Indie Roundup | 44 Songs To Take You Higher This Tuesday (Part 2)

My Beautiful Suicide, Helloween, Vaneno and other acts kicking it into second gear.

My Beautiful Suicide deliver a dark reckoning, Helloween crash and burn, Vaneno head out on the highway, The DamNNation get apocalyptic, Yautja are simply spectacular — and they’re far from alone in another top-shelf Indie Roundup. Hope a little metal won’t harsh your buzz.


16 | My Beautiful Suicide | The Reckoning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grand Rapids’ My Beautiful Suicide have a video for the single The Reckoning. Dark and gritty, the band pay homage to ’90s industrial and goth with this electronic rock song that boasts a danceable beat and lyrical themes about rising up and overcoming the things that beat you down. The man behind the project, Ian D., shares his thoughts: “I chose The Reckoning to be the first single because it’s catchy, dark, heavy, and has some cool vocals on it. It will be track 5 on the record, I believe, so it’s almost in the middle of the concept/story being told, but as a stand-alone track I think it’s a good introductory track into the sound that is My Beautiful Suicide.” The video was shot completely in Ian D.’s house during the pandemic. Taking advantage of free time, he wrote and put together the ideas for it in one night, and Jon Conner of A Hole in the Head Productions helped bring it to life.”

17 | Helloween | Skyfall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Helloween have released Skyfall, the first single from their self-titled album arriving June 18. Written by Kai Hansen and accompanied by an eye-popping video, Skyfall is a storming, seven-minute ride into the Helloween universe (and beyond!) The epic track describes an alien landing on earth and a dramatic chase while Michael Kiske, Andi Deris and Kai Hansen duel in a breathtaking manner and create a vocal broadband adventure. Produced by Martin Häusler, it is the most elaborate video clip in the history of the band. Shown with 3D animation and having a cinematic look, this video is a real high-end experience.”

18 | Vaneno | Nightrider

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vaneno are the outcome of a journey that started in 2017 with the band’s humble beginnings — three friends that wanted to jam together. Struggle Through Absurdity marks the debut EP for the Portuguese band. The sonic identity consists of strong sludge influences, mixed with elements reminiscent of stoner and even some that may at brief times fall under the doom and death territory.”

19 | The DamNNation | Apocalypse

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Brazilian metal band The DamNNation released the live video for the single Apocalypse, from their EP Parasite. Apocalypse brings a new and extremely heavy sound, a different style within the extreme metal  that is difficult to classify. The DamNNation are in the studio recording their debut album, which is being produced by the renowned Rogério Oliveira (who also worked on the EP Parasite) and Martin Furia (Nervosa, Eskröta and BARK) and will be released this year.”

20 | Yautja | The Spectacle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville underground trio Yautja release their new album The Lurch on May 21. Recorded by Scott Evans at Steve Albini’s legendary Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, The Lurch amalgamates metal, punk, and noise rock into a ferocious hybrid that has propelled the band from the obscurity of the American South onto the international stage. Today, Yautja share the official visualizer video for The Spectacle. “We’ve got our bubble of friends and artists and businesses, but you drive 30 minutes out of town, and you see confederate flags or people wearing T-shirts that say Redneck Lives Matter,” bassist/vocalist Kayhan Vaziri explains, “so there’s a lot of frustration there, and some of the lyrics pertain to that.”

21 | Eternal Struggle | Manifesto / Point One

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Every so often, something so familiar but so fresh emerges from the pack of heavy music. Israel’s Eternal Struggle are just that band. Reminiscent of the early 2000’s hardcore/metal crossover boom, Eternal Struggle have amassed a heavy arsenal of tracks on their full-length debut Year Of The Gun. It comes out June 4. Produced by Brian “Mitts” Daniels (Madball, Skarhead) and mastered by Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, Suicide Silence, The Haunted), Year of the Gun is a sonic barrage of aggressive familiarity that is sure to get your blood pumping.”

22 | The Tølks | Escape

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Escape is a tribute to AC/DC and Deep Purple from The Tølks. The dynamics of the song are reminiscent of the golden-age songs of those bands, where a motorcycle crashes through a scorching desert. The song scrapes a memorable riff on the side of smooth rockenroll. The song confuses the listener, as the initial assumption of a criminal fleeing a crime scene changes from side to side as the singer goes through an inner inferno. The end result remains to be guessed by the listener. Despite the darkness of the words, the song proclaims: “Only the riff matters.”

23 | Kojaque | Town’s Dead

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Little will prepare you for Kojaque’s debut album Town’s Dead (out June 25). It’s an expansive and urgent tour-de-force that speeds headlong into sex, violence, depression, and the claustrophobia of your hometown. In this landmark project, Kojaque documents a tumultuous love triangle that unfolds across New Year’s Eve, with results that are as cinematic as they are deeply personal. “Town’s Dead comes from the potential that I see in Dublin and in the people I’m surrounded by day in and day out. There’s nothing but talent and ambition among young people, I’m constantly reminded of that through the art and music that I see being made but I think so often the city grinds you down, it takes your hope and your ambition … The title track and the album is a fight against what can sometimes feel inevitable, it’s a rejection of what people tell you is your destiny as a young person in the city. Town’s NOT dead, it’s just dormant.”

24 | Leftover Salmon | Boogie Grass Band

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For over 30 years, Leftover Salmon have been one of Colorado’s most beloved musical exports, picking up where bands like Little Feat, The Band and The Grateful Dead left off and distilling the music into their own potent brew of bluegrass, rock ’n’ roll, folk, Cajun, soul, zydeco and jazz and blues. Today, the band share their version of Boogie Grass Band, a 1978 hit for Conway Twitty. “This old Conway Twitty song was recommended for the band by our friend Ronnie McCoury years ago,” Leftover Salmon co-founder Vince Herman says. “It speaks to where we sit on the musical spectrum. We love country, bluegrass and rock music and like to do them all at the same time! This song acknowledges that while taking it taking it in a uniquely Salmon direction.”

25 | Miranda Joan | Ruined

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ruined is the new single from Canadian soulful pop singer-songwriter Miranda Joan. The intimate and honest song speaks to the vulnerability of a young woman’s very first experience in a physical relationship, and the grey area where a person can get lost between the blurred lines of intimacy and love; of affection and connection. “Over the years I’ve come to learn what a common thing humiliating sexual experiences are for most people and especially for women. I know I’m not the first woman who has felt used after sex.” Ruined is a single off of Joan’s forthcoming album Windborne, which is set for release in late August.”

26 | Amy Angel & The HellRaisers | Why?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Jan. 6, Amy Angel and Tony Lourenco turned on the news and watched the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The next morning they came up with their latest track, Why? It asks people why they insist on believing the lies they’re told, even at the expense of others’ lives. The new single from Amy Angel and the Hellraisers is a slight departure from their original cow-punk style and delves into an emotional space. Whilst their signature sound still cuts through in parts, Why? opens up a new musical direction for the band — one that shows vulnerability in reaction to the madness that occurred.”

27 | Alex Beraldo | Southern Heat

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It was exactly a year ago that Toronto musician and guitar builder Alex Beraldo released his album Freaktone Sessions to exactly zero fanfare, since it was right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Alex has decided to shine some light on his overlooked album by re-releasing the single Southern Heat, along with a new video filmed in his luthier workshop. “This song just kind of wrote itself one night,” says Alex. “At first it sounds like a nice love song about a girl, but I actually think the lyrics are quite selfish and petty in nature. I came by it honestly though, and I think that’s what makes it good.” Beraldo been making music since 2006 and describes his sound as “a uniquely weird take on folk, blues, rock n roll and country music. The music is catchy yet different, throwback but contemporary. Think John Prine trying to be Bob Dylan, but he hung out with Bradley Nowell. And he grew up on blues, punk rock and underground rap. In the ’90s.”

28 | James | Beautiful Beaches

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. alternative band James have released Beautiful Beaches, a new track from their forthcoming album All The Colours Of You, due June 4. A resident of Topanga Canyon for many years, Tim Booth wrote the lyrics of Beautiful Beaches in response to climate change migrations and the subsequent increasingly regular Californian fires bringing devastation to his community. It was inspired by a friend who lost his ‘fireproof’ home and had to flee for his life to the beaches, and a recurring vision Tim had last year of earthquakes and fires in California — a vision which resulted in his family packing up and leaving the Canyon. “We love how this song is so uplifting, focusing on new beginnings,” Tim says. “I like the idea that many might not know the backstory and hear it as a post-Covid holiday song! Praying that the lyrics don’t turn out prophetic.”

29 | Late Aster | The True & Toxic View

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “San Francisco Bay Area/Brooklyn quartet Late Aster released their latest single The True And Toxic View, the near title-track from their upcoming debut EP True and Toxic, due out May 2. The track weaves a duet of vocals bouncing along trumpets, which the band ran through a Moog Minitaur synthesizer, giving them a distinctive punch. “The song gets going right away featuring quirky, stylized trumpet tricks and nostalgic sound production. I was trying to achieve something like a Dave Longstreth/Dirty Projectors wild-guitar harmonic background as the bones of the song and let the vocals sit on top of that,” noted the band’s Aaron Messing.”

30 | White Hills | Now Manhattan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Trailblazing N.Y.C. art fuzz-rockers White Hills just released a video for their song Now Manhattan, a metamodern look at human existence in relation to technology and the architectural reshaping of a city. The music was largely inspired by the drone and roar of machinery pulsing through New York City, which is in a never-ending state of demolition and reconstruction. Now Manhattan is from the band’s recent album Splintered Metal Sky.”