Indie Roundup | 20 Tracks To Put Some Pep In Your Step This Monday

Traverse The Abyss, Owen Guns, Soul Push & more acts to start your week off right.

Traverse The Abyss do not walk it like they rock it, The Owen Guns fight the sickness, Soul Push makes good, The Bishop Boys come out of the dark — and if today’s Indie Roundup doesn’t make your Monday more tolerable, I don’t know how else to help you. Give it a shot:


1 | Traverse The Abyss | Faucet Mouth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Metalcore band Traverse The Abyss released their humorous video Faucet Mouth. Clearly not taking themselves too seriously, this spoof shows the band dressed as different genres, sporting everything from gold chains to cowboy hats and cheetah print to chest tattoos. Says vocalist Eric Abyss: “Faucet Mouth is a song about how once people have something to dislike about you, their mouths turn on and run like faucets, and the idea that everybody has something to say about you in the long run anyways. With the approach for the video, we went for a spoof video similar to blink-182’s All The Small Things, Eminem’s Without Me, and Bowling for Soup’s 1985. Bands don’t make as many funny videos anymore, especially metal bands for the most part, so we wanted to do something we thought would be fun, funny, and a bit nostalgic to us.”

2 | The Owen Guns | Sick!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Owen Guns have released the video for the single Sick. It’s a punchy punk rock tune dedicated to the morons who thought it was a good idea to stockpile toilet paper during a pandemic. Short, sharp, and angry — it pulls no punches. The Owen Guns are a hardcore punk band in NSW with members split b/w Sydney and the south coast. Although they’re a new band, The Owen Guns are made up of veterans of the live music scene — the members have paid their dues.”

3 | Soul Push | Good Man

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver’s Soul Push released Good Man. Bridging the gap between the 1960s idea of the future’s music and the world we live in today, this song is about a ladies man on his journey to taming himself for the right woman … finally becoming a Good Man. Drawing inspiration from artists like Tame Impala & Jungle, the song was written in London on a small vintage synth, then re-worked in a vintage house in Portugal with plenty of ’60s-era décor with vibes all over it.”

4 | The Bishop Boys | Dark Days

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Bishop Boys are an indie-rock singer-songwriter duo in Windsor. Dreamy, driving, wistful, and nostalgic, Dark Days is both a gloomy reflection on pandemic life and the civil unrest of the past year, and a hopeful forecast of brighter days ahead. Written during the first lockdown in May, the song illustrates empty live-streamed shots of Times Square, riots erupting in Minnesota in the days after the murder of George Floyd, and the widespread appreciation for the “superhero medicine man.”

5 | Damon Locks & The Black Monument Ensemble | Now (Forever Momentary Space)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago’s Black Monument Ensemble have announced new album Now (out July 9) and presented the single and video for Now (Forever Momentary Space). Originally conceived as a medium for Chicago multimedia artist/activist Damon Locks’ sample-based sound collage work Black Monument Ensemble has evolved into a vibrant collective of artists, musicians, singers, and dancers making work with common goals of joy, compassion, and intention. Galvanized by Locks’ conceptualizing, poeticizing, and guiding vision, the contributors come from all facets of the diverse wellspring of Black artistic excellence in Chicago, bringing their unique perspectives and experiences to uplifting, anthemic, and highly animated musical performance. Says Locks: “It was about offering a new thought. It was about resisting the darkness. It was about expressing possibility. It was about asking the question, ‘Since the future has unfolded and taken a new and dangerous shape … what happens NOW?’ ”

6 | Mister Tracy | The World Is Not 4 Little Girls

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian singer-songwriter John Tracy (known as Mister Tracy) is a classically trained opera singer and pianist. His musical universe blends pop and jazz in an unconventional approach. The World Is Not 4 Little Girls was the winner of a social media contest that asked fans to pitch song titles. Says Mister Tracy: “The song is a dialogue with a friend dealing with depression. But it can also be seen from a different angle. At the end of the day, you are free to interpret the song in any way, but my real intentions, despite all the noise, is hope! Despite all the bad things that can happen, whether you are concerned or not, there are also many great and happy things happening too.”

7 | Frankie Sharp | Wait Is Over

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Frankie Sharp, aka Natalie Franciska Sharp, is a Canadian actress, singer and songwriter from Vancouver. When her acting career was sidelined last year due to the pandemic, Natalie decided it was the perfect time to develop her music career, and that’s when Frankie Sharp was born. Her first single Wait is Over was written about a potential relationship, exploring that nerve-wracking waiting game you play before you decide to “go for it” and admit your feelings. The song’s ’80s-inspired video is a collaboration with her director brother Alexander Sharp. “My brother and I loved the concept of ‘going down the rabbit hole,’” says Frankie. “You see me drawn to this mysterious venue where I have this spontaneous performance experience, which ends up showing me what I’ve been longing for — to be a singer and find self expression. It is totally a parallel to my life, that I am finally tackling my music dream.”

8 | Smerz | Flashing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Norwegian electronic duo Smerz (Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt) cultivate their electronic pop sound further with Flashing, a track based around a ’90s style euro-dance hook. It comes from their forthcoming debut album Believer, due this Friday. The duo say: “Flashing is about losing the feeling about being a team in a relationship.” It comes with a video directed by Benjamin Barron and a costume by Bror August.”

9 | Cadaveria | Divination

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cadaveria unleashed their Divination video. Produced by Morbid Vision Italy, this opus, freely inspired by the Candomblé ritual of reading the Buzios, was shot in a loft in Turin and along the Dora Baltea river banks in North Italy.”

10 | Mother Of All | Autumn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mother Of All are set to release their debut album Age of Solipsist — featuring legendary Steve Di Giorgio (Testament) — on April 23. Now the band has released the first single Autumn. Mother Of All perform a mixture of melodic and progressive death metal and is the brainchild of drummer and vocalist Martin Haumann.”

11 | Ainur | Kinslaying (The First)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Prog-rock orchestra Ainur have been composing J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired masterpieces for nearly two decades. Their next anticipated record War of The Jewels, due out March 19, sees the band take an interesting evolution in sound. Today, they share their video for Kinslaying (The First). “This song came almost by chance. Everything began with the initial chord, then we put the classical instruments on it and everything else came in the blink of an eye. We wanted to describe one of the darkest moments in Tolkien’s mythology: the Alqualondë fratricide, also called First Kinslaying, when Elves killed other Elves for the first time. When we asked Wilma (our poetess that writes almost all our original lyrics) to write something about this dark moment, she came back with one of the best lyrics ever written for us and a verse of this song became the ‘main topic’ of the album: ‘No longer Brothers, while vessels burn, beyond the riot of waves that churn’.”

12 | Les Chants du Hasard | Chant III: Le Reflet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chant III: Le Reflet is the latest single from French orchestral/operatic blackened gothic project Les Chants du Hasard. The gripping hymn serves as the third track off Livre Troisième, Les Chants du Hasard’s full-length set for release on April 9. Notes sole member Hazard: “Despite its simple structure, this song is the one I spent the most time working on. The goal was to have a contrast as big as possible between the parts with metal voices and those with the soprano and choirs, resulting in maybe the most intense song of this album.”

13 | Lorenzo Wolff | The Phoenix (ft. Bobby Hawk & Kate Ferber)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Phoenix is the third single from Lorenzo Wolff’s tribute album Down Where the Valleys Are Low: Another Otherworld for Judee Sill. Says Wolff: “In The Phoenix each verse is a little shaggy dog story. Judee sets us up to expect a punchline and then turns the joke back on herself. At the beginning of each stanza she describes scenes that could be painted on the sides of Astro Vans and then tells us she was kidding at the end of each. I thought that Bobby Hawk would be the perfect person for this sense of humor, because of his background in bluegrass, which often has a similar way of telling its jokes. Having Kate Ferber sing with him was initially meant to be supportive but ultimately felt more exciting as a duet. Like two people scrambling to tell you the same joke.”

14+15 | Collapsing Scenery | Bush Mama Blues (Money Mark Remix) + & Forbidding Forbidding (Alex Greenwald Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn/L.A. synthwave duo Collasping Scenery have revealed remixes of Bush Mama Blues (by Money Mark) and Forbidding Forbidding (by Alex Greenwald) from their album Stress Positions. Reggie Debris says, “Money Mark is a living legend and we are very grateful to call him a supporter and friend. We reached out to him for a remix but he had a bigger vision for the song; essentially a ground-up rework of the track with us playing the new arrangement in studio. He eschewed the freak-out free jazz of the original version for a twitchy, elastic post-punk version. (And) Alex Greenwald is a dear old compatriot of ours and a brilliant musician and producer. He took one of the strangest arrangements on our record, the song Forbidding Forbidding, and smoothed it out into an electro disco banger.”

16 | Aibai | Glow (ft. Swims)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Aibai is a 23-year-old producer in Minneapolis. Her songs are filled with ambient, cinematic soundscapes that create a daydream-like atmosphere. Originally focusing on making electronic music, the young musician has started to diversify her sound in her recent releases, exploring more of the alternative, indie and R&B realm. Glow is a perfect example of that. She says: “With the indie vocals of Des who goes by Swims (and is the bass player in Early Eyes) combined with my ambient music, I was able to produce the indietronica sound I was going for!”

17 | Crys Matthews | Call Them In

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Call Them In is the second single off Changemakers, the new hope-fueled, love-filled, full-length social justice album from Crys Matthews. “When John Lewis passed away,” Matthews said, “I wanted to write a song to honor his memory and his legacy. He is the epitome of a changemaker to me.” Call Them In was released to mark Lewis’s birthday on Feb. 21.”

18 | Transviolet | Drugs In California

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the very beginning, Transviolet have made a point to approach music differently. When they released their first single Girls Your Age, the band sent out 2,000 plain manilla envelopes to kids across the country containing a cassette tape that only said “play me”, not realizing that was pretty near to the exact plot of the horror movie Saw. Drugs in California is their latest single. Says Sarah McTaggart: “It’s about a toxic relationship between fame and adoration. I’d always felt sort of ambivalent to fame. it always just seemed like an inconvenient side effect to making music that I might have to endure one day if things went really well. I felt like I could prepare myself for it. I’ve had small tastes of fame now, but it’s nothing like I anticipated.”

19 | Sean Healy | Drift Around

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging folk singer-songwriter Sean Healy just released his debut single Drift Around. Pulling listeners into a confidential embrace, Sean Healy sets a dysphoric tone as he gently strums to his own, unhurried, pace. However, the pure contemplation that oozes from the single doesn’t serve to dishearten the listener. Instead, we are treated to small glimpses of hope throughout Drift Around, as the rich vocals make their place at home in one’s heart. A sleepless night of introspection embodied in one, delicate song. He says: “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.”

20 | Ade | The City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ade will release his debut album Midnight Pizza on April 23. It’s preceded by the cinematic illusion of lead single The City. As Ade recollects: “As soon I sang out (the song’s) first line, I could hear the same voice, from the same guy, alone in an apartment picking up where I left off, in the middle of a song I had been singing for some time now, lamenting the same paradoxes I think a lot of us occasionally experience — loneliness and actively engaging, if not reveling in, antisocial behaviors and habits. That’s the melodrama of your early 20s though I guess, but, gotta say, everything got a lot less heavy after I quit smoking weed.”