Indie Roundup | 109 Songs To Crush You Like A Bug This Weekend (Part 4)

GA-20, Wild Up, Shred Kelly, Motorbike James and more acts keeping it together.

GA-20 have two words for you, Wild Up are in their prime, Shred Kelly share some familiar dreams, Motorbike James teaches you a few new moves, Dawson Fuss would like to get your attention — though if you’ve made it this far in your latest Weekend Roundup, I would assume he’s already got it. Onward:


67 | GA-20 | No No

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “While 2020 was a tough year all around the music industry, GA-20 certainly made the most of it. Coming into 2021 with four newly recorded LPs, it’s now time to start giving a little taste of what’s to come. In anticipation of this bounty of upcoming albums, they are releasing the first song, No No. Raw. Heavy. Blues. Turn it up. All the way up.”

68 | Wild Up | Prime

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On June 18, L.A. musical collective Wild Up’s studio recording of Julius Eastman’s Femenine arrives as the opening entry in a multi-volume anthology celebrating the late composer whose amalgamated musical vision was repeatedly dismissed during its day, but is now being unearthed to critical acclaim. Listen to Prime, the first excerpt from Femenine.”

69 | Shred Kelly | Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shred Kelly share their spin on the iconic Fleetwood Mac song Dreams. “We are super fans of Fleetwood Mac and have always wanted to cover a tune of theirs;” says singer Sage McBride. “Their band has been a true inspiration to bands that have multiple songwriters and lead vocalists, this was a true dream to get to record a song of theirs. We jammed this tune once at a rehearsal back in November and then recorded it remotely from our own homes and jam space. I was doing vocal takes on our kitchen island while our daughter slept because we didn’t have childcare at the time. But it was interesting to learn new skills and discover what we’re capable of recording remotely.”

70 | Motorbike James | Common Sensei

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Motorbike James is the musical brainchild and artist alias of Michael Werbicki, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer from Edmonton. His natural prerogative is to live a life in the moment, for the moment. Common Sensei, the latest single from his debut album Viisions, is an analysis of a character — someone going through their days with blinders on. Someone choosing to live inside a box, only believing what they can see. Ignoring any notion of a deeper meaning. Someone not in tune with themselves or their surroundings.”

71 | Dawson Fuss | Hey You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging pop artist Dawson Fuss has released his debut single Hey You. Dawson combines his honest and relatable lyrics with a catchy hook that will have listeners singing along while pulling on their heartstrings. It’s the first single from his forthcoming EP Edge of Adolescence, set to drop later this year. “Hey You is inspired by the failure of first love and the complicated emotions that follow: regret, anger, sadness, and loss,” Dawson explains. “I wrote this song following my first serious relationship that unfortunately ended because of emotional and physical distance caused by the isolation of COVID-19.”

72 | Holy Ship | Sad Command

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Stockholm’s Holy Ship release the EP Les Deux Regards on April 9. It balances synth-driven electronic rock with fuzzy danceable psych for a vibrant and bold new release. Jonatan Westh launched Holy Ship in 2018, after his shoegaze band Blackstrap. Westh plays all instruments on the recordings except for drums by longtime collaborator David Götestam. For Les Deux Regards, his lyrical themes touch on breaking free of personal traps, self-discovery, and the manipulative games played in social politics. Westh has created a sonic journey for Les Deux Regards, moving from ’90s electronic-driven psych-rock and dark-wave anthemic synths to big beat club grooves for a welcome new rock energy.”

73+74 | Michel LeGrand | Un Homme Est Mort + Ask Yourself Why

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of Michel Legrand’s best soundtracks was composed for the French thriller La Piscine (The Swiming Pool), released in 1969 and featuring Alain Delon and Romy Schneider. Legrand penned the score straight after The Thomas Crown Affair OST, and it features the same ultra-cool mix of memorable themes, slick jazzy instrumentals and funky pop songs. The full soundtrack was only released in Japan and France and is now very rare. Three bonus tracks that have never been released on vinyl have been added for an upcoming reissue on Record Store Day in June. As a bonus, it also includes Legrand’s funky Un Homme Est Mort from 1972.”

75 | Frank Foster | The Loud Minority

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Frank Foster’s The Loud Minority LP is returning in deluxe remastered form for Record Store Day. Released in 1972, it’s a landmark album and one of the key political works of the ’70s. Featuring an all-star cast including Elvin Jones, Stanley Clarke, Airto, Cecil Bridgewater and Marvin ‘Hannibal’ Peterson, it also contains Dee Dee Bridgewater’s earliest recordings. This special edition includes a 20-page booklet featuring amazing unseen session photos, an essay, and an exclusive interview with Cecil and Dee Dee Bridgewater.”

76 | Graham Costello | Impetu

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glasgow drummer and composer Graham Costello has announced his single Impetu. The single is taken from Graham’s upcoming album Second Lives, which is due out May 7. The forthcoming album was co-produced by Grammy winner Hugh Padgham, who is renowned for his work with a wide-range of seminal artists such as Phil Collins, XTC, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney and many more. Second Lives marks the first new material he has worked on in almost a decade.”

77 | Hamish Anderson | Morning Light

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Australian singer, songwriter and guitar hero Hamish Anderson’s new single Morning Light has a ’70s style rock-n-roll swagger, building from a driving guitar and drumbeat to boldly distorted T. Rex-meets-Rolling Stones tones.”

78 | Venomous Pinks | I Want You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Venomous Pink’s new album Based On A True Story lives up to its title. These tracks are the musical aftermath of their mid-tour, pre-COVID, live recording. This release perfectly documents the band’s unproduced sound and raw energy. “After speeding across states and trying to beat the clock for a couple of days, we told the Bridge City Sessions crew we only had so much time to wrap things, rush across town, to play a sold-out show. They told us we could only get through a couple of songs,” explained drummer Cassandra Jalilie. Obviously, they have never seen The Pinks before. “We ended up recording our whole EP. It was insane because they told us, ‘No other band has been able to go through an entire set that fast before in one take.’ Even they were blown away!”

79 | Vela Rosa | Right in Front of Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vela Rosa’s music whiffs 1973 vintage rock ’n’ roll. You can just smell the arena potpourri of pot, patchouli, cigarettes, and cheap beer. Fact is, the Edmonton quartet are just old enough to drink. Averaging out at 20 years old, the guys managed to strike the Hammer of the Gods on their debut, summoning the swagger and dexterous musicianship of their idols with cool nonchalance and artistic assuredness. Right in Front of Me, the first single off of their upcoming debut Run In Colour, perfectly captures the attitude from days of old, chock full of brawny blues-riffs, trippy musical passages, meditative ballads, and ripping lead guitars.”

80 | ChrisLee | Flight Risk

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pop artist ChrisLee dropped his single Flight Risk, an emotional ode of choosing love in the midst of hard times. “Through many sleepless nights, I just knew that if I embraced the love I had in my life, I could go anywhere and do anything to get through this challenging time,” says ChrisLee. “Flight Risk was written at the height of the pandemic when I truly didn’t know what was going to come next. Having faith that whatever comes next is an adventure, and I need to be open and choose love through it all, instead of trying to control everything.”

81 | Acoustic Syndicate | Sunny

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If there’s anything to equal the excitement of a hot new artist making their recording debut, it’s the return of a groundbreaking, influential act that’s long been absent from the studio. Case in point: Sunny, the stunning debut of Acoustic Syndicate, the famed western North Carolina ensemble that’s helped to pave the way for generations of freewheeling, bluegrass-flavored jam bands. Written by singer Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry, the song works not only as a story of a relationship, but as a multi-level, multi-layered metaphor, serving as a harbinger of the renewal that comes with every spring and, at the same time, as a hopeful acknowledgement that the long year of the pandemic may at last be coming to an end — as well as an artistically framed announcement of Acoustic Syndicate’s re-emergence as a recording act.”

82 | FVZ | The Judge (ft. Liel Bar-Z)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Fazi, aka FVZ, is a house and pop artist, DJ & producer of Persian descent in Toronto. His high-energy style has electrified audiences worldwide. The Judge is FVZ’s first funk-influenced pop number and showcases his diversity in being able to create a dance track while mixing different genres. Whatever happened in the past has happened, and not much can be done about it. Let’s not worry about it, and enjoy the present and what the future has to offer.”

83 | Kulick | H

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2016, Alexandria Sienkiewicz wrote a poem about her struggles with heroin shortly before she accidentally overdosed on Fentanyl. Kulick turned her poem into a song he titled H, originally released in 2017. Alex’s mother reached out and asked Kulick to make the poem into a song. Today she says: “Our hope is that Alex’s words and Kulick’s music inspires more individuals to reach out for help and more parents to get educated in this matter of alcohol and drugs, that is what our daughter wanted.”

84 | Madisyn Gifford | Shapes & Shadows

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Delivering nothing less than an exquisite vocal performance, Vancouver’s Madisyn Gifford puts forth her most stunning moment yet with Shapes and Shadows. A striking ballad in its own right, the young artist accompanies the release with the announcement of her debut EP Learning to Exist, set for release May 14. Madisyn notes: “Shapes and Shadows is a song about realizing how much you love the person you are with but simultaneously realizing how much that gives them the potential to hurt you. It’s about facing the fears and hardships that often come along with love and continuing to fight for that person/relationship despite them. It also acknowledges the fact that the relationship is not perfect in any way but that is also what makes it feel so special.”

85 | Shawnee Kish | Got It Bad

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Edmonton’s Shawnee Kish had big plans for her year. As the world closed down, the Mohawk Two Spirit singer-songwriter took the opportunity to sit down at her piano and lean into everything she was feeling. The result is a fresh, powerful sound that comes to life with Got It Bad. Drawing on influences from Melissa Etheridge and Amy Winehouse, Got It Bad gives voice to Shawnee’s musical growth.  “Creating this new music has been a breakthrough feeling for me as an artist,” explained Shawnee. “With this single I’ve pushed through personal barriers, fears and restrictions, coming into my own by growing and sharing the vulnerabilities I carry”

86 | Era C | Deliria (Arms and Sleepers Edit)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Downtempo electronic duo Era C share the Arms and Sleepers edit of their latest single Deliria. Era C is the collaborative project of Mirza Ramic from  Arms and Sleepers and Sofia Insua of Easy Easy. Sinking the original chilled melody of Deliria deep into a bed of trip-hop and ethereal wonder, Arms and Sleepers add old school static reverberations to the single and lighten the bass lines, calling to a summer evening in the wild. Max of Arms and Sleepers tells us: “After listening to the original song a few times, I wondered what it would sound like if it were reimagined as a song to listen to while speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway in the early evening in a convertible with the cool ocean wind combing through your hair. So, I took it on that drive and here we are.”

87 | Thee More Shallows | Drinking Tang

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Experimental indie-rock trio Thee More Shallows released three albums and a few EPs in the early ’00s. Now, frontman Dee Kesler has emerged from the wilderness with a mix of previous band members and new musicians. The May 28 album Dad Jams is the first Thee More Shallows offering in 14 years. Here’s the infectious single Drinking Tang, a playful melting pot of genres and emotions that reflect-back on Dee’s religious upbringing. Dee said “I’m no longer a Christian. I was as a kid, until I tried to make sense of the doctrine and could not. But I always liked the historical Jesus. So, it’s funny to realize that in my overworked, risk-managing, potbellied state of middle-age, if Historical Jesus was around, I’d probably find him annoying.”

88 | Scott Nicholls | Heartbeat (ft. Savannah Gardner)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Scott Nicholls is a country singer-songwriter from the U.K. His latest single Heartbeat arose after experiencing a series of traumas. He shares: “Everything since 2016 has been a learning experience and forced me to grow in ways I didn’t think I’d ever have to. We may not be in the springtime of our lives right now, but after a really tough year for everybody I wanted to release something that people could remember that nostalgia is OK. Looking back is OK. Ultimately, new beginnings are always good things.”