Indie Roundup | 25 Songs You’d Be A Fool To Ignore This Monday

Pet Needs, Rick Holmstrom, Acid Mammoth and other acts to make you look smart.

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Pet Needs have a killer case of bed head, Rick Holmstrom is losing it, Acid Mammoth head out on an epic caravan ride, Yves Jarvis projects his feelings — and they’re just the toppermost of the poppermost on your Monday Roundup. Happy Birthday, Garth.

 


1 | Pet Needs | Tracey Emin’s Bed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s like Tracey Emin’s bed in my head!” howls Johnny Marriott in one of the year’s most curiously compulsive choruses thus far. Taken from their forthcoming debut album Fractured Party Music (out March 12), Tracey Emin’s Bed is the latest single from Colchester upstarts Pet Needs. Inspired by the profound mess of that notorious Turner Prize-nominated masterwork, like its namesake, Tracey Emin’s Bed is a commentary on self-image, public perceptions of appearance and mental health. “It came from looking at the nature of art and worth, and comparing this to the mental health and self-image topics in the verses” says Marriott of the track. “The whole song is rife with juxtaposition and contradiction.”


2 | Rick Holmstrom | Losing My Shit

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rick Holmstrom has released his video for Losing My Shit, from his new album See That Light, coming out Feb. 26. Holmstrom has stories. Some 32 years of hurtling around the globe in metal tubes will do that. From his early days with blues and soul artists like William Clarke, Johnny Dyer and Booker T. to his 13-year run as gospel/soul/civil rights legend Mavis Staples’ guitarist/bandleader, a conversation with him quickly turns to road stories. Sidelined from touring due to the pandemic, he initially felt depressed, but ultimately turned to his guitar for solace. See That Light is the result of that period, when Holmstrom masked up with his bandmates Steve Mugalian and Gregory Boaz, who also tour with Staples.”


3 | Acid Mammoth | Caravan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Arm yourself for battle against gargantuan beasts and watch the crushing 11-minute video from Greek doomslingers Acid Mammoth. Caravan is the title cut to their loud-as-hell and hypnotic new album out March 5. Get ready to get crushed. Described as “a witchy record for witchy ears” by the band, Caravan is an enveloping pitch-black journey into the vast unknown, driven by those infectious anthems the band has been revered for. Entrancing all souls on its pachyderm path, the father and son duo on guitar treats you to soaring riffs that can get can meditative when they’re not stomping you underfoot.”


4 | Yves Jarvis | Projection

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal singer-songwriter and producer Yves Jarvis has shared the soft yet swirling song Projection. He filmed the video on his phone, printed out each frame and then carefully scanned each shot to create a flip-book effect. Including lyrics in both English and French, the song, he says, is a “rickety rejection of dogma, tumbling tenaciously toward the tip.”


5 | William Harries Graham | Aaron

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Drawing comparisons with the likes of Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens, William Harries Graham (son of singer-songwriter Jon Dee Graham) pushes the indie genre and expressions of emotion with his new EP St. Claire. “When I was writing this EP I was grappling with a lot of questions about love of all kinds and the feelings that arose from those questions. I tend not to know what it is I’m really writing about during the process and so a lot of these realizations came over the period of time since writing and recording. Aaron was one of the final songs written for the project and as a result is the concluding thought of these questions of love. It is essentially the result of me processing these concepts. The song is also markedly different from not only the rest of the EP, but from everything that I have previously done. In ending the EP with this song, I wanted to leave a door open for whatever is to some next musically.”


6 | Rich Chambers | I’m So Tired

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Jan. 6, while watching with mouth agape as an angry mob stormed Capitol Hill, Rich Chambers decided to stand up and say something. What does he say? He simply says he is tired. Tired of the confusion. Tired of the seemingly uncompromising ideologies. Tired of agendas with no directions or solutions. Tired of the unrest. Just plain tired! I’m So Tired is the Vancouver artist’s follow-up single to his 2020 Christmas album Santa’s Rockin’ Band. The new single comes months before the album it is intended to be on will be ready, but with the recent turmoil, Chambers felt it was important to release the song now. “I didn’t intend for this song to be so political,” says Chambers, “but as I watched what was unfolding in Washington, I suddenly realized that I’m So Tired‘ which I had just written and recorded days before, seemed to be not only exactly how I was feeling, but how everyone was feeling.”


7 | Hiatus | Your Place Is Empty (ft. Malahat)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “British-Iranian artist Hiatus (real name Cyrus Shahrad) has just dropped the single Your Place Is Empty (ft. Malahat) from his upcoming album Distancer which lands on April 9. The need for music that takes us to new places has never been greater, and few records fulfil that need like Distancer, which leads the listener on a journey to Iran, piercing that nation’s veil of mystery and revealing the radiance of its creative and spiritual culture. Cyrus has been channelling his Iranian heritage through music since 2005, when he rediscovered his father’s record collection while working as a journalist in Tehran. Since then, his releases have featured samples from old Iranian records, an Iranian nursery rhyme rescored for a choir, even his father reciting ancient Persian poetry.”


8 | Cathal Coughlan | Owl In The Parlour

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Irish indie musician Cathal Coughlan presents Owl In The Parlour, the second single from his forthcoming album Song of Co-Aklan, his first new music in 10 years. The accompanying video presents Co-Aklan in an infomercial of the most hallucinatory and lurid kind, which is nonetheless friendly and persuasive in tone. “This song is, in part, a survey of the options in personal couture, animal husbandry and ‘inexpensive’ domestic staffing which are now available to the spry middle-aged man in this era of global communication,” he says. æIn this gilded age, we are simultaneously interlinked and mutually repelled as never before, whether we live in remote settlements in war-torn parts of the world, or in the mosaic of postage-stamp-sized semi-detached fortresses and gargantuan fulfilment hubs that is the English Hinterland in 2021.”


9 | Chin Injeti | For The Love of Live (ft. Teon Gibbs)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chin Injeti fuses his love of ’80s funk and boogie music with a modern twist that encapsulates a unique yet nostalgic feeling, captivating his fans. In a rough year for everyone, Chin used the extra time to release new music and write new songs for 2021. Now, he’s ready to release his debut 12-song producer/artist album with features singing alongside him. New single For the Love of Life features Teon Gibbs and a sample of Chin’s son playing piano. An empowering anthem about women of colour and their journeys, For the Love of Life was mixed in Toronto by Keys N KratesAdam Tune.”


10 | Fierce Heart | Lost Inside Your Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Fierce Heart premiere the music video for Lost Inside Your Love, filmed in California’s Painted Canyon. The song is a return to romantic ’80s ballads and arrives in time for Valentine’s Day. Says guitarist Rex Carroll: “This beautiful song tells a timeless story of love from the point of view of a rock musician on tour. Lost Inside Your Love is a song that’s written for lovers everywhere — so turn down the lights, turn up the music, and have a happy, romantic Valentine’s Day!”


11 | What If Elephants | Sugar Daddy (ft. Maya Malkin)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal four-piece indie pop band What If Elephants debut their video for Sugar Daddy, a rhythmically driven tune with delightful harmonies from Maya Malkin. Said Joey Langlois: ‘For this video, we knew we wanted something sugary! It tells a simple story of someone who thinks the key to their partner’s heart is giving the sugar, when it simply isn’t.’ Comprised of singer/guitarist Langlois, Alanna Martin (vocals/keyboards), Justin Wiley (drums), and bassist Collin Steinz, What If Elephants channel the divergent musical experiences that make up their individual, musical backstories so fluidly, they simply don’t sound like anyone but themselves.”


12 | Blue Hour Ghosts | Shine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative prog metal act Blue Hour Ghosts share the lyric video for their single Shine in support of the upcoming album Due, out on Feb. 12. The band comment: “Shine is a melancholic andante/mid-tempo rocker with a ‘grungy’ feel, introduced by piano and vocals, before a riveting guitar riff sets on; then, a subtle, atmospheric verse makes way for a truly powerful and dramatic chorus; the song ends with a final climax that brings the listener back to the initial melodies in a circular fashion. The track is literally packed with hooks and melodies that greatly enrich the musical fabric, sustaining Ricky’s wholehearted singing. In spite of its somber tone, the song is about finding the courage to accept our flaws and unlock all the beautiful things we keep inside ourselves, to overcome our fears, our sense of inadequateness or incompleteness, and the cages sometimes relationships bind us to, which can smother our will and diminish our self-esteem. It’s an exhortation to take the initiative, bear the suffering and then find out how an ugly duckling can become a swan.”


13 | Piers Faccini | The Real Way Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “British-Italian artist Piers Faccini announces his album Shapes Of The Fall will come out April 2. Featuring collaborations with Ben Harper and Abdelkebir Merchane, Shapes Of The Fall is Faccini’s seventh album in a career spanning over 20 years and collaborations with the likes of Rokia Traoré, Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal. The announcement arrives alongside the first track lifted from the album, The Real Way Out.”


14 | Caribou | Never Come Back (Koreless Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A year after the release of the celebrated album Suddenly — which was followed by several remixes — Dan Snaith aka Caribou shares a new remix of Never Come Back by Koreless and announces the collection Suddenly Remixes will arrive on March 12. The album has 12 tracks, including four unreleased remixes by Toro Y Moi, Jessy Lanza, Koreless and Prince Nifty. Snaith says: “Sometimes remixes are commissioned to be marketing tools or to make the music functional in a club. But for me there’s only one reason to get remixes done: because I’m a giddy fan of the remixer. Looking down the tracklisting of this remix album, it’s a thrill to see a list of producers whose music I find so inspiring collected there — some are established artists, some are just starting out; some I messaged, begging a remix, right after coming across their music for the first time and some are dear friends whose music I’ve loved for a while — but in every case I feel very lucky to hear their music and mine connected on this remix album.”


15 | Regent | Just A Revolution

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Regent release their riotous new single Just A Revolution. It is the lead single and title track of Regent’s debut album, confirmed for release later this year. “These days music is so dull, all I want to hear is rock ’n’ roll,” sneers frontman Ben Rooke over a cacophony of ground-splitting riffs and gnarly sonics. Mission accomplished. Like the bastard child of Cigarettes & Alcohol and Some Might Say, Just A Revolution is a no-frills, all-thrills nod to rock ’n’ roll in all its glory.”


16 | Velshur | Other Side

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ben Walsh is the brains behind Velshur, his pop music project. Walsh is a rare kind of musician these days; his music, his story and his artistic ambitions are refreshingly simple: ‘Really I just want to create music that makes anyone who listens to it feel great,’ he says. ‘Music that’s uplifting, that let’s people be in a room and look at each other and hug each other and go ‘fuck yeah’. With hugging out of bounds at the moment, live music completely shut down and gigs cancelled, Ben had more time to write and write he did. He’d been writing music for fashion ads and found working outside his comfort zone surprisingly enjoyable. He also missed dancing a lot, so set out to create a song perfect for kitchen discos and after dinner dancing with housemates. Other Side also looks forward to coming out of isolation and the prospect of better days, when we will literally be on the other side of the pandemic and can look back on it and see things differently.”


17 | Asta Hiroki | Slumber (ft. Dontmesswithjuan)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Electronic producer and visual artist Asta Hiroki’s new single Slumber (ft. Dontmesswithjuan) is a wonderfully dreamy indie electronica lullaby, a beautiful marriage of soft-around-the-edges instrumentation and heavy eyed soulful lyricism from the two producers.  Hiroki is an electronica/experimental hip hop producer and visual artist based in Brighton. Drawing from jazz, electronica, post-Dilla hip hop, lo-fi and glitch music he builds layered compositions in his own brand of intelligent and modern, soulful electronica. Flitting between downtempo hip-hop, ambient moments and glitchy compound-time signature beats it’s a widespan sound yet always constructed with the same attention to detail and jazz sensibilities.”


18 | Draken | Way Down Low

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in Oslo in 2018 by Spidergawd/Orango bassist Hallvard Gaardløs and close friend Andre Drage, Draken is a rock band with an appetite for reinvention. Recently becoming a fully-fledged power triumvirate with the addition of jazz/progressive virtuoso Even Hermansen (Bushman’s Revenge) on guitar, the trio dig on the metals and hard rocks of old, and in doing so channel the inspiration they unearth into something truly unique. Explains singer Gaardløs: “Our first single Way Down Low was one of the last tracks to be written for our album and the inspiration for the song came after I went to the movies to see Us by Jordan Peele. I thought it was pretty fucking scary and when I went home, I couldn’t really sleep so I stayed up and wrote that song. The characters and overall theme of the lyrics tie together with the album, so this could well be a title track of some sort.” The album will be released on March 26.”


19 | Almost Pi | Partially Blinded By Your Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Almost Pi are Seán, Darren and Johanne, three of the driving forces behind Dublin’s quirky and ever-expanding ukulele scene. With their main group Ukulele Tuesday, they have played at music festivals all over the world, appeared on various TV and radio stations and have even given a ukulele-related TED Talk. Darren is classically trained on violin and has placed with a number of renowned orchestras. Johanne is a modern-classical composer who has just released a book about modern microtonal music. And Seán is a ukuleleist, bless him. Almost Pi is their lockdown project. Over the course of 2021, they have a series of releases planned that will include original songs and new takes on traditional Irish tunes. Their latest single, Partially Blinded by your Love is released in time for Valentine’s Day.”


20+21 | The Local Honeys | Dying To Make A Living + Octavia Triangle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “You might have seen The Local Honeys open for Colter Wall or Tyler Childers. If not and you’re behind, start with the double-side single they released today. “Way down in the hole where he earns his pay, it’s dark and unforgiving. Digging this coal and digging his grave, he’s dying to make a living.” Talk about direct: Dying To Make A Living, along with its double-single counterpart Octavia Triangle, pulls no punches in painting a grim, realistic picture of life lived working underground. Sonically, this double-single from The Local Honeys represents two sides of old-time music — one led by phase-shifted electric guitar and the other by clawhammer banjo — both a beautiful complement of the other.”


22 | Hookers & Blow | Time Of The Season

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hookers & Blow, the project formed by longtime Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed and Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi, recently hit the studios last year to record a covers album that will be released in 2021. Now the band are set to release the fifth single off the album, a cover of The ZombiesTime Of The Season. Says Dizzy: “We love The Zombies. Great band with a great name led by the incomparable Rod Argent and his keyboard wizardry. Time of the Season is an iconic song with a timeless message. It was our intention to try and honor them and all of that. To help get the word out and share the burden as well as the fun, the lovely Nadja picks up the lead vocals on this one.”


23 | Under The Influence | Moon Flavoured Magnets

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Moon Flavoured Magnets’ title comes across as being psychedelic, but this track is far from it. It is another storming, hardcore-flavoured punk track. Under The Influence continue to deliver a vicious and intense punk arsenal that is gaining them a global fanbase. “This is a mystical magical poem I wrote to Mother Nature. Touching on human greed, space, time, pollution and disrespect. Sadly, most humans are on a self-driven vendetta. Without a care for what really matters or anything that’s connected to the natural world. The only hope I see for mankind is to reconnect to the moon and oceanic currents by the only way I know, magic of course. That’s what this song is about … Magic.’’


24 | Phil X & The Drills | ‘I Love You’ On Her Lips

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Phil X needs no introduction, having been an integral full-time member of Bon Jovi since 2016. Phil and his band The Drills released their latest single Right On The Money in June. Now they are back with ‘I Love You’ On Her Lips. It features Phil X on guitars & lead vocals, Daniel Spree on bass & backing vocal and Gary Novak on drums, with gang vocals by Steve Ferlazzo, Joe Lester, Matt Starr and Marq Torien (Bullet Boys). Say Phil: ‘I Love You’ On Her Lips is TOTAL Drills. A hooky, energetic, big guitar punch in the face with with a little silliness. Everyone knows someone who says one thing & feels another. This is that with a twist.”


25 | ReeVay | Dream

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:ReeVay is guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Marc Rivest. ReeVay sang his way into Vancouver on a moving train back in 2015. Since then he has gone on to study under some of the top musicians in British Columbia and play increasingly large venues and events. Blending elements of folk, pop, and jazz, Reevay aims to combine complex jazz-inspired arrangements with simple harmonic structures and thought-provoking lyrics that recall artists such as Leonard Cohen and Cat Stevens. He is currently in preproduction for a new album in late 2021.”