Indie Roundup: 115 Songs to Fill The Gaping Hole In Your Soul This Weekend (Part 5)

Nick Waterhouse, Motorbike James, Carlie Hanson and more artists to get you there.

Nick Waterhouse doubles your pleasure, Motorbike James shifts into automatic pilot, Carlie Hanson questions your decorating choices, Sarah Cicero sends a letter to the editor — and we’re rounding the clubhouse turn in a whopper of a Weekend Roundup. Hang in there! The end is nigh (one way or another):


77+78 | Nick Waterhouse | Very Blue + Medicine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nick Waterhouse takes the color blue as his hue of choice as he takes a spiritual look to the past on new album Promenade Blue, due out April 9. Today he releases soulful new singles Very Blue and Medicine, two love songs that capture his relentless spirit and mesmerizing brand of jittering, crystalline doo wop, jazz and blues. Waterhouse shares, “Both of these songs (and my forthcoming LP) are rooted in agape-style love centered around people that make differences in your life. I would say they represent two sides of the coin of Promenade Blue. Lyrically and tonally, it’s the kind of love — and kinship — your experiences with others, and concurrently the memories tied to them create. They are about how other people can affect you and your entire inner life that runs in parallel to romantic love (a la Valentine’s Day). I am also an Aquarius so a February release just made sense. When I write songs like these they’re little Valentines to those that have given me these very personal things I treasure so much.”

79 | Motorbike James | Automatic

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Motorbike James is a stream-of-consciousness writer; he writes through pure emotion and what he feels in the moment. What comes out the other side is a unique offering of music that is hard to pin under any one genre. Elements of electronic, indie rock, psychedelic, and R&B poke through each song. Automatic, the new single from Motorbike James, is about the idea of not loving yourself enough to be real and honest with yourself and others. Instead of being rational, it’s this automatic emotion-driven reaction.”

80 | Carlie Hanson | I Hate Your Room

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt-pop darling Carlie Hanson has released a new track titled I Hate Your Room. It’s her first track of the year and her first song since her October EP DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy.”

81 | Sarah Cicero | Letter To The Editor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn’s Sarah Cicero released her delightfully cutting new single Letter to the Editor, and announced her debut EP Cold Immaculate Opposite, due out on April 9. Letter to the Editor is a catchy indie-pop track that was written as an ode to men who consider “being tall” a character trait and wield that power to make others feel small. With lyrics that are deeply affective and cerebral, Cicero embraces all of the uncertainty and nebulousness that is being a twenty-something. It’s the evolution of a young woman becoming self-aware, and especially with this past year of forced solitude, being comfortable in her own skin.”

82 | Charles Ellsworth | Miami, AZ

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Charles Ellsworth is a NYC transplant by way of the White Mountains of Arizona, where he was raised on Mormon hymns and Top 40 country music. He was first exposed to classic and alternative rock in his teens and started taking guitar lessons in the back of a local furniture store. In early 2020, Ellsworth recruited several musicians from the Brooklyn scene — Jared Schapker (Grandpa Jack) and Blake Suben (Dirty Bird) — to help him record an album with Joe Reinhart (Hop Along, Algernon Cadwallader) at his Headroom Studio in Philadelphia, Pa. The subsequent recordings are his forthcoming album, Honeysuckle Summer, due for release this spring.”

83 | Ruth B. | If I Have A Son (ft. The Harlem Gospel Travelers)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ruth B. releases a new version of her single If I Have A Son with The Harlem Gospel Travelers in celebration of Black History Month. If I Have A Son reflects on the dangers Black children are subjected to because of their identity. “No matter what you say, no matter what you do, this world will never be as friendly to you,” sings Ruth, a heartbreaking truth delivered with a chilling beauty.”

84 | Onchocerciasis Esophagogastroduodenoscopy | Profane Psalms Carved into the Palms of God

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Onchocerciasis Esophagogastroduodenoscopy — a band that redefine the meaning of extremity — have released Profane Psalms Carved Into The Palms of God,  a beast of a track that will push even the most hardened fans of brutality to their limits. Prepare for complete obliteration. Speaking about Profane Psalms… and the upcoming album The Rotted Plinth Of Sachiel, OxEx’s multi instrumentalist Caleb Simard said, “Profane Psalms… is probably the track that means the most to me on this album. Jesse (Agiomamitis, vocals) had an idea of having a funeral-doomish track, inspired by Disentomb, and I wrote the song in an hour.”

85 | Hearts Apart | Waste Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hearts Apart is the new project from members of well-known italian underground band such as Miss Chain & The Broken Heels, Il Buio, Universal Sex Arena and Phill Reynolds. Waste Time is their debut single. They say: “Time and sadness: what a couple of sovereigns, what bullshit. It’s our duty to separate ourselves the easiest way: at rehearsals, among friends. Wasted time is never useless, inappropriateness can be one redemption driving force and music its best vehicle. A song that aims to be the best antidote to the worst self-pity.”

86 | Johnny Burgin & Anson Funderburgh | Cherry On Top

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Johnny Burgin teams up with Anson Funderburgh to release their Cherry on Top. It’s a sultry burlesque blues with lyrics of love for this Valentine’s Day. Chicago blues artist Johnny Burgin is living in a lover’s paradise and wants the world to know. Collaborator Anson Funderburgh’s trademark restrained lines and super-clean tone heightens the romantic and indulgent mood of this single.”

87 | Melotika | Beautiful Disguise

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In her first single that lands ahead of her forthcoming album Dancing Without You, Canadian electro-pop artist Melotika touches on feelings of heartbreak, self-reliance and what it’s like coming out of a toxic relationship. She breathes new life into older lyrics that still ring true today. “I wrote this song when I was 19. I think the original lyrics were called Misery or Victim,” Melotika shares. “It was after a bad breakup in 2012. Spring 2020 I decided to write an album and finish up some unfinished songs. After going back and forth with my producer for months, Beautiful Disguise was the last song we completed for the album, and ironically the first song to be released.”

88 | Sunfields | Got Some ( But It Ain’t Enough)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acid-laced pop outfit Sunfields are the brainchild of singer-songwriter Jason Kent. Although the quartet was born in 2009, three quarters of its members have been playing music on and off together since they were teens. Their tunes carry a classy bombast of chamber rock, the intimacy of a singer songwriter, and the easy-breeziness of vintage pop with some psychedelic undertones thrown in. It’s all too easy to feel defeated in life sometimes. Got Some (But It Ain’t Enough), their new single from the forthcoming album Late Bloomers, pokes fun at that notion. Not everything in life needs to be taken so seriously, including yourself/ourselves.”

89 | Sports | Call Me Anytime

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Oklahoma dream-pop duo Sports (Cale Chronister + Christian Theriot) released their new project Get A Good Look Pt. 1. Across six tracks, it effortlessly blurs the lines between synth-pop, indie-funk, disco, and psychedelic rock and marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the band. The newest single Call Me Anytime is a sauntering slow burn that hypnotizes through repetition before culminating in a rippling guitar solo. Chronister says about the track, “This song came from a jam we did back when we were writing for Everyone’s Invited. It’s a completely different idea now than it was then. Then, it was just these stabby chords and me singing ‘you can call me anytime’ over a bunch of noise. Now it’s much more finessed rock ‘n’ roll, which I love.”

90 | Sarah Walk x Meshell Ndegeocello | Nothing Compares 2 U

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Sarah Walk has teamed up with Meshell Ndegeocello and Abe Rounds to release a slow-burning cover of one of the most famous love songs of all time: Nothing Compares 2 U. The Prince classic also made famous by Sinéad O’Connor comes on the heels of Walk’s 2020 sophomore album Another Me, exploring her experience as a queer woman with themes of vulnerability, toxic relationships and patriarchal entitlement. Walk — a Minneapolis native like Prince — says: “I kept seeing this visual of me singing that repetitive lyric on stage, almost trying to convince myself I was OK … while the curtain opened up behind me without me knowing it, exposing all of the memories and anger and heartbreak I was really feeling but not able to accept or admit yet.”

91 | Ervin Stellar | Love Is Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With a dancing, melodic bassline and whistling Hammond organ complement, Ervin Stellar’s single Love Is Love could slip in unnoticed on Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks if it weren’t for his smooth, intimate vocal delivery on the opening line: “I loved a woman who loved a woman. Whatcha think about that?” A tune that will certainly warrant a relisten to catch each impeccably crafted line, Love Is Love is a shining example of how to pull off a balancing act of being earnest, lighthearted, and virtuous — all within a four-minute window of time. As far as its meaning, this artist believes the title and lyrics say all there is to say.”

92 | Anya Hinkle | What’s It Gonna Take (ft. Graham Sharp)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For as long as people have written songs, they’ve written songs that respond to and reflect on events in the world around them. And so, when Anya Hinkle and her neighbor Graham Sharp (Steep Canyon Rangers) got together to write on the day that news broke of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, it was almost inevitable that what would emerge was a meditation on the gulf between American aspirations and American reality. “In fraught moments, you usually write what you need to write, to process what’s going and find the words to move forward,” says Sharp. “This was the case with What’s It Gonna Take. My first instinct as we were writing was to look inside myself and what I could do. It was a very raw moment to see the pain of George Floyd and the Black community and know that I needed to account for myself in that moment.” Adds Hinkle: “We are all asking ‘What’s it gonna take?’ How can we create real and lasting change to the dynamics that rob us, as a nation, of the American dream? Can we listen and learn, make a commitment to trying to get it right?”

93 | Julian Skiboat | Flowers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When you hear Julian Skiboat, you stop and listen. Hailing from San Antonio, the 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter evokes emotions out of each and every lyric and guitar strum. What’s astonishing is that up until recently, he has made all of his music on his phone. Lead single Flowers was written after Julian had a mental reset. The uplifting song explores how some things really aren’t the end of the world and that just because something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. Emphasizing how better days are always ahead, the songwriter shares, “I think with my upcoming songs and projects I really want to dive into that kind of like ‘it could be worse, I can make it through this’ message.”

94+95 | Luwten | Call Me In + Full Well

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dutch producer, songwriter and musician Luwten (Tessa Douwstra) releases two tracks: Call Me In (Arte Session) and Full Well (Acoustic). The two new acoustic versions are lifted from Luwten’s soon-to-be-announced sophomore album. Luwten takes her name from a Dutch word which simply means ‘place without wind’. Amsterdam-based Tessa Douwstra adopted it as the moniker for her solo abstract pop project — which fuses organic instrumentation with field recordings and sampling — so enamoured was she with the creative process of “working in a total vacuum.”

96 | Ethos XCIX | Leave Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Exciting electronic artist ​Ethos XCIX drops his latest epic ​Leave Me​. This melancholic melodic dubstep banger is completely self-produced but has the air of a seasoned pro. Rising in with subtle guitar plucks, strong synths and powerful hits, the catchy hook leads the listener by the ear to a series of huge drops classic of its melodic dubstep style. With elements of emo-punk adding a modern and innovative flair, his melancholic sound resonates with listeners both in earphones and on dancefloors. “Leave Me was written at a point in my life when I was feeling very isolated and alone,” explains Ethos. “At the time I hadn’t been in an intimate relationship for years, and this song really dives into those feelings of worthlessness.”