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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Our latest picks: Wilco, Lizzie No, Dhani Harrison, In The Valley Below and JoJo Worthington

Wilco waltzes into our New Music bin this week with "Love Is Everywhere (Beware)," the lead single from the band's 11th album, Ode to Joy, due in October. It's a song of hope with an undercurrent of worry, insisting that love exists in a time of increasing social tension. The band says the album's theme is "the act of finding joy in a dark political climate."

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lizzie No adds a rock-band backing to her latest piece of observation and introspection, "Born and Bred." Starting with an image of confusing signage on a New Jersey highway, the song "is also about how none of the big milestones in this life come with an easy-to-read sign letting you know what to do," says No. Her new album, Vanity, comes out in a couple of weeks.

A highway also figures into "Motorways (Erase It)," a new song from Dhani Harrison. “I’ve spent a lot of time stuck in traffic on the M4 motorway going into London recently, it always makes me think of the Banksy [graffiti] that used to say ‘it’s not a race.’" This song, too, speaks of trying to figure out life: "All those dreams they take from you when you're young / In all those dreams you can feel yourself waking up ... The motorways are never gonna take you to where you want." The track is Harrison's first release since his 2017 LP In///Parallel.

Los Angeles electro-pop duo In The Valley Below recently released its second album, Pink Chateau, which includes the previously released title track and other recent singles along with new songs. We're now featuring "Blue Sky Drugs." The title seems to be a metaphor for illusions or deceptions in a relationship gone sour: "All this big love / Was just fairy dust / Now I'm running out / Of all your blue sky drugs."

JoJo Worthington blends strains of folk, electronic pop and experimental music on her new album, TCYK (The Company You Keep). We've played a couple of tracks on our Sunday show The Bistro, and now we're featuring "Stabilize" in our New Music bin. The Ontario artist describes it as "a song that asks for community and support in order to help those around us who are affected by mental illness. ... It also pleads for mutual support among the sexes, to come together and 'stabilize' the world around us."

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