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Indie Roundup | 135 Songs to Satisfy Your Every Craving This Weekend (Part 6)

Nadia Vaeh, Sunday State, Cheval, Smaller Hearts & other acts that are keeping up.

Nadia Vaeh stays underground, Sunday State are space cadets, Cheval comes back with seconds, Smaller Hearts pour out a double — and a drink actually sounds pretty good, but first let’s get through this endless Weekend Roundup, OK? OK:


101 | Nadia Vaeh | Never Leave the Basement

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pop artist Nadia Vaeh has released her upbeat new single Never Leave The Basement. The lively new track expresses the social anxiety perpetuated by societal systems and social media, especially during an extremely vulnerable and stressful year. Inspired by the pandemic and quarantine, Never Leave The Basement reveals how many individuals cannot cope with society when experiencing social anxiety, like herself. “I am naturally an introverted person,” she says. “The world can be kinda intimidating. I am a very sensitive and empathic person, and I just get overwhelmed.”

102 | Sunday State | Junior Spacecraft

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Portland’s Sunday State recently announced their debut LP, and today they are back with a new track called Junior Spacecraft. The band, which features Steve Turner from Mudhoney on guitar, will release their self-titled LP on April 2.”

103+104 | Cheval | Makes Me Wanna Die + Cool When Yer Old

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For the last two decades, AA Wallace has cultivated a reputation for being a prolific, genre-hopping songwriter. Cheval is the moniker the fisherman-turned-musician donned upon his arrival on the Halifax music scene in the late ’90s, bringing a brand of twangy folk-infused alt-country that owed allegiance as much to Big Star and CSNY as it did to Paul Westerberg and Teenage Head. Makes Me Wanna Die marks the first new Cheval material in nearly 18 years and is very much a return to form for the songwriter who now calls Toronto home. Packing heaps of sardonic wit and poignant commentary about social media culture into a tight two minutes, the A-Side leans into a musical palette that could easily have been born and bred in Laurel Canyon. The B-Side, a cover of Cool When Yer Old by fellow Acadian artist P’tit Belliveau, takes a different approach building thoughtful, melodic layers of acoustic instruments.”

105 | Smaller Hearts | Double Space

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “We love sad songs, and that usually shows in our songwriting, but something about the long, weird summer of 2020 made us want to try our hand at being a bit more optimistic,” say Smaller HeartsRon Bates and Kristina Parlee. “These times are scary and strange, but when a hopeful thought entered our minds, we thought we’d try to run with it. Maybe we needed a break from our own pessimism.” Double Space was recorded and mixed by the band in Dartmouth, with the exception of the lyrics and vocals, which were written and sung in Cape Breton, while watching cormorants dive in St. Anns Bay on a scalding and beautiful August afternoon. “The title Double Space is almost an instruction: let’s be bigger; let’s be uninhibited; let’s double space,” they said. “It’s about meeting challenges head on, a song about being brave. Almost a rebuke to 2020, or a challenge to ourselves to rise above the bad vibes of the time, even if only for the duration of a pop song. There’ll be time to come back to earth later.”

106 | Niahm | Lucifer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in 2015, Niamh are an alternative metal band hailing from Italy drawing from influences such as Metallica, Linkin Park and DarkThrone. Their first album Corax dropped in 2016 and was then followed by the 2019 release SuperSonic. Drawing on their initial influences, Niamh decided to spice things up with their 2019 release, adding elements of electronic music and describing their sound as a more introspective sound which landed somewhere between Depeche Mode and Cannibal Corpse. The band’s latest single Lucifer can best be described as a mixture of early 2000s nu-metal and alternative metal. Lucifer will be sure to grip the listener and hold them.”

107 | Arooj Aftab | Last Night

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn Pakistani composer Arooj Aftab shares Last Night, the second single from her third album Vulture Prince, out April 23. Last Night is based on an old Rumi poem that Aftab often sings live but has never released. Aftab’s liminal sound floats between classical minimalism and new age, Sufi devotional poetry and electronic trance, jazz structures and states of pure being. On Vulture Prince, the composer’s remarkable voice, backed by a team of renowned musicians, transports listeners to worlds once known.”

108 | Chris Kabs | More Than A Number

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Chris KabsMore Than A Number is a direct response to the ongoing police brutality against people of colour across the globe. The lyrics, ‘We’re more than a number, more than a digit. Hands in the air but they’re still shooting us’ are built around jazz & piano melodies and intricate percussive elements; creating a musical oxymoron with the playful instrumentation and powerful message through the lyrics. Kabs says: “More than a Number was inspired by the never ending situation that we have going on within the Black community — being killed by police brutality — and also Black police killing Black people in Africa. The aim of the song is to shed light to the matter with the hope that our voices and actions can help make an impact.”

109 | Gayance | Fruta Gogoia

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Fruta Gogoia is a folk song from Bahia. For Gayance, it’s a mantra that calls Black, Indigenous & woman of colour to take all the space they need to take without any compromise. Using Gal Costa’s voice as the first color of an empty canvas, Gayance employs her unique touch of downtempo along with jazzy & sensual ‘wah-wah guitar waves in a Brazilian folk song.”

110 | Diamond Weapon | Revenge Is Not A Dish, It’s A Concept

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Do you know that feeling you get deep down in your gut when, despite what everyone else says, you are right about something? When karma finally catches up to a wrongdoer or the realization that you’ve finally found peace after a bad breakup with your partner? If so, you may identify with Toronto post-hardcore band Diamond Weapon. Today, they release Revenge Is Not A Dish, It’s A Concept, the first single off their upcoming EP Eyes, out June 11. Singer Louis Tentsos says: “Revenge Is Not A Dish It’s A Concept is inspired by a story where a man attacked his daughter’s killer in a courtroom. The track takes a look into what drives a good person to do an evil thing.”

111 | Devin Cooper | Good Things

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning singer-songwriter Devin Cooper steps confidently into the sound of his upcoming debut EP with the release of Good Things, a track about life, perseverance, dedication, family, and taking time for what matters most. A perfect anthem for what is to come in 2021, Good Things has incredibly strong vocals, a catchy hook and the overall message that the best is yet to come. “Growing up my Dad always told me, ‘if it was easy, everybody would do it. It doesn’t matter what it is; anything you accomplish in life is gonna take time’ and that’s exactly what this song is about,” said Cooper. “I know we have all been discouraged at one time or another so I wrote this song to remind people that sometimes when it gets rough, it means you’re right on the edge of something great.”

112 | Owen Barney | Tough Times

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer/songwriter Owen Barney is back with new collection of songs. Aptly titled Tough Times, the EP includes his new single You Make Me Wanna (Brown Eyed Girl). A classic love song with Barney’s signature modern twist, You Make Me Wanna (Brown Eyed Girl) transports listeners to an idyllic fairytale, reminding us all that happy endings do exist and brighter times are ahead. “Although it’s been a tough year for all of us, I’ve realized that this down-time can be really good for the soul,” Barney said. “Moving at a slower pace has given me a chance to hear myself think and that meant being able to write more music than ever before. I’m so proud of these songs and hope that they can bring some joy to people in this crazy time. This moment isn’t forever, and music helps remind us that we’re all in this together.”

113 | Anja Kotar | Movie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “San José singer-songwriter Anja Kotar starts the year with a bang with the release of her latest pop anthem Movie. The addictive new single perfectly combines Anja’s empowered attitude, bold lyricism, and stunning vocals with a bright, catchy sound. Anja explains: “The concept of life feeling like a movie is something that has been on my mind a lot over the last year; from seeing empty shelves in grocery stores to the idea that it now seems outrageous to take the bus and sit side by side with dozens of strangers without a mask. These are all scenes we used to only see in movies and seemed completely impossible for us to experience in real life. I wanted to write a song that would capture this idea, but also do so in a more lighthearted way.”

114 | Matt Cardle | We’re The Butterflies 

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Matt Cardle releases We’re The Butterflies, the second in a string of singles leading into his new project. The singer-songwriter says: “We’re The Butterflies is a song about a girl I met in rehab. There was such beauty and power in everyone’s brutal honesty and vulnerability. The butterfly is the symbol of recovery. In the chorus I describe the transition we all went through from entering the program at rock bottom needing help, to releasing day on a new path with a second chance.”

115 | Rosie Frater-Taylor | Crazy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “21-year-old U.K. singer, songwriter & guitarist Rosie Frater-Taylor unveils her new single Crazy, her unique take on Seal’s 1991 hit. “I first came to this song via the Alanis Morrissette cover from The Devil Wears Prada soundtrack, one of my favourite films. I get a rush of nostalgia whenever I listen to or perform Crazy. I find the chords, melody and lyrics so uplifting, I just had to try and bring my own layered and acoustic flavour,” says the young musician. On her upcoming album Bloom due for release early June, Rosie takes us on an eclectic journey while keeping her trademark luxurious vocals and guitarcentric song structures.”

116 | Enda Gallery | Super Raw

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising Irish artist Enda Gallery just released the first teaser from his forthcoming EP. Marking the start of a new beginning as he fully immerses himself into his new identity, the track is an ode to love as he opens up about intense feelings felt, so much so that the right words don’t come so easily, but the strong, longing feeling doesn’t subside. With a newfound freedom and priding himself as being an artist with a real purpose, it’s an exciting time ahead for the multi-talented creator.”

117 | Marlounsly | I Am

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Marlounsly is a Haitian-American singer-songwriter from West Palm Beach. She returns with an immaculate jam titled I Am. The song is an inspiring piece of work that tells listeners to know their worth. I Am makes use of a storyline and imagery that listeners all over can relate to. The pop/R&B hit was produced by 1040. The captivating beat is only matched by the awe-inspiring lyrics and breathtaking vocals. The song’s fun, powerful nature makes for the ultimate springtime anthem.”

118 | Good Lee | Memories In The Moonlight (ft. Jade Alice)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Memories In The Moonlight is the new collaboration between Austrian artist Good Lee and Melbourne singer-songwriter Jade Alice. As a followup to their 2019 song Kintsugi and the second single from Good Lee’s upcoming album Water DiaryMemories In The Moonlight delivers a dreamy and mellow fairytale-like downtempo atmosphere and energy. Says Good Lee: “This song is about longing and reminiscing on beautiful past moments but that maybe are simply meant to remain as memories. I’m very happy with the outcome and even more to have Jade with her magic and dream-like voice on board again.”

119 | Informal | Til It Hurts (ft. Meg Cannon)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After kicking off 2021 with a remix for Charlotte Lawrence, Informal wastes no time delivering another track for your playlist. Groovy guitar riffs, swung drum grooves and Meg Cannon’s infectious vocals give Til It Hurts everything it needs to be stuck in your head this summer. Carrying with him a casual style and a “don’t take yourself too seriously” attitude, informal. is one of the most relaxed guys in the business. With a brand focused on staying casual and letting loose, there’s no shortage of good times to come.”

120 | Echoes In Concrete | Stars

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “We’re from Helsinki, Finland, and playing epic hard rock — or as we call it, artisan rock — with big riffs, rich melodies and explosive choruses. We just released our new single Stars.”