Indie Roundup | 36 Songs That Are Probably Too Good For You This Thursday (Part 1)

Parrots, Hawel/McPhail, Holiday Ghosts, Tash Neal and more acts you don't deserve.

The Parrots keep this week’s devilish theme going, Hawel/McPhail stop and start, Holiday Ghosts go off the grid, Tash Neal pitches his boomerang — and that’s just the beginning of your surprisingly relaxed Thursday Roundup. It’s quiet out there … too quiet.


1 | The Parrots | Maldito (ft. C. Tangana)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Madrid duo The Parrots share the track Maldito — featuring Spanish rap superstar C. Tangana — along with a cinematic video. Maldito proves an evolutionary step for the band that finds them sounding stronger and more realized than ever. “There is a burden carried with every decision taken, not everything is as golden as it may look and therefore growing and changing implies pain and a feeling of emptiness that feels irreplaceable,” The Parrots say. “For this song our inspiration came from things that were the closest to us, and that’s maybe the reason we were incapable to see them. The stop in the touring life and the time we’ve had to write has made us realize the distance we had created between our home and our people. Realizing this has made us feel closer than ever to our childhood references and to seek new ways to compose songs.”

2 | Hawel/McPhail | Pause Play

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hawel/McPhail will release their upcoming debut album Transmissions from the Upper Room on May 21. Frehn Hawel (Tigerbeat, neat neat neat) and Rick McPhail (Tocotronic, Venus Vegas) are two of the most punk rock “old dudes” in Hamburg. With their former bands they influenced the Hamburg garage music scene for a long time. Now the two have found their ways to each other through fuzz pedals. Result: A new band. Hawel/McPhail have just shared their first single Pause Play. It follows the principle of the “sugar coated bullet”, which despite its pop appeal is by no means conceived as a pure feel good number, but rather deals with the feeling of being trapped in a permanently optimized, efficiency-driven world and the inevitable failure of all attempts to lead a real life in the wrong one.”

3 | Holiday Ghosts | Off Grid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Holiday Ghosts deliver their third album North Street Air on May 21. Today they offer their latest single Off Grid. Based in Brighton and comprised of drummer Katja Rackin and guitarist Sam Stacpoole, Holiday Ghosts mine the works of eras past to cast the best of artists such as The Kinks, Violent Femmes, Alex Chilton and Modern Lovers as a backdrop onto which they deconstruct a myriad of social issues. Off Grid focusses on feelings of disconnection from the day-to-day. Stacpoole expands: “The song is made up of snap shots of city life, and of being alone with summer moods and feelings that makes it hard to go back to regular life. The music shares that same kind of excitement and fast paced feeling and flits between real everyday routines and imagined reactions to them.”

4 | Tash Neal | Boomerang

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tash Neal released the video for his song Boomerang, directed by Nate Ford and shot in Hoboken. Boomerang is one of 11 songs from his hard-hitting, harder-grooving debut solo album Charge It To The Game. Says Neal: “Boomerang was the first song that really solidified to me a new sound was coming that was different than the songs I was writing before and with The London Souls. It was the jumping-off point that let my antenna know, the album is being written right now and it will be an evolution. Soon after, all the songs for Charge It To The Game would come.”

5 | De’wayne | Perfume (ft. Awsten Knight)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative singer/rapper De’wayne has teamed up with electric Waterparks frontman Awsten Knight to unleash a hard-hitting single Perfume. “I never ever write love songs but this is one, and it’s about my high school lady. You ever love someone so much you hate them? This is my ode to her and if she hears it, I honestly hope she sings along,” shares De’wayne. “Even though falling in love can be the total opposite of beautiful, if you start to fall for someone go super hard!” Although the two have been friends for a few years and have toured together, Perfume marks the first time De’wayne and Awsten have teamed up on a song together.”

6 | The Oogars | Girl In The Mirror

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Oogars hypnotise us with their reflective new single Girl In The Mirror. The Oogars are a female psychedelic rock foursome from the NSW Northern Rivers. First impressions reveal a sound drawing from ’50s surf rock, Middle Eastern psychedelia and garage classics. What The Oogars really shine at however, is their ability to tie their instrumental pastiche with dynamic, yet heartfelt vocals — dreamy at times, in-your-face and confronting at others. “It’s an expression of being trapped in a life that no longer suits the person you have evolved to be”, explains Gemma Owens, who sings lead vocals on the track. “Things and people change all the time, so it’s a reminder to come back to self, to live a life that is fulfilling and break free of the things that no longer serve you”.

7 | The Go! Team | World Remember Me Now

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Go! Team’s new album Get Up Sequences Part One will be yours to buy on July 2. It’s soda fountain soul, a handclap happening, a drumstick bulletin, a meteor shower in mixed media. And for the radical right now, World Remember Me Now — a song about the daily deja vu of living — is brought to life in this fine new vid. Shot on super 8 in Philly. ”

8 | While She Sleeps | Nervous (ft. Simon Neil)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:While She Sleeps have released the latest single from their forthcoming fifth opus Sleeps Society. This new taste of what’s to come is a track called Nervous, which features Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro on guest vocals. It’s a snapshot of fragility, exploring struggles with mental health, in particular drawing upon guitarist Sean Long’s own experiences with anxiety: “It’s about accepting your emotions, fears, pains, anxiety, depression — not only accepting them but owning them and becoming one with them completely. It’s about being proud of all our emotions. The song is literally telling you to BE nervous, be scared and be in pain … It can actually be a good thing to feel these emotions fully and experience that journey of acceptance. If we just sit a little longer with the pain, fully go into the dark, feeling it with every cell of our being, there is a chance of something miraculous to occur for the individual. This is what Nervous is about.”

9 | Zac Crye | Look Out Above

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hudu Akil’s Zac Crye just dropped the lyric video for Look Out Above, from his April 9 release All The Same — a five-track stoner-rock EP with psychedelic elements. Solely composed and recorded by Zac, it’s a full demonstration of his musical fortitude and songwriting prowess. Says Zac: “I’ve been making songs this way in my home studio for years, and this is the first time that I’ve taken the process into a legit studio. I had such a good time making the album, I’m already in the studio recording the followup EP.”

10 | Sea Fever | Crossed Wires

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Manchester outfit Sea Fever unveil the visuals for their recently released single Crossed Wires. Directed by Ksenia Bilyk and Emily Jade Hagan, the striking visuals perfectly depict the song’s lyrics by drawing up a vision of a dystopian world pulling on themes of lockdown and environmental destruction. Sea Fever is a quintet fronted by Iwan Gronow (Haven, Johnny Marr) on vocals and guitars, alongside singer Bethany Cassidy (Section 25), New Order’s Tom Chapman (bass, guitars, synths and programming) and Phil Cunningham on guitars. Powering the band’s pulsing beats is Elliot Barlow.”

11 | Son Of The Velvet Rat | Solitary Company

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Son of the Velvet Rat is the solo musical endeavor and masked identity of Georg Altziebler and his wife Heike Binder. In 2013 the duo left their hometown of Graz, Austria for the endless highways of America, finally settling along the edge of California’s Mojave Desert in Joshua Tree. Their new album Solitary Company will debut Friday. Says Altziebler: “Solitary Company is a daydream, a mantra meant to either replace an actual companion or fully dissolve the need for company. Musically, the interaction between string-quartet, hurdy-gurdy and falsetto-vocals provides a very intense and unique soundscape.”

12 | Foxes | Kathleen

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Foxes shares details of her forthcoming new EP Friends In The Corner, set for release April 1, along with her single Kathleen, produced by Courage and Charlie Hugall. Kathleen acts as an ode to her grandmother, a political activist, feminist, devoted environmentalist and English teacher. Foxes says, “My grandma Kathleen has always given really good advice, so on one visit I thought, ‘why am I not recording this?’ A couple of weeks later in the studio I happened to be going through my voice notes of random melodies and lyrics I’d saved and stumbled across her words of wisdom and in particular the line ‘Just go be slow and you’ll figure it out’. Within the next 20 minutes we’d written Kathleen with all her advice from the notes. I kept that exact recording of her talking at the end of the song. I don’t think I’d be a songwriter without her.”

13 | Bess Atwell | Co-Op

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging singer and songwriter Bess Atwell delivers an exceptional live rendition of her latest offering Co-op. Capturing the same warm and inviting flow of the original recording, this new live performance looks to fully unwrap the spellbinding presence that Bess brings to the record. Choosing to leave her guitar out of the picture, she has been able to reflect her own passionate demeanour throughout the release, offering up a far more intimate and inviting persona from start to finish. She says: “Lyrically, Co-op is my most stark and bold song and I wanted the way we performed it to reflect that. I’ve always hidden behind a guitar when I play live so going instrument-less was exciting and out of my comfort zone.”

14 | Merk | Deep Dive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Merk announces the latest single Deep Dive from the forthcoming album Infinite Youth out April 9. Merk is the solo project of New Zealand songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Perkins, which began with 2016’s Swordfish. Deep Dive is another look into his playful yet sincere world. “A portion of this song came to me in a dream one night, I woke up and went to the piano and recorded the demo. For that reason it feels very surreal and seperate to me. It’s one of the more pop moments on the album, a song that carries you the whole way through without changing too much. It reminds me a lot of our ’80s Japanese city pop references as well as a New York new wave sound.”

15 | Dope Sagittarius | Define Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “N.Y.C. rock-punk-funk fusion outfit Dope Sagittarius will release their Sacred Places album this spring. Dope Sagittarius also present the video for Define Love, an alt-pop jazz piece involving a host of achieved musicians. Dope Sagittarius is the brainchild of New Yorker Luqman Brown, whose mother is a folksinger-turned-teacher and whose father is a well-known playwright. Says Brown: “Define Love is a really special song for me and the first real love song I’ve written. I had Micah Gaugh playing sax, jazz luminary Marc Cary on piano, the incomparable Corey Glover (Living Colour) on backup vocals and finally, the master himself, Ronny Drayton (who’s played with everybody from the Persuaders and The Chambers Brothers to Defunkt, Nona Hendryx and 24-7 Spyz) on guitar.”

16 | Rampton Prom | Give Me Something

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having already impressed so many these last few months with their debut single Too Baby and their bassline-inspired followup Little Things, emerging studio project Rampton Prom return to deliver their glittering new cut Give Me Something. It explores the internal conflict that arises when you throw yourself into something hard. Vocalist Gina says: ‘I guess the lines ‘Give me something’ could be interpreted as a plea for some answers from somewhere external but equally I think it was an attempt at finding something in me, something good. I can get trapped in some pretty negative thought patterns that are hard to get out of sometimes.”

17 | Where Did Nora Go | Returning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The singer and composer behind Where Did Nora Go, Astrid Nora, is back with the single Returning. It precedes her upcoming EP Songs of Solace. Returning is about losing oneself. About the longing for connection. And about returning to oneself. To find one’s way back home. And thereby also learning to take loving care of oneself. Nora explains: “I have had several periods of my life where I experienced shutting down my system — losing touch. In working with this songs and exploring the theme, it has become clear to me, that I am far from the only one — many many people experience tendencies like this.”

18 | Fowler | Don’t You Say

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “London singer-songwriter Fowler shares the video for his single Don’t You Say. Don’t You Say chronicles the story of a guy who has just split from his partner, as he starts to move on his ex comes running back asking for a second chance leading to old wounds reopening and a clouded headspace. The track outlines how someone can come back into your life at the least opportune moment, halting the healing process and making you question how far you’ve actually come, eventually leading to the guy walking away and asking to be left alone. Backed by a bright lively lead synth that ebbs and flows throughout the track merging with funky basslines adding an extra dynamic to the well-polished exuberant instrumentation that frames Fowler’s vocal performance beautifully.”