Indie Roundup | 42 Songs To Make You Glad You’re Alive This Tuesday (Part 1)

Black Midi, Hiraki, Body Count, Tune-Yards, Austen Meade & more of today's gems.

Black Midi raise a little L, Hiraki are on the hunt, Body Count play with puppets, Rorcal & Earthflesh heat up the coven, Kardashev drift off — and I’ll be damned if you’ll find a better Tuesday Roundup of new tunes anywhere. Damned, I say!


1 | Black Midi | John L

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Black Midi announced that their new album Cavalcade comes out May 28 — and offered up its lead single/video John L. The album opener, John L has a massive sound, driven by some gutsy Discipline-era King Crimson thrust, and energy wrought by the inclusion of Jerskin Fendrix on violin. The group tease the raging track to the point of nonexistence before leading it through caverns of reverb and gauzy snareskin landscapes, just for it to return, hitting hard as hell once more. The story painted is a jet-black comedy about what happens to cult leaders when their followers turn on them. Its equally massive video was directed by choreographer Nina McNeely, known for her work on Rihanna’s Sledgehammer and Gaspar Noe’s Climax.”

2 | Hiraki | Wonderhunt

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Denmark’s avant hardcore/noise rock trio Hiraki have issued a powerful and energized official video for Wonderhunt, the latest single from their impending second album Stumbling Through The Walls. Vocalist/synth player and visual director Jon Gotlev discloses, “Wonderhunt was the first track we composed for the album and in many ways the origin from which the other songs have emerged. It’s the propulsive endeavor and repetitive impetus of elegantly stumbling through existence.” Drummer Tim Frederiksen adds, “Bridging music with visual elements has been a huge part of Hiraki from day one. The video for Wonderhunt was shot in 24 hours, all DIY, with the three of us in a packed car rushing between locations while pushing The Stumbler’s body to the max.”

3 | Body Count | The Hate Is Real

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Body Count have never shied away from keeping it raw ’n’ real. In that spirit, Ice-T and crew launched a contest for fans to illuminate the musical and lyrical ballistics to their song The Hate Is Real, taken from their latest album Carnivore. Fans were asked to create and submit their own videos so the band could pick the best as the visual accompaniment to Body Count’s bloody, multi-tiered take on personal and systemic hate. Watch the winning video for The Hate Is Real, created by 25-year-old Brooklyn filmmaker Seby Martinez.”

4 | Rorcal & Earthflesh | Witch Coven

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When Swiss blackened doom-metal quintet Rorcal were forced to cancel more than 40 shows to promote their fifth album Muladona in  2020, they decided to put their energy on creating new music. So they teamed up their original bass player and sound manipulator Bruno aka Earthflesh to give birth to the ugliest, darkest and roughest tracks of their career. Named Witch Coven, this new collaborative effort displays two long and complex songs that merge the harsh noise and deep cracklings provided by Earthflesh with Rorcal’s violent take on doomy black metal. Set for release on April 2.”

5 | Kardashev | Snow-Sleep

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On May 7, Kardashev will re-issue their 2020 EP The Baring of Shadows, featuring instrumental versions of all tracks. In anticipation, a new video for the single Snow-Sleep is out now. A self-described “deathgaze” group, Kardashev are for fans of The Contortionist, Rivers of Nihil, Devin Townsend and Alcest, among others. Their mission statement could be described as: “Attempting to create the most beautiful, heavy music through themes of love, loss and altruism in the metal spectrum.” Much of the band’s lyrical content is about science, space and the human condition.”

6 | Yautja | Tethered

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville underground trio Yautja will drop their new album The Lurch on May 21. The Lurch amalgamates metal, punk, and noise-rock into a ferocious hybrid that has propelled them from the obscurity of the American South onto the international stage. The Lurch was recorded by Scott Evans at Steve Albini’s legendary Electrical Audio studio in Chicago and marks another step forward for the innovative band. Yautja comment, “We’ve spent a lot of time working on these songs and after sitting on this recording for a clusterfuck pandemic of a year, we couldn’t be more ready to share this with the world.”

7 | Austin Meade | Lying To Myself

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer, songwriter and guitarist Austin Meade has dropped the video for Lying to Myself. Watch the clip, which examines the modern dating scene and features a clown. “We’re all clowns at heart looking for a place to fit in,” Meade explains. “It’s fun to see the initial fall and eventual rise of the main character. I feel like I’ve been there before. Fitting all that storyline into just a few minutes was a challenge … there are a lot of hidden gems. You don’t have to take everything so seriously.”

8 | Tune-Yards | Hypnotized

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ahead of this Friday’s release of their fifth studio album Sketchy, Tune-Yards release the third single Hypnotized. A soulful plea to stay awake and present in this time of pandemic and oligarchy, its companion video directed by Tee Ken Ng posits the viewer on a never-ending train track. Unlike the lyrical introspection of her previous outing, on Sketchy Merrill Garbus balances self-inspection and reflection with bombastic rallying cries, reminiscent of the furious tones of early days Tune-Yards. The result is a colourful and joyous record with lyrics that cut to the bone. “I started remembering that people come to us to be entertained, to move, to feel joy,” she says. “And together, I think, we can wake up.”

9 | Skegss | Bush TV

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising Australian punks Skegss share the single Bush TV ahead of their album Rehearsal out this Friday. The infectious track comes with a Jamieson Kerr-directed video, showing the freedom of the great outdoors, from riding dirt bikes on drummer Jonny Lani’s farm and hanging with bassist Toby Cregan’s dog Blaze to swimming, barbecuing, and drinking beers by the fire pit. Jamieson says “The video was a lot of fun to make. The motorbike shots were pretty wild. I was in the back of a Ute hanging off the end with my camera whilst we were pinning it around bends and bumps. At one point I got some air which was pretty scary. It was lovely to see Jonny’s farm, it was my first time out there, and it was so nice to see him in his element.”

10 | Livingmore | Sharp

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising female-fronted rock band Livingmore have released their new single Sharp and announced their sophomore full-length studio album Take Me, due out May 21. Sharp is a celebration of life and self-expression, gliding along on a propulsive beat while Alex Moore’s vocals take flight towards a disco break perfect for your favorite club in any era. “Sharp is a celebration of standing your ground and embracing your personality,” shares Alex. “The music video was directed, filmed and edited by my brother, Dillon Moore, who listened to the song and said it brought back memories of our mom honking the horn when we’d drive under a tunnel and scream out loud into the abyss.”

11 | Jungle | Keep Moving

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Loving In Stereo, the new album from British songwriting and production duo Jungle, is set for release Aug. 13. Keep Moving, the album’s debut single, premieres today. The disco-infused track reflects the changing circumstances the pair found themselves in during these trying times. As co-founder Tom McFarland summarizes, “Whatever you go through, as long as you can stay strong and fight it, there’s always something on the other side.”

12 | ISQ | Ode To Myself (Arthur Baker Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt-jazz band ISQ share the shimmering video for Arthur Baker’s remix of their single Ode To Myself, taken from their upcoming album Requiem For the Faithful 2.0: The Remixes, out May 21. Shot with a simple yet captivating style, the colourful video for Ode To Myself (Arthur Baker Remix) is the type of media you’d find projected onto a wall at a loft party or art gallery opening. Directed by Carolina Mazzolari, the video features Irene Serra finding herself in the music, moving to its grooves as she is surrounded by light and projected images.”

13 | Mannequin Pussy | Control

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia indie-punk band Mannequin Pussy will release their new EP Perfect on May 21. Today, the band share the first look at Perfect with Control, with a cathartic music video directed by singer/guitarist Missy. After spending most of the year apart from each other and everyone else in 2020, Mannequin Pussy decided to book studio time and work together in person again. They brought two pre-written songs into the session, but opted to write new material together on the fly from the excitement of reunion. “We just figured if we forced ourselves into this situation where someone could hit ‘record,’ something might come out,” Missy says. “We’d never written that way before.” What came out of that compressed session time with Grammy-nominated producer Will Yip are some of Mannequin Pussy’s most furious, incandescent songs yet.”

14 | Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets | Down On Commonwealth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets release Down on Commonwealth, the lead track from the group’s second album Under the Neon Heat, out July 16. Down on Commonwealth is both a wistful recollection of Antista’s youth and an invitation to engage in discussion about police reform. “The song is a reminiscence about growing up in the Fullerton punk scene,” says Antista. “Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue is the epicenter of all that. It was home to the first bars we snuck into and the pawn shops where we bought our first guitars. But the area has a dark side as well. The homeless situation is out of control. And local residents are still shaken by Kelly Thomas’ beating death by the police. Myself and other members of The Lonely Streets have taken part in local protests related to his killing.”

15 | Danny Golden | Alien

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On April 23, Austin musician Danny Golden will release his new EP Changes. Today, Golden released the video for the EP’s second single. “Alien was dropped into my head by some extraterrestrial intelligence,” Golden says. “I think creativity comes from some external mystical source, artists simply figure out how to tune our radios to the frequency and transmit the messages. I was flying back to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving in that groggy twilight feeling of an airplane nap, 20,000 feet above the Earth at 11 p.m. after an extended layover.”

16 | Late Aster | A Minor Fantasy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “San Francisco Bay Area/Brooklyn quartet Late Aster have released the single A Minor Fantasy and announced their debut EP True and Toxic, which comes out May 21. Aaron Messing stated, “This song is inspired by a Shostakovich piano prelude I listened to for years before attempting to learn. I thought the way the piece moves through the harmony would suit it well for an additional melody on top, which became the vocal melody. The prelude is in the key of A minor, which I eventually used as the name of the song, both because it describes the piece musically but also because read literally, it actually describes the meaning behind the words of the song: A dream-like state that is simultaneously exciting and ominous.”

17 | Loig Morin | Romance à l’Italienne (ft. Jill Barber)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver singer-songwriter Loig Morin will release Printemps, the seventh album of his career on April 9. Spring is the season of new beginnings and Printemps is the first in a four-album series that will embrace each season. Each album will possess its own colours, themes, and sound signatures, sweeping listeners up in universes that embody inspiration from different cultures in music that unites more classic styles with contemporary electronic touches in a seemingly effortless way. The first single Romance à l’Italienne is reminiscent of popular French duets. Canadian chanteuse and fellow Vancouver resident Jill Barber joins Loig on this trip through the torments of love and its pretenses. Pop inspired with hints of electronica; this atmospheric song is seductive, transcending all languages.”

18 | Rae Isla | Lovely Lies

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Lovely Lies is the new video and track from Americana-pop songstress Rae Isla. It’s the second single from her debut record Another Life, releasing May 7. The video was shot in Mexico City with a female-led team. It was an international collaboration — edited in Seattle and colored + VFX done with a team in Las Vegas. “The song is about wanting so badly to believe in something, that you go along with the lie, because the truth is just too hard to realize.” says Rae. “In the video, I take a journey through time, space, and memory to find my dreamscape desert planet, but soon realize that we’re not meant to escape from reality, we have to face it.”

19 | Bryce Thomas | Perpetual Motion Machines

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As he prepares for the arrival of his new album Across The Neuro Seas this Friday, Toronto singer-songwriter Bryce Thomas has released a video for the single Perpetual Motion Machines. He says, “Perpetual Motion Machines is probably my favourite song on the album because it’s the most autobiographical. Plus, it’s in waltz time, which I always think gives songs a special energy. And I scored the trumpet part for it, which allowed me to brush off my brass skills.”

20 | The Wanted | Stand Up

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto folk and blues practitioners The Wanted are set to release their latest album Strange Flight this Friday. To mark the occasion, they are sharing a video for the track Stand Up, filmed during the album’s pre-pandemic recording sessions with producer Michael Timmins at Cowboy Junkies’ Toronto studio The Hangar. Natalie Rogers says, “The songs chosen for this album are a true reflection of how our sound has evolved over the last few years as a result of streamlining what each of us brings to the group, both as songwriters and performers. I liken it to a distillation process that has been happening to The Wanted since our last album, and this is the refined product. A little aged with a smoky finish.”

21 | Margot | Featherweight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Off the back of their recently released single, Margot share a cover version of Fleet FoxesFeatherweight. Asked to cover the track, the band set about constructing it from their respective abodes during lockdown in London. The result is a beautiful, uniquely different take of the original, perfecting the difficult task of respecting the original whilst adding their own slant.”