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Saturday, April 4, 2020

This just in from Screens 4 Eyes, Scott Krokoff, Pretenders, Robert Cray, The Brokers

Screens 4 Eyes: Sometimes A Gate Is Opened

Cover art: Dylan Michilsen
This indie group from Tel Aviv has been a regular in our mix from the time of its debut EP in 2017. The band's next release is coming... soon... but the mixing has been delayed by pandemic-enforced isolation. In the meantime, "we decided to put out this unreleased track, recently mixed by (U.K. producer) Richard File." While the EP will have more rock-band instrumentation, here Yael Brener's vocal weaves through a blend of synths and percussion. The dream-like sound is fitting: "The lyrics are about those rare times when there seems to be some crack that enables us an encounter with (an) other being, other presence," Brener says. "The feeling is real but we are left to wonder about their nature ... are they real, or do they emerge from our own brain."

Scott Krokoff: My Own Terms

Another indie artist who pops up frequently in our mix is this New York singer-songwriter-guitarist. His songs often revolve around themes of staying true to yourself and finding your own path. As the title makes clear, this is another chapter in that songbook. "It's about staying the course to achieve whatever goal or goals you have in mind, regardless of whether you have failed previously or made mistakes," Krokoff told

Pretenders: The Buzz

Chrissie Hynde compares a romantic crush to an addiction on this first single from the upcoming 11th Pretenders studio album, Hate For Sale. Rolling Stone calls the track a "jangly" ballad, with Hynde "crooning lovelorn lyrics over a swooning rush of guitars." The magazine notes that the album is the first to feature the band's long-time touring line-up of Hynde, guitarist James Walbourne, bassist Nick Wilkinson and founding drummer Martin Chambers. The songs - including the punky title track - were co-written by Hynde and Walbourne.

Robert Cray Band: This Man

On his latest LP, That's What I Heard, Cray and his band mix originals and covers, building their own structures on traditional foundations of blues, soul, gospel and R&B. On this track, Cray cleverly subverts a common blues-lyric trope into a political statement. At a surface level, it's a song about a man upset to find a strange man in his house. But the lyric provides clues to what man, and what house, Cray is singing about: "There he is again / Talkin' loud, talkin' trash / And it's always something bout him / Now he's walking around like he's a big king / If we're gonna save our home / We gotta get him out."

The Brokers: It All Went Bad

The refrain of this song seems to take on new meaning in this time of "stay-at-home" warnings: "I wish I never left my house / Tile stove, warm bed / Now I shiver, I'm on my own / Alone." For that matter, the title seems apropos of the moment. The single was released late last year, ahead of this Helsinki duo's upcoming album Echoes Behind Me, and turned up on The Detour (our nightly exploration of new and different music) a few weeks ago. Martti Varjonen and Teemu Tiainen describe their music as "indie rock with a pinch of electronic sound and catchy melodies backed up by ethereal atmosphere."

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