alt-J, midnight oil, Andy Shauf, Jo Schornikow and more

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So many artists, so little time. Every week, we review a handful of new albums (from all genres), round up even more new music that we’d call “indie” and talk about what’s coming out of metal. We post music news, track premieres and more all day. We update a weekly playlist of some of our current favorite tracks. Here is a daily summary with a bunch of interesting and recently released songs in one place.

ALT-J – “THE ACTOR”

alt-J’s anticipated fourth album The dream arrives this Friday, and here is another single: “The Actor”. Like previous singles, it finds alt-J showing a more relaxed and chilled side, and here’s what they say about the inspiration behind this one: “Hollywood, 1982. Another hopeful young movie star arrives in search of The Dream. What follows is a tale of despair, drugs and death at LA’s most notorious hotel. It’s ‘The Actor’.”

MIDNIGHT OIL – “AT THE TIME OF WRITING”

Midnight Oil’s new album Resist, which they say will be their last, will be released next week and here’s one last single before it’s all out. It’s as anthemic as one might expect, as they are preparing a bleak future for us if we do nothing about climate change.

ANDY SHAUF – “SATAN” and “JACOB ROSE”

“When I was young, there were a few years when I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween,” Shauf says of the inspiration behind his new single “Satan.” “The church I grew up in said that Halloween was ‘the day of the devil’ and had its roots in satanic rituals. After a few years of this, my parents realized it was kind of silly to deny us our free candy and let us take it back. The Christianity I was raised in said believers went to heaven and non-believers went to hell. A sort of caricatural simplification of ancient texts. So with the lyrics to this song, I was trying to take this cartoon-like simplification of life (and death) and pair it with a cartoon-like version of this Christian hell. Where after completing a long and disciplined life, you find yourself clutching a bite-sized bar of chocolate stapled to an invitation to a Halloween pool party with Satan himself. “Satan” is half of a new digital single which also includes “Jacob Rose”.

POWERLESS – “THE EMPTY GESTURE”

As mentioned, British metal band Helpless are gearing up to release Caged in gold on 03/25 via Church Road, and here is the second single “The Empty Gesture”. It has elements of muck, grind, mathcore, post-metal, and more, and while it’s not easy to pin down, it’s very easy to love.

8 KALACAS – “PUDRETE”

Orange County ska-core band release new album, Borders, on March 25 via Atomic Fire Records, and the first single is “Pudrete”, a rage that sounds like Voodoo Glow Skulls are getting into riffy metal. “We sing about the literal borders that so many countries enforce, which keep humans separated and discriminated against,” the band says. “But we also sing about the boundaries in our heads that keep us from being happy or that keep us from believing that we are worthy people capable of doing more than society tells us we can do.”

BARRIE – “JENNY”

Brooklyn-based songwriter and producer Barrie’s second album, Barbaric, due out next month via Winspear, and the latest single is “Jenny”. “I was looking for James Taylor for guitar and The Band for organ to try and capture an American feel for Jenny,” Barrie said. “These artists are able to simultaneously encapsulate a swagger and earnestness that gives their music a grown-up, classic feel. I wanted Jenny to sound like a song from the American Songbook; any level of musician could play it. and it would be nice to play either alone with your guitar, around a campfire with friends, or at a big gig with everyone singing. I wrote it thinking back to a tour memory, when I met my wife. We had a day off in Austin, and a group of us went swimming in a creek. I imagined that day, before I was aware of any connection between us, and I imagined how it would have been if I had been. I wasn’t devoted right away, I wasn’t sure.”

DEVON KAY AND THE SOLUTIONS – “UNWRITTEN” (NATASHA BEDINGFIELD COVER)

Devon Kay & the Solutions put their indie/pop/punk/ska/whatever spin on Natasha Bedingfield’s 2004 pop hit “Unwritten.” Pretty cool!

REBELMATIC – “WATER WALK”

New York punks Rebelmatic are gearing up for a new EP, mourning dove, which Afropunk says is due out this spring and features a collaboration with Fishbone’s Angelo Moore. The first single is “Walk On Water”, a ripper sounding straight out of early 80s American hardcore.

JO SCHORNIKOW – “VISIONS”

Nashville-via-Melbourne singer-songwriter and musician Jo Schornikow has announced a new album, ALTARwhich will be released on May 20 via Keeled Scales, and shared the new single “Visions”, a warm and ironic track accompanied by a video directed by Noah Hanson.

CHARMING CATASTROPHE – “NOTRE-DAME DU RADIUM”

Gothic orch-pop duo Charming Disaster will release a new album Our Lady of Radium on March 4, an album inspired by Marie Curie. Check out the ornate title track.

SUPERCHUNK – “ON THE FLOOR”

Superchunk will release a new album wild loneliness later this month, and it’s very different from any album they’ve done before, as almost every song features notable guest musicians and vocalists. The latest single is “On the Floor”, featuring backing vocals by Mike Mills of REM and piano by Franklin Bruno.

SADURN – “SNAKE”

Philadelphia indie band Sadurn just signed with Run For Cover for the release of their debut album Radiator

KENDRA MORRIS – “NINE LIVES”

Kendra Morris’ new album nine lives comes out next week, and you can find out more about the retro psychedelic soul of the title track here.

FIREBREATHER – “PAIN”

Swedes Firebreather deliver seven minutes of stoner doom on this new track which you can find out more about here.

PUPPY – “…AND WATCHED IT SHINE”

“…And Watched It Glow” by British band Puppy is a heavy, shoegazy, catchy alt-rock song that sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins and Torch in a blender, and you can hear more about it here.

Looking for even more new songs? Browse the archive of new songs.

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