Indie Roundup | 36 Songs That Will Redefine Your Existence This Thursday (Part 1)

Dree Leer, Lounge Society, der Mist, Dregg and more killer cuts to make your day.

Dree Leer won’t settle for less, Lounge Society share a stroke of genius, der Mist come out of the darkness, Manchester Orchestra have a deadly case of bed head — and they’re just the shiniest gems in the jewel-encrusted goblet of your Thursday Roundup. Bottoms up:


1 | Dree Leer | Want It All

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With a few cymbal hits, Want It All — the searing leadoff track from Dree Leer’s debut record Throw Hands — dives headfirst into a dirge of heavily distorted guitars before increasing to a punk-tinged rocker of breakneck speed featuring hauntingly melodic vocals and lyrics about desiring more and not settling for less. “Want It All felt like a good opener for the album; it’s usually our closer when we play live,” singer-guitarist Jackie Lo said. “I wanted to start off with a song that would punch you in the face. I think every person and every girl has felt this feeling of not getting enough. You’re either here 100% or you’re f**king not.” Formed in Birmingham, AL by Lo along with friends Mandy Graffeo (bass) and Mikey D (drums), Dree Leer delivers an unhinged, heavy alternative pop sound that pays homage to the familiar sounds of the ’90s guitar rock behemoths, but also forges its own path by injecting its songs with relevant social commentary and themes of empowerment. Dree Leer will release Throw Hands on April 30.”

2 | The Lounge Society | Cain’s Heresy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Lounge Society have shared the new single Cain’s Heresy and announced the release of their debut EP, Silk For The Starving, on June 18. The video pays homage to The StrokesThe Modern Age, which incidentally turns 20 years old this month, and features a cameo from Strokes producer Gordon Raphael. The band expand on the song: “Cain’s Heresy is a portrait of the world we’re headed to — where consumers lie sedated while This Week’s Hot Trend and 101 Style Tips For Summer are forced down their throats by gloved hands. It’s our way of saying ‘Not on my watch.’ Cain and Abel were brothers at war, and this song is our last stand in the war on culture which is being waged by corporations at the moment.”

3 | der Mist | Step into the Light

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glasgow duo der Mist are readying their self-titled debut album, an intoxicating mix of rock, pop and electronics to propel der Mist into your midst! Their new single is Step into the Light, showing an alt-rock side to the band with Beck-esque quirkiness and furious, inventive guitar riffs! Craig McKissick explains: “Step Into The Light comes from a time where we played in a proper rock band and wrote this song with that in mind, layering all the tracks down onto my laptop. It’s a song that’s supposed to be played LOUD, and can duelling, harmonising guitar parts just be cool again? I feel like it’s something that’s been lost. My interpretation is that the verses in the song are like different voices arguing in your head and come from a dark place but the chorus is all about finding mental clarity and silencing them, but really the music does most of the talking in this one I think.”

4 | Manchester Orchestra | Bed Head

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The wait is over: Manchester Orchestra announced today that their new album The Million Masks of God, will be released April 30. Today they share the urgent and sweeping first single, Bed Head. “Bed Head is two old friends existing in two separate realities,” explains Andy Hull. “It’s a conversation about the lives they lived, the consequences of life’s decisions, and finding purpose in trying to be better.” With special effects of Poltergeist-level proportion, the Bed Head mini-supernatural thriller film mirrors the song’s howling close, and ranks among the best in the band’s canon of celebrated visuals.”

5 | Illaman | OK!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Illaman returns with Ugly Days, the lyricist’s open-hearted new EP with long-time collaborator Norm Oddity. Three years after their first joint project, the pair present their most honest and well-honed work to date. Says Illa: “It’s a very honest representation of some very ugly days in my life.” Directed by Krupa, OK! is the first video lifted from Ugly Days. The visuals were inspired by Krupa, showing Illaman Taxi Driver for the first time, and this could be a BAFTA winner itself. As Illa says: “Celebrate your weirdness” because despite the battles, everything will be OK.”

6 | Nixil | May This Flame Flicker Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Maryland black metal collective Nixil undrape their haunting new video for May This Flame Flicker Out. Produced by Shane K. Gardner, the callous track comes by way of the band’s All Knots Untied debut album, slated for release on March 5. The band elaborate: “May This Flame Flicker Out is a song of wrath and willful rebellion toward existence and its creator. It is a statement of the final intent embodied in the Great Work: That of transcendence beyond the torturous wheel of rebirth and spiritual immersion into the pure nothingness and potentiality of the waters of Chaos.”

7 | Total Massacre | Pro-Life Death Cult

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Southern California punks Total Massacre, a self-described band of “anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-capitalists,” have delivered another rager titled Pro-Life Death Cult. The band say: “Pro-Life Death Cult is out now! Everywhere! And Tommy Massacre (drums) made a sick lyric video for y’all so you can maybe actually understand what the hell the Cap’n is screaming about (hint: it’s always capitalism). We also gotta thank Justin Moll for the amazing art that brings these songs to life. Check it out, and then tune in to see if we can top this shit next month! (Hint: we absolutely fucking will).”

8 | Dregg | Evolve

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melbourne anomalistic collective Dregg have shared their new track Evolve. Drenched in heavy guitars and raging drums the band bang out their frustrations with a sound that hungrily consumes metal, hardcore, and rap, only to heave it back up in a colorful rainbow of bombastic brutality. “Humans have a long history of adapting to situations and environments they’ve been thrown into. 2020 was no exception and it pushed humanity into new and interesting territory. Without the ability to allow thoughts, feelings, and the fundamentals of innovation to advance and improve, the world would have come to an unimaginative decline in ingenuity.”

9 | Blue Ox | Left To The Drift

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Minnesota’s Blue Ox — formed by former members of Dead To Fall, Devilinside, Ambassador Gun, Coma Eternal and more — will release their third LP Holy Vore this April. Left To The Drift is the new video from the thundering album. It was filmed in-studio by Tucker during the LP’s 2019 recording sessions before the pandemic hit. Writes vocalist Dennis Hanson: “This song lyrically is about being on board for the journey of terminal illness of a loved one and the futility of trying to keep something close that is leaving you.”

10 | Laced In Lust | Hot Tonight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Aussie hard rockers Laced In Lust release their new album First Bite on Feb. 26. With a sound frequently described as a sleazy Status Quo on the Sunset Strip, Laced In Lust have been turning heads since 2012. Frontman Torsten Steel explains Hot Tonight: “I spent six months as the bass player for Lagerstein in 2018. I actually wrote the song about their lead singer Captain Gregarrr. At the time he was having a very hard time girl-wise … he might have had a few girlfriends all at the same time and a possible few more on the way haha. He was really drunk one night and crawled up on the couch next to me and we had a two-hour drunk talk about his situation. Two lines were said that night that stayed with me and that was ‘It’s not about you, it’s about them’ and ‘I want to promise them the world.’ He’ll probably kill me after this.”

11 | Tami Neilson | You Were Mine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Tomorrow, Tami Neilson will release the deluxe version of her acclaimed LP, Chickaboom!, which includes five additional tracks recorded live with the 12-piece Big Boss Orchestra. Today she’s sharing the new video for You Were Mine, filmed live in studio.”

12 | Vitamin String Quartet | Motion Picture Soundtrack

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The video for our rendition of (Radiohead’s) Motion Picture Soundtrack is a long overdue joy,” James Curtiss says. “As a piece of music, it’s been one of our most successful and longest enduring releases. Even before the hype that came with Westworld, it was a staple of live sets and passionately requested by fans as sheet music they could own. It’s a wonder it took us until right now to make a video. Bur right now seemed to be the perfect time to make it like this.”

13 | MJ Songstress | Carousel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Jersey dance-pop singer-songwriter MJ Songstress released the video for Carousel. The first thing you’re likely to notice about the song is the intoxicating beat, an unmistakable sonic signature with a mid-range thump. Carousel is sensual, immersive and propulsive, designed to pick you up and whirl you around into carefree, spiritual existentialism. It’s a song that’s guaranteed to fill the dance floor, and one that will surely put you in the mood for new love.”

14 | Sulene | I Still Think You’re So Fake

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh off those Valentine’s Day blues, alt-pop artist Sulene has the perfect answer for past heartbreak with her new single I Still Think You’re So Fake, the third cut off her upcoming EP he•don•ic, out March 5. Sulene expands: “I wrote it after I got a text from an ex that he was getting married. I guess I hadn’t thought about this relationship for a long time and it brought up all sorts of things. Sometimes the gift of time and growing up is being able to look back and sorta see things differently, more clearly. I found myself feeling angry.”

15 | Marlaena Moore | Carve

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Marlaena Moore reveals the video for her latest single Carve. Directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick and filmed on the snowy peaks of The Rockies, Carve is taken from Marlaena’s LP Pay Attention, Be Amazed! Marlaena says: “Carve is an especially vulnerable song for me, it was written from one of the darkest times in my life. To be recalling that time while frolicking in the snow was quite something, but Laura-Lynn was so good at making me feel so safe and confident in what we were doing, I happily gave her all my trust and I couldn’t be more proud of the result.”

16 | Big Little Lions | Enough

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Big Little Lions have been described as a blissful marriage of new folk and sophisticated pop. This award-winning duo consists of Helen Austin and Paul Otten who, despite living thousands of miles apart, have found a way to connect and create music together. Helen lives in British Columbia and Paul lives in Cincinnati. But the distance provides the necessity to create in a new way. Using technology as their ally and their differences as their strength. Their monthly single releases are their way of getting through this pandemic while all the usual album cycle release plans don’t make sense anymore. Their music is jam-packed with emotion and tight harmonies, the sound of two people working side by side.”

17 | Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini | Illusion of Time (Teodor Wolgers Rework)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini’s masterpiece Illusion of Time is one of my favourite electronic tracks released last year,” says Teodor Wolgers. “Listening to it always made me wonder what it would sound like if I was able to capture the beauty of the original and add a more organic backbone. So without any real expectations I contacted them by chance, asking if I could rework it. They liked the idea and it almost feels a little surreal that my version now is being released. It was a pleasure breaking down the piece and add colours from my own palette. It almost felt as if Daniel and Alessandro was in the room as I was shaping elements from our worlds of sound into this new and alluring mould.”

18 | Jeffery Straker | Ready to be Brave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the hardest things to do is sit down and talk through our differences with other people. Singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker tackles these ideas with his new single Ready to be Brave and announces the release of his forthcoming album Just Before Sunrise, due out on May 7. The song grew out of stories Jeffery listened to while working as an artist in residence at a camp for LGBTQ2 youth. “I was there using songwriting as a way to let campers express what they needed to express. So many of their stories were about their coming out (or wanting to come out) at a young age and the incredible bravery and vulnerability that it took;” shares Jeffery. “There was a lot of unacceptance in those stories coupled with craving and needing to belong. Of course, it made me think back to my own coming out, but also about people I know who haven’t been able to do it yet.”