Indie Roundup | 21 Tracks For A Weirdly Calm Thursday

Susu, Warlung, Tempter, Nick Cave, Facing The Gallows and more of today's treats.

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Susu get you in a stranglehold, baby, Warlung play for keeps in the sand, The Tempter get in some good trouble, Facing the Gallows use their noggins, Nick Cave and Thunder Jackson tickle the ivories and more in your weirdly calm Thursday Roundup. The only thing better than Susu’s revolutionary repurposing of Ted Nugent’s classic is the almost-certain knowledge that the Motor City Moron would loathe every second of it.

 


TRACKS OF THE DAY

1 | Susu | Work Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Smouldering New York City rock outfit Susu are announce a brand-new release with the arrival of Work Song, lifted from the EP Panther City out this November. It is a ballsy, visceral protest anthem with nods to Rage Against The Machine, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. Drawing on a myriad of influences from Rock and Roll, Blues, Southern Rock and Soul, the track is accompanied by a stark, poignant video clip, presenting us with a timely wake up call. The band say: “Work Song is Nina Simone staring down Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold as they both walk along the same chord structure. This is THE meeting of the minds. This is the duality of our times. A Civil unrest deeply woven in the fabric of the U.S. A Global pandemic that has infected ALL of US. This song is for US — the disenfranchised, black, brown, minority, middle class, poor, trans, gay, and subjugated communities stepping down off the auction block, breaking the stranglehold; saying: ‘If a house gets in my way, you know I’ll burn it down.’ As Nina Simone once said, ‘An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times’.”


2 | Warlung | The Scorpion In The Sand

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Houston riff rockers Warlung unveil their new video The Scorpion In The Sand, the blazing-hot single taken from their third full-length Optical Delusions, out Oct. 9. Travel to this place between the heavens and the underworld now. Optical Delusions is more fantastical than it initially seems. Gratuitously saturated guitar kicks off The Scorpion in the Sand, invigorating riff-rock in its most classic form — but prolonged exposure reveals a psychedelic core that jams even as it warps your mind.”


3 | The Tempter | The Tempter

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Tempter is a loving, one-time tribute honoring Chicago doom legends Trouble, featuring members of Snow Burial, Huntsmen, The Atlas Moth, Pelican and Yakuza. The idea came together by producer and multi-instrumentalist Sanford Parker shortly after Chicago’s lockdown hit. He thought there was no better person to lay down the vocals then friend, bandmate, and business partner Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest). The next step was to lock in the rhythm section, with Mike Miczek (The Atlas Moth, Broken Hope) on drums and Mark Njjar (Huntsmen) on bass. Guitar tracks were laid down by Dallas Thomas (Pelican) and Ben Bowman (Snow Burial) while Parker mixed and mastered the track. The group chose The Tempter as the single as well as the band name because, as Lamont states, “What can’t be said about Trouble? They’re legends around these parts. The Tempter was the obvious choice. It’s the classic first cut off their debut Psalm 9. Heavy as fuck. It was an honor to cover this.”


4 | Facing The Gallows | Blackening

THE PRESS RELEASE:Facing The Gallows just released their new music video Blackening. It’s brutal, it’s vibrant, it’s dark and it goes in hard. “Things are not OK. What is going on around the world has magnified that tenfold especially in South Africa. There are people who want to keep you down, who want to control you, who want you divided, who want you distracted from what is really the problem. And it is them, they’re the poison, they’re the ones playing the game with real people’s lives. They are the problem, not us and we’ve had enough of it.”


5 | Nick Cave | Galleon Ship

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following the extraordinary response to the online streaming event in July, audiences will have another chance to experience Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace as it screens in cinemas globally starting Nov. 5. In Idiot Prayer, Cave plays his songs alone at the piano in a rarely seen stripped back form, from early Bad Seeds and Grinderman, right through to the most recent Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album, Ghosteen. “The film Idiot Prayer evolved from my Conversations With… events. I loved playing deconstructed versions of my songs at these shows, distilling them to their essential forms. I felt I was rediscovering the songs all over again, and started to think about going into a studio and recording these reimagined versions at some stage — whenever I could find the time. Then, the pandemic came — the world went into lockdown, and fell into an eerie, self-reflective silence. It was within this silence that I began to think about the idea of not only recording the songs, but also filming them … This is the album taken from that film. It is a prayer into the void — alone at Alexandra Palace — a souvenir from a strange and precarious moment in history. I hope you enjoy it.”


6 | Thunder Jackson | Caroline

THE PRESS RELEASE:Thunder Jackson releases his new single Caroline, lifted from his upcoming self-titled debut album Thunder Jackson, out Oct. 1. A stunning pop ballad, highlighting Thunder at his most vulnerable, the track reflects on past mistakes and hones in on new beginnings, suitably exhibiting the Oklahoman singer’s miraculous vocal range. “Caroline is a cry for a long lost love, a cry for a new beginning,” Thunder Jackson said. “It’s about realising your past mistakes and presenting a reborn version of yourself. Standing on the line, vulnerable but true, ready to start again. ‘As I am, as you are. Let’s go back to the start’.”


7 | Stone Horses | Good Ol’ Days

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Baltimore’s Stone Horses — singer John Allen, drummer Jason Heiser, bassist Rick Reynolds and co-founding guitarist Teddy Merrill — have premiered the first video for the title track from their second EP Good Ol’ Days, which was released July 31. As singer John Allen explains, “With this new record, I wanted to give the listener some escapism. As I started to write the song Good Ol’ Days at the beginning of 2020, it was already looking a little like we were in for a fucked-up year, so I figured, ‘Man, let’s remember the good times. Let’s remember the times when we could hang out, go to parties, go to concerts and music festivals!’ Hopefully, we can get back to that place really really soon! We need some fun back in our lives. I know that might seem childish these days, but it might not hurt to think of those Good Ol’ Days when we didn’t have a care in the world.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

8 | aliensdontringdoorbells | It’s Your Night

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When do you know that it’s time to go full speed ahead? When does it stop being something you do on a small scale and start playing for keeps? When do you know that it’s good enough to let everyone else experience it too? For aliensdontringdoorbells, and their forthcoming album Arrival (set for release Oct. 2), they know that time is right now. aliensdontringdoorbells convey an undeniable ear for melody and keen eye for the mainstream with their effortlessly timeless sound. When it comes to music, the band cites OneRepublic, Maroon 5 and Weezer amongst their influences. Their sound is an amalgamation of pop, rock, jazz, prog and swing. Nowhere is this melting pot of influences more apparent, or more successful, than on the album’s second single, It’s Your Night.”


9 | Cross Bringer | The Battle Of The Weak

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Formed just one year ago, Cross Bringer is a new collaborative project between members of Euglena and The Homeless is Dead. Despite the long distance that separates the band members, divided between Belgium and Russia, and the current pandemic that haunts the globe, Cross Bringer managed to complete the recordings of their debut album The Sign of Spiritual Delusion, set for release on Sept. 18. Cross Bringer just unleashed a music video for a new track titled The Battle Of The Weak.”


10 | Words That Burn | Everything I Wanted

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Irish alt/post-metalcore crew Words That Burn have released a video for their cover of Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted, in aid of The Sophie Lancaster Charity Foundation. The video features a montage of homemade videos that were submitted by fans from around the world where they can be seen expressing themselves to the music. Words That Burn vocalist Ronnie Vox commented on the project: “When we finally decided on the concept of the video we spoke to our management about doing something meaningful. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation is a voice that we as a band and a lot of people around the world who are involved in subcultures in one way or another can relate to. ”


11 | Ace Frehley | I’m Down

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member Ace Frehley shared the second single from his highly-anticipated second collection of 11 rock ‘n’ roll covers titled, Origins Vol. 2, in the form of The Beatles’ 1965 b-side I’m Down. Featuring John 5, the cover kicks the classic track into high gear with shredding solos and Frehley’s on-point vocals, sounding at the top of his game. Due out Sept. 18, Origins Vol. 2 continues Frehley’s reflections on a lifetime in music and inspiration. No stranger to cover versions throughout his musical history — having recorded, rebranded, and repossessed such notable nuggets as New York Groove, Do Ya and I Wanna Go Back throughout his eight previous studio efforts — this new collection presents a thoughtful and exciting selection of songs that inspired and helped shape the legendary guitarist. That spirit of fun is carried through with exquisite execution, and guitar aficionados will enjoy Frehley’s fresh interpretations of these classic songs.”


12 Robert Wyatt | Sea Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Oct. 9, the singular Robert Wyatt will release His Greatest Misses — a compilation spanning his decades-long career — on vinyl for the first time. His Greatest Misses acknowledges that Wyatt’s career has taken place outside the limited space and definition of commercial pop success, but simultaneously recognizes that Wyatt’s non-careerist career has nevertheless proven both productive and rigorous. The collection, originally released as a Japanese edition, includes selections dating from Rock Bottom (1974) to Cuckooland (2003), although its running order is non-chronological. This makes the subtle point that Wyatt’s recordings are best considered as a non-linear catalog — a world through which the listener can move at any pace in any direction. The compilation showcases many of Wyatt’s musical abilities, particularly his favored technique of allowing his serpentine keyboard melodies to intertwine with his voice, vividly present in the opening bars of Sea Song.”


13 | The Holy | The Rocket Song

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nominated for a Grammy, Finland’s The Holy will release their second album Mono Freedom. It’s a mechanical kraut-layered alt-rock record with elements of electronic and prog. New single The Rocket Song tells the story of human arrogance which results in their extinction. Frontman Eetu Iivari says: “The last people living on Earth decide to build a space rocket and try to go through black holes to new galaxies. But they fail, like we humans tend to do. We often think we’re unbeatable.”


14 | Draag | Lansing

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Indie-shoegaze quintet Draag just released a dreamy version of the psychedelic epic Lansing by Vinyl Williams. The cover is the first in a series to be shared by the L.A. band each week leading up to Oct. 9, when their Covers EP will drop. The project will also feature versions of songs by Deerhunter, Throbbing Gristle, Pinback, Milton Nascimento & Lô Borges and Goon. When the band’s plans for a summer tour were cancelled due to COVID, the group “decided we’d use the time we’d spend on the road to make this EP instead, sending stems back and forth to each other. The choice of songs to cover was very stream of consciousness — instinctually chosen from a combination of Twitter recommendations and artists that expand the definition of music to us.”


15+16 | Machinedrum | Star + Believe In You

THE PRESS RELEASE:Machinedrum announces not one, but two new singles today: Star and Believe in U. The former is a collaboration with the incredibly gifted beatmaker and producer Mono/Poly (Thundercat / Kendrick Lamar / Ne-Yo) and Georgia-born, L.A.-based vocalist Tanereìlle (pronounced tuh-nair-ree-elle). A stunning, airy R&B ballad, it drifts effortlessly atop chunky breaks and warm subs. Meanwhile, Believe in U finds Machinedrum in full club-wrecking mode, chopping up the soul classic I Believe in Miracles as only he can. A View of U is the producer’s ninth solo album in a glittering career that has cemented his reputation as one of electronic music’s biggest and brightest stars. It features an incredible cast of collaborators including Freddie Gibbs, Sub Focus, Chrome Sparks, Tigran Hamasyan, Jesse Boykins III and Rochelle Jordan.”


17 | Blue States | Archival

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Oct. 30, Blue StatesNothing Changes Under the Sun will be reissued to mark its 20th 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 and an exclusive print  (whilst stocks last). In anticipation for the reissue, Blue States have shared new single Archival. Another glorious, sweeping, cinematic soundscape taken from the bonus material EP Trinity Tapes. Do you know that feeling when you first hear music, and you realise that you may have stumbled across something that will become a part of your life forever? Music that gradually unlocks those treasured endorphins and lets them loose to run throughout your very being. Blue States Nothing Changes Under the Sun is one of those records, sounding as timeless and out of time today as it did on its first release 20 years ago.”


18 | Bleeding Out | Realm Of Silence

THE PRESS RELEASE:Bleeding Out’s debut full-length Lifelong Death Fantasy will be issued in late October, and today, the album’s relentless pummel is proven with an advance stream of its lead single Realm Of Silence. Bleeding Out is a deathgrind band from Toronto. And yet behind this seemingly banal statement lurks a far more seething and violent musical truth. Yes, Bleeding Out is a band with a relentless array of face-melting riffs; everything from blasting early-Earache buzzsaws to reptile brain, slow-motion skull smashers. A band that is possessed by power, fury, and a violent need to explode on stage and on record rather than wallow in tepid genre identification and weak posturing. Utilizing grindcore and death metal as a musical lens to stare long and hard at this pus filled, ingrown world as it burns and falls apart, worldview begets musical conviction, and this ouroboros of violent sounds and negative outlook exists at the very heart of the band.”


19 | Paper Tapes | In The Heat

THE PRESS RELEASE: “GPSs flicker, spirits emancipate themselves from any final destination… Paper Tapes’ first EP Homecoming will be out Oct. 9. Native of Lyon, living in Paris and a member of the band Brace ! Brace ! (Howlin’ Banana), Cyril Angleys delivers, under the pseudo Paper Tapes, an adventurous and immediate pop. Influenced by the ’70s film score, the outsiders that became heroes like Stereolab and Air, the psyched pop from Todd Rundgren or the R’n’B from the first Neptunes albums, he assumes boldly but with finesse his carelessness of time and genres.”


20 | Jim Bryson | Knights Of 1000 Sleeps ft. Caroline Brooks

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian producer and songwriter Jim Bryson shares the third instalment of his Survival Tactics Series, called Knights of 1000 Sleeps. The new single features Caroline Brooks (of Good Lovelies). Bryson describes it as “a breezy stroll through the late summer season full of reflection and observation and maybe even some real feeling in there as a bonus.” The Survival Tactics Series began as a way to offset the offsets of life in the streaming age, but now it has taken on a whole new life “in the pandemic dome”. The first two installments are Better on Drugs (2019) and Mama Tried (2020).”


21 | Short-Haired Domestic | A song in German concerning gardens and goodbyes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Trailblazing British producer Tim Friese-Greene presents the new single from his new Short-Haired Domestic project, entitled A song in German concerning gardens and goodbyes. This offers a new refreshing taste of their eponymous debut long-play. Best known for his celebrated production work with Talk Talk and Catherine Wheel (often dubbed the silent member of the former group), this new duo features stunning vocals by wife Lee Friese-Greene of 90’s London Riot Grrl band Sidi Bou Said and currently lead vocalist and guitar player for Pavlova. “This song is about aging and change and empty nests. Inspired by the cat, envious of his ability to find contentment in the simple pleasure of laying in the garden all day, at a time when I was feeling the (self-imposed) pressure to do something more significant with my life now that it was more my own again. It’s especially poignant to be releasing this track now as we have just said had to say goodbye to that particular feline friend. Turns out that this was the time…”