Indie Roundup | 119 Songs Good Enough To Make You Slap Your Mama (Part 6)

Vånna Inget, Matthew Joseph, In Sings and other artists bringing down the house.

Vånna Inget blow out the candles, Matthew Joseph wonders if it’s hot in here or if it’s just you, In Signs go viral, Luke Cyrus Hunter knows there’s got to be a better way, Owen Duff has one word for you — and so do we: Goodbye. We’ve come to the end of another epic Weekend Roundup. That oughta hold you until Monday.


101 | Vånna Inget | Gnista

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Today marks the release of Vånna Inget’s first single from the upcoming album Öden, to be released later this year. Exploring more of a pop-sound, the single incorporates meaningful lyrics with memorable choruses that instantly stick. The band are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.”

102 | Matthew Joseph | Under The Collar

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Upcoming pop sensation Matthew Joseph brings us the catchy and cool Under The Collar. Matthew brings us witty lyrics with joyous melodic hooks. Entering in with soft pads, his strong vocals soar through, bringing in the drums, slapped bass and thumping synth. It is classic, simple pop of the highest quality. “The lyrics are totally tongue-in-cheek and bring a much needed light-hearted bit of fun in these times,” explains Matthew. “This latest sexy-summer track is what we are all definitely needing right now in Lockdown 3.0.”

103 | In Signs | Bloom

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bloom is the new single by Kyiv rock band In Signs. Having recently expanded their number to include a full-time drummer, In Signs have also moved to a new studio and the changes to their sound are evident on Bloom, shimmering with tension amongst shadowy atmospheric synths and guitars before exploding into a yearning chorus. Says singer Arsen: “Bloom was created and finalised a few months ago when the most-strict lockdown was in Kyiv. Bloom is a little bit darker than the others and this will be a reminder of that time for us. This song was written long ago, before the quarantine but it now feels like Bloom is about Covid.”

104 | Luke Cyrus Hunter | A Better Way

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Luke Cyrus Hunter reflects on challenging times and comes up with his latest single and mesmerizing video, A Better Way. Always a man of many mysterious keys, Hunter continues to show his versatility in his new rock-influenced song. Known for fusing retro with modern sounds, Hunter’s latest single moves into the rock arena while still including his signature combination of dense sonic strokes. With its swirling psychedelic synths, catchy chorus, and inspired keyboard solo, A Better Way captures the imagination throughout this engaging video.”

105 | Owen Duff | One Word

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:One Word is off of prolific U.K. songwriter and musician Owen Duff’s upcoming album Bed, which contemplates what it means not to be heterosexual and lead a “traditional life.” The track features whimsical folk soundscapes, warm layered vocals and twinkling ’70s inspired brass. A true adherent to the DIY ethos, Duff creates everything related to his music, from artwork to videos, as well as playing or programming nearly all of the instruments on his songs. He began learning piano at the age of four, picking up drums, guitar and a few other instruments along the way, eventually writing songs that blend influences from folk, ’60s chamber pop, electronica, film, TV scores and jazz.”

106 | Ghost Twin | Blue Sunshine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ghost Twin are a dark synth-pop duo from Winnipeg who combine roaring synth lines, dirty pulsing bass, dreamy guitar, and a haunting vocal dichotomy where baroque meets industrial. Blue Sunshine is one of the darkest they have written. Singer Karen Asmundson writes, “While this track was written pre-pandemic, and reflected our feelings about how world events were progressing, it feels especially timely right now. Blue Sunshine is a love song for the planet earth from the point of view of the human race as it’s repentant abuser. It’s a nihilist pop anthem for a world on fire. The perspective of the lyrics is essentially, ‘Well, we’ve destroyed everything to the point of no return, I guess let’s just try to make the best of our current reality instead of wallowing in regret.’ ”

107 | Tash Hills | Come On

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer/songwriter Tash Hills has just released the funky and upbeat Come On. With a beat produced by frequent collaborator George Holliday, it is a modern twist on Tash’s classic nu-funk style. It rides in on an EQ sweep, a disco-house beat and clean synth lead the ensemble, ornamented with feel-good horns, fresh guitar licks and manipulated samples. The vocals are strong and extremely catchy, telling a clear story. “The song is about being cheated on, but always remembering that you’re a queen no matter what life throws at you!”

108 | Akeel | I’m Solid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A five-person group from Vancouver formed in 2019, Akeel have been working hard on tightening their sound. They are a unique group — four out the five members sing, which can be heard in their distinctive, full sound. I’m Solid is Akeel‘s first release.”

109 | Malone The Chemist | Lisoleil

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ontario hip-hop artist Malone the Chemist’s Lisoleil features a cavernous, ominous beat amidst suavely entrancing vocals. “This song was produced by my buddy Josh Milligan and I wanted to take a somewhat cold approach to it,” he says. Malone the Chemist is a 23-year-old artist from Mississauga who has a passion for making music. He specializes in blending the old aspects of hip-hop with the new — from his flows to his production you’ll always hear something interesting. His main influences are Lupe Fiasco, Outkast and Isaiah Rashard.”

110 | Maddox Jones | Can’t Wait For The Summer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A breezy and bittersweet ode to simpler times and an excited look forward to better prospects, Can’t Wait For The Summer captures in song our collective desire to escape the trials and tribulations of the past year stuck in the isolating pandemic and focus in on carefree summer days once again. Maddox Jones’ latest single sees the British singer-songwriter reminiscing about romantic memories over a vibrant palette of guitar, synths and vocal harmonies, as he recalls “dreaming the day away into an 8-track recorder, wishing you were mine.” Masterfully bringing together a carefree pop vibe with subtle notes of nostalgia, Jones is helping push lockdown.”

111 | Lhasa Petik | Here And Gone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Lhasa Petik has released her alluring single Here and Gone. The Winnipeg artist has cultivated a sonic essence with her raw lyricism and enveloping melodies that make her a unique contemporary in the realm of bedroom pop. Lhasa notes: “When I was writing Here and Gone, there was a point where all of my insecurities and fears were coming true. As someone who always needs change and excitement, routine is one of my biggest fears, but being stuck at home has forced me to sit with my thoughts. I’ve had to take a step back and appreciate life and relationships for what they are without all the crazy parties and travelling. Instead of avoiding the lows or turning to vices to cope I’ve been forced to appreciate them for what they are. I’ve started to realize that you can’t appreciate the highs without the lows, the same way that we value life because it doesn’t last forever.”

112 | Alex McArtor | Baby Don’t Cut Your Hair For Anyone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Texas singer-songwriter Alex McArtor released Baby Don’t Cut Your Hair For Anyone, a single from her upcoming EP Welcome to the Wasteland, due June 25. It’s an all-embracing anthem of inclusivity, gently offering encouragement to anyone who feels painfully stifled in their self-expression. McArtor said, “It’s about self-acceptance and unconditional love for oneself and others. Musically, I wanted the song to sound like the end of a hero’s journey, the final scene of the movie in my mind which is why strings were such a focus on this track. It’s finally taking the step to find and have the realization of freedom from within and explore this life on your own terms without the fear and judgment from everything that traps you. This song is about freeing yourself from the Wasteland, physically or within one’s mind. Leaving the illusionary dome where your suffering is, in other terms, leaving high school hahah. :)”

113 | Owen Denvir | My World

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Owen Denvir’s imaginative EP trilogy is coming to a close with the final EP Bones. Out May 7, it will comeplete his Sticks, Stones & Bones album. To coincide with the announcement, he released the single My World. Owen says: “The album and EP trilogy idea is based on Sigmund Freud’s theory that personality is a sum of three parts: the Id (acting on raw impulse), the Ego (being terrified of consequences) and the Superego (the balance between the two). My World holds a lot less hope to it than the overall sound of it suggests. It’s a culmination of sayings and traits either my friends or I have shared in the panic before realising you’ve been dumped.”

114 | Hand Made House | Like The Weather

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hand Made House are coming back with a modern take on what it means to be a pop band. From modern rock to soft pop, HMH bring raw honesty and authenticity to each genre that is mixed into their sound. Lifelong friends Tucker Click and Josh Nardine (lead vocals and drums, respectively), Maison Thomas-Eudy (guitar/vocals) and Amin Mortada (guitar/vocals) have worked hard to create a sense of camaraderie between themselves and their fans. They say: “I remember moving to California and trying to write joyful songs still, and then telling Amin and Josh ‘I’m not happy, and I feel like I’m lying trying to write songs that feel happy.’ This song was a culmination of a lot of pent up feelings and a lot of soul searching. I wanted the song to feel like the waves of emotion that I was dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”

115 | Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez | 40 Days

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez is a singer/composer in Brooklyn. With a sound rooted in jazz and R&B, the songwriter invites us into her unique sonic world with harmonic nuance and lyrical poetry. Raina’s cross-genre style is built from the bottom up. With improvisation as a starting point for her songs, Raina draws on her emotionality and leans into her perception of the world around, uncovering hidden depths within daily life and articulating personal truth with vulnerability and bravery. Songwriting is her way of processing and understanding life in all its complexity. Her latest single 40 Days is a subtly complex story about a struggle to let go.”

116 | Shem Thomas | Miracle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Miracle, Shem Thomas sings about the beauty and diversity of life. He tells of the little wonders that are right in front of us; the sparkle of a lake, the smell of the forest in the early morning, being together with friends, feeling understood, walking, writing, laughing. All the simple self-evident things that change into miracles when we manage to put our preconceived notions aside and bring out the unspoiled sight of our inner child. In Miracle, not only Shem’s vocals, but also his lust for production — which has ignited over the last three years — is remarkable. The more you listen to the song, the more you appreciate his great attention to detail. He manages to combine strong songwriting with contemporary sounds. Shem’s voice is cloaked in a modern sound here, yet, as with all his songs, it remains the organic thread that guides us.”

117 | Satsang | I’m The One

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:I’m the One is our new single. This is a song I wrote about my wife and I falling in love 11 years ago under the sun of the Beartooth Mountains. It was an unlikely love story that many didn’t think would work. But here we are. Still in love and still in the Beartooths.”

118 | Running Lights | Won’t You Stay

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rising pop band Running Lights have released Won’t You Stay, an uplifting track that is an anthemic yet altogether whimsical take on the idea of spending the night. Won’t You Stay is a celebration of innocent youthful spirit and the thrill of finding yourself in unexpected good company, the type that makes you want to spend as much time as possible together in a race against the sunrise. Tomorrow might be a new day, but for now, tonight is all we have. This anthemic yet relatable indie sound is for anyone who’s lonely and yearning for human connection, even if it means simply watching TV and falling asleep together.”

119 | Amai Kuda et Les Bois | Ecouché

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Amai Kuda et Les Bois share their fluid song Ecouché. The piece is sonic magic — a spell for healing — and is the first single from the upcoming album EmUrgency!, to be released on May 20.Amai says: “EmUrgency! is born from my ongoing journey as a woman of African descent working to reclaim my Indigenous cultural knowledge and to support my community in doing the same. The album speaks to the struggles, wisdoms, and joys of walking this unconventional path, a path guided by ancestors and orishas, to come into my power as mother, healer, warrior and griot. There is urgency in the emergence process, because it is, in fact, a matter of survival.”