Indie Roundup | 47 Tracks To Fry Your Little Mind This Wednesday (Part 3)

Mensa Deathsquads, Saint, Son of Dave, Cactus Flowers & more act to finish you off.

Mensa Deathsquad do not want your autograph, Saint have had enough, Saintseneca let you know you’re not alone, Loser put the shhhh in Shout — and there’s still plenty more to come in the wrap-up of your Midweek Roundup. Don’t sleep on those Son of Dave and Cactus Flowers tracks. They’re both keepers.


31 | Mensa Deathsquad | Famous

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have some weird chip on my shoulder about famous people. I won’t pretend to be so urbane and sophisticated that I no longer have any use for people who are both great at what they do and well known for doing it,” prefaces Brandon Phillips, mastermind behind the darkwave electronic Mensa Deathsquad when asked about his new single Famous. His distaste for fame mongers and star worship is palpable … practically visceral. “That said, I loathe, detest and revile celebrity influencer culture so thoroughly that I believe it should be garroted to death at the earliest possible time and pushed into an unmarked grave,” he continued with a smirk, gritting his tightly-clenched teeth. Today, Mensa Deathsquads deliver this passionate sentiment in the form of Famous, the second single off the upcoming album Cyclist (out Feb. 23).”

32 | Saint | No More

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. hip-hop artist Saint has released his debut EP Lucid, an opportunity for audiences to experience what he has dubbed Revolutionary Rhythm. Combining the chill-step beats of his producer PsyRo and his own inspirational and motivational lyrics, Saint is looking to bring a fresh sound to U.K. hip-hop, focusing still on real issues but using his rhymes and beats to bring about positive change. Based in the West Midlands, Saint (Matthew Derham) is an artist who is able to create radio-friendly tracks whilst retaining lyrics which have real depth reflecting his own interest in subjects such as law and philosophy.”

33 | Saintseneca | All You’ve Got Is Everyone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Saintseneca have released their first new single since mid-2019: A heartfelt track titled All You’ve Got Is Everyone. “I wanted to write a Christmas song, but it didn’t feel right this time,” lead singer and songwriter Zac Little explains. “So I thought about old new year’s and made a Valentine. I miss everyone, and I figure a song is kind of like a little tent. A place in space and time — you can pack it up and take it with you, get it out when you need it, and I like to imagine being together inside.”

34 | Losers | Shout

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sometimes it takes a dark period in a band’s career to emerge triumphant and refreshed. For genre-defying U.K. band Losers, who weathered a difficult period as a band in 2016, 2021 is already rising to phoenix-like heights. Their newe single — a reworking of Tears for Fears’ 1985 smash Shout — has been featured in the show A Discovery of Witches. “All three of us are huge fans of Tears for Fears and Shout is just a classic,” says multi-instrumentalist Tom Bellamy. “After the last album, we felt it would be creatively rewarding to deconstruct some of our favourite songs. We found that this was a great way to learn about how other people make music, to absorb some of their ideas and in turn help us to develop our own songwriting. We went back to school!”

35 | VC | Smoke Without Fire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following on from the release of his highly acclaimed EP Skully last year, London artist Jack Mercer aka VC Pines is back to his smooth and soulful ways on the intoxicating new single Smoke Without Fire produced by Jonathan Quarmby (Tom Walker/Lewis Capaldi) and mixed by Bad Sounds. He said, “Smoke Without Fire is about hearing various rumours and not knowing whether or not to believe them, but being sure that rumours wouldn’t have started without some kind of spark — no smoke without fire.”

36 | Tulliah | Distant Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the release of the single Just My Type (A Little Bit Lonely), teenage Australian singer-songwriter Tulliah has today unveiled Distant Dreams alongside news her debut EP Fre$h Hugs will wrap itself around you on March 12. Tulliah describes how the captivating track came together: “We set up my new piano in the backroom of my parent’s. My mum was moving a painting that they have had for years to the top of the piano when she read the back of it — it was called Distant Dreams. This song flowed out of me. I used to never really believe that I could achieve my dreams. This song is about not wanting to break away from my visions and goals. The lyrics ‘Don’t go waking me up’ is a really direct demand to myself! It’s about not wanting to go back to doubting my capabilities.”

37 | Moaan Exis | Necessary Violences

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since their beginning, Moaan Exis have explored genres, integrated them. They are a sound object burning melancholy with the violence of a catastrophe. There is little respite, yet so much urgency on Necessary Violences. This is manifest by a powerful beat, confusing rhythms, strange sounds, a brutal distortion or not soothing soundscapes. Because the motor is emotion. Ultimately, Moaan Exis desire to sublimate sound into fury, rage and sweat.”

38 | Belle Tower | Small

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ahead of an upcoming EP, Belle Tower have released 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. Belle Tower is the indie folk-rock project of Tiohtià:ke / Montreal + Xwilkway / Halfmoon Bay artist Isabella Harned. Belle Tower write 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.”

39 | Madison Cunningham | Broken Harvest

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and guitarist Madison Cunningham has debuted the new song Broken Harvest. “I had worried for a moment that a song based on 2020 could be a directionless one to write. A year that left us all like a headless herd of chickens running around a farm yard,” Cunningham explains. “It was easy to think it was only happening to you. To anyone with a dream, the feeling of being robbed of opportunity, growth, promise, or success, was incredibly abrasive.”

40 | Iamtheliving x Teon Gibbs | Distance

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The sonic rendezvous of Iamtheliving and Teon Gibbs has been one of the most exciting collaborations of late. Following Puppa and Between The Groove, the transglobal, power duo continue their journey with their latest single Distance. Where soul meets hip-hop, this dyad consists of London crooner Rian Peters (Iamtheliving) and rapper/producer Teon Gibbs, who hails from Botswana. Despite their diverse backgrounds, the two now both reside in Vancouver, where they met. Now they create bifunctional music that is not only electric but is a uniting force. “We decided to join forces to create tracks that would make people want to dance … and bring people together,” Rian says. “There needs to be more cross-genre collaborations in Vancouver; more black voices uniting and creating music together.”

41 | Alessandro Takeshi | Ghosts & Dead Ends

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ghosts and Dead Ends is a shimmering track from Maine artist Alessandro Takeshi, infusing aspects of folk and dream-pop with twinkling keys and a hooky vocal lead. The track comes via Takeshi’s new album Songs About Cars. Dizzying instrumentals conjure complex worlds, and piercing lyrics uncover the relatable humanity underneath it all, seeking love and fulfillment while enduring the anxieties and drudgeries of a precarious and unpredictable future.”

42 | Sound of Kalima | Alien

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver duo Sound of Kalima have dropped the single Alien. They consider themselves genre fluid, as they blend different genres into their production, so you can expect something fresh from these guys. Sound of Kalima can also be found diving into new sounds through their productions for other artists such as Andrea Clute, Dora Kola, Chris Clute, Ekke and more. The brains behind the music, Sal Verma and Peter Nieuwenburg, have been working hard putting out new singles.”

43 | Son Of Dave | What A Life

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This track is about life. Like a nice set of wheels, there’s booty in the back, but doesn’t take much to smash it all up. Sordid tales of various Americans living the dream and losing it all, are humorously laid out for us in another Son Of Dave modern blues masterpiece. Add this to the collection of SoD’s singles produced and co-written with long-term cohort Tim Gordine (Carry On, Devil Take My Soul, Aint Going To Nike Town, Bringing It Home). There will be a vid for it soon. There will also be a real fine album coming (all new stuff!!).”

44 | Cactus Flowers | Do You Want Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in 2014 by guitarist/songwriter Jessica Murillo, drummer Mark Carcamo and bassist Chris Dunaway, Cactus Flowers’ star has been in the ascension for quite some time. Since the release of their beguiling debut Incantations in 2019, the Houstonians have continued to conjure, inspire and craft an irresistible identity around lush cadences, pedal soaked riffs, and Murillo’s impassioned vocals. This March, the trio return with their  four-song EP Solace. The band holed up with producer John Griffin (Wild Moccasins, The Ton Tons, Television Personalities) to capture a heavier, more compound style of psych, lyrical gallantry, and hard rock strut.”

45 | John Carroll Kirby | Blueberry Beads (Live At The Blue Whale)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Before the pandemic hit, John Carroll Kirby brought together a band of seven players to perform at storied L.A. jazz venue The Blue Whale, which closed last month, In tribute, Kirby is sharing a version of Blueberry Beads, from his 2020 album My Garden, recorded live. “I brought together a divine aggregation of musicians for a date at what was the best listening environment in L.A.,” Kirby says. “The crowd felt as much a part of the music as the band, and both were on point that night.”

46 | Snails | Frogkind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Renowned bass music artist and Montreal native Snails has returned back to the roots of his own sub-genre Vomitstep with his single Frogkind. As his first original release in more than one year, Frogkind embodies the exploration of Snails’ artistic journey and creative processes. Textured, organic sounds and deep drops characterizes the track from beginning to end, leaving listeners dreaming of the day the international producer is able to debut the track live in real life for the first time to a packed festival crowd.”

47 | Russell Louder | Home

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “P.E.I. artist Russell Louder released their newest track Home today. It’s the first piece of new music Russell has released in 2021 and will be seen on their upcoming debut album Humor, releasing Feb. 26. Written in 2018, Russell explains, “Home is the introduction. It is the wandering protagonist who sets the tone for the entire album. The idea of finding “home” is now a question, not an answer. Elements of preparation, the romanticizing of arrival, deep, deep uncertainty, pain, lack of belonging — yet bursting with hope.”

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