Indie Roundup | 37 Songs To Sock It To You This Thursday (Part 1)

Mdou Moctar, Bad Breed, Shadow Monster and other artists out to make your day.

Mdou Moctor makes a stand, Bad Breed show some spirit, Shadow Monster have a really big favour to ask, Seafoam Green are headed for the top — and that marks the official start of your latest Thursday Roundup. It’s a good one. No foolin’:


1 | Mdou Moctar | Afrique Victime

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mdou Moctar returns with the tour-de-force title track from his new album Afrique Victime, due May 21. “The wind born in Tunisia spread all over Arabia / Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we stay silent it will be the end of us / Why is this happening?” sings Moctar on the heartfelt yet defiantly incandescent seven-and-a-half-minute rallying cry as it traverses mournful chanting, hypnotically propulsive groove and an interstellar coda of Moctar’s sky-bound guitar work. Says Moctar: “Afrique Victime is a message to all of the countries with money and power who come into Africa and kill the leaders who try to empower the people and lead revolutions. This pushes the area into danger and instability and emboldens the terrorists, and it’s the people who suffer and have no justice. Africa is innocent. The French use our uranium, but 90% of the people here don’t have electricity. Imagine.”

2 | Bad Breed | Amanaka

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Amanaka is the fourth single from Bad Breed’s 2020 album The Bad Breed in Ferocious Love. A slinky blues-funk instrumental, Amanaka reveals the Bad Breed’s fascination with the mystery and beauty of the spiritual dimension of creating music together as a group. The accompanying video, edited with love by band collaborator Slim, takes the the band on a colour-soaked journey into the spirit world. Bassist Maylin Ortega says: “In times of darkness and loss we connect with light, faith and hope keeping our love for humanity alive. So the video is an invitation to connect with faith in any spiritual way that is meaningful for people.”

3 | Shadow Monster | Kill Me Sweetie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shadow Monster are an angsty and loud two-piece from Brooklyn. Gillian Visco’s gritty, dissonant and desperate guitar riffs meet with John Swanson’s epic and explosive drumming style to form a raw and moody version of grunge rock. Lyrically, Shadow Monster explore themes of loss, depression and isolation. If you’re into Elliott Smith, Weakened Friends, Helium, and Kills Birds, your ears are going to love Shadow Monster. Their new video Kill Me Sweetie is the final release from their LP Punching Bag, an artful masterpiece from start to finish. Shadow Monsters’ sound is vibrant, captivating and bold as they bring a vision to the table that is truly their own. It’s hypnotic and smooth, yet raw and dark. They bring the best of all worlds. The video perfectly encapsulates the essence of the duo, and goes above and beyond.”

4 | Seafoam Green | House On The Hill

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:House On The Hill is the first single from Seafoam Green’s forthcoming album Martins Garden. This hard-hitting, good-time rock ’n’ roll song is an arresting statement on where the band are going on their upcoming sophomore album Martin’s Garden. Their debut was a collaboration with Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes. Martin’s Garden finds them working with Tyler Greenwell, a founding member of Grammy-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band.”

5 | Nathalie Miranda | Battle Scars (You Won’t Forget My Name)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nathalie Miranda is a powerhouse U.K. vocalist noted in the industry for her four-octave range and high-octane performances. Hot on the heels of her single Catch-22 comes the powerful, commanding Battle Scars. The track, like its accompanying video, is definitely a departure from the more dark sound of Catch-22, with a distinctly ’70s retro vibe. That, Nathalie says, “is something I really wanted to explore as a genre, and I felt that it would fit Battle Scars perfectly. The idea of creating more of a live feel was really appealing to me, as performing live is where I really come to life. There is nothing like being on that stage surrounded by the energy of your bandmates and the audience.”

6 | Plankton Wat | Modern Ruins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Mirroring the track’s woozy, smudged textures, Dustin Dybig’s sun-scorched video for Modern Ruins finds a kind of beauty and quiet grace in urban decay, nature pushing through the cracks in abandoned parking locks and graffiti-covered underpasses. Dewey Mahood (Plankton Wat) elaborates: “This is actually a super old song Dustin and I wrote together about 10 years ago, me playing guitar and him on drums. I never recorded the song before, but we’ve played it together at a lot of shows. I recorded the guitar and bass parts and handed the song over to him. To my surprise he didn’t play drums on it, but keyboards instead! And he asked his wife Ash Dybvig to play along with him on flute. They turned what I’d considered kind of a classic rock song into more of a classic British folk song, and helped create my favorite song on the album. Conceptually the song is about how so much of Portland is closed down and boarded up now, our city being a modern ruin in the sense of ancient historical ruins.”

7 | Clustersun | All Your Pain

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the explosive Desert Daze, All Your Pain is the second single anticipating Avalanche, the third album for Clustersun to be released on May 20. All Your Pain is a majestic kraut psychedelic ride, hitting a grand 7:45 duration. Hypnotic, ravishing, fiery, All Your Pain sounds like ice being cut by white-hot fuzzy blades, held through a ritual dance. The video, produced by Clustersun’s drummer Andrea Conti, pictures the different stages of a relationship’s failure, through the rollercoaster of an adult couple, turning from sweetness and eroticism to estrangement and nihilism, under the menacing shadow of their young alter-egos in bridal dresses. All around, a blue cold and hostile landscape, freezes their love as winter does with nature: “You know me, not what I feel.”

8 | The Shameless | Shower Your Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Blood red, baroque, luxurious: It’s the sound of The Shameless, born in 2016 in Sicily. In spite of their Mediterranean origin, their sound is akin to the elegance of Tindersticks, Gallon Drunk and Nick Cave’s ballads, with lush orchestration and neat songwriting that kidnap the audience into a world of burning candles, black velvet and dissonant piano chords. Blossoms, The Shameless’s first album, was released in 2018. With the new album Love Condemnation due in autumn, The Shameless are back with the ace single Shower Your Love, a precious, intense song in which obscure guitars meet piano arpeggios and a lashing vocal interpretation.”

9 | The Ferocious Few | My Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Breezy, summery, infectious, passionate, My Love sounds like a classic banger from rock’s golden era, updated for modern times. The man behind it is American legend Francisco Fernandez, best known as The Ferocious Few. Relocated to Luxembourg as the pandemic spread, Francisco choose this song as his passport to European audiences. The lyrics, about longing to be with friends and family, make even more sense now. Fernandez says: “We made this song in hopes to give people something to look forward to.”

10 | Low Island | Who’s having The Greatest Time? (Live from The Stone Room)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Oxford quartet Low Island release the single Who’s Having The Greatest Time? ahead of their debut album If You Could Have It All Again. The track is perhaps the best example of the influence the band take from new wave and art-rock, with verses akin to the bouncy, arch tones of Talking Heads or LCD Soundsytem. This is married with the bristling signature electronics that take cues from Caribou, Nicholas Jaar, Matthew Dear and Radiohead. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jamie Jay explains: “Who’s Having The Greatest Time? is about the negative performative nature of Instagram, an environment which is constantly telling you that everyone only wants to see strength and victories, but seeing either of these makes us consistently depressed and insecure. The song is from the point of view of someone challenging a friend about how they both have come to use the platform. They then toy with the tempting and liberating idea of leaving the whole thing behind for good.”

11 | Tyke T | Lottery

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Back by popular demand, Memphis rapper Tyke T releases Lottery. A nostalgic nod to music made “back in the day,” he pairs the soulful stylings of his new track with his video’s 1950s greaser vibe. Re-introducing a theatrical format to video, Lottery is a Broadway musical witih a Motown mood.”

12 | Oscar And The Wolf | James

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Belgium superstar Oscar and the Wolf (aka Max Colombie) returns with dazzling single James. The atmosphere is set in the golden haze of the French and Italian Riviera — Colombie was inspired by their slower way of living, along with the clothing, aesthetic, photography and films. Having come to him fully formed in a dream (“I woke up and had the whole thing in my head, from the vocal line to the drums to the chords to the whole arrangement”), the song’s title honours his new nephew, born on the same day Colombie went into the studio to record the song. The accompanying video draws its inspiration from relationships, friendships and loves. Through several sequences, Colombie lets himself be carried away by the wind and the light. Through dance, he and his friends raise supernatural energy pushing the wind and light to the maximum.”

13 | Bongzilla | Earth Bong / Smoked / Mags Bags

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Wisconsin’s sludge behemoths Bongzilla release a 13-minute monster track from their fifth studio album Weedsconsin, due out 4/20. Watch the thunderous trio perform Earth Bong / Smoked / Mags Bags now. Weedsconsin is Bongzilla’s first recording as a thunderous three-piece. Approaching songs as a trio has created more space and allowed the band to showcase their musicianship in a new way, resulting in a crushingly heavy stomp that is sonically clearer and more inclined to mind-expanding jams, setting Weedsconsin apart from earlier material. “In the times of old, the Ancients made their Bong from digging holes in the Mother Soil,” says Bongzilla frontman Mike “Muleboy” Makela.”

14 | Violette | Notre Essence

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “About 18 months after therelease of their second album Vol. 2: Notre Essence — the sequel to A Taste Of Violette (2013) — Swiss post-metallers Violette just premiered a video illustrating the title track of the album. Founded in 2008 by five Swiss musicians in the area of Bienne, Violette got on stage for the first time in 2010.”

15 | Bushido Code | Aftermath

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging from the hard-hitting Pennsylvania underground metal and hardcore scene, Bushido Code have spawned into a premiere metal band, fusing old-school hardcore work ethics with their love and admiration for pioneering thrash metals acts such as Death, Obituary and Testament. Since their inception in 2017, Bushido Code have set their sights to dominate the metal scene at large. This quintet of scene veterans have adopted the ethics of “The Code” — Loyalty, Honesty and Honor — and have woven their commitment into their upcoming release The Ronin. This third studio release for Bushido Code is nothing short than a year-long dedication to precisely capture the essence of their vision and artistic representation.”

16 | The Absence | Choirs Of Sickness

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Florida melodic death metal quartet The Absence have unveiled a music video for their new song Choirs of Sickness, the first single from the upcoming album Coffinized, out June 25. Says vocalist Jamie Stewart: “Haven’t we all been Coffinized since last year? Cooped-up, masked, distanced, trapped within a formless bubble, longing for a collective exhale. We lost loved ones; we lost time, work, sanity … in a way, we lost ourselves.”

17 | Olivia Morreale | Parasomnia

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Indie-pop artist and producer Olivia Morreale reveals the video for Parasomnia, the second single from her forthcoming EP Space Dreams. A dreamy wonderland of gauzy synths, infectious bass and intricately layered vocal chops, Parasomnia musies on the way subconscious thoughts and desires are unlocked through dreams. For the video, Olivia worked with director Sammy King to create the perfect encapsulation of what it’s like to be inside a dream. The resulting visual in an avant-garde odyssey full of otherworldly characters, vivid hues and surrealist storytelling. “Everyone in the video and involved in the making is also an independent artist or creative,” Olivia writes. “We gave them a huge amount of creative liberty and tried to involve everyone in the creative process which I think really made the video.”