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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Introducing Deep Blue Sea, plus new Coldplay, Broken Bells, Mumford & Sons, Half Moon Run

Deep Blue Sea: "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You"

Four musicians from four different countries found one another in London and formed this rootsy-bluesy-rock band, which recently released its first studio album, Strange Ways. Lead vocals by Dregas Smith (from the U.S.) ring out over the tight backing of guitarist Iago Banet (Spain), bassist Graeme Wheatley (England) and drummer Amanda Dal (Sweden). Rock and Blues Muse says of the album: "The band seamlessly connects vintage blues/rock, stomping rockabilly, reggae and more in its tight, intelligent songs and does it in a way that captures the intangibles in those genres, not just the guitar licks."

Coldplay: "Orphans"

The upcoming 16-track album Everyday Life is being called "experimental," and on the first two singles to spin out, Coldplay does push its envelope, trying out new and exotic sounds and rhythms. "Orphans" is perhaps more Coldplay-like than its companion, the sax-and-horn-infused "Arabesque," but the percussion and choral background give it a world-music flavor. Its deceptively upbeat, bouncy tune contrasts with its lyrics - which tell of the dead and orphans of the Syrian civil war. "Rosaleen of the Damascene" and "Baba" are taken to heaven by "bombs going boom-ba-boom-boom," leaving their children to sing "I guess we'll be raised on our own then / "I want to be with you 'til the world ends."

Broken Bells: "Good Luck"

Angst about the state of the world and society runs through a lot of music these days, and this new single is another example. James Mercer of The Shins and producer Danger Mouse have revived their on-again off-again collaboration and begun work on their third LP. But in the meantime, Mercer says, they wanted to release this track when it felt timely. The lyric gets right to the point: “The face of evil’s on the news tonight / We see the darkness over light / But have we ever really lived in better times?” Rolling Stone writes, "The track gradually intensifies with wordless vocal hooks and psychedelic fuzz guitar, climaxing with a percussive coda."

Mumford & Sons: "Blind Leading The Blind"

This new single was in the works during the sessions for the band's 2018 album Delta, says Marcus Mumford, but "we never got round to finishing in time to put it on the original release. We’re proud that we’ve finally finished it, as it feels like one of the most challenging songs, thematically, that we’ve put out there, both for ourselves and our audience." Although there isn't much sonic resemblance, the track puts us in mind of R.E.M. with its combination of powerful rock and thoughtful-but-enigmatic lyrics: "My generation's stuck in the mirror ... I am not known if I'm not seen or heard."

Half Moon Run: "Favourite Boy"

This single from the Quebec indie-rock band's upcoming third album, A Blemish In The Great Light, is a song of unrequited love: "I know I'm not your favourite boy / I can see it in the way you fake your smile." (Mood-wise, the lyric is evocative of Airborne Toxic Event's "Sometime Around Midnight.") The band's strengths -- multi-layered instrumentation, overlapping and harmonizing vocals and hooky melodies -- are all in top form in this well-crafted piece of pop.

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