Indie Roundup | 36 Songs To Put In Your Pipe & Smoke This Thursday (Part 1)

Lung, Idles, Yola, Copeland and Shepherd, Jim Ward and other acts to fire you up.


Lung see the light, Idles join the gang, Yola breaks free, Shemekia Copeland and Kenny Wayne Shepherd fight fire with fire, Jim Ward takes a long, hard look in the mirror — but why open that can of worms when you could just enjoy another exciting Thursday Roundup? It’s also theraputic — but without all the guilt and regret:


1 | Lung | Sun God

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Powerhouse art-punk / cello-rock duo Lung have a sound that is dark and commanding, evoking the driving sludge of early grunge with layered sinister undertones. Sun God are Kate Wakefield, a classically trained opera singer and cellist, and drummer Daisy Caplan, formerly of Foxy Shazam, Babe Rage and Ayin. Lung will release their third full-length album Come Clean Right Now. “The record is indirectly or perhaps directly influenced by books I was reading,” says Wakefield. “I read poetry daily over the past year. I love the poets Joy Harjo and Ellen Bass. I’m also into Buddhist and consciousness literature, and was able to really dive into a lot of beautiful books that helped to keep me sane. There was an interesting divide between what I was reading and how I was feeling. It all just comes back to trying to practise what you preach, failing, and trying again, and the record reflects that. There is a lot of brutal honesty in this album: anger, sadness, the highs and insecurities of new love, and the realization that although we think we can control our lives, ultimately that is an illusion.”

2 | Idles | Damaged Goods

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Idles just shared a cover of Damaged Goods, the latest single from The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four. After several delays, the full record is finally coming out June 4. It features an absolutely incredible lineup of artists, including Gary Numan, Flea, John Frusciante, La Roux, The Dandy Warhols and a ton more — all covering Gang Of Four songs that defined the band’s career.”

3 | Yola | Stand For Myself

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Yola released the video for the title track of her anthemic new album Stand For Myself, which will be released on July 30. The single debuted today with a powerful video directed by Allister Ann. The clip features Yola escaping from a world that has entrapped her, riding a vintage motorcycle whilst depicting a nuanced definition of Black female strength and drawing on visual references from the music videos from her childhood. “My school years were during the ’90s and ’00s, and Missy Elliott’s videos were always aesthetically superior to me.” Yola stated, adding “I feel that the video is set in the antechamber to freedom. The feeling of escaping something truly oppressive and heading towards an unknown with a sense of hope and choice you haven’t felt in a long time. We all have the capacity to go through this process in our own minds, I kinda look like a superhero at times, but I’m not. I’m just a person trying to be free.”

4 | Shemekia Copeland and Kenny Wayne Shepherd | Hit ’Em Back

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Contemporary blues standard bearers Shemekia Copeland and Kenny Wayne Shepherd have collaborated on Hit ‘Em Back. It was recorded just two weeks ago, with Copeland and Shepherd joined by Robert Randolph on steel guitar and veteran blues drummer Tony Coleman, who has worked with B.B. King, Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland, Albert King and Buddy Guy. Hit ‘Em Back was written at the urging of Shemekia, who asked lyricist John Hahn to write a song to address divisiveness and anger within the greater blues community. Thereafter, she reached out to Kenny Wayne, asking if he would write music for the lyrics and join her to record the song.”

5 | Jim Ward | Foreign Currency

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jim Ward (Sparta, At The Drive-In, Sleepercar) has shared Foreign Currency, the latest track from his forthcoming solo album Daggers, due out on June 11. Jim shares, “I think that when everything stopped in 2020 and I couldn’t make any plans and there was no going anywhere I finally stopped and looked back and started to really unpack some things emotionally and mentally that I had put in a shelf way in the back. A lot of that became blueprints for this records lyrics and themes — Foreign Currency dives right into the realization that the result of living without being totally honest with yourself first is going to hurt the ones you love the most. Sometimes it takes a lockdown, a guitar and some real honest alone time to get to the bottom of things.”

6 | Trialogos | Hikikomori

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Experimental/cinematic rock collective TrialogosConny Ochs, Sicker Man and Kiki Bohemia — present a video for the track Hikikomori. It appears on the trio’s impending debut LP Stroh Zu Gold, set for June. Hikikomori, also known as acute social withdrawal, is total withdrawal from society and seeking extreme degrees of social isolation and confinement. Sicker Man comments: “Trialogos is a project that was formed during the lockdown of the Coronavirus crisis and the character of this pandemic also defined the way we worked on this album. We were sitting secluded in our studio and improvising structures and musical elements. We interrupted the stream of sound only to eat and drink or to play cards while listening to our recordings. The music was a kind of campfire we sat around to keep us warm and sane. And as Hikikomori was part of the session, that was recorded on our very first day; it really represents the atmosphere and process of Stroh Zu Gold.”

7 | Monograms | Speak & Spell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Monograms will release the EP Floors And Ceilings on June 18. Repurposing the faded sounds 1980s lo-fi and the broken remnants of Brooklyn dream-pop, Monograms constructs a palette of post-apocalyptic soundscapes and warped atmospherics into his distinct ‘Nuke Wave’ sound. Speak & Spell is a fine case in point. Monograms funnelled the doomsday-like scenes and twitching unrest surrounding the Capital riots into the work — in the form of a bass riff that pulses like a countdown to the end of days, layers of scattered percussives, dislocated vocals, and overdriven synthesisers build to a critical mass of chaotic and compulsive sounds in delirious meltdown. Monograms says: “Everyday felt like a new catastrophe. Everyone on edge at all times. I know it made me feel kinda crazy and it also felt like a lot of people were being fooled, which is sort of par for the course at times but this felt like a strange new dilema given all the circumstances. As it all unfolded, it almost encapsulated a heavy dose, all at once, of a bunch of other s**t we’re all just stuck living in.”

8 | Mindy | Am I Alive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Today, for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Korean-American electronic/dance singer, songwriter & producer Mindy shared a biting single/video Am I Alive, about her “struggles with violence and the relentless cycles of murder, pain, and healing.” It’s off her newly announced solo EP Version 1.27 (out July 23), following her work in Night Dreamer with Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder, Goon & Wam Dingis. Mindy got her start in music with mentor and friend Lior Goldenberg (Allen Stone producer, Alanis Morissette, Andrew WK, Ziggy Marley) and built a reputation for kinetic and unexpected performance art with cherry pies, wigs, and hand-sewn nun costumes — not to mention headbanging songs about feminism, religiosity, and capitalism. Her voice & music draws comparisons to Santigold, Sia, Charli XCX, Blonde Redhead & beyond.”

9 | Girl In Red | Body And Mind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Girl In Red releases the video for Body And Mind, from her freshly released debut album, If I Could Make It Go Quiet. It’s a melancholy meditation on vulnerability, human condition and how one traumatic experience can change how you view both your spirit and the vessel carrying it. Girl In Red explains: “It’s about you realizing you’re only a person, and the outer world can easily affect your body, even though you don’t feel like it’s affecting your mind. It’s that dissonance between your mind and who you are as a person… Sometimes it’s really hard to grasp that we’re actually just humans, even though we take that shit for granted every day. We walk around, eat our breakfast, eat our dinner, we’re talking to people. Body And Mind was an outlet to express that I’ve gotten a deeper understanding of what it is to be human. Seeing what happens to your body but you don’t feel that happening to your body — it’s just a really weird thing.”

10 | Foxing | Where The Lightning Strikes Twice

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Foxing have garnered a reputation as a band that go big. But with three sprawling and well-received records now under their belt, the band had seemingly left themselves little ground to uncover. But just when you think you know what to expect, they exceed every expectation. Enter Draw Down The Moon, the band’s exhilarating album due Aug. 6. Here, they tackle the biggest subject possible: the universe. More specifically, “it’s about the idea of your cosmic significance,” explains frontman Conor Murphy. “The way you feel like a tiny speck in the grand scheme of the universe, that’s a feeling everybody has. You can get lost thinking about how small you are. Draw Down The Moon explores how our connections to people and places and ideas are what binds us to the universe and reality.”

11 | Joanna Serrat | Demons

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Demons is the third single from Joanna Serrat’s album Hardcore From The Heart, out June 11. Her fifth album is the follow-up to 2017’s Dripping Springs. For this recording, Serrat travelled from her home in Vic, a small city near Barcelona, to Joey McClellan of Midlake’s Redwood Studio in Denton, Tex. There she teamed up with engineer and producer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo).”

12 | The Arthur Brothers | Watson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As the old saying goes, fortune favours the bold. It’s a line that can be justifiably attributed to London collective The Arthur Brothers. Their debut album Nine, released late last year, epitomises a musical project as nuanced as it is flamboyant, unbound and unburdened by genre. An artistic alliance centred around brothers Matt and Danny Arthur, the duo are complimented by the presence of producer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist J. C. Wright. With accolades globally and two award-winning animated videos, it’s clear The Arthur Brothers’ unique ingenuity and imaginative ambition has resonated with the wider music community.”

13 | The Quilter | The Long Weekend

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Quilter is Glasgow native Stuart Dougan, who made an impact on the Scottish indie scene with French Wives and Smash Williams, and now returns on his own terms — writing and recording most of his debut EP alone. The Long Weekend is his most anthemic indie pop tune yet. He says.: “This song was in part inspired by a viral clip I saw from the set of Uncut Gems where the crew had finished filming and were all dancing to I Feel It Coming by The Weeknd. It was just a short clip but I wanted to try and capture the palpable sense of joy that was clearly being felt at the time. It was written during lockdown and is basically a love letter to my friends and daydreaming about getting to hang out and have fun in a post pandemic world.”

14 | Neckscars | NotEnoughJPMs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s easy to let the negative outweigh the positive. So how do you shake those feelings of underachieving when they start creeping back? Your best defence is to pull back and reflect on everything that you have accomplished — and that’s exactly what Neckscars do on Not Enough JPMs. Set to an explosive punk rock soundscape, Not Enough JPMs drives the message directly into your skull. Neckscars will release Don’t Panic on June 18.”

15 | As It Is | IDGAF

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:As It IsPatty Walters, Ronald Ish and Alistair Testo — are back and they’re angrier than ever! The band just shared the video for IDGAF and it’s quite an anthem: A unifying, emotional, and inspired battle cry for the past year and the times we’ve all been living in during the lockdown and pandemic. “IDGAF was the first thing we created that made us feel anything,” the band reveals. “It harnesses so many feelings that we’ve all been experiencing, so if you’re anxious, heartbroken, pissed off, and wanna give the fuck up, turn the volume up. The raw attitude and energy of this track ended up defining the direction of the rest of this record. This is As It Is — unsettled, unhinged and unboxed.”

16 | Bones Of The Earth | Peaceseeker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Arkansas hardcore/doom trio Bones Of The Earth unveil their video for Peaceseeker, off the album II: Eternal Meditations Of A Deathless Crown, released last month. Bound by a mutual love of medieval fantasy, sci-fi, and a desire to create uncompromisingly heavy music, Bones Of The Earth were forged in 2018 and immediately began writing material that would become their debut concept album, 2019’s I: The Imminent Decline Of Human Spirit, interweaving jagged hardcore tempos, dominating vocals, and sludgy riffs with post-metal ambiance”.

17 | Epoch Of Chirality | Labyrinth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Epoch of Chirality bring an epic amalgam of metal with soundscapes straight out of an ’80s sci-fi movie soundtrack. Richard How, based in the South West of England, is the experienced multi-instrumentalist, composer and self-confessed sci-fi geek behind the project. The new single Labyrinth offers a taste of Epoch Of Chirality’s upcoming album Nucleosynthesis, releasing July 23. How comments: “It’s the first of two singles to support the launch of my debut sci-fi metal album.”

18 | Mama Doom | Oh, Lucifer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ash Bone Skin N Stone is the sophomore album by haunting hard rockers Mama Doom. Forming a perfect union with crushing bass and drums, the New York trio’s  sound should be familiar to fans of doom rock, but at the same time offer a strangely unfamiliar and unique tone, given its impressive component parts. Traversing a spectrum that spans traditional blues, doom, and ego-death metal, and fronted by the supremely gifted High Priestess D. Lolli, Mama Doom are a serious force to be reckoned with. Ash Bone Skin N Stone will be released on July 23.”