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Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Dip, The Midnight Echo, Muse, The Kut and Alice Merton land in our New Music bin

The Dip: Paddle to the Stars

This song popped out as a single late last year, but reached our ears with the recent release of the Seattle group's third album, Stick With It. "This seven-piece University of Washington-founded ensemble of former jazz music students possesses a gleaming, almost uncanny knack for reinterpreting the classic soul and pop sounds of the ’60s and ’70s through a consistently delightful indie approach," writes Under the Radar. The magazine calls this track "the album’s most impressive entry, its rich sunshine harmonies and soulful bounce seeing the group advancing its already impeccable style."

The Midnight Echo: View of an Astronaut

This four-piece alt-rock band is based in Vancouver, where songwriter-lead vocalist Joel Lalonde moved from Ontario not long ago. He says he wrote this song as he was reflecting on his decision to relocate. From the chorus: "I think the view of an astronaut would put us in our place / We're all overdramatic and losing our way ... Let's start all over again." Lalonde is joined by Tyler Rayman on guitar, Matt Gibson on bass on harmony vocals and Aaron Passek on drums. 

Muse: Compliance

On their upcoming ninth album, Will of the People, this English band continues to take a dystopian view of modern society. Singer Matt Bellamy says the LP "was created in Los Angeles and London and is influenced by the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world. A pandemic, new wars in Europe, massive protests and riots, an attempted insurrection, Western democracy wavering, rising authoritarianism, wildfires and natural disasters and the destabilization of the global order ... It has been a worrying and scary time for all of us ..." This track, he says, "is about submission to authoritarian rules and reassuring untruths to be accepted to an in-group."

The Kut: Satellite

This UK band turns up frequently on our nightly free-form show The Detour, and now makes its debut in our New Music bin. It's headed by a multi-instrumentalist who goes by the name Princess Maha, or sometimes simply Kut. On her second album, Grit, she's joined by a half-dozen musicians from her "collective" that back her up for live performances. This single features Diana Bartmann (drums), Alison (piano, vocals) and Jennifer Sanin (bass, vocals). Maha/Kut says it's "possibly the biggest step away from my comfort zone yet. I never meant to write a love song, but then there was something liberating about finally being able to express it." Guitar Girl Magazine calls the track "Emotive, powerful and featuring a guitar solo straight out of a Clapton ‘How To’ school."

Alice Merton: Same Team

Follow last year's hit "Vertigo" comes another single that will be on the U.K. pop singer's upcoming album, S.I.D.E.S. Merton says she "had been going through a lot of personal and work-related conflicts" when she wrote this song. "A team goes through ups and downs, but often pulls together to become even stronger - but in some cases it does the exact opposite. I started to question: what do I do if that team makes me doubt myself and the decisions that we make?" The lyrics sound like a break-up song, but from the one who caused the rupture: "I broke all our promises / And I evened out the score ... And I hurt you and your feelings / And I broke all the things we loved."

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