Indie Roundup | 119 Songs Good Enough To Make You Slap Your Mama (Part 2)

Trews, Billy Gibbons, Joy Formidable, Denm and other folks coming in second.

The Trews came to play, Kitt Wakeley has friends up and down the line, Justina and Nikita do the right thing, Perdurabo is off the chain, M. Byrd enjoys the sunrise — and things are just heating up here in your latest Weekend Roundup. Shall we continue? Let’s shall:


22 | The Trews | I Wanna Play

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s been over a year since the world came to a halt, and although things aren’t quite safe yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today, The Trews released their pandemic anthem I Wanna Play, an ode to what we’ve all felt since the beginning of lockdown. Filmed in Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre, the video has the band sneaking into the stadium to play music at center ice. Lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald says, “What rhymes with Global Pandemic? … pathetic? prophetic? This is a song written and recorded for, during and about the strange, unusual and unprecedented time we all just lived through and the toll it took on our collective psyches. We wanna play!”

23 | Kitt Wakelu | Sinners & Saints

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Songwriter, composer, arranger and producer Kitt Wakeley released the second single from his upcoming album Symphony of Sinners and Saints. The  orchestral-rock opus is titled Sinners and Saints. With Oklahoma City’s Wakeley on keyboards, the song also features the talents of the U.K.’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), bassist Ryan Miller, drummer Brent Berry, guitarist Paige Harwell, and the London Voices choir. “It’s a majorly epic song with a wall of sound. A lot of pros came through the studio while we were mixing it. I saw jaws drop and almost all wanted to sit and listen to us work on it,” Wakeley said. “I’m so proud of the way it turned out.”

24+25 | Justina | Soltan + Nikita | Yadam Nemire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Here are the latest singles from Homanity, a compilation album due out May 7 featuring prominent Iranian musicians raising awareness about the censorship and persecution of artists in Iran. First up: A song from female hip hop/pop artist Justina, who was detained and had her home raided and musical equipment destroyed before she fled the country in order to be able to continue making music. Next comes a song from Behrouz Ghaemi, an artist whose own first album, inspired by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, was banned from release in Iran for containing too much electric guitar among other western elements.”

26 | Perdurabo | Unleash The Revolution

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and composer Perdurabo shares Unleash The Revolution, the first single from The Time Traveller, a collaborative album created with Davide Tomat that’s due May 21. The album focuses on the idea of out-of-body experiences. The inspiration comes from reworking the same music compositions at different periods in the artist’s life. Perdurabo says; “It’s a dynamic, straight, and in some ways unforgettable composition. It always gave me the feeling that something big was coming. During my countless flights between Italy and Berlin, I was often listening to the demos on my headphones, and every time this track started, everything looked bright and powerful – it made me want to unleash a revolution.”

27 | M.Byrd | Morning Sun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:M.Byrd’s story starts somewhere between Amsterdam and Paris. While touring as the bassist for Ilgen-Nur, M.Byrd showed the rest of the band his own demos and their reaction was what gave him the final push to focus on his solo career. He has swiftly forged his own path in the industry with his infectious indie neo-psych-folk sound. The single Morning Sun is all about an acoustic soundscape, but conveys no less depth than the powerful guitar sounds of Mountain. The warm entry symbolizes the rising of the morning sun and at the same time lets listeners wake up in the fog. M.Byrd says: “Morning Sun has become a kind of morning mantra for me. The idea came to me a few years ago in the morning right after I got up and it came back to me subsequently over and over again, like a kind of entry into meditation, until I finally recorded it and arranged it into form.”

28 | Pink Elefants | Sound Of Violence

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Genre-blending duo Pink Elefants released their single and video Sound of Violence. It’s is an intoxicating lo-fi number that fuses atmospheric hip-hop production with melodic pop hooks. The band write: “The observer in the song narrates as if they are in some lavish party in the hills. At first the party seems perfect until you look closely and peel back the layers. As the veneer begins to decay we can all start to see the darkness underneath.” While the song was originally written pre-pandemic, many of the lyrical elements also mirror the way in which the past year has exposed many of the corrupt elements of our world and how being a passive bystander is no longer an option — the veneer has been ripped away and we are having to confront the more sinister truths of society.”

29 | Matt McManamon | Every Time I Close My Eyes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Matt McManamon announced his debut solo album Scally Folk arrives on May 28. He also released a fresh excerpt from the record: Every Time I Close My Eyes. It offers a tender tribute to his youngest son, Matthew James McManamon Jr. “When he was born and for most of the first year of his life, I would take on the role as his primary carer,” Matt says. “I was like a modern day male version of Mary Poppins. However, he literally did not sleep ever! So neither did I. When I was lucky enough to rock him into what I thought was a deep sleep, I would jump into bed myself to drift off into a golden slumber but always the minute (without fail) I was just about to fall asleep, he would wake up raring to go, no matter what time of day or night it may be.”

30 | Nadjiwan | Star Nation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As Marc Meriläinen, the Toronto singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and all-around visionary better known as Nadjiwan says, “Humans have always questioned and wondered about both our purpose and origins in the universe. There are numerous stories in Indigenous cultures of the ‘star people’ visiting us throughout history with the purpose of teaching us a greater understanding of not only the universe, but ourselves. In short, we ultimately come from the stars.” The latest Nadjiwan album, Star Nation — out May 28 — may be his most ambitious project yet. Although its 10 songs can be simply described as comprising a “space-rock opera,” the album as a whole is a mind-blowing sonic journey into the outer limits, powered by Nadjiwan’s adventurous take on modern rock. Underpinning it are traditional musical elements, which adds up to a heady mix unlike (it’s fair to say) any other rock ’n’ roll being made at this moment. The title track encapsulates much of that.”

31 | Hail The Sun | Misfire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Chico band Hail The Sun just released their highly anticipated fifth album New Age Filth. To celebrate, they have shared a music video for Misfire, set in a dystopian dreamscape. Vocalist and drummer Donovan Melero states: “Misfire is about feeling so detached from everyone that even while going through the motions of normal behaviors, it feels like you’re watching yourself as an outsider. We often try to validate ourselves in ways we think are necessary.”

32 | Blueanimal | On My Mind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Orlando alt-rock band Blueanimal have announced the release of their third album Figment That Was Me on June 4. Their darkest, most inspired work was based on real world experience with mental health. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Luke Elms explains: “I wrote this album as a concept album telling the story of a person descending into and rising out of a battle with depression and the consequences it has on his relationships, self-image, and all facets of his life … On My Mind is the first track off the album and begins the character’s descent into the depression that is further explored on the rest of the tracks. The track is an ode to the girl that got away on the surface, but below the surface it is about that person, thing, or idea that we know will be with us until we die. We hope it is a positive influence but unfortunately for many people it is a destructive or destabilizing force to their well-being and the catalyst to their deeper mental health issues.”

33 | Barista | Circular Lives

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Istanbul rock project Barista joyously blur the lines between authentic classic rock, heavy prog, mystic alternative, bold world music and dense psychedelic vibrations on monumental new album Open Sesame, an album so expansive it is to be released in five volumes. Although they freely experiment in their music, all roads ultimately lead to rock for this visionary artist. Barista is the moniker of Bahadır Han Eryılmaz, a musician who willfully embraces ‘naive enthusiasm’ while making music with purpose and emotion for the love of it. The tunes Han writes are heavily influenced by the stories of his own life and those of others, while also echoing musical inspiration from the likes of Toto, Journey, Supertramp, The Alan Parsons Project, and an array of Turkish folk tradition including Sufism. Above all, he is dedicated to bringing vibe back to music — raw, liberating and authentic.”

34 | Denm | Califas (ft. Jared Watson)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising singer, songwriter, and producer Denm has released his new single Califas with Jared Watson of Dirty Heads, and revealed that his debut album Slum Beach Denny comes out May 14. Paying homage to those who have also grown up around Southern California, the smooth, reggae/rock hybrid track highlights Denm and Watson’s slick vocals and eclectic styles, transporting the listener into the passenger seat of a convertible, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and tapping along to every beat. “Califas is a song to have fun to, get wild with your homies, and just smile,” shares Denm. “Forget all the BS and just take two shots, get your head right and enjoy your life.”

35 | The Joy Formidable | Into The Blue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Joy Formidable are sharing a lyric video for their single Into The Blue, from the band’s first new album since their kaleidoscopic 2018 album AAARTH. Written in North Wales and later completed at their homes in Utah, Into The Blue arrives self-assured and forthright, in a world still trying to regain its footing, stalked by the specters of manipulation, mis-information, and trepidation. As singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan comments: “Into The Blue is about surrendering to love and magic. Having the courage to enjoy a new journey and the mystery and excitement of something unexpected. It’s about opening your eyes to beauty and love again. Making it to the other side. Whilst not conceived as a metaphor for the times we all live in now, it certainly turned out that way.”

36 | Billy F. Gibbons | Desert High

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Desert High is one of the more idiosyncratic and evocative tracks from Hardware, Billy F. Gibbons’ third solo album, out June 4. The song takes the form of a narrative tone poem with mysterious instrumental accompaniment. It clearly derives inspiration from the high desert location of Escape Studios where the Hardware recording sessions happened last summer. The album was recorded by Gibbons along with drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Austin Hanks. “The song is, perhaps, not typical of Hardware as a totality but it gives indication of the album’s desiccated sonic sensibility,” says Gibbons. “The desert is a truly mysterious place and we were privileged to have spent all that time there absorbing the heat, the vibe and cranking it out. It’s where natural background is at its most raw and untamed. We suspect what we’ve done is something of a reflection or, perhaps, a mirage, that relates.”

37 | Jose Ramirez | Whatever She Wants

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Costa Rican blues guitarist Jose Ramirez has released his single Whatever She Wants. At 33 years old, Ramirez has played with some of the biggest names in the blues industry, including Buddy Guy, Anson Funderburgh, Janiva Magness, Mark Hummel and Bryan Lee. “I truly believe soul and R&B are way closer to the blues than other types of music out there and it’s always felt natural for me to blend these soulful genres just like they used to do back in the ’70s,” he says. “This song is my tribue to old-school blues/soul singers such as Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland and Bobby Womack. Whatever She Wants talks about an attraction so crazy that you’re willing to put everything on the line, no matter how dangerous.”

38 | Age Of Destitute | Voiceless

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Zealand rock group Age Of Destitute unleash their new single Voiceless, taken from their forthcoming EP of the same title. Blending modern melodies with nostalgic hooks, they smash it with vigour! Vocally, Rez probes deep, and he leaves an indent with his harmonically vibrant tones and thought-provoking wordplay. Likewise, Sammy provides a resolute foundation with his nail-biting bass creating an unforgettable soundscape. Finding influence in Pink Floyd and John Mayer, the duo take a hint, but they produce a sound of their own with their enunciated unique qualities leaping out instantly.”

39 | Gentle Savage | Lovin’ Ain’t Easy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Gentle Savage have released their new rocking single Lovin’ Ain’t Easy. Lead vocalist Tornado tells the story: “Lovin’ Ain’t Easy is a presentation of a persons emotional state when without really knowing why, one has been rejected and left stranded by the loved one. In this case the narrator is a male person, but it could be anyone who lives in an intimate relationship with another human being. The mood is neither sad nor aggressive. It’s more like the narrators love affirmation. He leaves the decision whether to quit or to continue in the hands of the beloved woman who’s leaving home.”

40 | LTtheMonk | Dark Italians

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:LTtheMonk releases the second single and video from his forthcoming album On The Wall available Aug. 20. On The Wall is a concept album that references filmmaker Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and the Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, LT’s favorite movie and album. “Dark Italians is inspired by hip-hop music’s long-time obsession with mafia culture, and the link that Sicily itself has with Black history, due to its occupation by the Moors of North Africa many centuries ago,” says LT, representing Hamilton and honouring its Sicilian sister city Racalmuto. “Linking the two cultures, as well as the interactions between African-Americans and Italian-Americans in the Spike Lee movie Do The Right Thing, inspired this song and its title.”

41 | Kenny Mason | Much Money (ft. Freddie Gibbs)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Atlanta’s rising star Kenny Mason has just released his latest project Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut. It’s the spiritual successor to Kenny’s 2020 debut album which established his presence as a unique and powerful force within Atlanta’s diverse music scene. The latest single Much Money features Freddie Gibbs. Says Mason: “Even the odds, and get even odder / seeking these broads, in need of menages / leaning on leading on gullible people / to think that you hard is leaving me nauseous.”

42 | Aceberg TM | Danca

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nigerian newcomer Aceberg TM gives himself another great introduction to the world with his debut EP Far From Home. Featuring Danca and more, Far From Home is an eclectic and sultry fusion of R&B and rap. Aceberg TM demonstrates a dynamic style that draws inspiration from artists such as Drake, J. Cole and Burna Boy, fitting fans with tracks that will go from the club to the bedroom. “As a kid growing up in a city populated with creatives, Far From Home was inspired by the thought of me trying to be abstract,” he says. “As a rapper trying to show more versatility and fitting into my own niche in the music industry, the EP represents a journey, untold stories, and the passion for being extraordinary.”