Indie Roundup | 43 Songs To Set You Straight This Thursday (Part 1)

Start your weekend a day early with De'Wayne, Riley Downing, Bros, Islands & more.

De’Wayne makes one helluva mess, Riley Downing goes back to the drawing board, Bros are ready for pilot season, Faiyaz & The Wasted Chances get their shine on, Islands have a cure for what ails you — and those are just the opening moves in your highly animated Thursday Roundup. Warm up your ears and let ’er rip:


1 | De’Wayne | Stains

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alt-pop superstar De’Wayne has announced his debut album Stains is due out June 18. A lifetime in the making, the 11-track album blends the incendiary nature of his live show with a story that needs to be told through a genre-less freedom. Instead of trying to fit into a ready-made scene, Stains is driven by energy, emotion, and excitement. “Every song on this record is urgent because it has to be. I want to put out music that feels like you have to listen to it right now.” To that end, De’Wayne  also released the title track from the forthcoming album. He says: “I got passed up on by several labels that didn’t understand me or where I could fit, which fueled my whole album, but especially this song.”

2 | Riley Downing | Start It Over

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Riley Downing of The Deslondes will release his debut solo album Start It Over tomorrow. The 12-song set was co-produced by Andrijia Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) & John James Tourville of The Deslondes. On Start It Over, Downing, Tokic, and Tourville are joined by an incredible backing band including Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs as well as session players for the likes of Dolly Parton, Elvis Costello, Jason Isbell, Blaze Foley, Yola and more. Downing’s ability to set gripping, evocative narratives within soundscapes that weave together country, blues, folk, R&B, bluegrass, rock, soul and whatever else catches his ear is something that, once you hear it, is hard to shake free from. Same goes for his voice — deep, dusty, and drawling, it’s an instrument that can stop you in your tracks with its character and expressiveness, as well as through his knack for laying out complex emotions in plainspoken, direct language.”

3 | Bros | Theme From Bros

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:BrosEwan and Shamus Currie of the platinum-selling Canadian band The Sheepdogs — return with the groove-filled track Theme From Bros, and a far-out, cop drama-inspired video animated by L.A.’s Rob Fidel. “Theme From Bros is inspired by our love of ’70s cop cinema and the film scores of composers like Lalo Schifrin,” explains Ewan. “The opening riff was originally conceived by Shamus as an Afro-Cuban guitar line, but really came alive when orchestrated for trombone. It’s the action-packed soundtrack to the cop movie that never was.”

4 | Faiyaz & the Wasted Chances | Glow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Garage-punk band Faiyaz And The Wasted Chances release the glitchy, quirky, almost-a-video-game video for Glow. The video (created by machinimist artist Erin Corbett) is a heartfelt roller coaster ride in Toronto’s virtual underground. Lead singer Faiyaz goes through the infinite subway commute of his life while being met by various psychedelic characters, nearly vaporized and pulverised. Glow is a raw ode to simple pleasures in life and the video true to the music is also a reminder to never lose your inner glow.”

5 | Islands | Carpenter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Islands’ new LP Islomania is a little under a month from release, and today the band are sharing a final preview of the LP. Carpenter is the third and final single from the indie legends’ first album back after retiring in 2016. A jangly, shimmering track that channels The Cure in moments with its layered guitars and synth lines, Carpenter has a more subdued and contemplative tone than the album’s first two singles. “This one was an early song that I demoed at home as a little throwaway,” Nick Thorburn explains. “Unfinished, it sat on a folder on my computer collecting digital dust until I stumbled upon it many months later. I had completely forgotten about it and listening back, I was totally caught off guard. It sounded like I was singing someone else’s song. I was excited so I set about finishing it immediately.”

6 | Sluice | Électrique

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the release of their debut album, Sluice unveil a video for Électrique. Filmed over an 18-hour day in the Acadian villages of Surette’s Island, Sluice Point, and Pubnico in Par-en-Bas on Nova Scotia’s south shore, the video plays like a love letter to the natural and geographic beauty of the region. “Throughout the video you see shots of the Sluice Point Hall — an old schoolhouse that was used as a community hall when I was growing up. It was in this hall where I played one of my first shows, where I had my first kiss, where I started to figure out that my life would be centred around music,” says Trevor Murphy, the musician at the helm of the Acadian power-pop project. “The song reflects the frenetic energy of being young and full of hope, of losing yourself in the bliss of existing, and of forging your own path towards your passion.”

7 | In Solastalgia, Either Way | Opia

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Montreal, In Solastalgia, Either Way are an experimental and progressive act that places an emphasis on an experience that triggers all the senses for a truly multidimensional feel. Their music is a complete audio-visual experience that dramatically intertwines progressive post-rock and vivid imagery that is best experienced live. In lieu of live events right now, In Solastalgia, Either Way convey their messages through videos such as the one for Opia. Jean Philippe Hébert explains: “It’s the scenery we contemplate while driving a car in snowy weather. It all becomes a snowstorm in which the driver is both stuck but also enamoured with the beauty of nature as he sees less and less through his windshield. He stops, there is a feeling of having no control over your present but the calmness of the storm is magnificent, he waits for it to end. But it is also many other stories.”

8 | Koreless | Black Rainbow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Welsh artist Koreless (real name Lewis Roberts) returns with Black Rainbow, a pumping, anthropomorphic electronic jam that has blood and guts where the wires should be. Koreless’ first solo material in five years, Black Rainbow is served with a video originally conceived and shot in a ravine in Rachub, North Wales during lockdown 2020. The video is inspired by ’70s BBC cult drama Penda’s Fen, soft orthopedic foam and slow-motion bullet-time videos of the Gloucester Cheese Rolling Competition. Shot with director Alex Turvey and then subjected to what Koreless calls a “months-long edit marathon” with the help of artist Daniel Swan, the video features Koreless’ younger brother Iwan as a cascading horde of vegetal clones in foam armor designed by Julia Tyrrell Bunge. A glorious statement of intent, Black Rainbow is a track that makes the blood run faster while also sounding like it has been constantly distilled, a typical Koreless approach.”

9 | Mariusz Duda | Escape Pod

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mariusz Duda, the artist known as the frontman of Riverside and the man behind Lunatic Soul, decided to release his new solo album in a somewhat controversial way, first by publishing the entire release online, and now making it available on cassette tapes. A video for the new single called Escape Pod has just been released. “Escape Pod is probably the best summary of this album, as well as a symbol of its message,” Duda says. “It’s an escape from everyday life, which gradually changes for the better but still leaves a lot to be desired.”

10 | Merpire | Village

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melbourne’s Merpire shares the single Village with an outside-looking-in video, plus news of debut album Simulation Ride, out July 23. Village tackles self-doubt, comparison to others and the realisation that you can’t be everything and everyone to one person. It is a slice of observational lyricism that Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt (aka Merpire) has become known for — taking seemingly simple ideas from the real world and studying their complexities and intricacies. Village is an acknowledgment of Rhiannon’s own battle with anxiety and confidence, but more importantly the growth that comes from facing that head on.”

11 | Pony Hunt | Stardust

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Orleans band Pony Hunt are set to release their second album VAR! on July 23. The album explores queerness, gender identity, and the struggle to be at home with one’s self. Pony Hunt’s hazy “cosmic doo-wop” sparkles with bits of soul, psych, country, and even an occasional string section. Stardust is the first single from VAR! Accompanied by a gorgeous stop-motion animated video created by Jessie Antonick of Pony Hunt and Jesse Wilson of Skull Island Art & Fabrication, the video features a beautifully barnacled whale, an adorable sailor, a glowing moon, icebergs, and strange sea creatures.”

12 | Kenzie Cates | Just Ain’t You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver pop artist Kenzie Cates releases the video for her single Just Ain’t You today. Produced by Harry Hill and Callum Gunn and directed by Miranda MacDougall (Ashleigh Ball, Michaela Slinger) in Vancouver, the Just Ain’t You video takes viewers on a journey that loosely explores the objectification of the male form. “We use a man who represents classical male beauty and hegemonic masculinity, to convey my impassivity towards anybody other than the person I am addressing in my song; I’m unmoved and dismissive even of him,” says Kenzie. “This suggests that my comparison of the man, who is filling my glass and treating me alright by all measures, leaves me unfulfilled not because he’s missing something or is inadequate in some way, but because I only have eyes for this other guy.”

13 | Titus Bank | I Do Yeah

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Titus Bank has a voice that can stop an audience in its tracks. The Vancouver pop adventurer can effortlessly shift from a smooth croon to a soulful vibrato to a note-perfect howl — arresting and inviting; confident yet vulnerable. Titus is now entering the next phase of an already-prolific music career via the unveiling of I Do Yeah, the first seismic single from his forthcoming debut solo album. I Do Yeah showcases a mature and fully realized pop vision. The song is the result of multiple writing sessions with Toronto pop quartet Valley — evolving from a sea breeze acoustic sway towards an incandescent swirl of synths, tasteful tremolo-and-fuzz dusted licks, punctuated by Titus’ rafters-reaching vocal glide.”

14 | Welcome Center | Parasite City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Welcome Center, the Dallas/Philadelphia electronic-pop duo of Jesse Smith and Aaron Sternick, present the video for Parasite City, the first single from the band’s EP Talk Talk Talk, out July 16. Parasite City is the band’s ‘glass is half-full’ song about everything they experienced in the last year. As Jesse Smith explains, “It’s easy to complain, and it’s easy to give in to that dark part of your mind that tells you things are never going to get better.” He adds, “I’ve done my fair share of both many times in my life. It’s a lot harder to say ‘Everything feels pointless today/this month/this year, and I can barely get out of bed — but I am going to keep pushing through and hold onto the hope that one day it will get better than this.’ ”

15 | Bizou | Tragic Lover

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “L.A. band Bizou are excited to share Days Of Honey, the latest single from their debut album Tragic Lover, out June 4. The album is the followup to the band’s EP stilllifeburning, released last year. Bizou features current and former members of Light FM, The Smashing Pumpkins, Wax Idols and Glaare. Combining propulsive darkwave rhythms, shifting synth scales, haunting vocals and a wall of shivering shoegaze guitars, Bizou craft a sound entirely their own. Formed in 2017, Bizou have shared stages with Drab Majesty, Ötzi, Hunny and many others — spinning their gossamer web of dark and bright sonic waves around goth and pop fans alike.”