Indie Roundup: 135 Songs To Satisfy Your Every Craving This Weekend (Part 1)

Billy Gibbons, Joy Formidable, Xiu Xiu & more stars start the largest roundup yet.

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Billy Gibbons is coasting, Talk Show & Eli Brown make trouble, The Joy Formidable go off into the wild blue yonder, Freedom Hawk have liftoff — and yeah, you read that number right: We’ve got 135 tracks to get through. So let’s get down to it:

 


1 | Billy Gibbons | West Coast Junkie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hardware, the third solo album from ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons, is set for release June 4. The album’s release is preceded by today’s release of new single West Coast Junkie. The video for the track was filmed near Joshua Tree, a stone’s throw from the studio. Billy sums up the album’s ecumenical construct, “We holed up in the desert for a few weeks in the heat of the summer and that in itself was pretty intense. To let off steam we just ‘let it rock’ and that’s what Hardware is really all about. For the most part, it’s a raging rocker but always mindful of the desert’s implicit mystery.”


2 | Talk Show & Eli Brown | Trouble

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Collaborations between artists that inhabit different musical worlds can have a habit reaping powerful returns. A collision of cultures and collusion between unlike minds can provide renewed perspectives and inspirations, as comfort zones and well-worn paths become kicked and scuffed to reveal new territory under the influence of one another. Enter lauded producer Eli Brown and South London punks Talk Show. Singer and guitarist Harrison Swann says: “The track evolved to become a different kind of beast. I did feel like I had to step up and deliver. Just when I went in to do the vocal takes, I do remember standing there in the vocal booth thinking, ‘Right. I’ve gotta fucking blow this mic off it’s hinges’.”


3 | The Joy Formidable | Into The Blue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: The Joy Formidable are sharing the new single Into The Blue. It is the band’s first new material since their kaleidoscopic 2018 album AAARTH. Into The Blue has come to symbolize a period in which anything felt possible. The world stands in a fine balancing act where no bad deed can shock anymore, yet good things can still happen. It is this second side of the coin that brings a resilient, more ethereal quality and magic to Into The Blue, as the band embrace a growth mindset, leaning into the idea that uncertainty needn’t be something to fear. As singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan comments: “Into The Blue is about surrendering to love and magic. Having the courage to enjoy a new journey and the mystery and excitement of something unexpected. It’s about opening your eyes to beauty and love again. Making it to the other side. Whilst not conceived as a metaphor for the times we all live in now, it certainly turned out that way.”


4 | Freedom Hawk | Liftoff

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Virginia Beach heavy rockers Freedom Hawk share their new single Liftoff, a raw and psychedelic jam that will definitely take fans off guard. The band are gearing up to record their new studio album, to be issued in fall. “Despite the pandemic of 2020 cancelling us while on tour and cancelled future tours, we channeled all our creative energy into setting up our own recording / rehearsal space and writing a new nine-song album. Part of this journey allowed us to record every rehearsal and spontaneous jams. This is one of them — a nine-minute spontaneous live jam single.”


5 | Tuff Sunshine | My Back Catalogue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Independent rock outfit Tuff Sunshine, helmed by Johnny Leitera of Brooklyn, are currently fashioning the final preparations on a new accumulation of musical compositions which will bear the title Yesterday Suit. My Back Catalogue is the first single and video. Leitera says: “There have been many nights spent attempting to justify my existence in a world without touring or playing gigs, and the one thing I seem to come back to is playing my own records, over and over again, through the headphones, in an attempt to remind myself that this world existed, and will exist again. There is comfort in reminding myself and reliving and reconnecting with what has come before in a time where it seems that much creative life is not only on hold, but at times even seemed frivolous with everything else that was going on in the world.”


6 | Harker | Adulthood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brighton punk powerhouse Harker continue to roll out singles in advance of the upcoming album Axiom, due April 23. The latest is Adulthood. Guitarist/vocalist Mark Boniface says: “Adulthood is based on the feeling of security and identity we develop as we mature into adult life. As we experience trials and tribulations, we gain ground against the fragility that we fear. Our mortality it tests us, but we should not let this impermanence stop us from blossoming.”


7 | Joystick | 7675 (ft. Zach Quinn)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Joystick are back with the second single from their new album I Can’t Take it Anymore, and honestly you better strap in for this one. 7675 is a 90-second circle pit-inducing punk rock romp, featuring Zach Quinn of Pears on vocals. Honestly this track would be at home on any Pears record, but Joystick adds some funky horns to the madness plus a healthy tinge of ska-core that keep you dancing through the whole thing.”


8 | Manchester Orchestra | Keel Timing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Taut and dynamic, Keel Timing is the second single from Manchester Orchestra’s new album The Million Masks of God. Underscored by a bedrock mix of organic and electronic beats, the song simmers to a roaring, high-octane conclusion before seamlessly shifting into the sweeping first single Bed Head on the album. “Keel Timing serves as a prequel to Bed Head,” explains singer Andy Hull. “It’s an isolated internal investigation about personal growth. Trying to decide what growth is positive and what growth is negative. And where do we land after that investigation.”


9 | Snails | Frogkind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian bass music artist Snails has released a beautiful yet terrifying video for Frogkind. It’s the lead single from Snails’ recent EP Slime Time, which marked a return to the international DJ and producer’s musical roots — the metal-inspired sub-genre he created and his fans dubbed as Vomitstep. The thrilling and beautifully animated live-action video for Frogkind follows a young woman through a wooded forest and large field as she attempts to evade an invisible threat. As the suspense builds we see what she is running from as giant, neon, interdimensional space frogs and snails appear to the beat of the bass. While caught in the field, snail slime begins to ooze from her body as she visibly transforms while the gruesome amphibians descend on Earth around her. She awakens from what was seemingly a dream until the cinematic clip ends with a terrifying surprise that you won’t want to miss.”


10 | Arcane Ghosts | Butterfly

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With their latest single Butterfly, Toronto tech-punk trio Arcane Ghosts take a bold step forward. While the song sees the group retain the tight, technical elements of their sound that have earned them a loyal following, the track sees the band take a definitive step forward as it spreads its wings to incorporate radio-friendly melodies. According to vocalist-guitarist Jason Diaz, the band entered the studio with a clear vision of what they were looking to accomplish with the song. “Stylistically, Butterfly marks a bit of a shift for the band,” he says. “We strived to keep the track as simple and organic as possible and base the song’s main melody on one solid guitar riff instead of unnecessarily complicating things.”


11 | Mike Plume | Remember To Forget

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Coming off his recent nomination for Roots Artist of the Year at the Country Music Alberta Awards, Mike Plume is releasing Remember To Forget, the latest single from his acclaimed album Lonesome Stretch Of Highway. An upbeat number that showcases Plume’s vivid storytelling skills, Remember To Forget touches on those moments we’ve all had when things in the past suddenly take on a different perspective through the passage of time. Mike explains, “The song is about crossing paths with someone who, years ago, you had a serious relationship with. But things, as they often do, went sideways and you go your separate ways. Then one day, out of the blue, you run into that person again. A little small talk in the checkout line at the convenience store, and you both choose to remember to forget all heavy stuff that happened between you.”


12 | Mike Field | Rocket

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Mike Field has a video to accompany his latest single Rocket. He hopes it will remind listeners to explore, discover and follow their dreams, even if we are in a pandemic. Rocket diverges from his usual jazz compositions, and is an upbeat, fun, punk-rock, classic road trip song that features his award-winning vocals and powerhouse trumpet. It’s about travelling, escaping from the mundane and flying away to explore, discover and follow our dreams, with an added bit of romance.”


13 | Neumatic Parlo | Real Insight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Neumatic Parlo’s new single Real Insight steeps into bittersweet teenage angst and delicate psychedelic pop. Gloomy lyrics meet tender melodies and sprawling soundscapes. Neumatic Parlo from Düsseldorf play sometimes gentle, sometimes psychedelic indie rock while sounding like a love triangle between Yo La Tengo, The Cure and Ty Segall. In the accompanying video by Lisa C. Heldmann, singer Vincent Göttler dances, indulges and languishes in lovely anti-hero manner through softly drawn dream sequences.”


14 | Xiu Xiu | Sad Mezcalita (ft. Sharon Van Etten)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Xiu Xiu officially return with Oh No, an all-star album of duets out today. In celebration of the release, the duo share the video for Sad Mezcalita, featuring a cameo from Sharon Van Etten, who sings on the track. Jamie Stewart’s attempt at a love song, Sad Mezcalita marks a noticeably darker turn to previous singles. According to Jamie: “Angela (Seo) said to me, ‘you never write love songs.’ This song tried to do that and failed. To me, it became about how the fear of someone you love being killed or kidnapped or lost in the desert leads to a possessed certainty of those very fates. Wanting and needing and actually feeling love for someone when you know all along that it will end in the worst way imaginable. Sharon seemed like the only person I knew who could pull this conflict off without hesitation. The title is taken from a line in the Otis Redding song I’ve Got Dreams to Remember, which is a love song that did not fail in its intent, but is still sad.”


15 | Fred Lee & The Restless | Who Do You Want To Be?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Fredrik Lindkvist is best known as the former singer and frontman of Swedish hardcore band Totalt Jävla Mörker. Under the artist name Fred Lee, he will will release his solo debut Sleepwalking in Daylight in summer. Embracing a completely different sound and style of songwriting, Fredrik’s solo project sounds like nothing he’s done before. Traditional storytelling, bittersweet vocal melodies, and clean guitar licks ads up to a colorful and exciting take on folk rock. The first single released by Fred Lee and his backup band The Restless is called Who Do You Want to Be?


16 | DVR | Lonely

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: DVR is Dillon van Rensburg, a 17-year-old songwriter from Scotland. To mark the release of Tape_01 + Thru The City, he premieres a video for Lonely, the EP’s opening track. Written, performed and produced by dvr and accompanied by a video by Callum Harrison, it’s the unfiltered sound of an exceptional new talent beginning his ascent. With influences ranging from Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean and Kaytranada to Jimi Hendrix and Foo Fighters, DVR already counts the likes of Snoop Dogg among his growing fanbase.”


17 | Slushy Puppy | Juliette

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising 19-year-old alt-pop singer-songwriter Slush Puppy has dropped his first headbanging single of the year, Juliette. Co-written and co-produced with Tom Randolph, Juliette serves as the lead single off Slush Puppy’s forthcoming EP due out later this year. Slush Puppy shares, “Juliette is the classic high school story of outcast boy wanting the coolest girl, but only being in love with a glamorized version of her. We romanticize people and build them up in our head so much that we catch feelings without really knowing them. We only see people’s highlights on social media and it is so easy to think that the person you see online is an accurate representation irl. This song is about putting someone on a pedestal and becoming obsessed with the “best version” of them and basking in their perfection without really seeing any of their flaws.”


18 | Kirk McElhinney | Ticking Clock

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Known for his soulful voice and insightful lyrics, Manchester singer-songwriter Kirk McElhinney’s music combines a rich and vibrant mosaic of acoustic guitar picking that gives him a sound that is both unique and enticing. His concerts are always something of a one-off, mostly down to his free-spirited jamming style and raw energy that captivates audiences everywhere he performs. His highly anticipated second album You Are Not Your Past will be released on June 4. The first single from the album is the track Ticking Clock, which is a message of hope and solidarity. As Kirk explains: “The mainstream news constantly carries such a bleak message, a one-sided outlook that only seems to focus on the negative. The song is about the opposite of that, it’s about togetherness and uprising, with a message of we can do better. It’s about getting away from the ‘us and them’ mentality and moving to a non-judgmental and more understanding outlook.”


19 | Without A Sin | Colours

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Without A Sin deliver their new single and video Colors. This track takes everyone by surprise by revealing a more intimate aspect, while keeping the band’s dark touch, as well as their innate pop and catchy approach. Thus, it is without difficulty that we can classify Colors at the crossroads of the universes of Bring Me The Horizon, Chase Atlantic, or even BTS, showing what these young guys are able to do.”


20 | Kenny Mason | Play Ball

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Atlanta’s most promising new artist Kenny Mason has released his latest single Play Ball, produced by Julian Cruz. Leveling up on a medley of clashing drums and grating guitar riffs, Kenny puts his vocal range on full display, singing about the realities of Atlanta street life before transitioning into a lyrical onslaught detailing what it takes to come up on his side of ATL. “Knew how to spot rookies without looking / bitch i took it, no retaliation, because y’all pussies / how y’all should get got places where y’all took it / cuz I watched good ones turn to satan cuz y’all pushed ’em”