Indie Roundup | 26 Numbers To Finish Off Monday (And August)

’68, Chrome Waves, Louis Jucker, Maguas & plenty more vie for the last word.

’68 fire up their bad, bad Lambo, Chrome Waves head westward into oblivion, Louis Jucker is tired of waiting, William Elliott Whitmore delivers a dose of cruelty and more in your Monday Roundup. There are some super sleepers down there in the teens; don’t scroll past too fast.


1 | ’68 | Bad Bad Lambo

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Atlanta power-duo ’68 released an all-new music video and will release a new EP this Friday, Sept. 4. The EP is titled Love Is Ain’t Dead., and the music video for Bad Bad Lambo is here now. Produced by Grammy winner Nick Raskulinecz, this EP is the first crop of new songs we’ve heard from ’68 since the release of Two Parts Viper in 2017. Like a Delta blues reimagining of Bleach-era Nirvana or the disgraced punkish cousin of The Black Keys, ’68 adheres to a single ethic: unbridled authenticity. There’s no “plan” with ’68 so much as a ride, with the duo hanging on for dear life in the eye of the storm every bit as much as the audience. The obstacle is the goal. The journey is the destination. Creative, disruptive, frantic, even when dipping into a bit of Otis Redding or James Brown-style funk, ’68 sound urgent.”

2 | Chrome Waves | Gazing Into Oblivion

THE PRESS RELEASE:Chrome Waves are getting ready to release their second album Where We Live in late September. The band now issues a new single for the album in the form of a video for Gazing Into Oblivion. The video was directed by Andrew Bonazelli and Manuel Alarcon and features actors Teresa Byrne and Jason Burrus. Bonazelli offers, “Jeff Wilson’s music has consistently steered clear of tired, predictably hardass metal tropes throughout the years, so I only felt slightly moronic pitching him a fucked up snuff film take on a 24-year-old Stabbing Westward video (despite our mutual respect of the band’s first three albums). I appreciate Chrome Waves’ adventurousness letting Manny, the director, and myself bring this ugly outre homage to life. It looks fantastic and is hopefully atypical of your everyday extreme video while staying true to the band’s depressive, forlorn aesthetic.”

3 | Louis Jucker | 31 Years of Waiting For This

THE PRESS RELEASE:Hummus Records was founded in 2012 by Jona Nido and Louis Jucker when both were still playing with German prog-metallers The Ocean and had just started their own band Coilguns. The catalog now counts more than 90 releases including audio deviances from nihilistic diy folk songwriter, stoner psych-rock, experimental pop or sinister noise-hardcore. Louis Jucker just released the first single and video for his upcoming fourth studio album Something Went Wrong. The track shows Jucker venturing into the world of pop music with the add of his lo-fi/alternative-folk signature. The album was written, recorded, produced and mixed by Jucker alone in a cabin in the Swiss mountains during the summer of 2018. He also shot and edited this official video. Though the title is quite self-explanatory, here’s what Jucker had to say about it: “no need to go wild. one way or another we all end up framed on a wall, stuck in an album, a picture or a souvenir, blurry in most cases” Something Went Wrong is due to release on Oct. 30.”

4 | William Elliott Whitmore | My Mind Can Be Cruel to Me

THE PRESS RELEASE:William Elliott Whitmore will release his eighth full-length album I’m With You on Oct. 16. On his first release of original material since 2015’s Radium Death, Whitmore widens the horizon of his folk songs and twangy punked-up country, aided by his world-weary voice, country-baked banjo and hard-strummed guitar. The song My Mind Can Be Cruel to Me is about perception. Our memories and thoughts can be torturous at times. Mark Twain called it the “devil’s race track”, when a line of thought and worry goes around and around in a circle inside our brains. Is the mind a separate entity from the body? At what point does it feel as though our brains are actually betraying us?”

5 | The Maguas | Seaglass & Springsteen

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Maguas kiss summer goodbye in the new music video Seaglass and Springsteen, off the upcoming EP One Of Us Is Lying, out everywhere on Nov. 20. The Maguas are a Scranton favorite — this NEPA native five-piece anthem emo rock band found its roots in the Electric City and hit the ground running ever since its inception in 2018. Seaglass and Springsteen evokes the wistful spirit of summer love — from the first passionate kiss to the woeful goodbye. Despite being stuck in a daydream, the dwindling summer heat quickly snaps our characters back to reality, as they are left to hopelessly face summer’s end. Seaglass and Springsteen is a summer anthem that will fill your heart with nostalgia, leaving you desperately wondering about what could have been.”

6 | Sleeptalk | 100X

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Burgeoning L.A. alt-rock band Sleeptalk just released a new single titled 100X, along with an accompanying music video. Meshing their unique alt-rock sound with contemporary electronic music punctuated by smooth vocal hooks, 100x crafts the quintessential late-summer jam. Frontman Anthony Fitzpatrick says, “Instrumentally, we wanted to go back to our roots and write something that has that genuine Sleeptalk vibe, while continuing to enhance our sound and grow as a band. The songwriting process started with the main keyboard riff accompanied by the bass line which gave the song its groove and feel. After finalizing it, we think it gives off the perfect blend of modern alternative pop and rock music. Lyrically, 100x is about trying to convince your close friend that no matter how much your opinion on something might be hurtful, you are telling them because you want what’s best for them.”

7 | Daniela Andrade | Puddles

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Honduran-Canadian producer/artist Daniela Andrade shared her new single Puddles alongside which she has announced details of her new EP Nothing Much Has Changed, I Don’t Feel The Same, which is out on Sept. 30. The new single, which comes self-produced by Daniela, finds the artist teaming up with in-demand Toronto musician-producer Harrison, who provides the track’s lilting bassline. Andrade pieced together the blueprint for the music before sending it over to Harrison for his touch; thematically it finds Daniela turning to the times of her childhood to find peace and solace during quarantine.”

8 | Cartel Madras | Working

THE PRESS RELEASE:Working is an empowering new hip house track and official video from Cartel Madras, which was directed by the group and Gabriela Osio Vanden, starring Cartel themselves and fellow Thotnation collective member Jide (who produced and mixed the song). Eboshi and Contra had this to say about the song, “We’ve been influenced by sharp lyricists with strong aesthetics such as Azealia Banks and Cakes Da Killa; they’ve been genre touchstones for us since before Cartel MadrasWorking is a queer party track which pulls from our experiences as bad bitches in the music scene from the LGBTQ+ community. Once Jide, also a member of our collective, made us this beat we knew exactly what we wanted to do with it. This video is a love letter to the campy, colour coded Eurodance videos of the ’90s.”

9 | Armon Hassan | Rebel

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Milwaukee native Armon Hassan is making headway as an alternative solo artist. Definition of his “emo-driven” sound takes inspiration from artists such as Post Malone, Lil Peep & Arizona Zervas. “Rebel is about feeling like you’re constantly crashing. Crashing from a high, from the chaos of life, from your decisions. It’s about feeling like your life is constantly in turmoil and there is no way out. Honestly got the inspiration from the song and lyrics as a whole from the movie Rebel Without A Cause. The movie itself surrounds a character who tries to do right, fit in and be normal but everything just keeps getting worse.”

10 | Retro Champ | Confidence

THE PRESS RELEASE:Retro Champ is a St. Louis-based rapper. His debut EP Backlash premiered in 2019 and led to the release of new EP F.Y.I., which is out now. With a brand-new video for the song Confidence debuting this week, Retro looks to build on the success of his previous single Lawd Have Mercy. Retro says, “Confidence is about me finally being confident with myself again. I struggled a lot with my confidence growing up, this song shows that I have grown and that I’m happy with who I am. I also want other people to love themselves for who they are and have the confidence in themselves to be them.”

11 | The Ella Sisters | Queens

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Kristiansand-based twins The Ella Sisters return with an inspiring, empowered piece in the form of indie-pop jam Queens, lifted from the duo’s forthcoming debut EP Queens, due to drop soon. The girls say: “This song Queens is a hymn for female empowerment … This EP is representing the feelings that made us want to start a pop band. It was written through experiences we wanted to talk about, with some subjects that we could not let go of: sisterhood, empowerment, friendship, love, underestimation, and self-worth. It was after we had written the songs, that we realized it is all about undressing any behaviour that is no good for you. It is about following your heart. And it is about real friendship. How important it is to have each other’s back.”

12 | Obsidian Kingdom | The Pump

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Pump, the second obscenity from Obsidian Kingdom’s Sept. 25 release Meat Machine, is out now — a feverish delirium about the absurd nature of the cosmos, animated by the twisted mind of Ukrainian artist Jakov Burov. In it, a grotesque caricature of the gnostic tree of life dominates a gruesome carnival that falls halfway between Metalocalypse and Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Delights. The Pump is a frantic and dissonant song fuelled by existential anxiety that portrays the world as blind machinery, forever set in a meaningless course of processing meat. Its main emotions are brutality and disorientation, but the chorus is also epic and liberating. Although devoid of morality or compassion, the whole scene doesn’t lack a certain sense of humour.”

13 | Sens Dep | Lush Desolation

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sens Dep (Sensory Deprivation) is a band that creates textured noise and sonic ruminations that explore ideas of control, restraint and abandon in equal measure. Formed in 2009 by Andrew and Ben Yardley as a side project for Melbourne band Laura, the group’s long-awaited debut album Lush Desolation will be released on Nov. 30. Recorded over four years in a tin shed, an alpine hunter’s hut, concrete inter zones, and the Tasmanian wilderness, Lush Desolation is as much a product of the environments it was recorded in as the ideas themselves. A sonic tension underpins much of the album, a delicate balance that isn’t always resolved. Lyrically the record dissects the relationship between humans and our environment and how that dynamic continues to change, often beyond recognition. It’s a challenging and transformative album, intimate and epic, a paean to the years of work that went into it.”

14 | Naipia | Tightropes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Having recently released smash single Lonely, the U.K.’s Naipia return with another indie pop-rock gem. Their new single Tightropes is about being aware of your centre-point. Noticing the light and the dark inside of you and maintaining the balance for personal growth. Hailing from Brighton and Hove, Naipia combine indie, rock and pop genres, leaving audiences with addictive hooks and melodies etched into their minds. They create songs about misspent youth, the growth of the soul and hard lessons learnt. Naipia take you to a place of self-reflection whilst shining a light on the beauty of what’s to come. The message: It’s OK to not be OK.”

15 | Hookers & Blow | Trampled Underfoot

THE PRESS RELEASE:Hookers & Blow, the now-legendary project formed by longtime Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed and Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi, recently hit the studio to record a covers album that will be released later this year. Now the band has released their fourth single, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Trampled Underfoot. Grossi comments: “This song was added into our live set during our first residency at The Whisky A Go Go in 2013 for Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot) to come down and jam on, when it came time to picking songs to cover for this record, naturally we had this one on the list, with Frankie on drums.’’

16 | BT ALC Big Band | The Iguana

THE PRESS RELEASE:BT ALC Big Band is excited to release new single The Iguana, recorded remotely during the Covid19 pandemic and featuring a who’s who of funk royalty, including legendary flutist/tenor saxophonist Karl Denson (Greyboy Allstars / Rolling Stones), award-winning guitarist Eric Krasno (Soulive / Lettuce) and renowned bassist Nate Edgar (Nth Power / John Brown’s Body). Once again, the song-writing process began by getting Soulive drummer Alan Evans together with organist Darby Wolf at Iron Wax Studios to lay down the initial track for the rest of the band to work off of and invite friends to join in. Inspired by the uptempo grooves on Grant Green’s classic album Live At The Lighthouse recorded in 1972, The Iguana is similarly fast-paced, extremely groovy, and absolutely infectious!”

17 | Desert Blonde | It Ain’t Bad (To Be Alone)

THE PRESS RELEASE:Desert Blonde — the alt-country, indie-rock project of Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Zach Hinkle — will release a new EP, Live Slow Die Old, on Oct. 23. Along with the announcement, Desert Blonde share the first single It Ain’t Bad (To Be Alone), an ode and a hat-tip to life’s quiet, peaceful moments, for fans of John Prine and Jeff Tweedy. Of the song, Hinkle says: “I wrote this song before quarantine, during a time when the city felt totally overwhelming. I was able to escape that feeling by going to the park or spending an evening on my couch, and I thought about how nice it was to have some time to myself. It’s for all of the introverts out there. We’re all spending more time alone these days, so for anyone who’s having a hard time with that, maybe they’ll hear it and think things aren’t so bad.”

18 | Saiah | Black(Planet)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Arizona-based Saiah continues to make a mark with a steady stream of buzz-generating singles, like his latest Black(Planet), from his upcoming sophomore EP Honest Red, due this fall. At 21 years old, Saiah has already begun leaving his mark as a singer-songwriter with a style all his own. Originally from Pittsburgh, Saiah moved to Arizona in high school as his family chased a warmer climate. It was there that Saiah embraced his physical abilities, becoming a recognized track star and even going on to get a scholarship to run in college — but it wouldn’t last for long. Quickly realizing that there was more in the world he wanted to explore, Saiah decided to face the doubt in himself and from those around him by throwing his focus fully into music. Moving back to Pittsburgh for a year to regroup, Saiah spent that time experimenting with his voice and style before deciding he was ready to tackle the world again as a new man.”

19 | Byron Smith | Safe From Home

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’m an independent Melbourne-based singer, songwriter and recording artist. I played in a number of Melbourne indie bands, including Thirteen at Midnight, which went on to become a well-known band called Things of Stone and Wood. Safe from Home is my debut solo single.”

20 | Gibberish | I Dreamed U

THE PRESS RELEASE:Gibberish is the experimental-psych duo of Derek and Lorie Bromley. Formed in their spare bedroom in Arkansas before moving to Los Angeles, they started out with looping live drums through effects, with Lorie playing bass and keys and Derek rounding things out with a melody and guitar after looping some sort of distorted beat. Gibberish enjoy surrounding their songs in textured, spacey blankets, while touting a core of rhythmic, lo-fi percussive sounds anchoring the wafty synths and sparkling guitars. “We wrote I Dreamed U on a day where we were just cutting loose and a little delirious from the quarantine,” Derek says. “We had been listening to Tom Tom Club earlier that day while trying to throw blueberries in each other’s mouths, but mostly missing. I started goofing around with a silly, kiddish drum machine loop and Lorie immediately wanted to sing. In the time it took me to set up a mic for her, she already had lyrics and a melody ready to go.”

21+22 | Vatican Shadow | Taxi Journey Through The Teeming Slums Of Tehran + Rehearsing For The Attack

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As Vatican Shadow prepare to release Persian Pillars Of The Gasoline Era, the anxiously awaited new LP from the Dominick Fernow-created project, they share two new tracks: Taxi Journey Through The Teeming Slums Of Tehran and Rehearsing For The Attack. Thematically, Persian Pillars Of The Gasoline Era connects the dots of America’s under-documented overthrow in Iran of one of the first advocates of self-reliance and democracy in the Middle East, to the bedrock of violence that would later erupt post-Gulf War and suffocate the world economy in 2001 on U.S. shores. To further intensify the album, Fernow brought aboard Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, JK Flesh) for the painstakingly detailed mastering process, adding the mysterious vibrance of cold morning mountain light that presages a conspiracy about to unfold.”

23 | May Have | Home

THE PRESS RELEASE:May Have recently released their new EP Misunderstood — a collection of electro-pop tracks with gut-wrenching lyrics and perfectly placed synths. Maerin Hunting’s songwriting and soaring vocals are elevated by the contagious energy of the rhythm section, Sebastian Balk-Forcione (drums) and Matt Rousseau (bass/synths). Adding Dan Rougeau (guitar) and Emily Rockarts (vocals and keys), May Have have added depth to their sonic palette. With an impressive array of synths, samples, and guitars. The band have also shared a building, echoing track, Home, as the EP’s focus track.”

24 | Takuya Kuroda | Fade

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A highly respected trumpeter born in Kobe, Japan, Takuya Kuroda is a forward-thinking musician that has developed a unique hybrid sound, blending soulful jazz, funk, post-bop, fusion and hip hop music. Kuroda is already incredibly prolific, releasing five albums in the past decade and fortifying a solid reputation in the global jazz scene. Late Summer 2020, Kuroda returns with his sixth album Fly Moon Die Soon. In his words, “this album is about the irony between the greatness of nature and the beautiful obsceneness of humanity. Melodies and grooves fly back and forth from being spiritual to being vulgar.”

25 | Kliffs | Bully

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Berlin-based Canadian duo Kliffs announce the release of their latest EP Bully on Oct. 9 and share the Talking Heads-esque title track. Geographically, Kliffs create Montreal-music in Berlin. Musically, they compose songs better suited to late-night inner-city bike rides and shy dancers. Lyrically, they write recycled tone poems that harness the thoughts of the perpetually bemused and the intensity of soft earthquakes. Kliffs is Mark Bérubé (guitar, keys, voice) and Kristina Koropecki (cello, synths, voice). The two met twelve years ago in an improvised Montréal rehearsal space when Kristina joined Mark’s solo project. They toured together with Mark’s band numerous times across Canada and Europe, and eventually re-located to Berlin, Germany in 2014. After a brief hiatus for other projects, the two teamed up again in 2018 as a duo under their new name Kliffs and released their debut album Temporary Cures in 2019.”

26 | Harp & Plow | Pastures of Plenty

THE PRESS RELEASE:Harp & Plow is an Americana duo that combines a classically trained harpist and a blues-based guitarist, singer/songwriter. These talents create a unique, musical experience that explores American Roots music with a modern approach. Their debut single Pastures of Plenty is a gritty yet graceful reimagined version of the Woody Guthrie 1941 classic. Marc and Kirsten Copely have defined their respective musical reputations by a breadth of collaborators and accolades. Marc is a former RCA solo recording artist whose first album, Limited Lifetime Guarantee, launched him into the national spotlight. Kirsten has made music in four continents for heads of state, in blockbuster movie soundtracks, alongside Billboard 100 artists, and on late night television.”

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