Indie Roundup | 120 Songs To Bring You To Your Knees This Weekend (Part 4)

The D.O.O.D., Napoleon, American TV, Ruddy Ruckus and other artists go fourth.


The D.O.O.D. can’t abide the light, Napoleon make tracks, American Television fly the flag, The Ruddy Ruckus want you to hang in there — and so do I; there’s still a ton more Weekend Roundup to come. The fun’s just getting started:


61 | The D.O.O.D. | Kill The Light

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The D.O.O.D. are a nationally touring theatrical heavy metal band out of Florida. Right now they are releasing Kill The Light, the first single from their upcoming fifth studio album Firefly, produced by the legendary Matt Laplant (Soil, Skindred, Nonpoint) and due in August. Originally formed by Raynus and Jonzey DOOD, their music is high energy, thought provoking, and fun. They are often cited as having notes of traditional metal (akin to Pantera and such), nu-metal (a la Five Finger Death Punch/Slipknot), as well as a classical metal feel — although the actual sound of the band is a unique style all their own.”

62 | Napoleon | I Better Run (ft. Shane Told)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since forming in 2018, alt-punk four-piece ​Napoleon​ have been attracting attention in the Toronto scene. Always excited to collaborate with other Canadian artists, their upcoming Enemy Within EP (set for release on June 11) features guest vocalist spots from Corbin Giroux of Rarity and Shane Told of Silverstein. The latter is featured on the new single I Better Run. The band say: “Having Shane sing on the song, and perform in the music video was truly an incredible experience. Silverstein is a very important band to us, and Napoleon definitely would not be the same band we are without them, so just having the experience of collaborating and becoming peers with someone who has been a big inspiration on us was absolutely incredible, and is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”

63 | American Television | Nervous Breakdown

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:American Television are a D.C.-area melodic punk band. Their debut LP Watch It Burn was released in January 2020. The band are currently shaking off the dust after a long year apart. Their new EP Adolescence (out today) pays tribute to their influences and includes covers of Black Flag, Green Day, Bad Religion, Operation Ivy and Fugazi.”

64 | The Ruddy Ruckus | Hold On My Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Started in 2012, The Ruddy Ruckus have evolved from a small-time singer-songwriter project to a tour de force garage-rock phenom. Jackson Dorie, Pat Brown, Giordano Modesto and Rob Brown lay down punk, indie and classic rock-inspired riffs and choruses that sound in line with the band’s name. Midrange buzzsaw guitars act as a kick to the listener’s teeth, while the deep bass and cracking snare drum make up a groove that cannot be ignored. Produced by The Dirty Nil’s Luke Bentham, their new single Hold On My Love is baked in a certain brand of folky nostalgia that revisits more innocent times. As the message of the song is to hunker down and wait out the storms that life throws at us, there is a certain romanticism in the idea that things were better or easier in the past.”

65 | They Fell From the Sky | Crush This World

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Crush This World is the latest earworm from Colin Doran and Jason Bowld’s rock studio project They Fell From The Sky. The band formed after Doran (Hundred Reasons) and Bowld (Bullet For My Valentine, Pitchshifter, Killing Joke) got together for Jason’s project This Is Menace. They started writing with Dave Draper and completed the lineup with Lee Erinmez (Snuff) and Oly Edkins. Once in the studio the band’s songwriting flourished and an album began to take shape, blending the multitude of styles each member brought to the table. The songs started to flow and the sound was honed to make the unique songwriting juggernaut that is They Fell From The Sky.”

66 | Set It Off | Killer In The Mirror

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Set It Off released the album Midnight in 2019. Now they are closing the door on this body of work with the release of the appropriately titled Midnight (The Final Chapter), featuring Midnight, the After Midnight EP, and three additional acoustic tracks, including Killer In The Mirror. “Killer in the Mirror seems to always apply to my life,” says singer Cody Carson. “I’ve developed more and more trust issues as I grow — almost as a protective measure. When I first wrote this song, it came from a place of pure anger, and sure, that anger is there. But as your emotions develop, so does your perspective. I wanted to show the sad side of the message of Killer in the Mirror and really draw out/expand the emotional spectrum by introducing the orchestra towards the end to almost give a feeling of optimism. As if to say, ‘People will try to hurt you, but you’ll make it out alive every time.’ ”

67 | No:ir | Phantom

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since their debut in 2019, Bristol nu-metal five-piece No:ir have evolved from their hardcore roots to create a modern fusion of genres. They take deep inspiration — and their name — from film noir, often characterised by cynicism, intricate plots and existential philosophy. Their innate blend of rap and metal draws on an array of influences including emo, hip-hop and dark pop. This has resulted in a signature re-imagination of the nu-metal sound; their single Phantom captures this perfectly. “Phantom explores these ideas and reflects this back onto No:ir,” explains lyricist Evvi Davies. “The song is intuitive about who No:ir is, and comparing the honesty in our music to the persona we have created as a band. No:ir isn’t five individuals but one personality, blending elements of the individuals into one character. The song questions our authenticity, and the lyrics directly reflect where we are as a band.”

68 | Mattia Cupelli | Monolith

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ambient-electronic producer Mattia Cupelli has shared the cinematic visuals for his single Monolith. The single heralds the approach of his upcoming album Ruins, which will be released on July 9. Hailing from Rome, the producer seeks inspiration in the classics, calling upon the likes of Nils Frahm, Nicolas Jaar, Ryuichi Sakamoto. Bold, dark and strong, Monolith calls to mind eerie decaying cities and an underlying uneasy feeling. Cupelli manages to tap into his world of film, conjuring a mythical land of untold tragedies and harsh conditions. He tells us: “When I contacted the video maker for the video, we wanted to recreate the sensation of time passing and at the same time standing. We took some classical art statues from the past and made them move through shadows, as an endless infinite evolution.”

69 | Bryce Thomas | Young Lovers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As summer approaches, Toronto singer-songwriter Bryce Thomas is getting into the spirit by sharing Young Lovers, the second single from his new album Across The Neuro Seas. A bright and breezy folk-rocker that captures the thrill of a blossoming new relationship, Bryce wrote Young Lovers and most of the other 12 tracks for his fourth full-length album during a month-long span in the spring of 2020, just as pandemic restrictions were taking hold. He credits the creative surge not only to lockdown anxiety, but also to a five-year recording hiatus as his family expanded. Bryce made full use of his time to record the album himself on his laptop, with the tracks later mixed by Josh Bowman and mastered by Joao Carvalho. “I knew I wanted this to be a true album in the sense of all the songs relating to each other in some way. For me, the common storytelling thread is love blooming and love lost, and I took a lot of songwriting inspiration from early Elton John, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Cat Stevens albums.”

70 | The High Hawks | Heroes & Highways

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the first few seconds of The High Hawks’ debut single, a flurry of pulsing electric piano, kick drum, and Townshend-esque guitar strums give way to a flat-out J.J. Cale groove just in time for the first line to be sung: “If we could just find a highway … might even find a way to make it home.” And thus, The High Hawks take flight. That tune, Heroes & Highways, is an appropriate first taste of music from the long-time-coming, feel-good Americana cooperative, naturally expressing the range of which the bands’ members can reach. The band calls Heroes & Highways “a nod to the ever-present tension of the thrills and experiences of ‘the highway’ and the comfort and pleasures of home sweet home.”

71 | Donovan Woods & Aoife O’Donovan | Iowa

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Donovan Woods is sharing the new single Iowa, which was co-written and performed with Grammy-winning artist Aoife O’Donovan. Woods says the song is “about the duality of places; the natural beauty, and the people. It’s about dreaming of somewhere you know doesn’t exist. I wrote the first verse thinking about driving through new places on tour and dreaming about what my life would be like if I lived there. I pride myself on my blue-collar raising. I feel like I fit in anywhere. In America, I’m often swiftly reminded that I don’t. I sent the verse to Aoife and explained what I was trying to get at. She sent back a dreamy chorus that did all the things I love about her artistry. It was flowing and phrased in such a lovely way. We did a zoomer and finished the rest of it together.”

72 | Austin Stambaugh | My Fear Of God

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The ninth title in the intimate singer-songwriter performance series The Magnolia Sessions features Nashville folk artist Austin Stambaugh. He reveals, “These songs to me have a yearn like old hymns, they are ideas that offer insight on the perspective of oneself and limitations. They are about existential fear and self-accountability … The horror hymn My Fear Of God is the scariest one on the record, the act of reaching out your hand to feel God, and snatching nothing.”

73 | Careful, Brother | A Thousand Weeks

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Careful, Brother are the irresistible new musical project of Randy Moore, Tarif Pappu and Jason Chiorean. Their single A Thousand Weeks is out today, along with a video. Marrying Moore’s unbeatable ear for massive, catchy hooks to Pappu and Chiorean’s lyrical insights and sonic dexterity, A Thousand Weeks sounds as tight, punchy, and ebullient as you’d hope for three musicians-on-the-rise all bringing something different to the table, but whose close camaraderie is the secret ingredient they need to truly play to one another’s strengths.”

74 | Will Stratton | Fate’s Ghost

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Will Stratton just released his seventh album The Changing Wilderness. In addition, he shared a video for the track Fate’s Ghost. Stratton says: “More than any other song on this album, Fate’s Ghost is composed of feelings rather than thoughts. I had woken up from an odd dream one morning in 2016 and sat down and wrote it quickly. The imagery is all from that dream I had — deserted nighttime streets, racing horses, and huge, overwhelming storms. The arrangement was trickier to nail down than any other song on the album. The drumming and bass playing of Sean Mullins and Carmen Rothwell helped me finally figure it out. My friend Ben Seretan creates a perfect atmosphere with his nimple electric guitar playing. The great Eamon Fogarty sings backup on this one, and he has a beautiful voice. And my neighbor Justin Keller plays some lovely saxophone on the choruses.”

75 | Graham Sharp | Come Visit My Island

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Asheville, N.C. singer, banjoist, songwriter and founding member of Steep Canyon Rangers, Graham Sharp makes his solo debut with the album Truer Picture. Shot in Daufuskie Island, S.C., the video for the song Come Visit My Island was directed and edited by Graham’s son Wade. Tackling feelings of isolation on Come Visit My Island, Sharp’s unique style of songwriting is ever-present on the album.”

76 | Chris Lane | That’s What Mamas Are For

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Country star Chris Lane is saying thanks with That’s What Mamas Are For, out just in time for Mother’s Day. With a gentle acoustic melody and a hook that wraps itself around your heart, soon-to-be dad Lane pays tribute to a mother’s calling. Inspired by a conversation with his own mom, Lane penned the song with Will Bundy, Rodney Clawson and Ernest Keith Smith. Imparting wisdom and building integrity with an even hand — and lots of love — it’s a thank you to every mother out there. “This Mother’s Day more than ever, I’m just so grateful for my mom and the amazing momma my wife Lauren already is to our baby boy,” shares Lane. “This song is to celebrate all the mommas out there. We wouldn’t be who we are today without you.”

77 | Anya Hinkle | Why Women Need Wine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For songwriters, any phrase, experience and observation can find its way into their next song. And often, it’s those details from life that make the music relatable, that make the music something people hear and say, “Oh, I know that feeling.” Anya Hinkle’s new release Why Women Need Wine, does just that, relating stories of situations and attitudes that women deal with day to day and reminding them with a little humor, a lot of friendship — and maybe an eye roll — they can shake it off and move on with their lives. The phrase Why Women Need Wine came to Hinkle when she was feeling down and reached out to a friend who said ‘Come over, I’ve got a great bottle of wine, let’s talk.’ “I spilled it all out, just said every ridiculous thing and we laughed, I cried, and on my way home I just felt so much better,” says Hinkle. “Everything seemed possible again, I got a grip, and this line popped into my head: This is why women need wine.”

78 | McLeish & Spencer | I Remember

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Chichester / London duo McLeish & Spencer have dropped their debut single I Remember. Ewan McLeish (lead vocals, guitar) and Matt Spencer (lead guitar, backing vocals) have set the scene with their first release for an exciting year. A glittering, soft, indie gem, I Remember expertly demonstrates the duo’s already complete and original sound despite being their first release. Bringing together thick, warm organ sounds, subtle yet effective guitar lines and gently strummed acoustics, the duo capture an essence of ’90s alt-rock while still retaining a fresh and breezy edge.”

79 | Jeffery Straker | Where I Belong

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Folk-roots singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker has released his studio album Just Before Sunrise, a soundtrack of reflection, evolution, and optimism. “My mom passed away in February 2019 and that sudden and unexpected loss had a profound effect on me. In the months after she died, I wrote and wrote and wrote as there was so much I was feeling and so much to say that needed to be expressed musically,” says Jeffery. “Part of my remembering the beautiful person she was, all those great memories — they were almost accompanied by music. As memories surfaced, sounds were there with them. Those sounds helped prescribe the folk-roots flavour of this new album.”

80 | El Misti | Don’t Ya Love Democracy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Don’t Ya Love Democracy! is the first single from All is Lost, El Misti’s second album in as many years. Encapsulating frustration and concern for the expanding control in every aspect of life, it’s an anti-imperialist boogie, a song of its time. Singer and songwriter Paddy Bleakley gloriously throws up a catchy chorus reminiscent of The Doors and Bob Dylan in full late-’60s protest mode: “Tongue tied, I will be no longer / Tonight, I will bring your house down / Free ride, you won’t get from me / Because I’m already sick and tired of the way things are.”