Indie Roundup | 109 Songs To Crush You Like A Bug This Weekend (Part 3)

Racquel Jones, K-Riz, Trinisha Browne, Odreii & other artists who are in the groove.

Racquel Jones demands the royal treatment, K-Riz looks for love, Gramps Morgan has already found it, Trinisha Browne eyes a jezebel, Odreii brings the heat — which is, coincidentally, precisely what we’re doing with another red-hot Weekend Roundup. Is it warm in here, or is it just me?


45 | Racquel Jones | Queen

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I create music that’s conceptual, but not too esoteric, intelligent but dope, relatable yet deep, revolutionary and soulful, thoughtful in its words, learned in its language, but totally accessible. That’s me and I’m baring my soul for the world to see and hear,” says the incendiary and outspoken rapper. It’s a declarative statement that signifies the emergence of a fresh voice and a semi-new talent (Racquel is also a vocalist for the arena-sized electro-rock group Thievery Corporation). This month, Jones is heralding the release of her dynamic and heart-stopping album IgnoRANT, out April 23. In anticipation, she released Queen, featuring herself with three other models  —Seema Hari, Obianibeli Esu and Bria Fleming — whose striking beauty is coupled with discrimination. Jones explains: “The thing that all these women have in common is their dark beautiful skin, that at some point in their lives they were made to feel like it was a badge of shame, that they confidently stood up against that discrimination and wore it proudly, unapologetically and confidently.”

46 | K-Riz | A Place Where Love Is (ft. Yolanda Sargeant)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Before closing the door to his EP The Room, Edmonton hip-hop artist K-Riz is unveiling a video for the potently blended jazz-rap track A Place Where Love Is. Elevated by the swinging coos of Calgary soul singer Yolanda Sargeant, the song is a declaration for choosing to love in a time of fear. The video stars K-Riz, Sargeant and fellow Alberta rapper Lyrique, and serves as a hopeful antidote to the bleakness of the past year. “This is the message that I wanted to close The Room out on,” said K-Riz. “I think this is a message that people need to hear right now — and over and over again. It’s time for people to open their hearts to peace and love.”

47 | Gramps Morgan | A Woman Like You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grammy winner Gramps Morgan has released the single and video for A Women Like You. Shot by Juno-winning artist Johnny Reid, A Women Like You is a simplistic, easygoing video that allows viewers to focus on more than just the visuals and dive deep into the special meaning behind the song. Said Morgan: “We wanted to create a simple and whimsical environment for the video. We wanted viewers to be able to focus on the lyrics and the message in the song. A Woman Like You was written to show appreciation to all women around the world. It’s dedicated to all of the mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, and friends.”

48 | Trinisha Browne | Jezebel (ft. Black Apollo)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following up her EP Good Vibes Only Vol. 1, Trinisha Browne offers her single  Jezebel in collaboration with Black Apollo. Produced by Ransom Beatz, we can taste the influence of Afrobeat rythmn alongside R&B inspirations. The singer was inspired by the Book of Kings and more specifically Jezebel. In rewriting the story from a different perspective Trinisha, brings it a modern touch. In the artist’s version, Jezebel uses her own sexuality in order to obtain all her desires and riches, showing us how important the awareness of our worth and power can truly be compromised if underestimated.”

49 | Odreii | Heat

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If you’re looking for a song to get you dancing, Odreii is back with a pulsating new single Heat. Taken from the Jamaican-Canadian singer-songwriter’s upcoming album Sweatin’ Gold, the song combines African rhythms, an earthy bass and cinematic elements, creating a sonic delight that not only makes it hard to sit still when listening to but allows your mind to travel. Says Odreii: “It really came from a deep place and blends all of my favorite sounds. I wanted to express how it feels to be underestimated when you know you are strong enough to handle being in hot water. Martial arts taught me that when the world is challenging you, breathe. This way you keep your clarity of mind and your inner strength intact like an armour, ready to face what’s next. As Lao Tzu says, ‘The best fighter is never angry’.”

50 | Jael | Red Dots (ft. Phabo & The Kount)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising artist Jael unveils his album Half As Much with the smooth single and video for Red Dots. He said: “Half As Much explores feelings of loving someone, but also not being ready to love. The way I was writing and producing this project was really unique. I just produced a loop, drums or melodies and started singing and writing lyrics. After finding a good hook, I produced around that and continued to write on the next loop. Basically I write and produce from left to right in a timeline, instead of producing a whole production and sing on the instrumental. It sounds a bit strange, but it really works for me. Red Dots is about a woman that literally every man is going crazy about. All men have her in their scope to try and get her. In the end I really hope I get her attention and tell her that she is amazingly beautiful and that she’s made for me.”

51 | Theo Tams | Jekyll Hyde Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Theo Tams’ recent singles have redefined him as an artist. The music drowns the senses, oozing with intimate lyrics and style, and his sinewy vocals bear the listener through plush soundscapes. He is unapologetically himself as he demonstrates a remarkable command of R&B-laced pop music, his powerful voice the unwavering guiding light. A standout among these singles is newest track Jekyll Hyde Love — a slow burn that explores both the positive and negative intensities he brings to his relationship.”

52 | KasēoGems | Don’t Go

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver duo KasēoGems (singer-songwriters Geoff Gibbons and Vicky Sjohall) have shared their second single Don’t Go. It follows their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire. They say: “The songs and videos for this project were all created remotely during these strange pandemic times. It is our hope you find a warm melancholy space inside the music and visuals.”

53 | Loig Morin | La Bête

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver singer-songwriter Loig Morin shares La Bête from his album Printemps, which is out today. La Bête (The Beast) is a song that addresses alcohol addiction and finding inner peace. Although heavy in subject matter, the tempo is light, giving a sense of hopefulness and joy. The video was conceived and shot by Loig and features vocalist Maude G.L. Loig’s seventh album to date, Printemps (Spring) is the first in a four-album series that will embrace each of the year’s seasons.”

54 | Kat Cunning | Could Be Good

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kat Cunning has released a downtempo, anthemic new single titled Could Be Good. The non-binary singer and actor has also announced they will release their debut EP Idol Hands on July 16. Could Be Good was produced by Grammy winner M-Phazes and comes with a homemade montage video from Kat. They said: “Could Be Good is a portrait of the optimism that kept life rich for me this past crazy year. I wrote it in a swing of hope as I was falling in love during the pandemic and the lyrics are an intimate retelling of some of those special little moments. I love the simplicity of the chorus and would love for it to inspire hope and courage for others to take a risk. The personal intimacy of the lyric comes from moments in a relationship that are worth cementing in time for me. There was a lot of darkness in 2020, but this song is a snapshot of the light.”

55 | Ade | Another Weekend

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A masterclass of euphoric electro-clash, Another Weekend ticks like a techno-fied clock, running down the seconds of the working week with exponential pace. Pumped-up on heady mix of big beat-primed production, lopsided synths loops and kick-drum powered rhythms, it offers a playful new cut of the fast approaching debut album Midnight Pizza. Ade says: “I started singing about this kind of largely inconsequential coffee date I had been on earlier that day and improvised about half the lyrics in one go. It’s something of an outlier on the album but it was such a flowy, unfiltered account of my life at the time that I felt I had to include it. Plus I get a kick out of the idea of a four-on-the-floor club track about being tired of going out.”

56 | Thomas Lehmkühler | 3

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The three stands for stability. It has a protective effect. Body, Mind and Soul 1, 2, 3. Mother, father, child. Past, present, future. It is a song about love.”

57 | Black Elephant | Yayoi Kusama

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Italian psychedelic fuzz-rock unit Black Elephant unveil their animated video for Yayoi Kusama. Notes singer-guitarist Alessio Caravelli: “The video is dedicated to the biggest visionary artist of our time: Yayoi Kusama. Her art is like music for us. Anna Ivaldi did a great job with the video; you can feel our music travelling and diffusing through Yayoi’s eyes. We chose to honor Yayoi because of the song meaning: it is ideally addressed to everyone who still has the courage and perseverance to keep their ideas alive, without being conditioned by ‘third thoughts.’ I would say that Black Elephant are like Yayoi: we started with this trip and it is still alive.”

58 | Tigercub | Blue Mist In My Head

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tigercub came crashing back this year with Beauty and Beat On My Heart (Like A Bass Drum), their first new material since 2017 Last month they announced the news of a second album, As Blue As Indigo, set for release on June 18. Today, Tigercub share the excellent third single Blue Mist In My Head, an expansive outing that pairs soft, lilting vocals and deeply personal lyrics to striking musical dynamics and one of their strongest chorus hooks yet. Jamie Stephen Hall says: “Blue Mist In My Head is about coping with depression whilst feeling alienated and disconnected from others. That sense of feeling like I’m on auto-pilot going through the motions of life.”

59 | Spirit Of The Beehive | It Might Take Some Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia shape-shifting rock band Spirit Of The Beehive have delivered their new LP Entertainment, Death. With today’s release comes a video for It Might Take Some Time — a dreamy sequencing of pattern, color, and imagery. For a band admired by fans, peers and critics alike, Entertainment, Death is a clear leap forward in the evolution of the newly modified trio (founding members Zack Schwartz and Rivka Ravede are joined by new member Corey Wichlin), an adjustment that better suits the new record’s musical stylings.”

60 | Long Range Hustle | American Cash

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto indie-rock outfit Long Range Hustle released their second track of 2021, American Cash. This bombastic heartland rocker will appear on their upcoming project due out later in 2021. American Cash is a song about money, and money’s absence — about struggling to realize your dreams while trying to make ends meet, and wondering just how long you can hold it all together. Originally, it was meant to be a slow, melancholic croon a la Pheobe Bridgers, though the band found the track was moving in a different direction when it came down to recoding.”

61 | Jon Hopkins | Wintergreen

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jon Hopkins announces a new EP Piano Versions — out April 16 — and releases a cover of Roger & Brian Eno’s Wintergreen. Presented as the sister record to 2014’s Asleep Versions, Piano Versions is a collection of ambient cover versions of songs by Luke Abbot, James Yorkston, Thom Yorke and more. Hopkins used his upright piano as the centerpiece of the EP, whilst recording the ambient, environmental elements around it. He elaborates: “Piano Versions is four minimal, ambient piano covers of songs I have loved for a long time that come from very different places. It seems to me that melody is universal and the ones that I really connect to shine out irrespective of genre or context, whether from techno, folk or whatever.”

62 | Karma Kids | Nightmare (ft. Kellin Quinn)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Karma Kids will release their new LP Vibes on June 11. Today they stream the song Nightmare, featuring Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens. Says Jon Benjamin: “Nightmare is a dark track about forgetting who you are and harvesting the darkest corners of your consciousness into a power you can control. The first time I saw Kellin perform, Sleeping With Sirens was a relatively unknown band. Watching their exponential growth and Kellin’s growth as a musician left me with a specific sound I wanted to see out of a vocalist.”

63 | Nicha | Saltwater Song

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In a wash of haunting harmonies, delicious melodies and touches of Asian influence, Saltwater Song will submerge your ears into a dream state. Nicha’s new track ebbs and flows like a sonic rollercoaster painting the picture of someone who desires more from their life than what is in store currently. With subtle hints of electronica, elements of folk and a strong essence of soft-rock, Saltwater Song shows off Nicha’s ability to blend genres. Nicha says: “Saltwater Song is liberating and empowering. It tells the story of someone who is struggling to overcome personal issues such as a bad relationship, addiction or an unhealthy habit. Weighted by these issues they are unable to become their best self or reach their full potential.”

64 | Collapse Under The Empire | Section IV

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Collapse Under The Empire share the single Section IV. It marks a new chapter for the duo. The single is purely electronic and instrumental, but no longer located in post-rock. The project comes without a concept or story to achieve a certain emptiness and purification. A new Collapse Under The Empire album is planned for the end of 2021. The band were founded in summer 2008 in Hamburg and released their debut Systembreakdown in 2009. Since then, they have released instrumental, experimental and very atmospheric music on seven albums, three EPs and various singles, covering musical styles from post-rock to ambient to ice-cold electronica with references to Talk Talk and Mogwai.”

65 | Dragon Welding | Scorched Sea

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Scorched Sea is the second single from the album Lights Behind The Eyes (May 7), a musical project by Andy Golding under his anagrammatic Dragon Welding moniker. Andy is the guitarist of Essex post-rock outliers The Wolfhounds, and has created a wondrous tapestry of ambient guitar instrumentals and sonic manipulations. This is music that channels the cosmic experimentations of ’70s German avant-garde rock with a dark Essex twist that somehow has glorious poptones. Andy notes: “I wanted to make music that you can relax to while keeping your guard up. Like Neil Young waltzing with Laurie Anderson while The Durutti Column watches over Brian Eno as he turns the handle on the fairground organ. I wanted it to surprise me.”

66 | Kastiell | Brave New World (ft. Dan Marsala)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Perth post-hardcore outfit Kastiell have relaunched with the mammoth track Brave New World, their first since 2016. The track, which is the first taste of their EP due out later in the year, was co-birthed by Story of the Year’s Dan Marsala, who not only mixed and mastered the tune, but also contributed vocals. “Brave New World was written during the COVID-19 pandemic when misinformation through the media was at its most prevalent,” says vocalist Dylan Symonds. “There was a lot of uncertainty and isolation in the world during this time and we wanted to put across a message that focussed on building a better tomorrow rather than dwelling on the past.”