Indie Roundup | 98 Tracks To Get You Through The Weekend (Part 2)

Spiritbox, Kel$z Luchie, Scott MacKay, R Train & another crop of acts to sample.

What do you get when you combine Bandcamp Friday, the first weekend in December and the dreams of every indie musician from Austria to Australia? Well, if you’re me, you get more than 1,000 emails before noon — and way more videos and songs than you can fit into one post. You’re welcome.


26 | Spiritbox | Constance

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian progressive metal outfit Spiritbox have once again displayed their phenomenal songwriting ingenuity with powerfully emotional new track Constance. The release is inspired both lyrically and visually by devastating loss. Both Spiritbox frontwoman Courtney LaPlante and the video’s director Dylan Hryciuk suffered the passing of their beloved grandmothers this year. With Constance they came together to pour their sorrow into creating something beautiful, raw and deeply personal. The track is a tribute to both Courtney’s grandmother Phyllis and Dylan’s grandmother Constance, whom the song is named after.”

27 | Kel$z Luchie | Torch

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Bronx rapper Kel$z Luchie is back with Torch. Born and raised on the west side of the Bronx in Kingsbridge, the 25-year-old Dominican & Colombian rapper credits his sound to the influences all around him. “Being outside every day is mainly where I get my inspiration from. I have much more to talk about in my music,” he says. “I grew up in a musical household — my father is a musician and my older brother was always listening to rap, so these influences made me appreciate music at a young age.”

28 | Scott MacKay | Stupid Cupid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer/songwriter Scott MacKay begins a fresh chapter by turning back the clock to the vintage country music of the ’50s and ’60s. Stupid Cupid is the title track from his forthcoming album. Due Jan. 8, it has 10 songs that display the Charlottetown native’s sharpwit and fondness for the sounds of slapback echo, twangy Telecasters and swooning pedal steel. “I really became smitten with songwriters such as Shel Silverstein, Hank Williams, Bobby Bare, Roger Miller and others,” he says. “It made me focus my attention on improving my songwriting, and I tried to learn as much about it as I could.”

29 | The R Train | Dear Mr. Fantasy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The R Train is an American rock band hailing from Brooklyn, with tracks leading down into South Florida. Today they share their bold single and video for Dear Mr. Fantasy, which is bound to be a fan favorite right from the start. The band consists of singer-guitarist Jeffrey Black, drummer vocalist Mike Annese, and bassist Denny Lee. Formed in early 2019, the band’s name came about while traveling on the New York subway.”

30 | Let Man Loose | Victory Lap

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having built a massive following in their hometown of Hull and gained radio traction, Let Man Loose are back with a new single — Young Thugs Studio recorded live in York — and the performance video for Victory Lap.”

31 | Maggie Szabo | Come Celebrate Christmas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Maggie Szabo’s upbeat new video for Come Celebrate Christmas will have you cheerfully sipping eggnog on your virtual happy hours and merrily opening presents via Zoom. Ready to spread some joy this holiday season, Come Celebrate Christmas is an energetic pop-fueled anthem for a year that deserves some cheer. The video is equally as cheery as Maggie gives a whole new meaning to the holiday spirit.”

32 | Chant | Primetime Annihilation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bradley Bills, creator of the tribal-industrial art-rock project Chant, releases his video for Primetime Annihilation. The explosive clip showcases a glimpse of Chant’s new live lineup, with Bradley acting as the self-obsessed demagogue who takes on a game-show host persona, reveling in the chaotic new cycles that he creates. “As I was writing the lyrics for Primetime Annihilation, I had visions of a media blitz projected onto this character, this self-appointed ‘President God’, who would certainly have a mirror ball jacket, so of course we had to make one. It weights 35+ pounds!  Cuts and scrapes from writhing in the jacket aside, it was totally worth it.”

33 | Fellowcraft | I Will Not Accept The Truth (ft. Chris Dale)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Fellowcraft, the indie prog band from D.C., have teamed up with former Bruce Dickinson bassist Chris Dale to record a new rendition of I Will Not Accept The Truth, originally off his 1996 album Skunkworks. This new song will appear on their album This Is Where You’ll Find Me, due out Feb. 26. “Skunkworks was one of my all-time favorite records growing up”, says lead guitarist Pablo Anton, “and it’s had a lasting influence on my musical taste ever since, which is why we decided to pay homage to it.”

34 | Marcus James & RYYZN | Warning Sign

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Celebrated producer Marcus James team up with prominent duo RYYZN to reveal the single Warning Sign. It’s the title track of their upcoming EP, due in February. James tells us: “The story is a little abstract but the messaging comes through loud and clear; and I love that because you can relate it to a relationship, mental health, or anything that makes you feel overwhelmed. I’ve always been obsessed with the interplay between melancholy lyrics and an uplifting melody.”

35 | Manuela Iwansson | Blank Surface

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “You can now watch the video for Blank Surface by Manuela Iwansson, filmed in Stockholm earlier this year.”

36 | Killing Kenny | Soul Find a Way

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Killing Kenny (Glasgow’s Ken Sunter) has gone where many fear to tread — some 30 years after giving up on his dreams of being a rock star, he has returned to the studio, determined to make good on his commitment to releasing the music that has lived within him all this time. “Music and writing has always been part of my life for many, many, many years. Sadly, it took a back seat, becoming more of a private hobby and some hard-hearted people may even say a self-indulgence.”

37 | SFZ | Elevate

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Much like Mercury Prize-winning rapper Dave before him, SFZ is not only an exciting new rapper bursting onto the UK conscious hip-hop scene but also a classically trained pianist. The brainchild of Joe Ordish, SFZ has already gained considerable attention. Completely self-recorded and self-produced, the single Elevate is not only a demonstration of SFZ’s unquestionable talent, but also shows how hip-hop can feel authentic and honest.”

38 | Lizzard | Blowdown

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “French power trio Lizzard will release their Eroded full-length this February. Captured during a long month of voluntary isolation at the legendary Castle Studios in Germany, Eroded brings the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. “The vibe on the album is generally one of hope,” notes the band, “and an invitation to stay alert to the light within ourselves, and to keep moving towards brighter destinations.” Bring on the future and for once, let it be the past as we knew it before the pandemic. In advance of the release, the band are pleased to unveil a video for Blowdown.”

39 | Terence Jack | Heart In, Head Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If you’ve been missing out on seeing live music this year, Vancouver indie artist Terence Jack has just what you need! Terence will be a releasing a video every two weeks as part of his Warehouse Sessions video series. The first video, out today, is fan favourite Heart In, Head Out. “It’s always a time of growth to relearn how to play the songs after they’re spit out the other side. I remember all of us buzzing during this session. There was lots of love in the room.”

40 | Alex Maas | The City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Alex Maas of The Black Angels has released his soul-bearing solo debut Luca, and to mark the occasion has shared a video for album closer The City — a downbeat torch song that comes with a warning “The enemy is always just outside the door and the enemy could be anything,” says Maas. Luca is named for Maas’ firstborn, whose name means “bringer of light,” Luca was a long time coming, with some of its songs dating back almost a decade, put together piece by piece over the course of a couple years.”

41 | Flawes | What’s A Boy To Do

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Flawes share their single What’s A Boy To Do, from their upcoming Reverie EP.  From its acoustic guitar introduction, What’s A Boy To Do spontaneously erupts into the kind of gloriously uplifting hook that’s quickly becoming a hallmark of Flawes’ music. It’s a song that balances the extremes of their sound, finding the common ground between intricately produced alt-pop and the dynamic energy of a live band. Drummer Josh ‘Huss’ Hussey explains: “It’s about believing in yourself, going for a goal and knowing that even if you fail, you’re still proud of yourself for seeing it through.”

42 | Wesley Gonzalez | Red Man Is Back Again (With A Lonely Dose of Pain)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “DIY indie punk-turned-pop sophisticate Wesley Gonzalez is sharing Christmas single Red Man Is Back Again (With A Lonely Dose of Pain). Wesley said: “When approaching the video for Red Man Is Back Again (With A Lonely Dose Of Pain), it seemed obvious to visually represent an actual Red Man but what kind? Santa Claus seemed obvious, The Devil too, so we decided to go for a pissed-up Freddy Krueger character, he’s your bastard uncle.”

43 | Jamie Grey | Christmas In Our Hometown

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Soul-pop singer-songwriter Jamie Grey has released Christmas In Our Hometown. An endearing, personal meditation underpinned by Jamie’s delicate vocal, it offers the perfect respite. Jamie says: “I tried to just be honest and write about what the lead-up to Christmas rather than the actual day always felt like to me being from our little town of Redcar … There’s very much a sense of community and togetherness where we live, as we don’t have a lot. There’s not as you can imagine a great deal of opportunity, we have some of the lowest unemployment levels in the UK and Christmas is a time where all that gets forgotten and everyone comes together to share a beer and have a laugh.”

44 | Kutiman | Wachaga in Dub

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kutiman’s Tanzania-meets-psych-jazz album Wachaga, released earlier this year, is an epic and incredibly uplifting work of art, blending traditional Tanzanian sounds with free jazz, psychedelia, afrobeat and soul. New EP Wachaga In Dub, which sees Kutiman turn inward, amplifying the deepest sounds within the album’s standouts, in turn creating a far more psychedelic experience. Holidays may be cancelled, but Wachaga in Dub is one trip that’s readily available.”

45 | Amy Macdonald | Fire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having just hit the Top 10 with her fifth album The Human Demands, Amy Macdonald shares the single Fire. “It was the first song I wrote after getting married, in Las Vegas of all places,” she says. “I was co-writing with a friend, Matt Jones, and we had the song finished in half an hour. I was so happy at the time, just married, that I came up with something that isn’t typical of me at all. I said to my husband: ‘This is the only song you’ll ever get out of me, so enjoy it.’ ”

46 | Noah C. Lekas | Saturday Night Sage (ft. Howlin’ Rain)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Saturday Night Sage is the lead single from the forthcoming EP Sounds from the Shadow Factory, due out Feb. 19. The EP was inspired by the book of poetry and narrative prose Saturday Night Sage by Noah Lekas, released last year on Record Store Day. The book of poetry and narrative prose has garnered comparisons to Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Jack Kerouac, Nick Cave and Charles Bukowski.”

47 | Dendera | The End Of Days (ft. Tom Barber)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The U.K. melodic metal band Dendera just released a lyric video for The End of Days (feat. Tom Barber), the second single from their new EP Reborn into Darkness. The single features Tom Barber (Chelsea Grin) on guest vocals.” 

48 | Caleborate | We Make (ft. Samaria)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising Berkeley hip-hop artist Caleborate just released a jazzy rap anthem We Make, featuring Oakland R&B singer Samaria. “It’s an anthem for anyone who has been underappreciated,” he says. “For the youth whose culture has been exploited, for black culture in America.”

49 | Gowan & Stuck On Planet Earth | Can You Make It Feel Like Christmas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Can You Make It Feel Like Christmas is a new track from Gowan and Toronto alt-rockers Stuck On Planet Earth. The festive song, written by Gowan, is a timely offering in a year fraught with challenges, delivering a message of hope and strength. Says Gowan: “I wanted to capture the essence of the holiday spirit, while at the same time acknowledging the impact of 2020 and the fact that this will be a Christmas like no other. A song that expressed both the good vibes and cheer that people associate with this time of year, and the creative, resilient ways of making those feelings and traditions come to life despite the exceptional challenges.”

50 | Henning | Vissa Dagar

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Henning is a Swedish singer, guitarist and vocalist. His first album Galileo was heavily inspired by Dire Straits. Many saw a reincarnated guitar hero singing in Swedish. The second album evolved his sound to have a stronger pop approach, still with Swedish lyrics, but this time with Mark Knopfler’s solo recordings as his main inspiration. The single Vissa Dagar is taken from the third album from Henning set for release this spring. Even if he sings in Swedish, this is a gem for all guitar lovers to discover.”