Indie Roundup | 35 Songs To Frizzle Your Nizzle For Shizzle This Monday (Part 1)

Start the week with Mannequin Pussy, Bikini Beach, Brendan Daughterty & more.

Mannequin Pussy are flawless, Bikini Beach wait patiently, Brendan Daugherty shares some good drugs, Subterranean Masquerade come up for air — and you might need to catch your breath after all the thrills, chills and spills of your latest Monday Roundup. So, based on Halle Berry’s hair at the Oscars, I can only presume she lost some sort of bet.


1 | Mannequin Pussy | Perfect

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia indie-punk band Mannequin Pussy share Perfect, the title track from their upcoming EP out May 21. Perfect comes out of months of social isolation and Internet-fueled anxiety, examining the practice of condensing your daily life into a manicured stream of images for social media. “Last year, I found myself spending more time on my phone than I ever had in my life. Physically separate from other people, I spent hours of time watching other humans perform on my rectangle. I realized that through years of social media training, many of us have grown this deep desire to manicure our lives to look as perfect, as aspirational as possible,” explains vocalist/guitarist Missy. “We want to put ourselves out there, share our lives, our stories, our day to day — and these images and videos all shout the same thing: ‘Please look at me, please tell me I’m so perfect.’ It’s simultaneously a declaration of our confidence but edged with the desperation that seeks validation from others.”

2 | Bikini Beach | Until The Fuzz Takes Us

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2020, Bikini Beach released their album Atoll in the midst of a world crisis — and basically offered a soundtrack for the current situation. Although touring and everything are kind of put on hold, the threesome from Konstanz didn’t stop being productive. The result is their upcoming new EP Until The Fuzz Takes Us, which will be released on May 14.”

3 | Brendan Daugherty | Cocaine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cocaine is a song about an LGBT love triangle between two people and cocaine. The style of the song is specifically written as if it were a collaboration between Johnny Cash and Amy Winehouse, with his rhythm of storytelling guitar and her blunt, witty lyrics. Cocaine is pop but it crosses genres like Old Town Road. Like any country song, it does end in heartbreak. The percussion of the track is covertly ambient — sounds of cocaine use like jingling keys, tapping credit cards, the shaker sound of an amplified bag of powder close to the mic. The lyrics are surprising, fun, intellectual and secretly devastating… like cocaine.”

4+5 | Subterranean Masquerade | Live At Progspace Festival + Nomad

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mountain Fever is the dynamic fourth LP from Israeli progressive metal outfit Subterranean Masquerade. With the new record less than three weeks away, footage from the band’s recent festival performances has been made publicly available. In December, Subterranean Masquerade appeared as one of the headlining acts for Progspace’s international holiday virtual festival event, where they performed a 20-minute set including the first live performance of the lead single from Mountain Fever, Ascend. Earlier this month, the band took part in the Japanese virtual Counter Corona Festival, where they performed the track Nomad.”

6 | Lyrics Born & Cutso | Anti

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I was called Chink, Gook, Jap, Nip, Slant-Eye, Fob, Chinaman, Immigrant, every day from age three until about 20 … and then it went to maybe every other day,” confesses Japanes-American rapper/actor Lyrics Born (real name: Tom Shimura) about his experiences with anti-Asian hate. Instead of standing silently while this discrimination and violence continues, he joined forces with Filipino-American musician/DJ Cutso for the incendiary and provocative single Anti. “Anti is a song I wish we never had to make. Unfortunately it was also the easiest to make,” he says. “Firstly, I think [the number of reported incidences] was always higher than what has been reported in the past because culturally and historically, we don’t snitch. Hateful rhetoric is such an everyday occurrence for Asian-Americans.”

7 | Zoka The Author x Lemzi | Know Anyone?!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Keeping the momentum going following the release of his double single last month, emerging artist Zoka The Author drops the video for his new heater Know Anyone?! alongside fellow artist Lemzi. Exuding confidence and capturing the attention of listeners from the start, his rhythmic flow and lyrical prowess is evident against the bouncy production, as he speaks on overcoming the setbacks of 2020 to go on to have a positive 2021. Making his presence known on the scene since 2017 and garnering the support of tastemakers and radio alike, Zoka The Author’s fusion of hip-hop and poetry sets him aside from his peers.”

8 | Void Inn | Dead Of Night

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dead Of Night is taken from Void Inn’s new album End This Game, which was released last October. The video was filmed by Branislav Pecaranin Bandzi and edited by Rebi. Void Inn are wearing costumes designed by Ugrcic. Void Inn wanted to present a current covid-19 situation by recording a video for Dead Of Night inside of an empty theatre.”

9 | Thundermother | You Can’t Handle Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Thundermother have released the video for You Can’t Handle Me, from their album Heat Wave Deluxe Edition, to be released May 21. Whether with the lyrics or the arrangements, Thundermother’s heart and mind are in the details. The result: The sophisticated version of an AC/DC-meets-Motörhead sound, with fresh, modern hard rock elements, accompanied by a full ’70s groove. The songs deal with the whole spectrum of life, from love ballads to blues pieces to party smashers. With her blues-soaked voice, charismatic frontwoman Guernica Mancini gives the songs a unique touch.”

10 | Esther Rose | Good Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Strutting into frame at half-speed in a leather jacket and wind in her hair, Esther Rose physically embodies the breezy feeling of the song she’s singing in her video for Good Time. The third single from her recently released How Many Times, Good Time is about, in Rose’s words, “embracing recklessness and laughing at myself while at the same time being damn scared because it felt like my life was blowing up all around me,” and throughout the video, there’s a little bit of all of that. “We only had one day to shoot so timing was everything. We brought in some all-stars and old friends who helped us make it happen. This video was powered by homemade banana bread and the Santa Fe hometown network.”

11 | Lumière | Amitié Déchue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Less than three weeks before the unveiling of his debut album A.M.I.E.S.A.M.O.U.R., Lumière presents an acoustic version of the song Amitié Déchue, filmed in a snowy field and amplified by a choir sung by fourth grade students. Through this charming performance, we learn something about Étienne Côté, to whom we owe Lumière; name, that he’s an elementary school music teacher. Amitié Déchue is the third single off his upcoming album, out May 14. With its flourishing, imaginative lyrics and bouncy piano notes, the song seems joyous, but tells a story of friendship filled with resentment and uneasiness. The emotion in Lumière’s voice accentuates his misery, as do the country-tinged guitars (which are a nod to Paul & Linda McCartney).

12 | John Smith | Hold On

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Among a series of gorgeously framed shots of a foggy Welsh countryside, singer, songwriter, and revered guitarist John Smith materializes into view just in time to sing the first lines of his song Hold On. The video was dreamt up as an ode to Hiraeth, a Welsh word without a direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter likens it to “a homesickness tinged with grief and sadness over the lost or departed” — an unparalleled companion to Smith’s words and music. “Their concept of an ode to Hiraeth married perfectly with the message of the song,” he says of the video team. “I was delighted to get out into the peaks of North Wales for the day. Late in the afternoon, the mist crept over the mountaintop, enshrouding us completely; it was as though Mother Nature herself had decided to direct the shoot.”

13 | Paul Luc | Just Sing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “An uplifting song for the current times and keeping your head up however you can, Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Paul Luc’s Just Sing came about with the impending closing of one of Luc’s favorite local venues in the midst of an extremely difficult year. “I started going to all-ages shows as a teenager and it always felt like magic or that the world let me in on a secret,” Luc says. “And now, performing around the country, I feel it when walking in the footsteps of other musicians and when I see the history of a club in the scrawls on a green room wall. These are special places that create unexpected connections and real community. And of course, I want to see our venues protected so others can be inspired and experience that magic too, whether from the crowd or on the stage.”

14 | Starset | Infected

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Starset have released the new transmission Infected. The song was assembled to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the globally renowned Arknights video game, which is set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future.”

15 | Arkets | Elsewhere

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Arkets are back with a new album named Dark Light, 10 tracks of alternative pop-rock. With Dark Light, Arkets presents a highly emotional album with two sides in it: The first side treats serious subjects with positive vibrations. The melodies and harmonies are beautiful, reaching different esthetics like progressive rock, jazz, or touching acoustic moments. The other side integrates a darker universe with a rougher, energetic interpretation, tackling eclectic subjects like sex dependence, death, and even a chase by the Minotaur in his maze.”

16 | Nuclear Winter | Wild Side

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Zimbabwean one-man metal band Nuclear Winter released a cover of Mötley Crüe’s Wild Side. The project is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Gary Sautmeister. He says: “Wild Side was always one of my favourite Mötley Crüe songs, and after finishing the recording of my Greystone album, I thought it would be fun to give that song a try. Also, it was interesting on the vocals, because I realised it required more attitude to get it across than how I was generally doing clean vocals. I certainly can’t compete with Vince Neil, but doing it was a good learning exercise. I also experimented with adding more synths and making the track more industrial but it just felt better not to add unnecessary stuff to it.”

17 | Sojourner | Perennial

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melancholic black metal outfit Sojourner pave the way for their next chapter with their the mini-EP Perennial, to be released on June 4. Today, the maestros of levitating bleakness have unveiled a captivating piece of art: The bewitching hymn Perennial, featuring new vocalist Lucia Amelia Emmanueli. Vocalist Emilio says: “Perennial very much follows the thread of nature and its loss at our very own hands. This theme was prevalent in several songs on our first album, so it made sense to revisit that. The vocals were meticulously worked on with Lucia to make sure that every single word worked in its tone and placement.”