Indie Roundup | 30 Ways to Make Thursday Far More Colourful

Sample the sounds of Chubby & The Gang, Rafael Vigilantics, Jeremy Ivey & more.

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Chubby and The Gang double your pleasure, Rafael Vigilantics shows you the way, Jeremy Ivey empties his pockets, Havok spread the fear, Madisyn Whajne brandishes a dagger and more in your Thursday Roundup. For some reason, most of the best offerings today are animated. Unlike me.

 


ON REPEAT

1+2 | Chubby and The Gang | All Along The Uxbridge Road + Union Dues

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising London punk five-piece Chubby and the Gang have shared a new song Union Dues, originally written/recorded alongside their acclaimed 2020 debut LP Speed Kills. In addition, the group share a new Looney Tunes-meets-West London video for Speed Kills highlight All Along the Uxbridge Road. Fronted by local electrician Charlie Manning, Chubby and the Gang have been leading a pack of bands coming out of a new wave of British Hardcore. Underneath an unrelentingly fun concoction of hardcore, pub rock, doo wop, and blues, Speed Kills boasts songs of deep substance and political conscience with a precise sense of time and place. Produced by Jonah Falco of Fucked Up, it has also proved to be one of this year’s surprise critical hits. Speed Kills is out on Nov. 20.”


3 | Rafael Vigilantics | In The Way

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles-via-New Mexico songwriter Rafael Vigilanitcs released his latest single In The Way, with a stunning lyric video created by Manya Kuzemchenko. In The Way is the second single off Vigilantics’ upcoming new album, Blue River, Grey Sky, out Nov. 13. Discussing the track, Vigilantics says, “In The Way was written about a nervous breakdown that left me hospitalized in Portland, OR. The perpetual feeling of being out of step with the world and the heaviness of each thought drove me there. The lyric video is animated by Manya Kuzemchenko, showcasing the words and the tricks the mind can play.”


4 | Jeremy Ivey | Hands Down In Your Pockets

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville’s Jeremy Ivey has shared a video for the new song Hands Down In Your Pockets, created by Jeremy himself and edited by Houston Mathews. Hands Down is the final preview of Ivey’s upcoming album Waiting Out The Storm, out Oct. 16. Ivey said the song is about “living in the constant cycle of insane news that is making heroes out of evil men, furthering the mad haranguing of lies blasting out every screen at the same time. And living in a time when the meek did NOT inherit the earth but tried to save it, and got trampled by the blood drinkers and the money mongers. Where being born is signing a contract to give a portion of everything you own to this conscious-less monster. That’s what it’s about. Also, I put a public urinator in there too. See if you can spot him.”


5 | Havok | Fear Campaign

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Colorado thrashers Havok release a new music video for the song Fear Campaign, taken off their current record V, released earlier this year. Havok guitarist/vocalist David Sanchez comments: “Although it was written in 2019, Fear Campaign sounds like it should be the theme song for 2020. The lyrics seem to become more and more relevant as the weeks go by. In the video, we wanted to capture the manic nature of media, propaganda, and other forms of mind control that have plagued civilization for thousands of years. The fear campaign appears to be at an all-time high right now and the only way to end it is to stop being afraid. Reject fear.”


6 | Madisyn Whajne | Dagger

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Madisyn Whajne shares the video for her latest single Dagger, taken from her forthcoming album Save Our Hearts, out Nov. 13. “The video was graciously shot and directed by my two good friends, Svjetlana Jaklenec (director) and Brent Robinson,” explains Whajne. “I had been scouting locations for years, always dreaming of shooting in these two places. I have an obsession with abandoned places, places with history that I can feel in my bones. Places that give me the chills … We shot at an abandoned house and an old water mill. The video is a dreamy landscape that slowly turns dark, beautifully cut between the band that fades in and out. The imagery of the band rocking out while I stand still is the epicentre of the video and I like the way it conveys all the emotions in the song. Like the world is spinning around you and you have no choice but to keep standing.”


7 | Folk Uke | Small One

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The singing, songwriting and ukulele and guitar strumming duo of Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, known as Folk Uke, share their new single Small One, a well-aimed stab at toxic masculinity, bullying and male braggadocio that’s ideally suited for the current state of the nation and election season. “Small One does have its application to today’s political mood. “We have to point out what is dividing us so that we can become united,” says Cathy. Amy adds, “it’s not black-brown versus white. It’s love versus hate. There are more of us who love.”


8 | Jagmac | Motivation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sibling sextet Jagmac release their Latin-inspired hit Motivation. The song’s vocal call and response seamlessly combines melodic pop melodies with island-inflected raps. Motivation celebrates family and the roles it has played in inspiring the group to pursue their dreams. Member Gabriel describes the song’s family ties: “It was inspired by life moments that motivated us to pursue our dream. It examines our life together too. We mention singing on a karaoke machine, which is a big thing in Filipino culture. Our Polish grandfather always hoped we’d win a Grammy, so we reference that as well. We’re telling the fans we’re still in this and doing what we love.”


9 | Tandm | Earthworm (2020 Remastered)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Indie-pop band Tandm release a playful new video for the confident and cheerful single Earthworm (2020 Remastered) co-directed by lead vocalist and guitarist Maxine Beck-Sinderby. The bright tone contrasts with the inspiration for the song, which expresses their “response to the people who don’t believe music-making to be a professional career, or in a musician’s ability to succeed. Rooted from our personal experiences, having been asked ‘OK, I get that you’re into music, but what are you really going to do?’ We believe that financial income should not be a reason to dismiss a passion as an unworthy career path. There is beauty and emotions that resonate from the arts, unlike anything else, that deserve recognition and respect.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

10 | (Hed) P.E. | Swan Dive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Legendary SoCal artists (Hed) P.E. released their 12th studio album, Class of 2020, on Aug. 21. The date also marked the 20th anniversary of the group’s breakthrough album Broke, which the band is celebrating with a documentary film entitled Touring For Broke: A (Hed) P.E. Film put together by original guitarist Chad Benekos. The documentary features never-seen-before footage from the Broke era, curated by Chad himself. (Hed) P.E. will also release individual songs from the film, with the first being Swan Dive.”


11 | The Unlikely Candidates | High Low

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative radio chart toppers The Unlikely Candidates have released a video for their single High Low. “I don’t think we could have made a video more symbolic of the quarantine for High Low. We took how surreal and isolating this year has been and manifested it into this lonely bedroom dream world,” says frontman Kyle Morris. “The band wasn’t able to fly out and film, so we used action figures of them as their replacements. We were able to twist that into some whimsical madness as I happily interact with the band in the video, while at same time lament that I am actually just going a little crazy alone in my room. For anyone using FaceTime or Zoom during the quarantine, you probably know the feeling a bit.”


12 | Namir Blade | The Holy Mountain

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Fool, The Five Swords and The Alchemist travel the path of transformation to the Lotus Island and then climb the Holy Mountain seeking immortality in the surreal 1973 Mexican film by Alejandro Jororwsky that served as inspiration for Namir Blade’s newest song and visual. “This song was written while watching the movie The Holy Mountain; it was truly a wild ride end ended up being one of my favorite cult classics. One thing that stuck out to me was the Alchemist telling the protagonist, ‘You can turn yourself to gold.’ This song is me turning myself into gold.”


13 | Duke Robillard & Friends | Do You Mean It (ft. Chris Cote)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Blues Bash with Duke Robillard & Friends, the new album from two-time Grammy nominee and multiple Blues Music Award-winning guitarist Duke Robillard, arrives Nov. 20. Robillard declares Blues Bash to be “packed with plenty of bright-sounding Fender guitar a la Ike Turner, Lefty Bates, etc. Just a good listening or dancing record like the blues records I bought when I was a kid. It was pretty much a reunion of sorts and I wanted the material to be simple, straight-ahead ’50s style blues and R&B … Basically it’s a blues party album and that feeling is what I wanted to convey.”


14 | Vaughan | Silence

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With his sophomore EP I Was set to arrive on Nov. 11, ethereal alt-pop prince Vaughan has now to unveil one of the EP’s fragile standout offerings: Silence, a self-confessed ballad to loneliness. Silence is a delicate and densely hollow anthem, with Vaughan’s emotively poignant vocals easily bringing chills. “With bare bones of voice and piano I added the unexpected chord in the chorus as a way of symbolising how love is the defining amongst the ordinary. A special moment that you can’t anticipate.”


15 | Windchimes | Zetsubō // Succumb To (ft. Peter Rono)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Genre-blending metal band Windchimes shared their new single and music video Zetsubō // Succumb To, alongside the announcement of their debut EP Enervation, out Oct. 30. The band collaborated with Peter Rono of Kaonashi, whose signature high-pitched vocal attack appears halfway through the song, adding another unsuspecting element. Vocalist Gavin Fornelli says: “Addiction and mental illness are awful tribulations and watching friends spiral through this cycle inspired the lyrics on the track. Hold onto everyone you love, because you never know when they’ll be gone. Reach out to people who suffer, and ask for a hand if you’re suffering.”


16 | Luca Fogale | Surviving

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “B.C. songwriter Luca Fogale has shared a video for the song Surviving, a powerful statement on perseverance, something we all can attest to in 2020. The track is featured on Fogale’s newly released sophomore album Nothing is Lost. Fogale states, “I wrote Surviving about a question that I ask myself constantly; what does it really mean to be alive? Throughout my life I have spent countless hours wondering if the ways that I am existing are enough. And if the actions that I have taken mean anything at all; particularly while the trivialities of this world seem to be falling further into the background, as so many things become increasingly more grave, and critical … I firmly believe that there is more to life than simply what appears in front of us, and that we, individually and collectively, have an unlimited potential for transcending those things.”


17 | Emily Kuhn | Catch Me (ft. Helios)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Catch Me is the latest single from Chicago-trumpeter Emily Kuhn’s debut album Sky Stories, out Oct. 30. The song, which feels like it could have been written in another era, features shimmering textures from the string quartet and nylon-string guitar, commanding vocals by Mercedes Inez Martinez, and soaring violin and trumpet solos by Kuhn and Lucia Thomas. Emily is deeply enmeshed in the bursting Chicago-jazz scene and Sky Stories is a love letter to the scene, the city, and the surrounding landscapes that inform and inspire the two bands Emily leads throughout Sky StoriesHelios and Kuhn/Suihkonen/Friedman/Ernst.”


18 | Sophia Bel | Voyage Astral

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal artist, singer, and producer Sophia Bel is back with the single Voyage Astral. The Michigan-born artist is more introspective on this new song. Co-produced by Bel and CRi, Voyage Astral is a kaleidoscopic collage of warped rhythms and haunting woodwind accompaniments. Sophia explains: “I was inspired by the mystery of human consciousness and our connection with the universe. Sometimes we have to dive into our past lives to evolve and I wanted to explore this idea in a light and playful way. For the first time, the words came to me in French. It was a pleasure to have Félix Bélisle from Choses Sauvages’ expressive voice and smooth flute on this song!”


19 | LAL | Meteors Could Come Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto duo LAL (comprised of Rosina Kazi and Nicholas Murray) are sharing the title track from their upcoming LP Meteors Could Come Down. The song itself “is a metaphor for how we felt during the first two months of the COVID, after returning from the West Coast, while on tour,” says Kazi. “If anything, what we’ve learned in the past six months is that anything could happen and at any time. Even though we have been preparing for that anytime-anything, we must further prepare to live in the moment and in community. Not only has our world changed, but this song is an invitation to go deeper and into more embodied ways of being regardless of what could go down.”


20 | Sola Rosa | Something Good (ft. Thandi Phoenix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Producer Sola Rosa shares the striking music video for his latest single Something Good ft. Thandi Phoenix. The song gets reinterpreted in the new clip via dancer and poet Jahra Wasasala, who choreographed freestyle dancer Connor ‘Ooshcon’ Masseurs for this video. Sola Rosa’s new album Chasing The Sun is out now. The 12-track collection includes a heavy hitting line-up of featuring artists, including regular collaborator and former The Streets singer Kevin Mark Trail, long-term Basement Jaxx’ collaborator Sharlene Hector and rising U.K. soul and reggae star Kiko Bun.”


21 | Boy In Space & NOTD | Therapy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Boy In Space (Robin Lundbäck) will close out 2020 with his timely new single Therapy, with fellow Swedes NOTD. Therapy takes the artist’s innate talent for sincere songwriting and raw delivery to the next level. This song was born out of a summer of self-reflection for Boy In Space, and he is working on music for a new project slated for 2021. “I’ve been going through a lot of shit lately, so I wanted to write a song from my point of view. I hope people can relate and that Therapy gets less stigma so that people aren’t afraid of getting help.”


22 | Living Hour | Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Winnipeg indie-popsters Living Hour return with a cover The CranberriesDreams. Living Hour’s cover is a beautiful, longing, dream-pop version that showcases Sam Sarty’s flawless & emotive vocals and the band’s signature guitar interplay. Says Living Hour: “We had a lot of fun making this song entirely our own. The cover was originally recorded earlier this year for a compilation by their friends in Austin band Daphne Tunes, who released the compilation as a fundraiser for Urban Roots, an Austin organization that uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community.”


23 | Michael Garmany | Still Missing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Michael Garmany draws from his own romantic experience to deliver a smooth, laid-back track that incorporates the best elements of funk, R&B, and psychedelic pop. While his lyrics describe a rather gloomy time in his life, Garmany implements upbeat funk rhythms that make the track easy to dance to. Growing up in the Bay Area, Garmany was exposed to a wide variety of music, including Social Distortion, The Clash, Bone Thugs, 2Pac; thus, the music he makes pays homage to a multitude of genres, creating the self-produced sound of Michael Garmany. At present, his sound is growing more similar to alt-pop. Like all of the music he makes, Garmany aims to push the boundaries of typical pop music while keeping his signature sleek and cohesive production at the forefront of each release.”


24 | Abandoned Souls | Blinding Darkness

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canada’s Abandoned Souls release their new single Blinding Darkness. The lyrics for this song were written shortly after singer James Todd’s mother passed away, and he channeled his thoughts during that dark time into the music. He explains the meaning of the song in his own words: “The song is about facing the reality of death or dark times and dealing with it. It’s also learning to maneuver through the darkness and finding a way to be more comfortable within that space. To realize that you need to face it head-on sometimes and learn how to live and prosper from the experience of getting through these times.”


25 | Low Island | Don’t Let The Light In

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Low Island share fresh single Don’t Let The Light In, their first piece of new material in over a year. Fusing emotive synths, skittering guitars and propulsive electronics, the first version of the song was written three years ago. “It’s a song about trying to preserve the moment of falling in love, but ultimately being unable to,” explains singer Carlos Posada. “I fell quite deeply in love with someone who didn’t love me back, and it set off a pattern that started to continually repeat itself; a flying start and then an abrupt ending, as if someone had just switched off a light with no explanation. This song is about trying and failing to capture that initial moment in time; of pressing pause and holding the frame before it falls apart.”


26 | Silent Eyes | The City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At the darkest point of his life, multi-instrumentalist Keelan Butterick picked up the acoustic guitar that would eventually lead him back to the light as Silent Eyes. His resulting EP is a rewarding listen. Genuine self-expression is at the heart of Silent Eyes, and its power is unmistakable. The song that started it all, The City, bears the tell-tale signs of where Keelan was at when he wrote it, encapsulating a pivotal moment in his story. It was just released as the first single and video. Keelan comments: “It’s a song that speaks of the longing to be able to be reborn, with a clean slate, free from the past and any painful memories.”


27 | Bottled Up | Luxury

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “D.C. band Bottled Up will release their debut album on Oct. 16. Today the band are pleased to present their new single. “Luxury is a deconstructed punk song, polyrhythmic and kinetic. I want the demented arrangement distressing the listener to match the message of the song. When I was visiting India many years ago, there was this moment I experienced where a child crawled towards me begging for money (he was missing many parts of his body). I was a kid as well, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I gave him all the money I had on me. Then a swarm of kids showed up asking for more. My dad pulled me away telling me that I needed to ignore them, that the parents amputate parts of their bodies to guilt the bystander into donating more money.”


28 | Tiny Deaths | The Jump

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tiny Deaths is a Los Angeles project making moody, dreamy pop. Listening to Tiny Deaths is like taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane, reminiscing on those hazy memories of warm summer evenings. The single The Jump examines the question “does fame attract rotten people or does the fame itself rot them?” A recurring thought which Claire de Lune has been stuck with, she delves deeper into this notion, reflecting on the negative side of life in the limelight. “There’s also a Shania Twain Easter egg in there for fun, for anyone paying close enough attention.” The minimalistic song packs a punch through echoing instrumentation, delicate vocals and scintillating synths, emitting a cinematic atmosphere.”


29 | Bastian Benjamin | Confrontation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Innovative producer Bastian Benjamin released his latest single Confrontation, the third from his upcoming album Two Truths, out Dec. 4. Developing a theatrical build that brings to mind misty forests and ethereal, otherworldly images, Confrontation builds into itself, developing a deep bassline that stands proud against the surrounding electronic embellishments. Benjamin provides contrasting elements of harsh, mythical rhythms and lighter, gentle elements to ease the sonic tensions. Benjamin reveals the moment of inner reflection that inspired the single: “Confronting deep thoughts and turning them into action takes strength and courage. Once it’s set in motion, there is no going back. Then you can only hope that you did the right thing.”


30 | Dan Potter Sings | Head Above

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dan Potter Sings is the alias of Vancouver multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Dan Potter. His songs broadcast a wide spectrum of influences producing genre defying songs in the process as aspects of pop-punk, goth rock, classic blues rock and grunge/alternative all meld together into an anagram of intriguing sounds. His new single Head Above is a chaotic dream of a song that follows a modern devotion to alternative rock synthesis conjuring up darkened goth-rock that makes this track as rotten to the core as all of us.”