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Saturday, August 1, 2020

New releases from Crack the Sky, The Crayon Set, Land of Talk, Grouplove, The Go-Gos


Crack the Sky: Tribes


This veteran prog-rock band from West Virginia via Baltimore returns with its instrumental virtuosity and its current-events awareness both in top form. This is the lead single and title track to an album expected early next year. Songwriter and lead singer John Palumbo describes the track as "an observation of the sharp divide in our country. Everyone has a tribe. Everyone believes their tribe is the one with all the answers, when the real answer is unity.” 

The Crayon Set: Don't Step Back Too Far


This Dublin alternative-pop band has a new album, Downer Disco, that was supposed to be out by now, but like many releases, has been postponed until autumn due to the pandemic. A couple of singles have spun out, and we're now catching up with a track that was released earlier this year but just reached our ears. The band says this song "touches on how it feels to be low, to have lost a sense of yourself and your place in the world.” Key lines: "Don't step back too far / you might forget who you are ... Please come here to me / I won't forget who you can be." 

Land of Talk: A/B Futures


The Montreal-based band headed by songwriter-vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist Elizabeth Powell returned from a seven-year hiatus with 2017's Life After Youth and now follows up with Indistinct Conversations. Backed by bassist Christopher McCarron and Mark “Bucky” Wheaton on drums and keys, Powell delivers sometimes stream-of-consciousness lyrics that suggest stories but don't quite tell them. Our featured track is one of the more upbeat and straightforward. "I'm your future lover," Powell sings over propulsive guitar, drums and synths. "If the spirit won't come to me, I got to it."

Grouplove: Inside Out


We dip back into the few-months-old LP Healer to pull out this bouncy track. The band just released a video for it, in which spouses and co-vocalists Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi run through largely deserted Los Angeles streets, occasionally meeting small groups of mask-wearing residents. The song's message that real change comes from within is "given added punch by a bass-heavy, post-punk groove," writes AllAccess.

The Go-Gos: Club Zero


In conjunction with a Showtime documentary about the band, The Go-Go's recorded and released their first new track in 19 years. Rolling Stone reports the song was created via email exchanges between band members, and self-produced from tracks laid down at studios in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Guitarist-vocalist Jane Wiedlin told the magazine the title was inspired by an '80s Hollywood after-hours joint called the Zero Zero Club. “I thought about how cool that title was. I just felt that the point of that song was the perfect thing for the Go-Go’s to say in 2020. We’re not putting up with this whole boys’ club anymore. ... It felt like what people needed to hear right now.”

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