Indie Roundup | 58 Numbers For Your Weekend Soundtrack (Part 1)

Get the fun started with Forty Feet Tall, Lemons, Lotusbliss, Future Radio & more.

Forty Feet Tall make a run for it, The Lemons do the worm, Lotusbliss share the horror, Future Radio take a stand — and that’s just the first chapter in your Weekend Roundup trilogy. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin:


1 | Forty Feet Tall | Julian

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With visuals that are equal parts Beastie BoysSabotage, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and the Emilio Estevez ‘80s flick Repo Man — and music that could be either be straight out of the Pacific Northwest or Sheffield, England — the new video Julian by Forty Feet Tall is a high-stakes pursuit across different urban landscapes featuring different modes of transportation for a briefcase with mysterious contents. It’s the first track from the band’s upcoming debut full-length A Good Distraction, which comes out on March 12. “The song came together as many of our songs do, as a sort of amalgamation of ideas,” explains vocalist/guitarist Cole Gann. “Brett [Marquette]’s heavy bass riff paired with the jabs of Jack [Sehres]’s guitar as I croon with a wink and a nod to bands like The Strokes or Arctic Monkeys. The end of the song was a turn from our normal high-energy crescendo though, letting the instruments fade as the harmonies ring out, ending the song in an almost spooky void.”

2 | The Lemons | Gummy Worm

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Lemons are the perfect band. That’s not to say they are the best, or even a good, band. But they are exactly what a band should be. The Lemons are rudimentary musicians whose slipshod approach to performance underscores their innate melodiousness. The Lemons make recordings that are lush with orchestration, unless they are not. Their live performances do not attempt to recreate those sounds, or even the songs themselves.  The Lemons once opened for The Flamin’ Groovies at The House of Blues and were reprimanded by both for playing too short a set. At 20 minutes, it was the longest they had ever performed. The Lemons are often a five-piece, or a seven-piece, sometimes more and often much less. Anyone who sees The Lemons perform or listens to their songs is invited to play along on any instrument. “Everybuddy’s a Lemon,” The Lemons insist. Occasionally, this invitation is accepted. The Lemons came into existence when the members of The Lemons had a synchronous epiphany that The Lemons could exist, should exist, would exist, always and forever.”

3 | Lotusbliss | The Horror

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Kent, Lotusbliss are the recording project of brothers Seth, Josh & Adam. Growing up making music together, it was a light hearted conversation in 2018 around favourite band names which sparked the idea that they could and should form their own band. With an indie-rock sensibility, the sound of Lotusbliss marries ambient soundscapes, high-octane guitar, raw lyricism and infectious melodies, whilst also taking advantage of the vocal similarity of siblings to blend their voices in and out of unison and harmony.”

4 | Future Radio | Stand Up & Fight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Stand Up & Fight is the latest release from South African band Future Radio. This anthemic track champions individuality, encourages the pursuit of purpose in the here-and-now and challenges the idea of conformity. Frontman Johnny Future admits that this is his favourite track on their debut album Freedom. “I wrote the bridge lyrics long before I wrote the actual song,” he explains. “I wrote it while I was still a full-time teacher, as a sort of credo for how I want to live my life. The rest of the lyrics evolved from that. Besides the lyrics, it is also a fun song to perform live.”

5 | Ryland Moranz | Beautiful World

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alberta singer-songwriter Ryland Moranz released his new album XO, 1945, today. Also out today: His video for the album’s third single Beautiful World. “I feel less like a writer of fiction and more like a collector of sorts,” says Ryland. “It’s a romantic notion, but I like the idea of being a hopeful observer of the world and the people in it. I think in a roundabout way that’s what the new record is about, and kind of why I called it XO, 1945 — kind regards from a past that’s different than you remember.”

6 | North Reign | Better Off

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For the past five years, Toronto’s North Reign have been refining their no-holds-barred, authentic approach to time-honored rock ’n’ roll. With their new single and video for Better Off, they have a four-on-the-floor rocker that blends the cocky swagger of Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones with the guitar-driven, melodic sensibilities of Van Halen. “Those bands are definitely a touchpoint, a common denominator if you will, between the four of us,” declares singer-guitarist Anthony Carbonara. “On an individual basis, we each bring a little something different to the table, and I think that’s something that is reflected in our individual styles.”

7 | Bill Jr. Jr. | Dear Neighbour

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Jan. 26, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Russell Gendron will release Homebody, his third outing under the band moniker Bill Jr. Jr. The mood on Homebody is personal, building on Gendron’s intimate and lyrical focus with the band’s big drums, soaring electric guitar, vintage keys and spacey textures. The arrangements shine, with thick string sections and rich vocal harmonies creating a lush and energizing result, which all comes through on the album’s third single. “Dear Neighbour is about a friend, we grew up together,” says Gendron. “She has a family now and became a successful architect, so this is about me reflecting on our different paths and where we are now.”

8 | Lauren Lakis | Run To You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A child of Baltimore, Lauren grew to embrace the fatalistic spirit of the city in her work and art. Run To You expresses the frustration of repeating the same mistakes, falling back into relationship with the same partners you know are bad for you, and subconsciously choosing partners to replay childhood wounding because it’s familiar. It’s seeking to understand why we stay in abusive relationships, and why we fall in love with those partners in the first place. The worst part of it is that friends and family (“it’s like our mothers said”) can warn us all they want, but it doesn’t matter … everyone has to learn from their mistakes by making them … sometimes over and over. We are truly our own worst enemy, especially in love.”

9 | The Mute Group | Father Figure / Airbag

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Did you know the George Michael track Father Figure can be covered simultaneously with Radiohead’s Airbag? Me neither — but The Mute Group knew and executed the simultaneous covers beautifully.”

10 | Julien Manaud | Save Me From Myself

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “French-Canadian musician Julien Manaud has released his new EP Adaptation Vol. 2. Manaud shares his thoughts: “The lead single Save Me From Myself … touches me deeply, because this record was created and recorded in such an intimate and closed context.”

11 | Wolf King | Wandering Soul

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Wolf King unveil their new song and video Wandering Soul. Taken from their upcoming album The Path of Wrath, due for release on March 5, Wandering Soul showcases the band’s blackened metal sound at its most cutting.”

12 | Depths of Hatred | Sadistic Trials

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Depths of Hatred have released Sadistic Trials, the seond single from their March 19 album Inheritance.  Armed with a new vocalist and reinvigorated sound, the new single sees the Canadian quintet explore a more melodic approach to their death metal sound without comprising any of their bite.”

13 | Little Bird | Swipe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Charleston’s Little Bird are gearing up to release Alpha — the first of three EPs — on Feb. 12. The single Swipe, a smooth, airy track, explores the guard one puts up when dating in the digital age, not wanting to be your authentic self too soon. Says frontman Jay Hurtt: “Sometimes expectations and feelings you may suddenly have after swiping through different social feeds online can be completely fabricated by your own imaginations. I often will watch a movie or binge then walk into some function feeling like I’m in whatever I watched, which is super entertaining in my own head but something I ought to turn off before I have a normal conversation.”

14 | Arrows To Fire | A Million Miles Away

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Austin indie-rockers Arrows To Fire have unveiled A Million Miles Away, a guitar-driven track with a sound that mixes ’90s-rooted alternative rock with a current twist. Says bandmember John Joyo: “2020 has been a total cluster f@$%. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the music industry at all levels, and we have all had to work so hard to adapt to a new way of life, and a new way of creating music. A Million Miles Away was inspired by moments and struggles during the pandemic.”

15 | Monowhales | Out With The Old

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Monowhales exploded onto the scene back in 2017, and have spent the last three years firmly establishing themselves as one of the most exciting new bands on the Canadian musical landscape. Their latest offering Out With The Old is a snarling and defiant middle finger to the past, an anthem for the disenfranchised. The world is being forced to reset and we’re all anxiously caught in the cycle. It’s about time to throw out the trash — out with the old and in with the new.”

16 | Jesse Maxwell | Undone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Torontonian Jesse Maxwell has released his raw and emotive new single Undone. Written, performed, produced, mixed and mastered by Maxwell, Undone gives listeners a taste of what’s to come from him during the rest of 2021, as he preps a new project. “Undone is a song about coming to terms with parts of yourself you have yet to love and accept, for me it was sexuality,” explains Maxwell. “The lyrics reflect the struggle of being internally honest. To break it down, the pre-chorus goes: ‘When I’ve come undone, why bother running from what I can’t confront when I’ve come undone?’ – saying that even when I’m a mess inside my head and I have nothing to run from, I still can’t admit to myself who I am.”

17 | The Wardens | Coming Home

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Banff folk/roots trio The Wardens are known for their captivating live shows which feature masterful storytelling alongside classic Americana music. Their latest single Coming Home tells the tale of their colleague, legendary Jasper national park warden Frank Burstrom, a man who mastered the art of solitude.  “I wrote this song after reflecting on how much the world has changed in my 45-year lifetime and how fast everything continues to change,” says vocalist/bassist Ray Schmidt. “It’s amazing and terrifying at the same time. We have the entire knowledge of the world at our fingertips (who doesn’t love that!) but that forest I played in when I was a kid is now a 7-Eleven and a PayDay Loan. The idea of returning to a natural place that holds our childhood memories isn’t so reliable anymore.”

18 | Noble Oak | Little Things Left Behind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In a return to his musical beginnings, the Vancouver electro dream-pop artist Noble Oak shares his second single Little Things Left Behind, from his new instrumental piano EP Stories, out Feb. 12. Noble Oak’s Patrick Fiore says: “These five pieces are a return to the beginnings of my musical world. Since about as far back as I can remember, I have sat at the piano and played whatever came into my mind. Occasionally I would record what I played, and these pieces are five of those such recordings.”

19 | Daniel Lanois | Power

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Daniel Lanois has shared Power, the second single from his forthcoming album Heavy Sun. It features lyrics affirming the strength of unity and cooperation, backed by spacious organ chords, chiming guitars and flourishes of synthesizer. Heavy Sun will be available on March 19. Lanois writes: “I didn’t think there was much to say about a song with such a simple message. But just yesterday I got a message from Eno asking me to sign a petition about injustices in Uganda. Apparently, a dictatorship operating under the guise of democracy. The clouds broke and the gods of reason spoke, No Time To Rest, by Uganda or otherwise.”

20 | Chapel | Pillow Talk

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Atlanta alt-pop duo Chapel kick off their year with the single Pillow Talk. Produced and recorded by ChapelCarter Hardin (vocals/guitar/keys) and Kortney Grinwis (drums) — Pillow Talk is accompanied by a music video shot entirely by the band. Says Grinwis: “After a few weeks deep into quarantine, we found ourselves overthinking everything more than we have before. Feeling locked in with our thoughts, we wrote this song in hopes it would relieve some of that tension within ourselves.”