Indie Roundup | 28 Tracks To Crank Up On Thursday (Or Any Other Day)

Take it to the next level with The Comet Is Coming, Keystones, Devora and more.

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The Comet Is Coming imminently, The Keystones have no time to waste, Devora is clinging to life, Space Cadet are on the brink of eternity, Fleece are head over heels, Ace feels fab — and that’s just the beginning of your Thursday Roundup. My preferred pronouns are His Excellency and Your Highness, though I will accept Your Grace in a pinch.

 


ON REPEAT

1 | The Comet Is Coming | Imminent (ft. Joshua Idehen)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Comet is Coming follow up the band’s globally successful 2019 projects Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery and The Afterlife with a music video for Imminent. The fast-paced, gritty lyric video was directed by the trio’s frequent collaborator Jordan Copeland, who set out to create a cosmic collage of performances with Joshua Idehen’s profound lyrics layered in. Unable to travel due to Covid restrictions, Copeland was remarkably able to remotely direct Idehen’s incendiary performance in Sweden from his studio in East London. The result is a vibrant, gritty, lyric video that perfectly matches the blistering intensity of the track.”


2 | The Keystones | Cut To The Chase

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Keystones are an alt-rock band based in Milwaukee. Born in Waukesha, the members hail from the golden era of grunge guitar, heavy tones and hypnotizing garage beats that dance between Brit-indie-rock and new-age modern rock — as you can hear in their debut single Cut to the Chase. Singer Rayven Burdette says: “Funny enough, the song just came to me while I was in the kitchen cooking. I heard the riff with the drums in my head so I quickly programmed the notes into GarageBand on my phone — a huge lifesaver for all the riffs and ideas that pop up out of nowhere! I took the chorus instrumental from another song I was writing and as a band, we fleshed out the lyrics and melodies.”


3 | Devora | Not Dead Yet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Devora proudly shares her rambunctiously alluring debut Not Dead Yet, as well as a captivating video directed by actress Leven Rambin that emanates glamour and desert-tinged grit. Devora comments: “As a lover of all things dark, I embrace those parts of me while now simultaneously celebrating being alive and present. This song commemorates the ups and downs of life while celebrating the moments that we have today, if only for today. It’s a salute to going your own way in life and carving your own lane undaunted — observing one’s uniqueness, honoring yourself and embracing the crazy ride along the way. This song is a salute to outlaws everywhere.”


4 | Space Cadet | Forever For A While

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Matt Hock (vocalist) and David Walsh (guitarist) of veteran punk band The Explosion have formed a new project named Space Cadet — and enlisted a powerhouse group of friends to lend a hand on their debut album Lion On A Leash, set for release on March 26. The first single Forever For A While is a preview of what’s to come. Matt says, “By the time the world shut down, we had four songs written and Forever For A While was the first. We just kept pulling at that thread, experimenting more and more until we had an album. In a very real way, the song was the catalyst for all of that, and for the band itself. But it can also just be seen as what happens when obsessive lunatics get their hands on some reverb pedals.”


5 | Fleece | Upside Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal quartet Fleece have shared an animated video for their third and final single of 2020, Upside Down, created by Jacob Huffcutt. Inspiration for the video stemmed from Matt Rogers’ vision of having himself and Fleece fall in love with their sexy alter egos. “It’s a really trippy and fun video. It’s kinda gay, it’s kinda psychedelic. And it really gives a good snapshot of what I love about Fleece,” he says. “Huffcutt did an incredible job animating our ideas into reality and taking it to the next level. Most importantly, we look hot.”


6 | Ace Frehley | I’m Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member Ace Frehley has released the video for Origins Vol. 2’s second single I’m  Down. His cover of The Beatles’ 1965 B-side features John 5 on guitar, who also makes a cameo appearance in the video. Origins Vol. 2 continues Frehley’s reflections on a lifetime in music and inspiration. No stranger to cover versions throughout his musical history — having recorded, rebranded and repossessed such notable nuggets as New York Groove, Do Ya and I Wanna Go Back throughout his eight previous studio efforts — this new collection presents a thoughtful and exciting selection of songs that inspired and helped shape the legendary guitarist.”


ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST

7 | Trztn | Metal Sky (ft. Elko Hara)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Paris/NYC-via-Portugal musician and composer Trztn (Tristan Bechet) just released a stunning video for Metal Sky, featuring Tokyo DJ Eiko Hara & London Royal Ballet principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson. It’s off his otherworldly album Royal Dagger Ballet, which comes out Jan. 22 and features Interpol’s Paul Banks, Yeah Yeah YeahsKaren O, Jonathan Bree, Surfbort’s Dani Miller and more.”


8 | Avatar | A Secret Door

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Avatar premiere the official music video for the track A Secret Door, taken from their album Hunter Gatherer. Accompanied by the band’s signature always outside-the-box and powerful visuals, A Secret Door — which features whistles contributed by Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) — is an anthemic and chugging highlight from the record.”


9 | Amigo The Devil | Another Man’s Grave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dark storyteller Amigo The Devil has just released a bare-bones version of his single Another Man’s Grave — and a live acoustic video. The song is from his upcoming sophomore album Born Against and it documents everyone’s personal struggle to become the person we know we are before it’s too late. Amigo comments: “I’ve always been a fan of hearing songs stripped down to their core. Since the live show is always just myself and a few instruments, it’s always fun to deliver both versions of the song. The album version is always the one that’s in my head; the one I hear when I write it. The live version tends to be the one that’s in my blood, clawing to get out. It’s a two-headed dog … Each version with a mind of its own while feeding the same body.”


10 | Sarah Kirkland Snider | Credo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Watch the stunning video for composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Credo, performed by Gallicantus and Gabriel Crouch, from the album Mass for the Endangered. Says Crouch: “As a singer raised on the very old, but nowadays increasingly enthralled by very new, it has been one of the great joys of this year to collaborate.”


11 | Classified | The Bells Are Ringing (ft. Breagh Isabel)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Bells Are Ringing is the new video from award-winning hip-hp artist Classified. Says Classy: “Made this beat a few weeks ago and it reminded me of Christmas. I always wanted to do a Christmas song… and shit… it’s 2020… why not do a Christmas song during one of the toughest years I can remember.”


12 | Skinny Lister | Shout It Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Delivering a positive burst of energy before 2020 is out, Skinny Lister have released a new single. Like We Will Rock You if it were written by The Pogues, Shout It Out is a big, anthemic, universal and uplifting new song from the folk/punk sextet.  Skinny Lister’s Dan Heptinstall says: “Shout it Out is about being optimistic in the face of adversity. It’s a release — a reminder to let go of that unhealthy habit to keep things bottled up inside. A kind of primal scream therapy where we can let go of anxieties, stresses, anger, frustration etc.”


13 | Sundae Girl | Faces

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Faces is about an uncontrollable spiral into self-doubt and questioning your worth,” said Sundae Girl vocalist Laura Kempton. “That spiralling goes so far into a personal hell, that past mistakes seep into dreams. Then you find yourself awaking at the cusp of the dream, and the cycle continues.” A glamorous and intimate look at inner battles with self-worth, Faces is brought to life by director Jeff Miller. Together, he and Sundae Girl create a beautiful visual nightmare, exploring the dark thoughts we tell ourselves.”


14 | Jon Hopkins | Dawn Chorus

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As 2020 comes to a close, Jon Hopkins has shared a new piano cover of Dawn Chorus by Thom Yorke, taken from Yorke’s recent album Anima. Recorded in one take on the upright he has had since childhood, Hopkins’ version of Dawn Chorus is a beautifully melancholic reinvention of the original. “I felt such bliss the first time I heard this piece — it seemed so mysterious and hypnotic, oblique but warm. I thought there was so much beauty in that chord sequence that there was room to explore it on the piano and see what grew from it … I left it very raw and upfront, with just some sub bass and vocal drones in the background. The whole thing was done in a day and was a very cathartic experience.”


15 | Manny Blu | Old Money

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Manny Blu has surprised fans with the release of a new music video for his hopeful romantic track Old Money, off his sophomore EP New Ink. Blu is back with a new music video that reveals the depth of true, long-lasting love as it follows a young couple through the restoration of their new home, showing that money truly cannot buy love as they are tested by old flames that haunt them. Old Money defines a love that stands the test of time.”


16 | Unbounded Terror | Infernal Judgment

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The legendary Spanish death metal band Unbounded Terror have just released a video for Infernal Judgment, the title track from their upcoming CD scheduled for Jan. 19. The EP will include re-recordings of four songs from their legendary 1992 debut Nest of Affliction and three live tracks from their latest album Faith in Chaos, recorded in August in the middle of the pandemic.”


17 | Mirzadeh | Rotten Sights

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 536 AD the Icelandic volcano erupted and the ash blocked the sun for 18 months on the northern hemisphere. That caused a famine and other tragic consequences that lasted for years. Because of this scientists have named that pediod in human history one of the worst year for human being to be alive. Finnish dark metal band Mirzadeh made the track Rotten Sights about those years. “According to Procopius the Sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year, and it seemed exceedingly like the Sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear nor such as it is accustomed to shed. And from the time when this thing happened men were free neither from war nor pestilence nor any other thing leading to death.”


18 | Signum Regis | Flag Of Hope

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Signum Regis are releasing a new EP called Flag Of Hope, together with a video for the title song. “For this song, we invited our good friends, singers who are all somehow connected to Signum Regis … We are very happy that this little reunion took place and that we were able to make together some music again. It brought back a lot of good memories.”


19 | Dark The Suns | Everywhere

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Finnish melodic metal band Dark The Suns released a third single and video Everywhere, from their upcoming fourth album. Inka Ojala comments: ”This is one of my favourite songs in the new album. Everywhere includes melancholic and at the same time catchy melodies, beautiful and emotional piano themes and heavy guitars — the elements that are essential in our music.”


20 | High Desert Queen | The Mountain vs The Quake

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As hypnotic as the open roads that circle the Badlands and as imposing a presence on the desert landscape as you’re likely to find outside of Joshua Tree, High Desert Queen are an American rock band on the rise. Take a trip with their new single The Mountain vs The Quake, from their upcoming debut Bury The Queen, out March 5. “We like the idea of creating Texas Desert Rock,” explains singer and guitarist Ryan Garney. “Music that has its roots in blues, stoner rock and doom but most importantly of all, sounds like it’s from Texas.”


21 | Richard Spitzer | Jewish

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “To celebrate the first day of Hanukkah, New York City songwriter Richard Spitzer is sharing the single Jewish with a new lyric video. The track is featured on Spitzer’s new EP Cry Wolf. Spitzer stated, “The symbolism of Hannukah is the shining of candle light through the darkness. Even without enough oil to stay lit, it lasted eight nights and illuminated our revolutionary liberation. This holiday has been celebrated for over a thousand years because much like 2020 we face gloom and deep dread. Is there light? Yes. Does it radiate brighter than we even realize? Yes. Wherever it shines we commensurate its radiance. This is the resistance, this is triumph.”


22 | Thérèse | Chinoise?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Multi-faceted French-Asian artist Thérèse starts a powerful call to action with Chinoise?, the first taste of her upcoming EP set for spring. The genre-blending song sees Thérèse breaking common stereotypes around Asians using pervasive popular cliches, while mixing French-influenced hip-hop, electro-pop and samples of traditional Chinese instruments including Pipa and Rubab. Using six different languages to express her often political lyrics, Thérèse says ‘Chinoise?’ is “a powerful call to action to challenge social struggles in France and all over the world.”


23 | The Rubens | Masterpiece

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian indie-pop quintet The Rubens have gifted fans with another incredibly catchy single Masterpiece – a song about retrospectively realising you lost The One (“know I got it wrong, really all along, you were just a masterpiece”). Matching the same slick sonic palette as previous single Live In Life, Masterpiece — also lifted from the band’s forthcoming new album 0202 (Feb. 12) — is an irresistible dance across alt-rock, R&B, pop and hip-hop, colliding into a sound uniquely their own.”


24 | Bloodkill | For I Am The Messiah

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “India’s thrash/heavy metallers Bloodkill are scheduled to release Throne of Control on Jan. 19. The album “has an underlying story of how things are bitterly different from what it looks on the surface,” they say. For I Am The Messiah is a ferocious assault to a rotten world waiting to be saved. The band comments: “For I am the Messiah talks about the narcissists proclaiming to be the godmen and saviours who manipulate the vulnerable masses under the guise of the greater good. Times change and so do messiahs, but what remains unchanged is the Throne Of Control.”


25 | Ryan Dugré | Foxglove

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Written in January of 2019 during a song-a-day exercise, the instrumental pieces on Ryan Dugre’s Three Rivers produce a captivating calmness with shadowy undertones, melodically tending towards introspection. Guitar is at the forefront supported by piano and synth, strings, and sparse percussion. Elements of film music, pastoral jazz, and Americana create a meditative mood which is enhanced by the underlying pulse of each song. This is music that rewards patient, active listening. Ryan: “I started writing Foxglove after I bought an old Harmony tenor guitar (four strings). For this song, it’s tuned like an Irish bouzouki. It’s a recurring theme for me, I like to play instruments that I’m less familiar with when writing. Something about not knowing the chord shapes and notes frees up my ear and mind. Less thinking usually leads to a more intuitive approach.”


26 | Zeahorse | Guilty

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Four years following the release of their second album Torana Dreamin, Australian four-piece noise rock group Zeahorse are finally back with Let’s Not (And Say We Did), set for release on Jan. 29. Frontman Morgan Anthony comments: “The record is filled with ratbag cynicism, big beats and snarly guitars. Structures are reminiscent of early ’90s punk bands like Unwound and Fugazi but there’s also lashes of thick heavy psych which the band are renowned for.”


27 | Hux | Headrush

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian/English duo Hux are set to kickstart the next chapter of their career as they gear up for the release of their forthcoming EP.  Continuing to tease the project with their irresistible rhythms, Headrush is another slice of infectious indie-pop from the pair. It’s richly romantic — “about being able to feel the same electricity with someone over time, that you felt right from the start,” they explain. “It’s about being in a position where your love for somebody is something you can rely on, something that is a constant in a constantly changing world.”


28 | Chris Portka | Born to Be Damned

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chris Portka is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been making music for two decades. His music is reflective of the East Bay’s beautifully ragged aesthetic, fusing eclectic elements to create something homey and real. Chris says: “The lyrics are about one of my favorite subjects in our modern times: that we’re all damned to live a significant portion of our lives disembodied within a digital screen. I’m intimately familiar with screens as I work in the tech sector as my day job and graduated university studying computer science. I need a break sometimes, and I love music for that odd way it can serve as an escape from the real world while also creating a stronger connection with one’s own spirit.”