Indie Roundup | 65 Songs To Bring You Out Of Your Midweek Stupor (Part 1)

Hiatt and Douglas, De'Wayne, Teke::Teke & other acts who hit the ground running.

John Hiatt and Jerry Douglas ride the lightning, De’Wayne lets his feet do their duty, Teke::Teke have a few words for a certain Barbara, Devora cling to life, The Effens are prepared for any eventuality — and you should also be ready for anything in today’s wild ’n’ woolly Midweek Roundup. Rev it up and go:


1 | John Hiatt With The Jerry Douglas Band | Long Black Electric Cadillac

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band will release Leftover Feelings on May 21. The 11-song set was produced by Douglas and recorded at historic RCA Studio B in Nashville. A meeting of two American music giants in a legendary setting, Leftover Feelings is neither a bluegrass album nor a return to Hiatt’s 1980s days with slide guitar greats Ry Cooder and Sonny Landreth. There’s no drummer, yet these grooves are deep and true. And while the up-tempo songs are, as ever, filled with delightful internal rhyme and sly aggression, The Jerry Douglas Band’s empathetic musicianship nudges Hiatt to performances that are startlingly vulnerable. Of the new video for Long Black Electric Cadillac, Hiatt said, “It felt great seeing that big black convertible beauty gleaming in the early April Tennessee sun!”

2 | De’Wayne | Walking to Work

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative singer/rapper De’Wayne has released the lively single and video Walking to Work. Complete with his unique blend of pop, hip-hop, rock and everything in between, today’s release has De’Wayne doing what he does best — being unapologetically himself, having the time of his life and bringing his fans along for the ride. “I used to walk to and from work four miles each way and dream about getting the chance to have people hear my music. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about that,” shares De’Wayne.”

3 | Teke::Teke | Barbara

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal seven-piece Japanese psych-punk band Teke::Teke are back with a frenzied single and animated video for Barbara. Recorded in one-take, it matches the band’s near-mythic live energy with that of the song’s Zashiki-Warashi character — a spirit-like being who pranks but also brings good fortune to those who see it. As with previous videos, Barbara was animated by the group’s guitarist Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier and vocalist/visual artist Maya Kuroki. It’s off their debut album Shirushi (out May 7), named after the Japanese practice of kintsugi — the art of mending broken pottery by fusing the pieces back together with seams of gold, silver or platinum lacquer. The album glues together these pieces of classic Japanese balladry, surf rock, psychedelia, and more into sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino movie.”

4 | Devora | Not Dead Yet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Outlaw pop up-and-comer Devora is pleased to share a raucous live version of her track Not Dead Yet, filmed at the Bowery Electric in fall 2020. Shot and recorded amid the complete halt of the live music industry, the experience proved cathartic and reinvigorating. Devora comments: “Playing live at the Bowery Electric in NYC this fall was as exhilarating as it was inspiring. While filming this livestream, even with just a few people in the venue due to covid restrictions, the energy was undoubtedly infectious. Performing live is mind/body therapy for me and after a year long hiatus due to quarantine, all of those emotions associated with live music came rushing back at full force.”

5 | The Effens | Eventually

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto band The Effens have announced their upcoming third EP Eventually is due out July 30. The title track, a song about loving your enemy, is out now. An exploration of how we can lose our individuality in trying to sanitize everything, it comes with a video. Eventually is the culmination of years of feverish experimentation and lineup rotations which led vocalist and guitarist Austin Nops — the nucleus of The Effens — to finally collect Paul Theo (guitar and synth/samples), Hannah Edgerton (bass and vocals), and Fabian Oblivion (drums). The members connected through jam space-meet-cutes and last-minute show fill-ins that have unspooled into the band’s current iteration.”

6 | Ida Mae | Road To Avalon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “British duo Ida Mae return to deliver Road To Avalon, the second single from their forthcoming full-length Click Click Domino. Known for their intense blend of dirty blues guitar and yearning keys with inseparable harmonies mixed in an indie-rock cauldron, Road To Avalon sees them truly capture the raw and unbridled spirit of their influences. They said, “This was originally the title track of the record. We wanted this song and production to be a cinematic, slow pan across a vignette of the towns and cities we’ve travelled through that felt lost and forgotten. Travelling constantly as we have on our own across the U.S. it’s easy to romanticise ourselves as modern day wayfaring strangers. It’s an unusual feeling, by chance witnessing moments of people’s everyday lives that seem to take on a deeper meaning and resonance for you by being there to see them. You feel very present and very privileged.”

7 | American Teeth | One Of Those Days

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fluffy clouds. Falling through the sky. An incredible fashion sense. A super catchy song. That’s the long and short of the video for American Teeth’s new single. “One of Those Days is about having a terrible day and eventually just accepting that you’re going to go through it anyway, so you might as well enjoy the freewill,” says American Teeth. “I talked to [director] Sam Halleen about making the concept for the video symbolic of that. I wanted to jump out of an airplane and shoot it for real. But logistically, it didn’t make sense, so we decided on doing it with a green screen, which also gave us more freedom to get crazier with the concept and ultimately tell the story in a better way.”

8 | Janet Simpson | Slip

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Safe Distance — the new album from singer-songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Janet Simpson, isn’t a concept record, but it does take a journey. From Nashville to Reno (well, almost), to running away from demons, retreating from your troubles, hiding in plain sight, and returning liberated — ready to skip away again while your past looks on with a dropped jaw. The latest preview Slip conjures the late-night bleariness of classic Tom Petty.”

9 | Ralph | Tommy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ralph announces a new EP called Gradience and shares the first single Tommy, along with a music video. Inspired by icons like Cher, Donna Summer, and Kate Bush, the EP returns to the glam ’70s and ’80s-inflected sound of Ralph’s self-titled 2017 debut EP, while simultaneously leaning into contemporary, fresh folk. Tommy is the story of a missed connection; pining for someone who, after brief exchange, disappears forever. Ralph says: “I’ve always always wanted to do a song where the chorus was a name (a la Dolly Parton’s Jolene). I told (my producer) Derek that’s what I wanted to work on, so we drank a bunch of coffee and ran through a million names until the line “Tommy … do you want me” popped up. We both instantly knew it was the one and everything built so easily from there. The idea of seeing someone in a crowd and feeling instantly drawn to them, then losing them suddenly, is such a relatable and devastating concept. It’s like a Cinderella story with a pop twist.”

10 | Cujo Moon | Mirror Image

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising alt-folk singer Cujo Moon (aka Trevor Willmott) released his EP Bridges II on March 26. Bridges I and Bridges II mark the musician embarking on his own solo adventure. Originally from Lexington but now settled down in Nashville, the singer-songwriter aims to provide a sense of hope during times of loss and sorrow. With soft, intimate moments, his own sound calls to mind the likes of Bon Iver, Ben Howard and Jeff Buckley. Mirror Image is his latest single. He says: “Most of the writing and production process was done completely alone. The songs are a mixture of new and old but the production style was a new venture entirely.”

11 | Taktus | Music In Contrary Motion

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Taktus are a marimba duo known for their groove-based re-envisioning of classical and contemporary music. Their 2020 album Mirrored Glass was nominated for Instrumental Recording of the Year at the ECMAs. The band just released Music in Contrary Motion, an early Philip Glass piece reimagined for the marimbas. The original is inherently frantic, but the band tried to capture a sense of peace and flow with the warm characteristic of the marimbas. The release has been paired with a Black Mirror-inspired visual that incorporates snapshots from nature.”

12 | Heem | Letter To Shay

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Heem has released a video for Letter to Shay. The DJ Green Lantern-produced track has Heem describing how big of an impact Shay had on him , and how the Griselda producer inspired him to grow creatively. Letter to Shay is featured on Heem’s recent mixtape Long Story Short. The visual for the track was directed by Hidji and accentuates Heem’s bittersweet lyrics.”

13 | Tirzah | Send Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the U.K.’s most enigmatic talents, Tirzah returns with her new single Send Me. Further showcasing her deft songwriting, Send Me is a subconscious snapshot from across a year when Tirzah was playing live regularly for the first time. The track explores recovery, gratitude and new beginnings, presenting a singer working as an artist whilst simultaneously having discovered the type of love that is shared between a mother and a child. The new single is the first new material from Tirzah under her own name since 2018’s critically acclaimed album Devotion, and was written, recorded and performed alongside her long-term collaborators Mica Levi and Coby Sey.”

14 | Celeigh Cardinal | Ahead By A Century

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning artist Celeigh Cardinal shares a joyous cover of The Tragically Hip’s Ahead by a Century. The idea for covering this song was inspired by performing a small portion of it on a  commercial in December. “It felt very serendipitous to be the voice for this commercial. I so admired the many facets of Gord Downie’s work. He used his voice to bring attention to Indigenous issues to a massive demographic of Canadians, who may have never learned of Residential schools otherwise. I feel tethered to this song, and wanted to sing it from my perspective, with a voice of gratitude and joy,” says Celeigh. “The Tragically Hip are beloved in Canada, so while I was nervous to release one of their songs with a different spin, I wanted to celebrate Gord’s contribution to Indigenous communities with a joyful version of this song. The words “No dress rehearsal, this is our life” still run over and over in my head. What a massive truth that is.”

15 | Toto | Till The End

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Toto announce the global release of With A Little Help From My Friends on June 25. The album captures one special night on Nov. 21, 2020 when Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams and David Paich appeared with the new lineup of Toto for a global event in Los Angeles. With A Little Help From My Friends has the feel of an intimate club show, and the set list was built on an eclectic group of songs for this one night only performance. The band digs deep into the Toto catalog, while also playing hits like Rosanna, Hold The Line and Stop Loving You. If you didn’t see or hear the show when it first aired in November, then you’re in luck.”

16 | Ormiston | Rebel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “While Montréal artist and producer Ormiston, prepares to release his debut album, he continues to shine on new single Step From The Limelight. Arriving today alongside an animated visual, the song tells the story of someone afraid of being trapped in monotony, examining the desire to be a part of an empty culture and fleeting actions to satisfy one’s self esteem. Ormiston says: “The phrase ‘I could never step from the limelight’ reminds us that we are continually pushed to play a role in an act that is not our own, forcing us to forget who we really are and to put on the mask that will please what others think of us.”

17 | Seprona | Phone Me Back

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Revisiting an angst-fuelled morning following a drunken disagreement, Liverpudlian five-piece Seprona release their indie-pop single Phone Me Back. Taking its melodic cues from Liverpool legends and injecting them with funked-up drums and punky guitars, Phone Me Back is a glimpse into Seprona’s soulful sonic sound journey of rock horns and hip shaking indie riffs. The band explain: “The song is written about someone getting drunk and ended up arguing with someone they like over something stupid. So, they stormed off in a mood and how they are struggling to deal with all the mixed feelings that would go along with that situation. They regret it almost immediately as soon as they calm down a little bit but they’ve already left so they’re constantly phoning the person to apologise but they aren’t answering.”

18 | Tommy Newport | Stargazer (ft. EarthGang)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Born in Manchester, Tommy Newport relocated to the United States with his family at six years old and bounced around from Dallas to Seattle before settling down in Wichita. After picking up the guitar as a teenager to ease the boredom that comes with the idyllic, but monotonous life in the Midwest, Newport submerged himself into music and hasn’t looked back since. Following the release of his EP Ultra Mango, Newport is teams with EarthGang on the single Stargazer. Newport explains, “Once I laid down the hook I knew it felt right. There’s not a dull moment in this song and they absolutely killed it.”

19 | Dunya | Toprak

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dunya just shared their first single Toprak, in which the young band from Hamburg paint a dark world. The perfect soundtrack forour current situation, Toprak is from their upcoming self-titled debut EP, out May 7. Toprak reveals melancholy without being passive or powerless. Instead, the song has something revelatory in its tension, almost opening. Singer Banu Sengül’s voice holds an urgency and strength that captures and resolutely exposes their world-weariness at its core. The melodies remind of bands like Altin Gün or Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, without losing anything of Dunya’s own musical essence in the slightest.”

20 | James Vickery | Hourglass

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hourglass is the latest cut from rising British R&B artist James Vickery’s forthcoming debut album. Hourglass sees him deliver more of that warm and textured R&B sound he has cultivated throughout his career so far. James said, “I wrote this song last year with my dear friends Louis Mattrs and J Warner. I then took the demo to Stint — who I’ve been a huge fan of for years due to his work with Sabrina Claudio and Nao. He turned the song into the sultry R&B track that I always wanted it to be! Hourglass details a lustful relationship with a past significant other, and serves as an ode to her incredible physique.”

21 | Delvoid | Third Body

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nearly six years following their second album Serene, Oslo progressive-rock/metal four-piece Delvoid are back with a new album titled Swarmlife. Featuring six songs spanning nearly one hour, Swarmlife is set for release on July 2 and sees Delvoid moving away from the slow, morose and orchestral soundscapes present on Serene to embrace a more psychedelic and progressive rock sound.”

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