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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Our latest picks from Margaret Glaspy, Raincity, Pearl Jam, Daniel Pearson, The Banshees

Margaret Glaspy: Killing What Keeps Us Alive

This is one of two singles to emerge so far from the Brooklyn singer-songwriter's upcoming album Devotion. Where her 2016 album Emotions and Math and 2018 EP Born Yesterday showcased her guitar playing and sharp, sometimes harsh lyrics ("Life was better / Before we were together"), the new tracks have a wider sonic palette, including synths and digital vocal effects - as well as a more mellow attitude. Glaspy acknowledges the different tone: "It's about letting love in, even when you don’t know what will happen when you do." Our featured track alternates between an open-hearted love song ("I wanna light a spark with you / And start a fire in your heart") and a cryptic warning: "We keep living like we'll never die / And we keep killing what keeps us alive." Is that about a relationship, or the climate crisis?

Raincity: Crazy

The release this week of the video for "Crazy" introduced us to Raincity, a Vancouver-based funk-rock band. Originally formed as a jazz trio, they evolved into a five-piece group featuring Clare Twiddy's vocals and Kaylar Chan's saxophone, backed by Ryley Kirkpatrick on guitar, Ginger Chen on bass and Sheldon D'Eith on drums. They cite influences ranging from Amy Winehouse to Red Hot Chili Peppers. "'Crazy' is a song about betrayal and gaslighting," says Twiddy. “It talks about a relationship where the other person is hiding information from you and making you feel crazy for looking into it."

Pearl Jam: Superblood Wolfmoon

From Vancouver we dip down to Seattle for the latest track from Eddie Vedder & Co.'s Gigaton. Where the first single, "Dance of the Clairvoyants," had a new-wave vibe, this one blends a bit of punk-rock raggedness with heavy grunge. The title is said to be inspired by the nickname given to a January 2019 lunar eclipse, but the song has little to do with astronomy. "Superblood wolfmoon / Took her away too soon," Vedder sings, and seems to be describing regret at the end of a stormy, perhaps violent relationship.

Daniel Pearson: Brother

This English practitioner of Americana music brings a more rock-oriented sound to his latest release. “People tend to think of me as this quiet, sensitive singer-songwriter, but I got my start in rock and punk bands and have always loved loud guitar riffs and big drum sounds” Pearson says. About this song, he says, "lyrically, it’s kind of a call for some kind of unity, however hard that may seem in our current climate."

The Banshees: It's Alright

From Liverpool comes this indie-rock four-piece, a relatively new band led by veteran musicians. Singer-songwriter Vinny Pereira and session guitarist Paul Anthony Holligan met in summer 2018 and "decided to put their own stamp on what music from the North West of England should be about." They released their debut EP last year and are preparing their second, Tell Me Everything, which will feature this solid rocker.

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