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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Jackson Browne + Thompson Springs + Jeen + The Town Heroes + Willamena = New Music Picks

Jackson Browne: Still Looking for Something

On the just-released LP Downhill From Everywhere, the veteran singer-songwriter continues to mix personal reflections with political statements (such as the title track). Our pick this week for the New Music Bin is one of the more personal songs. As Browne sings that he's "out here under the streetlight ... still looking for something in the night," we can't help but picture him on that corner in Winslow, Ariz. Nearly 50 years after "Take It Easy," the message this time is to stay restless - to never stop looking for new experiences.

Thompson Springs: Too Close for Comfort

After releasing its debut album, Undertones, last year, this indie-folk-rock band coped with the pandemic by converting its Chicago apartment into a makeshift recording studio. This is the third single to emerge from those friendly confines, with mixing help from Wilco's Pat Sansone. Starting quietly with the lines "When I get too close / You fly away," the track quickly opens up into a Petty-esque rocker, with a touch of saxophone.

Jeen: Maybe I'll Be Gone

This Toronto-based songwriter and musician is prepping her fifth album, Dog Bite. Of this single, she says: "Sometimes people just get used to you being around and assume you’ll be there no matter how they treat you. ‘Maybe I’ll Be Gone’ is a threat to leave after being taken for granted after too long." The fast-paced track features Jeen on guitar and bass along with Ian Blurton on lead guitar and Stephan Szczesniak on drums.

The Town Heroes: Fuse

This Nova Scotia duo's upcoming sixth LP, Home, is described as a concept album. Its nine songs tell a story that includes a teenage summer romance, and that's the focus of this single. Canadian Beats writes: "An upbeat, energetic rock song with tender falsetto vocals sitting atop fuzzed-out guitars and driving drums, 'Fuse' is a love letter to firsts, the summer, and carefree days where everything you hope for is falling into place."

Willamena: I Know Nothing

This indie-rock band from Kalamazoo, Mich., has been part of our big mix for several years, consistently delivering solid rock-and-roll with impassioned, heart-on-sleeve vocals. This is the lead single from Broken Songs, the group's seventh studio release. The lyric reflects on the good and bad of impermanence: "I know nothing ever stays the same / I know nothing ever keeps / from turning into something else."

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