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Saturday, March 26, 2022

New Music: Common Deer, Sharon van Etten, Timothy B. Schmit, Foals, Chair Warriors

Common Deer: 90 Days

This Toronto band emerged in 2017 with two EP's. We featured the single "Wait!" and several other tracks, but hadn't heard anything more - until now. "Following an immense period of growth and reflection, Common Deer returns with a new line-up and their first full-length LP, Maximalist," says their press release, which describes their music as "synth-driven alternative pop" combining "new wave and pop-punk influences." The group still features Sheila Hart-Owens on keyboards and lead vocals. This track is one of two singles from the new album; we don't have a date yet for the full release.

Sharon van Etten: Porta

This new single is "a powerful, synth-heavy track that recreates the feeling of working through tough emotions," writes NPR Music. In a statement, the singer-songwriter says it's about "bouts of depression and anxiety and coping mechanisms." In the lyric, she seems to speak to depression directly: "I want to live my life / But you won't allow ... I want to be myself / Stay out of my life."

Timothy B. Schmit: Simple Man

The veteran of Poco and the Eagles has put out a string of his own albums over the years (while continuing to join the Eagles on tour), and the forthcoming Day By Day is at least his seventh solo release. This first single is a gentle flashback to the 70s Laurel Canyon folk-rock sound. Along with Schmit's distinctive tenor vocals, it features electric guitar leads from Lindsey Buckingham and vocal harmonies from Beach Boys alumni Chris Farmer and Matt Jardine. The lyrics reflect on the past and on making the most of the time one has left: "I'm a simple man, and I'm on my way / To whatever lies ahead while aging day by day."

Foals: 2AM

"Nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m.," goes the old line from How I Met Your Mother. This song seems to pick up on that theme: "It's 2 a.m. and I've gone and lost my friends / But I can't sleep alone again." And yet as the lyric continues, the narrator ends up by himself in the middle of the night, regretting things he's said and done that caused him to be alone. "I lost myself again, I just need time to mend ... forget the things I said then, at 2 a.m." This lyrical angst is set to a bouncy, percussion-driven, very danceable soundtrack - likely to be played at closing time in many bars and clubs! 

Chair Warriors: Control (Lies, Lies, Lies)

We add a fresh touch of progressive rock to our mix with a new track from this Montreal-based band we've featured several times over the past five years. This is the latest in a series of singles the trio began releasing in late 2020, which will eventually form a full-length album "with several concepts and themes that will loosely tie them together," says drummer Gopal Devanathan. This song, he says, "is the band's musing on the state of world affairs, which seem to have taken a turn for the worse these last two years specifically. Freedom vs Fascism seems to be very apparent."

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