Indie Roundup | 29 Songs To Set You Straight This Monday

Woody & Jeremy, Bill & The Bells, Dany Laj & The Looks rock the ampersand.

Woody & Jeremy indulge in some hero worship, Bill & The Belles turn that frown upside down, Dany Laj & The Looks want you to figure it out already, Sincere Engineer play keep away — and anything else you need to start your week off right, you’ll find in your latest Monday Roundup. Today it’s brought to you by ghosts, guys named Gary, metal gods and the trusty ampersand.


1 | Woody & Jeremy | He’s Cass McCombs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Woody and Jeremy are sharing their homage to an indie king with their single/video He’s Cass McCombs. The band stated: “He’s Cass McCombs is a lighthearted, international funk-style jaunt through a day in the life of the American master of indie, and our hero, Cass McCombs. We find Cass going to the store to buy bread (for toast) and returning home. But during this simple errand we learn many things about the mysterious troubadour’s character as well. With a second hand blessing from man himself we release this track into the world not as Woody &nd Jeremy but as apostles of McCombs.”

2 | Bill & The Belles | Happy Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The first single from Bill & the Belles’ upcoming album is the title cut Happy Again, which has them smiling through the pain. This Tennessee band are known for how they subvert roots music, tapping into the dark sarcasm of the period for more modern uses. It’s Americana as dark comedy. “One of the darkest times of my life turned out to be one of the most creative,” says Kris Truelsen. “I realized, ‘My life is chaos. I need to write about this shit.’ ”

3 | Dany Laj & The Looks | Don’t Keep Me Guessing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sudbury rockers and preeminent road warriors Dany Laj & The Looks have released the video for Don’t Keep Me Guessin’ from their upcoming third album Ten Easy Pieces, set for release on June 11. Produced, recorded and mixed by Laj at La La Pop Shoppe in Sudbury, the music speaks volumes to the focus and determination it took to bring together this addictive assortment of tracks. “It’s an interesting collection of songs for me,” says Laj. Don’t Keep Me Guessin’ was written in 2011 after I had met Jeanette Dowling (bass / vocals) and we started hanging out. Some of them represent some of the feelings that I wasn’t able to comfortably let out till recently.”

4 | Sincere Engineer | Out Of Reach

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sincere Engineer have released the video for the song Out Of Reach. “I wrote this song when Chicago was in the middle of a polar vortex,” explains Deanna Belos. “It was particularly influenced by the time I got up at 4 a.m. and went to grab a drive-thru coffee, only to realize my window wouldn’t roll back up because the mechanism was frozen. It was -60° and I drove 45 miles to work with a blanket closed in my car door. We teamed up with director Brandon Hoeg who created this beautiful video to display the struggle between cold isolation and FOMO, while being constantly bombarded by screens and relentless media.”

5 | Slashdance | Everything Goes With Black

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dan Cadera shares a video for the title track off Everything Goes With Black, his initial offering from his solo project Slashdance. Started a year before the Covid-19 pandemic, but slowed down because of it, he finally got to release the industrial/goth/post-punk album he had been putting off for way too long. He explains: “I think it covers a lot of spooky bases. It’s not typical to have a totally ’80s goth track followed by relentlessly pounding industrial rock song followed by a synth-heavy song and back again, but hopefully it works for people in a way that’s like listening to a really cool mixtape. I’ve always had good luck writing songs that appeal to a wide audience from goths to punks to metalheads and everything in between, and so far that seems to be the case with this record. People like spooky!”

6 | Monster Magnet | Mr. Destroyer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Poobah’s 1972 anthem Mr. Destroyer is back to the forefront. The cult psychedelic rock trio’s debut album Let Me In was just repressed on vinyl, and will be followed by Burning In The Rain: A Poobah Anthology this year. Nearly five decades later, New Jersey stoner-rock icons Monster Magnet have released a burning hot cover of Mr. Destroyer, spurring visions of some untold Freak revolution — or perhaps dinosaurs battling on a burning planet at the end of time — creating a perfect blend of hard rock and psychedelia. The song is part of their upcoming covers album A Better Dystopia.”

7 | Vincent Crowley | La Muerte

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Here are the first dark sounds from Vincent Crowley’s eponymous new band. La Muerte is taken from the forthcoming debut album Beyond Acheron, which will be released in June. Crowley is renowned throughout the metal underground for his 30-year tenure fronting Acheron, during which the band produced timeless classics like Rites Of The Black Mass and Lex Talionis. Beyond Acheron is no carbon copy of Crowley’s former band, with the music conjuring up a terrifying, horror infused atmosphere. Crowley said: “Capturing the darkest elements in all the songs is our goal. Even if a song has more of an up-tempo, we try to work in ideas to make the eeriness stand out. We added some dark keyboards in select parts of songs, I mixed up my vocal styles and Art Taylor layered the songs with guitar work that is totally spine-chilling.”

8 | Cryptosis | Transcendence

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dutch metal trio Cryptosis release their track and video Transcendence, from their just-released album Bionic Swarm. Their explanation: “In 2149 it is possible to purchase digital thoughts, knowledge and talents from a deceased person. The term “self-investment” has shifted to a whole different kind of perspective. People can now enhance their mind to be more creative and smarter beyond their wildest dreams. This all comes at a price, since the new technology is so addictive that society can’t live without it anymore. Mankind has become the host … of a parasite.”

9 | Lotus Eater | Vermin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. gloom-metal band Lotus Eater are ushering in a new era with the help of the aggressive and commanding new single Vermin. It paints a vivid picture, showing the anger the band feels towards those who hurl racial abuse day in day out without a care in the world. Drummer Cameron Humphrey shares: “Vermin is pain, sorrow, anger and disappointment in an audiovisual format. Creating this song was as therapeutic as it was heartbreaking.”

10 | Silent Verdict | I Am Forsaken

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish melodic death metal combo Silent Verdict are proud to release the first single & lyric video I Am Forsaken, taken from the band’s upcoming album Condemned. “I Am Forsaken is a fast and heavy song about the beasts inside us all, and seems appropriate to launch as the first song to hint about what this album is about.”

11 | Chastain | Evil Awaits Us

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The second coming of Chastain with Leather Leone on vocals began in 2013. Since that time they have released five albums. Their new release 1321 takes tracks from each of those release albums and presents them with different arrangements. Guitarist and producer David T. Chastain explains: “1321 is the album we would have released if we only could have released one album during the Leather second-generation era. The tracks now are little more listener-friendly and more accessible for the first-time Chastain metal fan who may have never experienced the music before.”

12 | Phlebotomized | GPS

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Phlebotomized return with songwriting originality and mesmerizing musicianship blended together in melodic death metal with hints of brutality. GPS is the first lyric-video/single of their new album Pain, Resistance, Suffering. Phlebotomized’s unique blend of aggression and melody makes them a stand-out band in the scene.”

13 | AJR | World’s Smallest Violin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:World’s Smallest Violin is the lead single from indie-pop trio AJR’s new album OK Orchestra. Comprised of Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, their infectious chemistry paired with a penchant for creating anthemic, blood-rushing bangers has captured the hearts of listeners across the globe.”

14 | The Nomadic | Skaterpark

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian guitarist and singer/songwriter Robert Gaylard of The Nomadic brings a unique perspective and vision to creating music, fusing alt-rock with blues & electronic pop. The band’s forthcoming album Beyond Blue will be released in July; the first single is the vibey, fondly reminiscent Skaterpark. As Rob says: “I would encourage all listeners to think back to childhood, adolescence and/ or early adulthood! Can you think back to your earliest, best friend? Perhaps reminisce on the times you spent together, the fun you had, the memories you shared! Are you still in contact today? If not, would you consider reaching out to see how they are doing?”

15 | Lexxicon | Pon Di Floor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Bashment maverick Lexxicon brings us a vibrant set of visuals to accompany his striking Pon Di Floor single. Pon Di Floor is taken from Lexxicon’s upcoming EP Bashment SZN. An artist with swagger and cool, the Jamaican-Canadian Lexxicon is the definition of passion and persistence. He says: “As a dancehall music lover, I always wanted to create a small project that really reflected those that I looked up and this EP is that project. You won’t be able to listen without moving, grooving and wishing you could catch a bubble.”

16 | AcebergTM | Danca

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nigerian singer AcebergTM makes an entrance into 2021 with his first single of the year Danca. With a sultry voice reminiscent of Drake and J.Cole, who also happen to be his biggest inspirations, AcebergTM fuses groovy melodies and gentle R&B-inspired beats to make Danca a single that is made for heating up the dancefloor or simply listening to over a strong drink.”

17 | Ekelle | I Need That

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ekelle is a multi-genre artist and songwriter from Toronto who rhymes about what she knows best: Her real-life experience. Money, sex, drama and identity stir together to create a style that she calls Hood Pop — popular music with a street edge. Combining elements of hip hop, pop and R&B, Ekelle hopes that the honesty in her music will motivate others to share their stories too and to never give up. New single I Need That is a reminder that “you are that b***h, no matter what — even if we’ve all been inside for so long due to lockdowns that we don’t feel so sexy anymore. The pandemic hasn’t got any easier to deal with, and we all just need that confidence boost to keep us going. We’ll get back on the dancefloor one day.”

18 | Savage Gary | Nothing To Say (ft. Georgia)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Savage Gary — the pseudonym of producer Dan Carey — pairs his own arrangements to a vocal contribution from Georgia. An undeniable banger, Nothing To Say features skewed, fidgety electro and carnival-pop from Carey propelled by an immediate and surefire vocal hook. Georgia says: “I love Savage Gary. I love Dan. When he sent me the initial beat it was so different and beautiful in its simplicity that the melody just came to me instantaneously. I put down the vocals in a couple hours and sent them to Dan … next thing you know it sounds like this! FIRE.”

19 | Gary Numan | Saints & Liars

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Few artists continue to experiment with new sonic approaches and overarching conceptual themes so deep into their career, but Gary Numan has always been the type to break the mould. The synth-pop pioneer’s recent singles have introduced the tone for his new album Intruder, which will release on May 21. Saints And Liars extends the album’s concept of the planet protesting and fighting back against mankind’s reckless occupation. Says Numan: “Saints And Liars is the Earth drawing attention to our blind faith in religion, in a fictitious God, who in reality does nothing for us, while at the same time abusing and destroying the planet, which does everything for us.”

20 | Starlight Cleaning Co. | The Race

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Mojave Desert Americana duo Starlight Cleaning Co. present The Race, the second single from their self-titled debut album out May 21. A hopeful testament to true love and partnership when faced with life-altering challenges, The Race also features lead and melodic rhythm guitar by the band’s dear friend and mentor, the late Neal Casal. “The Race is an account of our time spent living outside of CA, which was a step into an unfamiliar sort of rat race,” says vocalist Rachel Dean of her relationship with bandmate Tim Paul Gray. “While navigating a new place and situation, we struggled with our relationship, which had more or less only just begun. The song starts, ‘running with your eyes closed, deep into the wild’ — the feeling of taking a leap of faith you know will change your life for better or worse.”

21 | August Winters | The Lion The Reaper

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:August Winters is a singer-songwriter from State College, PA (home of Penn State). His style has been compared to The Killers or Imagine Dragons on the Warped Tour. The Lion The Reaper is his first single since 2018, and the title track to an album he’s releasing in August. Says Winters: “The song is the story of coping with the death of a father figure and the emotions that come with trying to write a eulogy for the life and memory of someone of that magnitude.”

22 | Jesse Roper | Horizons

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian rocker Jesse Roper is back with a charismatic single Horizons a first taste from recent sessions with Juno-nominated producer Gus Van Go, recorded at his Brooklyn studio. Roper says: “Recording with Gus and Werner F was on a whole new level. They really cared where the songs were headed and that they ended up just right. Everything was broken down to the finest details and nothing was allowed to sit at just OK. It was all about getting the vibe right.”

23 | De.Ville & Raid | Exil

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After their short EP Atlantique in last November, De.Ville are back with a collaboration with the Morrocan artist Raid on his new EP Ether. The song Exil was produced by Simon Desjardins, producer of De.Ville. The mix of styles of the two artists brings an interesting result.”

24 | Henry Chadwick | Tomorrow Is Today

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Henry Chadwick, is back in action with his latest single Tomorrow Is Today, from his upcoming release out this spring. Making quite an impression with listeners since his 2016 debut EP Guest At Home, he has continually grabbed the attention of fans and critics alike. Henry draws influences as much from music of the past (The Beatles, The Kinks, T-Rex, Nirvana, David Bowie etc.) and from current artists who keep pushing forward stylistically and sonically. Henry makes catchy, thoughtful and usually energetic music with a unique perspective, edge and charm, and is often compared to The Strokes and Mac DeMarco.”

25 | Ghost Twin | Become Control

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ghost Twin are a dark synthpop duo from Winnipeg that combine roaring synth lines, dirty pulsing bass, dreamy guitar, and a haunting vocal dichotomy where baroque meets industrial. Their audio/visual performance creates a full sensory evocative narrative of shadowy haunted rooms occupied by astral phantasms and electronic voices from beyond the aether. The duo just released their new single, Become Control: an intense, uptempo dark electronic track.”

26 | Okey Dokey | Are You Up?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With Okey Dokey’s latest multi-band, collaborative album Once Upon One Time having been released in October, the Nashville trio are back with a refreshing EP entitled Leaky Sealing. The songs are a collection of B-sides, covers, and new interpretations of some of the band’s favorite songs from the album. Explains frontman Aaron Martin: “With the Leaky Sealing alternate spelling I was hoping to draw attention to all the leaks. The ones above our heads and the ones above our souls. We live in a world we barely know.”

27 | The Mistons | World Of Convenience

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Portland duo The Mistons will release World of Convenience on May 21. You can hear the first single and title track now. There at the end of the block on stolen Chinook land in a historic black neighborhood, next to the jazz cat and the drag queen, around the corner from the vanguard of noisemakers and artist from Audubon’s darkest dreams, there on a street of artist and dreamers, part of this community, two Mistons (from the French word but, dumbed down and Americanized) make “old timey” music for the new millennium, a buzzsaw Woody Gutherie, rock ’n’ roll that is unapologetic, with no tricks up its sleeve but is honest and humble in its discourse.”

28 | Ghosts of Sunset | All I Wanna Do Is Rock

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ghosts Of Sunset have been on a roll lately. 2020 was a breakout year for the band. Now they want to give something back. With live music being taken away, Ghosts of Sunset’s John Merchant and Todd Long were missing the stage and the fan interaction. With the help of friends Eric Jayk (Wildstreet) and Brandon Fields (Minefield), they wrote a song to do their part to help struggling music venues. The result is All I Wanna Do Is Rock, with proceeds going to Save Our Stages.”

29 | Act Of Denial | Slave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melodic death metal band Act Of Denial have unleashed their fourth single Slave, feat. ex-Soilwork guitarist Pete Wichers. Act Of Denial features lead guitarist and songwriter Voi Cox, guitarist and lyricist Luger, vocalist Bjorn Speed Strid, bassist Steve Di Giorgio, drummer Krimh and keyboardist John Lönnmyr.”