Indie Roundup | 68 Songs To Make You Work For It This Wednesday (Part 1)

Smiling, Damn Truth, Angels & Airwaves, Wallflowers & more kick off a helluva day.


Smiling deal with memory, loss and memory loss, The Damn Truth come clean, Angels & Airwaves find their bliss, Disturbios offer some sun and surf, The Wallflowers take stock — and if you haven’t already noticed, your latest Midweek Roundup is bursting with big names and great tracks. Take your time today — you’ll be glad you did.


1 | Smiling | Forgetful Sam

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “San Diego shoegaze and psych-pop foursome Smiling (formerly Annie Girl and The Flight) share the first track from their new album Devour, out Aug. 6. Feel the salty air and melancholy of their video Forgetful Sam. Smiling are the electric brainchild of guitarist and vocalist Annie Shaw, who says: “The meanings of my songs usually change over time and that’s absolutely the case with Forgetful Sam. At the time of writing it, my friend Chloe Buckley was still alive. She passed on and then she became the ‘her’ I can’t stop thinking about when I hear the song. She was a pro surfer and it’s her surfing in the video. Regardless of what I was thinking when I wrote it, Forgetful Sam has become a song about unnatural systems destroying themselves and longing for those who’ve passed on.”

2 | The Damn Truth | This Is Who We Are Now

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal rockers The Damn Truth premiere the video for This Is Who We Are Now, from their third album Now or Nowhere, released on May 7. The video is proof that inspiration can strike anytime. The song itself was “born on the road and can be considered a 100% group collaboration,” says Tom Shemer. “I will never forget that moment when I was driving to a concert in East Texas and PY was sitting next to me. I said to him, Hey, press record on the voice recorder, and I hummed This is who we are now into his phone. Months later, while we were in the studio, Lee-la took the microphone and without putting anything on paper, she did the take. That’s it, that’s all.”

3 | Angels & Airwaves | Euphoria

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Angels & Airwaves return with the searing new single Euphoria. Bristling with incendiary guitars, explosive drums and spacey electronic elements, the infectious track captures the allure of an edgy romance. The provocative official video for Euphoria was directed by Angels & AirwavesTom DeLonge, weaving a tale of intrigue complete with a femme fatale, her lover, a mysterious motorcyclist, Area 51 intelligence and a tour de force performance by the band. “In a music world that seems to be absent guitars, angst, and emotional authenticity, I felt it was important to lead with a song that mirrors the post-hardcore days of my youth, where the power of the music creates that feeling we once had as teenagers, where we wanted to break something and change the poisonous environment within our broken homes,” explains Tom DeLonge. “These emotions create us. This song shows the seductive nature of an intense love built with that baggage from our youth, from being born into an imperfect household.”

4+5 | Disturbios | Surf Gnossienne + Summer Loves

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ahead of their debut album out Friday, N.Y.C. underground art-rock project Disturbios share two new singles and videos: Surf Gnossienne and Summer Loves. The first is a slinky, psychedelic take on composer Erik Satie’s 19th century Gnossiennes pieces; the second finds British singer Gemma Ray crooning about a faithful girl tricked by the balmy summer air into looking past her lover’s casual cruelty. Formed by Rocio and Matt Verta-Ray, the minds behind legendary NY HED Studio, Disturbios’ debut album is a marriage of blissed-out raunch and vintage rock ’n’ roll aesthetics that quenches their thirst for all things analog, electronic, minimalist, dada and beyond.”

6 | The Wallflowers | Maybe Your Heart’s Not In It No More

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Wallflowers have released the next single from their forthcoming album, Exit Wounds. Jakob Dylan described Maybe Your Heart’s Not In It No More as “a conversation you could find yourself having with your muse — one where you’re asking if they’ve changed their mind or have you changed yours. Are you still in sync or have you lost touch? You’ll be needing one another — so checking on each other’s condition now and then is a good idea.”

7 | Cleopatrick | 2008

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cleopatrick have released the haunting and heartfelt standout ballad 2008 and its accompanying animated video, created by Shuyler Nazareth. 2008 appears on the band’s highly anticipated debut album Bummer, due out on June 4. Shining a spotlight on Luke Gruntz’s hypnotic and expressive vocals, 2008 provides the most honest moment on the band’s forthcoming release. “It’s the most vulnerable cleopatrick song,” shares Gruntz. “Consequently, it’s the song that means the most to me out of anything I’ve ever written.”

8 | Forgivers | Pretty Boys

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “New Jersey rock band Forgivers release their new single and video Pretty Boys. Mixing British influences such as The Cure, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Clash and Oasis, infused with their own unique and distinctive dynamic, Forgivers have created a song that embraces a dark, muscular and shimmering psychedelic swagger, recalling some of the finest alt-rock of the 120 Minutes-era. “Pretty Boys is a 1980s fever dream, and like our favorite rock ’n’ roll dream songs, it was written in a rush of inspiration and grounded with a cinematic guitar riff,” says frontman Jed Winokur. “While the verse vignettes hint at the larger idea of longing that the chorus drums up in ‘love can’t seem to light the way,’ there’s also something else lurking in the lyrics — the idea that what we long for may also be longing for us too.”

9 | Liz Lawrence | Down For Fun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Liz Lawrence announces her third studio album The Avalanche, due September 2021, and shares new single Down For Fun. At the start of summer 2020, Lawrence left London and moved back to her hometown in the West Midlands. She built a studio from scratch with her dad, a carpenter, on the site where her grandfather’s garden shed had stood unopened for 20 years. She christened it The Coffin. During that period of upheaval, she completed the album, including opener and lead single Down For Fun. She says: “Moving back brought up a lot of complicated feelings, and Down For Fun is about returning to a place I was desperate to leave for so long. It’s definitely the sort of music I would have listened to when I was last walking down these streets. But it isn’t nostalgic. It isn’t sentimental. All the subcultures and countercultures I was around were very male-dominated, and this is about feeling like there are other options. It’s the words I needed to hear.”

10 | The Early Mornings | Days Spent

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Manchester’s The Early Mornings share their unruly new track Days Spent, taken from the debut EP Unnecessary Creation, out June 18. Days Spent was filmed in their bare practice space; a minimalist feel that contrasts the frenetic sound. “Our previous videos were shot over several weeks in dozens of locations, so we wanted to keep this one simple. There’s no concept or elaboration — just us in a room playing. I like to see what a band looks like playing live when I first hear them, so here we are.”

11 | Francis Lung | The Let Down

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Forty years on, Francis Lung and producer Brendan Williams look back on the making of The Let Down in this fictional episode of Historic Singles. Says Francis: “I’m really happy to make my directorial debut with this ridiculous ‘classic albums’ spoof for my new single The Let Down. Thanks so much to everyone who worked hard to help me pull this together.”

12 | Wednesday | Handsome Man

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Twin Plagues is the upcoming third album from Asheville’s Wednesday, featuring Karly Hartzman on lead vocals and guitar. Their first lead single and video for Handsome Man is out now. Karly says: “This song is kind of about using absurdity as an outlet. I think the magical realism/absurd nature of Richard Braughtigan / George Saunders / Isabell Allende novels is what attracts me to them. I find comfort now in things that make no sense. Believing things happen in a random fashion is the only comfort in a world where bad things are always happening on purpose.”

13 | Mae Powell | Weird Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The title of Mae Powell’s debut album Both Ways Brighter came to her during a conversation with her friend about the days getting longer as they inched toward spring. They were trying to figure out if the sun both rose earlier and set later, if the daylight lengthened in both directions. The phrase stuck with Powell, who meditated on it for a week as it began to take on broader significance — about the unknowability of life and learning how to trust in the way forward, the idea that whatever path you take, you’re going where you’re supposed to be going. Today she shares the tropical exotica-tinged single Weird Dreams, a song about dreaming and what our subconscious may or may not be trying to tell us. Turn it up, tune in, drop out.”

14 | Jesse Roper | Does Anybody Know

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jesse Roper continues to tease music from an upcoming album due later in 2021, dropping the serendipitous, Motown-infused single Does Anybody Know. He notes, “It was kind of funny how the song came about. I’d been listening to a lot of Leon Bridges at the time and it was just a matter of time before I wrote something in that fashion. The song is about a guy who’s been dumped and is confused and looking for his ex all around town. I was in a relationship when I wrote it, so it had no particular meaning to me. But months later, after I got home from a long tour, my girlfriend met me at her door and informed me that she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with me. I was shocked and hurt and suffering from all those feelings. The song now felt like foreshadowing to my own future, and I was almost embarrassed to sing it.”

15 | Katy J Pearson | Miracle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Katy J Pearson has shared the video for Miracle, taken from her much-acclaimed debut album Return, released last November. Talking about the beautifully quirky cow-themed video shot on the English Riviera and directed by Joe Lycett, Katy comments: “This video was an absolute dream to make. Joe was just such a pleasure to work with and I’m so happy he listened to my whacky ideas about cows and the coast. Was such a special time and I hope everybody enjoys it as much as I did making it. Big thanks to Muriel the cow, of course, who was the star of the show!”

16 | Hannah Georgas | Dreams (Batrees Strange Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed indie-pop songstress Hannah Georgas announced the June 18 release of All That Emotion Versions, a new EP that re-examines a series of songs from her acclaimed 2020 album with a host of new collaborators. A seductive, pulsing remix of Dreams by the ascendant Bartees Strange is out today to announce the EP. Alongside Strange, the EP features Kate Stables (This Is The Kit), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck), Owen Pallett and The National’s Matt Berninger. “Having the opportunity to connect and collaborate with Bartees, Kate, Owen, Matt and Graham has been a treat,” says Hannah. “It’s been sweet to realise a new side to these songs and it’s always refreshing to hear my music in a completely different way. Collaboration is an integral part of making music for me, and it’s felt extra special to do this during the pandemic.”

17 | Andrew Hung | Wave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the recent announcement of his second solo album Devastations, artist and musician Andrew Hung has shared a video for the new single Wave. It’s he third track to be taken from Hung’s forthcoming album, following Promises, which was accompanied by a video directed by cult director Jim Hosking. The video features Joe Walters, who also starred in Hosking’s The Greasy Strangler.”

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