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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Brand-new music by Major Funk, Kings of Leon, Edie Brickell, The Weather Station, Elephant

Major Funk: Show Your Heart

The group's web site says it plainly: "High energy bass-led grooves, soaring vocals, and a tight horn section; this isn’t what you’d expect from a band coming from the Yukon in Canada’s North." But this group from Whitehorse brings all that to this single from its debut full-length album, Is That You?, due in March. Hat tip to Canadian Beats for introducing us to the seven-piece ensemble of experienced musicians from across Canada. "Together we make old school music with a modern spin," says bassist √Čtienne Girard. 

Kings of Leon: The Bandit

Also due in March is When You See Yourself, the eighth studio album (and first since 2016) from the Followills - brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew. The Nashville-based band bring their familiar sound to this lead single. The cryptic lyrics "And they're walking around with their heads in the cloud screaming, Must catch the bandit" - seem to suggest people hunting for someone to blame for their troubles, who may or may not be real.. 

Edie Brickell and New Bohemians: My Power

The New Bos gathered again in Austin to record their fifth studio album, Hunter and the Dog Star, due for release next month. It follows 2018's Rocket, which marked their return from a 12-year break. American Songwriter says the band has put together "a collection of diverse musical ideas and styles ... as they have continuously done for the past three decades." Brickell says the songs reflect "the mystery of self-expression, loyalty, companionship and love in the darkest sky just before dawn.” 

The Weather Station: Atlantic

We previously featured "Tried to Tell You" from the upcoming album, Ignorance, by this project of Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman. On this track, she writes of witnessing natural beauty - "My god, I thought, what a sunset / Blood red floods the Atlantic" - and wishing it could clear her mind of the world's distress: "Thinking I should get all this dying off of my mind / I should really know better than to read the headlines." Lindeman says she was "trying to capture something of the slipping feeling I think we all feel, the feeling of dread, even in beautiful moments." She adds: "I tried to make the band just go crazy on this one, and they did. ... The music really makes me see the place in my mind; the flute and the guitar chasing each other, wheeling around like birds, the drums cliff-like in their straightness." 

Elephant: Bird's Eye View

From Rotterdam comes this four-piece band that describes its sound as "mellow pop music with an eccentric edge, for fans of Wilco, Andy Shauf and Big Thief." The group launched last year - not the best time to be starting out in the music business - but achieved success with debut single "Midnight in Manhattan." This follow-up is described as "a sweet and haunting song about coming to terms with faded dreams and getting older." The band is joined on this track by pedal steel guitarist Stefan Wolfs.

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