Indie Roundup | 20 Ways To Make Your Holiday Monday Sound Better

Swerve, Convulsif, Qoniak, Focal Dystonia & more acts to check out on your day off.

Swerve make good their escape, Convulsif have an axe to grind, Focal Dystonia reach for the top, Tourists go against type and more in your Holiday Monday Roundup. Enjoy the rest of your day — and whatever you do, don’t think about having to back to your endless, soul-sucking grind of a job tomorrow.


1 | Swerve | Escape

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles band Swerve present their new single Escape, the first track to be lifted from their debut album due in early 2021. The official video for the track was directed by Maddie Liner. The band say: “Escape is both a ripping and dreamy song about leaving all the chaos and frustrations of life behind and heading off on an adventure with someone you love. While recording, we jokingly dubbed it Anarchy In The Fields Forever because we used Anarchy In The UK by The Sex Pistols and Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles as our primary sonic references for the guitars and found the contrasts in those tones to really go well together.”

2 | Convulsif | The Axe Will Break

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swiss jazz grindcore collective Convulsif have just unveiled a music video for The Axe Will Break, a track from their forthcoming new album Extinct, set for release on Oct. 23. Recorded live at Blend Studio, the followup to their fourth album IV sees the group comprised of Jamasp Jhabvala (violin/electronics), Christian Muller (clarinet/electronics), Loïc Grobéty (bass) and Maxime Hänsenberger (drums) pushing the boundaries of extreme and alternative music by fusing the intricacies of jazz music, the eerie textures of noise and the brutality of grindcore.”

3 | Qoniak | Bokal

THE PRESS RELEASE:Qoniak share a zero-gravity experience with their new video for Bokal. The track from their upcoming album Mutation, out Friday, begins with a hard head banging riff that dives abruptly into a zero-gravity experience full of elusive harmonic colours and meditative beats, before transmuting again in a fast bewitching rhythmic final blast.”

4 | Focal Dystonia | Pinnacle of Deranged Euphoria

THE PRESS RELEASE: “From out of nowhere comes one of the most devastating brutal death metal assaults you will ever hear! Focal Dystonia’s debut album Descending (In)Human Flesh is a terrifying tsunami of raging riffs and an unrelenting drum battery of staggering speed and heaviness. This is the sound of rage beyond control, of vengeance unleashed and opposition pulverised into non-existence. No more holding back in the face of slights and disrespect, just absolute bloody and beautiful annihilation! You can experience the first explosive outpourings with the track Pinnacle Of Deranged Euphoria.”

5 | Tourists | Silent Type

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Torquay five-piece Tourists combine elements of shoegaze and synth-pop with deeper-rooted post-punk influences, crafting their own identifiable brand of dark, melodic dream-pop. Their debut album Another State, out Nov. 20, is an album exploring the shadowy recesses of the human mind and existence, across eleven darkly compelling and utterly immersive dream-pop songs, drawing on shoegaze, Krautrock, post-post and synth-pop influences.”

6 | Brittany Campbell | Champion

THE PRESS RELEASE: “R&B artist/animator/actress/activist Brittany Campbell just shared her empowering + self-illustrated video for Champion (feat. Phil) for National Coming Out Day. It follows Campbell’s Black Lives Matter protest anthem Matter. Known for her roles in Broadway productions such as Hamilton to Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix, Campbell is also in the band Mermaid with girlfriend Candace Quarrels.”

7 | Johanna Burnheart | Silence Is Golden

THE PRESS RELEASE: “German violinist, singer and composer Johanna Burnheart has shared a new video for her latest single Silence Is Golden, from her debut album Burnheart due out Oct. 30. Johanna says, “The melody of this track appeared to me while cycling to my primary school teaching job. The metre of this melody proved to be almost like a game — which is fitting as the song reminds me of some sort of nursery rhyme accompanied with a clapping game. I incorporated some of this imagery in the video in the form of each member of my band clapping on the wall with the sequence I developed. It is also a portrayal of the lockdown at that point.”

8 | Shayna Adler | Stagecoach Sally

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Heavily influenced by American folk and country music, Celtic music, and 1960’s-1970’s psychedelic folk-rock such as Jethro Tull or The Byrds, Shayna Adler’s recordings are filled with layers and otherworldly dimensions; an acoustic orchestra traveling by caravan. Feminism and self-empowerment are a constant underlying theme in her songs. Shayna’s upcoming self-produced LP Wander is nine-song labor of love. A concept album, “It follows the fantastical story of one woman,” explains Shayna, “which became clear when I chose the songs, and I actually wrote a couple more just for this album — they were missing chapters.” Everything is detailed and deliberate when it comes to Shayna, and she is uncompromising when it comes to vision.”

9 | Moy | At My Door

THE PRESS RELEASE:Moy share the animated video for their latest single At My Door.At My Door was written about escapism, a chance encounter with someone significant who takes you to a new place, wanting to return and when you can’t, the reflection and understanding of the truth that is staring you right in the face. that you can’t go back” explain Moy. “We spent just over a month animating the music video for At My Door, which consists of over 3,200 unique hand-drawn images layered on top of each other. There’s a hidden story woven throughout the animation which shows the track in a different light.”

10 | Ghosts of Sunset | Never Goodbye

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ghosts of Sunset features rock veterans John Merchant and Todd Long. Never Goodbye, the followup to the recently released single Miles In Between, is another ’80s-inspired Hollywood hair metal styled gem. “What do you do when your shelf life is up and the writing is on the wall? You have to go back to your roots and find your true self! You just say goodnight, never goodbye!”

11 | Juracán | Russian Puppet

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Portland multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Pierre Carbuccia’s brainchild Juracán has released a new song, Russian Puppet. Depicting the damage and division that the current U.S. president sparked off, this song urges every U.S. citizen to use their vote wisely to change the future. Pierre’s comment on the creation of the song: “Russian Puppet is a song I wrote in 2019. At the time, my brain was filled with thoughts related to the Russia Trump affair. I was watching and reading about it, and probably because of it, this song came to me. The emotions behind this song are disgust, anger, disappointment, and anxiety, which had been accumulating since the 2016 election campaigns.”

12 | Elif Yalvaç | Brocken Spectre

THE PRESS RELEASE:Elif Yalvaç — the Istanbul-based electronic/ambient composer — has announced her new album Mountains Become Stepping Stones, out Dec. 4. The album’s lead single and opening track Brocken Spectre is named after the natural phenomenon: “When I was flying to Iceland for the first time from Bergen, Norway,” Yalvaç says, “it was magical to see a glory: seeing the aircraft’s shadow within a halo of a rainbow.” On this piece, Yalvaç introduces the Game Boy as a musical instrument, incorporating its soft sounds into ambient layers. “I wrote so much about Game Boy in my master’s thesis; it was now time to make music with it.”

13 | Shirley Collins | The Christmas Song

THE PRESS RELEASE:Shirley Collins announces her Christmas single; taken from Collins’ recent album Heart’s Ease, The Christmas Song arrives on a special signed, flexi-disc Christmas card release on Nov. 13. Bringing some much-needed cheer, The Christmas Song is from the renowned Copper Family of Rottingdean in East Sussex. They lived and worked the land around there for over four centuries — the earliest Copper entry in the Parish Register of Rottingdean church is dated 1593. Collins adds: “It’s one of my favourite of the Copper Family songs.”

14 | Corecass | V O I D

THE PRESS RELEASE:Corecass is the solo brainchild and creative outlet of distinguished Hamburg based musician and composer Elinor Lüdde. Since its inception in 2014, Corecass has been able to look beyond the conventional approach and fuse together instruments such as harp, accordion, electrical guitar and her natural voice, combined alongside field recordings, foleys and digital or synthesized instruments in order to create something truly unique and expressive. The result is an innovative and cinematic style of music — an elegiacally dark and atmospheric conglomerate made of cliché busting conceptions between electronic and non-electronic sounds and sources.”

15 | Abertooth Lincoln | Hell House

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, Abertooth Lincoln are an aggressive, spacey hardcore progressive punk band. Their music is heavy, weird, complicated and can flip genres within seconds. But the bottom line is they are unique and refreshing. Fronted by the charismatic person Edith Coleslaw aka Ashley Pooler, Abertooth Lincoln have dropped their single Hell House. It is exactly that, as you don’t see what’s coming next. It frantically winds from L7 to Dillinger Escape Plan to an almost Mr. Bungle-esque frenzy topped with some B-52’s weirdness. Their music is heavy, weird, complicated, and they will destroy the stage with glittery space pants and ’80s glam metal vibes.”

16 | Layke | Going Out On A High

THE PRESS RELEASE:Layke is a ground-breaking artist that delights in pushing boundaries both musically and in her socio-political beliefs. She believes in freedom of expression and ‘going beyond’ societal norms. Her third and most politically charged single, Going Out On A High, is from her forthcoming EP Frequency. She says: “In the verses you can hear the political tone. Talking about the world caving in around me and how there are people out there burning olive branches and how if they’re going to bring the fire, we’re gonna bring the gasoline. We are not going to stand idly by and watch them tear down our world and tear down the beings living in it.”

17 | Moglii | Skoda (ft. LissA)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Cologne based producer / singer / composer Moglii (Simon Ebener-Holscher) returns with a thoughtful, evocative alt-pop jam Skoda featuring rising singer-songwriter LissA. Moglii says: “LissA and I wrote Skoda in my studio in Cologne this summer. The title of the song has no deeper meaning — but somehow the picture of us driving together in a convertible into the sunset or the sunrise became the main theme of this song. To me, it’s about a fresh relationship between two people, where probably many of us can relate to. All these new feelings and exciting new things we’re discovering from a person the first time we meet them, leads into a wonderful adventure. However, will this last or is it just a fleeting moment? Will this raw attraction transform into something more? Will this summer of love survive the cold, dark winter?”

18 | Ghxst | It Falls Apart

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Grunge-noise duo Ghxst recently announced their new EP Dark Days on Nov. 16. It Falls Apart was written when Ghxst drove out to California leaving New York behind, after having lived there for over a decade. Hazy vocals are mixed with the downtuned riffs of a Marshall cab, a loving reference to two of their all-time heroes Jimi and Iommi. Sonically, it’s an exercise in restraint and volume. Ghxst say: “We built the beats to sound like an 808 booming out of a Cadillac window in Bed Stuy,” the Brooklyn neigbourhood where they are normally based. Guitars range from intimate Mazzy Star acoustic tones to dreamy feedback. And through it all, hazy vocals from some nowhere highway. They add “We hope someone blows out a speaker playing this record.”

19+20 | Friendship Commanders | Stonechild + Your Reign Is Over

THE PRESS RELEASE:Friendship Commanders are a melodic heavy duo from Nashville comprised of vocalist/guitarist Buick Audra and drummer/bassist Jerry Roe. The band present their new singles Stonechild & Your Reign Is Over. Stonechild was written about the circumstances of Stonechild Chiefstick’s death on July 3, 2019. Stonechild was a Chippewa Cree man who was part of the Suquamish Tribal community in Poulsbo, Wash. Stonechild was 39 years old when he was killed, a father of five. Your Reign Is Over was written in a fit of frustration. During a year that has held a pandemic, a revolution for racial justice, economic uncertainty for so many, devastating environmental emergencies, and what is likely the most important presidential election of many of our lifetimes, the song was written to shout-down people who use immense privilege and platform to cause further harm.”

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