Indie Roundup | 44 Songs Nobody Should Be Without This Wednesday (Part 2)

Jont, Shrink, Ronna Reason, Ani Cordero, Deniz Tek & more acts to make your day.

Jont takes a step in the wrong (and right) direction, Shrink leaves you hanging, Ronna Reason visits the wrong side of town, Deniz Tek delivers a blast from the past — and there’s plenty more where they came from on the back half of your Wednesday Roundup. Make it happen:


23 | Jont | Step Into The Fear

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Halifax singer-songwriter Jont has released a new video featuring dancer-choreographer Natalie Morin to accompany his latest anthemic single Step Into The Fear. Reflecting on the song — with its rallying cry to step into one’s power — Jont shares: “When I got the first mix back of this song from Mark Lawson (Grammy-winning mix engineer based in Montreal), I danced around my flat with headphones on and cried. Proper crying.” As well as being a moving song with a lot of personal resonance (and a soaring string and choir arrangement from Halifax’s Tamsin Michael Robson), it also represented the first time his music had really sounded top-notch to him. “This was my 11th album. And as all who make albums know, it’s a real challenge to make something really good. We try our hardest, but many skilful choices and happy accidents have to coincide to allow one to make an album of lasting value. So when I heard the mix of this song, it felt like the standard of song I had always hoped to make.”

24 | Shrink | Cut You Loose

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shrink is the project of 22-year-old Sam Breathwick. Ahead of his debut EP Shrink being released this Friday, he shares new single Cut You Loose, a cathartic track about removing someone from your life when a relationship ends. It comes with a symbolic video shot by notable duo Ethan + Tom.”

25 | Ronna Reason | Panic Town (ft. Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “L.A.’s Ronna Reason has unleashed her debut single/video Panic Town, armed with post-punk electro flair and featuring Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin. The new song comes alongside the announcement of her self-titled EP out March 19. Since the early ’00s, Ronna has run the Kingsize Soundlabs empire with famed producer, musician Dave Trumfio (Pulsars, Mekons) and opened Gold-Diggers, East Hollywood’s esteemed boutique hotel/club/recording studio.”

26 | Ani Cordero | Es Amor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Puerto Rican activist and songwriter Ani Cordero has released the new single Es Amor (It’s Love), along with a meditative lyric video. “I want this song to be like a hug for everyone,” says Ani. “After the year we’ve all had, it feels like we all need to return to love. We all definitely need healing.” The Spanish lyrics talk about a kind of simple love, free from needs and desires, a love that is easy. “You don’t have to have a reason to feel love. It’s about the love in my life in all varieties.”

27 | Swarmageddon | Of A Billion Screams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Four months after the official release of their debut album Inhuman, French melodic death-metallers Swarmageddon just shared another music video illustrating the song Of A Billion Screams. Mixing aggression, atmospheres and melody, the music of Swarmageddon explores a universe both dark and epic, at the crossroads of old-school and modern metal.”

28 | Middle Kids | Cellophane (Brain)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Middle Kids have released the third single Cellophane (Brain) from their second album Today We’re The Greatest, which comes out March 19. Lead singer/songwriter Hannah Joy explains the meaning behind the song: “I remember making a diorama in primary school for an under-the-ocean scene using cellophane. I loved the way cellophane looked but I hated the way it crunched and creased in my hands. It’s one of those weird things you remember sometimes … I’m not even sure if cellophane is an exact metaphor for my mind it feels connected to the song for me. When I consciously started taking note of what was going on in my brain it was usually ANXIOUS and NEGATIVE. If my mind is a minefield of fear and sadness, nothing else can shift my overall sense of myself. But to change one’s thinking is incredibly hard. It’s an inner journey with little extrinsic reward or accountability.”

29 | Matt Heckler | Blood, Water, Coal

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Blood, Water, Coal is the second studio album from North Carolina’s Matt Heckler. With the record now confirmed for release later this month, the title track is now streaming. Heckler is a solo multi-instrumentalist who barely fits into any ordinary musical category. He tends to keep to the darker side of Appalachian mountain music and early bluegrass — but listen long enough and you’ll soon be transported to the mountains of Eastern Europe or a dimly lit bar in Ireland where they honor those who have passed with a gently swaying a cappella ballad.”

30 | Kalbells | Pickles (ft. Miss Eaves)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kalbells — the collaborative art-pop project of Kalmia Traver, Angelica Bess, Sarah Pedinotti and Zoë Brecher — shared their new single Pickles, a fun and buoyant track featuring multimedia artist/rapper Miss Eaves. It comes from the upcoming full-length Max Heart, out March 26. Traver shared some thoughts: “The song is about escaping a romantic pickle by grudgingly accepting getting one’s ego chopped down, or at least chopped back … and then realizing the whole experience can be kind of fun, sadistically, but also existentially thrilling and weirdly healing. For the second verse, Miss Eaves and I had a long conversation about fuckbois and then she turned around this glistening cave of pickle puns and our mouths all dropped to the floor and we all fell in love with her.”

31 | Treephones | Fuzzy Dream Machine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The 10 song titles on Treephones’ new album Pink Objects read like an inventory of things found stashed away in a closet or neglected drawer. With every song named after an object, the concept album takes the approach of a short story collection and focuses on the interactions and relationships of characters centred around these items. The album was written and recorded at home by Stephen Trothen, who also handled all but a few of the performing duties. The result is a set of songs that weave beautifully evolving textures into a carefully arranged sound that matches the directness and understated complexity of its lyrics. Today, Treephones shares the first single from Pink Objects, Fuzzy Dream Machine, a song about a “sleepy cat named Charlie and also an imagined future technology not unlike a self-driving car and my fear that I might already be asleep at the wheel.”

32 | Robert Cotter | Love Rite

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Robert Cotter’s ultra-rare 1976 album Missing You is being reissued. The album was never properly released at the time and most copies were destroyed before they could hit record store shelves. The few that survived now command unreasonable prices. The album, recorded in New York between 1975 and 76, is also Chic’s earliest recording — or The Big Apple Band as the group were known, which Robert Cotter was fronting at the time alongside fellow musicians Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards, Tony Thompson and Robert Sabino. Greater than the sum of its parts, Missing You is a unique album and a bona fide classic that finally gets the release it deserves 45 years on.”

33 | Blue Fish Diamond | Sunshine In My Brain

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dublin indie-folk band Blue Fish Diamond have released their single Sunshine In My Brain. Produced by Gavin Glass in Orphan Recording studios, Sunshine In My Brain uses vivid imagery to speak to the desperation that many people experience and the hope that each new day will bring some sunshine to their lives. About the song Jim Murphy says: “We live in a time where anxiety and despair are increasingly commonplace but also a time where there is greater openness about mental health issues and where hope exists through communal support. A song for today’s world, I hope listening to Sunshine In My Brain has a cathartic effect against the challenges that we all face whether ongoing or from time to time.”

34 | Mint Julep | A Rising Sun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Created slowly over a years-long span that encompassed the recording of 2019’s Stray Fantasies, wife and husband duo Hollie and Keith Kenniff are set to deliver In A Deep & Dreamless Sleep on March 19. The new album is a distinctly hazier chapter of their technicolor pop venture Mint Julep. Today the Kennifs share the album opener A Rising Sun, and while different from the Mint Julep mold in terms throwing out a typical verse/chorus/verse structure, they instead set their sites squarely on mood with big results. In Keith’s words, they wanted “the emotionality to rely on an idea that builds slowly and gathers momentum without any detours.”

35 | Revoltone | My Hero

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Finnish melodic punk band Revoltone has released the new single My Hero. The song is the third single from the upcoming album For The Silent Voices to be released March 26. The song is about feelings of gratitude towards someone or something that have shown you the way in life and served as an inspiration and example how to get by in this crazy world. Hopefully everyone have someone to look up to and take guidance from, in other words, a hero!”

36 | Simon Provencher | Choix Multiples

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Mastering the art of frantic guitar playing, noise-making, and post-punk vibing as part of the Montreal band Victime, Simon Provencher has kept exploring the limits of his instrument on his own, discreetly delivering instrumental experimentations along the way. Bits and pieces slowly started to form a somewhat free jazz collage, flirting with electro-acoustic, and dominated by the reverberations and loops of the fleeting guitar. A clear sound emanating today from Choix Multiples, the first glimpse to be shared off the upcoming EP Mesures, to be released on March 26. Choix Multiples evolves around constant, staggered guitar looping and unstabled harmonics.”

37 | James Alphonse | Crazy For You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:James Alphonse has won awards at the Hamilton Music Awards. His newest mentors are Andre Kaden Black (Fefe Dobson, Francesco Yates) and Tal Vaisman (Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons), who have produced James’ forthcoming debut solo EP. It’s tough to know you’re ready for a real relationship — to find someone you think is your person, and to know they’re just not there with you. Crazy For You, the newest single from James, a bit like a cooking recipe. It’s one part ‘Hey, I’m sorry. I was ignorant and couldn’t empathize with you’ and another part ‘This sucks, now I understand.’ ”

38 | Sean Healy | Drift Around

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging folksinger-songwriter Sean Healy shares his debut single Drift Around. While the singer is originally from Ireland, Healy currently lives in China. He tells us: “I wrote this song when I was studying Chinese in Shanghai. It was the year after I finished college in Ireland. I wrote the song without forethought but looking back I think it’s about searching and finding energy as time goes by and challenges arise, and reconnecting with energy that you had before.”

39 | Dead Nature | Red Clouds

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dead Nature — the solo project of former Spring King singer Tarek Musa — announced his first new music of 2021 in the shape of new single Red Clouds, along with news that work on his as-yet-untitled debut album is complete. The boisterous, sky-high pop dramatics of Red Clouds swirl with the energy of festivals yet-to-return, and treasured collective experiences that hang just out of view. Musa expands: “Red Clouds is about those dewy-eyed experiences we have of love, of people moving on, of moments you truly don’t want to end. I was listening to a lot of lo-fi ’80s music, the kinds of songs that bands were recording in their garages or local DIY studios on the first home-studio budget tape machines, and it inspired me to indulge in that world. A world of simple songs centred around innocent romance and love with lyrics so effortless in their attempt to be anything other than three minutes of pure nostalgia.”

40 | Deniz Tek | Press On

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Garage-rock legend and Radio Birdman founder Deniz Tek has announced the reissue of the groundbreaking album Take It To The Vertical on March 19. Originally released in 1992, it was Tek’s first solo album. Recorded at historic SugarHill Studios in Houston, the album features Radio Birdman’s Chris Masuak on guitar and keyboards, and The StoogesScott Asheton on drums. There are extensive liner notes, never-before-seen photos, and a bonus track that was not on the original release. Deniz has now shared the first track from the album: Press On, a ripping rock ’n’ roll anthem about air combat.”

41 | Sundrowned | Ruins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Norwegian post-black-metal newcomers Sundrowned have just revealed Ruins, another new track from their forthcoming debut album Become Ethereal, which is set for release in May. With a sound reminiscent of bands like Alcest, Rosetta and Deafheaven, Sundrowned is the solo project of Jone Amundsen Piscopo, joined by Aron Eggertsson, Gabriel Innocent and Markus Jakobsen. Become Ethereal is the first album in a series exploring the different facets of humanity seen through the lens of classical alchemy and the search for perfection.”

42 | J.L.G | Lion Lady

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Miami synth-pop artist J.L.G represents his city as only he knows how on breezy, funky single Lion Lady. When talking about his home town, he paints an emotional picture. “I want to bring a refreshing, authentic sound to my city, and make them proud. Show them that an artist and quirky weird kid as myself can contribute to the culture in my own specific way. I definitely want to contribute to my cities artistic culture …  there is a certain perception of south Florida/Miami that I believe is somewhat misunderstood. I just want to be a breathe of fresh air, and someone for the city to be proud of. Especially as a Latino artist. I want to paint a different picture of South Florida, through my lens.”

43 | Cadaveria | Divination

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Divination is a direct, powerful, black and magical track, inspired by the ritual of reading the Buzios, typical of the Afro-Brazilian cult of Candomblé, through which you can know your Orisha and understand the reasons for certain past events, to better act in your present and future.”

44 | Kae Sun | 404 Eros

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ghanaian-born Montreal singer-songwriter Kae Sun shared 404 Eros, the second single from his forthcoming EP Midnight & Other Endings, set for release on Feb. 24. Sun says, “(It) sounds a bit simplistic to say this but I think love, which is the ultimate creative urge, will outlive every version of the world we dream up.” 404 Eros continues along the genre-bending and inquiring lines of the first release Bright Lights.”