Indie Roundup | 65 Songs To Bring You Out Of Your Midweek Stupor (Part 3)

Prudence, Jodi, Vinok, .wavrunner, Far Lands and other acts bringing up the rear.

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Prudence makes everything better, Jodi takes it easy, Vinok adopt a novel approach, .wavrunner throw the dice, Far Lands remember Molly — and there are plenty of other unforgettable offerings closing out your Midweek Roundup. On to Thursday!

 


44 | Prudence | Better

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On May 14, Prudence, the recording project of composer and session bass player Tom Crandles, will release Untitled. Today Prudence is pleased to present the EP’s first single Better. In Prudence, Tom offers his own idiosyncratic vision of the world — one that feels electric yet effortless; a natural disaster of melody and noise in a disorientating sea of emotion. Untitled is simultaneously tender and resentful, four tracks stamped with Prudence’s brand of meticulous song-writing precision and impulsive abandon. Crandles says, “In the past year I have taken an involuntary break from music and life in general. Obviously 2020 was one great collective struggle. I decided to print some music as motivation to help find my balance and connect again. This music is a reflection of my year in static.”


45 | Jodi | Go Slowly

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jodi’s debut LP Blue Heron arrives July 16. Hear the first single Go Slowly now. On Blue Heron, Chicago multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Nick Levine’s self-described “queer country” delivers a series of soft-spoken intimate moments capable of turning your inner world upside down with a whisper. It is a type of gentle yet deeply powerful songwriting for fans of artists like Jason Molina, Mount Eerie, Karen Dalton, Julie Doiron and Duster.”


46 | Vinok | River

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vinok are more than just another indie-rock band, they’re a statement of authenticity and social change designed to create a new culture of justice in a land of unknown. Giving a voice for the marginalized and bluntly bringing to attention crucial problems of a global society is what the band is all about. Vinok’s sound is an unusual mix of experimental rock and indie art-pop spiced with notes of garage punk, pulp grunge and even hip-hop. River is the namesake of a masterpiece by American novelist Flannery O’Connor. Much of the symbolism within the song is in reference to her renowned story. “We have been inspired by much of Flannery O’Connor’s bold, truthful, gothic and often violent writing style,” said singer Nathalie. “Our previous EP Wise Blood (the name of one of O’Connor’s novels) used a lot of similar symbolism.”


47 | .wavrunner | Snake Eyes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Showing no signs of slowing down Cleveland trio .wavrunner are back with their third single Snake Eyes. JJ, Jack Wesley and Griff deliver a funky, bass-driven hip-hop number taking risks, something the trio prides themselves on. As they put it: “Snake Eyes is just that: a roll of the dice, a risk, a chance. You gotta be willing to take that chance because nothing worthwhile comes without risk. We’ve never been the ones to play it safe or conform. We know what we want and then we get after it no matter how crazy people think we are for trying … they’d underestimate our craziness anyways.”


48 | Far Lands | Oh, Molly

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On April 30, Portland band Far Lands will release their sophomore album There Be Monsters. Far Lands is Andy McFarlane, producer Matt Drenik and Ivan Howard. Today the band present Oh, Molly, the final pre-release single. It pays tribute to McFarlane’s late father and features poetry he had written. McFarlane says, “They say you die the first time at the moment of your physical death and that you die a second death the final time your name is spoken. I guess by including my late father Tom McFarlane’s poem at the end of Oh, Molly I was offering up a little assist in his potential immortality.”


49 | The Foreign Films | The Fortune Teller (Pretty In The City)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bill Majoros is a Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has released four studio albums and an EP under the name of The Foreign Films. His musical journey continues with the upcoming release of Starlight Serenade, an LP that blends classic and creative elements to reimagine the sonic future; musical retro-futurism. His new single The Fortune Teller (Pretty in the City) takes the listener on a musical journey,  illuminates the heart and finds magic and beauty in a heartbroken world. In these dark times, music keeps our sense of wonder alive — it shines a bright light.”


50 | Eamon McGrath | April

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Eamon McGrath continues to blaze an impassioned trail of music that finds a sound and voice somewhere between punk rock, country, folk and rock and roll. McGrath and his guitar represent a new dawn of singer-songwriting that’s injected with the raw, fierce energy of punk rock: Not in the sense of an acoustic performer hollering at the top of his lungs to simulate the energy of a full band, but instead something more rooted in a passionate commitment to your craft and a blind and zealous determination to your vision, wrapped in a sonic texture as rough as the road itself. His new single April is about the melancholic transformation of winter to spring. It is a time of great longing, of great relief, and of great optimism — yet there’s always a paradoxical tendency to look back on what is usually a difficult time and wish that you could’ve made more of it.”


51 | Maya Malkin | Congratulations

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto artist (who originally hails from Montreal) and pop creator Maya Malkin has just released her single Congratulations. A melodic, lush and pop filled tune, the new single is a testament to her growth, not only as an artist, but as an incredible musician as well. She captures moods, moments and memories in a way that grip you immediately and draw you into her world — and the tongue ’n’ cheekiness , plus the relatability of Congratulations, is no exception. “It’s a proverbial eye roll aimed at the never-ending popularity contest that is everyday existence,” says Malkin. “It was written in the aftermath of an abusive relationship and illustrates the moment in which our narrator finally stands up for herself.”


52 | Best Move | Out Of Touch

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Sacramento trio of Kris Anaya, Joseph Davancens and Fernando Oliva formed Best Move in 2019. Taking direction from both the cinematic song stylings of sardonic yet unfettered, almost confessional 1960s and ’70s troubadours like Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson (even taking their name from the latter’s song), the music quickly took on the personalities and sensibilities of its makers — a sure sign it was working. Best Move are set to release their debut EP The Mirror Image Twins EP on May 7. Their latest single Out of Touch finds the band at their most sparse and vulnerable. “To me, I think this song is about not being connected with normal people,” explains Anaya. “It’s about being a dreamer/artist, and not really understanding the path of a normal life. The plane ride kind of symbolizes your path from point A to point B. It’s bumpy, the food sucks and you have to talk to strangers. Every line in the song represents movement in some way. I believe I’m trying to distance myself from a normal life but it keeps creeping up.”


53 | Marcus | Redemption

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dublin-born artist Marcus delivers his reflective new offering Redemption. Much like what we heard on previous single Obey, Redemption sees him channel a light and uplifting direction for the release. With his natural tones hovering over a broad and textured production, this new gem spells the beginning of a promising year ahead for the young artist.”


54 | Shad | Out Of Touch

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto rapper Shad has released Out of Touch, a bright, RnB-spiked track featuring the multi-talented pHoenix Pagliacci. This memorable new offering marks the return of the rhymer and the first taste of forthcoming music coming later this year. “Out of Touch is basically the thesis statement for this upcoming collection,” explains Shad. “It’s about how our individual sense of wholeness can’t be disentangled from our collective well-being. It’s about the idea that we belong to each other.”


55 | Mike Casey | Shift (Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The second remix from saxophonist/producer Mike Casey’s upcoming Law of Attraction: The Remixes project re-imagines the original Shift into synth-driven, gritty hip-hop. Mike says, “I wrote this for my trio after a life-changing Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center in 2015 which caused a major shift in my mindset by tweaking the little things. I finally recorded it in 2018, released it in 2020 on Law of Attraction, and now I’m re-imagining it in an electronic/hip hop vibe. Shift is in the bones of the tune … the melody, harmony and rhythm is all about small shifts.”


56 | Chubby and the Gang | Lightning Don’t Strike Twice​

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “West London five-piece Chubby and the Gang are balanced by two energies — a casual “fuck it” on one side, an active “fuck off” on the other. For every moment of punk imperfection, there’s an intricate flurry of detail. Made up of musicians from across the consistently thriving and criminally overlooked U.K. hardcore scene, Chubby and the Gang marinate its characteristic speed and sick-of-it-all energy in a mixture of ’50s pop sounds. The result is a prickly take on the older, more melodic genres that punk derives from, chewing them up and spitting them out into something mangled but revitalised.”


57+58 | Disaster Relief + Thornetta Davis | How I Feel + Not So Scared of You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Disaster Relief teams up with Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Thornetta Davis, for two new songs that bring the funk, blues, and soul together with a dose of social commentary for these crazy times. In 2018, Michigan music producer, songwriter, and guitarist Darrin James decided to branch away from the blues-rock sounds of his albums to form a more improvisational, instrumental, and funky project, Disaster Relief. Intended as a remedy to the negative vibes in the world, Disaster Relief creates eclectic, upbeat, horn-driven music that draws inspiration from New Orleans, Motown, Memphis, Afrobeat and more. These songs take on serious topics, from women’s struggles to the politics of hate and division, all done with the swagger and grit of a true American blues master.”


59 | Ape Vermin | Arctic Noise

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Last heard shifting psychedelic megastructures on their 2018 release Sonic Monolith, North Carolina’s Ape Vermin make a welcome return this May with their EP Arctic Noise. Originally founded in 2017, Ape Vermin — guitarist/vocalist Brett Lee, Charlie Burleson on drums and bassist William Deal — form a veritable triumvirate of sludge and progressive doom, ripe for fans of Conan, Slabdragger, Mastodon and High on Fire. “Our records are steppingstones for us,” explains Lee. “We put our heart and soul into them and where Sonic Monolith had a very drone-type feel with an avalanche of groove, this new EP is a little more over the edge, and more melodic at times. We wanted this EP to represent the celebration of echo, death, and rebirth.”


60 | Rachel Eckroth | You’re The Only Thing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter and keyboardist Rachel Eckroth has announced the May 21 release of her self-titled EP, produced by and written with David Garza. Fresh off the stage at Studio 8H after backing St. Vincent last week on Saturday Night Live, Eckroth shares the tranquil loving ode, You’re The Only Thing.You’re The Only Thing started in David’s living room after a night of drinking wine,” says Eckroth. “During covid, Downtown L.A. was basically quiet, but the windows were open and you could hear a few people and cars in the street. He picked up the guitar and started strumming and the vibe was just cool, so we started this song. I’ve spent almost all of the lockdown with my husband Tim and this song is just me saying that he’s the only one I’d wanna lockdown with. Life is short and if covid never ends, we’d be happy just being on this little horse farm in Arizona together.”


61 | Davesar | Lost To No One

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having established himself as one half of progressive electronic outfit Burudu over the last few years, Indian producer Davesar recently stepped out on his own with a new project, and now returns with his latest delight Lost To No One. It sees the artist spread his creative wings and deliver a brilliantly rich and enticing groove. “Lost To No One chronicles a relationship with a partner who engaged in romance the same way a soldier sprints across a battlefield — always a fight to win or to lose,” Davesar explains. “This song disintegrates the illusion of battle, and subsequently all terminology of losing/winning — instead there has been nothing gained other than sober growth and determined compassion to the self.”


62 | Thomas Atlas | Lost Art

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Thomas Atlas chills down his funk with Lost Art ahead of releasing his upbeat and joyful self-titled album, which is due out on April 30. Charming instantly, Thomas serenades with a crooner style, and he showcases his captivating prowess with a delivery that greets the ears like soft velvet. He probes deep vocally, and he rises to the top with unforgivable influence! Based in Birmingham, Thomas is rapidly rising the echelon with his band also showcasing their talent with each new release. Here, the guitar riffs bring early summer warmth, and the rhythm synergises seamlessly with the myriad of sounds that arise.”


63 | Charmian Devi | Radio of None

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian alt-rock musician Charmian Devi unleashes potentially her most compelling expression yet with Radio of None. Raw with distinct character, Devi enthrals with a soundscape which you will struggle to locate elsewhere. Furthermore, she hits home with her harmonically rich vocal tone, and she smashes through the industry noise with an edgy rock foundation that radiates like a hot beam. While the greats have influenced Charmian, she proves to be no replica with a unique vision, and the star- studded line-up pays off from the instant. Moreover, Patti Smith’s guitarist Lenny Kaye rips up infectious guitar riffs. Tony Garnier, the bassist for Bob Dylan, is unstoppable with his powerful grooves adding enormous depth to the song. Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth bolsters a drum rhythm that hits like thunder, and Brian Marsella adds his signature quality to the mix with electrifying organ sounds that will leave you reeling.”


64 | Born Ruffians | Checkin’ Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Born Ruffians share the single Checkin’ Out, from the third and final LP of their multi-album continuum Pulp, out this Friday. “Checkin’ Out is about opting out,” says Luke Lalonde. “It’s about all kinds of ways you can remove yourself. From simply spacing out, to leaving news cycles behind, to deleting your social media accounts, etc. It’s about those moments of ‘this is all too much’ and surrendering. The riff was an exercise I made up. Mitch and I were trying to see who could play it fastest and then we turned it into this song. The natural reverb of the church we were writing in contributed and encouraged this song’s energy a lot.”


65 | The Undertaking! | No Friends

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “San Diego quintet The Undertaking! are gearing up to release Funeral Psalms on April 30. But first, they just shared the gloriously frantic song No Friends, which crackles with dirty and dizzying, in-your-face energy. Listen here. “No Friends is a brash reflection on how difficult it is to be a good friend,” the band share. “What starts out as an accusation attacking others quickly digresses into the realization that we so often push people away and create our own walls of isolation. We’ve all had those situations where someone expected too much out of you and you ended up letting them down. Looking back, your response was to walk away instead of working through your insecurities and making the relationship better. The riffs also just keep punching people in the nose.”