Indie Roundup | 42 Songs To Make You Glad You’re Alive This Tuesday (Part 2)

Nick Ferrio, Sara Watkins, Los Retros, Mephisto and other acts to make your day.

Nick Ferrio brings it home, Sara Watkins takes a tumble, Los Retros know it’s all about you, Mephisto makes your ears ring, The Crown go above and beyond — and there are at least half a dozen more killer tracks in the second part of your Tuesday Roundup. I love it when that happens.


22 | Nick Ferrio | The Dam

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nick Ferrio announced that his upcoming LP Television Of Roses — which he describes as “the light that flickers before your eyes and convinces you otherwise” — is set for release on June 18. The first single The Dam is a personal song. “My mother wrote a letter to me a few years ago, asking me if I remember her before her struggles with alcohol began. This song is a response to that letter. It explores those early years of my life, the poverty we experienced, but also my mother’s resilience and strength. We were estranged from each other at times in our lives and she passed away a year ago after being diagnosed with leukemia. But I played it for her before she passed and we made amends. I’d like people to take away from this song that no matter how far you drift apart, there is still time to make things right.”

23 | Sara Watkins | Tumbling Tumbleweeds (ft. I’m With Her)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sara Watkins of the Grammy-winning groups Nickel Creek and I’m With Her will release Under the Pepper Tree this Friday. Created with families in mind, the personal project encompasses songs Sara embraced as a child herself and brings storytelling, solace, and encouragement to the listener, no matter the age. Sara’s I’m With Her bandmates Sarah Jarosz & Aoife O’Donovan join her on Tumbling Tumbleweeds (originally performed by Roy Rogers & Sons of the Pioneers). Sara said, “It was a delight to get to sing this old favorite of mine with two of my favorite people, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan. On a personal level, I spent the first two years of my daughter’s life on the road with them (and Aoife with her daughter as well) and though my daughter will not remember that time, I will never forget the support and strength that they gave me as I was a new mother.”

24 | Los Retros | It’s Got To Be You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Los Retros announce their new EP Looking Back will arrive this spring. The tracks provide a glimpse into the artist’s early days, with seven recordings taken from the same sessions as the breakout hit Someone To Spend Time With and their debut EP Retrospect. This new collection showcases bandleader Mauri Tapia’s gifts as a songwriter and vocalist, each track sounding effortlessly written, with direct appeal and breezy sensibility. Listen to It’s Got To Be You now.”

25 | Mephisto | The Mighty Ring

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Shaped and forged in the very fires of Mordor, Mephisto belch forth their debut lyric video The Mighty Ring. An offering to the dark and blackened souls that own the night, straight from their album Pentafixion, out Friday. An epic tale of evil destruction with a devilish delicious twist in the tail! The Dark Lord has lost his might!”

26 | The Crown | Beyond The Frail

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2020 [their first eight years were spent as Crown Of Thorns], The Crown have proven themselves one of the most enduring forces in death metal. In 2021, they further up the ante with Royal Destroyer, a record that sets a new standard for the genre. “It is our album number 10, so now we are in the big boys club,” says bassist Magnus Olsfelt. “I think it in some ways is our crowning achievement, and it encompasses our sound across all albums on one defining record. It’s got it all — the early ’90s death metal stuff, the haunting melodies, the thrash, the punk, the grind, the heavy metal and the more epic and doomy stuff.” Hear Beyond The Frail now.”

27 | August Burns Red | Icarus

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grammy-nominated band August Burns Red have been sharing previously unreleased tracks — such as a cover of System of a Down’s Chop Suey! and their metalized rendition of the Westworld theme — over the past months. Today, the Lancaster band revealed that these songs (and more) will live on the Guardians Sessions EP. To celebrate, the band shared the track Icarus, which features a vocal cameo from bassist Dustin Davidson. “Icarus was a B-side from Guardians because it just didn’t fit the vibe of the album,” he says. “I’m happy that our fans can hear it now because it’s riffy and super fun to play on guitar. It’s the first ABR song that I sang on, and for fans of my side project, Best Case Scenario, I think you’ll hear the influence sprinkled throughout this one.”

28 | Belle Morte | Broken Things

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Belarus symphonic metal discovery Belle Morte are proud to unleash the lyric video for Broken Things, taken from their upcoming album Crime of Passion. It’s inspired by John Fowles’ novel The Collector. It tells a coherent story which started as an unhealthy obsession and stalking and resulted in murder, both from the side of the murderer and his victim. Musically, the album has more complicated arrangements, a lot of djent/progressive and even some black metal elements and a very diverse material.”

29 | Sounds Like A Storm | Make It Better

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A gritty, glam-rock take on their exhilarating indie-rock Make It Better finds Sounds Like A Storm exploring their idea of hope. Fuelled by irony, it’s a song about life and the things you love; the idea that for things to get better, you have to believe in something. “At the time I wrote this song my dad was in hospital. I wrote this tune one night in the month of January. It came from nowhere. I suppose lyrically I am picturing things I love, this escapism from hospital wards and the trauma of what I was going through. The juxtapositions bounce in and out throughout the song, this feeling of isolation and loneliness felt unusual at the time, but now for everyone in the world through the pandemic has become almost second nature,” explains frontman Sennen Ludman. “The song is set to deliver hope, things will get better, they may not be the same as before but they will get better.”

30 | Yulia Duzy | Ex

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This is the badass take of Liv V music. Liv V — aka Yulia Duzy — has over 40 originals out no swearing, but this year took a toll on artists and the industry has taken a toll on indie artists , so this is a whole persona of someone that wants to say and produce what she feels at the moment and time she’s feeling it. It’s much like Liv V, but the Liv V that doesn’t give a crap anymore who is tired of all the BS.”

31 | Island | Everyone’s The Same

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “London’s Island have shared their new single Everyone’s The Same. The grungy slacker slow jam begins with a deceivingly simple statement proposed softly by singer Rollo Doherty. “Everyone’s The Same is a song for anyone who’s angry at being told they can’t make any sort of difference or can’t be a positive force for change,” says Doherty. “I’d been getting really frustrated with this idea that as individuals our actions aren’t able to make a difference on the collective impact we’re having on the world, the idea that we’re all destined to have a negative influence on the environment just by existing, and that everyone is equally guilty. But the song is intended to be broader than that, and to capture that feeling of frustration at being told what you’re worth.”

32 | Under The Influence | Cobra Spit

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian punk act Under The Influence have released their new single Cobra Spit. It’s another ferocious blast of metallic hardcore punk. Have you felt someone’s narcissistic venom seep through your skin and into your brain, corrupting your thoughts to the point of nearly sending you insane? Hopefully not. Well, this is a song about the manipulation of one’s better judgment by the narcissistic input of others around you. Don’t let their venom inside. Be yourself, trust yourself, Know your worth.”

33 | Bad Astronaut | Wide Awake

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Houston, we have lift-off! We are thrilled to transmit that Bad Astronaut’s Universe box set comes out April 23. Strap yourselves in, because this box set represents the first time 2002’s Houston: We Have A Drinking Problem and 2006’s Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment will be on vinyl. Plus, we’ve re-pressed 2001’s Acrophobe, which hasn’t been on wax since 2010. Even more exciting, however, is the inclusion of Inner-Space, a brand new 7”. The band’s first new material in 15 years, Inner-Space features a never-before-heard alternate version of Violet as well as the new song Wide Awake.”

34 | Tombstones In Their Eyes | Quarantine Blues

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Attracting fans of psych, desert rock, shoegaze, goth, and neo-garage without aligning themselves directly with any these camps, SoCal’s Tombstones In Their Eyes take their sound up a few notches on their upcoming album Looking For A Light. Quarantine Blues was written during the first two months of the current pandemic but instead of anchoring it to this specific era, guitarist/songwriter John Treanor opened it up a bit and made it more universal. “I assumed there would be hundreds of pandemic songs written and wanted this to be a bit more timeless,” he says. “So in my lyric editing, I intentionally left the lyrics a bit more vague as to when and what was being referenced. It could be about isolation, it could be about the pandemic, or it could be about the plague.”

35 | Ghastly | Parasites

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Finland’s Ghastly return anew from the limitless wellspring of incomprehensible obscurity and dark inspiration that is Finland with their third album of mind-altering nightmare visions, Mercurial Passages, out May 28. Lead single Parasites is steaming now. All the elements that made Ghastly’s Death Velour album a rarified jewel return in full splendor on Mercurial Passages; the memorably eerie slow burn buildups, the frantically vivid outbursts of speed, and dramatic trance inducing doom fragments that create a hypnotic psychedelia akin to being lost in infinite labyrinthine corridors perpetually folding in on themselves. Death metal for altered states of consciousness and mystifying wonder, rather than corporeal rot and earthbound materialism.”

36 | Riley Downing | Good To See Ya

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Riley Downing of The Deslondes will release his debut solo album Start It Over on May 14. The 12-song set was co-produced by Andrijia Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) & John James Tourville of The Deslondes. On Start It Over, Downing is joined by an incredible lineup of musicians including Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, Greenhornes) on electric bass, Dennis Crouch (Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, The Time Jumpers) on double bass, Peter Keys (P-Funk, Lynyrd Skynyrd) on melotron, Meg Coleman (Yola) and Jimmy Lester (Los Straightjackets, Blaze Foley) on drums, Jeff Taylor (George Strait, Elvis Costello, The Time Jumpers) on keyboards, Derry Deborja (Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, John Prine) on Farfisa, Kyshona Armstrong on vocals and more.Today, he premiered the song Good To See Ya.”

37 | Miles Oliver | Save Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Miles Oliver is a Parisian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who plays electric & acoustic guitar, piano and loops. He creates an alchemy between lo-fi rock, folk and poetry that makes you think about Bonnie Prince Billy, Sonic Youth and Troy Von Balthazar. His fourth album is titled Between The Woods.Between The Woods is my U.S. vision, the American culture that I created for myself: from the acapella blues folk roots in Save Me and alienated minds in Deamontia to the crunchy shamanism of a friend’s loss in June 66, through a women’s revenge to their oppressor in the noisy The Song I Hate and the complaining song for Kurt Cobain’s ghost in Myberdeen. Each track is an individual portrait, a living character in our present tense.”

38 | Belvedere | Elephant March

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary punks Belvedere continue to roll out tracks off their upcoming LP Hindsight Is The Sixth Sense, out May 14. Belvedere’s Steve Rawles says Elephant March “was a working title for the song in its beginnings before any lyrics were made. It reminded me of a poem I’d read called The Elephant Poem by John Godfrey Saxe where six blind individuals were led to an elephant. Each felt the animal and described it in completely different ways. While each of them were partly right in their description, they were also all completely wrong. Each of us have different needs and wants in our life, but if we’re not honest with ourselves and discover what those needs are, then life might hit you harder than it should.”

39 | Loretta Querceto | Eternal Sun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Born and raised in Rhode Island, minutes outside of Providence, 20-year-old Loretta Querceto independently writes, records, produces, and releases original music centered around indie and alternative rock with jazz and lofi influences. She also studies music business and production at Berklee College of Music. Loretta’s new single Eternal Sun is a letter to herself, a memoir on self growth and development. Eternal Sun is an infinite presence to carry you throughout this life.”

40 | Jay Leo Phillips | During During

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jay Leo Phillips has spent the last two decades fronting the post-punk trio Apollo Up! and lending his talents to a variety of bands including …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Forget Cassettes, CHARGES and The Prudish Few. With the release of his new instrumental EP Days, he consciously and intentionally stepped away from his usual techniques in order to explore an evolutionary growth in his palette of sounds. Even in the absence of his raspy vocal baritone, the Phillips melodic style is present throughout. During During is downright meditative. With Days, Phillips embraces reduction and the results are a wider expanse of sound. He hasn’t lost his voice, he’s defined it more concretely without saying a word.”

41 | Claire Reneé | Honey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Claire Reneé is a classically trained dancer who sings from the soul. Singing a combination of R&B, soul, jazz, and pop while being heavily influenced by hip-hop, this singer/songwriter’s raspy yet graceful vocals, along with her unique harmonies, always provide an incredible vibe and sound. Her upcoming album Wings is inspired by relationships and how we cope with both the beautiful and challenging sides of them, touching on certain experiences that help us navigate though these situations. Honey is a love letter to the one who shows you and reminds you that you are not hard to love. Claire reveals, “Sometimes past relationships with people who made you feel like you were “too much” or in some way asking for a lot, make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Then you find people who remind you that love can be sweet, smooth, and beautiful because they are choosing to really see you and love what’s there in front of them.”

42 | Wolf Saga | Alice In Nowhere Land

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Indie-pop artist Wolf Saga has shared Alice In Nowhere Land from his recent self-titled album. The Toronto singer-songwriter writes about important causes in his music, touching upon Indigenous reparations, Black Lives Matter, police brutality as well as more intimate and personal experiences with friends and family. “Alice In Nowhere Land explores the reliance on technology and social media that we’ve come to accept as commonplace, especially now in 2021 when socializing IRL has become so difficult and dangerous. We see people’s “lives” curated through their social accounts, but it’s increasingly difficult to parse what’s real and what’s performed. I’m hopeful that we’re at the precipice of a shift in social media consumption, particularly as people around the world wake up, and demand authenticity in everything they engage in.”

BONUS TRACK | Amiyelle | Mood (ft. The Game)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “R&B artist Amiyelle has released her debut single Mood (ft. The Game). Amiyelle said, “It’s OK for women to work and nurture. It’s OK to celebrate love, and committed relationships, and it’s OK for us to win together.” The feeling of the song was meant to embody the woman boss, showing the balance of beauty, independence, and femininity.”

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