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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Psychedelic Furs return, plus new music from Grouplove, Marge, Shayla McDaniel, HAARM

The Psychedelic Furs: Don't Believe

What year is this? There's a new album from The Psychedelic Furs. Their most recent LP came out in 1991. But they're back, with Made of Rain set for release in early May. Based on this first single, Stereogum says the band sounds "like those 29 years didn't even happen... 'Don't Believe' comes right from the Furs’ wheelhouse: gloomy guitar swirls, sax wails, [Richard] Butler’s voice sounding like he hasn’t aged at all, a big desperate chorus." Given the state of the world today, jumping back 29 years doesn't sound like a bad idea.

Grouplove: Deleter

The Los Angeles indie-pop band's new album, Healer, starts with this loud, buoyant track that AllMusic calls "a blast ... grounded by a maniacal piano riff and a dissonant screech of guitars ... incredibly catchy." The record follows a turbulent period for the group led by the married duo of Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi -- Hooper underwent, and recovered from, brain surgery. "In order for us to get over that and get through it ... we just wanted to distract ourselves and write more music," Zucconi told ABC Radio. They then spent a week cranking out what Paste Magazine describes as "their loudest and most off-the-wall record yet."

Marge: Detached

This Montreal-based singer has been involved with music for years -- writing about artists in webzines, organizing concerts, and in recent years posting covers on her YouTube channel. Here we have her debut single and her first original composition, a collaboration with guitarist Mattias Eklundh, founder of Swedish rock band Freak Kitchen. Marge describes "Detached" as "about breaking free from shackles, looks and doubts ... To detach from what prevents us from realizing ourselves."

Shayla McDaniel: Definitive Unknowns

We've been looking forward to hearing more from this Tennessee-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist since last summer's release of her debut EP, Both of My Hands. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long. This brand-new single is another polished yet intimate song, with McDaniel's personal lyrics and distinctive vocals backed by a driving rhythm section, guitars and synths. It's a song about being unsettled, in a relationship and in the world. "The only thing we know for sure is that not everything can be known for sure," McDaniel says of the track's theme, "but the one thing you can control is yourself."

HAARM: Tell Me What You Want

Here's a tasty piece of alt-pop from a Liverpool trio that formed in 2016 and released its first EP in 2018. There followed "a short period of rest and regrouping for the band in the wake of the sad loss of a close personal friend ... alongside a series of changes in the members’ personal lives that have led to a desire to focus all of their energies on HAARM." Their music features a mix of male and female vocals, guitar, drums and synths. As you might guess from the title of this track, the topic is the age-old theme of poor communication in a relationship.

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