations of Herbie Hancock and the graceful modular synthesizer compositions of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.”


25 | St Valentine | Ghosts Aren’t Real

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vocalist and producer Ulrik Denizou Lund’s solo self-titled debut EP as St Valentine is out this Friday and today he revealed a meditative new track Ghosts Aren’t Real. Darker and moodier than previous EP singles, the track’s chilled, atmospheric beats and warped melodies carry Lund’s lyrical musings. He says, “this song is about seeing ghosts or seeing things that aren’t really there and situations that aren’t how you imagined them.”


27 | Black Magnet | Hegemon

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Industrial metal outfit Black Magnet will release its debut LP Hallucination Scene in early September. With the record closing in, the new single Hegemon is now streaming. All vocals, guitars, synthesizers, drum programming, and samples were written and performed by Black Magnet’s sole member James Hammontree, who says, “Hegemon is the most haunting and esoteric song on the album. We enjoy opening the set with it as it sets an atmospheric precedent for the rest of the show. Lyrically the song deals with Thelemite principles involving awareness and consciousness. The chorus “a god unknown, free of flesh and bone” is a reference to man’s ability to have direct communication with his consciousness through focus and intuition. Deeper layers of consciousness are there and available whether you know it or not.”


28 | Tikyra | No More Fear

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tikyra, drummer and backing vocalist from 2020 Grammy nominee Southern Avenue, is releasing her debut single. Written after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the protests against racism that consumed the country afterwards, No More Fear is Tikyra’s first solo effort and speaks her truth in volumes through raw funk and soul. “To say we’re living in a crazy time is an understatement,” says Tikyra. “Living in a global pandemic and experiencing the murders of our fellow human beings, unjustly killed for simply being Black, it’s all soul-jarring. No More Fear is a reflection of today’s time and the social justice movement. I’m speaking my truth through music in the hopes more will listen and make a change.”


29 | Numün | First Steps

THE PRESS RELEASE:Numün is a trio of New York City soundscape designers who combine a wide range of music and visual influences to create hypnotic aural and visual experiences. The band members include “ambient country” pioneer Bob Holmes (from SUSS) as well as new music composer and artist Joel Mellin, and percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Chris Romero (both from Gamelan Dharma Swara). First Steps, the latest single from the Sept. 4 release Voyage Au Soleil, is a story of finding your bearings in unfamiliar territory: the tremolo twang juxtaposed against the strident cümbüş combine as if David Lynch’s Twin Peaks were set on the far side of the moon.”


30 | Dan Michaelson | Colourfield

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Opening with deep tonal rumbles flooded with cavernous French horn, Colourfield III is the last track to be taken from Dan Michaelson’s acclaimed new album. At just over three minutes, it is by far the most compact of his tracks, condensing many of the album’s core ideals into one simple message. Featuring a full orchestral compliment, heavy swells of piano envelop strings in waves of bass before they reemerge in one of Colourfield’s most optimistic and uplifting moments.”


31 | Brothertiger | Shelter Cove

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Electronic music linchpin John Jagos, aka Brothertiger, has revealed a new single ahead of his upcoming LP. Shelter Cove revolves around a slow build into a rich & atmospheric layering of synthesizer and effected vocals. Paradise Lost is Brothertiger’s first album of original material in five years and is due out Sept. 11. John stated: “Shelter Cove was one of the last tracks I wrote for Paradise Lost. I was sort of at a crossroads at that point in terms of how I wanted to wrap up the record. I found the pad sound on my Juno 60 after running it through a bunch of compression and saturation, and I knew I had to make a song around it. The song is about some specific times on tour, driving through northern California on the Pacific Highway, finding swimming holes with my friend and sound tech Will. We’d look up some spots on our days off and drive to them. Last time we did was in October. We went to Pfieffer Beach near Monterrey. It was really windy and it clearly wasn’t swimming season, so everyone at the beach was dumbfounded watching two pale idiots running into the ocean.”


32 | Vulnere | And They Fall

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Portland’s Vulnere have announced their debut LP Igneous, out Oct. 16, and unveiled the first single And They Fall. The early stages of writing that would become Vulnere begin in 2017 with drummer Cody Pulliam and guitarist Mike Ashton. The goal was to create death metal with the aggression and complexity inspired by countless brutal death metal and technical grind releases of the mid 2000’s/early 2010’s. Vocal duties were soon filled by Mark Smith, and shows commenced as a three piece, offering something unique and crushingly heavy. Bass duties were executed by long time friend and engineer Spencer Linn. Vulnere is a unique, fast and technical band unlike anything else, but if it’s one thing, it’s death metal.”


33 | Sheenjek | If Not Why Not If So How

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Portland’s Sheenjek recently announced they will release their debut LP Unclever on Aug. 28. Sheenjek started as a simple book club, with wine and cheese and light banter about families and good books. This quickly dissolved, during the first meeting, into a demonstration, or clinic, of self-defense knife handling skills, and joint rolling technique. Booze, weed, books and punching each other, soon lead to a drum solo that lasted nine nights and became the first-ever live performance of the Sheenjek band. Hear the single If Not Why Not If So How right now.”


34 | James Lee Baker | Santa Barbara

THE PRESS RELEASE:James Lee Baker’s new album 100 Summers — out everywhere Sept. 4 — is an 11-song collection of soothing folk-song melodies that circle around a centralized theme; that of personal transformation. Today, he premiered Santa Barbara, the album’s second single. The rejoicing refrain of “Santa Barbara, I have come to hear your mission bells ring” precedes Baker’s proclamation; “I am here to start a new life again.” “In a way, the second verse is a kind of double entendre,” says Baker. “While I’m talking about the city and its hay days and eventual struggles, I’m really talking to myself and trying to give a needed pep talk — ’you were a treasure chest of the gold rush, once a dangerous and lawless place.’ ”


35 | Spunsugar | Run

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish trio Spunsugar return to announce their highly-anticipated debut album Drive-Through Chapel, out Oct. 2. The outfit’s first full-length outing sees them take on the dark and pulsing nature of the post-punk sound and deliver it through a completely new and diverse contemporary lens. Here’s what they say about their new single Run: “Don’t get fooled by the angry riffs in Run, this songs has a positive thing to say; while we’re busy running away from something bad, we might miss that we’re running into something a lot better. However, getting rid of scary doomsday stories you’ve been fed in the church bench since infancy, is hard. Run is full with blink and you’ll miss them-bible references paired with small town trash imagery. That makes a lot of sense for the most personal song on an album that will be titled Drive-through Chapel.”


36 | 5thPlanet | Allnite BB

THE PRESS RELEASE:Allnite BB is a newly released track from New York-based artist 5thPlanet. Per the artist: “Allnite BB was written about a year ago, during a period that felt like an endless nocturnal chaos. I was bartending, performing, mixing other people’s songs, getting my first consistent DJ gigs and rediscovering my interest in photography. On my off-nights, I would often stay up to work on my own music and go on long walks, taking pictures of the bizarre imagery we often take for granted in New York. This all feels like ancient history now. I hope our nightlife rebounds.”