Indie Roundup | 50 Songs To Burn Your Bridges This Wednesday (Part 1)

The fun's just staring, thanks to Whispering Kids, Subterranean Masquerade & more.

Whispering Sons bring the heat, Subterranean Masquerade seek refuge, The Vintage Caravan bite down hard, the dudes of Valence abide — so pour yourself a Caucasian, tell Donny to shut up and settle in for your Wednesday Roundup. It’ll really tie the room together:


1 | Whispering Sons | Heat

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Belgian five-piece Whispering Sons follow the recent announcement of their second album Several Others with the single Heat. Fast-paced and ferocious, lead singer Fenne Kuppens delivers her signature low-register vocals (inspired by artists such as Xiu Xiu and Chinawoman) over angular guitars and bullish drums, hatching an explosive energy that sees the band release their most hook-laden song to date. The track was inspired by film noir classic Night and the City, guitarist Kobe Lijnen was captivated by the imagery of fast movement contrasting with confrontation. This is reflected by the very direct verses opposed to the grander and wider sounding choruses. Heat was one of the first songs to be written for the new album, but one of the last to be finished. The theme of confrontation became central to the lyrics, resulting in a candid and straightforward song.”

2 | Subterranean Masquerade | Somewhere I Sadly Belong (ft. Ashmedi Melechesh)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Israeli progressive metal outfit Subterranean Masquerade’s video for Somewhere I Sadly Belong precedes the arrival of the band’s fourth LP Mountain Fever on Friday. One of the album’s most explosive tracks, Somewhere I Sadly Belong features guest vocals from Ashmedi Melechesh of Mesopotamian black metal band Melechesh and gospel choir vocals by British singer Jackie Hole. Vocalist Davidavi Dolev reveals, “This one is extremely dear to us and might be one of the most personal songs on the album. It’s about history, but also about history in the making. The song is dedicated to all people in refuge and exile. I would also like to dedicate it to my grandmother. We used sign language in the chorus of the video to symbolize the deafness of our society towards those who are in need. It’s about roots, identity, love, guilt, trauma, immigration, and wars. Are we going to make it?”

3 | The Vintage Caravan | Sharp Teeth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Monuments, the new album from modern prog/psych export The Vintage Caravan, has taken the Icelanders to the well-deserved next level. As a thank-you and to shorten the time until they can play on big, international stages again, the band have come up with a surprise gift for their fans, presenting a high-voltage studio performance video for their track Sharp Teeth. They say: “Sharp Teeth is probably the heaviest song on Monuments and hits you flat in the face right from the beginning. It’s an unusual one with heavy riffs, funk influences and all-out epic harmonies.”

4 | Valence | If You’re Not Into The Whole Brevity Thing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New York instrumental prog-metal outfit Valence have premiered the video for If You’re Not Into The Whole Brevity Thing. It’s the first from the band since their 2019 full-length Cognitive Dissidents. Geoff Schaefer (guitar/keys) comments, “Obviously we’re all Big Lebowski devotees — I’m actually a Dudist priest — so it only felt right to make an homage to what’s clearly the greatest movie of all time.” Chris Romano (drums) adds, “If anyone was wondering if we’re into the whole brevity thing, the answer is no.”

5 | Rexx | Lost Cause

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rexxx began as a supergroup of heavy hitters in the Milwaukee punk scene but very quickly proved themselves to be a genuine power-pop force. Blending bubblegum melodies and grimy punk riffs, their debut album Pure Pleasure II delivers the hooks and double-downs on the sweaty looks. It’s a 20-minute blur of party punk that topped 2020 year-end lists and cemented their place in the long lineage of Midwest power-pop. With the pandemic starting two weeks after the initial cassette release of their debut, the album is finally getting a proper vinyl release. To celebrate, the band unveil the Ryan Thomas Reeve-directed video for Lost Cause.”

6 | Shannon & The Clams | Midnight Wine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shannon & The Clams announced that their sixth studio album Year Of The Spider, arrives on Aug. 20. For the album, the band, — bass player Shannon Shaw, guitarist Cody Blanchard on lead vocals, Will Sprott on keyboards and Nate Mahan on drums — returned to Dan Auerbach’s Nashville Easy Eye Sound Studio to craft a mature, reflective and ebullient album built for the current times, on which they have perfected their signature blend of garage psych, doo-wop, classic R&B, and surf rock. Today they share the first song from Year of The Spider, Midnight Wine, along with a video directed and hand-animated by the band’s own Cody Blanchard.”

7 | Lumière | Le Défi De L’Amour

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Set to release his debut A.M.I.E.S.A.M.O.U.R. this Friday, Lumière (the project of multi-instrumentalist Étienne Côté)  unveils Le Défi De L’Amour, a song that awakens an appetite for love and sparks the dangerous hope of joining forces. Le Défi De L’Amour, a kind of lyrical comedy, is complemented by a grainy, retro music video directed by Alexandre Pelletier. The video features Lumière, who desperately tries to entice his beloved. As the stunning melody and elegant, though sometimes goofy, dance moves progress, the video ends ultimately in disappointment. With this new song, Lumière reminds us that love is, above all, a challenge.”

8 | The Goon Sax | In The Stone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Goon Sax have announced their new album Mirror II, to be released July 9. The band’s third album is a new beginning: A multi-dimensional eclectic journey of musical craftsmanship that moves from disco to folk to no wave skronk with staggering cohesion. Songs have been made expansive, more universal, more weird — as introduced by the supernatural avant-pop of the first single. “In The Stone is set in Berlin where I moved with my partner at the time, just after finishing school and recording our last album We’re Not Talking at the end of 2017,” says Louis Forster. “Musically the song was influenced by what was playing in the background of our conversations which often took place in Ubers, supermarkets, outside parties, etc. So it probably bears more of a subconsciously absorbed modern-pop influence than anything else we’ve done as a band.”

9 | Cave States | Julie Says

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Julie Says is a new single and EP by American indie band Cave States, formed by Chris Grabau, Danny Kathriner and Todd Schnitzer. Songwriter Kathriner describes the lead single as a “semi-autobiographical account of an exchange I had with a friend years ago — albeit somewhat of a brief conversation (here) for the sake of fitting it into a song. There are two people who cannot see eye to eye — and yet they are so much alike — both sarcastic, proud, and unwilling to meet in the middle. A good friendship which ultimately ended because each party had shortcomings they were unwilling to admit — at the time. Years later, it’s easier to evaluate, of course. No, her name is not actually Julie.”

10 | Steven Wilson | Anyone But Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Steven Wilson is sharing a song inspired by the idea of placing oneself into a multitude of imagined lives. Anyone But Me starts out simply, just piano and vocal, before it unfolds into a glorious, uplifting swirl of chiming acoustic guitars and imaginary choirs and orchestras. The track was recorded in The Future Bites sessions. Says Wilson: “This song was a casualty of Covid19. It was originally the closing song on The Future Bites, the album was even mastered and cut with it in place, but the delay in releasing the album gave me the chance to re-evaluate and I decided to replace it with the more laid back and atmospheric Count of Unease. I still love this song though. Lyrically it’s about how it’s now possible to present to the world a version of yourself via social media that may have no bearing on reality — photos of yourself in places you’ve never been, hanging out with friends you’ve never met. It’s becoming more important to create the illusion of a desirable life on social media than it is to actually live it.”

11+12 | Harry Mold | Space Cadet + Stresshead

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Today brings two singles from indie rocker Harry Mold: Stresshead and Space Cadet. Whilst Stresshead is a straight-up rock anthem, Space Cadet showcases Mold’s calmer side. Harry says: “My mind’s always been a bit frantic and Stresshead was written as if I was looking at myself saying ‘Don’t drive yourself too mad … slow down because things don’t get solved all at once.’ I made it at the height of being locked in last year and I think encompassing who a lot of us felt.” Space Cadet, on the other hand is “almost a confession and love letter. I wanted my feelings of distance and disconnection to take you on a sonic journey to the atmosphere, but then still let the rugged and hard hitting feeling that this kind of detachment leaves you with.”

13 | Capital Theatre | Long Way To Fall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Zealand rock trio Capital Theatre have released their new single Long Way To Fall, produced by Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Whitesnake). The band reinvigorate the power of storytelling in rock with their new single. They say: “The song deals with the journey outward to uncharted territory. The melodic piano intro and driving lead guitar lines really propel the idea that a quest or adventure has been embarked upon. Whether consumed literally or metaphorically, Long Way To Fall should take the listener on a journey, exploring themes of seeking guidance and answers, sacrificing love for a sense of duty, and accepting that unknown consequences will come from answering the call to adventure.”

14 | Little Rich Kids | Swerve

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Aug. 13, L.A. band Swerve will release their album Ruin Your Day. Today they share Little Rich Kids, the latest preview single. Swerve’s Gregory Mahdesian says: “There’s a real undercurrent of anger and resentment in the L.A. party scene. People from all different types of backgrounds and expectations colliding and hoping to get something out of their night out can lead to some wild times, for better and for worse. Little Rich Kids is definitely inspired by that resentment we’ve encountered and maybe even experienced from time to time, but just like those nights out, it’s a lot of fun even when things feel like they’re spiraling out of control.”

15 | Valeras | Rita

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Reading duo Valeras have been busy during the pandemic writing, recording and working towards their debut album. With a new EP planned for late summer, the band return with a bang today to preview this new material with their hook-heavy single Rita. It finds the band combining frenetic indie-rock sensibilities with alt-pop inflected songwriting that is simultaneously more personal, energetic, and melodically encapsulating than anything they have released to date. Rose Yagmur says: “Rita is a reflection of an experience a lot of people including us have gone through. It is a story about a hard-working woman who defies the negative surroundings that try to stop her from doing what she is truly passionate about.”

16 | Alex McArtor | Bras and Jeans

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Texas singer-songwriter Alex McArtor shares the ethereal video for her single Bras and Jeans. The track comes from her forthcoming EP Welcome to the Wasteland, due June 25. Glorious and shimmering yet undeniably melancholy, Bras and Jeans mines a particularly fraught memory from McArtor’s recent past, delivering a bit of piercing commentary on the media’s obsession with oversexualizing young women. She shared: “It’s based on a time when my friends and I were swimming in a lake and all these horny freshman boys were watching us. Bras and Jeans is about society’s infatuation with exploiting girls as they transition into womanhood before they are even aware of their sexuality — which is imposed on us before we’re ready. A women’s sexuality and power belong to her; it’s not something there for the taking by the voyeurs of the world.”