Indie Roundup | 30 Tracks To Make Monday Sound Better

Pup, Bad Flamingo, Grandma's Ashes, Owen Pallett & the rest of today's crop.

Pup drop a deuce, Grandma’s Ashes have daddy issues, Claustrofobia invite you to join the club, Owen Pallett delivers an order, Drew Citron is riding with the dead — and that’s just for openers on your Monday Roundup. I always knew that Dylan guy was a sellout.


1+2 | Pup | Edmonton + Rot

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “We just put out a video of us playing our song Edmonton live from the toilet stall at Sneaky Dee’s during our livestream. It’s one of our favourite songs off the new EP. Stefan wrote the lyrics after a show at The Starlite in Edmonton while taking a piss and thinking about dead people. Totally normal behaviour. And in case you missed it, we also put out a live video of Rot from the same stream. A lot of people have asked us if it was weird to play a show to no one. To that we say: What do you think we did for the first five years of playing in this band?”

3 | Grandma’s Ashes | Daddy Issues

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grandma’s Ashes are a girl-power stoner trio from Paris. Grandma’s Ashes is heavy guitar riffs supported by a strong rhythm section which finds its balance between the efficient and the subtle. The songs alternate between calm moments led by a clear and delicate voice, and heavy instrumental technical moments which claim their musical identity. Both are merging sometimes to leave room for dark and trippy atmospheres. The changing structures break the classic rock patterns and make each song increase in power. Grandma’s Ashes stands out thanks to their instrumental and singing skills but also with unique sound and structures which embodies their personal vision of a modern and narrative stoner. The band just released their first single Daddy Issues.”

4 | Claustrofobia | Riff Cult

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the biggest names in Brazilian metal, Claustrofobia return with the single Riff Cult. Produced by Adair Daufembach, it’s an appetizer for the band’s next album, and an homage to guitar riffs, explains Marcus ’Angelo: “We consider it a culture, a cult. It is the hook of all Metal, everything is born from the guitar riff. And riff by riff, we are fueling our passion for Metal, fueling our desire to continue the legacy. The riff is what addicts us in a good way. In this quarantine, the love for metal became more evident, without shows and without contact with the fans, so we decided to pay tribute and celebrate.”

5 | Owen Pallett | Paragon of Order

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Oscar-nominated composer and songwriter Owen Pallett is sharing Paragon Of Order, the first in a pair of videos animated by Eric Kostiuk Williams. The second video will be released on Dec. 14. Owen describes the two songs as, “an extroverted coda to an introverted album.” That album is Island, due March 5. Island is about being alive, asking why, and all the most hideous stuff of life. The songs don’t divulge the answers.  “I don’t know what’s happening next, guys,” Pallett warns.”

6 | Drew Citron | Dead on Arrival

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn indie-rock stalwart Drew Citron has been developing, refining, and ultimately giving life to what is her latest project, Free Now, out now. “Growing up in San Francisco, I used to take so many long melancholic walks listening to The Smiths on my Discman. And those walks now strike me as a kind of prelude to the feeling I’m getting at with this album,” says Citron. “Most of the songs were written in Northern California, camped out on the coast recalling much of how it felt to be an adolescent of 16, in love with a record.” Citron just released her video for Dead on Arrival.”

7 | Bros. Landreth | Peace Train

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Bros. Landreth are sharing their performance of Yusuf / Cat StevensPeace Train, which was part of this past weekend’s online festival CatSongs. “We were asked by Yusuf to be a part of an online festival celebrating his music as well as the 50th anniversary of his album Tea for the Tillerman,” says Dave Landreth. “Joey offered to cover Peace Train as it feels just as relevant today as it would have 50 years ago.”

8 | Moon Taxi | The Beginning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt-rock favorite Moon Taxi have released their last new track of the year, The Beginning, just over a month ahead of the Jan. 22 release of their sixth album Silver Dream. The Beginning arrives with a video consisting of footage from Moon Taxi’s socially distanced Oct. 23 performance at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.”

9 | Gaspard Eden | Password

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Just two weeks after the acclaimed release of his debut album Soft Power, Gaspard Eden unveils a new nostalgic music video for his single Password. For the occasion, the songwriter wanted to transpose the universe that cradled his childhood, in the form of a collage; between family videos and images that struck his young imagination. True to form, with this visually striking and emotionally evocative retro music video, he once again spoils his fans with his outstanding creativity. Says Gaspard: “It is some sort of memory palace.”

10 | Emperors Night | Not A Soul In Sight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging alt-rock band Emperors Night have released the video for Not A Soul In Sight, off the New Zealand-born, Toronto-based trio’s debut EP Driving At Pace. It was written just after the COVID-19 lockdown began in the spring. “Not A Soul In Sight was sparked by an eerie moment looking down from a top floor apartment in Toronto during lockdown and seeing an empty city lying still beneath us. Expressed in the song are the thoughts and feelings it provoked within us at the time. The video, which features the three of us brothers in lonely empty scenes, is a reflection of something we felt fortunate to have during these times — each other to rely on, contrasting moments of personal isolation with the strength found in bonds of family and friendship.”

11 | Dixon | Arms Around Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dixon is the moniker of Toronto pop R&B artist Sheldon Dixon. With parents of Trinidadian and Guyanese descent, Dixon has advanced as an artist through singing, songwriting, producing, dancing and acting. Dixon’s latest single Arms Around Me is an urban-pop tune to get you feeling sexy and inspired. The mantra of the empowering song is the unapologetic confession and expression of love for those around you, no matter who you love, and before it’s too late. The R&B pop-dance beat is dripping in sauce, stunning, layered vocals, riffs and harmonies.”

12 | Souvlaki | Isolation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After announcing his second EP Continued Survival, the Italian-born electronica musician and producer Souvlaki unveils another piece of this new work. Isolation features Deborah Grandi on vocals and is presented with a stop-motion video directed by Souvlaki himself, along with Carlo Rodella and Nicola Nolli. The musician comments: “This is the first song I started working on for this new EP, the one that set the whole songwriting process in motion. Deborah’s vocal lines were written almost on the spot, we found them when we first listened to the base in the practice room and they immediately seemed to work well in the song. The lyrics match the story of the video, the central theme is people’s incommunicability, and the song title seems to sum it up quite well.”

13 | Est-Her | Streets to Nowhere

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Est-Her’s career in the arts began when he was accepted into the National Ballet School of Canada. Upon graduating, he was selected to dance professionally for The Stuttgart Ballet Company. As a dancer with minimal creative control and input into his own performance, he yearned for another artistic outlet — something he could truly make his own. Now, he prepares for the upcoming release of his debut Empty Paradise EP in April. Streets to Nowhere, the first single, is about the universal feeling of losing everything. At the time, Est-Her was losing a record deal and had a ton of pressure coming from all sides to make the tracks they wanted to hear. In a way, Streets to Nowhere is a love letter to himself.”

14 | Jelena Ćirić | Lines

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Reykjavík singer-songwriter Jelena Ćirić releases her debut single Lines, taken from her EP Shelters One. The love child of Regina Spektor and Joni Mitchell, her expressive voice and delicate piano highlight lyrics delving into what it might feel like to belong. “If emotions were gems, these songs would be an attempt to pick them up carefully and turn them until they refract the light,” says Jelena. Lines seeks answers to big questions in the most unlikely places.”

15 | Karima Francis | Carlessness Causes Fire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Karima Francis returns with the video to her deeply moving single Carelessness Causes Fire. Forming a songwriting pearl from the gritty realities she experienced during her formative years as an artist, Carelessness Causes Fire is both a cautionary tale to the brave and cripplingly candid reflection on the darker side of a life in the music industry. Francis says: “The song is about working through past traumas and how this has affected my life and confidence as an artist to date. It also has a global message … When the pressure is too much an explosive eruption can happen, which can be dangerous and destructive.”

16 | Act of Creation | Reflection

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melodic death metallers Act Of Creation have published a lyric video for the track Reflection, which is taken off from the band’s latest effort The Uncertain Light.”

17 | Anna Krantz | The Trouble With Suzie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dublin songwriter Anna Krantz has just dropped a video for The Trouble With Suzie. The third single in her New Moon, New Tune series, The Trouble With Suzie takes a look at the destructive behaviours we all experience in some shape or form. Suzie represents those ill-advised choices we can all make, which don’t support our ultimate happiness and well-being but feel so damn good in the moment! “It was initially written as a country song to be pitched for a country artist. Once it was finished though, I couldn’t get it out of my head. So we found a way to produce the track in a style which felt fun for me to sing.”

18 | Daniel Donskoy | Robbed Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “2020 continues to be a year of new beginnings for Daniel Donskoy. Robbed Me continues his way through a world of electronic infused R&B with retro pads and vintage drum samples. Daniel takes us into the sound world of the late ‘90s, urging us to reminisce about that carefree time and feeling bereft after a very intense relationship ended. Daniel commented: ‘’When certain people enter your life everything seems to light up — the shittiest of places looks like a palace with that person. The dodgiest chip shop is suddenly ‘haute cuisine’ and you are NEVER, really never bored. When someone like that left my life, I lost the connection to my mind and soul and started questioning my whole belief in human nature. How can love and trust turn into anger and depression so quickly?’’

19 | Labasheeda | Infralight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I am Saskia, lead singer of the post-punk art-rock band Labasheeda from Amsterdam. In September we released a new album titled Status Seeking. The LP contains 12 songs, in which the group as usual shows its versatile side; hardcore is interspersed with a string quartet, dissonance with accessible melodies. We have now also a video if you want to pay attention to it!”

20 | Sunday Riot Club | Light This City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Light This City is the first single from Sunday Riot Club. It was recorded during the pandemic in Ottawa, and the video was recorded at the Shenkman Center for Arts in Orleans. Sunday Riot Club was founded in 2017. Through the years, SRC played everywhere in Ontario, Montreal and Quebec City. SRC’s sound is a mix of many genres and influences, including The Cult, Guns N’ Roses, Billy Idol and more.”

21 | Jessie Wagner | What Christmas Is To Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jessie Wagner has dropped the holiday single What Christmas Is To Me. Wagner says, “Christmas is my favorite time of year because it always brings my family and friends closer. I know that this year has made that difficult, but I still have the memories to hold on to and I’m grateful for all the time I’ve shared with those I love. That’s what this song is about.”

22 | Corners of Sanctuary | Wonderful Time Of Year

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “While you’re dashing through the snow and jingling your holiday bells this season, Corners of Sanctuary have released a new single and lyric video for their yuletide track Wonderful Time of Year. The song is included in the band’s 2020 edition Merry Metal Xmas VII. “Christmas is about tradition, and doing a holiday song is a tradition for Corners of Sanctuary,” said guitarist Mick Michaels. “It really livens up the spirit of things for us … it’s our favorite time of the year!”

23 | JoJo | December Baby

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This holiday season, the gifts keep coming from acclaimed singer and songwriter JoJo, who just shared the official video for December Baby, with an intro featuring Grammy winner Jacob Collier, delivering a taste of the holiday song Noelle. Both tracks are off her new debut holiday album.”

24 | The Ella Sisters | Drunk On December

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Norwegian twins The Ella Sisters share the festive spirit on personal new single Drunk On December, lifted from the band’s forthcoming EP Sugarcoat due in 2021. They say: “We wrote lots of music while social distancing and we wanted to share a nostalgic and longing Christmas tune, not put in the calendar until autumn hit. This is us and we guess pretty much everyone else, looking back on a challenging year. The song is minimalistic and raw and gives an honest depiction of the young heart not able to rest or fit in.”

25 | Bob Moses & Zhu | Desire (Charlotte De Witte Remix) 

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bob Moses have released a remix from Charlotte de Witte of their single Desire with Zhu, extending the song to a seven-minute plus deep techno take. Accompanying the remix is a video animated by Airplan Studio and directed by Owen Brown, which completes the arc of the original interactive Desire video by focusing on the blue character’s storyline of pleasure.”

26 | Nora Lei | Together

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A self-described “old-soul, hopeless romantic, and heroine of her own life adventure,” Nora Lei is welcoming listeners into her noir-pop world, one song at as time. Lei is rounding out a year of exciting releases with her newest dreamy pop track Together. Here, Lei taps into a more full-bodied, electro-inspired sound while staying true to her dark-pop roots with lyrics that explore the ups and downs of a relationship. “You remember the good times, hard times, and the times you start to feel crazy … but really you’re just scared. You both know you’re supposed to be together so you keep trying and, in the end, you’re glad you did.”

27 | Bad Flamingo | Dead Man’s Hand

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singing cowboys dragging a transistor organ through a dust devil. Leaning in the shade and corners and shaded corners. Bye bye, birdy. It’s gonna fly south.”

28 | Just Costa | 514

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For brother/sister duo Just Costa, music is just the ticket to their own sonic theme park. And they have all the attractions: vocals that blend with the grace of siblings, with songs that are melodic, lyrically life-affirming and groovy while blending R&B, soul, funk, pop and more. The beauty of a song about a city is the city means a million different things to each different person. The views, the mentalities, the beautiful people Montreal has no lack of. The city is an ongoing narrative that threads through the story of our own lives. If you love your hometown, 514, Just Costa’s first fully self-produced single, will resonate with you.”

29 | Leece | Move Your Feet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Born in London, Ont., Leece developed her innate voice from a young age. After spending eight years in music school quietly honing her songwriting craft, she has been performing as a singer, commercial dancer, and writing and recording music. This year, she released her first two singles and is now following with Move Your Feet. The track is a playful indie-pop track all about giving into your curiosity and never losing that drive to learn and to explore.”

30 | Black Sands | Old Ghosts

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Black Sands is the recording project of Andrew Balfour, a Milwaukee-born, California-bred, and Amsterdam-based producer, creator, and collaborator. Named for the natural phenomenon where lava meets water and shatters into sand, Black Sands invites contrasting perspectives to collide, creating a new sound that’s fresh yet familiar. Old Ghosts is an intense electro-pop track filled with striking electric guitar and beautiful yet haunting, gravelly vocals from Nashville vocalist Trenton — giving a nod to the darker, industrial, pop rock music of artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Muse and Depeche Mode.”

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