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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Our latest new-music picks: Florence + Snow Patrol + Bad Wolves + Saltwater Sun + Hey Ocean!

Florence + The Machine is preparing to release a new album, High As Hope in June. The first single, "Sky Full of Song," is scheduled to hit stores as a 7" vinyl single on Record Store Day, April 21st. Florence Welch describes it as "a song that just fell out of the sky fully formed. Sometimes when you are performing you get so high, it’s hard to know how to come down. There is this feeling of being cracked open, rushing endlessly outwards and upwards, and wanting somebody to hold you still, bring you back to yourself. It’s an incredible, celestial, but somehow lonely feeling."

Thanks to The Revue we recently discovered another female-fronted U.K. band, Saltwater Sun, and their new single, "The Wire." The song is a commentary on how the hyper-connectivity of modern society seems to be causing more division than unity. "There seems of late / A currency of hate," sings lead vocalist Jennifer Stearnes over ringing guitars and driving percussion. "Choose your words and make’em hurt / Get the final blow in first / Whatever gets the win.”

After working on solo projects for the past few years, the Vancouver-based trio Hey Ocean! has reunited and released The Hurt of Happiness. As Exclaim wrote, the band described the album "as seeking to bridge their pop and more experimental tendencies when announcing the record, and it largely succeeds ... bouncing between moods and styles with ease." Although hailing from the West Coast, David Beckingham, Ashleigh Ball, and David Vertesi put together a sound that reminds us a bit of an East Coast trio, Port Cities. Entering our new music bin is the album's title track, a mid-tempo number featuring tight harmonies among the three vocalists.

Our big mix doesn't usually include heavy-metal bands, but LA's Bad Wolves is out with a cover of The Cranberries' "Zombie" that is more of a melodic and lyrical hard-rock record. It's also a terrific song -- and still very relevant to our times, unfortunately, as new generations continue to fight old wars around the world. Its writer and original singer, Dolores O'Riordan, was scheduled to add her own vocal to the cover on the very day that she passed away. Bad Wolves singer Tommy Vext said in a statement, “It was the greatest honor to know she liked our version and wanted to sing on it. We’re deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Dolores and by the fact that she’s leaving behind three children so we are donating the proceeds from the song to her kids."

Also added to our new music bin this week, Snow Patrol's "Don't Give In," a message about resisting inner demons. Frontman Gary Lightbody says the song "was originally about a friend going through a tough time, but the more I wrote into it, I realised it was about me and the struggle of making the album ... coupled with the struggle with depression I’ve had since I was a kid, so it has become the talisman of the album. The song that became a self-fulfilling prophecy.” The album, Wildness, is due next month.

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