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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Jackson Browne, Scott Krokoff, Sleater-Kinney, Garbage, Gary Louris land in our New Music bin

Jackson Browne: Cleveland Heart

The title isn't a reference to the spirit of the city on Lake Erie's shore. The latest single from Browne's upcoming Downhill From Everywhere album is a wry take on the idea that human hearts are too emotionally fragile. "I expect real changes to start / When I finally get my Cleveland Heart / They can take a bashin' and never lose the passion." Browne told Rolling Stone he was driving past the offices of cardiac-device maker Cleveland Heart when "the person I was driving with said ... 'that’s where they make artificial hearts.’ I said, ‘Oh, I could use one of those!’”

Scott Krokoff: Far Too Many Times

A frequent theme in this New York troubadour's songs is encouragement to shake off self-doubt and pursue the life you want to lead. On this single, the lyric is addressed to someone who prefers to bitch and moan that life's not fair. "No one owes you anything / It's up to you to seize what each moment brings / So get out there and stand up and sing / And don't complain to me." In a couple of spots, Krokoff tosses in a parenthetical "she said" -- suggesting that the narrator of the song is actually quoting what someone once told him.

Sleater-Kinney: Worry With You

With time and the recent departure of their longtime drummer, some of the rough edges have been worn off this band that emerged from the Portland punk scene of the 1990s. The new album coming from what is now the duo of Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein is called Path of Wellness, and this single has a vibe of positivity through togetherness in a troubled world: "If I'm gonna worry, I’m gonna worry with you,” they sing over what Pitchfork calls "some of the breeziest melodies of their career."

Garbage: Wolves

Shirley Manson calls this "the pop song off the record" - that is, her band's forthcoming seventh studio album, No Gods No Masters. “This song reminds me of my younger self, when there were two sides to my personality,” says Manson, referencing an old folk tale about dueling inner wolves. “I hurt so many people in my life, both knowingly and unknowingly, I’m sure. But when you’re young and in self-survival mode, much like a baby rattlesnake, you have no idea how strong your venom is. Meanwhile, you're just out there having fun.”

Gary Louris: Almost Home

The Jayhawks frontman is about to release a solo album, Jump for Joy, that he describes as a collection of “the best songs I have written that are still lying around.” American Songwriter writes that this single "details the supernatural force that grounds every traveler - the person waiting on the other side of the door that wields a magnetic power to define a subjective concept of home."

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