Indie Roundup | 36 Tracks For An Eclectic (If Not Downright Quirky) Tuesday

Fontaines D.C., Melkbelly, Sabaton, Stone Deaf and more make a day of it.

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The Fontaines share their dream, Melkbelly go batty, Sabaton play war games, Stone Deaf take a Polaroid, Mike Edel gets down on the good foot and more in another eclectic (hell, maybe even quirky) Tuesday Roundup. Looking for new tunes from Sufjan Stevens, Jeff Tweedy and Stephen Malkmus? You’ll find them. Just keep scrolling.

 


ON REPEAT

1 | Fontaines D.C. | A Lucid Dream

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Barely a year since their debut Dogrel earned them a spot as one of the most acclaimed new bands of 2019, Fontaines D.C. are back with A Hero’s Death. Arriving battered and bruised — albeit beautiful — the album is anything but a re-hash of the swaggering energy from their first record. Instead the music is patient, confident, and complex — full of heady and philosophical takes on the modern world and its great uncertainty. Here’s their latest video for the track A Lucid Dream.”


2 | Melkbelly | Kissing Under Some Bats

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago band Melkbelly released Pith earlier this year. Today, they present a new video for one of its tracks, Kissing Under Some Bats. It’s is heavy with seething vocals from Miranda Winters, explosive percussion, and sludgy guitar. As the song reaches its climax, Winters’ voice falls away, leaving a wall of noise and unrelenting instrumentation. “Kissing Under Some Bats started as a rant about what it is to be blindly passionate about life when you’re young and nothing has gone so wrong that it’s unfixable,” explains the band. “Lyrically it’s about fun stuff; first kisses, drinking at shows, bad art and self consciously defining yourself. The noise is a sphere of comfort and positivity.”


3 | Sabaton | The Future of Warfare

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Sept. 15 1916, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette began. Sabaton pay tribute to this battle with a very unique video created using Lego. You don’t want to miss it! Sabaton’s latest album The Great War, was released in 2019 and it hit the #1 in the charts in various countries including Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. The record has been lauded by fans and critics since its debut on worldwide charts last summer, and features numerous colossal singles like Great War, 82nd All The Way, The Red Baron and Fields of Verdun.”


4 | Stone Deaf | Polaroid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Colorado’s Stone Deaf have released their new single and video Polaroid, taken from upcoming album Killers. Crafting a sound that encompasses desert rock, laced with a stoner rock vibe and a subtle U.S. punk edge, Stone Deaf produce a unique fusion of sonic goodness. Put that shoe horn down cause those boots are stayin’ on and scootin’ over to the dance floor for Stone Deaf’s latest toe-tapper. With more hooks than Tyson, Polaroid is an auditory strip tease you can’t turn away from.”


5 | Mike Edel | Good About Everything

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mike Edel announces En Masse, his fourth album filled with co-writes and collaborations. Mixed by Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National) with additional production by Andy Park (Noah Gundersen, The Head And The Heart), the LP is due out Nov. 20. Along with the announcement is the video for the single Good About Everything. “If I could co-write a song with Springsteen and The National, then put a bit of pixie dust on it, Good About Everything is it,” says Edel. “I co-wrote the song with two friends in San Diego after a night of eating ramen, riding around on scooters, getting denied from a capacity tiki bar, and after seeing some friends’ show. We ultimately decided to write about what a good night we had the night before.”


6 | Paul Babe | Lasso

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Paul Babe just released Lasso. With an American alt-pop sound that’s unique from start to finish, 2020 is the year of the Babe. The design of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Evans, he draws inspiration from his Great Lakes upbringing taking the name Paul Babe from the giant, superhuman lumberjack of Northwoods lore who’s faithful companion was the blue ox Babe. Paul Babe shares: “Lasso was partly shot on Assateague Island, where wild horses run free, and partly in New York City, where inflated imaginations often do the same. It features myself (cowboy), Brazilian actor Ricardo Burgos (horse) and was completely one-man fabricated by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Remy Fink. We all agree that it turned out far more heartwarming than even our swollen mind’s eyes could have ever, um…..imagined.”


7 | Mav Karlo | Detonator

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto singer-songwriter Mav Karlo (the solo project of Menno Versteeg) shares his latest single and video, Detonator. About the track, Menno said: “Detonator is about that moment when you stop saying to yourself “I’m such a fuckup” and start asking “why am I such a fuckup?” It’s a long and a hard process, but an important one, and that’s reflected in the wordier than usual verses. I wanted the detail in the lyrics to act like dots in a pointillist painting, disparate images that when taken together convey a singular emotion.”


8 | Jr Jr | Vertical

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jr Jr announced their NBA tribute EP Swish back on July 30 when basketball returned inside the Orlando bubble. Today, to celebrate the release of Swish and the start of the NBA Conference Finals, the Detroit duo shared a video for their original track Vertical, shot back on July 11 when the Pistons’ former home, The Palace of Auburn Hills, was razed. Discussing the video, Jr Jr’s Daniel Zott states, “It truly felt like an end to an era that morning when I set up my keyboard outside The Palace, just as it was completely blasted out of existence. I had snuck in a few days before and got some film of the rubble and actually scored a seat from section 102. When I was thinking of a backdrop to Vertical, it felt right to visualize the death and mourning of this basketball palace into a video that would, in a way, keep it forever in my brain. This was a way to hold onto it just a bit longer.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

9 | Scaphoid | Marauder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Four years following the release of his critically acclaimed debut EP Dies Mercurii, Austin-based multi-instrumentalist Matt Hobart returns with his progressive and post-rock project Scaphoid, whose debut full-length album Absent Passages is set for release on Oct. 9. Showcasing a formidable soundscape that will draw the interest of fans from a wide spectrum spanning prog-rock, post-metal, post-rock, space rock, psychedelic, djent, and more, Absent Passages was recorded by Hobart. Today, Scaphoid reveal a music video for the album’s single Marauder.”


10 | The Prudish Few | Deep Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The debut album from The Prudish Few, The Eagle Has Left the Building, has been out for a few weeks. So it felt like time to unleash the official video for the album’s lead track Deep Time. Compiled and edited by Mike Shepherd, the video is a journey through space and time; a sci-fi pulp novel set to a buoyantly delightful bit of pop/rock. Crank the volume and immerse yourself!”


11 | Jack Klatt | Tennessee Blues

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the success of 2019’s It Ain’t The Same, singer/songwriter Jack Klatt brings his earnest, unhurried crooning to Tennessee Blues, a new single and cover of the Bobby Charles classic. “I had never heard of Bobby Charles when he came up while I was making my last record,” offers Klatt. “The tunes I had brought to the table reminded one of my bandmates of his self-titled release. Hearing it for the first time was like finding an instant buddy. It wasn’t long before I started singing Charles’ Tennessee Blues as a staple of my nightly setlist on tour. The song fit like a good pair of shoes, I identified with the lonesome wanderlust of the song and thought it would be fun to put a new spin on it. We worked out the track together for a few hours and came up with something that I think Bobby Charles would approve of. In a time when all the news is bad news, we’re all longing for a place to feel loose.”


12 | Domenique Dumont | People On Sunday

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Domenique Dumont’s hazy exotica albums Comme Ça and Miniatures De Auto Rhythm have garnered something of a cult following, and are well worth investigating if you haven’t done so already. Dumont’s third is entitled People On Sunday, an original soundtrack commissioned to accompany the 1930 silent film variously known as Menschen am Sonntag, Les Hommes le Dimanche and People On Sunday. “The film shows people and their surroundings shortly before all of it was destroyed,” says Dumont, who has previously composed for film. “Ironically, watching this movie with the eyes of today, it looks more surreal than documentary. And I can’t help but think and reflect about the times we are living in now. We might have similar desires people had a hundred years ago, but we now have a completely different approach to life.”


13 | Observe The 93rd | Hymn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Observe the 93rd are an alternative rock band from Mechanicsburg, PA. The band is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Derek Henry and drummer Dylan Zepp. Their focus will always be raw, authentic expression. Their songs are guided by a feeling, an idea, an experience, failure, triumph, suffering, joy … any abstract internal entity that yearns to be externalized. Observe The 93rd explain, “The video for our song Hymn is centered around mental health/school shootings. Though we as a society don’t have any concrete answers yet for an issue so complex, the first step may be to work towards recognizing and building an understanding of those who are suffering. Maybe if we are able to recognize this, we can save them from themselves, as well as any others who would perish in their storm.”


14 | Sufjan Stevens | Sugar

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sufjan Stevens debuts Sugar, a new song from his forthcoming eighth studio album The Ascension. Watch the video, choreographed by acclaimed choreographer, MacArthur Fellow and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient Kyle Abraham and directed by Ezra Hurwitz. Filmed in Brooklyn, the video features noted dancers Raymond Pinto, Samantha Figgans, Celeste Mason and Walter Russell III portraying a family as their world dissolves around them. “Sugar is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” says Sufjan. “On the surface the song is just a string of clichés, but the message is imperative: now is the time to gather what is good and pure and valuable and make it your own, and share it with others. Feed your soul and speak new life into those around you. Give each other love, respect and sacrifice. Relinquish all the old habits, all the old ways of thinking and doing, all former practices — ‘business as usual’ — and bring new life to the world. This is our calling.”


15 | Brit Drozda | Spotlight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt folk singer-songwriter Brit Drozda shares the lyric video for Spotlight, from her upcoming EP Seashells & Stories produced by Scott Jacoby (Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, Sia) and due Oct. 9. The nuanced lyrics and engaging quality of Brit’s vocals culminate, rendering Spotlight an anthem for the truest bond of friendship and tells the story of unwavering support. Musically, the song features percussive claps of cheering sounds to celebrate bravery. Brit shares, “I had a very close friend share a truth with me that allowed me to see her in a whole new light. Watching her come into her own, made me so proud and happy for her. I felt like I was watching her step into a spotlight and own this stage of her life.”


16 | Matt Gibbons | We Should Be United

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Armed with passion, dedication, and an inspiring respect for humanity, Irish-American singer-songwriter Matt Gibbons has returned to share his latest music video We Should Be United. Featuring elements of rock and reggae, and even a rap verse, We Should Be United harnesses the spirit of America and celebrates the resilience that the country was built upon while delivering a new sense of hope for a broken nation. “This song is a well wish for American hearts,” he says. “May we, one by one, go deeper on each issue that makes us only seem divided. May each American do the hard work that law and policy can never do, that is, trying to understand ‘the other,’ so the other is not foreign, but ‘countryman.’ ”


17 | Flynn | B-Side

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Flynn’s recent tracks have been the perfect introduction to the young Irish singer, igniting his solo career. Flynn’s ascension continues today with the release of the official video for B-Side. “We shot the video in an abandoned hotel in Lancaster Gate,” Flynn explains. “I didn’t really know what to expect because it all happened very last minute but as soon as I saw the place I knew it would perfect. I’ve also learned that one-shot videos aren’t as easy to pull off as they look!”


18 | Pynkie | Love Theme

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Pynkie — the project of New Jersey-based musician and nurse Lindsey Radice — releases a new single/video, Love Theme, from her forthcoming album #37, out Oct. 16. Love Theme pines for a requited love. Its muted synth, hazy vocals, and relaxed tempo are meant to convey the feeling of a daydream. “Love Theme is about longing for someone to feel the same romantic feelings for you as you feel for them,” says Radice. “‘Someday, you’ll give me the time and I’ll blow your mind,’ states one of the lyrics. I sing the song with a sultry voice almost as if to seduce the lover I’m longing for.”


19 | Josh Tavares | Cheap Gold

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto alt-pop artist Josh Tavares began experimenting with original music at an early age, picking up the guitar when he was 10 and begging his teachers to perform his new songs in front of the class any chance he got. Cheap Gold, the lead single from Josh’s forthcoming sophomore project, is about a relationship gone sour. What was once shiny and new is now a chore.”


20 | Sunday Someday | Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sunday Someday was formed by a very busy group of side-musicians and singer-songwriters who threw a jam band together to play Sunday brunch gigs at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Nashville. Fast forward to March 3 when a tornado trounced Nashville and most venues were shut down. Well, that same week a pandemic was declared, and all gigs were off. Hence the name Sunday Someday — the band will play again one Sunday, someday. At the last show the band had played in February, Anne McCue suggested the song Give Me Love by George Harrison as a potential cover. They pulled it off and it was a transcendent moment — definitely one they would revisit at the next Sunday meet-up. Little did they know that that Sunday was someday far away… in fact it would be a virtual meeting. “This beautiful song is of this time,” says McCue. “It’s exactly what we all need right now.”


21 | Goldteeth | Once I Got Away From You Then Everything Worked Out (ft. Murkage Dave)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Goldteeth aka Andy Nicholson returns with an impressive bass-led contemporary soul jam Once I Got Away From You Then Everything Worked Out, featuring the contemplative vocal prowess of Murkage Dave. Andy explains: “’Once I got away from you then everything worked out’ was born out of wanting to make a song you can drive to at night. The instrumental was made in a day then it was over to Murkage Dave to pen and vocal it. Dave is a great song writer and this comes through on this track as well as the smooth vocals.”


22 | Matt Badger | Sad & Pretty

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Here’s the debut from Matt Badger, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Seattle. He’s known as the drummer for many prominent Seattle bands but hasn’t released any of his solo work until now. This first single, Sad and Pretty is from his upcoming album, out Nov. 15. “Sad and Pretty is a story about the longing for a return to a stage of an aging love when it was beautiful and easy. The characters are clinging to a quickly fleeing feeling that keeping it together will be worth all of the hollowness and pain inflicted from daggers on each side, without a clear pathway forward.”


23+24 | Jeff Tweedy | Guess Again + Love Is The King

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jeff Tweedy announces his new album, the “beautifully honest ode to love and hope” Love Is The King, out Oct. 23. It’s the followup to 2018’s Warm and 2019’s Warmer, and comes on the heels of Tweedy’s second book How To Write One Song, out Oct. 13. Today, Tweedy releases two singles from the album, Guess Again, and the title track, Love Is The King. “At the beginning of the lockdown I started writing country songs to console myself. Folk and country type forms being the shapes that come most easily to me in a comforting way. Guess Again is a good example of the success I was having at pushing the world away, counting my blessings — taking stock in my good fortune to have love in my life,” comments Tweedy. “A few weeks later things began to sound like Love Is The King — a little more frayed around the edges with a lot more fear creeping in. Still hopeful but definitely discovering the limits of my own ability to self soothe.”


25 | Stephen Malkmus | Juliefuckingette

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Stephen Malkmus presents Juliefuckingette, an A-side-worthy B-side off Traditional Techniques, his album released earlier this year. As with Traditional Techniques, Juliefuckingette is new phase folk music for new phase folks. Malkmus’ wry lyricism unwinds over his 12-string acoustic guitar: “Abolish the fanfiction set // I don’t wanna clean up the logorrhea mess // It’s the last brand standing // You know you wanna kill it but you can’t kill that quite yet.”


26 | The Nude Party | What’s The Deal?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Nude Party are set to return with their sophomore album Midnight Manor, on Oct. 2. Today, The Nude Party have shared the new song What’s The Deal? They describe the song as “… a cross section of 1967 hitting the Stones, Velvet Underground and more, but its raucous vibe belies more serious themes.” Frontman Patton Magee says, “I was watching a loved one’s mind slowly depart from her brain, year by year. Leaving just scattered fragments of memories and faces. All the mirror-neurons in my head were going haywire, trying to duplicate how it feels to lose your grip on everything. What’s The Deal? is trying to make sense of that weird contract forced on us between getting here and going.”


27 | Mike Block | If I Can Help It

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh off his acclaimed album Guzo, released last month, pioneering cello player, composer, singer and educator Mike Block has announced a new adult-pop record, The Edge of the Atmosphere, for an Oct. 23 release. Today Block shares the album’s first single If I Can Help It. Block states, “For this album, I turned my whole process upside down, embracing the roll of lead singer and songwriter, and treating the cello secondarily as an overdub. I delayed the writing of these songs until the weeks before the sessions, so that the material would be fresh and unfinished when I brought it to the band for the first rehearsals. I respect the musicians on this project immensely, so I wanted to see what they heard in the material and let their personalities and instincts shape the treatment of the songs through the collective process.”


28 | Raven Artson | Whatever

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Raven Artson’s Whatever is his most poetic and honest outing yet, combining his internal monologue with enigmatic pop culture and underground art. Intertwined with a synth-fuelled melody and a hint of autotune, a detail which complements his ethereal vocals, the new woozy bop sees Raven step out of the shadows to present his most confrontational outpour of emotions. He says: “Whatever was written in a stream of consciousness, the words just poured out of me. When finished the brutal honesty struck me. I created a mirror, forcing myself to look into my own eyes.”


29 | Spunsugar | Belladonna

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following on from the release of their breakthrough debut EP Mouth Full Of You, a collection that cemented them as one of the finest emerging shoegaze outfits of the moment, Swedish trio Spunsugar will release their debut album Drive-Through Chapel on Oct. 2. Produced by Joakim Lindberg at Studio Sickan, Malmö, Drive-Through Chapel sets itself as a thunderous and anthemic offering.”


30 | Chris Smither | Let It Go (ft. Allen Toussaint)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chris Smither is an American original whose genius is both in his effortless, distinctive, rippling guitar and in his reimagining the acoustic blues as a vehicle for rich, philosophically complex lyrics. More From the Levee, Smither’s 18th album, continues the milieu of his 50-year retrospective Still on the Levee (2014). Today he shares Let It Go. “John Troy, bass player for John Hall, Joe Cocker and Pousette Dart, and I were sitting in the sauna at the gym one day years ago, and the conversation turned to cars we have had stolen. It seems a little strange these days, but in the late 20th-century cars got stolen all the time. What interested us was how different having a car stolen was from, say, having $20 pinched, or even $1,000. Somehow it was more personal, almost an existential threat, way out of proportion to the cash value of the car. A couple of days later I was sitting around with the guitar and I started thinking about it again, fooling around with a little jazzy progression, and the whole song just started to spill out of me … it almost wrote itself. Troy thinks he should own half the song, but I told him ‘nah…you don’t get to profit off of my angst.’ ”


31 | Erich Mrak | No Ways

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian experimental pop artist Erich Mrak unveils the second single off his upcoming record Glimpse. Described as the ‘most dynamic song’ on the album, Mrak’s latest offering is lead by a guitar-driven production, bringing an intoxicating feel to it. No Ways is a relatable story that explores the topic of friendship. No Ways is about a friend expressing their romantic feelings, and then having to manage their expectations while deciding what feels best for the friendship moving forward.”


32 | Small Bills | Safehouse (ft. Fielded)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Don’t Play It Straight is the debut LP from Small Bills, a collaboration between NY rapper Elucid and Michigan producer/multi-instrumentalist The Lasso. Created over the course of a year between Detroit and NY, the duo creates a singular fusion of art rap and punk funk. Says Elucid: “Letting go allowed for the necessity of space to transform and develop new ways of being.” Don’t Play It Straight features contributions from Billy Woods, Koncept Jack$on, Moor Mother, Fielded, and Nosaj. Don’t Play It Straight will be out Oct. 30.”


33 | Death Valley Girls | Under the Spell of Joy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “While studies have been conducted aiming to understand the science behind music, our inexplicable ability to tap into the emotions of another human being by way of arrangements of sonic frequencies still seems a bit like magic. L.A.’s Death Valley Girls have always sought to wield that magic like ancient mystics, creating psychic bonds with willing ears through the medium of their fiery rock n’ roll. With their latest album Under the Spell of Joy, the band dives even deeper into that magical cosmic energy. The title track marries the griminess of The Stooges with an innocence provided by a children’s choir chanting the album’s primary mantra “under the spell of joy / under the spell of love.”


34 | Sons of Otis | Trust

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s doom blues veterans Sons Of Otis reveal the second single taken from their long-awaited new album Isolation, out Oct. 16. Get groovy with new song Trust right now! Gargantuan, rumbling like the innards of Earth, the trio has been pushing aside entire star systems in its unstoppable path since 1993. Their last studio offering Seismic was released in 2012, followed by an extra limited Live In Den Bosch in 2018. Standing strong as ever on their veterans feet, Isolation delivers the heaviest stoner doom ever known to man, reminding fans and heavy lovers across the globe of the potency of the trio’s signature fuzz and über-stoned grooves.”


35 | Middle Part | & Cry!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Middle Part was born when singer Andrew Selkōw moved to the deepest parts of Northern Alaska to find himself, after experiencing a major meltdown. & Cry! has the ability to feel ’90s while maintaining a modern approach. Featuring Smashing Pumpkins-style guitars and haunting production that evokes Oneohtrix Point Never, & Cry! is a dive into the conflict of meeting expectations in a relationship and how we may sometimes fall short. Selkōw explains, “I think it’s supposed to be a very romantic plot but it has this dark side of not being entirely there if that makes sense. You want all these things, you think it’s great, but you’re mentally unfit to take it on. You don’t understand why, so just cry, it’s OK…I’m here.”


36 | Anthony Lazaro | The Silent Patient

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Anthony Lazaro is an Italian singer-songwriter who currently resides in Hamburg, Germany. His new single The Silent Patient brings a calming feeling to listeners as the descriptive lyrics allow them to connect to the song on a deeper level, making them feel as though they are experiencing the song firsthand.”