Indie Roundup | 72 Songs For Your Weekend Playlist (Part 2)

Julia Stone, Thyla, KC Johns, Denise Leslie and more artists get into the game.


Julia Stone and Matt Berninger have it all, Thyla gets some air, KC Johns gets the Led out, Denise Leslie looks back — and we’re just rounding second in your latest overstuffed Weekend Roundup. Get ready to do the wave for these artists:


19 | Julia Stone | We All Have (ft. Matt Berninger)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Julia Stone has today shared another tantalising taste of her forthcoming third solo album Sixty Summers with the poignant We All Have, featuring Matt Berninger from The National. We All Have is Sixty Summers’ most tender song, a sweet ballad celebrating every human’s ability to heal even in the face of devastating pain. With its spare piano and finger-plucked guitars, We All Have represents the duality of Sixty Summers. “This song is about how everything transforms and moves; even though you feel so shitty at one point, it might shift into something new,” says Stone. “Love is all that we really need to be here for — not love with someone else but love in your heart.”

20 | Thyla | Breathe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Thyla are sharing their first new music of 2021 with the single Breathe, a track that the band confirm will appear on their debut album later this year. Lead singer Millie Duthie offers these thoughts on the track: “Breathe was written in the early hours of the morning. Eventually we chanced upon this really vibey atmospheric lick that you hear in the intro, and the whole song grew from there. The song blossomed into a slightly melancholic dream-pop bop, it’s bittersweet and has a slightly inconclusive feeling to it; imagine a film where the main character never actually gets the happy ending you’ve been so long yearning for. The result of how the instrumental sounded no doubt manifested lyrics that held the same sentiment. The song is about loneliness, estrangement from family and close friends, yet despite this, feeling a sense of inner strength about the situation. It’s like recovering from a breakup and realising you’ve come out stronger, but a reflection of the scar tissue that resulted from the trauma.”

21 | KC Johns | Black Dog

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If coffee tables count, country-rock artist KC Johns has been rocking the stage since age three. As someone who grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, his music has been a staple on the stages where KC has performed as long as she can remember. Back when she sang on cruise ships, Black Dog was always her favorite cover to perform live; her love for it has only grown with time. Johns’ country-rock version of Black Dog reminds us to rock out pretty much anywhere, maybe even coffee tables. “I honestly want people to feel inspired, excited and wanting to dance,” she exclaims. “This tune has such a great groove to it. If people feel excited about it, that will make me extremely happy.”

22 | Denise Leslie | Reminiscing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto jazz songstress Denise Leslie is on a mission to “bring the fun back to jazz” through fresh arrangements, unique musical interpretations and magnetic charisma. Nowhere is this demonstrated more than on the Toronto vocalist’s debut solo album One Fine Morning. The mission continues while the “fun” factor takes a romantic turn with a second single release, along with a beautiful video — Denise’s version of Little River Band’s classic pop ballad Reminiscing. Says the artist, “The arrangement by award winning guitarist Bob McAlpine, is sublimely simple and pure. He has maintained a balance of the hit’s original charm and integrity with a pared-down, gorgeous update. That’s Bob providing a (doubled) background vocal too, a la Donald Fagan!”

23 | Nick White | Drip Gold (ft. Danward Cozy)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Polypop pioneer Nick White shares his first official video for the sizzling self-empowerment song Drip Gold, out Jan. 29. The track features rapper Danward Cozy, and brings out a deeper, darker edge of White. Gold encourages listeners to take control of their self-worth by kicking poisonous people and places to the curb, while the video oozes confidence as White’s largest production to date. Equipped with flamethrowers and dripping with vengeance, White takes his bad experiences and turns them into visual gold.”

24 | The Motorleague | Dischordia

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Evolution has been a constant in the world of Moncton band The Motorleague. From their punk-inspired beginnings through the more radio-friendly territory of the band’s 2017 release Holding Patterns, the band finds itself — and its sound — truly coming into its own with their new single Dischordia. “Heading into the studio, it felt like the four of us were all on the same page,” singer-guitarist Don Levandier says. “As a band, we were gelling well, which helped make the session exciting and fun. It ended up being a positive, enjoyable session, and I think that comes across in the song.” That morale and newfound confidence can be found in spades on Dischordia. Driven by a wall of melodic guitars playing over the group’s rock-solid rhythm, the track slowly builds from an unassuming stance at the beginning before crescendoing as the song urgently progresses, bolstered by a refrain deserving of repeated plays.”

25 | Anna Shoemaker | Feels Like (1 Trait Danger Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Anna Shoemaker is sharing a new remix of her single Feels Like, done by 1 Trait Danger, the satirical electronic side project of Car Seat Headrest’s Andrew Katz. On the new Feels Like remix, 1 Trait Danger infuses Shoemaker’s slow-burning indie-pop track with pulsating electro production, elevating the single into the perfect crying-in-the-club banger.”

26 | Elvis Costello Avec Isabelle Adjani | Revolution #49 (Parlé)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Elvis Costello has released a reimagined version of his Hey Clockface album track Revolution #49, now named Revolution #49 (Parlé). This version features the voice of renowned French actress/singer Isabelle Adjani, who performs the track entirely in French. Adjani, a two-time Oscar nominee and five-time César Award-winner (the only actor in history to do so) gives her unique taste to the spoken word piece written by Costello. This track is a continuation of Elvis’ French cover series started last month with Iggy Pop’s francophone cover of No Flag. The track is accompanied by a lyric video animated by Eamon Singer and Arlo McFurlow.”

27 | Tigercub | Beauty

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tigercub return with massive new single Beauty, a statement of real intent and the first taster from a series of recording sessions produced by the band’s own Jamie Stephen Hall, with co-production and engineering from Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse, Everything Everything). Another leap forward from previous recordings, Beauty — mixed by Tom Dalgety (Pixies, Ghost, Royal Blood) — more than fulfills the significant potential the band always promised and looks set to cement their place at the top table of British rock acts in 2021. Frontman Jamie Hall says this of the themes behind it: “Don’t say you think that you can feel it, because you don’t. Feels like my personality is just a series of instinctive reactions based on past experiences, I feel disconnected to everyone else, no matter how hard people try to empathise, it just feels like they will never understand. “Beauty” is an attempt to journal that mental tug of war.”

28 | Magon | Hour After Hour

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hour After Hour, my second LP, is finally out! And it all gets even better since today we also share the super awesome, stop-motion music video for the title song, directed and animated entirely by the talented Mihaela Mîndru.”

29 | Hailey Whitters | Glad To Be Here (ft. Brent Cobb)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Country star Hailey Whitters releases Glad To Be Here (feat. Brent Cobb) from Living The Dream, a deluxe edition of her critically acclaimed breakthrough album The Dream that will be released on Feb. 26. “Throughout the whirlwind release of The Dream, I kept catching myself sayin’, ‘I’m just glad to be here,’ ” explains Whitters. “I truly felt at peace with my process and was enjoying getting to see dreams come true that I had nearly given up on, believing they would ever happen. I went to go write a song about it, and realized Brent Cobb, Neil Medley, and Brent Rupard had already done it — and done it really well. I knew I couldn’t top it, so I recorded this one and asked my pal Brent to sing on it with me.”

30 | Belle Tower | Small

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Belle Tower is the lo-fi indie folk-rock project of Tiohtià:ke/Montreal + Xwilkway/Halfmoon Bay artist Isabella Harned. Belle Tower writes songs about growth whose lyrical content reflects the heavy processes of pain and healing, but the ethereal vocals, dreamy guitar lines, and layered instrumentation deliver songs that have a certain sonic lightness to them. Ahead of an upcoming EP, she has released the single, Small. The lyrics dance around the story of seeking approval from someone who continuously makes you feel small and speaks to the microaggressions experienced as a woman in the music industry.”

31 | Everdawn | Your Majesty Sadness

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Next week brings us Cleopatra, the epic second album from New Jersey-based symphonic metal quintet Everdawn. With the record nearing release, they’re released a lyric video for the song Your Majesty Sadness, which features guest contributions from Therion and Candlemass vocalist Thomas Vikström. Keyboardist Boris Zaks says: “Oftentimes, we find ourselves walking an eternal path between sheer joy and deep sadness, utter acceptance and cold seclusion, affectionate love and brutal loneliness. It’s not always up to us whether we shift towards helpless self-destruction or find ways to embrace who we are and turn our weaknesses into strengths. Your Majesty Sadness reflects on the inner strength of a soul searching for answers, losing motivation and finding strength to carry on despite the emotional setbacks. In addition to the phenomenal vocals of Thomas Vikstrom, the song tells the story of fading love, intimacy and attachment looking forward to times when romance and chivalry rule the world again.”

32+33 | Allison Russell | By Your Side + Landslide

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed singer-songwriter and multiinstrumentalist Allison Russell, a founding member of Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah) and Birds of Chicago (with her husband/musical partner JT Nero), has shared two new covers songs, intimate and imaginative versions of Sade’s By Your Side, and Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, sung entirely in French. By Your Side is an “endlessly expansive and inclusive song of love,” says Russell. “It could be the love between lovers, the love of a parent for a child, the love for an elder who is not long for this world. It feels like it has always existed and always will. It feels like an expression of our collective unconscious.” Meanwhile, Landslide was a song Russell was “terrified” to touch at first. “It is such an iconic classic and has been covered by so many,” she says. “But then I thought: what would Stevie Nicks do? If she hadn’t written it she’d find a way to make it her own. So, I found my way in, through translation.”

34 | Thea May & Troy Junker | Runaway

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian Ojibway singer-songwriter Thea May and Métis rapper Troy Junker have teamed up to release their newest collaboration Runaway. This is the first piece of music both have released in 2021 — after collaborating on 2020 singles We Up and Colours — reminding fans how amazing they sound together. The uplifting track highlights May’s vocals, captivating the listener from the very first line. “To me, Runaway is like the fantasy of reconnecting with someone on such a deep level that you’re willing to drop everything and run away with them,” shares Troy. “I wrote my lyrics with a vulnerable approach so both men and women can relate and live through the lyrics in their own lives.” Adds Thea: “Something was just giving me nostalgia that day. I started to hum the first verse in my head while Luke was looping the riff and then I was singing about rekindled love. Who knows who this song was subconsciously meant for, LOL.”

35 | Chløë Black | Title Track

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian/French singer-songwriter Chløë Black’s Title Track is out today. Delicately outlining her vulnerability and personal experience with trauma and sexual assault, the acclaimed artist presents another raw and intricate track that is synchronously poignant and anthemic, whilst showcasing her transcendent artistry, vocal capabilities and intuitive skill for merging genres.”

36 | Jimkata | Liar With The Lights On

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The new video from Jimkata, Liar With The Lights On, is from the band’s upcoming album due in spring. They have not released a full-length in over four years. Singer Evan shares, “I’ve always been inspired by artists like The Police who often paired poppy upbeat music with darker lyrical themes as well as classic reggae artists like Third World and of course Bob Marley and Peter Tosh who often sang about deep political or moral issues set to an uplifting beat. I couldn’t help but follow in that path a little bit with this song, imagining a character who by day deals in lies but by night fears his reckoning. Ultimately, it’s sort of a moral tale set to a shiny dance groove.”