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Indie Roundup | 105 Songs That Will Not Be Denied This Weekend (Part 5)

Bad Flamingos, Warpaint, Thee More Shadows and others acts bring it on home.

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Bad Flamingo have a few choice words for your mama, Warpaint join the gang, Thee More Shadows go way back, Aaron Burdett shares some wit and wisdom, Lonesome River Band celebrate Easter twice — and we’re heading for the finish line of this week’s Weekend Roundup. Hope it was a personal best for you.

 


83 | Bad Flamingo | Mama Raised You Right

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The masked marvels of Tennessee’s Bad Flamingo have returned with their latest treat, the lazy Tex-Mex twanger Mama Raised You Right. They say: “A red rose tango in the dust. Scratches and slaps and spurs. Fare thee well to the departed that fled before we even got started.”


84 | Warpaint | Paralysed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The third single to be taken from the album The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is a new interpretation of Paralysed by all-female band Warpaint. The Problem of Leisure is set for release on May 28. Warpaint’s Jenny Lee explains: “’The change will do me good.’ Best piece of advice that pretty much changed my life. Not to mention Dave Allen’s bass playing also changed me forever. Made me wanna play bass. It was cool to get inside of Paralysed, and for Gang Of Four to give us freedom to freak out in our way… it was a beautiful opportunity and we’re SOOO excited. It’s an honor actually to be a part of Andy’s tribute.”


85 | Thee More Shallows | Ancient Baby

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dad Jams is the first Thee More Shallows offering in 14 years and comes out this May 28. It’s a retrospective look at life’s trajectory and the personal and creative choices that shape its convoluted path. Musically, it retains the adventurous, experimental edge of previous Thee More Shallows albums, but is also rooted in a stronger pop sensibility, with plenty of bouncy, hooky melodies that burrow into the mind for days. First single Ancient Baby rockets the album open with an invigorating blast of psychedelic hippy-infused pop, its weaving flute refrain becoming more and more embedded in the mind with each return.”


86 | Aaron Burdett | Arlo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If Aaron Burdett’s last single Loser’s Bracket was a bluegrass-friendly slice of wry wit, his new release serves notice that the western North Carolina singer/songwriter has as fine a touch with a more sombre portrait, too — this time of an aging factory worker looking back over his life. Arlo is a well-crafted, emotionally convincing piece of collage sourced, says Burdett, from real-life conversations that have taken place over a decade or more. “Years ago, I used to drive down to play the open mic night at a place called Eddie’s Attic in Georgia,” he recalls. “Among the semi-regular performers those evenings was a songwriter named Arlo, and although we haven’t seen each other in person for probably 15 years we’ve kept in touch and still talk every week or so. We wax poetic about music and songs and audio gear and guitars or any number of other oddball subjects. He’s not exactly the character in this song but he is a character in his own right. Almost every line in the song Arlo is something he said to me directly, verbatim.”


87 | Lonesome River Band | Little At A Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The iconic Lonesome River Band offer an energetic reminder that they are not only one of the best interpreters of secular bluegrass, but of bluegrass gospel, too. Little At A Time, from the collective pen of the Easter Brothers, is a muscular affirmation of faith and perseverance married to the quintet’s signature groove. It features a lead vocal from mandolinist Jesse Smathers and powerful harmonies from guitarist Brandon Rickman and Sammy Shelor, the group’s leader. “Growing up in Patrick County, Virginia, I was influenced by a lot of bluegrass gospel,” notes Shelor. “One of the strongest groups in that genre was The Easter Brothers from just down the road in Mount Airy, NC. Their songwriting and harmonies were so strong and inspiring to me in my youth, and it has stayed in my heart all these years.”


88 | Andy Leftwich | Through The East Gate

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Multi-instrumentalist Andy Leftwich lays down a marker that exhibits not just his virtuosity on fiddle and mandolin, but his musical range as a composer, too. Through The East Gate is an instrumental tour de force that offers both an exciting performance and a stylistic tour across the years that led from old-time string band music to the sophisticated rhythms and arrangements of today’s bluegrass. “Through the East Gate is a tune I wrote with the thought in mind of combining old style fiddling with the new style of fiddlers that we hear today,” he recalls. “I’ve always loved old traditional fiddling, and I wanted to somehow capture both the feel of the old style and combine it with the exciting licks and melodies that the newer style brings.”


89 | Anya Hinkle | Meditation: Beyond The Shores Of Darkness

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With the lengthening of the days, the warm light of the sun becomes ever more present, and the hardship and self-reflection engendered by the isolation winter brings — especially during a pandemic — give way to more tranquil and uplifting moods. For Anya Hinkle, capturing the mood of this season needed no words, and so her latest single Meditation: Beyond the Shores of Darkness wound up being an instrumental composition, one that nevertheless says all that needs to be said. “The past year has been unprecedented in its darkness,” the singer/songwriter confesses. “The uncertainty eats away at the fiercest sense of discipline, at any sense of purpose; it’s felt very difficult to continue moving forward at times. When I wrote this song, I planned to write words. But there weren’t any.”


90 | The Clockworks | Feels So Real

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Back with their first new music of 2021, The Clockworks release the new track Feels So Real. With the enlivening roar of a city in full rush, Feels So Real is a paean to our urban centres. James McGregor from The Clockworks says: “The idea for this song was to soundtrack a certain feeling, a rapture or excitement, for the lyrics to set the scene and the music to set the feeling. This song is essentially about how all the things that make up the city; the good, the bad and the ugly are all what make it exciting … In a way it could be about finding hope in hopeless circumstances.”


91 | Kanga | Ritual City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Industrial-pop singer Kanga has dropped Ritual City, the fourth single from her upcoming album You And I Will Never Die. The album promises a feast of dark pop, ethereal vocals, and industrial elements. The L.A. artist/producer states: “Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy are probably my biggest influences … I like to exist somewhere between a dance floor and a brooding cityscape.” She reveals that the new album’s lyrics illustrate “the emotional journey through a toxic relationship.”


92 | Ben Cosgrove | Overpass

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pianist/composer Ben Cosgrove has released Overpass, the newest single from his forthcoming LP The Trouble With Wilderness, set for release on April 23. Overpass was inspired by a big interstate highway that ran between the town where Cosgrove sheltered in place last year and the river beside it. Of the song, he says: “I was struck again and again by the absolute jungles of plant life exploding from all its edges, particularly under all the various little bridges that carried the highway over little streams and roads and such. It’s centered on that guitar-like repeated pattern at the beginning, but as the song goes on, its focus broadens to all these hazy, raw, interesting textures at the edges of the melody — much like the plants growing from the concrete, or like watching the landscape change as you drive down a highway.”


93 | Mathew V | Around Here

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Encapsulated by soaring harmonies and powerful vocals, Vancouver pop artist Mathew V offers an emotional look into his past with Around Here. Mathew states, “I wrote Around Here when I was mentally and emotionally diving into the past. It’s about the town where I grew up. I wanted to finally look back with some perspective on my formative high school years and how they shaped me for better and for worse. I think everyone has times in their life that they associate to certain places. For me that place exists actively in my mind and this song helped me process that.”


94 | Ellysse Mason x Matt Wills | Perfect

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Surfacing with wistful piano chords and ambient guitar flourishes, rising singer songwriter Ellysse Mason and pop connoisseur Matt Wills play off each other’s distinct and soulful voices over this sea of crashing production and hazy electronica waves.”


95 | Shaun Frank & Ryland James | Save Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “DJ and producer Shaun Frank has teamed up with Ryland James on his latest single Save Me. Frank tells us: “I’ve always loved big soulful house records, and this one especially gets me excited. Ryland James really killed the vocal on this and really captured the meaning of finding faith through love. Save Me is about finding salvation in another person when you are at your lowest. Love conquers all, baby!” James elaborates: “It’s really new territory as I’ve never done anything this electronic or dance leaning, but I’ve been wanting to try something like it for a while. This type of song is pure fun for me, and I’d say we all need a little dance party every once in a while to let loose, especially with the way things have been in this world lately.”


96 | LearningToDive | Promenade

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Taking its cue from the heady days of ’80s new wave and art-pop, LearningToDive’s new single Promenade is packed with dreamy synths and strings and focuses on serious thoughts on society, the planet and life. “Promenade tells the story of two people who live in London and work close to Hyde Park. They often see each other from afar while walking in the park and naturally feel drawn to each other. They start going on their lunch time walks together and eventually see each other more regularly, only to find the relationship is doomed. Promenade explores the age-old problem of two people that love each other but cannot be together.”


97 | New Yank Yorkies | Bring Back The Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In a time when many artists seek to project a kind of perfection through social media selfies and TikTok-ready happy sounds, Vancouver roots-rock group New Yank Yorkies are singing about what’s more likely the reality on rollicking single Bring Back the Love; the house is a mess. The laundry is getting unruly. The bills are piling up. You’re day drinking, thinking about the one that got away. “Where is the love?” vocalist/guitarist Geoff Gibbons asks, knowing very well it won’t be returning any time soon. If that may sound a bit dire, this downtempo, soulful groover has enough punch, sweetness and tongue-in-cheek humor to make it go down smooth.”


98 | Johnny Ashby | Lucky

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Johnny Ashby is a British singer/songwriter in L.A. His new single Lucky narrates a feeling of loss, but finding hope. Ashby confides, “I wanted to write a song that gave me a feeling of freedom. Sometimes, especially this last year, pursuing music can feel like a bit of a struggle. Sometimes the journey to any destination can feel the same too. But if you look close enough, often the journey is a beautiful one and the experience of getting to where you’re going is the thing that makes it what it is.”


99 | PM Warson | (Don’t) Hold Me Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:(Don’t) Hold Me Down is the second single from PM Warson’s debut album True Story, out on April 23. (Don’t) Hold Me Down, with its Brit-edged garage R&B, Latin soul and girl-group chorus, was released by Warson himself on a 7” vinyl and proved a winning formula for soul collectors. The independent pressing sold out within a couple of days.”


100 | Maggie Szabo | Sail Away

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising pop icon Maggie Szabo is back at it again with her self-produced single Sail Away. Filled to the brim with harmonious and pop-tastic vocals, layered instrumentation and waves of synths, Szabo shows no sign of slowing down. After quickly becoming one of the most sought after songwriters and vocalists for DJs, film and TV, Szabo’s latest work has focused primarily on her solo project and was written in some of the most beautiful and exotic places on Earth, including Greece, Amsterdam, London and Thailand.”


101 | And$um | Do It Like That

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Exciting hip-hop talent ​And$um is making waves in the New Zealand scene. He drops his latest smash ​Do It Like That on March 19. Self-produced but with additional production from Will McGillivray, And$um has created a fun and modern hip-hop classic. The clever lyricism over the top is narratively clear and cool. “I found this great vocal sample and just had the idea to create something funky,” explains And$um, real name Sam Dunlay, “I was having so much fun producing the track and I just wanted the lyrics to reflect that. It’s a carefree track about just wanting to do your own thing, and not let distractions get in the way of your life.”


102 | Rex Evans | In For The Night

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Incredibly exciting R&B talent ​Rex Evans drops the catchy and cool EP ​Dissonant, with trap-tinged lead track​ In For The Night. Produced by ​Lou Two​, ​In For The Night ​enters in with distorted samples before a 808-heavy trap beat rolls out. The vocals are catchy and unique, with a killer hook. The track “​is about learning what’s important and prioritizing those things over everything else,” explains Rex. “Stay working for family.”


103 | Teo & Jay | Paradise

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Teo & Jay are back with their funky and memorable new release Paradise​. The duo drop their latest offer March 19. Self-produced and slick, the track enters in with sweet electric guitar and subtle distorted vocals, before in comes virtuosic bass and a driving beat. The incredibly catchy hook rides the rhythm and will be looping through your head all day. Teo & Jay say: “Paradise is about figuring out life and realizing that the small things most of us take for granted actually makeup the bigger picture.​”


104+105 | Stone Jack Jones | I’m Made + Heaven Knows

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Back during the height of quarantine, Stone Jack Jones was stuck in Nashville, unable to travel back to his home in Paris. Making the most of a bad situation, he joined up with Adia Victoria, Roger Moutenot and a cast of talented friends (Kyle Hamlett, Kelly Diehl, Robin Eaton) to safely record. I’m Made and Heaven Knows are the fruits of those sessions and manage to blend folk, psychedelic and a seriously gothic tone. Says Victoria: “There is an otherworldly quality about Stone Jack Jones and his art that makes him a kindred spirit of mine. His music is like discovering a new path through old woods. Singing along with him on I’m Made was like summoning a choir of my own ghosts. This song makes manifest with sound the conundrum of the past year — the uncertainty, the anxiety and, also, the persistent and deathless hope of humanity. “