Indie Roundup | 135 Songs To Satisfy Your Every Craving This Weekend (Part 3)

Blake Red, Penfriend, Robert Vendetta, Soleil & more act for your viewing pleasure.


Blake Red is looking for a follow, Penfriend takes you for a ride, Robert Vendetta has come to the bitter end, Soleil wants to know where you stand — and we’re just hitting our stride in your XXXL Weekend Roundup. Try these songs on for size:


41 | Blake Red | Follow Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On her striking, alternative rock single Follow Me, Blake Red unveils a departure from her heavy, kinetic signature style. The music is stripped back, allowing for the raw and vulnerable vocal track to shine. Follow Me reflects on mistakes made and a search for redemption. The result is equal parts confessional and power ballad, reminiscent of ’90s-era PJ Harvey. Blake Red is a fearless, multi-hyphenate performer, writer-producer-instrumentalist who continues to push boundaries with passionate lyrics combined with sonic power. There’s no doubt that Follow Me will become essential listening from her catalogue of music.”

42 | Penfriend | Black Car

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “My new single Black Car is out today, along with the video I made for it earlier this month on a golden afternoon beside the River Avon in North West Bristol. I wrote Black Car just before I was due to finish recording the new album last October/November, and it was immediately obvious this wasn’t a song to keep for later. Black Car is a song about love and death, guilt and gratitude, taking time to figure out what’s most important, feeling desperately sad and isolated and grieving the loss of so many. Dealing with anger and frustration at the U.K. government for making so many missteps. Trying to keep on keeping on, while finding it hard to see a way out of this, however many “roadmaps” are announced. Accepting — and feeling — our feelings.”

43 | Robert Vendetta | If It’s Over

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Robert Vendetta is back. He’s an old-school entertainer, and this time he’s taken full control, which you can certainly feel in the musical and visual expression. Robert Vendetta is something for himself — that’s exactly what makes him something for you as well. The tender single If It’s Over shows Robert Vendetta’s unique abilities as a musical storyteller! Robert Vendetta describes the song this way: “Sometimes less is more, especially when you make a song about a void in the heart, created by many unanswered questions.” Besides Anders Jansvik on drums and Alma Raude Bostad on oboe, everything you hear is played, made and produced by Robert Vendetta.”

44 | Soleil | Whose Side?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Soleil is releasing a video for her latest single Whose Side? The video was directed by Samantha Pertusiello. Similarly to how Soleil was involved in the production of the song,she served as the co-creative director of the video. The video depicts the song’s premise by showing multiple personalities through different wigs and makeup in scenes, which represents the idea of choosing a side and the various layers of a person.”

45 | Lizzie & The Makers | Mermaid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: ““It was right after Mardi Gras and there was still glitter, beads and pieces of costumes in the streets, littering the wet, black pavement,” says frontwoman Lizzie Edwards on the making of Lizzie & The Makers’ new ethereal indie roots track Mermaid. “I was nursing a broken heart and just started journaling as I was walking around. Pete’s Candy Store is like my home away from home, so I went there for solace, old friendships, and just started writing what I saw around me to try to process why my relationship with this person had suddenly shifted from close to distant.”

46 | Tilian | Is Anarchy A Good Hobby?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “L.A. singer-songwriter Tilian releases his latest single and music video Is Anarchy A Good Hobby? Along with the new song, Tilian officially announces his upcoming full-length album Factory Reset, due for release on April 23. Tilian wrote Is Anarchy A Good Hobby? about “the joy that is released after a necessary destruction” — and the result shows a new side to his artistry. “Musically, I tried to take production risks and try things I haven’t before. I imagine it might be more polarizing for current fans, because it’s meant to stand out as a dramatic moment in the middle of the album.”

47 | Izzy T | Nuclear (ft. Ben Hunter)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Flaunting a fresh sound of foot-stomping alt-pop/rock, Izzy T brings a unique fusion of guitar melodies and electronic beats, driven by her cooly seductive yet fiercely powerful vocals. Izzy is unveiling her explosive new single Nuclear. Featuring U.K. rap artist Ben Hunter, the almighty alt-rock-pop fireball of energy combines electric, raucous sass in a mix of fearsome beats and muffled, gritty guitar. Screaming enough is enough, the mantra of this song sits on a tidal wave of frustration, narrating the darkside of a relationship and how people can become the furthest thing from who they really are. Izzy shares, “This song has really paved the way for my new sound as an artist. I love big crunchy guitars and stompy beats, and the freedom to go from low and creepy, to high as the clouds with my voice!” With an underlying theme of empowerment in dark times, Izzy provides a voice that we can cling on to, emphasizing that we can do whatever we put our minds to.”

48 | DeVante | Make Me Dance (Frankey & Sandrino Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Frankey & Sandrino’s remix of Make Me Dance turns DeVante’s industrial, 4/4 showstopper into a hypnotic and spiritual ode to the dancefloor. The pair’s production style is unmistakable — mesmeric and playful, minimal and energising — all centred around breathy vocals and asymmetric beats. It’s a tribute to our lost nightlife, an eyes-closed-at-5 a.m. anthem, and a triumph for the melodic house movement. The German duo have been making music together for over ten years, teaming up with electronic music’s most respected institutions to release their dreamy, emotive house productions.”

49 | The Beach | Still In Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having already made a name for himself as a prolific songwriter, both for his own work and countless others, singer-songwriter George Morgan aka The Beach has returned to share his wonderfully euphoric new single Still In Love. He said, “Essentially a confession/play by play of how I acted/felt about my ex-girlfriend after we broke up. I convinced myself that I was over it but was brutally reminded I wasn’t when I bumped into her at a mutual friend’s birthday. You never know how you’re gonna react when you see an old flame out somewhere and I guess this song is my experience of still feeling something when I didn’t think I would.”

50 | Str4ta | After The Rain

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Gilles Peterson has partnered with Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick to reinvigorate the loose, protean energy of the early-’80s Brit-funk scene. Long-time friends and collaborators, Str4ta sees them mine new musical possibilities out of that shared formative era. It was through Maunick’s band Incognito — one of the essential groups of an oft-overlooked, vital pocket of Black British musical history — that they first connected. On their new album Aspects, he and Peterson revisit that important period and the spirit that guided it: self-taught, DIY vitality, and a raucous energy built on live performance.”

51 | John Palumbo | Hollywood Blvd

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh off the release of Crack The Sky’s latest album, singer/multi-instrumentalist John Palumbo is venturing out into the funky world of Hollywood Blvd, his fifth solo album due out May 21. A lyric video for the title track depicts the crazy and colorful town he sings about. Palumbo explains: “The best songs come out on the first try. Hollywood Blvd, for example, I threw right down after establishing the groove and a proper bass line. It’s as if the song actually gave birth to itself. Songs like these usually come as a series of random thoughts put into a rhyming pattern, and they’re much more like poems than songs. Then, it’s just the task of ‘trimming the fat’ to lay in the lyric to fit the music track.”

52 | Mr. Tape & Madge | Whatify

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “L.A. post-pop producer and artist Madge teams up with Mr. Tape for Whatify, an abstract, pop-crossover contemporary house banger with playful lyricism, an irrepressible beat and a bungee-jump drop, lending itself to interpretive dance, fancy dress and losing your mind on the dancefloor. Madge says: “This is the first track that I made in a stream of consciousness. What you hear is literally what my brain did the first time I heard this beat by Mr. Tape. This track has no hidden meanings, no double entendres. It is just my gray brain matter connected by my white brain matter. Luckily Mr. Tape was down with this and we somehow symbiotically birthed Whatify.”

53 | Trust The Mask | Cloudy Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Cloudy Again is the debut single by italian experimental pop duo Trust The Mask. They began at the dawn of the first 2020 lockdown. Elisa and Vittoria started making music from afar and rejoined in the studio in summer 2020 to record songs together. “Cloudy Again is a song born twice, in two different rooms, by two mothers,” they say. “Despite everything, finally Cloudy Again came to light and in the end its message is one and only: Hope.”

54 | Vesicarum | Great Decay

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. death-metallers Vesicarum unleash Great Decay, the first single from their upcoming debut album Place Of Anarchy, set for release in June. The sprawling epic features guest vocals from James Dawson of Brighton metallers Bleed Again, helping convey the potent and personal message of vocalist Glynn Neve. “Everybody’s been struggling through these extremely tough times and lockdowns,” states Neve. “Great Decay, as well as the other songs on this album, are about my personal struggles with my depression and mental health — a departure from the lyrical themes of our previous EP.”

55 | Monuments | Deadnest

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Transatlantic progressive metal outfit Monuments have used the break from touring to work on new material and present their new track Deadnest. Says guitarist Olly Steele: “Our last release Animus focused on pop/melody so I wanted to contrast this with darker, lower, aggressive and abrasive moments for Deadnest. Maintaining energy and momentum throughout was definitely a goal. I tried to keep myself in the headspace of a young hungry kid with a lot to prove which I believe is reflected in the technicality of the song … It was inspired by a level in a video game — a nasty dark place that had no light and is completely jagged and uninhabitable, yet many creatures still called this place home.”

56 | Mike Edel | Building A Mystery

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Recently, Mike Edel shared his take on Coldplay’s Don’t Panic, the first instalment in a series of covers from the acclaimed West Coast songwriter. Today, he’s ready to share the second cover, Sarah McLachlan’s classic Building A Mystery. “Although I wasn’t a die-hard Sarah McLachlan fan, whenever I heard the ethereal and emotional qualities of Building A Mystery it always intrigued me,” says Edel. “For me it’s usually the emotional and sonic qualities of a song that catch me first and the rest of it later. After getting deep into the lyrics I enjoy that it’s calling out the fake and the shallow; I like doing that in my songs. So this one goes out to the influencers.”

57 | Ninth Sphere | The Red Crown

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dallas symphonic metal band Ninth Sphere (featuring former members of The Browning, Motograter and SRLSM) have released The Red Crown, the first single from their upcoming debut album Oversoul, due in spring. Brian Cravey states, “The Red Crown was the first song I ever tracked vocals for that I felt driven to have produced and released for consumption. It really gave me (and the band) the confidence to go forward with myself as vocalist.”

58 | Vacances | Berlin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Berlin is Vacances’ newest song and signals a reemergence of the project at its very finest, honing in on its new-wave-meets-indie sound and taking full advantage of Danny Lannon’s prodigious abilities as a singer. Comparisons could be made to Phoenix, New Order, Depeche Mode and Passion Pit in equal measure, but we’d advise you to hold off on forming an opinion until you listen to the song a few times — Vacances’ sound is totally original, while still sounding extremely familiar, a testament to Lannon’s masterful songwriting and keen ear for production.”

59 | Ferdous | Starlight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Afghan-Dutch recording artist, writer and producer Ferdous is back with his new single Starlight. The first release after his debut EP For My Own Sake features a drifting atmospheric synth-led production and haunting voices that feel poignant in a time of uncertainty. The track is released with a lyric video made by Ferdous himself while stuck in his studio. “While making this song I felt a bit desperate for an escape from myself and everything around me. I retreated to the Belgian countryside just to finish my debut EP in isolation, but there were moments where I would drift off and I felt the need to start something fresh just to get my mind away from reality. That’s kind of how this song came to life; the tone is a bit dark on the surface, but for me it felt like a great relief and gave me the escape I needed at that moment in my life.”

60 | World’s First Cinema | The Woods

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: World’s First Cinema deliver their latest euphoric offering The Woods. Channelling a fresh and cacophonous direction, The Woods sees the duo unveil one of their more anthemic cuts to date. Bringing back another dose of their bold and bouncing signature production, this next phase of World’s First Cinema is the beginning of a broader and more explosive sound that feels like just the tip of the iceberg. They say, “The Woods takes listeners on a journey to survive the night in a forbidden forest whilst dangerous and mystical predators close in on all sides. Sonically the track implements intricate pop-rock production peppered with unique movie foley sounds to bring the story to life in vivid colour. Climaxing in a huge ballad-esque chorus, the song boasts a unique perspective in the pop-rock world.”