Indie Roundup | 119 Tracks To Put A Spell On You This Weekend (Part 1)

Who's on first? Why, it's Billy F. Gibbons, Strange Bones, Velvet Insane and more.

Billy F. Gibbons draws a winning hand, Strange Bones are not keeping calm and carrying on, Velvet Insane are crazy for the ’70s, Loud Women are taking to the streets, Superbloom feel muzzled — but don’t worry, there are more than 100 other artists with plenty to say in your latest epic Weekend Roundup. After you. No, I insist:


1 | Billy F. Gibbons | My Lucky Card

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:My Lucky Card is the third video from Billy F. Gibbons’ upcoming solo album Hardware, out June 4. It was shot in and around Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, the celebrated cantina/honky-tonk originally built as part of the western movie set where The Cisco Kid and Gene Autry TV shows were filmed. Says Gibbons, “We thought Pappy’s would be a great place for us to do the video since it reflects the rough and tumble high desert vibe that was the inspiration for the album.” He revealed that the stage performance of the song as seen in the video is the first and only take and confided, “I play a slide guitar in this one but neglected to bring a proper slide along for the shoot. Necessity being a mother, we improvised and used a beer bottle. We went through a case or more looking for just the right bottle neck and, at last, found one on a classic Mexican brew. That was some thirst-quenching research to be sure.”

2 | Strange Bones | England Screams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K. act Strange Bones are set to kick-start their next chapter with their album England Screams, out on Aug. 20. As a taste of things to come, the band have shared the title track, a ferocious call to arms that blurs the lines between punk and electronica. The song features an anthemic hook and lyrically focuses on the ever-changing thought process behind human behavior. Frontman Bobby Bentham explains: “It’s like we’re living in a pantomime, everyone is waiting and expecting for something shocking to happen. It’s a reality TV show: England Screams. Society’s paradigm of a typical human being is breaking down, constantly changing, in some amazing ways, in a new world which feels more authoritarian than ever. It’s as if we’re moving forwards and backwards at the same time, an insane contradiction that is fuelled by the hyper-normal behaviour of the press and the state, which are inevitably the same thing.”

3 | Velvet Insane | Backstreet Liberace (ft. Dregen & Nicke Andersson)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish rockers Velvet Insane go wham-bam glam and wring the clock back to 1973 in the video for Backstreet Liberace” With guest appearances from Dregen and Nicke Andersson of The Hellacopters, the Swedes are in good company. The band comment: “We feel very proud about this song and that it breathes and swaggers like it was made in London 1973, but with the modern sound of today. Smooth pop harmonies pumped up by heavy drums and barbed-wire guitars, and with a chorus that hits you right where it hurts. On top of it all, we got Dregen and Nicke Andersson from The Hellacopters to jump in the back seat, giving us a helping hand in our purpose to keep rock ‘n’ roll alive. It can’t get any better than that!”

4 | Loud Women | Reclaim These Streets

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Collaborative single Reclaim These Streets is a powerful statement of intent from U.K. collective Loud Women. Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama, Shakespears Sister), Brix Smith (The Fall) and Patsy Stevenson (the face of the Clapham vigil) join more than 60 female vocalists for the charity single. The song was written by Loud Women’s founder Cassie Fox, with a spoken word/rap section written and performed by Brix Smith. Instrumentation is provide by a female and non-binary supergroup with members of My Bloody Valentine, Salad and punk band T-Bitch. The contributing vocalists form a who’s who of women in the alternative music scenes in the U.K., U.S.A., mainland Europe and Ireland. Smith said: “When I was asked to take part I said ‘absolutely!’, because when I thought about it, not a day has gone by when I’ve not felt scared to walk down the street. And that needs to change, for all of us.”

5 | Superbloom | Muzzle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn alt-rock band Superbloom continue to roll out singles off their upcoming LP Pollen, which will be released June 1. Muzzle is the followup to Whatever and Mary on a Chain. Known mostly for their grunge-y guitar rock, this new acoustic track shows off a new side of the four-piece, and is indicative of the multi-dimensional sounds featured on the new LP. Vocalist/guitarist Dave Hoon says, “I think the song is about having something to say but choosing not to — for better or for worse. The kids in the video are doing the same shit we all did growing up — before we started paying attention to what’s going on around us. And the video is found footage developed by this guy on YouTube — so there’s no sound and it’s unedited. I thought that was a cool thing for this song.”

6 | Giant Sky | Human

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “London alt-rockers Giant Sky released their latest single Human, accompanied by a live video. Forming in 2019, the band had to quickly evolve their methods of creation as they’ve spent most of their time apart due to lockdown. However, a common love of Jimmy Eat World, Pixies, Biffy Clyro and Tegan and Sara would bring them together and influence their creative style. Even with these old-school inspirations, Human can be compared to the likes of Wolf Alice, Cranberries and Soccer Mommy. Giant Sky tells us: “Our fourth single is inspired by the LGBTQ community, the hate and mistrust they face every day, and how they keep fighting regardless of it. We hope one day the community will be accepted by everyone.”

7 | Luke Elliot | Boom Boom Mancini

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Luke Elliot’s new single, a cover of the Warren Zevon classic Boom Boom Mancini, has been released worldwide. The New Jersey-born Elliot, who now lives in Oslo, Norway recalls, “When I was living in New Haven, Connecticut, I would listen to the album Sentimental Hygiene on repeat in my car, and I always played Boom Boom Mancini twice. There’s a violence to it that made me curious, a ferocity in Warren’s voice that made me want to find out more about the story, more about the people involved.”

8 | Jean-Paul De Roover | Prisoners

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Productive, prolific singer-songwriter Jean-Paul De Roover releases his new single and lyric video Prisoners. De Roover is an expert songwriter and accomplished electric guitarist with a rich and captivating voice. He continues to offer a strong sense of dynamics and arrangement as in his previous recordings. Prisoners (co-written with drummer Dennis Dumphy) finds De Roover occupying a stormy Bermuda Triangle of progressive metal, bounded by Rage Against the Machine, vintage Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails; all treated vocals, double-kick drums, and cross-faded harmonies – railing explosively against the jailhouse bars of social media and constant screen time. Of course, this is ever more significant with each passing day in lockdown, as we rely more and more on Zoom calls and text messages. “That’s what inspired the lyrics,” says De Roover. “The fact that we’re all prisoners, whose very digital being is an asset.”

9 | Alyssa Joseph | Easier

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Indie-rocker and self-identified ‘grungy sadgirl’ Alyssa Joseph released a deliciously creative lyric video for her song Easier. From bagels to baked beans, the lyrics in the video are made entirely from diner breakfast food! The song is about a relationship that neither member is truly willing to exit. Holding nothing back on this garage-tinged rocker, Joseph presses her powerful voice and growling guitars to describe someone struggling to swallow the lies they tell themselves to get through the day. She elaborates: “Easier is a nod to my New Jersey roots and just an honest song where I call out an ex and myself. We’d meet up once a month at diners after we dated to keep the door open, since that was easier than finding someone new. Writing this song forced me to take a hard look at how I cope with heartbreak and isolation.”

10 | Emily Davis & The Murder Police | Why Weren’t They Stunned

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “El Paso’s favorite alt-punk band Emily Davis and The Murder Police release Why Weren’t They Stunned? from their forthcoming album Never A Moment Alone, due out on June 25. Davis, a former member of Cigarettes After Sex and a desert-punk shredder whose voice is reminiscent of legends (and personal influences) like Dolores O’Riordan, Shirley Manson, Jenny Lewis and Neko Case, tackles the world and society’s penchant for head-scratching behavior with clever lyrics and dry humor, while The Murder Police back her up like a freight train of energy. In this timely new track, they address our lack of concern and care when it comes to the role we play in climate change, and in other world issues like the pandemic — or as Davis says, “I don’t think we act with any urgency anymore and that lack of urgency continuously bites us in the ass.”

11 | Mike Boguski | Here’s To Tomorrow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mike Boguski has been playing keyboards for Canadian Music Hall of Famers Blue Rodeo since 2008, but when he’s had the the chance to explore different musical avenues in recent years, the results have consistently revealed his naturally restless creative spirit. It appears again on his latest single Here’s To Tomorrow, a trippy instrumental composed with the intent (as its title suggests) to re-invigorate us after the hardship and strife of the previous year. Boguski says, “I had written this tune primarily as an eff-you to covid. I wanted it to honour those who were lost, but also as a stare down and ‘bye-bye’ to 2020. Spring is here, the future is unwritten. From a musical standpoint, this piece also expresses my despondency over the state of modern rock.”

12 | The Picturebooks | Rebel (ft. Lizzy Hale)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Gritty blues-rock duo The Picturebooks release their single and video Rebel, featuring Grammy-winning vocalist Lizzy Hale of Halestorm. Hale states: “This project came into my life at a time when I really needed it. The pandemic stole a huge part of my life and my identity. I was forced to look myself in the mirror and figure out who I am without that missing piece. I had to remind myself that no matter what is happening outside … the flame that burns inside of me is still alive. Writing these lyrics was like drawing a road map to guide myself back to who I am. No one can do it for me, no one can save me but myself. In order to do that, I have to start a revolution inside my soul, and be a rebel from the inside out. This song is my war cry.”

13 | Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! | Bitter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and their DNA-distinct blend of “easycore” are back, and not a moment too soon. The Paris band just announced that their fourth album Gone Are The Good Days comes out July 30.To celebrate their return, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! have shared the video for the song Bitter, which opens the album. “Chunk is back — FINALLY,” says singer Bertrand Poncet. “Our last album came out six years ago. Since then, we’ve grown so much as individuals and as a band. We have had a lot more life experience, as humans and as musicians, to draw from. In addition to producing this record ourselves, we experimented with our songwriting approach and have tried new things that we cannot wait for you to hear. Don’t worry. It still has all the old Chunk feels that you know and love — with a fresh new sound.”

14 | With Confidence | Cult

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:With Confidence have released a video for their song Cult. It showcases guitarist Inigo Del Carmen, excelling on lead vocals against a soaring chorus that the band has become known for. “This song is about seeing someone as the sole source of happiness in your life and how unfair it is to put all that on another person as well as how toxic it can be to yourself,” says Inigo. “The narrative of the song follows a person who pledges themselves to this cult, offering all they have to this deity, only to blame the deity for something they’re literally doing to themselves. It touches on the importance of self-care and why you can’t find happiness if you’re always relying on the people around you to make you happy.”

15 | Lost In Society | Say Anything

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Jersey punks Lost In Society are back with the single Say Anything. It’s the first preview of their upcoming EP Stay Jaded, which will arrive June 18. “Recorded mid-quarantine, Say Anything is the first song written and produced in our own studio space,” says singer/guitarist Zach Moyle. “The song covers the anxiety of opening up and showing vulnerability in a relationship. I tend to have a habit of shutting down when faced with difficult conversations, so this song hits on those frustrating moments.”

16 | Point North | Nice Now

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative rock band Point North have released their new single Nice Now. Complete with pop hooks, an anthemic rock sound and a high-energy video to match, the single is here to stake its claim as the song of the summer. Vocalist Jon Lundin shares, “This song is about growing up in a small town where it wasn’t cool to be in the scene and love emo music and feeling like the black sheep, but deciding to say ‘fuck it’ and live our truths and play what we love and what we’re good at. We stuck to our roots here and just wanted to bring the energy and angst back.”