Indie Roundup | 52 Songs That Will Knock You Flat On Your Ass This Thursday (Part 1)

Blips, Riley Downing, Kiberspassk, Ron Moor & more kick off today's battle royale.

The Blips give it the old heave-ho, Riley Downing takes a deep breath, Kiberspassk frighten the children, Ron Moor take the rocky road to Gethsemane, der Mist will see you tonight — and we’re only in round one of your three-part Thursday Roundup. Let’s have a nice clean fight:


1 | The Blips | Throw Me Around

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “What happens when five frontmen form a band? Probably disaster. Or, possibly, collaborative beauty. In the case of Birmingham, Alabama’s The Blips, it’s the latter. The group formed after Will Stewart — an accomplished songwriter and guitar player who has released several records under his own name and with the group Timber — invited friends and collaborators to write some tunes. That group included Taylor Hollingsworth, Wes McDonald, Eric Wallace, and Chris McCauley. Their self-titled debut album, out April 9, sounds less like a casual experiment than a band that has been playing together for years. With The Blips sharing lead vocals, guitar, and bass duties, this surprisingly cohesive and high-energy album ranges from straightforward garage-rock to hit-and-run rockers to pop ballads with massive lead parts and gang vocals. They’ve even got a song called Wild Thing II.”

2 | Riley Downing | Deep Breath

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Riley Downing of The Deslondes will release his debut solo album Start It Over on May 14. Downing’s ability to set gripping, evocative narratives within soundscapes that weave together country, blues, folk, R&B, bluegrass, rock, soul and whatever else catches his ear is something that, once you hear it, is hard to shake free from. Same goes for his voice — deep, dusty, and drawling, it’s an instrument that can stop you in your tracks with its character and expressiveness, as well as through his knack for laying out complex emotions in plainspoken, direct language. Start It Over reflects the mingling of past and present, traditional and unusual, that has long characterized Downing’s musical makeup. Joy comes through loud and clear on the album, which, even in its most serious and somber moments — and also given the fact that it was recorded during the pandemic — radiates with a sincere appreciation for life and living in the here and now.”

3 | Kiberspassk | Kikimora

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Siberia’s Kiberspassk reveal the new single Kikimora and the accompanying video, presenting a new era in which Kikimora comes out of the dark. The song is is a female mythological character who lives in gloomy places like swamps or the forest. “Kikimora is one of my favorite songs,” vocalist Baba Yaga says. In popular belief, it is believed that deceived builders and sorcerers can send Kikimora into a house by placing a rag doll in it, which then comes to life. “Kikimora also live in cursed or abandoned houses. A forest or swamp Kikimora is a girl covered with herbs and moss or an ugly old woman who frightens and knocks people off the road and kidnaps children.”

4 | Ron Moor | Gethsemane

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Three years after their sophomore album Youth, French alt-rock / nu-gaze duo Ron Moor are about to give birth to their third full-length Upside Down on April 2. In the meantime, the band have unveiled Gethsemane, the first single from their upcoming effort, along with the video. Upside Down paints a gloomy portrait of a sinking society, beset by religious and political extremism. In this concept album, Ron Moor draw on his Judeo-Christian roots to deliver a message of respect and tolerance.”

5 | der Mist | In My Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glasgow duo der Mist are readying themselves for their forthcoming self-titled debut album, an intoxicating mix of rock, pop and electronics which looks to propel der Mist into your midst! Dedicated to making music designed to stand the tests of both time and tastes, der Mist are by turn indie, pop, new wave, rock and synth gods. Their new single is In My Dreams, showing an alt-rock side to the band with Beckish quirk and furious, inventive guitar riffs!”

6+7 | AFI | Looking Tragic + Begging For Trouble

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:AFI just announced their new album Bodies, due due June 11. The album is heralded by two new songs — the driving Looking Tragic and the fast-paced, hooky Begging For Trouble. “Looking Tragic addresses the theme of overstimulation resulting in desensitization,” says frontman Davey Havok. “Melodic and driving, the song came to life quickly and immediately stood out as a track to make bodies, if not sentiments, move.” Adds drummer Adam Carson: “Begging For Trouble was green-lit, at least in my mind, the moment I heard the vocals come in. To me, the track is a cornerstone of the new record.”

8 | Skeleten | Walking On Your Name

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sydney producer and vocalist Russell Fitzgibbon has shared Walking On Your Name and its video, the third single from his newly announced multidisciplinary project Skeleten. Fitzgibbon explains: “You know when you’re somewhere with a person or people and your whole focus, your whole world, seems to exist only in them and that place? I love that feeling.” The video acts as an ode to clubs and the dance floors that are so sorely missed. “In the song, I was thinking about breathing time in and out like air, like all sharing the same moment, passing it around. The clip wasn’t intentionally some kind of tribute to the club, but as it came together those same thoughts of eternity in a crowded room just kept ending up in the edit, to the point where I just cut in old phone videos of memorable nights. I guess I miss the feeling and the video is a walk through that.”

9 | The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs | We Are The Ones (We’ve Been Waiting For)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “L.A. punk vigilantes The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs return with their first album in nearly 20 years — and a wacky video for the first single that features videogames, puppets, drugs, violence, mayhem, dark comedy, and hallucinatory madness. The new wavey We Are The Ones (We’ve Been Waiting For) is the first single from One More Drink, out on March 19. Unable to tour, the band turned to videos as its main form of visual expression — and it’s a doozy! Directed by frontman Frank Meyer and longtime collaborator Scott Chernoff, the video finds the band trapped in a multi-player cavalcade of classic videogames, as recreated as puppets created by producer BJ Guyer (Crank Yankers, Team America) and animation by Jeff Crocker (CSI: NY). Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Mario, Donkey Kong, Laura Croft, Defender, Robotron and others make cameos, as do all five band members.”

10 | Ven | Hey Bro

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ven, the solo project from Kieran Shudall of Circa Waves, has shared the track Hey Bro and its accompanying video. Opening with Shudall’s distinctive dulcet vocal, Hey Bro weaves a course between melancholic intimacy and cinematic soundscapes, across spartan strings and thrashing synths. Exploring the need and importance of close friendship, particularly during difficult times, Hey Bro mixes heavy emotions amongst the mundane moments of the everyday. The accompanying visual is a suitably lo-fi offering; splicing carefully cut nostalgic film scenes with intimate to-camera moments from Shudall. “It’s headphone music for introverts” describes Shudall. “An atmospheric world to lose yourself in. A kind of brutally honest look into my thoughts.”

11 | Glaare | Young Hell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On April 30, Glaare will release their sophomore album Your Hellbound Heart. As a preview, the band present the single Young Hell and a video directed by Paige Dowling. Glaare say: “We were going through a terrible time. Life kicked our ass and made us swallow. Then our peers came and threw tomatoes in our face. We wrote this while our psyches were shattering into dust. Realizing that nothing and no one has ever been the way you saw it, that’s what madness is truly made of. None of us have ever nor will ever say the direct seeds of our creations. It’s irresponsible and we are way too reclusive for that. It’s also tacky. What We will say is recording this was like getting peeled alive. We do this because we have to. Because we can’t survive without it. But make no mistake about it, it’s excruciating.”

12 | Juliet Ruin | Fake Stigmata

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Leading up to the release of their new EP Dark Water on March 26, Edmonton metalcore squadron Juliet Ruin are sharing their new lyric video for the third single Fake Stigmata. Featuring infectious soft-spoken melodic vocals with whiplashing djent riffs, Fake Stigmata entices fans to sit back and brace themselves for an anthemic experience that the band is offering up on the four-track EP, which follows their 2019 album Old Stardust, Love, and Chaos. The band say: “Fake Stigmata is the heaviest track from our EP; it explores darker lyrical themes and grittier vocals and instrumentals.”

13 | Tejon Street Corner Thieves | Wayfaring Stranger

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Wayfaring Stranger, the latest single from Colorado Springs outlaw alt-folk group Tejon Street Corner Thieves, is out now. It comes from their May 7 release Stolen Goods. Wayfaring Stranger is about a lost soul on a journey through life and ties into Tejon Street Corner Thieves’ roots as travelling street buskers. “This song is just beautiful. All around, one of the deepest traditional songs we play. We were so excited to add fiddle to it for our first time and it came out wonderfully,” said Connor O’Neal. “When we play it, I always think of my departed father and it gives me a sense of peace. It’s a very special song to me and I think we did it justice.”

14 | Bill Jr. Jr. | Blue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver singer-songwriter Russell Gendron recently released Homebody, his third outing under the band moniker Bill Jr. Jr. Today, he’s premiering the video for his latest single Blue. “Blue is about how I imagined I’d feel if I didn’t move with my partner to Montreal. She had a school thing coming up over there and I had my life thing here and so I had to make a decision to stay, or to go with. Writing the song was a way for me to get closer to my decision: I realized that I’d be so “bluuuuuueee” if I stayed around here doing the same old stuff, so I took the plunge. Blue is a sort of a country song but made strange or off, which is why I like it so much. It’s a twanged-out and lush version of a known and old-timey idea.”

15 | Jeremy Voltz | Floating On Glass

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Burned-out mathematician-turned-indie-soul artist, Jeremy Voltz makes music inspired by thinking deeply about the people in his life and what he’d love to have the courage to say to them. Reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, Hozier and Stevie Wonder, he has a voice that is powerful and haunting. Floating on Glass consists of nothing but Voltz’s vocals — 86 tracks of vocal drums, bass, harmonies, and melodies, weaving together an emotional, symphonic soul track. The video, created by award-winning multidisciplinary artist Brian Michael Jensen, leverages stunning visual effects and features Voltz in a dreamy neon landscape of reflection and isolation. Says Voltz: “With Floating on Glass, I wanted to capture the odd feeling of calm after an argument, like drifting on a glassy sea after the wind dies.”

16 | Elizabeth Wyld | Virginia

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Elizabeth Wyld is gaining notoriety for her seamless blending of emo, indie and folk — and her new single and animated video Virginia brim with influences from all three, underscoring a powerful story of self-discovery. “Virginia came from a place of remembrance,” she says. “It’s the story of my coming of age in a town I felt I didn’t belong. But also a celebration of the strength and freedom that’s born from shedding your skin and coming into your own as an adult.”

17 | Ledfoot | Take Away The Hurt

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Gothic blues guitarist Ledfoot will release Black Valley on March 12 and just shared the video for Take Away The Hurt. Ledfoot aka Tim Scott McConnell is a 12-string guitarist who plays with fitted heavy strings, a brass slide, steel fingerpicks, and a stompbox. Black Valley is Ledfoot’s fifth studio album and the followup to White Crow, which won the Norwegian Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2019. The signature sound of Ledfoot is present on Black Valley, but with a stronger attitude and with lyrics and a sound closer to the murder ballad tradition.”

18 | Immortal Guardian | Phobia (ft. Marcelo Barbosa)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Immortal Guardian just unveiled a video for Phobia, the latest single from their concept album Psychosomatic. The video, which features a guitar solo by Angra’s Marcelo Barbosa, is the band’s latest examination of the events that changed the world in 2020. “As the pandemic first began, one thing that we saw happening to everyone — including ourselves — was an introduction of new phobias,” says keyboardist/guitarist Gabriel Guardian. “I started becoming scared of things that I used to like or not be scared of. Even just the thought of being in a crowd has a whole new meaning and feeling to it. Is it a phobia? Will we have to learn to deal with them, or will they go away when the pandemic is over? This song touches on the topics of these new phobias.”