Indie Roundup | 46 Tracks To Make Wednesday Heavier & Groovier

Sleaford Mods, Arctic Monkeys, Gustaf & more acts getting the job done today.

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Sleaford Mods come up short, Arctic Monkeys introduce Arabella, Gustaf are odd by design, Laura Jane Grace resurface in a pool of blood, Kabbalah offer up an evil omen — and those are just for openers in your mighty Midweek Roundup. Today’s tracks are an intoxicating mix of heavy and groovy. You got a problem with that? Didn’t think so.

 


ON REPEAT

1 | Sleaford Mods | Shortcummings

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sleaford Mods present their politically charged, no holds barred single Shortcummings, from their Spare Ribs album out Jan. 15. Jason Williamson says: “I wrote the lyrics to Shortcummings in late 2019 after becoming annoyed by Dominic Cummings’ increased unelected presence. The arrogance of the privileged generally leads to short, short short, short, short cummings in a momentary centre stage at the cost of untold human misery and exploitation of public money … It’s just so fucking tiresome, as we lumpily coexist, us and the elite. The fortress of control is too strong and indeed there is no denying now, that there is powerlessness in the idea of revolt in this modern day daylight robbery.”


2 | Arctic Monkeys | Arabella

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In advance of the release of Arctic Monkeys – Live At The Royal Albert Hall on Friday, the band have launched the video for Arabella. Directed by Ben Chappell, the video was predominantly filmed at the band’s Nuits De Fourvière concert in Lyon in 2018 and features live and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. All proceeds from Live At The Royal Albert Hall will go to War Child UK to help fill what could be up to a £2 million deficit they are facing in 2021, caused by the devastating impact of Covid-19 on their fundraising.”


3 | Gustaf | Design

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since forming in 2018, Brooklyn art punks Gustaf have been the subject of an unusual amount of buzz. Today they share their second single Design, another slice of finely tuned, off-kilter art-punk. Vocalist Lydia Gammill explains: “It’s about criticizing someone else, maybe someone who positions themselves above you or critiques you — you look at them and are like ‘Look, we’re both in the bottom of the well together, don’t act like you are not a well-dweller, and also don’t forget there are people trapped under the well that we aren’t even trying to help right now! Instead you’re bitching at me in the bottom of the well so what’s your deal?’ ”


4 | Laura Jane Grace | The Swimming Pool Song

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Artist, author, activist and musician Laura Jane Grace have released the brand new NSFW [from home] video for The Swimming Pool Song, the introductory track to the recent solo album Stay Alive. Featuring grisly acting by Grace and Hannah Gamble, The Swimming Pool Song is a chilling slasher film plot in action, based on a song with separate and heavy paranormal overtones. Grace shares: “Like how in a dream, sometimes whatever fear it is that you’re running from isn’t actually anything to be afraid of at all. Or like how in life sometimes we couldn’t be more wrong about first impressions and the way things will turn out.”


5 | Kabbalah | Ceibas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pamplona occult rockers Kabbalah confirm that their sophomore album The Omen will be released on Jan. 15. And they offer the video for Ceibas. They say: “Ceibas is about how evil and destructive human behavior is to the Earth, and the video walks you through the song and the lyrics wonderfully.”


6 | DiNola | Ill Wind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ill Wind is a mournful, opus-length dirge from DiNola. The song is close to their hearts, written in memorial for beloved family member Jonah Bascle. Jonah was an active local community member who left behind a legacy of comedy, visual art, and disability advocacy in New Orleans. Color footage shot in the band’s rehearsal space is interwoven with B&W footage from his New Orleans second line funeral parade, with additional B&W stills by Autumn Spadero. This rock ’n’ roll dirge was spontaneously recorded in one take at the world renowned Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree and produced by Chris Goss.”


7 | Racquel Jones | Sacrilege

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, powerhouse hip-hop artist, painter, model, poet, and reggae singer Racquel Jones premieres the provocative video Sacrilege, by award-winning director Alex Di Marco. “Sacrilege is a blatant denouncement of religion, specifically Catholicism and what it represents for Black people whose history was intercepted by slavery,” explains Jones. “For my people, religion/Christianity was used as a tool of oppression and control while the heritage of our spiritual identity was erased.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

8 | The Neverlutionaries | Ariana

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The video is a trippy and visceral dive into the soul of Ariana — the song represents the concept of a dream mate,” explains Christopher Harold Wells, mastermind of Nashville psychedelic alternative rock band The Neverlutionaries. “Upon finally meeting her, how would I feel inside at that moment and what would those feelings sound like — that sense of longing for something you love is so strong and brings out so many emotions?” Ariana is taken from The Neverlutionaries’ debut self-titled LP set for release in February.”


9 | Queen Mars | Queen of Hearts

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago neo-soul artist Queen Mars shares the video for Queen of Hearts. She is currently working on her upcoming EP due next year. She shares: “I used to think being a woman in a man’s world was a huge disadvantage because internal qualities are often overlooked in favor of surface level desires. Then I realized someone else’s inability to see below the surface is a weakness on their part and I wanted to explore the traditional power dynamic between male and female because I feel it is, and has always been mislabeled.”


10 | Saleka | Mr. Incredible

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Saleka returns with a dark love story called Mr. Incredible. A striking foot forward into the world of relationships struggling under the weight of one partner’s depression and the failed attempts to get through to each other, Mr. Incredible cleverly subverts the character of the same name (and his tagline: “I work alone”) in a story about isolation and the coldness that comes from the fractures silence can cause. “The lyrical metaphor of the song is this desire to make a home, a place of comfort and safety and stability, and instead just watching it fall apart around you,” the 24-year-old says.”


11 | King Elle Noir | Skills

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In a turbulent year, King Elle Noir has emerged as one of L.A.’s most intriguing new acts, crafting an impressively original sound. Today she releases a video for Skills. Discussing the new single, King adds: “Skills is about a guy who lied his way into my heart even when he knew I’d been hurt so many times before. He promised me the world, and I actually believed him. When the truth came out I was so shocked that all I could do was applaud him for his incredible acting skills … He fooled the unfoolable.”


12 | Owen Meany’s Batting Stance | Krakow 

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Operating under the moniker Owen Meany’s Batting Stance, Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Walker explores the expanses of human emotion on his debut LP Feather Weights. The latest addition is a visual aid for the emotionally charged number Krakow. “It was Canadian thanksgiving but, as the lone Canadian in the hostel, was spent navigating language barriers rather than family chatter over the dinner table … During the course of the tour, I also missed out on major life events friends and family celebrated. The crux of the song is how pursuing what you love can take you from who you love.”


13 | Architects | Black Lungs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “English post-metalcore quintet Architects share the second single off their forthcoming ninth album For Those That Wish To Exist. The track calls for us to examine the role we are currently playing in the destruction of the world with barren landscapes and foreshadowing of extinction. On For Those That Wish To Exist, Architects tackle the biggest questions facing the future of our planet with their grandest, most expansive sonic offering yet. On the self-produced record, Architects build upon the band’s hallmark post-metalcore and layers a burgeoning influence of electronics and orchestral strings, horns, and choirs. The result is a rich tapestry that transcends the limitations of genre and rewards exploration and immersion in its journey.”


14 | Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams | Your Mind’s Walking Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams are set to release their debut collaboration Plastic Bouquet next Friday, Dec. 11. The 11-song set was produced by Kacy Lee Anderson & Marlon Williams and was recorded in Saskatoon, SK and Nashville. Today they premiere Your Mind’s Walking Out, filmed by Williams in New Zealand during the pandemic, with dogs in place of the trio. Williams said: “The canine face. What ponderings truly go on inside that furry skull we may never know, but we sure like to imagine we do.”


15 | Capulus | All That I Am

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in 2013 by two school friends, Bournemouth quartet Capulus are set to make their bid for the melodic rock throne in 2021! This process begins now, as the band welcome the release of their gorgeous standalone single All That I Am, a colourful, ballad-esque rock epic of dreamy, penetrating vocal melodies paired with stadium-quality instrumentation.”


16 | The Row Men | You Got Served

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cellus Hamilton, BlessThePen and Trubl3  are The Row Men, named after their songwriting inspiration peaked while reading the biblical book of Romans. In addition to releasing a self-titled seven song EP, the hip-hop trio have released a video for their debut single You Got Served. The song is reminiscent of a ’90s era clip, as the crew trades bars while pouring champagne in fur coats. Located in Harlem at the famous Apollo Theatre, this video brings something special to New York City hip-hop.”


17 | Celestial Season | The Secret Teachings of All Ages

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dutch doom-metal group Celestial Season have revealed The Secret Teachings of All Ages, a video for a new track off their new album The Secret Teachings. Say the band: “The seeds of this new album have been growing and cultivated for many years, and there were many reasons to complete the full cycle, initiated so many years ago.”


18 | Crawford Mack | Turning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glaswegian songwriter Crawford Mack performs with a sense of purpose and ardour in new video Turning. An ode to the legacy that people leave through their art, the new track is taken from his recent debut album Bread & Circuses. Crawford comments: “I wrote the track initially about being reminded of a former partner every time I hear certain music, so I flipped the roles and wondered aloud whether it was the same for her.”


19 | Jakethehawk | Counting

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Appalachian rockers Jakethehawk announce the release of their album Hinterlands on Feb. 19 and share their new Counting video. Heirs to the expansive psych-fuzz explorations of bands like King Buffalo, Howling Giant and ASG, Jakethehawk merge the classic, riff-centric sound of proto-metal’s pioneers with the textures of psychedelic rock and progressive rock. “I think the sound of Counting is representative of our writing headspace as a band right now, kind of a more brazen attempt to blend psychedelia and ‘gazey’ elements with riff rock,” says singer-guitarist John Huxley. “This record, for me, is in many ways a series of ruminations on the inevitable changes in life and I think an attempt find peace with the great deceit that is inherent in the human condition.”


20 | Lightning Dust | Joanna

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This recently shot video of Lightning Dust performing Joanna from their album Spectre is part of a series that singer Amber Webber has started with friends in Vancouver called Mix Tape Rodeo. Since this is performed and captured so well, we thought it would be nice to share this around and rekindle a little bit of the spirit of live music while everyone’s stuck at home.”


21 | The King’s Head | The Far Beyond

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The King’s Head’s music is as diverse as rock history itself. From classic hardrock to grunge and sludge to the melodic side of metal, topped off with a progressive edge. A dark, melodic, progressive and fresh hybrid of everything they loved to listen to in their formative years, The King’s Head’s self-titled debut album arrives on Dec. 18, but the video for The Far Beyond is out now.”


22 | Oracle Sisters | The Dandelion

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Parisian trio Oracle Sisters share ‘The Dandelion’, their new single and first taste of upcoming EP ‘Paris II’. The video, directed by Celia Marie and lead guitarist Lewis Lazar, is shot on double 8mm and takes the viewer through the personification of Paris. With the band as your beatnik tour guides, the video explores the gothic moods and noire spirit of the city.”


23 | Hello Halo | Under The Starlight (ft. Fred Mascherino)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New York alt-rock band Hello Halo and acclaimed guitarist Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday) have come together for the release of the ethereal ballad Under The Starlight and its video. Recorded live to tape at Mascherino’s home studio, the song really speaks to the present-day turbulent social and emotional climate, while offering solace and a hopeful tone. “Our peril is mostly of our own making, born of manufactured ideological incompatibility,” lead singer/songwriter Paul Nathaniel shares. “We know we are stuck together and must find a way to productively coexist despite our differences. Yet we’ve been at each other’s throats for decades, cemented in a ceaseless psychological civil war.”


24 | Tokyo Police Club | Hundred Dollar Day

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tokyo Police Club have announced a 10th anniversary edition of their beloved sophomore album Champ, due out March 5. In conjunction, the band released a never-before-heard track from the album’s sessions, Hundred Dollar Day, plus a video of archival footage. Guitarist/keyboardist Graham Wright stated, “I’m sure that at the time, 23 years old and stressing over our big swing second record, all the hours we spent agonizing over whether or not to put Hundred Dollar Day on the record seemed very good and important. But of course now I forget about all of it, and I just hear a damn cool song that brings me happily back to a hell of a time in my life.”


25 | No Take Backs | Grey (ft. Flowers For You)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pennsylvania pop-punk band No Take Backs release their new single and video Grey, featuring Flowers For You. The people in your life, whether long term or temporary, often make an impact on you. This track was written about the nostalgia that hits when looking back on those old memories. “This song is about the nostalgic feeling you get when looking back on old memories with friends and family. Specifically, this song is about the two people who most impacted our vocalist Tyler Dibble’s life and the fond memories he has of those two people.”


26 | Wardra | Groans of Divinity

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Russian black metal band Wardra have shared Groans of Divinity alongside a new visualizer in cooperation with Dark Art Conspiracy. The track is taken from Aberration of the Abyss, their split album with another Russian black metal collective Logos.”


27 | Hell-Born | Axis Of Decay

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After 12 long years, Hell-Born have returned from the void. The passage of time has not cooled their anger or sated their hunger for battle and the Polish dark lords of black, thrash and death metal are back heavier, harder and more venomous than ever before. The silence is about to be shattered by the vitriolic war cry of new album Natas Liah and the children of submission will once more be ground into the dust. No-one will be left yearning for past glories once the likes of Axis Of Decay are unleashed. This is the sound of a band setting new standards as they strive for even greater conquests and immortal victories.”


28 | Disout | Dissonance

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Poland’s Disout just released their single Dissonance. Disout’s sound is a tribute to the heavy rock, combined with solid riffs that go hand in hand with modern metal. The single is extracted from the band’s upcoming album, set to be released at the beginning of 2021.”


29 | Gretta Ray | Passion

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Desire. Danger. Elegance. Glamour. Passion is a disarming twist in the rapidly evolving story of artist Gretta Ray: the first rhythmically propulsive, sensually loaded taste of a new chapter for the Australian songstress. “This is a different kind of song for me,” says the velvet-voiced singer-songwriter from Melbourne. “Conceptually it’s not narrative-driven like a lot of my other songs. Passion is essentially a love song, but people have heard romantic music from me before. I feel like this is definitely turned up a notch.”


30 | Slowly Building Weapons | We Are The Animals

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Slowly Building Weapons are back with their album Echoes. Slowly Building Weapons are a trio from Australia and Japan. Somehow they have succeeded in forging their own path through a myriad of influences from doom, shoegaze, post-punk, post-rock & metal, indie-rock and pieces of early hardcore. The trio are sharing a video for the track We Are The Animals. According to the band it’s “our tribute to 2020… the perfect year to disappear into the wilderness.”


31 | Lost Relics | Unrealistic Cause

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Denver dirt rockers Lost Relics have dropped their single Unrealistic Cause. Sludgy, doomy and riff heavy, Lost Relics come at you with the same intensity of some of their contemporaries Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Crowbar and Clutch. The weight of indifference is the boulder that crushes our society. Empathy is dead and with it so are we. It is an Unrealistic Cause. Lost Relics employ Richter Scale riffs to manifest the emotional density of these troubled times. Songs of protest. Songs of desperation. Songs for the end. Volume. Riffs. Apathy.”


32 | Anomalie & Chromeo | On My Mind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal producer/artist Anomalie releases Bend The Rules, a record produced in collaboration with Chromeo. The three-track EP showcases Anomalie’s signature beats-heavy jazz, dressed in the analog synth textures that the Funklordz are known for. “Working on Bend The Rules with Chromeo made me feel like I was finally reunited with my long lost cousins from Montreal,” says Anomalie. “The blend of Dave and Pee’s funkiness, stellar vocals and talkbox chops with my keyboard layers and arrangement approach is something I’m so happy and proud of.”


33 | Hot Chip | Straight To The Morning (Dillion Francis vs. Hot Chip Remix ft. Jarvis Cocker)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hot Chip are sharing a Dillon Francis remix of recent single Straight To The Morning featuring Jarvis Cocker. Dillon Francis: “I have been a massive Hot Chip fan since their album The Warning, so getting asked to remix this last single was an absolute honor. This remix is in the direction of a lot of my upcoming new music so I hope people enjoy the hell out of it because more happy house music is on the way!”


34+35 | 5RVLN5 | World of Filth (Sanford Parker Deliverance Remix) + (Justin Broadrick Dissociation Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Post-industrial metal upstarts 5RVLN5 (Surveillance) release their maxi-single World of Filth, featuring remixes from top artists and producers. World of Filth is found on their debut album The Black Mark. The song gets the remix treatment by Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, Napalm Death) and artist/producer Sanford Parker (Corrections House, Eyehategod, Statiqbloom). Both take the song to new disturbing and brutal realms with their touches.”


36 | Gianluca John Attanasio | Silent Roads

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “British-Italian singer-songwriter Gianluca John Attanasio has just released Silent Roads, the fourth single and video off his fourth studio album Beyond 2 Doors. The album is a particular mix of blues and psychedelic rock.”


37 | John Mark Nelson | Good To Be Home

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Songwriter and producer John Mark Nelson welcomes the listener in from the cold — and invites them to harken back to COVID-free holidays past — with the single Good To Be Home. “This year more than maybe any other,” relates Nelson, “we are all longing for something normal, familiar, something that feels like home. With the familiar bustle of holiday travel seeming more and more impossible, this song draws on the memories of Holiday seasons past to call back to mind the feeling of reuniting with the ones you love most, feeling, if only for a moment, home.”


38 | Sammy Johnson | Cool & Easy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Auckland singer-songwriter Sammy Johnson has announced the tracklisting and cover art for his first entirely reggae album Cool & Easy, set for Jan. 22. “Cool & Easy is so many things,” said Sammy Johnson. “It’s the rekindling of my love for reggae music, it’s my first reggae full album and it is a true authentic expression of how reggae music has touched my life and blessed me with the opportunity to do what I love.”


39 | Bernice | Groove Elation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bernice is the experimental pop vessel of musician/songwriter Robin Dann and longtime collaborators Thom Gill (keyboards, guitar), Philippe Melanson (e-percussion and drums), Daniel Fortin (bass) and Felicity Williams (voice). The band’s third full-length Eau de Bonjourno will be out March 5. Opener Groove Elation offers brief blurts of synthesized sax, patient passages of space, or clusters of beats, tenderly held together by Dann and Williams’ intimate vocals. “Think of this song as a ripple through many decades of a life,” Dann says. “Whether you slept well, stayed up, spoke up or stayed quiet, you’re here now and we should ‘groove it for sure’. Let us take you there: floating on the surface of a loving feeling.”


40 | Woodstock Barbie | High Wave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Woodstock Barbie infuse vintage blues-rock with scratchy stoner and silky soul. Their new song High Wave is the first single from their upcoming EP Soul Smoke.”


41 | Jesse Futerman | Luckey (ft. Beverly Glenn-Copeland)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jesse Futerman presents a life-affirming slice of music lovingly crafted in Canada’s French Quarter in the summer of 2019. On Luckey, the Montreal producer reunites with good friend Beverly Glenn-Copeland, the Canadian music legend whose keyboard-inflected outsider folk continues to make waves across the world, alongside a stellar ensemble incorporating cello, saxophone, bass, and vintage hardware. There’s a melancholy tinge to the synths but infectious vocals and pitter-patter drums uplift and reassure, radiating contentment, joy, and gratitude.”


42 | Sarah Mary Chadwick | At Your Leisure

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Cutting a solitary figure at the piano, singer-songwriter Sarah Mary Chadwick redefines what it means to be a confessional artist. Her commanding responses to weighty personal wreckonings sit somewhere between a full-throated hymn and a hushed confessional. The New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter releases At Your Leisure, the second taste of forthcoming seventh studio album Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby out Feb. 5.”


43 | Andy Mineo | Momma Taught Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Atlanta artist Andy Mineo released his new EP Happy Thoughts today. What began as a journey to Japan last autumn in search of new experiences and a connection to our common humanity, ultimately brought Mineo back to lessons learned from his mother, who passed away in 2018. Mineo’s mom passed along her wisdom through easy to remember phrases, learned through her own life experiences and dealing with hardships. These words led Mineo to build a career creating art focused on faith and positivity, building people up, rather than tearing them down.”


44+45 | Hawksley Workman | Smoke Baby Acoustic + Dark Wav

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Hawksley Workman’s formative 2003 album Lover/Fighter has been certified Gold in Canada. In celebration, Workman premieres an EP today titled Smoke Baby Redux featuring two new versions of the song: Acoustic + Dark Wav. Says Workman, “Sometimes it’s fun to revisit songs, to reframe them and dress them up in different clothes. Smoke Baby was written with legendary writer and producer Doc McKinney (The Weeknd). It was one of those songs that just wanted to be born. Effortless. In these two versions I reframe the song in two of my most cherished idioms … singer/songwriter folk and goth rock.”


46 | Madeleine Mayi | ITRL

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Madeleine Mayi is an L.A. singer-songwriter who fearlessly goes after what she wants. ITRL marks the third and final single ahead of her debut full-length out Feb. 14. “ITRL is a song about denial. It’s about seeing the world from this frozen state, right after something traumatic happens. When you can’t really tell when things are good or bad, or you’re hurting. It’s just that limbo time, where things feel confusing. That’s what in the right light is.”