It’s almost the end of the month, and this post is super late. I feel a little bit bad about taking so long to make it, but not too bad. If you’ve been following my Why We Create series, you’ll know that I’m really attentive to, and protective of, my own creative energy. I’m constantly making decisions about what’s exciting for me, and what might sap my energy, and eventually leave me feeling burned out.

I took on a challenging mini-project last month – making a continuous DJ mix for the latest edition of Indie for a Cause. This is a thing I’ve never done before, and even with the excellent help and support of Echo the Human and Bug, it took a lot out of me. I loved doing the project, and maybe someday I’ll do something similar again.

I ended up making a lot of short spoken word pieces for the project, where creators in their own voices talked about an idea, an image, a dream, a memory, that inspires them as they make their music. Some artists gave me sounds or music for their pieces, but I made a lot of the music for them myself, and remixed what others gave me. This project-within-a-project relates to my other explorations of the creative process, and it was really fun to do. If you’re curious, you’ll have to listen to the IFAC Vol. 3 DJ mix to hear them – they’re not available anywhere else at the moment. I encourage you to check out the mix, both because the artist-submitted tracks are excellent, and because I’m proud of my little sketches.

And so, I finished that mix, and the spoken word pieces for it, and I recognized that I needed to retreat a bit into my own process. I started working on some songs that I’m really excited about. They’re solo tracks – no collaborators. And this is what I needed.

And I needed to give the process of writing blurbs and this post a bit longer than I usually do. And I needed not to ask others to work on it with me. Because sometimes, I gotta go it alone. I’ve learned this about myself. Working solo often gives me energy that I need in order to be a good partner when I’m working with others.

I am amazed at the odd friendships that I am building as a side effect of being part of the IMF community. They’re odd, because we don’t hang out, and I don’t know a lot about many IMF members that I think of as friends. But they’re strangely deep, because we share this creative thing together. And we understand each other like most people just don’t.

So, thanks to all you IMF people – my friends. I’m lucky to have you. Thanks for working with me sometimes, and sometimes letting me go it alone.

-popijininsky


Wlochy (Televangeles, Flora Lin)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Wlochy is named after a neighbourhood in Warsaw. When Televangeles’ sent me this dreamy and epic instrumental, I started working on the melodies, then showed the song to my partners in crime JJYY and Woolion, both from OK Feather and Cosmoose. They felt really inspired, as JJYY immediately sent me these mysterious verse and bridge melodies, while Woolion thought the epic atmosphere reminded him of Norse mythology and wrote some lyrics based on it.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Big synthy drama, and soaring Flora Lin vocals. The best kind of homage to big 80s europop, updated with some modern waviness. Just needs a big stage show and an arena to perform it in.

-popiininsky

We Are the Enemy (Lohm Remix) (Lohm, DHXP, Tone Deaf Deff)

FROM THE ARTIST:
A veritable smorgasbord of head bangin’ and booty shakin’

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Chops, stabs, and smashes, and kick drums like kicks in the side of the trunk you just got locked in. Lohm and Tone Deff Jeff are peanut butter and chocolate in this one. Better duck around the corner so the federales don’t clock you.

-popiininsky

A Relaxing Flight (Azzurra Nila)

FROM THE ARTIST:
none submitted

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
New agey minimal mallets and keyboards, and a lush bed of strings to tuck yourself into. But don’t drift off to soon – you’ll miss all the percussion in the second half of the track, when it really takes flight.

-popiininsky

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU (17 Letters)

FROM THE ARTIST:
none submitted

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Untz is real. Hyperpop vocals and house music meet and do-si-do a bit. Too short to really work up a sweat…maybe there’s a dance mix coming.

-popiininsky

Eternal Light (Brain Container)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Brain Container’s first single

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Wavy bedroom indie pop thing. Dreamy vocal buried under layers of lofi.

-popiininsky

Ghost in the Machine (Simulated Youth)

FROM THE ARTIST:
“Ghost in the Machine” is my latest single, released May 14th. This dark dance / cyberpunk-style rap song is about diminishing freedom of speech and overbearing surveillance around the world.
 📺🍿 Music video for “Ghost in the Machine”: https://youtu.be/fO6qrJEOPnA

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Glitched & garbled. A message from a parallel timeline. One where things are at least as tense as this one. Ghost in the Machine is right.

-popiininsky

A Triumphant Lord (Felknia)

FROM THE ARTIST:
This was wrote as an epic orchestral character theme, I hope it will transfer some energy to you !

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Trumphant is right – you can almost smell the blood, sweat, and tears. Makes me question my love for fantasy as I think about all the pain and brutality that came before it. Because music makes you feel thoughts, right?

-popiininsky

Get Around To It (Summersick)

FROM THE ARTIST:
My brother and I wrote “Get Around To It” about anxiety, procrastination, insomnia, and getting out of your own head.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Wholesome rock. The kind that Stacey’s mom doesn’t mind her listening to. For all the lazy young people with better things to do right now. You’re our future.

-popiininsky

When we go (Spegelns Vӓgar)

FROM THE ARTIST:
indie pop!

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Turn up the vocals and this could have been a top 40 AM radio song in 1974. Hippies on swings in gardens with acoustic guitars telling us about love.

-popiininsky

All the Slaw (popijininsky)

FROM THE ARTIST:
From my upcoming EP of new instrumental tracks, coming summer 2021. Get that slaw, y’all!

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:

Bleached Hair, Dead Skin (mx-mr)

FROM THE ARTIST:
none submitted

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Laid back rock, with singing that’s anything but. Hooky vocal melodies, mournful guitar licks.

-popiininsky

Miss Communication (Machlin)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Fun song dedicated to my high school band name inspired by classic metal and hard rock

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Electrometal / electothrash. It’s Joy Division vocals, over driving Judas Priest guitar riffs, and DEVO drums.

-popiininsky

Nightcrawler (Demo) (Bug)

FROM THE ARTIST:
This is the first track on my Bugged EP, a collection of songs which were in various stages of completion and, following computer issues, were released as-is rather than being scrapped.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
A little goth rock thing. Raw and rough around the edges. CBGB 1980-something vibes.

-popiininsky

M3M0RYH0L3 (Antediluvian Projekt)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Here’s one of the more proggy tracks from my debut album, which features trumpet in a progressive metal context. The outro adds +10 strength to any compound lift!

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Deeply mathematic. All unsettled odd time rhythms and syncopated crush, under soaring trumpet riffs. Somehow evocative of flamenco. It’s truly like nothing else I’ve heard.

-popiininsky

bash_command (PR)

FROM THE ARTIST:
A drums-forward battle between heavy bass and high-end synths

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Bloopy and bleepy and sweepy and machinery-sounding electric sheep dream.

-popiininsky

Couscous (Demo) (Sanchez Goodjoin)

FROM THE ARTIST:
folk soul rock song recorded with all live instruments! a groovy tune about a visit I took to Nashville

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:

Goodbye, Vol. 1 (Blue Mango)

FROM THE ARTIST:
This is the first of two volumes about how important it is to get both sides of the story when relationships fall apart. This first volume is one side of that story.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Loungey psych rock with dreampop vocals. Warped, bent, and clearly unreliably narrated. The moments when it narrows down to the distorted choruses are real tasty.

-popijininsky

Intergalactic Reptilian Shredders (SoCal Halfpipe Remix) [Radio Edit] (Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs!, Brian Sikes Howe)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Dinosaurs came from outer space to teach humans how to play with Tech Decks, skate, party, and drink beer.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Uptempo space ska – definitely a suitable soundtrack to an afternoon session on the halfpipe and some PBRs after. Music to get smelly to.

-popijininsky

Not This Life (Daphne Cerez, TedStedt)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Another collab! It’s an electro pop song about the pain of unreciprocated love and finding solace in believing that in an alternate universe the love would be reciprocated.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Restrained europop – a nice mid-set number to catch your breath before the big finale with the lasers.

-popijininsky

Above the Canopy (Bamboo Leaves)

FROM THE ARTIST:
none submitted

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Lowkey bop. Close your eyes and drift with the cartoon birds with the slow-flapping wings.

-popijininsky

Let Me Go (Oceanflame)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Indie space prog rock… whatever you think it is!

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Melodic rock. Pretty acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies. A cover of an unreleased demo session from 1978, when men had beautiful hair.

-popijininsky

Eyes Wide Open (Cosmoose, OK Feather, DHXP)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Greetings Cosmoonauts! You can now listen to our first single Eyes Wide Open on Spotify! It is strongly influenced by International/K/J pop but also packs some trap elements! Explore the Cosmooverse and get lost in space! Link in bio! Go follow @cosmoosic, there will be a new single every month from now!

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Coosmoose packs in all the styles, and all the languages. A lovingly crafted high energy anthem, just in time for post-COVID reopening festival stages.

-popijininsky

Lonely Mountain (Doomsavers, Barabbas t. jones)

FROM THE ARTIST:
A song about what it feels like to create and share music

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
This is not the sort of thing I’d expect to hear from a band called Doomsavers. It’s a sweet country folk rock duet like my uncle Bo used to listen to on Sunday afternoon. I mean, I never had an uncle Bo, but if I did, this is the kind of thing he’d really love, staring out at the hills with a cold beer or a warm whiskey.

-popijininsky

These Years (Animozic)

FROM THE ARTIST:
none submitted

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:

Kiss the Sky (Frances Gein)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Kiss the sky is a rock song for the summer. Lyrically combining Wizard of Oz, renaissance art, and a little bit of Madonna, this is song about confronting existential dread by just enjoying nature. With Nirvana guitars and Beatlesque melodies, it’s the perfect song to kiss the sky to.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
A grunge ballad that stacks up. Frances strumming the guitar with her eyes closed, on a big stage on a warm night with the lights low. Lighters up.

-popijininsky

Modder (Piglet Porch)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Dutch kleinkunst with an acid folk psychedelic vintage vibe.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
I don’t speak Dutch, but I’m not sure it matters. The emotion of the lyrics comes through, over a spare acoustic guitar arrangement. A sampler plate of psych-folk styles. Rich, warm, satisfying.

-popijininsky

INFINITE (camoragi)

FROM THE ARTIST:
The experience that inspired this song is my favorite. I had been on the verge, questioning life’s worth, when I saw for the first time a video of my newborn nephew looking so pure and so full of life. I was feeling so many emotions so I immediately took my guitar and after improvising a bit, I got to those 2 chords. I recorded them and basically wrote the song in 1 day, on that same day I held him for the first time

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Deep trip hop – wide, enveloping sounds. Swaddled verses, powerful choruses. I hate that it ends.

-popijininsky

Cocoon (Manfilth)

FROM THE ARTIST:
none submitted

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Dense rock – granite, basalt – none of that limestone flint stuff that passes for ‘rock’ these days. Unison guitars and bass, and crushing dreams. There’s screaming. We bang heads now.

-popijininsky

Rooster (avdrav)

FROM THE ARTIST:
This track is about waking up to a colony of Roosters who live in a parking lot in Hawaii.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
These roosters are apparently 90 foot tall monsters with metal beaks and talons that rip up busses. They are dangerous and frightening. Keep your distance, monster roosters!

-popijininsky

Soap Jaw (James Marton)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Surely we can do better

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:

-popijininsky

Guided Meditation For Interdimensional Astral Travel (ft. Bug) (C.T. Lee, Bug)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Created for Life’s Everyday Soundtrack vol. 13 featuring stems from the talented Bug

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Chopped, warped, and layered. The lullabies the robots sing to their babies in the machine shop.

-popijininsky

Purgatory (Minor Inconvenience)

FROM THE ARTIST:
Arguably the heaviest track to come out of Minor Inconveniece (so far). A mix of restrained verses and hard hitting chorus creating a hard rock cacophony. Lyrics deal with appearing okay on the outside despite how much you may be struggling.

REVIEWER SOUNDBITE:
Melodic metal – a more subtle Metallica meets a mellower Judas Priest. Lots of throbbing drums keep me nodding along.

-popijininsky

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