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Sunday, June 4, 2017

'Everything' and more added to our big mix

Photo credit: Guy Aroch
"Everything Now" is the title track from Arcade Fire's upcoming fifth album. The lyric addresses how our minds and our lives are stuffed with an overabundance of stimulation and ... stuff. "Every single room of my house / is filled with s--- I can't live without," Win Butler sings (causing us to cringe in self-recognition). Pitchfork notes that "the irony of a song lamenting our need for overstimulation and immediate gratification coming from one of the generation’s most grandiose rock bands is not lost on the musicians." But this track is actually more light and breezy than some of the Montreal band's previous work, with echos of 80s-pop and a break for a crowd-chant of nah-nah-nahs.

The War On Drugs also has a new album on the way, called A Deeper Understanding. The Philadelphia band just released a second single, "Holding On," with its signature dreaming-in-double-time sound. NPR's All Songs Considered calls it "a pulsing jam that sounds deeply inspired by '80s-era Bruce Springsteen, with glockenspiel chimes set against gritty guitars and synths."

Los Angeles trio Lo Moon released its first song (a 7-minute opus) last September, then retreated from sight for a while. They emerged earlier this year with an extensive tour and a Columbia Records deal. Their debut album is still under wraps, but they've just released a second track. "This Is It," starts out with an intimate vocal and expands to a festival-friendly swirl of sound. And indeed they just played the Governors Ball in New York and will be at Lollapalooza in August (presumably playing more than two songs).

From the small town of Nykoping on the Baltic coast of Sweden comes Pwned By Gravity, a young quartet influenced by the likes of Radiohead and Muse. They're making the rounds of clubs in Sweden and Denmark before venturing to the UK for a tour later this year. They've just released their first single in the UK, "All My Might," and it found its way to our ears and into our New Music bin. “All My Might is about desert sand, brackish water and lots and lots of guitar” says vocalist/guitarist and lyricist Alvin Blomberg. “But it's also about being manipulated and deceived by someone you adore and how that affects your relationship.” OK then.

Photo credit: Jennilee Marigomen
We turn back to Canada for a new release by Vancouver-based Louise Burns. A former member of early-2000s teen-pop band Lillix, Burns has established herself as a solo artist and is out with her second full album, Young Mopes. Far from moping, the single "Storms" has a jangly, upbeat sound behind enigmatic lyrics like "[If] all that you live for / Is a thunder in your heartstorm / Don't be what they ask for in the end." Hat tip to Seattle's KEXP for drawing our attention to this track by picking it as Song of the Day recently.

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