Indie Roundup | 57 Songs To Make You Shut Your Trap This Thursday (Part 1)

Liar Thief Bandit, Cold Stars, Novus, Sloth Fist and more ways to get things started.


Liar Thief Bandit knock you over with a feather, The Cold Stares like it better in the dark, The Novus refuse to obey, Sloth Fist keep it real, Deadwolff see double — and I’m not far off after wading through all the goodies in your Thursday Roundup. Are you ready to rock? Doesn’t matter; we’re doing this.


1 | Liar Thief Bandit | Feather

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Liar Thief Bandit will release their third album Deadlights on May 14. The album contains 12 tracks of modern-sounding and forward-thinking Scandinavian garage-rock. Liar Thief Bandit effortlessly blends smooth guitar licks, infectious hooks, and uplifting lyrics with a ton of live-rock energy, creating an album that easily would pass for a best-of collection of singles. Recorded in Tambourine Studios and produced by Erik Sunding, who’s been the engineer/producer for bands such as Terrible Feelings and Bob Hund, the production on Deadlights is spotless, taking the spirit of garage-rock revival to a completely new level. Nothing can stop Liar Thief Bandit. Get ready.”

2 | The Cold Stares | In The Night Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dirty fuzzed-up rock ’n’ roll meets blues, garage, desert rock and a Southern Gothic sensibility in The Cold Stares. The result: Music that sits alongside contemporary artists such as Mark Lanegan, Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Angels, The Dead Weather and other bands that work the blues-rock template but go darker or heavier. Sombre storytelling is etched into their songs with unflinching honesty. For Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins, authenticity is their hallmark. Their story alone would be enough for a drama series — cancer, suicide, betrayal, divorce, loss, self-identity crisis, survival, and ancestral skeletons. Write about what you know, they say. There’s a richness running through the songs with dark, multi-layered narratives that course through every twist and turn. Most of the album was recorded in a single day at Sam Phillips’ fabled recording studio in Memphis, and the vibe has seeped deep into the record.”

3 | The Novus | I Serve Not

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Leading the Gen-Z charge fuelled by council-estate angst, and longing for escape from small-town mentalities, fast-rising Midlands outfit The Novus share the video for I Serve Not, taken from the debut EP Thaleia Standing, due June 18. Aiming to offer an outlet to some of their favourite visual creators, the band asked three different artists to create a video for I Serve Not, with the first of the trilogy coming from Conor Stirling. The band elaborate: “We laid out three reference videos, a bunch of stock footage with the option to find more and a previous performance video of ours and received back three different outcomes based on the individual’s background, experience and style. It is by no means a competition, but more so an outlet to work with multiple creatives on one project to express their individuality based on a collective vision.”

4 | Sloth Fist | Mothman Is Real

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Dallas, Sloth Fist are a five-piece punk / rock ’n’ roll band that combine the melodic sense of The Descendents and Teenage Bottlerocket with the ferocity of Motörhead and Turbonegro. The result is an eclectic mix of songs that will satisfy anyone who likes their music hard and heavy, but with hooks galore. The band features Eric Daniels on vocals, Matt Thomas on guitar, Alex Casanova on guitar, Marc Maxey on bass, and Rafael Genovez on drums. These five hit the studio in late 2019 to record the Mothman Is Real LP — 12 blistering tracks recorded at Cloudland Studios in Fort Worth, mixed by Andrew Berlin at The Blasting Room in Colorado and mastered by Joel Grind.

5 | Deadwolff | Double Up

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Deadwolff are releasing a cassette edition of their latest self-titled EP on May 7. A blend of hard rock, punk, and metal, they set themselves apart from other bands with their take on the New Wave of Heavy Rock and Roll. The single Double Up was the second song written by Deadwolff and just so happens to be the second track on the five-track EP. Lyrically, it’s a song about gambling, the highs, the lows, and how those feel. Like the rest of the record, it’s a pumping tune that will incite you to crack a beer and get moving. The band explain: “This EP is an excellent glimpse into what’s to come, who Deadwolff is and what we’re all about. With all the bands nowadays that sound like carbon copies of each other, we knew we wanted to sound different. Sound old, but different. From our logo (the triwolff), to our tunes; from the mustaches and home-done haircuts, we know that Deadwolff is just what’s needed nowadays. We’re coming out swinging.”

6 | Ernest Moon | Big Wow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Liverpool outfit Ernest Moon present Big Wow, a short whimsical single they describe as a “throwaway tune about the ways of a working class young’un from round our way sometime in the not-too-distant past.” In Big Wow, the language is straight out the gob of the protagonist: Johnny B., a 16-year-old skally with starlit dreams of cars and girls and toilets on every floor. Ernest Moon are Steven Doran and Brian Murphy, two English no-marks of limited musical ability, brought together by a liking for eggs on toast. They offer lush lyrics, heavy hands and a rat-arsed sincerity. Somewhat punky, their sound has been described as pushy pop. They say: “The music in this song is the most obvious stuff a couple of crappy musicians of our generation from Liverpool could produce. In Liverpool there is a tradition for poppy rock ‘n’ rolly guitar music, so its natural this kind of tune comes out the other end when you start playing. But there is a diversion from the obvious in the song in that the lyrics are more crafted and worked than one would normally encounter in Pap music. Even if we say so ourselves.”

7 | Shaylee | Look A Ghost

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shaylee is the songwriting project and avatar of Elle Archer, a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter based in Portland, Oregon. Wholly unique yet potently familiar, Shaylee is a project intended to showcase queer and trans excellence at its most honest and unflinching. Look A Ghost is the tenth track from Kill Rock Stars’ 30th anniversary covers series. It originally appeared on Unwound’s 2001 album, Leaves Turn Inside You, their eighth and final disc. Unwound were the first band signed to Kill Rock Stars in 1991. Recent KRS signee Shaylee retains the original track’s vibe while imparting Unwound’s jangly spaciousness. Shaylee graces the track with flutters of tape echo and breathes new life into this indie classic.”

8 | Caulbearers | Burst Through The Borders

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Manchester’s Caulbearers present their new single Burst Through The Borders, influenced by modern urban existence and celebrating the sacred in the everyday and the supposedly mundane. Formed in 2007, Caulbearers are a collective led by Damien Mahoney, with contributors from around the U.K. and Europe. The hybrid ensemble are known for blending diverse musical styles and fusing them together on stage, weaving nu jazz and folk with elements of hip-hop, funk, dub, soul and Afrobeat. Says Mahoney: “I wanted to capture all these locations at such a unique time when everything felt so different, to help tell the story of a song that imagines great transformations of our societies, spaces, cultures and of ourselves. When everything initially locked down in the U.K., we only had access to our phones and each other, so my wife Liz and I took a DIY approach and would go out filming in the early morning. As the year progressed, other friends also filmed sections and when times of less restriction came, we visited more locations but kept the same approach and aesthetic throughout.”

9 | Starlight Cleaning Co. | Sooner Than You Learn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Mojave Desert-based Americana duo Starlight Cleaning Co. present the video for Sooner Than You Learn, the latest track to be lifted from their self-titled debut album out May 21. A gorgeous, retro-inspired clip filmed in the California desert, Sooner Than You Learn examines the helpless feelings of being caught in the riptide of self-medication and self-destruction. Originally meeting in 2015, musicians Rachel Dean and Tim Paul Gray turned their respective solo acts into a full band three years ago, resulting in a soulful and beautifully focused operation that sounds like they could have thrived in both the ’70s and ’80s. Together in harmony, Starlight Cleaning Co. recall the great male-female duos such as Buckingham Nicks, Sonny & Cher, Gram & Emmylou and John Doe & Exene.”

10 | Ro Bergman | Wake

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Austrian indie-rocker Ro Bergman has released his latest single Wake, accompanied by a live video shot at Rockhouse Salzburg. It comes from his upcoming EP Hi-Lo, which will be released on June 18. Wake is all things summer itself hopes to be. A tribute to youth and all of the strange humour found within it, the single is the perfect positive tone to drive you towards a new mindset as it uses velvety dreamscapes with scenes that melt into one another. Days and nights become a blur as life becomes vibrant with memories and imagination. Bergman is there to give you a push, a nudge or a wink — whatever you need to get on the road and begin that journey towards a sunset-soaked beach and a breath of fresh fair. Bergman shares his inspiration behind the single: “My goal was to write something that was more than just a corona-anthem, but right now the longing for anything more than a prolonged house-arrest is especially present in my mind. I started to dream in a new way, that was more beautiful than strange and I woke hungry for living.”

11 | Blutengel | The Victory Of Light

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A new era is about to dawn for Blutengel with Erlösung: The Victory of Light. Blutengel’s music expresses both an attitude and a belief — almost a religion of its very own! Never before have Blutengel released so many German songs on an album as this time. Allied with the artwork of Stefan Heilemann, Blutengel will seduce you entirely into their world. The light is followed by the darkness and the darkness by the light. An eternal cycle ignites in Erlösung (Redemption) and takes the listener into the realm of Blutengel. Already in the gripping first single The Victory of Light, the light shows us the way. Electronic sound, raw, futuristic — in combination with the irresistible appeal to dance and epic rousing choruses, the album reveals a true anthem potential.”

12 | VC Pines | See You Soon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Having recently returned to share his single See You Soon — a collaboration with Bad SoundsVC Pines has returned to share the video See You Soon, from his upcoming new EP Concrete. The new visuals continue the isolationist trend he has looked to inspire on this collection. Channeling the lonely and confined image that so many of us have experienced over the last year, this video perfectly encapsulates the attitude and vigour we can expect on his next EP. He said, “See You Soon as a song is about the various changes you see in people throughout the night and the different levels of emotions involved, especially at an afterparty. So with the video we wanted to convey mixed emotions within one person, using mirrors to reflect this. The different mirror shots portray feelings of boredom, loneliness, happiness, anxiousness and the cheekiness of the devil on your shoulder. And then towards the end of the video there’s a change in lighting to mark the end of the night when anxiety hits and you know you should have gone home hours ago — mixed in with mirror shots of other feelings begging you to stay.”

13 | John Carroll Kirby | Rainmaker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:John Carroll Kirby has announced a new album, Septet, out this June. The first single Rainmaker is out now, along with a video guest starring Mac DeMarco, Kerwin Frost, Cola Boyy and Eddie Chacon. The Rainmaker video pays homage to Womack & Womack’s classic Teardrops. The video lightheartedly dramatizes the characters Kirby has encountered over his long career as a collaborator and studio musician: “the egomaniacal producer, the eager engineer, the snobby record exec, the random guy in the corner, the musicians feeling themselves. Visually, I wanted to play with the chaos of ’70s/’80s jazz fashion: Bands like Weather Report, Miles Davis’s constantly rotating cast. Musicians dressed themselves with a strong sense of individuality while maintaining a cohesive look — a theme I also aim to achieve musically on Septet.”

14 | Leif Vollebekk | Never Be Back

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Leif Vollebekk shares a video directed by Tracy Maurice for the song Never Be Back, off his most recent album New Ways. “I feel I wouldn’t have ever written a song like this without all those long drives spent listening to Nebraska or Ghost of Tom Joad,” Leif tells us. “You know, with all those Springsteen songs where you see the character is hurting and you don’t think he’s going to make it. But then, he says something that surprises you. It catches you off-guard, makes you think to yourself, well maybe he’s going to be alright. He’s always riding that fine line.”

15 | Molly Burman | Everytime

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Molly Burman made a striking first impression with her debut single Fool Me With Flattery last month. Today, she follows up that significant promise with a further slice of empowering, woozy slacker-pop in the effortlessly melodic and gutsy Everytime. Molly says: “Everytime is about my sad excuse for a love life. I used to be so obsessed with dating and getting validation from guys, but they just kept ghosting me. It got to a point where I realized I needed to accept that I was going to be on my own for a while and might as well start loving my own company. It’s like a sort of love letter to myself, always there to remind me that I am enough and I am exactly what I want.”

16 | Squirrel Flower | I’ll Go Running

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following last month’s release of Hurt A Fly, Ella Williams aka Squirrel Flower has released a second single from ther forthcoming album Planet (i). I’ll Go Running starts quietly on a haunting simmer, with Williams pitching her voice over languid, slow-burning guitars and quiet resistance, building to full-on emotional rebellion by the song’s end. Ella said: “I’ll Go Running is about the darker side of being an artist — the pressure to make things brand new, shocking, to give everything away and open yourself completely without always getting intentional listening and consumption in return. To be vulnerable to a knife. But it’s powerful to offer yourself and your art without fear, which is what I try to do with this album. That’s why this is the opening track.”

17 | Violette | Stop (Acoustic)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging alt-pop artist Violette announced that her debut EP In Her Beauty Lies My Death And My Life comes out Aug. 13. She also shared an acoustic version of her upcoming single Stop. Says Violette: “In Her Beauty Lies My Death And My Life is my favorite collection of songs I’ve ever written. I’m incredibly proud to have produced this with my best friend in our home and show people the most personal music I’ve made.”

18 | Benjamin Russell | Sunshine Set Me Up

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I’m a Canadian singer-songwriter and painter from Saskatoon, now living in Montreal. After years of struggling with highs and lows, I have reached a point of balance. I started writing songs back when I was in high school as a way of dealing with stuff I didn’t understand. I felt like an alien, an outsider, a stranger in a strange land. What kept me going was realizing other people felt like that too and the songs helped me connect. Listening and creating helped keep me sane all these years. If my music helps one other person the way my favourite artists have helped me, it makes my life worthwhile.”

19 | Colleen | Hidden In The Current

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With mere weeks to go until the release of her breathtaking new album, the French composer and multi-instrumentalist Colleen has shared the mesmerizing video for The Tunnel And The Clearing’s closing track. For the sonic and emotional climax of the record, Daniel Baretto’s radiant animated video transmutes Colleen’s pulsating oscillators and organs into a radiant constellation of arcing light, distilling weighty emotion into pure energy. It’s a proper out-of-body experience.”