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Saturday, June 22, 2019

New from The Bird & The Bee, The Regrettes, Winona Forever, Finnian and Monica Moser

Photo: Alexa Nicole Curran
An unusual cover, a taste of LA garage-punk, a laid-back groove and the latest from two singer-songwriters make up this week's New Music picks.

Back in 2010, The Bird And The Bee issued an album of Hall & Oates covers, which lent themselves easily to reinterpretation by the indie-pop duo. Now Inara George and Greg Kurstin have given the cover treatment to a radically different band - Van Halen. LoudWire writes: "While it may seem like a bit of a reach for the somewhat ethereal pair, keep in mind that Kurstin has worked frequently in the rock world as a producer, most famously lending his talents to Foo Fighters' 2017 album Concrete and Gold." B&B's Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 2: A Tribute to Van Halen is due in August, and we're featuring the single "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love."

Photo: Claire Marie Vogel
The Regrettes were formed in 2015 by four teenagers: singer-songwriter Lydia Night, guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Nicole and drummer Maxx Morando. Night's original songs helped the young band get signed by Warner Music and bring out an album in 2017. They've released several singles since, and just came to our attention with "I Dare You" from their upcoming sophomore album How Do You Love? Paste calls the track "catchy and guitar-driven ... an infectious tune to which you can’t help but dance along."

The sound of Montreal quartet Winona Forever has been described as "woozy art-pop," "smooth indie-jazz-yacht-rock," and even "groovy." We're always interested in emerging bands that come up with a unique blend of styles (even if those styles date to the 1970s), and that's what we hear on "Gazing," from the band's new album, Feelgood.

Influences of 1970s soft-rock also can be heard in the debut album from Finnian, a singer-songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland. After years of touring as folk-singer-with-guitar, he put together a band of accomplished musicians to record Under the Influence, to be released later this summer. We recently slipped one track, "Even Flow" (a duet with Stephanie Winters) into our mix, and now we're putting "Where We Go" into the New Music bin. It's described as a song "about dreaming big and how people shouldn’t be afraid to make that leap of faith."

The latest single from Nashville singer-songwriter Monica Moser starts as a gentle piano-and-vocal ballad and builds with percussion and electronic keyboards into a very contemporary pop-rock anthem. "Shortcut" describes a relationship that has advanced too quickly, skipping important steps. Moser says the title refers to "someone getting to know the intimate parts of you that didn't deserve to."

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