Indie Roundup | 28 Songs That Won’t Drive You Insane This Tuesday

Nanowar Of Steel, Will Butler, Ellen Foley, Allergies and more acts to make your day.

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Nanowar Of Steel stick it to you in a fishy way, Paul Jacobs goes it alone, The Allergies could use your shoulder, Big Mother Gig raise the curtain, Crimson Riot pick up the pieces — and I haven’t even mentioned that Will Butler, Manchester Orchestra, Kool Keith and the return of Ellen Foley are also part of today’s outstanding Indie Roundup. Not bad for a Tuesday, if I do say so myself. And I do.

 


1 | Nanowar Of Steel | Der Fluch des Kapt’n Iglo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Parody metal aficionados Nanowar Of Steel previously made waves by retiring from metal and transforming into a pop boy band. Now they officially announce their metal comeback with the single and video for Der Fluch des Kapt’n Iglo (The Curse Of Captain Findus). The song is an homage to the all beloved fried fishsticks by Captain Findus, accompanied by speedy accordions and pirate vocals, and performed entirely in German by bassist Gatto Panceri 666! Gatto says: “We sailed long and hard throughout the seven seas to tell you the story of the most merciless, the most terrific, the most crispy and crunchy pirate that ever lived: Capitan Findus/Kaptn Iglo! Are you ready to fry a school of cod, grill some shrimps and roast a salmon with us on our quest for a treasure wrapped in golden breadcrumbs?”


2 | Paul Jacobs | Christopher Robbins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Three days before the release of his album Pink Dogs on the Green Grass, Paul Jacobs (also the drummer in Pottery) releases the single and opening track Christopher Robbins. The Montreal indie musician and visual artist also seizes the opportunity to unveil a new self-directed video. This time, he’s moved away from animation to use footage captured by Meagan Callen, who also plays in his band. Echoing Jacobs’ multifaceted nature, the video shows him multiplying and playing all the instruments present on the song, as he did when recording the album in his Rosemont apartment. Pink Dogs on the Green Grass is a deeply personal record on which Jacobs opens up about his experience in life through the lense of folk, pop, rock and psychedelic music.”


3 | The Allergies | Lean On You (ft. Dynamite MC)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Allergies come correct with the next single taken from their new album due later this year. Lean On You features the legend Dynamite MC, with some classic Allergies. Also be sure to take a look at the very cool video for Lean on You ‘by Dyna and the guys.”


4 | Big Mother Gig | My Unveiling

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Milwaukee-bred/L.A.-based indie-rock band Big Mother Gig present the video for My Unveiling, the latest single from their album Gusto, out Friday. “It’s almost like a coda to Gusto, or even a sequel,” frontman Richard Jankovich said. “Gusto is all about the struggle to become sober, and this track is about when it’s time to be reintroduced to your life. In my case, it was about unveiling my new self to my family and friends after making inroads in my recovery.”


5 | Crimson Riot | Shatter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hot on the heels of the Irish-inspired drinking anthem St. James Gate, Las Vegas punk power trio Crimson Riot have released the single and video Shatter. It’s a story about a one-sided relationship and trying to keep it together. A partnership is usually 50/50 but it isn’t always that way, sometimes finding yourself giving more than the other party. If you’re not careful, it could leave you feeling empty and shattered, like a broken vessel that has lost its contents.”


6 | Hiatus Kaiyote | Red Room

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-nominated Melbourne group Hiatus Kaiyote share a song and video from their album Mood Valiant, out June 25. Written in an act of spontaneous composition, Red Room was born out of a bass-and-drum groove by band members Paul Bender and Perrin Moss when the group went to Rio De Janeiro in 2019 to work with legendary Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai. Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield shares, “My vocal booth had a red light in it, and I was thinking about my old house that had all this red-colored glass in it. When the sun set in my room at a certain hour my whole room was red.”


7 | Will Butler | Hard Times (Shiftee & Zak Leever’s Blood Rave Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Arcade Fire member Will Butler is sharing the Blood Rave remix of his Generations track Hard Times, created by Shiftee (who mixed the album) and Zak Leever. It arrives with a menacing video: working mostly with stock footage, Butler has directed a nightmarish commercial responding to the Sesame Street DoorDash Super Bowl ad. Here’s Butler on the song and its remix: “I love how Shiftee and Zak Leever took Hard Times and made it into something you can really picture Wesley Snipes killing vampires to. Shiftee and I live a block from each other but live in very different sonic worlds, and it’s really satisfying to have those worlds meet. The song itself was written before the pandemic, but this remix sure fits with how the last year has felt.”


8 | Island | My Brother

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “London’s Island have shared the single My Brother. The new track exemplifies the band’s ability to develop and build upon the dynamics of their shimmering, dulcet indie-pop sensibilities. My Brother combines expansive and evocatively effected guitars with atmospheric instrumentation, and a ruminative yet anthemic vocal, which leans into a theme of nostalgia that is at once poignant and sanguine. The band say: “My Brother is about wanting the best for someone that’s close to you who needs help, someone that needs to get out and see the world for what it can be, and escape from being stuck doing the same old things in life. It’s a plea for them to make that change, and the happiness that comes when they manage it.”


9 | Piroshka | Scratching At The Lid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Piroshka’s second album Love Drips And Gathers is due out on July 23. The album builds on the acclaim of the band’s 2018 debut LP Brickbat and the reputations of the former members of Lush, Moose, Elastica and Modern English. Today Piroshka share a video for Scratching At The Lid, directed by Connor Kinsey. After Brickbat explored social and political divisions with driving garage songs and dream-pop epics. Love Drips And Gathers follows a more introspective line, the ties that bind us, as lovers, parents, children, friends, to a suitably subtler, more ethereal sound, while still reveling in energy and drama. “If Brickbat was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” reckons vocalist/guitarist Miki Berenyi, formerly of Lush. “It wasn’t intentional; we just wanted a different focus. I’ve always seen debut albums as capturing a band’s first moments, when you really have momentum, and then the second album is the chance for a more thoughtful approach.”


10 | Manchester Orchestra | Telepath

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Manchester Orchestra have released Telepath, the third and final preview of their new album The Million Masks of God, out this Friday. The song’s video — directed by Isaac Deitz, conceptualized by singer-guitarist, Andy Hull, and filmed in one long tracking shot — features dancers from ages 11 to 72 who trace the steps of a couple from young love through their autumn years. “Telepath is ultimately about the ebb and flow of life long commitment to another person. Recognizing that even the best relationships in our lives can have extreme ups and downs,” explains Hull. “At the end of the day, it’s those that we have chosen to love and, more importantly, those that have chosen to love us that truly matter. This is my attempt to further commit for the long haul.”


11 | Gone Gone Beyond | Coast

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “International four-part musical hybrid project Gone Gone Beyond have released a live, acoustic performance video of their harmonic single Coast. The video was filmed in Baja and features Sean Rodman of Moontricks on banjo. Coast will be featured on Gone Gone Beyond’s forthcoming full-length album 2030, out later this year. “A great song can be played many ways. Kicked up by about 20 bpm, this live performance version of Coast is a departure from the original, inspired by both the thrill of playing music together again and the magical scenery tucked away at the tip of Baja,” share the band. “This atmosphere inspired us to tap into a different energy which brought the song to life in a new way.”


12 | Wanderer | Contented

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Minneapolis crew Wanderer have completed work on their debut LP Liberation From A Brutalist Existence, finalizing the album for release in June. A video for the single Contented is now playing. Formed in late 2013, Wanderer deploy a caustic blend, drawing influences from bands like Converge, Cursed, The Chariot, Trap Them, Baptists, and Yautja to create a maelstrom of heavy, agile, and uncompromising metal/hardcore. The band entered the studio in August 2019 to record their debut album with new vocalist Dan Lee.”


13 | The Shape | Doctor Plague

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Connecticut metal band The Shape return with their first song since the release of the Deluxe Edition of The Impurity (…Of Gods, Monsters, Heroes, and Villains). Doctor Plague, written and recorded by Brian Almeida and Chris Carlino, is the first in a series of singles leading up to the band’s next full-length, The Age of Doom and Fear, scheduled for release later this year. Says singer-guitarist Almeida: “After working on this record for over 12 years, we are excited to share this with both our existing fans and new listeners. Doctor Plague is one of our best releases to date.”


14 | Evile | The Thing (1982)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This Friday will see British thrash metal heavyweights Evile release their studio album Hell Unleashed — the band’s first album in eight long years. Today, they offer a final preview — the thunderous track The Thing (1982). Intoxicating guitars build up to an unconditional, heavy storm of thrash metal as The Thing (1982) and its razor-sharp arrangement deliver another rousing aspect of Evile’s album. Bold cinematic influences merge with breakneck speed riffs and Ol Drake’s brutal, unyielding vocals. Ol Drake comments: “The third and final single from Hell Unleashed is not only based on my favorite movie of all time, but it’s a strong contender for my favorite song off the album. This track goes through so many cool changes, with frenetic vocals which mirror the subject matter.”


15 | Before & Apace | Ontogeny

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Saskatoon’s Before & Apace were created by Devin Martyniuk, who felt that there was an opportunity to blend the technical and programmatic aspects of music with the emotional. In lead up to the release of the heavy prog project’s debut album The Denisovan on May 11, the first single Ontogeny is streaming now. Ontogeny was named after Ernst Haeckel’s biological theory that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” — that the development of a person (from embryo to adult) mimics the evolution of our species (from simple, cellular beings to complex ones). Martyniuk explores this concept thematically and musically to illustrate how we are interconnected on many scales (the micro-and the macro) with our environment and with each other. He then incorporated these themes into the music by creating a main theme — the first riff of the song, repeated throughout — which was to be a microcosm of the song’s overall structure.”


16 | Sam I | Shake (Breakbot Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-nominated DJ, music producer, composer, music & film director Sam Spiegel, aka Sam I, has tapped remix royalty Breakbot for a steamy new version of Shake (ft. Phantom Planet’s Alex Greenwald). With Chic-infused guitars and a symphony of boogied-out synth work added to Spiegel’s initial hypnotic, slinking bassline, Breakbot’s remix transforms the original uplifting electro stomper into a seductive disco slowburner — arriving just in time for the sunny months ahead.”


17 | The Crayon Set | Don’t Step Back Too Far

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt-pop outfit The Crayon Set return with their dazzling single Don’t Step Back Too Far, taken from their forthcoming album Downer Disco. Hailing from Dublin, The Crayon Set are a band that specialise in addictive, hook-filled pop. Don’t Step Back Too Far is a mesmerising, motivational track that combines the group’s sunny sound with a melancholic disposition. “I was pleased when this song came along as I think it helped signal a new direction for the band. It had more of a groove to it,” says songwriter Robert Baker. “Lyrically it is about feeling down and losing a sense of yourself and your role in the world. A bit depressing, but you could dance to it.”


18 | Mykki Blanco | Love Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mykki Blanco announced the June 18 release of the new mini-album Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep. It marks Blanco’s first official release in nearly five years. Today Mykki also shared the second taste of Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep by way of the single Love Me (ft. Jamila Woods & Jay Cue). The track was written by Mykki but elevated by the contribution of Woods as well as Mykki’s brother Jay. Mykki shares: “Love Me is essentially about so many forms of love, patience, trust, time. It is about the potion that is created when you sift through the ingredients that create “love,” the alchemy we as human beings take part in to convey these feelings deep inside of us.”


19 | James DiGirolamo | Same Boat

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nashville singer-songwriter James DiGirolamo has extensive experience as a session musician and touring sideman. As a keyboard player, he’s worked with Mindy Smith, Holly Williams, Peter Bradley Adams, Alice Peacock, Robby Hecht, Fognode, The Bittersweets, Judson Spence and many others. The title of his new album Paper Boats is a combination of the names of the first and last tracks. As DiGirolamo puts it, “in my mind, each of the songs is a tiny boat I constructed, which I now hope to launch across a glassy pond, or —more like it — a turbulent sea.” The opening track Same Boat comes from a Stevie Wonder / Paul McCartney-esque place: “I can’t pretend that I have all the answers / by magic turn these fighters into dancers,” it says. JD explains: “Sometimes a phrase just sticks in mind, or goes perfectly with what you’re playing on the piano, and so you see where it leads. In this case, words tumbled out to form a catchy tune about people coming together to face big challenges. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive statement on the subject, it’s just one sweeping aspect of the conversation.”


20 | Ellen Foley | I’m Just Happy To Be Here

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ellen Foley, a featured vocalist on one of the biggest-selling rock albums of all time, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, announces details of her fifth solo album. Fighting Words will be released Aug. 6. Out today is the album’s first single, I’m Just Happy to Be Here, a timely duet with fellow singer/actress Karla DeVito. “Every song on Fighting Words could represent something I’ve made it through in life, whether it be personal relationships or experiences I’ve had as a singer and actress,” said Foley. “As for the album title, let’s just say that I was not a fan of the previous presidential administration. There is a definite undercurrent of resistance in songs like Leave Him Janie or This Won’t Last Forever.”


21 | Jody & The Jerms | Sensation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Oxford’s Jody & The Jerms have released the single Sensation, the title track of an EP due May 10. Led by an ensnaring guitar riff, unstoppable drum beats, and Jody’s unwavering, charismatic vocals, the track utilises a classic indie sound which continues the evolution of the band’s impressively expanding repertoire. The lyrics are endorsing in their honesty, dealing with the candid chaos that comes with the everyday. As Niall Jeger says: “It’s about ‘what you see is what you get, with no pretense. There is nothing wrong with imperfection because no-one and nothing is perfect.”


22 | Pearls & Bones | Jammer (ft. MuRii & God Knows)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Pearls & Bones are an alternative hip-hop band based in Toronto and Montreal. The trio write and perform music inspired by discordant influences, from metalcore and PC music to backpack rap and pop-punk. Since forming in 2012, they have released five EPs and two albums. Their third LP Cool Uncles culminates a two-year period of technical and aesthetic development and will be released later in 2021. Their new track Jammer is intended to throw a wrench in the spokes of what is familiar to hip-hop listeners. With top-tier lyrics and a beat you can’t help but bounce to, it will be stuck on repeat.”


23 | Vandallus | Motor City High

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vandallus have released the single Motor High City. A new album will follow. “Capturing the height of rock ’n’ roll in the ’70s, this song ranks with many of our favorite top albums. It was created with a real band playing together live and capturing a moment in time, using all analog gear and making quality a high priority in the sound of this release.”


24 | Ramson Badbonez | Stay True (ft. Reks, Ruste Juxx & Blacastan)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh out the blocks, the single Stay True by London producer Ramson Badbonez is the first look at his album Lead By Example, arriving on Aug. 27. Neck muscles get a serious workout, with a beat savagely torn to pieces by East Coast warriors Reks, Ruste Juxx and Blacastan, with all their renowned verbal artillery in full effect. It’s formidable business, with prize fighters trading fierce bars and pulling no punches in a lyrical onslaught which leaves contenders on the floor.”


25 | Booker Stardrum | Diorama

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Percussionist and electronic producer Booker Stardrum announced his third album Crater will arrive July 2. Along with the announcement, Stardrum has shared Diorama — a texturally rich and rhythmically dense sound sculpture. Crater is the sum of countless dynamic, highly active, moving components. Not just percussive phrases, but melodies, textures, sound, noise, and the cracks and crevices of vacant space between these bodies. Stardrum’s creative approach is a multi-tiered process — ideas discovered during improvisation feed into live performances, which then fuel compositional concepts, cycling back and forth until the final arrangements emerge.”


26 | Wreche | Mysterium

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Wreche, a high-stakes challenger of the metal genre, returns with a violent haymaker on the album All My Dreams Came True. A colossal masterpiece, this album sees John Steven Morgan working alone — more unhinged, personal, and varied than on Wreche’s 2017 eponymous debut with drummer Barret Baumgart. At once horrifying and beautiful, All My Dreams Came True binds genres like a particle accelerator — an absolutely devastating collision, a nebulaic nightmare of spackled iridescent light and void-lusting despair. Morgan’s brilliant songwriting and narrative structure, equally matched by his virtuosic performances on every instrument (piano, drums, vocals and synths) make this album something to seriously reckon with. Check out Mysterium now and read his 20 Questions interview HERE.”


27 | Sleepwoka | All I Hoped For

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sleepwoka, the London-based Ukrainian producer and songwriter, is fast getting a reputation for his thought-provoking and poignant ponderings set to his electro-pop soundscapes. The latest offering, All I Hoped For, sees Sleepwoka’s familiar questioning of self-existence and his place in the world. With production nods to one of his favourite Russian groups, Splean, the song leans into the common notion of not fitting in to an already overcrowded and loud world. There is a frustration and disappointment in the lyrics revealing a regret of things both done and not done. He explains: “For me, purpose is something that can’t be discovered, it can only be built — intentionally. So often in life we keep rushing in without having a long-term vision or perspective on life. Having purpose is so important.”


28 | Kool Keith | Extravagance

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Written with a libidinal urgency that has come to characterize Kool Keith’s legendary lyricism, Keith’s Salon explores our current obsessions with luxury, beauty, and notoriety. But rather than fetishize the beautiful dum-dums who walk red carpets in black Prada gowns, Kool Keith’s most recent studio album shifts our attention to the work and workers that underpin our fantasies of American excess and the good life. As such, the album is also a timely meditation, during quarantine, on the economic precarity many of us now find ourselves in. Keith’s Salon is about the business of making people beautiful. It’s time to work. The album is set for release on June 4. The single Extravagance is out now.”