Indie Roundup | 112 Songs To Keep You On The Hook All Weekend (Part 1)

Wild Powers, Waagal & Dätcha Mandala, Johnny Mafia are kicking things off.

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Wild Powers burn rubber, Waagal & Dätcha Mandala kick out the jams, Johnny Mafia make you an offer you can’t refuse, Neumatic Parlo try to creep you out — and as always, there’s so much music in today’s Weekend Roundup that it’s scary. Hang on, we’re going in:

 


1 | Wild Powers | Trans Am

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Wild Powwers are a dynamic trio who come from the dark, dank corners of a basement in Seattle. Throughout their several years relentlessly writing and touring as a band, they have grown their sound using the vastly different influences in their lives. They are often challenging themselves to write something completely different from the song before, and their upcoming album What You Wanted is the best representation of who they are and what they bring to the table yet. Produced by Sam Bell, What You Wanted runs the gamut from straight-up punk rock to strangely beautiful psychedelia. Cathartic angular rock intersects with gorgeous, shimmering melancholy and the many melodic shades in between. Showing a wide array of influences skillfully blended into a sound all their own; this album is a beautiful journey. Honest, raw, and relatable — and what you wanted.”


2 | Waagal & Dätcha Mandala | Ājñā

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “French heavy rock outfit Dätcha Mandala and world multi-instrumentalist Waagal are merging powerful and mystic rock with traditional beats in the live video Ājñā. Dätcha Mandala’s music blends stirring heavy blues, high-voltage riffs, political and philosophical themes and Robert Plant-esque vocals. They recorded Ajna with stunning world-fusion artist Waagal, who offers an incredible performance, playing simultaneously didgeridoo, handpans, kashaka and kalimba. The result is an hybrid ritualistic rock highlighted by a bold electronic-like stomp. Dätcha Mandala explain: “Always looking for new artistic collaborations, Waagal first imagined his handpans and didgeridoo blended with Dätcha Mandala’s distorted guitars, hectic drums and vocal flights. So was born Ājñā, meaning the third eye chakra, which is the sixth primary chakra in the body according to the Hindu tradition. The third eye chakra is said to connect people to their intuition, give them the ability to communicate with the world, or help them receive messages from the past and the future.”


3 | Johnny Mafia | Trevor Philippe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Johnny Mafia just released a new single taken from their upcoming third album Sentimental. Trevor Philippe is available today, along with a new video.”


4 | Neumatic Parlo | Nicolas Winding Refn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sometimes I feel like I’m in a movie.” The new Neumatic Parlo single Nicolas Winding Refn ignites a paranoid scenario that could arise from the films by the same Danish cult director. Gloomy lyrics meet tender melodies and sprawling soundscapes.Düsseldorf’s Neumatic Parlo play sometimes-gentle, sometimes-psychedelic indie-rock while sounding like a love triangle between Yo La Tengo, The Cure and Ty Segall. Nicolas Winding Refn is the second release off the Random Toaster EP, which will be released May 14. In the video by Nils Ladevick, leading actress Paula Luy drifts into a ghostly demi-world. The anxiety becomes almost palpable when Göttler’s nervous vocal line lies over a rumbling drum kit and is literally overrun by a wall of guitars and noise.”


5 | Butterfly Ali | Testimony

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Butterfly Ali returns with news of his debut EP Preacher’s Kid, alongside the single Testimony. Much like what we have heard from him so far, Preacher’s Kid looks to cement Ali as a bright and uplifting name on the neo-soul scene who takes cues from the classic funk and soul sound before filtering it through his own energetic lens. Testimony opens up the set and makes a bold statement about his influences. Inspired heavily by gospel and his religious background, he wears his flamboyant persona on his sleeve throughout this cut, inviting us into his world of bold and exciting sonic flavours. He says: “Testimony is quite literally a song about my life’s testimony. I wanted to write a song telling the devil that no matter how much he’s trying to quiet me and my call to share the love of God with people, I’m going to keep going. I wanted to write the song from the perspective of quieting the naysayers as well, in everyday life. People who tell you that you’re unworthy or you’re incapable of something you desire to achieve. Proving them wrong by doing just that.”


6 | Ade | Happy Birthday

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Awash with hazy synthesizers, invigorating drum loops and beatific brass samples, Happy Birthday is the perfect alt-pop track to mark the occasion. Evocatively described by Ade as “nostalgia whiplash,” it finds the artist coming to terms with his inner turmoils to emerge better, stronger and happier. Ade says: “Happy Birthday always felt to me like a proper ‘Track 1 introduction’ to the world of (the album) Midnight Pizza, which is really just my kind of jittery, overstimulated brain and all the s**t that swims around in it, so I knew the lyric would have to be personal. I kept singing ‘happy birthday, darlin’ ’ which I thought was very much not personal, but figured it was just a syllabic filler lyric that I would surely replace with something better. I couldn’t get it to go away, though, to the point of frustration and fatigue. Finally, on a walk around the East Village to cool off, still kind of at war with myself, I had this sudden moment of self acceptance — that I feel and am many contradictory emotional events at once, but that’s frickin life for ya.”


7 | José Mauro | Moenda

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Moenda is the second of three previously unreleased José Mauro tracks that will appear on next month’s reissue of A Viagem Das Horas. Under the vision of producer Roberto Quartin, Moenda was recorded in 1970 at Odeon Studios in Rio de Janeiro, and features the signature groove of the late great Brazilian drummer Wilson Das Neves, the stunning backing vocals of Mauro’s songwriting partner Ana Maria Bahania, and spine-tingling orchestration by the prolific arranger Lindolfo Gaya.”


8 | Liz Lawrence | Where The Bodies Are Buried

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Liz Lawrence shares Where The Bodies Are Buried, a raucous call to arms. Written during a heatwave, when people were stuck indoors and protests were breaking out all over the country, the track is a heavy, taut portrait of controlled chaos that fluctuates between melodic indie-pop and an explosive chorus.”The nation’s temper was boiling over,” she recalls. “It felt, for a moment, like the existing power structures might be coming down, and that was scary and exciting. All that horror and rage, but we were stuck inside, crashing against the domestic. It’s Carrie meets Corrie, basically,” she says.


9 | Low Hum | All I Know

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Low Hum share All I Know, the latest single from the forthcoming sophomore album Nonfiction. The song comes with a video directed by Taylor Brown and Brad Scott. All I Know, explains Collin Desha, the Hawaiian-born L.A. musician behind Low Hum, “explores unconditional love and how sometimes the things you love can be the most difficult landscape to navigate.” The song was also the first track recorded with the album’s co-producer Jon Joseph, and served to establish the tone for the whole recording process.”


10 | We Love Surf | What A Ride!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:We Love Surf return with the new single What A Ride!, which anticipates their fifth album to be released in October. “Ten years of guitar and drums, waves, kilometres and many friends all over Italy and Europe, all in the three minutes of What A Ride! We post this video shot with our friends’ phones, tours in Sardinia and abroad, images stolen from the network to recap a small part of our gigs, now close to 400. To remind us how beautiful it was but also how it will be again! We will come back to make you dance! We Love Surf love to play, and go to the seaside with a surfboard. We Love Surf are a rock ’n’ roll/beat/surf duo (voice/guitar and drums) that was born in 2010 to achieve the connection between surfing and music.”


11 | Jordsjø | Beitemark

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Norwegian prog duo Jordsjø are steeped in the traditions of the kind of Nordic prog that emerged during the last century, but that doesn’t mean that the music produced by multi-instrumentalist Håkon Oftung (Tusmørke, Black Magic) and drummer Kristian Frøland rests there. Far from it, because what Jordsjø have managed to do is take what was best from that era’s prog rock, and make it entirely their own by adding a folk-inspired twist to a plethora of interesting melodies. Two weeks from now on May 7, Jordsjø’s third full-length album Pastoralia will hit the streets. In the meantime, band and label have released Beitemark, another track from the album. Jordsjø say: “Beitemark is about nostalgia and the desire to gradually leave behind the monotony of daily life with its trivial chores, and to rise up into the starlit sky. On this song, we have actively used analogue Space Echo to give it an extra cosmic vibe in order to contrast the simple, down-to-earth depictions of local nature and the surging emotions of the final part of the song.”


12 | Slugs | I Could Do Better

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Slugs are a four-piece alt rock outfit out of L.A. featuring Marissa Longstreet (singer/songwriter/guitarist), Sarsten Noice (bass/vocals), Josh Beavers (lead guitar) and Dash Hutton (drums). Their latest tune I Could Do Better was inspired by a flight on a poor choice of airline. Working later with a friend, the song was written at a time when exploring the journey of sobriety gave the lyrics a deeper meaning. The song narrates wanting to find a way back to the blissful naivety of being a child, as well as the wonderful and complicated revelations and the highs and lows during the process of grounding. Longstreet shares: “I compared my carefree attitude as a child, finger painting an image of nothing, to the ‘I don’t care’ attitude of my 20s. I wrote this song as if it were an intervention on myself, and I was playing both sides. I wanted to find my way back to carefree innocence coming from a place of sinister repetition and complacency.”


13 | IDEK. | The Trek

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Utrecht experimental metal band IDEK. have released their live song The Trek, accompanied by a live video. The Trek is a prog metal experience written around the Nicolaï Church in Utrecht. The idea for this experience all started with the natural reverb the church has: Seven seconds long. The challenge: Write and perform metal music around this insane reverb. The result? Droning, deep guitar sounds, melancholic vocal leads and pumping drums, all accompanied by the gigantic organ inside of the church and an intense light show, giving the listener a unique experience they won’t soon forget. The Trek features live recorded audio and images from the experience.”


14 | Aman Jagwani | Now (ft. Ron Cha & Pritesh Walia)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Versatile electronic jazz fusion composer and producer Aman Jagwani released Now, the second single from upcoming album This Place. Now explores deep philosophical concepts and features the incredible vocals of Anuhba Kaul and Ron Cha (one of the most prominent pianists in India), along with a guitar solo by Pritesh Walia over warm layers of modern jazz, synth pop and electronica. Says Jagwani: “This song is about time and how it isn’t always one dimensional. The song personifies an ideal version of now and it urges the listener to reach out and look for that version of their present. It conveys that if things are not going well at a particular time, if one reaches out in whatever way they may choose, they will find their version of now or their version of reality that they want to be in. In this song, I have placed several same melodies with different harmony one after the other to indicate the feeling of there being an alternate version of that musical section or an alternate version of ‘now’. I have also added some metric modulations that stretch and compress the tempo to once again give the same feeling.”


15 | Demons | Full Stop

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Demons — the heavy, experimental project featuring Mae guitarist Zach Gehring — have delivered another thick slab of rock in the form of the song Full Stop, off the band’s upcoming album Privation, set for release April 30. Gehring says, “Full Stop is about, on the one hand, knowing what I’m angry about, but not knowing how to mobilize that anger and make it productive. Being in this wallowing state that is as frustrating as it is exhausting; on the other hand, it’s push back against empty sloganeered positivity. I remember seeing this post this friend of mine made one day about the power of ‘the spirit’ or something-or-other and I kind of recoiled. It just came off as very obtuse.”


16 | Pusher | I Can’t Believe It

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto electro-pop artist and producer Pusher drops the newest anthem for millennials everywhere with I Can’t Believe It, featuring keyboardist Danae Greenfield. Accompanied by a comedic video where Pusher enters a luxurious fantasy world of mansions and money from his van in a parking lot, the track takes a lighthearted approach to the often burdensome topic of breaking into today’s housing market. Pusher says, “I Can’t Believe It is a very fun song about not being able to afford a house, and feeling behind where I thought I’d be in life. I was mostly thinking of how astounding it is that my parents were able to buy a big house with an acre of land for like $80k in the ’90s, while I was sharing a 650-sq-ft concrete condo at the same age. The real enemy is capitalism and my weapon of choice is this funky bop.”


17 | Results Of Adults | Gas Station

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Results of Adults are based in Birmingham, Alabama, and consist of Tym Cornell on vocals, guitar, piano, and an endless assemblage of noise-making devices; his creative partner and wife Merry Bee Cornell on bass; and Mark Beasley on drums and percussion. Formed in 2006, they have spent the last decade and a half concocting their own alternative history of psychedelic pop where altered states of consciousness, a Southern outsider folk art tradition, and well-crafted, irresistible songwriting lay happily side by side. Following their first two official releases, The Dreamer and Nudis Manibus, they now arrive at their exemplary new piece of Southern-tinged underground psychedelia. Recorded between 2018 and 2020, Interstellar Peach Delight is a more focused and mature work, and the band’s sound feels more cohesive. Shining brighter and bolder than before, it is perhaps a newly found sense of refined direction that provides sonic actualization for all their polychromatic ideas.”


18 | Scott Matthews | Wait In The Car

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:New Skin. It’s not just a title. It’s a state of mind, an accurate summation of the position in which Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Scott Matthews finds himself with the release of his seventh studio album on May 14. The man who specialises in conveying the emotional complexities of love and loss in sparse, warm-hearted acoustic songs has shed another skin. Reborn in a new guise, circumstances have forced fundamental reinvention. Second single Wait In The Car explores the human fear of nothing lasting forever, while portraying a euphoric energy that drives the listener into feeling they can break free. With its soaring synthesizers and ambient electric guitars resonant of Cocteau Twins, the emotional resonance and driving energy of Wait In The Car, will inhabit a place in every soul as Matthews masterfully interlaces melancholy and euphoria.”


19 | Light By The Sea | Eleanor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Light By The Sea are a musical journey that wasn’t planned, but was meant to be. Born during the quarantine times, this project is the lovechild of Eszter Anna Baumann and Davy Knobel, whose music consists of rock, avant garde and folk music elements with a catchy pop vibe. Getting inspirations from their musical role models — Dead Can Dance, U2, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Phil Collins, Clannad, Fleetwood Mac and The Dandy Warhols — they map a unique sound of self-discovery and self-realization in their artistic realm. Eleanor is a ghost story of a forgotten woman telling her story in a forgotten sound.”


20 | Azure Ray | Bad Dream

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Azure Ray shared Bad Dream, the band’s latest single from their forthcoming album Remedy, out June 18. The band say: “Bad Dream is our summer jam. It is more of an exhale; a drive with the windows down song. All of the songs on Remedy were written during the pandemic, so they all have elements of the struggles we faced this past year. Bad Dream combines these anxieties but traces them through our past, questioning how our subconscious state of mind dictates our decisions. We chose Remedy as the title track for our new record because we felt like it spoke to our collective experience of the last year (when this record was written and recorded). Many of us experienced grief, anger, isolation, and fear, and in those times when you can’t find solace in your usual places, you have to look for it on the inside. In the end, you are your own source of power, your own source of hope. ‘You’re a remedy, or there’s none.’ ”


21 | Charm Of Finches | Treading Water

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Treading Water is the new single from Australian eclectic chamber-folk sister duo Charm of Finches. The single is a part of their upcoming album set for release later this year. Treading Water captures the bittersweet reminiscing of a relationship that was mutually ended. The journey takes the listener across the city of Melbourne, while navigating across the trickier emotional terrain as they transition from lovers to friends. The song features tender layered vocals, dreamy melodies, and creative instrumentation that is soul-bearing, immersive, and fluid.”