Indie Roundup | 23 Songs To Make Monday Far More Enjoyable

Career Boy, AV, Happy Sun, Mike Clerk, Bill Toms and more acts kick off the week.

1032

Career Boy know a scam when they see one, AV takes matters into her own hands, The Happy Sun give ground, Mike Clerk is up in the air, Bill Toms & Hard Rain are all talk — and your Monday Roundup has 18 more ways to help you ease into another week. Take it easy.

 


1 | Career Boy | Scam Jam

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Influenced by artists such as Sleaford Mods, Dry Cleaning, Fontaines D.C., Shopping, Viagra Boys and Bodega, Career Boy bring to life a unique vision that is strongly their own. Their sound is driving and sweaty; imagine yourself in a mosh pit on a tiny venue in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with the adrenaline rush of a late Friday night. Their music is both self-aware and light-hearted bringing in the best of both worlds. “The songs are written with a focus on drums and bass with guitar coming in mostly as an accent. The goal of the instrumentation is to take traditional rock tropes (guitar riffs, excessive soloing, etc.) and either remove them completely or use them ironically, usually to underline a thematic or lyrical point within the song.”


2 | AV | Everybody Matters

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian soul singer-songwriter AV (Ann Vriend) shares her single and video Everybody Matters. It was written almost three years ago and was inspired by her experience as a resident of Edmonton’s notorious inner city. Everybody Matters draws the comparisons between what we say versus what we do when it comes to valuing human rights. Her sound is a combination of her musical influences, among them Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse, and her thought provoking lyrics are reminiscent of the socially conscious music of Curtis Mayfield and Paul Simon. Says AV: “The song is an energetic, old-school gospel/blues tune, with congregational clapping as the main rhythmic pulse throughout the song.The lyrics are a long list of contrasts between First World ideas of what ‘everybody matters’ looks like: life support, cheap consumer goods made elsewhere, and rich people making headlines — versus what the rest of the world experiences: starvation, slave labor, little to no media attention.”


3 | The Happy Sun | Giving Ground

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Andrew Eldritch. Sisters of Mercy. The Sisterhood. The 1980s. Gerhard Potuznik aka The Happy Sun has dug through the mothballs (again), pulled out one of his all-time favourite songs, given it a new makeover and released it together with Austrian artist Cherry Sunkist in a modern sound at just the right time. “Here is a littlte self-made video i did together with The Happy Suns singer Cherry Sunkist. We tried to reflect the overall mood of Andrew Eldritch’s song with mostly black-and-white images, showing distance, depression and loneliness in fucked-up times like this.”


4 | Mike Clerk | The Air In Here

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As his imminent debut album inches into sight, Mike Clerk reveals a video for the track The Air In Here. Getting cabin fever in lockdown (or perhaps restlessly counting down to his March 26 release, date) the video takes us into the mindset of a man trapped in an eternity of nothingness. With only his own thoughts (and a cameo from Castaway’s Wilson) for company, the endless roll of apocalyptic news on the telly and extended isolation soon begin to take their toll. Clerk says: “It *kind-of* looks like a lockdown video but that’s just a coincidence if I’m honest; I didn’t want to cheapen it by going for the pandemic angle really, but I suppose it’s a bit unavoidable right now!”


5 | Bill Toms & Hard Rain | Everybody’s Talking

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pittsburgh’s Bill Toms and Hard Rain have, over the years, made it their mission to pay homage to America’s rich musical traditions, mixing some of the nation’s most beloved genres with a good dose of hope, faith and inclusion. But it’s safe to say that recently, this has been a bigger challenge than usual. A global pandemic resulting in forced isolation will make creative people either wilt or thrive: In 2020, Toms and Hard Rain did the latter, overcoming the chill of physical separation and creating their 10th studio album Keep Movin’ On, due April 30 on Terraplane. Everybody’s Talking is their new single. Toms said, “Action speaks louder than words. We were unable to gather the band in a room to shoot any video so out in the cold we went. Our intention was to create a film noir atmosphere to go along with the continuous movement of the piece.”


6 | Bark | To The Grave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bark, a metal group from Belgium, premiere To the Grave, the third single from their latest album Written in Stone. The video explores the connection between the worlds of the living and the dead, portraying the link between these different realities and how they communicate. Martín Furia, guitarist and leader of the band, said: “The video is about the loss of someone who means a lot to you. Who goes to the other world leaves something in those who remain in this and in turn takes a part of them. Those souls tend to come together again. It is the video that remains most faithful to the lyrics. Three worlds are represented, that of the dead, that of the living and that where the encounter between the two occurs, in a time without space.”


7 | Insomnium | The Conjurer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Finnish melodic death metal masters Insomnium release their single and video The Conjurer. Says Niilo Sevänen: “We haven’t been idle during the pandemic. The Conjurer is a tragic tale of jealous and searing love that opens this new chapter for Insomnium. Monumental composition by Markus Vanhala that reaches its peak in the soaring dual guitar solo. The wintry music video was shot in the dreamlike landscapes of northern Finland by director Vesa Ranta and his team. More shall follow.”


8 | Gridfailure | Roaming Blackouts (ft. Mac Gollehon)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dismemberment Cabaret is a cinematic collaborative album between New York harsh/experimental soloist Gridfailure and world-renowned and trumpet player Mac Gollehon. Prohibition-era speakeasy and The Great Gatsby vibes merge with gritty horror/slasher and detective films of the 1970s and ’80s on Dismemberment Cabaret. The uneasy combination is projected with unhinged savagery, unpredictable volatility, and confused tension, matrixed through confrontational foundations in tension, paranoia, and dementia, via broken loops, interrupted transmissions, and denied cries for help.”


9 | Switchblade Glory | Human Toys

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Switchblade Glory have delivered their long-awaited sophomore album Human Toys after a multi-year hiatus. Lead vocalist Lukas Rossi and founder/guitar player Steve Polin created this filthy but yet sexy sound by combining their two different musical backgrounds. The title track and first single is a perfect crossover in the hard rock genre that flirts with an alternative rock influence. Rossi states: “The music video is based on self doubt and our insecurities and how sometimes we focus too much on our outer beauty when all that matters is the beauty inside, and therein lies a dysmorphia of self-worth and image. We are all beautiful, original, and one of a kind for a reason … to share our beautiful differences with each other.”


10 | Felin | Dear Boys

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish pop artist Felin shares the gender-bending video for single Dear Boys. The song comes from her upcoming album, Heroes and Villains. Elin Blom, also known as Felin, says, “the song addresses feminism and gender roles. Women’s rights and equality have always been important to me. My songs, even from when I was 8 or 9 years old were about that. We wanted the video to pay tribute to the men who already break gender norms, who dare to express themselves fully, who dare to be vulnerable.”


11 | Waker | Many Days Ahead

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville indie-rock sextet Waker release their debut album Fresh Out on May 7. An exuberant salvo with an anthemic chorus and soaring guitar solo, Many Days Ahead was written following the end of a long relationship when frontman Chase Bader was re-learning what was most important. “Right now we are all in a valley, but the great thing about a valley is that there is always a peak that rises above,” Bader explains. “Above all, we have the hope that life does and will get better. You just have to lean into the emotion and the separation, learn from it, be kind to yourself, be kind to others and endure.”


12 | Grace May | Angel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto singer and songwriter Grace May has returned to announce her debut EP L.V.R., along with the collection’s lead offering Angel. It sees her channel the rich and vibrant R&B aesthetic that set her apart from the crowd at the very start. Bringing her smooth and enticing vocals atop a broad and atmospheric production throughout, this new release sets the tone of what we can expect from her upcoming debut EP. She said, “The concept for Angel was to write a letter to an old love about a new love. I wrote the pre-chorus, “I was scared and unsure of what good could come from you treating me so bad,” because I genuinely didn’t know what good could come after that. And then someone came into my life that was so good, it felt like they’d been sent to me.”


13 | Robyn Sherwell | To Give Up

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer and songwriter Robyn Sherwell shares the video for her single To Give Up, taken from her upcoming album Unfold, due on June 18. Robyn says: “I love how disconcerting the layered mirror shots are and how the concept plays on the different sides of ourselves we have to confront in any journey through something challenging. This video has such a variety of colour and set-ups and was so fun to make, and I think that energy comes through too.”


14 | Harmonium Symphonique | Vert

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vert is the new animated video from the acclaimed double album Histoires Sans Paroles: Harmonium Symphonique, a symphonic re-interpretation of the music of influential 1970s Montreal progressive rock act Harmonium. Led by musical visionary Serge Fiori, Harmonium are one of the most influential bands in Quebec music history, and their success reached across North America as the sound of progressive rock came to characterize the 1970s music scene. Over the course of just three years, Harmonium released three distinct albums: Their self-titled debut, the followup Si On Avait Besoin d’Une Cinquième Saison, and the swan song L’Heptade.”


15 | Lexxicon | Work For it

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Lexxicon is looking to bring the worlds of dancehall, tropical R&B and grime together with his latest EP Bashment SZN. The Jamaican-Canadian musical artist is the definition of passion and persistence, with  music that sounds like a crossbreed between PartyNextDoor and Swae Lee merged with a strong artistic vision. “I am so excited about this EP because it feels like something Beenie Man would make if he was musically reborn in my generation, anyone that loved ’90s dancehall is gonna love this EP.”


16 | Emi Wes | Get That

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging singer and songwriter Emi Wes is kicking off her 2021 with the bold and euphoric new gem Get That. With a soft and breezy approach to production, married effortlessly with her own sweetly chilled vocals, her newest delight is also set to feature on her upcoming new EP, which is set to arrive in the coming months. She said, “Written as my most anti-self. Feeling that I had a hard time fitting in. Every session I had, and most of the people I met, before meeting Robin Hannibal, was older men looking at Top 40 and generic songs on Spotify, with an insane amount of plays, trying to make me match things that were already done and not me. It made me feel that what I was bringing to the table didn’t really matter.”


17 | Chain of Islands | Shelter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chain of Islands have released their latest single Shelter. The pop duo of Nick Goins and Derek Vautrinot have intricately crafted something special. The ballad features R&B style vocals and soft, velvet pop production with a commercial appeal. “Shelter is a song about someone caring for you so much that they attempt to protect you from anything that may hurt you. In this intense desire to protect you from harm, they actually stifle your ability to grow and flourish, to look after yourself in the face of adversity. It reflects on past injuries and failures but is ultimately a song of healing and having faith in one’s own strength.”


18 | Abdullah Ibrahim | Did You Hear That Sound?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Abdullah Ibrahim’s birthday concerts at Hirzinger Hall in Germany are a tradition. The grand hall is famous for its incredible acoustics, and a solo piano performance by the 86-year-old living legend one of its annual highlights. Last year, due to lockdown restrictions, the traditional concert was replaced with the opportunity to record a solo piano performance. The recording crew is sparse, the audience non-existent, yet Abdullah’s communion with the piano is warm and timeless. Today, Ibrahim shared a new recording taken from that performance called Did You Hear That Sound?. It’s a snapshot of the legendary pianist in his prime.”


19 | Ulrik Munther | Come Find Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In anticipation of his new album this spring, Swedish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ulrik Munther delivers his latest single Come Find Me. Following on from previous singles Jag Älskar Dig and C’est La Vie, Come Find Me continues down the same jovial path of delightfully uplifting music. In a culmination of sunny synths, jubilant guitar and an infectious chorus, Ulrik packs his warm personality into a gleeful four minutes.”


20 | Lucid Sins | Joker’s Dance

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glasgow’s ’70s progressive rock outfit Lucid Sins will release new album Cursed! on May 3. Inviting various musicians from their entourage to hop on the Lucid Sins train, the group delivers an organic and intrinsically more progressive album, fueled by an intoxicating keys and violins, jazz-tinged riffage and Andreas Jonsson’s overdubbed vocals, harking back to the likes of Wishbone Ash, Blue Öyster Cult or even The Doors in their more entrancing meanderings. With surrealistic artwork from British early 20th-century illustrator Alan Odle, Cursed! makes for a must-have piece of progressive rock.”


21 | Johnny Thunders | Chinese Rocks

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Johnny Thunders is a true punk legend. He shot to stardom as a founding member of the iconic New York Dolls, then went on to for his own band The Heartbreakers. Thunders sadly lost his life in 1991 aged just 38, but his legacy lives on to this day. Here’s a new live recording of his classic Chinese Rocks, taken from the upcoming live album Cosa Nostra: Live At The Mudd Club 1983 Gothenburg. It is as you expect: Raw, dirty, sweaty, full of swagger and punk as all hell.”


22 | 2mums | Policeman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australia’s 2mums are angry and this time they’ve set their sights on a former police officer turned neighbourhood bully. Since “retiring” from the force under dubious circumstances this former officer has struggled with the loss of authority. Now bored, frustrated, with nothing to do but drink and get abusive towards fellow neighbours who no longer have to obey this guy. Welcome to civilian life, buddy.  Policeman is a slab of pure Australian old-school punk influenced by all the greats of the genre!”


23 | They Fell From The Sky | Dry

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:They Fell From The Sky formed after Colin Doran (Hundred Reasons) and Jason Bowld (Bullet For My Valentine, Pitchshifter, Killing Joke) got together for Jason’s collaborative project This Is Menace. Their single Dry is a perfect example of the band’s ability to mix their heavier backgrounds with mainstream appeal, taken from their debut album due for release in spring. Doran explains: “It’s about people who are consistently only apologetic when absolutely caught out; But are not actually sorry at all.”