Indie Roundup | 135 Songs To Satisfy Your Every Craving This Weekend (Part 5)

Moby, Jim james, Nikita, Tarantist, Cube, The 502s and more acts for your perusal.


Moby and Jim James make some fancy porcelain, Nikita and Tarantist cross cultures for a cause, Saint Lanvain tries to get your attention, Cube takes a stroll down memory lane — but you’d better not dawdle if you expect to get through this epic Weekend Roundup. Time’s a wastin:


81 | Moby | Porcelain (Reprise Version ft. Jim James)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Big announcement… For the last few years I’ve been working on an orchestral greatest hits album, and I’m releasing it on May 28. Natural Blues with Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah, Porcelain with Jim James, The Lonely Night with Kris Kristofferson and Mark Lanegan, as well as Alice Skye, Apollojane, Mindy Jones, Darlingside, Deitrick Haddon, Luna Li, Nataly Dawn, Skylar Grey and Víkingur Olafsson. The first track from the album is Porcelain, featuring Jim James (My Morning Jacket).”

82+83 | Nikita | Yadam Nemire + Tarantist | Soldiering

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Homanity is a compilation album featuring prominent Iranian musicians joining forces to raise awareness about the censorship and persecution of artists in Iran. It comes out May 7, but you can listen to the first two singles from the album right now. Pop artist Nikita shares Yadam Nemire, while metal band Tarantist contribute their song Soldiering. Yadam Nemire is wistful for a past memory that could be a person or place. Soldiering discusses the forced military enlistment for young men in Iran, who must serve for two years without pay or benefits if they wish to be able to go to university, obtain a passport, or participate in certain economic activities.”

84 | Saint Lanvain | Hey You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The exciting DJ Saint Lanvain drops his latest Deep House track Hey You. Created with his band Blow, Hey You is truly a collaborative work, with Lanvain at the helm. Carried by a repeated guitar riff over synth chord changes, the vocals and lead bass synth work in harmony to keep the ear of the listener. As the drum-beat rises, the female lead completes the call and response in a catchy chorus that has a great drop and builds with backing parts. “My music allows me to travel around the globe and share my passion with so many different people. I feel like a pirate 2.0 every time I cross the world to make people dance,” explains Lanvain. “I’ve been really missing it this year, and I’m more than ready to get back to my ship, a ship that’s been stuck in harbor since covid arrived.”

85 | Cube | Chestnut Street

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “15-year-old Cube makes beats that are heavily influenced by the jazz and R&B music his parents would play around the house. At the beginning of 2020, Cube released his debut instrumental EP Kinda Quiet, in which he plays all of the instruments from the depths of the basement of his family home. Last October, Cube decided to expand his music past the instrumental stage and begin using his voice. His newest single Chestnut Street recounts the beginning of his relationship with his girlfriend and their first date. This track is also his first time experimenting with sampling and takes a dive into the old-school world of hip-hop and R&B production.”

86 | The 502s | Leading Lady

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Florida five-piece The 502s share Leading Lady, the latest preview of their forthcoming album Could It Get Better Than This, out Oct. 15. The idea behind the song, explains the band’s Ed Isola, “was to make something everyone at our live shows would be able to sing along to while dancing with us.” The 502s are on a mission to create a safe and collaborative space for people to smile widely and appreciate the good things in life.”

87 | Vokonis | Azure

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Vokonis have released Azure, the third and final single leading up to the Swedish prog-metal trio’s fourth studio album Odyssey. With the goal of expanding the prog landscape, Vokonis crafted recordings that are more dynamically diverse and forward-thinking than ever before. Ranging from full-blown doom to melodically blissful passages, the new album features guest musician Per Wiberg (OpethKamchatka) on keyboard. Guitarist/vocalist Simon Ohlsson comments: “I believe Azure was the first track we wrote together with our new drummer. I really like how we made a rumbling verse and soaring chorus. It’s kind of how we want people to see Vokonis from now on. It’s also got a very cool organ on during the solo. Per Wiberg put his rock ’n’ roll janitor vibe all over it.”

88 | Sun Crow | Collapse

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Seattle stoner rock foursome Sun Crow will release their debut full-length Quest for Oblivion on July 2. Plunge your ears in their tar-thick new single Collapse. Quest for Oblivion clocks in at a monolithic 70 minutes in a Northwest haze of thick Sabbathian riff and groove. Through their loud and bleak existential doom rock, the quartet channel sounds recalling early proto-metal and warp them into a contemporary and heavily metallic, dark psyche experience. Say the band: “Collapse is the opening call to Quest for Oblivion, a heavy reflection of memories surfacing from our journeys out of the past headlong into an unknown. The louder we turn it up, the deeper into the night it echoes.”

89 | Olive B | Conversations

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian artist Olive B captivates audiences with her freestyle songwriting, turning raw feelings into multiplex love ballads that meld genres. Her 2019 album With or Without You is a true call to alternative R&B. Olive B’s newest project Conversations is the first single to debut from her forthcoming 2021 EP, which mixes pop, alternative and R&B. Just because someone is having a conversation with or about you doesn’t mean you have to engage.”

90 | Slugs | I Could Do Better

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Slugs are a four-piece alt-rock outfit out of L.A.. Their influences range from Linda Perhacs with their melodic harmonies and tenderness to Thee Oh Sees with their high-energy, spitfire performances. Their latest tune I Could Do Better got its title after enduring a flight from a poor choice of airline. Later, the song was written and developed at a time when exploring the journey of sobriety, where the lyrics took a deeper dive into the meaning. The song narrates wanting to find a way back to the blissful naivety of being a child, as well as the wonderful and complicated revelations and the highs and lows during the process of grounding. Singer-guitarist Marissa Longstreet shares, “I compared my carefree attitude as a child, finger painting an image of nothing, to the ‘I don’t care’ attitude of my 20s. I wrote this song as if it were an intervention on myself, and I was playing both sides. I wanted to find my way back to carefree innocence coming from a place of sinister repetition and complacency.”

91 | Mr. Robski | Tough

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Producer duo Mr. Robski continue to deliver beat! Their latest jam Tough is just what the title makes it out to be — straightforward and powerful, irresistibly groovy and with an edge to it. Fusing a driving funk-bassline with a heavy-hitting kick and a rhodes solo, they push the boundaries of house and funk to create something unexpected that feels strangely natural. For Tough, this is easy to see, as it is the unavoidable result of a funkhead and an electronic-music aficionado going crazy on a track together.”

92 | Codewalkers | The Way We Go

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Codewalkers will be relase their new single The Way We Go. Bringing their energetic fusion of rap and reggae coupled with electronic influences, the track was written remotely during lockdown. Inspired by circumstances, The Way We Go is a wink and a nod to the many people in the music industry who’ve given them helpful advice over the years, and reminded them to focus on making music. Fronted by Nigerian-born Seun Babatola and consisting of musicians from all over Wales, Codewalkers are a vibrant fusion of cultures, ideas and musical styles. Combining rock, rap and reggae into a live show full of energy the band can deal with serious issues lyrically — gender, violence and societal expectations — but their music will always make you move.”

93 | Alien Grace | Chains

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Berlin sextet Alien Grace drop their new single Chains, which opens with the Bulgarian folk song I Mori Majka Jana (Mother Yana [a pagan goddess] Is Tired). It is a homage to the musical heritage that Alien Grace is often inspired by. Singer Elias O. Graversen wrote the lyrics about losing one of his first friends. But during the band’s tour in Bulgaria last summer, Chains became a song about striving to live life to the fullest, to not “sit and rust in your chains.” For Alien Grace, it is as if the recording itself carries that glint in the eye of one who is really feeling alive… Equally tipsy on rakia (Bulgarian drink) and joie de vivre; that’s how to best describe the emotion behind the track.”

94 | Tripper And The Wild Things | Boomerang Kids

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Tripper And The Wild Things’ brand of noisy, high-energy rock is balanced by melodies that invoke their ‘90s surf rock and alternative roots, with themes of lo-fi ‘80s pop. The Hamilton four-piece outfit consists of Josh Keillor on vocals and guitar, Eric Tarquinio on bass, James Puntillo on guitar and Brian MacMahon on drums. Boomerang Kids was written when Tripper And The Wild Things had just become a full band. Fuelled by fresh, new ideas and the excitement of what’s to come, Boomerang Kids deals with coming into your own as a young adult — figuring things out for yourself, discovering who you are and where you’re going.”

95 | Henry Chadwick | Tomorrow Is Today

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Henry Chadwick is back in action this year with his latest single Tomorrow Is Today. He says: “I’m sure I’m not the only one who can tend to dwell on past regret as well as stress about the future. I wrote this song as a reminder to try and be present. I started writing it a while ago but was inspired to pick it back up and finish it during this past year of insanity. It felt like something I needed to write and it still makes me happy hearing it back. I hope it makes other people happy too. I programmed the midi drums and played all the other instruments on this one, except the trumpet, which was expertly played by Bart Budwig.”

96 | Cujo Moon | Sing Your Song

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville alt-folk singer Cujo Moon (aka Trevor Willmott) just released his indie-folk EP Bridges II. On the EP, listeners will find the sterling single Sing Your Song. Bridges II EP is the audio embodiment of a slow, Sunday morning with your lover. The smell of homemade pancakes and coffee drift through the air, mingling with the gentle indie strains and enhancing the forgiving ambience that permeates throughout the day … Filled with hope, and tenderly unhurried tones, Bridges II takes a look at the intimate side of life and all of the complexities found within it.”

97 | Jeremy Garrett | Magic

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Crossing genres may be more popular than ever these days, but even so, it takes a confident, creative musician to go deeper than a superficial mash-up, especially when it comes to blending traits from fundamentally different realms like acoustic roots music and amplified pop-rock. For Jeremy Garrett, it’s an ongoing process — not the only, but a persistent thread in his work — and his growing mastery is evident in his latest single Magic. “I am a sucker for love songs and I’m not ashamed to admit that I love pop music,” he confesses. “I don’t often do covers, but when I heard this song by the band Coldplay, it really spoke to me. Love should be magical and you’re lucky if you find it.”

98 | Jaelee Roberts | Still Waters

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Jaelee Roberts returns with the thoroughly traditional-sounding gospel entry Still Waters. The single, produced by Tim Surrett of the award-winning Balsam Range, offers ample evidence of the young singer’s stylistic and expressive range. “When I started gathering songs to record I knew I wanted to include gospel songs, of course,” says Roberts. “As soon as I listened to the demo of Still Waters I knew I had to record it; the lyrics, the melody, the tempo — it all spoke to me right away. I’ve grown up singing in church and gospel music is very special to me and the words to this are especially comforting: ‘He takes my hand and leads me beside Still Waters.’ ”

99 | The Sarandons | Lately, I Believe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Toronto, The Sarandons’ brand of rock ’n’ roll spans Americana, neo-psychedelia, and indie. The fully collaborative endeavour of Toronto music stalwarts Damian Coleman (vocals, bass), Edmund Cummings (vocals, keys), Craig Keeney (lead guitar), Phil Skot (drums) and Dave Suchon (vocals, guitar) tell stories that are familiar but just out of reach. The Sarandons’ newest single Lately, I Believe is about restlessness and fighting against the inevitable and the potential for hope and purpose despite it all. The myth of Sisyphus comes to mind. Yes, life may be hopeless in a sense but we can find beauty and meaning in the psychological struggle. Hence, the heartfelt apology at the end of the song.”

100 | Eadie | Slowly

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the east end of Toronto, here’s the independent alt-R&B artist Eadie. The talented songstress presents smooth R&B flows, with an alternative-pop twist. As Eadie puts it, she “doesn’t do love songs” and tends to focus her work on her struggles, behaviours and values. Her single Slowly is a light-hearted tune that plays on the idea of someone you love being that craving, devil on your shoulder or bad habit. Inspired by her own addictive personality, the song is set after a long night of contemplating one’s choices, and the morning cravings have set in. You’re aware of the problem, and want to make different choices, but the temptation is too much to handle.”

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