Indie Roundup | 23 Songs To Kick Off February In Style

Steven Wilson, Gaume, Captain SIB, Strawberry Launch & more acts to make your day.

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Steven Wilson does an about-face, Gaume is finished before he even got started, Captain SIB bring home the boogie, Strawberry Launch add a touch of basil — and they’re just a few of the acts helping you ease into the week with a Monday Roundup. Moop!

 


1 | Steven Wilson | Self

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Steven Wilson has released a mind-bending video for the track Self, taken from his just-released album The Future Bites. Directed by longtime visual collaborator Miles Skarin, the video uses deep-fake technology to warp Wilson’s face into those of a series of iconic (and occasionally infamous) celebrities including Joe Biden, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Zuckerberg, Brad Pitt, and David Bowie. The effect is equal parts mesmerising and disturbing, questioning the nature of identity in an age where everything is so easy to fake. Says Wilson: “Self is about our new age of narcissism and self-obsession, one in which a human race that used to look out with curiosity at the world and the stars now spends much of its time gazing at a little screen to see themselves reflected back in the mirror of social media. In that sense everyone now can take part in the notion of celebrity, and has the potential to share their life with an invisible mass of people they will never meet. The video take things further by exploring the idea that anyone can now project a version or ‘self’ that has no bearing on reality, and by using only well known faces the deception is made transparent.”


2 | Gaume | I Broke Up With A Girl (I Never Been With)

THE EDITED (AND TRANSLATED) PRESS RELEASE: “Happy to unveil today a new video illustrating a title from our last album! To be honest, the only certainty we had when filming this clip is that it was a good song to listen to in the car! So with Laurent Franzi we took my little Corsa, we called friends Cloë Vdn and Yoann Roudier, and we went around Nantes for a whole day and filmed what was coming out to try to tell a little story! Here is the result.”


3 | Captain SIB | Boogie Man

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “We are Captain SIB from Hamilton, Scotland. Together for 20 years, we’ve been releasing music with our blend of modern rock with a psychedelic twist. We have lots of songs, but we feel our newest one is a groovy catcher. We have also released our first video to accompany it.”


4 | Strawberry Launch | Sweet Basil

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Strawberry Launch are a female-fronted indie-psychedelic group from New York. Formed in late 2018 with inspiration from Crumb, Khraungbin, Pinegrove (and even a little Harry Styles), their catchy tunes are created out of funky guitar lines and late nights in Manhattan together. Riiza, Tilly, Mat, Abby and Benjy make songs you can dance to, cry to or get high to. When they aren’t burying their heads in notebooks to write their upcoming album, you can find them playing gigs in the lower east side decked out in body glitter. Sweet Basil is weekends when you’re young. Spending money on black coffee and diner food, talking about nothing and everything. This intricate and sunny tune describes the perfect evening with friends. “I based a lot of this song around the amazing friends that we have. We don’t need to be doing anything crazy to have a great time together” says Riiza. “Sweet Basil slowly transports you into a world with small drops of happiness sprinkled in the lyrics, like “Can we drive to the diner, you get your coffee black / Dance to a song we hate and scuffin’ up our shoes.”


5 | Feren Isles | It Finds Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With the holidays over, the long dark days in the Northern Hemisphere and, of course, the prolonged strain of a global pandemic, who isn’t experiencing some degree of anxiety? Feren Isles’ title track from his upcoming debut album is his attempt to expose the dread most feel, but too many are afraid to face or discuss openly. “I wanted to share the nature of my own struggle the relentless doubt and flashes of panic that seem to follow me wherever I go. I hope that by recognizing themselves in my lyrics, listeners will feel a little less lonely in their anxiety or depression.” This independent Montreal electropop artist’s track hails from what he has promised to be a deeply personal album, touching on issues such as anxiety, relationship dysfunction, cultures of silence and intrinsic self-worth.”


6 | Dispositions | Sacrilege

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Metalcore band Dispositions released their ground-shaking new single Sacrilege and its music video, which is sure to summon your attention. This new track is about how poisonous religion can be, while the video depicts a deity that isn’t quite what followers envisioned. Says guitarist Ethan Massey: “The video shows some religious people summoning their all-powerful God to make their lives better. Ultimately, their great and wonderful God turns out to be a selfish deity that takes their lives.”


7 | Black Moon Mother | Around The Finger

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Black Moon Mother’s album Illusions Under The Sun comes out in May. It offers an impressive and unique mix of psych-rock, doom metal and shoegaze from Nashville. For fans of Deftones, Chelsea Wolfe, Torche and Windhand, Black Moon Mother blend light and heavy soundscapes. At the beginning of 2018, Black Moon Mother began writing new material and continued the show-a-month ritual, adding new songs to their live set one by one. January 2020 brought Black Moon Mother to Dark Art Audio in Madison, TN, where they worked with engineer and producer Mikey Allred. Illusions Under the Sun showcases an expanded musical depth and songwriting maturity, while exploring themes of nature, purpose, and perspective.”


8 | Loney Dear | Trifles

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Emil Svanängen (aka Loney Dear) recorded upcoming album A Lantern and a Flag (due March 26) on Stockholm’s Södermalm peninsula, and the record is fittingly interwoven with marine references (the album artwork also depicts the nautical flag for a vessel in distress). Speaking about the interplay, Emil notes: “Near where I live, freighters pass by every day and the sounds of their engines get into my head. And further into the music.” New single Trifles is a central track to the new record — it swells from austere piano beginnings to a lush embrace of electronics, with Emil’s fragile falsetto front and centre.”


9+10 | Garagedays | Something Black + To My Soul

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As part of the filming for the TV documentary Großstädter im Schnee, Austrian metal quartet Garagedays played in a freezing snowstorm on the south terrace of the Alpengasthof Bischlinghöhe at 1832m! In the Werfenweng ski area in Pongau in the Salzburger Land, the band wanted to push the boundaries once more. Something Black and the power ballad To My Soul, two well-known songs from the last album Something Black (released Nov. 13), are now available in a special “winter edition.”


11 | Exanimis | Cogs, Gears & Clockworks

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “French symphonic death-metal band Exanimis have revealed a video for a song from their forthcoming debut album Marionnettiste, due out March 5. Marionnettiste offers up nine tracks that masterfully blend the brutality and technical proficiency of death-metal bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septic Flesh and Obscura, the melodies and progressive textures of Dream Theater, Opeth and Devin Townsend with symphonic arrangements and sinister ambiences inspired by great names of film and video game soundtracks like Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and Nobuo Uematsu.”


12 | Aside From That | The Heart Of Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. solo metalcore project Aside From That released their debut single The Heart Of Dreams and its streaming video. This heavy track is sure to resonate with many as it explores feelings of betrayal at the hand of someone you trusted and loved. “The song is about feelings of being betrayed by someone you held close to your heart. Thinking that you can salvage what you had but you find out by the end of the song that it’s just not possible.”


13 | Tasch | Simply Irreplaceable

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Simply Irreplaceable is the beginning of a journey through the ups and downs of Tasch’s first love. The soul-baring, acoustic-driven single comes from an upcoming album which chronicles her experience as she fell in love for the first time- a diary of swirling feelings and their decline over time. Mixing the storytelling prowess of emerging artists like Kris Kelly with the heart of a legendary singer-songwriter like Tracy Chapman, Tasch says, “I’m such a firm believer that music has the power to create self-fulfilling prophecies, so I wrote this song to believe in myself. I had a huge crush on this person who I thought I wasn’t good enough for, but writing this song gave me the courage to trust my heart and go for it.”


14 | Beafets | Open Letter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Beafets are a four-piece indie band from Glasgow, Scotland who specialise in energetic and emotional ballads. Beafets have just released their new single Open Letter.They have played alongside the likes of Red Rub Club, Beach Baby, Willie J Healey and The Ninth Wave.”


15 | Dylyn | Make It Naked

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rock ’n’ roll is not the easy way, but it’s a freeing way, and it’s the way Toronto artist Dylyn wants to live her life. Each single sounds more monstrous than the last, unleashing a talent that’s only beginning to realize her true potential. Dylyn has finally found herself. The rest of the world is about to find her as well. Make It Naked, the title track ofher forthcoming EP, is a portal into where she’s going musically. It’s a real thunderbolt to the ears. It’s about stripping yourself down to the very bone and being who you truly are. Scars, bruises, emotions — the raw version of you. Sometimes we need to get down to the naked truth to see ourselves for who we are. Pump this one up to 11.”


16 | Marie-Clo | At Ease

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter and dancer Marie-Clo’s eclectic indie-pop tackles current themes & conscious lyrics, but also conjures a colourful and enchanted world. A conceptual feminist narrative to be released in March, her album Shell(e) was produced by drummer/producer Olivier Fairfield (Fet Nat, Timber Timbre, Leif Vollebek). At Ease, the opening track & latest single, speaks of absolute freedom and emancipation; more specifically in regards to women. Evoking a retro musical feel, it’s all about fun, confidence, dance & not biting your tongue.”


17 | Timid, the Brave | St. Maria

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Timid, the Brave is the solo moniker of Canadian songwriter Tim Selles. His forthcoming record Vuja De (out this spring) builds on the communal transition first explored on 2017’s Fireside LP, featuring Nate Wall (King Park) on drums/percussion, Ethan Rooney (The Good Hunters) on bass, and Gareth Inkster on pretty much everything else. Vuja De chronicles the cyclical nature of life, exploring the possibility of finding new meaning in familiar experiences. His new single St. Maria was first penned a couple of years ago during one of the warmest November days on record — so warm that the rose bushes had woken back up and started blooming again. For Timid, the Brave, it felt like one of those moments that could be interpreted as a divine sign, where the universe is trying to tell you something. Afterwards, he started seeing meaning everywhere he looked.”


18 | Ilja Alexander | Berlin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Take a step into the nostalgia-laden dream-pop stylings of Berlin as Ilja Alexander paints us with unforgettable pictures. Brushstrokes of bold introductory piano work meet shimmering sonic chambers of simple joy as we’re led through the streets. Smell the wet rain gently gracing the cobblestones and visualise a bruising underground life as it welcomes you in with open arms. Romantic escapism at its finest — who needs to travel when Ilja Alexander can take you there? The singer says: “I woke up around 3 am, after a long night at the techno & electro club. For a while, I stared at the girl sleeping next to me. I had instantly fallen in love with her two years earlier, but I knew our paths would now diverge. As I left the city in a taxi through the deserted streets, my emotions and the city of Berlin, were forever imprinted on my mind, giving birth to the creation of my song Berlin.”


19 | Moop | Half-Completed / Half-Started

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Moop were born in 2013. The quartet (two baritone sax, guitar and drums) self-produced their first album in 2017: an 8-track record blending multiple influences from jazz to heavy rock via improvised music. Since then, the band have sharpened their sound. Now a trio, Moop recorded its second album in 2020: Ostara (a Pagan spring celebration). Erwin Toul is on drums, William Brandy on baritone sax and Julien Coupet on guitar. This second album features four original tracks. It’s a big step aside from the clear and clean sound of the previous album.”


20 | Y-Balloon | Messenger (ft. Molly DeWolf)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Y-Balloon has released his new single Messenger ft. vocalist Molly DeWolf. Mark Daiss, aka Y-Balloon, was raised on the melodies of jazz and the  precision of classical music in the San Francisco Bay area. While launching a startup in SF, Mark began writing music and taking vocal lessons on the side, falling in love with the dynamism and emotional depth of electronic music. Y-Balloon shares: “As the Jomo EP explores the Joy of Missing Out and getting away from the things that bring us down, Messenger is a reflection on the unwanted messenger that comes roaring into our midst as we use social media. There are messages on social media that we experience under no other medium that tears us down, and this track is a reflection of those moments.”


21 | Hilma Nikolaisen | All In (Into The Outset)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Scandi-psych alumnus Hilma Nikolaisen has unveiled the summery teaser track All In (Into The Outset). The former Serena-Maneesh bass player is devolving from her cult-band / guitar-rock roots to a stripped-down yet overtly powerful rhetoric, forming what could be her most evocative music to date. The single is released ahead of solo record No. 3 Heritage, which is out in February. Heritage follows her Grammy-nominated debut Puzzler and acclaimed sophomore Mjusic.”


22 | Ancient Settlers | Diamond Eyes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Spain/France-based melodic death metallers Ancient Settlers have unleashed their first blasting single Diamond Eyes, taken from the band’s debut EP Autumnus, coming out in February 2021. Ancient Settlers were formed in 2020 by Rex Chiesa & Herman Riera (Ex-Haboryn), Rene González (Ex-Aesthesis), Emmy Reyes and Antony Hamäläinen (Meridian Dawn, Former Nightrage & Armageddon). The band try to explore the frontiers of modern death metal, including some melodic and atmospheric tones. Regarding lyrics, the band found the inspiration in the recent tragedies that affects the earth and the human race, trying to encourage all those who are looking for something more.”


23 | Louis Bekk | Show Me How To Fall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Louis Bekk, the prodigy of French electronic music, has released his debut single Show Me How To Fall. Originally a composer for many international artists, Louis comes out of the shadow with a first pop-electro track, co written by Martin Garrix’s songwriter Denny White. If some of Louis Bekk’s compositions have already traveled the world in recent years, it is only now that he is releasing tracks under his name. Louis worked with many Grammy-nominated artist, who helped him find a strong artistic identity and a unique concept.”