Indie Roundup | 112 Songs To Keep You On The Hook All Weekend (Part 4)

Julia Bhatt, Chris Lane, John Borra, Aaryan, Musk Ox and more artists carry on.


Julia Bhatt is sweet on Amy and Valerie, Chris Lane is ready to take your place, John Borra re-enlists in the war, Aaryan is living his best life — and who wouldn’t be when they’re part of yet another incredible Weekend Roundup? Let the good times roll:


65 | Julia Bhatt | Valerie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I’ve missed the connection,” says genre-jumping indie artist Julia Bhatt about being isolated for so long due to the pandemic while recording/filming for the Sugarshack Sessions. For the session, Bhatt performed several original tracks as well as a cover of Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. Bhatt adds, “It was such a fun environment to film in. They don’t usually do covers! They allowed mine though … Oh, they also have some cute-ass cats!” Bhatt chose Winehouse’s Valerie as it was one of the first songs she ever really played in front of people. “Valerie is close to my heart and Amy Winehouse is as well. I really appreciate other people’s music, definitely more than mine, so I figured I should do it (if they allowed it, which they did!).”

66 | Chris Lane | Fill Them Boots

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chris Lane is ready to Fill Them Boots with his new single. A nice-guys-finish-first anthem with an endearing strut, Fill Them Boots is penned by Lane with Josh Miller, Ernest Keith Smith and Mark Trussell, and produced by ACM Producer of the Year nominee Joey Moi. Built around a homegrown pickup line and an organic, beats-and-twang flow, it’s a good-natured come-on that’s less about a quick step out, and more about the start of a new journey. “I wrote Fill Them Boots with three of my favourite songwriters in town,” shares Lane. “I had the idea for a long time, and I’m incredibly proud of the way it turned out. It makes me think of how my wife and I first met, so I hope it’s a song people can easily relate to as well.”

67 | John Borra | The Wars ’21

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It was only in January 2020 that John Borra released his critically acclaimed album Blue Wine, but for obvious reasons it already feels like a lifetime ago. Normally, the Toronto artist would have spent the past year playing his ragged-but-right alt-country across Canada. Instead, he adapted to promoting the album in new ways, mainly through honing his video skills. Now he’s utilizing his audio engineering chops by offering a new mix of one of Blue Wine’s standout tracks, The Wars. One of the three songs on the album co-written with award-winning poet Eva H.D., The Wars has special meaning for Borra. He explains, “We wrote this song after everything else was recorded and mixed, but I was able to record it just in time to get it on the record. Because of the rushed nature, I never felt it had been given its proper due so I thought I’d give it a new mix and release it as a single. I redid the bass but otherwise it’s the same song as on the record, just given a little extra love and attention it didn’t get the first time around.”

68 | Aaryan | Best Day Of My Life

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Aaryan Banthia releases his incredibly catchy, feel-good acoustic anthem Best Day Of My Life. Written and performed by Aaryan, the song is a glorious display of live instrumentation, with lead guitar plucking a virtuosic and catchy refrain and counter-melody. Live drums, acoustic guitar and bass fill up the texture, and the addition of a live sax towards the end fits perfectly and adds a bluesy element. Aaryan’s vocals are strong and shine through, completing the positive package he’s created. “Your first love is always the most special, though they say it doesn’t always last forever,” he explains. “Best Day of My Life is about a first love remaining strong till the end of time and how seeing each other for the first time was the best day of their lives.”

69 | Musk Ox | Memoriam

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian chamber-folk trio Musk Ox — featuring members of Leprous, The Night Watch and The Visit, among others — unveil their video for the single Memoriam. Say the band: “We decided to release Memoriam as the first single because this piece manages to blend the innocence of the debut with the atmosphere of Woodfall while representing the more focused nature of Inheritance. It’s a piece about honoring those we’ve lost while celebrating the cherished memories we keep close to our hearts. The album was engineered by our dear friend Dean Watson, who has worked on every Musk Ox album, while the beautiful video was filmed and edited by our close collaborator Andrew Robillard.”

70 | Big B & The Felons Club | Fire Burns Slow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Big B and his outlaw group The Felons Club have released the single Fire Burns Slow. The track was produced by Jim Perkins and mixed by Michael Bradford (Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker). The track features Doug Benson from Cash’d Out singing the hook.  The Felons Club are putting their own stamp on the classic outlaw sound, mixing elements of country, rock, and Americana. Their debut album Welcome To The Club also features a guest appearances by Everlast.”

71 | Flora Cash | Soul Mate

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A lot has changed for Flora Cash over the past few years: After spending 2018 and 2019 touring , the U.S./Swedish duo released their second album Baby, It’s Okay just prior to worldwide lockdown. So they decided to focus on creating new material while expecting a baby, the latest addition to the family band. Persisting with the pop vein that has delivered so much success of recent years, Flora Cash release Soul Mate, with a return to basics and simplicity in production to give a platform for the songwriting and lyrics that has yielded so much success. Cole’s lead, complemented by Shpresa’s soft backing vocals reoccurring throughout the song, creates a beautiful aural feast of a soft, yet dreamy acoustic guitar-led number, reminiscent of some of the duo’s early work. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, the insight and compassion carry a simple yet powerful message: Love is all that matters.”

72 | Unspoken Tradition | California

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “North Carolina’s Unspoken Tradition turn to the west with their newest single California. Where harmonized vocals have been a regular feature of their work, California focuses the spotlight entirely on guitarist Audie McGinnis, who forgoes his characteristically urgent vocal delivery in favor of a more nuanced, understated approach to convey the song’s wistful lyric about being “down on Lower Broadway with the California blues.” Says McGinnis: “I think we’ve all found ourselves wishing we could be in two places at once. For me, this song is about that. Maybe the narrator came to Nashville chasing a dream, but only realized what he’d left behind once he’d arrived. As a bluegrass musician, I also find this song interesting because it’s about someone wanting to head West to get back home. Most songs in this genre are about missing and longing for the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but this one paints a different image.”

73 | Sam Filiatreau | Wrecking Ball

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The genesis of Kentuckian Sam Filiatreau’s new record is one of chance and good fortune. A last-minute house show gig that just so happened to be in front of the right guys — Taylor Meier and Matt Vinson, who were on their way to AAA stardom with their band Caamp — led to a quick friendship and mutual respect which eventually landed Filiatreau the first spot on Meier’s new record label. All that to say, none of it would’ve happened if it weren’t for the sheer magnitude of Filiatreau’s songs and the way he sings them; a catchy blend of the lyricism of ’70s vinyl with the acoustic feel of Appalachian folk music. On June 1, Filiatreau’s self-titled debut album will be released to the world and a grand circle will be completed. Today he shares Wrecking Ball, an effortless indie-two-step which, in Sam’s words, “is a nod to the old time music I’ve always been so drawn to.”

74 | The Wandering Hearts | Dolores

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having ascended to the forefront of the U.K. folk/Americana scene with their debut album Wild Silence, The Wandering Hearts are set to make a wider impact with their upcoming self-titled second album, which will be released on July 30. Today they share a fresh taste of what to expect with the new single Dolores. It’s an emotionally charged acoustic lament in which The Wandering Hearts’ beautiful three-part vocal harmonies extend a timely message that no-one needs to suffer through their struggles alone — an important reminder at a time when trauma still isn’t widely discussed in society and as mental health services are struggling.”

75 | Q-Unique | Verrazzano Villains (ft. Cappadonna, Taking Back Sunday & DJ Eclipse)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Veteran New York lyricist and producer Q-Unique released his single Verrazzano Villains, featuring Cappadonna from The Wu-Tang Clan, Taking Back Sunday’s John Nolan and Adam Lazzara, and pioneering hip-hop radio DJ/producer DJ Eclipse. Verrazzano Villains is just a taste of what’s to come, as Q-Unique and production duo Red Right are currently working on an album.”

76 | Nigel Hall | Gotta Go To Work

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-winning soul provider Nigel Hall puts his skills to good use, carving out a creative space to call his own with his second album Spiritual, set to release May 14. Today, Hall releases his second single Gotta Go To Work. He states, “There is a Luther Vandross song called I’ve Been Working that I used to perform a lot. I love that song. I feel like this is my version of that song. DJ Harrison (Butcher Brown) and I wrote the song and it seemed fitting to do since we both worked a ton before COVID hit. It’s the story of a working musician’s life …”

77 | Naduh | Chapstick

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Naduh (nah-duh) — Taraneh (aka Tee Krispil), Jenny Lea (of Imur), Rosita Alcantara (of Off Topic), Giorgi Holiday (aka Giorgi), and Larisa Marie — write, engineer, and produce all of their music,  meaning they have crafted a sound that’s truly representative of their collective energy. With heavy influences from ’90s R&B, soul, and modern hip-hop, the self-proclaimed soft/hard music Naduh make is representative of their queer, femme/tomboy identities as they dance between themes of empowerment and juicy realness. Their new single Chapstick was produced by Taraneh and written by all five members. Flipping the script on the often-used line in male hip-hop – “I took your girl” — the crew wrote a queer rendition from the perspective of women having the power and energy to attract other women.”

78 | Michie Mee | Made It (ft. Tonya P.)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “More than three decades after dropping the groundbreaking album Jamaican Funk—Canadian Style, Canada’s Queen of Hip-Hop Michie Mee is releasing the first single and video from her latest album, Bahdgyal’s Revenge. The hard-hitting Made It, featuring R&B artist Tonya P., sees Michie delve into the day-to-day struggles which no one seems to be immune from escaping. But the track also rises above those issues to poignantly offer words of encouragement and highlights the importance of being persistent and patient. “The song speaks loudly to the next generation that’s coming up” says Michie. “But rather than focusing on the pessimistic side of life, I wanted to let them know how important it is to stand by their beliefs and their community and that they can make it through anything.”

79 | Olakira | Sere (ft. Zuchu)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Olakira builds the excitement towards his May-released EP 4play by dropping the first single Sere. Working with producers Simba Tagz, Drumatik and Sterryo, smooth pads wrap the song in a chilled vibe that permeates to the laid back and percussive Afrobeat rhythms and drums. Ornamented light-synth melodies sing along with Olakira’s playful vocals, and Zuchu’s feature is a beautiful changeup to keep it moving and add a romantic storyline to the piece. “It means Play in the Nigerian Language of Yoruba,” explains Olakira. “Sere is about inviting a love interest to come hang out and play.”

80 | Precious | Hey Boy (ft. Rotimi)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Precious is a rising R&B and pop star with the talent to match. Her newest single Hey Boy features Nigerian-American singer and actor Rotimi, known from his hit role on the show Power. The result of the two combining forces is the summer’s greatest dancehall hit! The eclectic, poetic bedroom-pop and R&B sounds will keep you dancing all night long.”

81 | Mighloe | Rainy Days

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The momentum continues for Mighloe ahead of her forthcoming EP Desperate Times, out June 1 to celebrate Black Music Month and Pride Month. Today the singer-songwriter shares Rainy Days. Produced by Late Night Drive and Dean Vision, Mighloe continues to provide a rich and honest soundtrack to our lives. This particular offering encourages listeners to unmask their humanity and find refuge and solace in the uncertainties of love. Mighloe says: “Rainy Days is about opening yourself up to requited love! A love that goes both ways. It’s sweet and sexy and drenched in obsession. It’s about begging for the rainy days, for the sorrows because in those desperate times, when we are weak; is where our love is the strongest.”

82 | Rebelution | Old School Feeling

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the most successful reggae groups of the 21st century, Rebelution, have announced the release of their seventh album In The Moment, out June 18. Today they release Old School Feeling, which celebrates the influential reggae music to which Rebelution’s songs have always paid homage.”

83 | Guacáyo | Outta Space

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “An insolent pop that meets reggae, dub, hip hop beats and which merges with indie … Guacáyo captivates with big bass and  charming arrangements. Outta Space is a new single from the next EP to be released in May. In this world, nothing is certain — not the weather tomorrow, nor our relations, nor our health. This is why you have to be sure of yourself, find comfort in yourself. Outta Space draws you into this inner space of peace and security which is in each of us. A burst of creativity that will shake you up.”

84 | David Cairol | Music

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the middle of the reggae universe in which David Cairol has the habit of making us travel in, stands a soft and melodious acoustic break. An ode to the music which, like a faithful companion of journey, guides us when we are alone and fills us with a joy to share when we are together. The vintage-like clip takes us on a road-trip around Jamaica, where the camera captures looks and bodies in motion, to the rhythm of the music. With Music, David Cairol pays a deserved tribute to this faithful companion with whom he travels and composes, according to his inspiration.”

85 | Jimkata | Hard Headed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jimkata’s latest single is Hard Headed. The song, which explores themes such as perseverance in the face of adversity, strength, and how sometimes being too stubborn to give up is a good thing, was inspired when singer Even Friedell learned more about soldiers who were drafted away from their loved ones to fight in the Vietnam War. This deeply resonated with him, and after such a challenging year for everyone, Evan states: “We’ve all had to make tough choices, have faith and find inner strength to make it through this.” The song features deep soulful vocals that effortlessly flow over courageous melody backed by their signature analog synths to create a flawless groove. The visuals were created by lighting designer and visual artist Greg Ellis and feature the band performing in an analog video giving off a psychedelic ’70s retro vibe. The single and accompanying visuals are off of their album Bonfires, set for release this summer.”

86 | Childe | You There

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ambient and experimental electronic pop connoisseur Childe has released his self-titled debut EP, alongside a video for lead single You There. The EP is an immaculate coming-of-age collection of vulnerable electro-pop comforts that found their inception while the artist was traveling across America. A transgressive and eclectic fusion of indie and electronica, the EP sees the introspective artist confront his relationship with trauma, lonerism, and addiction to destruction. You There showcases his most impressive delivery to date. He says: “It’s about searching for something real. It’s the story I told myself about how life would turn out, and then figuring out what to do when it doesn’t. It’s a reconciliation of that.”

87 | Jay Lewn | Boyfriend Part 2

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “London singer-songwriter Jay Lewn unveils another soul-dripping track in the lead-up to his EP Loverboy. With nostalgic lo-fi frequencies and deftly executed harmonies, Jay showcases his penchant for creating unique lyrical twists with a delicately tasteful R&B flare. Boyfriend Part 2 follows the success of his previous track Glitter Ain’t Gold. ”