Indie Roundup | 106 Songs To Drive You (Or Maybe Just Me) Over The Edge This Weekend (Part 3)

Oliver Francis, VC Pines, Kat Cunning, Prudene & more acts meet you in the middle.

Oliver Francis finds paradise is not all it’s cracked up to be, VC Pines says Hello from Lionel, Kat Cunning checks in with you, Prudence has a close encounter, Kaitlyn Myers is here in living colour — and we’re just at the midpoint of another marathon Weekend Roundup. Hang in there:


41 | Oliver Francis | Toxic Paradise

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Oliver Francis has just relesed his latest single and video Toxic Paradise. It features lyrics co-written by Aaron Gillespie of Underoath, and finds Francis widening his scope, fusing sci-fi ambition to gritty trap. Toxic Paradise, the first episode in Oliver’s bold, new series of cinematic music videos set in a retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, signifies a creative evolution for the Missouri rapper, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist.”

42 | VC Pines | Hello

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:VC Pines has shared a cover of the Lionel Richie classic Hello. Mixing his own captivating and soulful voice with a more atmospheric and dramatic aesthetic sees him transform the original into a calming yet powerful number. He said, “I’ve always enjoyed covering other people’s tunes — that’s how I first started, by playing 3 hours of covers in local pubs every week for beer money. I never really did much though in the way of changing the songs up dramatically unless it was to extend a guitar solo for 20 fucking minutes or do something for the drunk audiences to interact with. It was all fun, but like I said not that inventive.”

43 | Kat Cunning | Confident

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kat Cunning just released the single and video Confident. “I wrote Confident in a day while in Los Angeles when I was really feeling uncertain about my relationships and needed to ask the people around me to step up. I think it’s an important sentiment for any kind of relationship. Sometimes you have to check in with your parents and friends and roommates as well as your partners and say ‘I know we’re here doing this thing, but in the interest of making it stronger I want to communicate with you and hear from you how you feel and where you’re at.”

44 | Prudence | Good Friends

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Olivia Merilahti (formerly of The Dø) revealed she will release Beginnings, her debut album under the solo alias of Prudence, on May 28. Along with the news, she shared the first single Good Friends. Olivia says: “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind by Spielberg was a reference when we started exchanging ideas for the video. Good Friends is an allegory about how we make friends with the unknown, without fear.”

45 | Kaitlyn Myers | Technicolor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia singer-songwriter Kaitlyn Myers takes inspiration from the vintage sounds of Motown and soul, but adds the modern rhythms of today’s pop. In her debut EP Chasing Dopamine (produced by Shannon McArthur), Kaitlyn discusses depersonalization and anxiety. She is currently writing more original music and looks forward to more releases this spring.”

46 | Bara Hari | Weapon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dark-pop sensation Bara Hari just released her video for Weapon. The song is inspired by her many experiences with psychological and physical abuse at the hands of men in positions of power, predominantly in the music industry. The song serves as an anthem for women that are fed up with the way that they are treated by exploitative men.”

47 | Yenne | All The Things She Said (ft. Mirage)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Behind the name Yenne is a new project belonging to Sabrina, the ex-frontwoman and leader of the band Cruskin. Exploring and emphasizing her electro influences, Yenne presents her single All The Things She Said, a cover of the hit by Russian duet t.A.T.u. updated with her own sensibility and vision. For this song, she teamed up with her friends and labelmates Mirage, whose post-hardcore energy brings a raw power to the song.”

48 | Unschooling | Social Chameleon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rouen band Unschooling’s new EP Random Acts Of Total Control is scheduled for April 16, but the first single is out today. Social Chameleon is a shot of classy post-punk for fans of Depper, Omni and Women.”

49 | Devils Teeth | Ride of the Devils Teeth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Milwaukee’s Devils Teeth just released their single and music video for Ride of the Devils Teeth, off their upcoming album La Leggenda di Chong Li (out on April 2). The new album is a spaghetti western garage-rock operetta inspired by the character Chong Li from the martial arts film Bloodsport. In a dusty desert, crickets chirp as tumbleweeds blow past in the moonlit night. The faint howl of a coyote can be heard in the distance as a chill cuts to the bone. Is this Earth’s new reality, the hellscape that is 2021? Or is it a distant land and a distant time? It’s not quite clear, but not much is anymore. The purple-hued sky is scanned for signs of reassurance, but none can be found. Just then, a distorted guitar chord breaks through. Other vibrations gather with it, overtaking the expanse of the desert. The unfamiliar sound beckons. Saddle back up. There is no more time to rest — it’s time to ride.”

50 | Sam Eagle | She’s So Nice

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Sam Eagle has shared the title track from his forthcoming EP She’s So Nice. Sam says, “I didn’t write She’s So Nice with anyone specific in mind, I just had the title and wrote the lyrics based on that. It’s very much obviously a love song, but as it’s not written about or for any particular person, to me it’s not necessarily intended to be about romantic love, which I like. This one is the oldest song out of all of them and has probably been recorded in different versions about nine or 10 times before finding the final arrangement. I was happy with the final result, as it still has it’s hip-hop / soul at it’s core, but with indie arrangements around it.”

51 | Cole Quest and the City Pickers | Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cole Quest and the City Pickers are a group of New York City musicians connected by friendship and a love of bluegrass. Quest, grandson of the folk icon Woody Guthrie, has brought together a collection of eclectic pickers who have gained recognition on the local scene. Today they share a cover of Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key. Says Quest: “When I decided to make this EP back in 2019, I wanted it to be filled exclusively with original material because I wanted to share my own writing and thoughts. However, as I compiled the songs, I felt that we were missing an important connection to all the writers that had laid the groundwork before us. This meant the cover we chose had to be meaningful, it had to be relevant, and it had to be representative of our group identity. It became instantly clear to us that Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key — with lyrics by my grandfather Woody Guthrie, made popular by Billy Bragg and Wilco’s album Mermaid Avenue — was the absolute right choice.”

52 | Jimkata | Roots Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Roots Down is from Jimkata’s album set for release in spring. The single was inspired by a chaotic time after a breakup that singer Evan Friedell experienced, where he found solace in looking up to his grandparents’ sweet and loving relationship with each other. Evan realized that he too can have that kind of peace when he finds the right person. The visuals feature the vibrant and distinct animation from artist K Lab.”

53 | Jeen | Don’t Wait

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jeen started in the music industry busking in Toronto at 16, when she and her band were scooped up by the Jeff Healey team and managed by them for the half decade that followed. After two subsequent albums, Jeen was invited to share lead singing/songwriting duties on Brendan Canning’s Cookie Duster album When Flying Was Easy. Jeen’s newest single Don’t Wait, features vocals from Ian Blurton, who also co-produced and co-wrote the track. The song offers shimmering guitars, driving rhythm, and an anthemic alt-rock chorus.”

54+55 | Fences | Paper Route + A Mission

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Seattle’s Fences, the alter-ego of musician/songwriter Christopher Mansfield, just released a deluxe version of his third album Failure Sculptures, featuring the bonus tracks A Mission and Paper Route. Mansfield says, “Almost the instant you track something in permanence you start to play it differently. You know how stories get embellished, religious texts have a bit of wiggle room or the size of fish your stepdad caught keeps growing? It’s like that. A song is really just a short story. Romance aside, I just wanted y’all to hear me play ’em as is and in that room in that moment. One take with some light overdubs.”

56 | January Jane | Versions Of You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “N.Y.C. alt-pop trio January Jane announced their newest EP Your Drug will be released on April 2. In addition, the band released their new single Versions of You. Explains guitarist Mitch C. Mitchell: “There is this insane but true premise in quantum physics which states that by simply watching, the observer affects the reality of what is being observed. We are always changing and changing everything around us. So who do you want to be? Which version of yourself do you show others? That’s what the song is about.”

57 | Anarcheon | Bloody Merry

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver’s Anarcheon have unveiled a new standalone single Bloody Merry, the first look at the dark path the band is currently exploring on their upcoming EP Scary Tale. They explain: “Bloody Merry is about the longing and aching for blood through seduction. Making people succumb to the seduction or be my next meal. Though this is a fairly newer song that we wrote we wanted to release it as a single before our EP came out. The song sets the tone for the EP Scary Tale nicely and prepares you with a little taste of crimson liquor.”

58 | The Workday Release | Say A Lot With Light

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Southern California singer/songwriter David Ottestad’s music project The Workday Release is debuting Say A Lot With Light, the lead single off of the forthcoming album Like The Light Of Stars, out April 16. Ottestad says: “Say A Lot With Light felt like a strong introduction for the sound of the whole album. The production is minimalistic but still feels full. The instrumentation is modern but timeless. The mix is polished but still feels organic. Lyrically, it’s a love song about not settling for someone just because it’s convenient or less scary than being alone … I really liked the lyrical concept of speaking with light. To me, it represents this feeling of peace that comes with being with the right person.”

59 | Miniq | Two Fools

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian alt-rockers Miniq have stepped up once again with Two Fools. Greeted by the silver vocals of Dominique Morgan, Two Fools effortlessly builds into a neo-soul strut. Prancing with sass and ending with a thumping conclusion, you come to realise that you had been bopping to a breakup song. “There is no heartache to this song — it is a raw and honest description of a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be. You think it’s love, and you’ll do everything to change that person — but a leopard cannot change its spots. This is the story of two fools going nowhere.”

60 | Photay | How May I Help You?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New York producer Photay (Evan Shornstein) shares the single and video How May I Help You? from his album On Hold. The album is a series of 10 pieces derived entirely from call-waiting music, recorded through the phone and manipulated to achieve a wider enveloping soundscape. Photay says: “Initially I was inspired by a friend’s phone call when they were placed on hold for an hour while attempting to report credit card fraud. Unlike most call waiting music, the infinite looping flute was slightly more intriguing, probably as a result of its narrow fidelity. I jumped in, recording and manipulating 30 minutes of that frustrating idle time.”

61 | For Those I Love | Birthday / The Pain (Finn Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:FTIL return with a remix of Birthday, this time from the producer Finn McCorry. The remix offers up a playful, euphoric contrast to the dark subject matter on show, complementing the single’s juxtaposition of hooks and direct, retroactive lyricism that already stood out as an album highlight. Following a 2020 that introduced the Dublin producer and songwriter David Balfe to the world, For Those I Love started 2021 dubbed ‘Ireland’s potent new poet of grief.’ “

62 | Synne Sanden & Øyvind Blikstad | Skeleton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Swallowed is artist and vocalist Synne Sanden and film composer Øyvind Blikstad. Skeleton, written by Sanden and remixed by Blikstad, was the spark that ignited this fire. Once they discovered how well they worked together, they knew they had to create more. The result is striking, cinematic sounds — with lyrics that touch you at your deepest core. For this piece, Blikstad has mixed powerful arrangements for orchestra with dark sound elements and self-built instruments which intertwine with the expressive vocals. This united soundscape dives down deep and grows from the tender and sore to the explosive, strong and magnificent.”