Indie Roundup | 40 Songs To Complete Your Thursday (Part 2)

Cheap Trick, Juliana Hatfield, Misty Lands and ways to wrap up the day in fine form.


Cheap Trick get lit, Misty Lanes play in the garden, Aeternitas commit an unpardonable sin, Emeline finds a new haunt, Soukou is lucky to be here — and Juliana Hatfield is still on tap to wrap up your Thursday Roundup. Yeah, I know Cheap Trick aren’t really an indie band. So sue me.


21 | Cheap Trick | Light Up The Fire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The one and only Cheap Trick have released their pummeling new single Light Up The Fire. The song heralds the band’s 20th studio album In Another World, arriving April 9. Produced by long-time associate Julian Raymond, In Another World sees Cheap Trick doing what they do better than anyone — crafting indelible rock ’n’ roll with oversized hooks, mischievous lyrics, and seemingly inexorable energy. Trademark anthems like Light Up The Fire and Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll are countered by more introspective — but no less exuberant — considerations of times past, present, and unknowable future on such strikingly potent new tracks as Another World and I’ll See You Again.”

22 | Misty Lands | Far Out Garden Sounds

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For those new to the Far Out Garden Sounds experience; over the past 12 months Third Eye Stimuli have been producing a series of live outdoor performances shot and recorded in a leafy sub-tropical backyard, an hour south of Sydney, Australia. Artists featured so far include favourites Joe Ghatt, Sunfruits and The B-Side Tangent. Now there’s another outfit from the extended family sprawled out on the lawn with a handful of amps and microphones — Sydney’s retro psychedelic purveyors, Misty Lanes.”

23 | Aeternitas | The Unforgivable Sin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Aeternitas have unleashed the video for The Unforgivable Sin, featuring guest vocals from Henning Basse. The Unforgivable Sin is from the band’s critically acclaimed album Haunted Minds. Aeternitas say: “We are very honoured to have our long-time friend and vocal producer Henning Basse (ex-Metalium, ex-Firewind) as guest singer in this epic song, in which Henning shows his amazing vocal skills.”

24 | Emeline | 6 Foot Deep

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emeline is a singer, songwriter, actress, and musician based in Los Angeles. As a writer, Emeline is known for her biting lyrics, catchy hooks, and minimal yet cutting edge production. She is inspired by a variety of genres and that is reflected in the numerous diverse projects she has taken on as a songwriter. Her new music video for 6 Foot Deep was filmed at the infamous Westerfeld Mansion. Icons like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin have lived there, as well as the founder of the Church of Satan. Covered in satanic etchings and scratches from his pet lions, the energy within the house added to the feel of the video.”

25 | Soukou | Lucky To Be Alive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ena Wild now calls herself Soukou and has grown up. And with Lucky To Be Alive, her first single under her real name, she rises like a phoenix from the ashes. With her unmistakable voice and plenty of Berlin glitter, Soukou shows that great pop music grows with you. Carried by her soulful voice, Lucky To Be Alive is a sophisticated synth-pop anthem and a true declaration of love for life, with all its ups and downs. Soukou has been allowed to take quite a few of them and in this song she shares with everyone that she has come out of them stronger. This moment after a long downhill ride, when everything is over and you realize: It’s good that we are still alive. Just like the proverbial phoenix. Who can’t use this powerful message in their soundtrack after 2020?”

26 | Caleborate | What U Want

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Bay Area hip-hop artist Caleborate just shared runaway love story What U Want and announced his Light Hit My Skin album is coming March 26. Mixing 1990s alternative, classic 2000s rap, electro-pop and beyond, to Caleborate “this album is about feeling feelings that black men aren’t usually allowed to feel … it’s about pursuit, within the context of this sort of new American dream … “

27 | Hey Life | Insomnies

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The five boys from Hey Life are mixing funky alt-rock with dancey electro-pop. Facing troubles caused by confinement, Insomnies is the result of a band who had to totally change their way of thinking and working, with an entire self-made video! The song shows a darker aspect of their sound and personality while staying irresistible.”

28 | Solar Fake | It’s Who You Are

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Three years after the release of You Win. Who Cares?, the new Solar Fake album Enjoy Dystopia will finally be released on Feb. 12. Says Sven Friedrich: “Of course, the clip is an exaggeration of the image of what everyone probably has of our private life through our podcast. The song itself is about unpleasant and slimy people who permanently try to manipulate their environment.”

29 | Cuffed Up | French Exit

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When L.A.’s Cuffed Up got together to work on new music after months of rehearsals over Zoom — having taken all the proper quarantine and test precautions — they recorded several session tracks as part of a week-long writing retreat in Big Bear, CA. Here’s the next in that series: A live performance of the dreamy French Exit. Vocalist Sapphire explains the background to the story behind the song: “I wrote these lyrics when I was feeling particularly lonely but also very much in love. I wasn’t close to my friends and felt painfully awkward around new people. I am not a gifted small talker, so I usually end up feeling embarrassed at parties and then resent the whole experience.”

30 | Family Dinner | Eyes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Long Beach, N.Y. indie-alt band Family Dinner shared their new single Eyes. The track from their Feb. 12 EP You’re So Cool features dreamy chord progressions and a punk-pop style. Lyrically, Eyes is very much a love song, except, in this case, the subject matter is vocalist Natalie Simonelli and guitarist Michael O’Keeffe’s cats Iommi and Leatherface. Simonelli stated: “It’s about the connection you have with your pets, how they patiently wait for you every time you leave the house and how when you’re out you’d just rather be at home with them. It was originally written when Michael and I just had Iommi, when we’d get home from a show or out with friends you’d just see her green eyes in the darkness coming towards you and following you around before you flipped the lights on.”

31 | Frankie & His Fingers | To Die Would Be A Great Adventure

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On March 26, Frankie & His Fingers will release their new album Universal Hurt. Today the band present the first single To Die Would Be A Great Adventure. Vocalist Frank McGinnis says, “This song is an anthem for everyone who struggles to let go of their once lofty dreams. When rekindling the fire of their long dormant band, the song almost wrote itself. To Die Would Be A Great Adventure seemed a fitting title, a quote from the 1991 movie Hook, given the song tackles the ennui of trying to keep one’s youthful energy alive.”

32 | Justin Rutledge | Jellybean

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On his ninth album Islands, Justin Rutledge is getting the chance for a “do over,” but it’s not to right a wrong, and it does not stem from a sense of regret. “I look back and view past albums as bookmarks in my life — each composed of a span of 2 or 3 years—I was a different person at the release of each album,” says Rutledge. “Recording Islands required a stroll down memory lane, for better or worse, and shaking hands with the people I used to be.” Islands is due out March 26. Today, Rutledge shares Jellybean. The song has always been a sing-along staple as a finale at shows, and so he enlisted friends Dan Mangan, Matthew Barber and Annelise Noronha, among others, to lend their voices. “I’ve always been cautious about recording Jellybean on an album because it is such a ‘live’ song,” says Rutledge. “I’ve tried a few times in the past, but it never made the cut. I think I finally captured the essence of the song.”

33 | George Otsuka Quintet | Lovin’ You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Master Japanese drummer George Otsuka and his quintet recorded Loving You George live in 1975. The album is comprised of four superb performances fuelled by Otsuka’s powerful drumming and Fumio Karashima’s Fender Rhodes. It also includes a wonderfully funky take on Minnie Riperton’s Lovin’ You. On March 26 it will be reissued for the first time since the ’70s, with original artwork featuring OBI strip and audio remastered from the master tapes in Japan.”

34 | Planeetta 9 | Pirun Piiska

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Planeetta 9 end the silence with the lash of a whip. Pirun Piiska (The Devil’s Whip) is  from an upcoming EP to be released at the end of February. Like the EP, the single introduces the band’s renewed lineup and adds fresh diabolical spices to the soup. Pirun Piiska is about cultural addiction-like worship for young female beauty. It’s also about the desperate fight to break free from a poisonous relationship driven by that kind of addiction. That anger and frustration seep heavily on Jukka Salo’s vocal tracks. Janne Saksa, the grandmaster of Finnish heavy rock, is responsible for the song’s final essence.”

35 | Alora Farenweh | Riding a Tiger

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Alora Farenweh is a young Canadian singer-songwriter who creates dreamy folk-pop with the hope of transporting her listeners to another world. As someone who struggles with depersonalization disorder/derealization disorder (where you feel you are outside of yourself/that the world around you isn’t real), this felt-experience carries over into her music. Both lyrics and soundscapes often imitate a dream, and invite the listener into a world of colour, glowing crystals, and (often) friendly animals. Her new single Riding a Tiger, is a story coming to life. You, the listener, are riding the tiger. You are in Alora’s mind. She sees a pink world. It’s an almost empty land, with low pink fluffy clouds and a tall palace, dark inside but bright on the outside.”

36 | Brigitte DeMeyer | Salt Of The Earth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Brigitte’s DeMeyer’s new album Seeker, due March 26, is a mixture of poetry and soul, and is the result of the musical collaboration between the acclaimed singer/songwriter and Jano Rix, producer and keyboardist/ drumming ace of The Wood Brothers. “It’s Bob Dylan meets Sly Stone,” says bassist Chris Wood. Produced by Rix, Seeker grooves at times greasy and other times ethereal, combining both luscious and sparce arrangements with DeMeyer’s emotive vocals. Special guests add the finishing sparkle, bringing this rootsy and lyrically deep collection of songs to life. Says Brigitte: “Salt Of The Earth is about looking for what I considered my salt of the earth so far away, in a new place. Connection. The good news is, real connection stays that way. I have learned my community is true blue to me no matter where I am.”

37 | Nathanael Philip Mosher | I Don’t Wanna Die Young

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nathanael Philip Mosher’s I Don’t Wanna Die Young captures a timeless and melodic energy that carries us into 2021. A jack of many trades and master of some, 25-year-old Filipino-American artist Mosher is one of a kind. His lifelong love for writing has led him from poetry to stand-up comedy, music, and spoken-word poetry. After months of recording, producing, and writing remotely, Mosher worked together with mentor and engineer Tom Bajoras to create his forthcoming first EP, the semi-self-titled Nathanael.”

38 | Prowler | Bad Child Running

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Prowler are one of the U.K.’s original New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands who also first appeared on the legendary 1980s compilation album Brute Force. The band from Essex are finally in the process of putting together material for their debut album. They played live in the height of NWOBHM, but never got to release their own LP. Hear them make up for lost time with Bad Child Running.”

39 | Kue Varo | No

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As the only female-presenting member in a lot of past projects, I was often designated the ‘mom role,'” said Kue Varo songwriter Katrina Spreen. “As much as this identity was imposed, I enabled it, and had to come to terms with my inability to say ‘no.’ Sometimes when you mean to do right by someone, it can be misplaced, and you have to learn to do right by yourself first.” No hails from Kue Varo’s debut LP Daffodil-11, recorded at Montreal’s St Zo Studio. The album features Matthew Spreen on rhythm guitar, Chris Dadge (Alvvays) on percussion, Scott Munro (Preoccupations) on synth, and Rena Kozak (Child Actress) on bass and production. “Daffodil-11 is a reference to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick, which is my absolute favourite book of all time,” said Spreen. “It’s roughly about human decency for human decency’s sake, without attachment to outcome. This album starts with an angry introduction to the planet, and ends with me trying not to bury her. It’s a very vulnerable and sometimes uncomfortable undressing.”

40 | Juliana Hatfield | Mouthful of Blood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Over the past four years, Juliana Hatfield has kept fans engaged and intrigued as she oscillates between impassioned original releases (Pussycat, Weird) and inspired covers collections (Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police). This year she returns with her latest album of originals, Blood, out May 14. First single Mouthful of Blood is gritty and abrasive yet groovy and melodic. That duality is represented throughout Blood. It is eminently hummable and thought-provoking. Sophisticated but catchy. Challenging but danceable. “I always love coming up with melodies and then trying to fit words into them — it’s like doing a puzzle,” says Juliana. “And I always find places to use the Mellotron flutes and strings, on every album, because those sounds are so beautiful to me. They are a nice counterpoint to the damaged lyrical content.”