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Saturday, July 2, 2022

What's new: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Roanoke, Pete Yorn, Umphrey's McGee, Stand Up And Say No

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Playing With My Emotions

Here's the lead track from I Am the Moon II - Ascension, the second phase of the magnum opus the Florida-based band is releasing in four installments this summer. Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and their ensemble are known for blending many musical styles, and on this track they lean into vintage Memphis soul, with big contributions from their horn section. The lyrics have a man and woman each complaining that the other is playing games, with Tedeschi singing from both perspectives.

Roanoke: Selene

Speaking of the Moon... This is "a song about the moon goddess, who represents women everywhere," says its lead singer, Taylor Dupis. She and Joey Beesley write, sing and play guitars for this Nashville-based indie band, backed by Richard Bennett (bass), Chris Elvidge (drums) and B.L. Reed (electric guitar). The 70s influence is strong on this track, with shades of "Rhiannon." Dupis says: "We wanted to sonically call back to the music of the 70’s and early 80’s, while also adding some more modern sounds to create something familiar yet nostalgic. Our intention ... was to write something that felt magickal, mystical, powerful, and relatable."

Pete Yorn: Never Go

Dubbed a "roots rock torchbearer" by AllMusic, Yorn has just released his ninth studio album, Hawaii. He worked on it with California musician/producer Jackson Phillips, and says it turned out to be "one of my most favorite projects I’ve ever been a part of." Paste Magazine calls it "one of his most memorable collections ... It’s a deft, dazzling display, revealing a songwriter firing on all inventive six, 20 years into his risk-taking career." 

Umphrey's McGee: Small Strides

Photo credit: Tara Gracer
Although they're renowned on the jam-band circuit, this group that emerged from Indiana in the late '90s gets a lot less attention from radio - present company included. We're looking to remedy that by featuring this track from the new album, Asking for a Friend. Guitarist Brendan Bayliss tells Jambase that the band, best known for its live shows, has been refining its approach to record-making. "When we were starting, we were trying to prove that we could play as many notes as possible and do acrobatic things – not making necessarily the choice that would serve a song. ... Over time, we started to see the studio as the opportunity to develop and craft an actual song ... and the stage is the place to play with it." 

Stand Up and Say No: Tame the Wild

This track landed in our inbox, grabbed our ears and moved quickly to our New Music bin. Then we realized the song originally came out in 2016 - but this is a new mix, and anyhow, it's new to us! "I always felt the original recording never lived up to the live version," says songwriter  Andrew Nault, frontman for the post-punk indie band from Quebec. "Hopefully, people will agree that this new version rocks!”

Saturday, June 25, 2022

KT Tunstall, Sarah Kinsley, The Happy Fits, Headstones, Andrew Leahey in the New Music bin

KT Tunstall: Private Eyes

Due in September, the forthcoming album from this Scottish-born, LA-based artist completes a trilogy. They are said to revolved around three essential parts of ourselves: spirit (Kin, released in 2016), body (Wax, in 2018) and mind: Nut, due in September. (In Scottish slang, that's your head or brain.) We're not sure how this single fits into the theme, but it does grab our ears. Says Tunstall: "The song is about a soulless afterparty for some forgettable event in Soho, London, where a beautiful actress (who I didn’t know personally) grabbed my hand and led me down into the dingy basement kitchen in a panic; she was convinced the paparazzi stalking her outside would be the end of her, and she couldn’t face them. A tragic picture of desire turned into a prison. Beautiful eyes that didn’t want everyone looking into them."

Sarah Kinsley: Cypress

This single, from a new EP of the same name, is our introduction to this "independent bedroom-pop artist" based in New York. We're told she plays, sings and produces her music completely solo. The result is fully realized, multi-layered dream-pop. Cypress, she says, is a set of songs "that I wrote after traveling through California, inspired by the trees, inhaling the summer air, knowing that this place would change me and my music forever."

The Happy Fits: Do Your Worst

Also new to our ears is this indie trio that had its beginnings at a New Jersey high school in 2012. A decade later (and now based in eastern Pennsylvania), they're releasing their third LP, Under the Shade of Green, in August. On this bursting-with-energy single, cellist Calvin Langman proves that his instrument can truly rock, along with Ross Monteith's guitar, Luke Davis's drums, and touches of synths. “We always strive to sound [like] more than a three-piece,” says Monteith, and here they certainly do.

Headstones: Tangled

Formed in Kingston, Ontario, in 1987, the hard-rock/punk band saw gold-record success, along with turmoil and periodic breakups. They reemerge now with what's billed as the first of a batch of new music to be released this year. A press release says of this single: "Hugh Dillion and the band return to their stripped down, punk rock roots with this lament [about] what it’s like to repeat the same mistakes over and over again." It's summed up in the repeated line: "We don’t learn a thing.”

Andrew Leahey and the Homestead: Hot House

We dip back into the new album from this Nashville singer-songwriter-guitarist and his band for another solid piece of guitar rock. AllMusic says American Static Vol. 2 "may be the most satisfying record of their career ... a rangy, musically rich pastiche of heartfelt songcraft and savvy nods to the great rock & roll songbook." 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Our New Music picks: Pool Kids, The Beths, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, Mt. Joy

Pool Kids: That's Physics, Baby

This band from Florida is about to release its self-titled second album (following 2018's Music to Have Safe Sex To). Fronted by guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Christine Goodwyne, the group has been called "emo" and "math-rock," but let's just say they make their own blend of indie music. Alternative Press calls this song "a wonderfully cascading piece. Each layer of the track feels timid, starting for a time but backing down just as they pick up steam. The chorus sees each element embrace each other."

The Beths: Silence Is Golden

This the first taste of the New Zealand band's third album, Expert in a Dying Field, due in September. There isn't a second of silence in this number, which rushes by frenetically as Elizabeth Stokes sings about "stress and anxiety manifesting as an intolerance to noise, where each new sound makes you more and more stressed."

Foals: Crest of the Wave

The band from Oxford swerves from its proggy 2019 double-album to a set of let's-party music with its new LP, Life Is Yours. “It’s definitely the poppiest record we’ve ever made," says frontman Yannis Philippakis, "This time we wanted to find a new way to express ourselves.”

Two Door Cinema Club: Wonderful Life

About 15 years into their career, the band from Northern Ireland has its fifth album, Keep On Smiling, coming in September. They're calling this first single "a nod back to the pure rush of [the group's] early output. The lyric is about embracing life - rather than drawing back from the craziness of the world: "Watch as the world does a twist and a twirl without you / You can't make any sense when you're building a fence around you."

Mt. Joy: Orange Blood

On its third studio album, the Los Angeles band "expands the range of their psychedelic-tinged folk," PopMatters writes. The site says this title track paints "a desert landscape where the clouds and the sun wrestle distracted consciousnesses to more contemplative states of being." Frontman Matt Quinn says the song grew from a trip he and his girlfriend took to Joshua Tree National Park. (Not the first musician to find inspiration there!)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Brandi and the Alexanders + Jimmy Eats World + The Heavy Heavy + Lost Leaders + The Empty Pockets = New Music Variety

Brandi and the Alexanders: Fire

This new single is our introduction to Brandi Thompson and her band, a five-piece outfit based in Brooklyn with a sound that fits well with the likes of Seratones and The Suffers. We're told they began as a classic-soul cover band before developing original material for their 2018 debut album, How Do You Like It? Their next album is in the works, and this single is the first taste. Thompson says she wrote the song in 2020 as "a second Civil Rights Movement overwhelmed the United States." She adds: "I'm proud to be a product of my ancestors who survived generation after generation; their strength is my strength, and I wrote this song to honor them."

Jimmy Eat World: Something Loud

Photo by Jimi Giannatti
Back to being an unsigned band, the veteran emo-pop group from Arizona self-released this single, its first new music since its 10th album, 2019's Surviving. It was produced with Justin Meldal-Johnsen, who also worked on the band's last two albums, reports Brooklyn Vegan. The blog says: "Between the revved-up punky power pop and Jim Adkins asking 'Do you still feel part of something loud?,' this one really scratches the nostalgia itch." Indeed, reflecting on younger days is the song's theme. Adkins says: "Maybe the thing age and experience do reveal is that pivotal moments are hard to grasp when you are in them.”

The Heavy Heavy: Miles and Miles

This is the debut single by the Brighton, U.K.-based band led by Will Turner and Georgie Fuller. It leads off their first EP, Life and Life Only. (They seem to have a thing for repeating words.) Turner and Fuller largely self-produced the set in a London flat, but they've put together a five-piece band for a U.S. tour in September. Their music is billed as bringing "new energy into sounds from decades ago," including rock 'n' roll, psychedelic blues, acid rock and sunshine pop.

Lost Leaders: Foolish Heart

When we featured the single "Long Way Down" a couple of months ago, we didn't know if it was a foretaste of a new album. Now comes this new track and word that an EP, Jealous Sun, is coming next month from the project of Lumineers bassist Byron Isaacs and songwriter-guitarist Peter Cole. Says Isaacs: “Foolish Heart is about inner turmoil and not knowing how to proceed in a relationship. Specifically, for me, it is about the frustrations of parenting.” 

The Empty Pockets: Outside Spectrum

This Chicago band says it "celebrates old-school classic rock, folk, and the blues," blending them into "bold Americana flavors straight from the soul." The quartet, led by vocalist Erika Brett and guitarist Josh Solomon, will release its fourth studio album, Outside Spectrum, in August. This title track, the group says, "is about breaking out of the routines and perspectives that dominate your life and looking at the world in full color, where before it was just black and white."

Saturday, June 4, 2022

New Music from Banditos, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Amanda Shires, Maggie Rogers, Sunflower Bean

Banditos: On My Way

Formed in Alabama a dozen years ago and now based in Nashville, this group is known for blending various strains of rootsy music. On their new, third album, Right On, the quintet has retooled its sound to center on the vocals of Mary Beth Richardson, who previously shared lead-singing duties with other band members. This rollicking number, says the band, "is about trying to stay positive when it seems as though everything is falling apart. It’s about staying true to yourself even if it seems like the odds are against you."

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Fall In

The remarkable musical ensemble led by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks just released I Am the Moon: Part I, Crescent. It's the first of four installments of an ambitious concept album, with songs loosely based on "Layla & Majnun," a 12th-century Persian poem by Nizami Ganjavi that inspired Derek and the Dominos' "Layla." It's also a multi-media production, each part accompanied by a film. Our featured track from Crescent, with Mike Mattison singing lead, "is a playful New Orleans second-line marching song, with Trucks’ National Steel slide ringing through it," writes Ultimate Classic Rock. The review site says "the group's combination of musical excellence and daring won't be denied, which makes I Am the Moon, in all of its unapologetically indulgent grandeur, a career-defining work. (Read the band's full explanation of the project on its Bandcamp page.)

Amanda Shires: Hawk for the Dove

This accomplished fiddler and singer-songwriter, well known in alt-country and Americana circles and as a member of The Highwomen and Jason Isbell's 400 Unit, is set to release Take It Like a Man later this summer. It's billed as "a record so unlike anything she’s ever recorded that it feels like her debut album instead of her seventh." On this first single, she takes on the role of seductress, telling her target: "You can call me serious trouble /  Just admit I'm what you want." The album features husband Isbell on guitar on several tracks and guest vocals from Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Brittney Spencer.

Maggie Rogers: Want Want

Also due this summer is Surrender, the follow-up to the singer-songwriter's 2019 major-label debut, Heard It in a Past Life. This second single is a catchy alt-pop tune designed to blast from speakers in a club or at a party. We're told the New York-based Maryland native co-wrote this single with Brooklyn-based Del Water Gap (aka songwriter-producer S. Holden Jaffe) while holed up in Maine at the height of the pandemic. The two finished it up with Kid Harpoon (aka London-based Tom Hull) while working on the album at New York’s Electric Lady Studios and Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios near Bath.

Sunflower Bean: In Flight

We're spotlighting one more track from the Brooklyn trio's latest, Headful of Sugar. Guitarist Nick Kivlen takes the lead vocal on this number, which sonically lands somewhere between the mellow pop of "Who Put You Up To This" and the edgy "Roll the Dice." “This song is a romantic vision of meeting a lover, running away together, and entering a dangerous new world,” Kivlen says. “It’s less safe but also less suffocating."

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The latest from Dawes, Stars, Sorcha Richardson, Momma, Band of Horses now in our New Music bin

Dawes: Comes in Waves

The LA band's eighth studio album, Misadventures of Doomscroller, is due in late July. This song opens with one of our favorite activities - watching waves break on a beach - and uses it as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of good times and bad, successes and failures. “The lyric is about the arbitrary demands I make on myself," says frontman Taylor Goldsmith. "I want to perceive me or my life a certain way but I make no exceptions for an off day or a misstep. Whether it’s a win or a loss, it’s all transient..."

Stars: Build a Fire

"Almost 25 years into their career with nine studio albums under their belt, Stars can pretty much do whatever they want," Exclaim! writes, adding that the new LP From Capelton Hill "reveals a band that know where they come from, aware of their legacy and willing to build on it to refine their craft. It's also their most relatable album in years, aiming for a more personal feel rather than cinematic grandeur." The passage of time is a major theme throughout the album. Although it's not explicit in the lyric, this upbeat track is "about death. And running from it. As fast as you f'ing can," says Torquill Campbell, co-lead-vocalist with Amy Millan. 

Sorcha Richardson: Archie

Photo by James Baldwin
This singer-songwriter from Dublin moved to Brooklyn at 18, and was part of the indie music scene there when we picked up several of her self-released singles in 2015-17, including "Petrol Station" and "Ruin Your Night." She moved to LA and then back to Dublin, put together a band and an album (2019's First Prize Bravery), and got in some touring before Covid shut that down. “It felt like it killed some of the momentum I had drummed up," Richardson says. "But it also meant that I had all the time in the world to make my second record.” This first single from the upcoming album "is a song about teenage hopes and dreams and about losing touch with the people who you once shared them with."

Momma: Speeding 72

Their upcoming album is called Household Name; the lead single was "Rockstar." Singer-guitarists Allegra Weingarten and Etta Friedman are on a self-proclaimed mission to reach that status by emulating their own musical idols - the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, the Breeders and Pavement. And they're making progress, with support from labels (Polyvinyl in North America, Lucky Number overseas) and glowing reviews from the likes of Stereogum and Consequence of Sound. The press release for this single says it "details a fast-burning romance between two kids who meet at a show and go for a ride." The duo says "We wanted it to be the sort of summertime anthem that you can turn on during a drive to impress your crush.”

Band of Horses: Warning Signs

In a Facebook post, the group says: "18 years, 6 records and this is by far our deepest, most difficult and most rewarding and affirming effort to date." Reviewers have split on whether Things Are Great is the band's best LP in over a decade - or ever. We previously featured "Crutch," and now pick up the opening track. Lead horse Ben Bridwell says the song grew from an experience on tour in Australia: "My voice went out and I actually cried at the Sydney Opera House onstage. I couldn’t sing and I just started weeping." That turned into a lyric about trying not to cry at work. "Everybody knows you’re not allowed to be emotional at your job, but I bet all of us have probably been through something like that."

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Fresh sounds from Sharon van Etten, Kiwi Jr., Snarls, The Afghan Whigs, Rolling Blackouts CF

Sharon van Etten: Mistakes

The singer-songwriter's sixth album draws its title and its cover art from the covid and climate crises - recorded as it was in Van Etten's home studio in Los Angeles where she was sheltering from the pandemic and watching wildfires draw uncomfortably close. As AllMusic explains, she had recently moved across the country, married and started raising a family - all contributing to "evocative lyrical sketches, where images of yearning, parenthood, isolation, and love create the impression of difficult but necessary emotional growth." Our featured track is more joyful, a celebration of one's foibles and of a lover who accepts them: "Every time I make a mistake / Turns out it's great." NME calls the track the album's standout, "Van Etten at her best, its thumping chorus ideal for banishing lockdown-induced rumination on your regrets."

Kiwi Jr.: Night Vision

These Toronto indie-rockers will release their third album, Chopper, in August. It's produced by Wolf Parade cofounder and current Arcade Fire touring member Dan Boeckner. Singer/guitarist Jeremy Gaudet says of this lead single: "Before ‘Night Vision’ was 100% written, just the basic idea of it existing as a Kiwi Jr. song inspired us and set the tone for the record. A lot of the images in the lyrics are of teenagers driving around, trying to make plans, sharing the aux, putting their parents' car in the ditch, etc. But the idea at the center of the song is that of working up the nerve to make a big decision. Like a boxer getting pumped up before a fight.”

Snarls: Fixed Gear

Sometimes our New Music bin features songs that have been out for a while but are still "new to us" - and, probably, to most of our listeners. This song appeared last fall on an EP called What About Flowers?, but just landed in our inbox as a single - and we're glad to catch up with the self-described "glitter emo alt rock" quartet from Columbus, Ohio. Paste praised "the wonderful vocal ping-ponging that closes 'Fixed Gear,' evoking the cheerful pop interplay and juxtaposed vocal melodies of The Beths, and kicking off the EP on an incessantly catchy note."

The Afghan Whigs: The Getaway

Formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1986, disbanded in 2001 and re-banded in 2012-2017, the group is now re-returning with its first album in five years, How Do You Burn?, slated for September release. Frontman Greg Dulli and bassist John Curley are the only remaining original members, joined by various other players and singers on the LP. This single has a touch of prog, reminding our ears of Crack the Sky. Consequence of Sound calls it "a soaring slow-burner that gradually builds into a powerful, climactic end. Its video uses imagery of space, astronauts, and rockets to convey a sense of limitless possibility."

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: My Echo

The Melbourne, Australia band with the too-long name just released its third full-length album, Endless Rooms. We previously featured lead single "The Way It Shatters," and now turn to this edgy track. It's another song born of pandemic isolation: singer/guitarist Fran Keaney said it’s “about being surrounded by phone screens, computer screens, TV screens, paranoia and loss of time and place.” The sharp-angled, sometimes discordant guitar sounds capture that anxiety.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

New from Florence + The Machine, Arkells, Andrew Leahey & The Homestead, Mt. Joy, Camp Cope

Florence + The Machine: Free

The new album from Florence Welch and company, Dance Fever, is co-produced by Welch and Jack Antonoff. NME writes that it packs "an invigorated spirit into powerful, sneakily thrilling pop," This track "channels the intensity of Welch’s previous work, but in a more euphoric direction. Its twitchy percussion arrangements heighten one of the most ecstatic choruses of the band’s career, and Welch approaches the subject of overcoming anxiety with sustained wonder that such happiness is even possible."  

Arkells: Past Life (feat. Cold War Kids)

This is the second single released ahead of the Ontario-based band's upcoming album Blink Twice (the follow up to last year's Blink Once). “Last fall we were in LA working on music and had this driving 80’s song about being present in the moment, and liberating yourself from the past,” says frontman Max Kerman. “We wrote the first verse and left the second one open, hoping that Nathan (Willett) from Cold War Kids might be drawn to the collaboration. CWK were one of our early influences when we started our band, and we’ve been lucky enough to share the stage with them over the years, and honoured to record this tune with them.”

Andrew Leahey & The Homestead: Caught Like a Fire

The newly released American Static, Vol. 2 completes an 18-track collection from this Nashville band. Entertainment Focus writes that the group "started out with a fair amount of Americana in the mix of what they were doing, but they’ve pared that back and become more of a straight-ahead rock band." We're featuring the opening track of Vol. 2, which AllMusic says "ignites into a rousing chorus of ringing guitars and harmonies, setting a confident tone that carries for the rest of the set." 

Mt. Joy: Evergreen

Formed by Philadelphia natives and high school friends Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar) and Sam Cooper (guitar),and now a five-piece band based in Los Angeles, the group is preparing to release its third full-length album, Orange Blood. "Evergreen is the shot of tequila on this record," says Quinn. "It’s a love song about trusting what you have during times when the world seems to be changing faster than we can keep up."

Camp Cope: Running With The Hurricane

This is the title track from the third album by the Melbourne, Australia trio of singer-songwriter-guitarist Georgia Maq, bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich and drummer Sarah Thompson. NME says "it marks a change of pace for a band who made their name with self-described ‘power emo’ songs that often addressed pressing issues head-on." Maq tells the website: “It’s just a change in perspective because of what the world has experienced the last few years. In Australia, we had the bushfires and I was like, ‘how can anything be worse than this? This is terrible.’ And then Covid happened. The hurricane really felt like a metaphor for chaos and loss of control, and just going with that.”

Saturday, May 7, 2022

New music variety from Maggie Rogers, Wilco, Grand Splendid, Bear's Den, Sally Dige

Maggie Rogers: That's Where I Am

The singer-songwriter's second album (or fourth, if you count two self-released sets) won't be out until late July, but this first single is moving quickly up the charts. NPR writes: "Stuttering electronics and handclaps underpin the momentum that builds through the song's first minute, but then Rogers opens a floodgate of sleek guitar distortion, bassy synth and gated reverb on crashing drums." At heart, it's a simple love song, about a relationship that starts out a bit rocky but works out well: "Wish we could do this forever / And never remember mistakes that we made ... It all works out in the end / Wherever you go, that’s where I am."

Wilco: Falling Apart (Right Now)

Wilco has long lived along the vague border between alt-country and indie-rock. They veer sharply to one side of the line on their upcoming album, a 21-track extravaganza called Cruel Country. Bandleader Jeff Tweedy says country music "has always been the ideal place to comment on what most troubles my mind – which for more than a little while now has been the country where I was born, these United States." Most of the album was recorded in live takes at the Loft in Chicago.

Grand Splendid: Heartstrings

This Montreal indie-rock band is back with its third single, leading up to an album expected later this year. The three songs so far demonstrate a good range of sounds: A touch of cosmic rock on "You Are the Universe," traces of Beatles influence on "Magic" and an echo of 80s bands like Dream Academy on this new track. Lead vocalist Julian Buchbinder says overall, the LP features "a lot of guitars and vocal melodies," with some upbeat songs and some more melancholic. "We think that they work well together as a whole."

Bear's Den: Blue Hours

The U.K.-based band is about to release its fourth studio album, Blue Hours. The songwriting duo of Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones say the title track "is a song about communicating with someone that’s hard to reach. It’s this idea of trying to have a conversation with someone through one-way glass, where they can’t even see you and there’s a real disconnect with how you’re communicating. On one level, it’s also an internal thing, where you’re trying to get through to yourself.” .

Sally Dige: I Will Be the Sun for You

A Danish-Canadian artist based in Berlin, Germany, Dige has released two albums and a handful of singles over the past several years, but this is the first to reach our ears. We're told her sound has evolved over time from disco-inspired electro, to post-punk, to synth-based "ethereal new romantic" and now to indie pop. After releasing an album composed and recorded entirely on one synthesizer, Dige says, “the natural form of self-rebellion was to pick up instruments that didn't need electricity to function, and play with strings and the hands again." Mandolin and balalaika are among the instruments heard on this upbeat, uplifting song.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Arcade Fire, Martin Courtney, Ellevator, Metric, Trombone Shorty added to our New Music bin

Arcade Fire: Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)

The second single to emerge ahead of the upcoming album We is "a lullaby for the end times, sung to my son, but for everyone," says frontman Win Butler. “There’s nothing saccharine about unconditional love in a world that is coming apart at the seams.” During their surprise set at Coachella, Rolling Stone reports, Butler got so emotional performing the song that the band "had to stop and start again after he composed himself." The album, due this week, was produced by Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich along with Butler and his wife and bandmate, RĂ©gine Chassagne.

Martin Courtney: Corncob

The second solo album from the Real Estate frontman, Magic Sign, is coming in June. This opening track, Courtney says, is a recollection of "the end of youth, pre-adulthood," of driving aimlessly with friends "to get as completely lost as possible ... Eventually getting home using these little green signs that are posted throughout the New Jersey suburbs telling you which way to go to reach different towns. We called them magic signs.” Brooklyn Vegan calls it "a nicely mellow track bathed in pedal steel and nostalgia." 

Ellevator: Slip

The Hamilton, Ontario-based trio's first full-length album, The Words You Spoke Still Move Me, comes out this week. On this track, singer Nabi Sue Bersche says, "We went full prog-rock ... and tapped into some mythological nerdery." It's based on a Scottish fable about a Selkie - a seal/woman captured and held against her will on land. "Our Selkie returns to the water after drowning the man who held her captive. It’s easy to imbue elemental stories like this with all sorts of meanings. I think this one is about killing the things that hold us captive and returning to the water, wherever that is for you."

Metric: All Comes Crashing

Photo: credit: Justin Broadbent
The Toronto band just announced that its eight studio album, Formentera, is coming in July. This first single is a love-in-a-time-of-calamity song. "When push it comes to shove / We do not fall out of love," Emily Haines sings. "There’s no one I would rather be lying beside / When it all comes crashing." (Didn't Frodo say something like that to Sam at Mount Doom?) The band says the album is named for an island near Ibiza, a "dream destination" they read about while stuck in Toronto during the pandemic. Says Haines: "We came to this realization that it wasn’t even about an actual place anymore, it was about creating an escape for yourself in your mind because you’re powerless over so many things.”

Trombone Shorty: Lie to Me

We're featuring another track from the just-released LP, Lifted, by the musician who will headline the closing night of this week's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The trombone wizard also plays trumpet and tuba on this track, and brings in the drumline from his alma mater, Warren Easton High School, evoking a parade through the streets of his native city.