Indie Roundup | 27 Tracks For A Dark & Heavy Thursday

Countless Thousands, Young Knives and plenty more make for an interesting day.

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Countless Thousands fiddle about, Young Knives would like you to meet Jenny Haniver, a whole crapload of artists trot out their Christmas singles — and those are just a few of the early presents up for grabs in your Thursday Roundup. I’m not sure why, but there are definitely a lot of dark, heavy and just plain strange entries on the playlist today. Not that I’m complaining.

 


1 | Countless Thousands | Lazar Wolf

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glendale punk misfits Countless Thousands have graced their audience with a bold, left-field video for Lazar Wolf, the latest single to be released from forthcoming rock opera album …And The Triumph of Justice, due on New Year’s Day. As they say, it’s “a Thousands-style love letter to one of the greatest musicals of all time: Fiddler On the Roof. Happy Hanukkah everyone!!” About the band: They might play indie rock, or geek rock, or punk, or ‘Theatrepunk’ (probably their favorite label), or dirty rock & roll or some fuzzed-up gypsy-jazz-rock  but at the center of that genre hurricane is a technical understanding, a lyrical prowess and an enthusiasm that cannot be denied. These nerds love what they do and they relish the opportunity to celebrate the stuff they love every chance they get. Besides, why settle for songs about getting your heart broke when you can write a song about your drummer being shot into space to defeat Astro-Hitler?”


2 | Young Knives | Jenny Haniver

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Young Knives (brothers Henry Dartnall and The House of Lords) are sharing an animated video for their new single Jenny Haniver, created by Iman Mahdy. Henry offers his thoughts: “The song itself is about perceptions of beauty. The female lead in the song is in one way, only there because it came from the name of the strange mixed-up creatures that appeared in Victorian side shows. But in another way the female lead is central to the concept of the song because we are two men who have grown up during a time when the attitude towards women has been continually challenged and discussed. The song is a reflection on the traditional view of women in relationships, and perhaps the old-fashioned male gaze and “phwoar” culture that used to be kind of accepted, or at least expected when we were younger. It’s also about the idea of perfection and beauty and when it gets so pushed in our society that it can become garish and ugly. As with most of our songs we are just playing with the words and not making any kind of point; it isn’t activism, it’s a reflection on the experiences of these things by two middle aged white fellas.”


3 | Nicki Bluhm | Everyone’s Getting Love for Christmas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nicki Bluhm is sharing a video for her song Everyone’s Getting Love for Christmas. The video, shot around Nicki’s neighborhood in East Nashville, addresses that this Christmas is going to be a lean one for a lot of people who’ve lost jobs (and more) during the pandemic. The song appears on her holiday EP Buon Natale. “This song felt very fitting for Christmas 2020,” Nicki says. “With so many out of work, spending money on gifts just isn’t in the cards for some. The silver lining is gratitude — gratitude for the things and people in our lives that money cannot buy.”


4 | Pup & Charly Bliss | It’s Christmas and I Fucking Miss You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Normally, we are not a ‘Christmas song’ type band,” admit Pup. “But we have nothing else going on right now so why the hell not. It actually felt pretty natural writing about how Christmas sucks ass this year. Because if nothing else, we are extremely good at complaining. Anyway, the song turned out great! Not that the bar for Christmas songs is set super high… The song is called It’s Christmas and I Fucking Miss You. We teamed up with our friends Charly Bliss to write and record this one. It came together in one weekend over Zoom, and was recorded separately from each of our houses in Canada, America, and Australia. At no point were two musicians ever in the same room at the same time. The internet is wild. If you don’t know Charly Bliss, they are a really incredible pop band. Last year they put out a record called Young Enough and we highly recommend it.”


5 | Dave The Keys | The Lights Of The Pub

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:David Baker aka Dave the Keys (best known as one half of Komputer), has released a Christmas charity single benefitting his local pub, The Lamb in North London.  The Lamb is on the Holloway Road, home to Joe Meek’s studio where The TornadoesTelstar was recorded. He explains, “Everything in the song is connected to that road, but it applies equally to other pubs in the same unfortunate situation at the moment. The picture on the cover of The Kinks album Muswell Hillbillies was taken in The Archway Tavern at the top of Holloway Road. The Kinks and Kraftwerk are two of my greatest influences and I like to think they come together quite well on this song.”


6 | Vân Scott | Thank God It’s Christmas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt-pop singer / songwriter Vân Scott just released a poignant cover of the rare Queen song Thank God It’s Christmas. The song, written by Roger Taylor & Brian May and performed by Queen, was originally released in 1984 but they only just released a lyric video last year.  “I stumbled upon this song partway through quarantine while listening to Queen’s catalog and it caught me by surprise.  I didn’t know that Queen had ever recorded any Christmas material and I’ve since learned that almost no one else was aware either! I’m so inspired by the musical genius of Freddie Mercury and Queen, so when I heard the track I just had to record it!”


7 | Cold Raven | Path Of Hekate

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Italian blackened death metal outfit Cold Raven have unleashed their new cinematic videoclip for the song Path Of Hekate. This song is taken from the band’s latest release In Tenebris Silvam.


8 | Snotty Nose Rez Kids | Where They At

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Christmas has come early for Snotty Nose Rez Kids fans as the duo drop the video for their latest track Where They At. The video is a feel-good representation that features the trio at a house party, rapping over a song that sees them celebrating the heights they’ve reached as artists. While 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, the artists wanted to take time out with this tongue-in-cheek song, and show that they have much to be thankful for. “We had originally planned to release this video in early November, just after we dropped the single, but we wanted to get the illustrations and animation just right,” says SNRK. “That work is really time consuming, but … the visuals are dope and it really brought the video to life. We wrote Where They At to literally talk about where we are at in our careers. It’s a flex, but wanted to take a minute to be thankful for what we got.”


9 | Enter Shikari | T.I.N.A

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Enter Shikari share their unusual video for T.I.N.A, directed and animated by filmmaker Matthew Taylor. T.I.N.A is taken from the band’s sixth album, Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, which was released in April. Frontman Rou Reynolds comments: “When Matt came to us with this idea for a video back in the summer, it intrigued us so much we couldn’t resist giving it a go! We each did two “performances” of the song, one with our faces and one with our fingers, and the next thing we know he’s welded them together into four grotesque, and quite frankly distressing, Boglin-esque blobs. And it was all recorded from a smart phone!”


10 | Corridor | Domino

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “To end the year on a high note, Corridor unveil a music video for Domino, a track off their album Junior. Directed by Jonathan Robert, who plays guitar and sings in the Montreal band, the animated video illustrates the link between work and mental health, as well as that link’s negative impact on the people surrounding us. “That’s why it made sense to film ourselves breaking stuff for this video. Then I spent some time with the footage to experiment with the treatment and the editing.”


11 | Keemosabe | Out of the City Pt. 2

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Italian alt-rock trio Keemosabe have dropped an animated 8-bit video for Out of the City Pt. 2, from the new album Look Closer. A nod to Pac-Man and the ’80s, this version follows on from the original heist-inspired video released earlier this year. They say: “This time round, the story is reproduced in a Pac Man-inspired scenario, where the actual characters of the official video become avatars of an ’80s arcade experience you truly can’t miss! We created and animated the whole video ourselves while quarantining in the same house last month.”


12 | Devan | We’re All Gonna Die Anyway

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Devan has been pursuing a music career since she was a kid; the brazen 10-year-old dropped off a homemade demo (to no avail) at the iconic Olympic Studio, home to Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Now, the Toronto-born/London-raised singer-songwriter is gearing up to release her debut solo project. Her new single, We’re All Gonna Die Anyway, is an R&B-tinged indie-pop apocalyptic love song — life is short and you never know when the world’s going to end, so there’s no point in wasting time with the weird social barriers that often prevent us from telling people how we really feel. ”


13 | Quelle Chris & Chris Keys | Sacred Safe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sacred Safe is the physical, mental or spiritual place you go when you don’t want to be reached by others. Be it depression, stress/exhaustion or the many other reasons. Be it in your best interest or your worst. You just want to be away. Protected from help or/and hurt. Sort of a fortress of solitude that can be both external and internal.”


14 | What is TEC | Silver Path

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Turkish modern metallers What is TEC have released the video for Silver Path, a track from their debut studio effort Genodified. “This album is a distress call carrying out the tale of mankind to whomever it may reach. A theme of dark/modern/ambient narration mixed with savage storytelling” as the band stated. The album Genodified is a blend of metal genres such as death metal/hardcore/deathcore and metalcore.”


15 | Dead Low | High Horse

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “American punk rock ‘n’ rollers Dead Low released a new video of their new single High Horse, which is taken off from The Leftovers Compilation, a benefit album to raise money for the Greater Boston Food Bank and struggling Boston music venues.”


16 | Sidus | Stellar Sky

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sidus is a Berlin post-rock instrumental one-man band formed by bass player Spiros Olivotos. Influenced by God is an Astronaut and Explosions In the Sky but also Deftones and Hans Zimmer, he dynamic guitars with soundtrack vibes and memorable melodies, while it is planned to be released during the end of this summer. The latest single Stellar Sky was inspired by a classic quote from Carl Sagan about the origin of human species: “We are made of stellar ash. Our origin and evolution have been tied to distant cosmic events. The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self-discovery.”


17 | Norseman | Lady In Black

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Legendary Finnish heavy metal act Norseman are preparing their new studio album to be released next year. And for starters they present new material in a form of a cover song. As a tribute to legendary Uriah Heep member Ken Hensley, Norseman combined forces with highly appreciated Finnish heavy metal singers Taage Laiho, Maya Liittokivi, Markku Palm and Hannu Leiden to record the song Lady in Black.”


18 | Carly Shea | Personal Popstar

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “NYC musician Carly Shea just released a new track titled Personal Popstar. It continues the rising artist’s musical progression. Carly wrote the track on the floor of LAX after a trip to Los Angeles for music meetings and writer’s sessions. During the trip she came to realize that much of the stereotype of unsavory characters in the entertainment industry of L.A. is valid. Many who claim to be mentors are not looking for an artist to help in a  larger forum, but rather to keep as their own Personal Popstar.”


19 | Everture | Undersky

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Finnish modern melodic metal band Everture are set to release their debut Emerge on Feb. 26. The band released their third single Undersky today. Guitarist Matti Hautakangas comments: “This song tells a story of a person who stumbles upon an unbelievably beautiful place. Soon discovering that it had been a secret of divine beings that are persecuting anyone who knows about it. Now our protagonist is forced to live their last days on the run finding people who are willing to unite against the oppression. People who also want to find better life and fair treatment to all.”


20 | Lisa Ramar | Fell Into

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New York City’s Lisa Remar has always loved music. Her passion for song-writing, producing and singing lives in her songs. Characterized by her soulful vocals and her unique sonic sensibility, Lisa’s music takes the listener to a familiar place they’ve never been before. “I wanted this song to be a little more empowering through the production, an ode to Boom Bap. It was written when I started exploring my sexuality,” says Lisa. “I consider myself bi. I was going to meet up with this girl I had been talking to through Instagram, but dating was intimidating for me. I’d been hurt and didn’t know how to carry myself. I should’ve just been myself. I was so afraid, but it was exhilarating. Still, it was a very awkward date. She rejected me because of her ex or something and I felt pretty stupid. She ghosted me, so I wrote about deceptive people who only care about themselves.”


21 | Nathaniel Rateliff | Redemption

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nathaniel Rateliff premieres Redemption, a new song written for the forthcoming film Palmer. “When I was first asked to write a song for Palmer I was told what the film was about and where the song was going to be used,” he said. “The melody and the opening line came to me immediately. But it wasn’t until I had a conversation with Justin (Timberlake) that helped me to put the song together. He said the film was about redemption. I saw that in the characters and did my best to add to the scene in the film.”


22 | The Besnard Lakes | Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Besnard Lakes have shared a second cut from forthcoming album Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings, in the form of the anthemic Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again. The band shared a bit of background: “This song has been floating around since the Roaring Night era. We could never figure out how to finish it. Well, we figured out how to finish it. It has that 3/4 waltz we love so much, the same 3/4 waltz that Disaster rested upon. It’s also a bit of a lament about how sad we were when we parted ways with Jagjaguwar. This is the second time Oggy’s lyric “On the other side of the world” is used; here it is to detail the comparison between geography and forensics, and that human beings are detectives of time.”


23 | Wedge | Playing A Role

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Berlin rock ‘n’ rollers Wedge unleash an ecstatic and delightful new track from their third studio album Like No Tomorrow, dropping Jan. 15. Come taste the frenzy of the ’60s and embrace the contagious spontaneity of Playing A Role. Wedge comment: “Playing A Role is our tribute to the great wild garage-rock riffs of the ’60s or the raw side of bands like The Kinks, The Sonics, MC5. It’s also one of our catchiest tunes on the new album, one you can definitely party to. Of course we ‘wedged’ things up quite a bit, so there is a good amount of fuzz & a spacey/hypnotic middle section, which includes something we call the chicken part. See if you can spot it! Lyrically, it’s about people hiding behind fake personas and plastic attitudes. We’re down-to-earth guys, so naturally we can’t stand pretentious folks. Playing A Role is our musical middle finger to all those hyped-up characters.”


24 | Dakota Blue | Lie Right

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dakota Blue is paranoid. His songs have been described as new wave meets gothy pop full of delirious lyrics, delusional synths, and dynamic guitars that form an eerie pseudo-soundtrack and study on various characters caught in a bind. His illustrations draw upon a steady diet of cartoons, comic books, and good old fashioned people watching. He can be found somewhere in L.A. Lie Right is his latest track. Hear it now.”


25 | No Year | Sundown

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:No Year, a Portland quartet comprised of veterans of the city’s underground music scene, are poised to inflict gripping, visceral psychedelic post-hardcore on the listening public with the release of their first LP So Long. Named well before the shit-showery of 2020, the title has taken on all new meaning at the end of the longest year of our lives. With big themes dealing with the topics of loss, sadness, confusion and alienation, audiences will have no trouble feeling the deeper message while occasionally obtuse lyricism leaves room for personal interpretations. The record is as much looming and desperate as it is embracing of the power of a positive mental attitude to see things through. A big chorus never hurts either. Sundown is the first single.”


26 | Them Jones | Here Comes The Dark

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Here Comes The Dark is the new track from Philadelphia band Them Jones, off their album The Dark. Them Jones infuse the stranger elements of post-’60s pop with the less-mined saccharine sounds of acts found in the drug-drenched Haight-Ashbury fallout. The Dark continues their introspective trajectory, this time into decidedly more ominous territory. An album truly of its moment, The Dark grasps at bleak emotions from casual ennui to impending doom, weaving them recklessly into a rough, murky sonic texture.”


27 | Tadzio | The Shadows Intercede

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Experimental pop group Tadzio will be releasing their new Split EP Sierra with Philadelphia’s Nyxy Nyx on Feb. 2. With all four members living in different parts of the country, the group masked up and recorded the initial tracks in violist Hannah Burris’ basement and subsequently socially distantly finished their parts from home studios in Philly, Richmond and Eugene. The shadows intercede takes influence from classic Motown and ’80s synth pop while forging a new sonic direction with forward-thinking electronic sounds for singer Shaina Kapeluck’s mournfully laconic lyrics to float atop. Sierra sees the band musically at its most pastoral and beautiful. The album is named after a friend of both bands who passed earlier in the year. The Shadows Intercede is their new single.”