Indie Roundup | 42 Ways To Keep Wednesday Weird (Part 1)

Altin Gün, Julien Baker, O Future & more stangeness — with Cranston on bongos!

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Altin Gün speak your language, Julien Baker goes to collage, O Future act possessive, Kalbells get colourful, Smerz make you a believer — and don’t miss Brian Cranston’s bongo debut in the first half of an unmistakably weird Wednesday Roundup. Because after all, where’s the fun in normal?

 


1 | Altin Gün | Yüce Dağ Başında

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Amsterdam’s Altin Gün have released their vibrant single Yüce Dağ Başında. The flirtatious dance track features lead vocals by frontwoman Merve Dasdemir and showcases the new synth-driven Europop direction the band explores on its forthcoming new record Yol, due out Feb. 26. Yol is the followup to 2019’s Grammy-nominated Gece. Altin Gün have built a strong reputation for fusing past and present to make brilliantly catchy, upbeat pop music. Yol, their third album in as many years, continues that trend, while unveiling a number of sonic surprises. Dasdemir takes up the story: “We were basically stuck at home for three months making home demos, with everybody adding their parts. The transnational feeling maybe comes from that process of swapping demos over the internet, some of the music we did in the studio, but lockdown meant we had to follow a different approach.”


2 | Julien Baker | Hardline

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Julien Baker has shared a new taste of her forthcoming album Little Oblivions, by way of the single Hardline. Julien says, “A few years ago I started collecting travel ephemera again with a loose idea of making a piece of art with it. I had been touring pretty consistently since 2015 and had been traveling so much that items like plane tickets and hotel keycards didn’t have much novelty anymore. So I saved all my travel stuff and made a little collage of a house and a van out of it. I wanted to incorporate it into the record and when we were brainstorming ideas for videos we came across Joe Baughman and really liked his work so we reached out with the idea of making a stop-motion video that had similar aesthetic qualities as the house I built did. I don’t know why I have the impulse to write songs or make tiny sculptures out of plane tickets. But here it is anyway: a bunch of things I’ve collected and carried with me that I’ve re-organized into a new shape.”


3 | O Future | And You’re Mine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:O Future are an electronic duo and art collective mixing electronic music with symphony orchestra and voice, helmed by Katherine Mills Rymer from South Africa and Jens Bjornkjaer of Denmark. Today, they announce their new EP Immaculate, due out on Feb. 18, and share the video for And You’re Mine. Rymer says: “We made this song during Covid, so it has those emotional swoops and valleys of both good and bad whirling it’s way around the song. It is obviously a straight-up love song, and I wrote it with elements of beauty, intimacy, time, and ownership of the beloved as the main legs of the song. The sub current, as for a lot of things I write about deals with intensity and excessive hyperbolic intimacy and 12th-century hermit emotions. Sometimes we hear the song and it seems to us like a soft kiss on a lightning storm island.”


4 | Kalbells | Purplepink

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kalbells — led by Kalmia Traver (of Rubblebucket) with her bandmates Angelica Bess (Body Language), Zoë Brecher (Hushpuppy, Sad13) and Sarah Pedinotti (Okkervil River, LipTalk) — have announced the release of their sophomore album Max Heart, out March 26. A prime example of Kalbells furthering their sum energies is the effervescent funk of lead single Purplepink, out today. Co-written between Traver, Bess, and Pedinotti, a hyper synth bass darts around elongated keyboard sighs. The video features 3D animated rocket ships, faceless furry creatures, a 30-foot glittery hologram of Maddie Rice (Stay Human, Saturday Night Live) shredding on guitar, and Kalbells as warrior space queens.”


5 | Smerz | Believer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Norwegian duo Smerz have announced the release of Believer, their debut album, on Feb. 26. The announcement is accompanied by a music video for the title track. “The lyrics for this song were written over a period of almost two years,” the duo recall. “So it ended up having a natural development parallel to our lives.” The video is the third video to be directed by Benjamin Barron (who also directed the artwork,) with costumes by Bror August and starring Smerz.”


6 | Zebadiah Crowe | Gallows Wood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s as if Zebadiah Crowe are trying to make up for lost time after their eight years of silence, or maybe they are just bursting out of their sickly skins with cruel and rancid imaginings. Whatever it is they keep on twisting the knife, turning the screw and ramping up the pain and insanity. First came the unforgiving onslaught of the Host Rider, then, slavering in its hoof prints, the crawling horror of The Cloven Hand, which drew the last blighted year to a close. Now, before the sweat of your nightmares has had time to cool, Lych Milk comes calling on Feb. 5, scratching at your door with its filthy, broken claws … A video has been created to accompany opening track Gallows Wood, which fuses disturbing footage of Zebadiah Crowe in their dungeon domain with images from the game Valfaris.”


7 | Evan Stanley | Memories

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles singer Evan Stanley (son of KISS’s Paul Stanley) has released an irresistible new cover of Memories by Maroon 5,  with a cinematic video featuring acclaimed actor Bryan Cranston.”


8 | Hail The Sun | Domino

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hail The Sun have announced their fifth album New Age Filth arrives April 16. To celebrate, the band has shared the passionate first single Domino, alongside an accompanying video. New Age Filth marks the band’s most ambitious material to date, recorded over five weeks with producer Kris Crummett. The energy and thought the band put into the release is apparent on Domino, as they shine their technical prowess with instruments dancing over one another as vocalist Donovan Melero belts out his signature vocals. Lyrically, the track centers around reflection of self and how past actions can affect others. Melero stated: “Reflecting is important. What we might discover in reflection can be a hard pill to swallow. I’m only as big as my weakest character flaw. I’m told that I talk a lot in my sleep, and these are the things I think I say.”


9 | La Femme | Foutre Le Bordel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Parisian psyche pop band La Femme announced the details of their third album Paradigmes (out April 2), their first release since their 2016 album Mystére. The announcement comes with their new video and single Foutre Le Bordel.Foutre le Bordel is the first fully animated video we’ve created,” say La Femme. “We have always been attracted by graphic arts. Originally we wanted to join art schools but none of them accepted us! Over the years, we have drawn lots of our visuals: artworks, t shirts, clothes, fonts … Last spring, during the first general lockdown, we thought it would be the best moment to start this animated drawings project, as we had so much free time in front of us.”


10 | Kulick | The Way I Am

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kulick (aka Jacob Kulick) released his debut full-length Yelling in a Quiet Neighborhood in October. The Way I Am showcases his rare ability to turn everyday pain into music that’s undeniably life-affirming. Stuck at home during the pandemic, he decided to make a live version of the track. He says: “The way I Am was written at a time where I was not happy with who I was becoming. I wrote it in the middle of a crumbling marriage and a life crisis. My mental and physical health was so bad and I needed to write this song to process how I was feeling. In the end, I found that some things about me are just the way I am, and are not to be ashamed of.”


11 | Dan Potter Sings | Head Above

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vanouver alt/rock musician Dan Potter Sings is premiering a music video for Head Above. With groovy bass riffs and techno drumbeats kicking up a storm, this video accentuates the unseen disturbances all around.  As the guitars rain down inventive sounds conjuring up fluctuating emotions the visuals follow suit slipping in and out of different states of reality.  Preferring to probe the depths of human existence, this track and video shines with discordant energies. Says Dan: “Words of self-destruction are mirrored with intense guitar treatments and angry electronic drum loops as the dark side of living in the 21st century becomes audible.”


12 | Charlie Houston | Calls

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I just want my songs to be super-authentic and address shit that all young people deal with.” Each song from 19-year old artist Charlie Houston is an emotional timecapsule with relatable self-discovery storytelling and breathy, androgynous vocals evoking the captivating immediancy of contemporaries Empress Of, King Princess, Faye Webster, and Charlotte Day Wilson. The genre-bending artist has announced her debut I Hate Spring EP, due out April 23. Calls is about the unwanted dissolution of a long-distance relationship.”


13 | Juliana | Love Preview

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging pop singer and songwriter Juliana has released her new single Love Preview, along with a video. The hopeful love song documents the blossoming, and often delusional, stages of a new relationship. “It’s a song that’s meant to be lighthearted and positive considering we could all use that extra glimpse of hope in a new year. I have always been someone who writes songs based on my personal experiences, and this one is no different. I wrote Love Preview during the beginning stages of a crush, where everything was peachy keen and delusional. It’s the moment where you barely know the person, but you feel so infatuated and blinded to reality that you think you’re falling in love. I think a lot of people have felt something similar, so I hope it can strike a familiar chord with everyone listening.”


14 | Keegan Powell | There’s A Mountain

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto songwriter and performing artist Keegan Powell’s journey began writing and recording in Teenage Kicks as guitarist on their debut album Spoils Of Youth. Shortly after, he went on to compose songs for Chastity on both their debut LP Death Lust (2018) and sophomore record Home Made Satan (2019). In the midst of this, Powell also began to release several singles and EPs under his own name.  Ahead of his debut full-length (slated for release next year), Powell has shared a new single. There’s A Mountain was inspired by thinking of a better day for not only yourself, but everyone around you. It’s a declaration to realizing imagined states. Whatever we are yearning for, we can have as along as we keep dreaming about it.”


15 | Benjamin Louis Brody & Ian Chang | Entry

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Entry is the second single from composer Benjamin Louis Brody and drummer Ian Chang’s collaborative album, Floating Into Infinity (out Feb. 12). The video features visuals from artist Michael Caterisano, whose work explores sensory perception, forging connections between the auditory and visual fields.  “Brody’s command of texture and sound design is at the heart of his compositions,” describes Chang. “I really love how this body of work always feels like it’s constantly moving and bubbling on a micro level, while breathing in slow motion on a macro level, like a forest.”


16 | Nicole Marxen | Tether

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nicole Marxen is a Dallas musician and visual artist. Known as one of the shiny dark innovators behind acclaimed avant-garde pop band Midnight Opera, she makes her solo debut with EP Tether, out Feb. 26. Today Marxen presents the official video for the title track, directed by Judd Myers. He says: “The video is a small tribute to Nicole’s relationship with her mother, exploring memories, and an abstract journey through birth, death, and the grieving process. We filmed during the summer while in lockdown. It was just my cinematographer, Nicole, and I testing ideas and trying out these absurd little experiments. Most of it was shot in our living room, and then we made multiple excursions for the landscape stuff. The track is already so inherently cinematic. My hope was to make something that dovetailed with that and felt like a cathartic communion between daughter and mother.”


17 | Quiet Canyons | We Overflow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tim Williams (Soft Swells) has unveiled his new project Quiet Canyons with the release of first single We Overflow. The song gives a glimpse at the heartfelt songwriting that spans across Quiet Canyons’ self-titled debut, set for release on Feb. 12. Williams stated: “I wrote We Overflow at a time when people were rioting in the streets of Los Angeles. Driving around and seeing huge plumes of smoke in the distance comforted me in some way, knowing that people can be moved enough and erupt with emotion.”


18 | Cyrax | Oró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Italian experimental progressive metal combo Cyrax unleash the video to Oró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile, the third track taken from their album Experiences.”


19 | The Antlers | Solstice


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed indie act The Antlers are announcing the new album Green to Gold. Their first new record since 2014’s Familiars will be released on March 26. Watch the new video for Solstice. A continuation of the music videos from the 2020 singles Wheels Roll Home and It Is What It Is, this film is the third in a series of 10 created in collaboration with directors Derrick Belcham and Emily Terndrup, and world-renowned contemporary dancers Bobbi-Jene Smith and Or Schraiber. “Solstice is a flashback to the infinite days of peak childhood summer, innocent barefoot hikes, staying outside all afternoon and late into the evening, well past it being too dark to see,” lead singer and songwriter Peter Silberman explains. “But it’s remembered from the vantage of a present day that feels unbearably long rather than joyously endless. It’s an invocation of those simpler times, an attempt to conjure the lightness of youth, before life got so damn complicated.”


20 | James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra | There Is No Upside

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra share the new song and video There Is No Upside, taken from their new album The Wide, Wide River, to be released  Jan. 22. There Is No Upside was the first song JY & TSHO recorded together in Sweden. James had arrived at the studio that morning, and after some brief introductions, they began to record. Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much, but instead encouraged a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere: “I wanted the players to be themselves. It was important we captured these early attempts at the song, when the wildness and energy of exploration were still present.”


21 | Lara Taubman | Akureyri

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Lara Taubman has released the video for Akureyri, taken from her album Revelation. Her thoughts: “Akureyri was filmed despite the limited access to travel and creative resources of 2020. Thanks to the insightful, creative vision of award-winning filmmaker Sean Michael Turrell (Toronto), the video was shot on Wolfe Island, Canada where I am currently in residence at my home waiting out this time before I return to New York City, also my home. Sean was inspired to shoot in the 100-year-old barn that sits on my property, once a farm for many years. For me, it was critical that water and ships, boats be in the imagery throughout the video, which was fortuitously easy to shoot as Wolfe Island sits on a body of water in a climate that is cool to freezing for most of the year. It is reminiscent of the ancient port town in Iceland whose name Akureyri inspired my song which is about a lovelorn, crazed woman awaiting a lover who will never return from the sea.”