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Saturday, May 11, 2019

The latest from Hemming, Kasador, Valley, Foals and Of Monsters and Men join our big mix

It's been a little while since we've heard new music from Hemming, a singer-songwriter who's part of a vibrant indie-rock scene in Philadelphia. After a debut album in 2015 and some singles and side projects since, she's just released a four-song EP, Waiting/Wasting. Hemming, a.k.a. Candice Martello, describes her music simply as "songs about feelings," and they often explore the darker places of the heart. On our featured track, "Nest To Me," a syncopated percussion figure is gradually joined by instrumental layers as the lyric turns to a chant of longing for someone to be next to/nesting with "what's left of me."

There's an anxious undercurrent as well to "Brood & Bloom," the new single by Kasador, an indie-rock quartet based in Kingston, Ontario. It's the title track from an upcoming full-length release, following a 2016 EP and a couple of singles. The band says the album was "written through tough times" and that "the message in this [song] is clear: out of something bad comes something good, if you choose to make it happen."

From Kingston we cruise down the 401 to Toronto to catch the latest from Valley, "Park Bench." It has a sunny and breezy sound, but the disjointed lyric suggests disorientation in the modern age. “It touches on social, generational, and political ideas that we felt were relevant to us at the time,” says Valley's drummer, Karah. The track will be on Maybe: Side B, the second installment of an album the band is releasing in stages; Side A came out about six months ago and we're told they're not stopping at B. 

The new collection from Foals, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, has been declared by NME to be the band's "best album to date." We previously featured the single "Exits," and now we're picking up "In Degrees," which Atwood Magazine calls "a real high point of the album" with "a disco feel to it thanks to an incredibly funky bass line and thumping lower register ... This is super refreshing to hear, and it works perfectly in this eclectic album."

Moving farther from the folk-pop sound of their 2011 debut, Of Monsters and Men crank up the guitar rock on their latest release, "Alligator," the first single from an upcoming album called Fever Dream. The Icelandic band’s co-vocalist, Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir, takes the lead on this track, with a lyric that never mentions the titular reptile, but speaks of releasing inner feelings: "I am open and I am restless / Let me feel it out, let it all come out."

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