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Saturday, July 29, 2023

New from Yellowcard, Foo Fighters, Destroy Boys, Bethany Cosentino, The Vanrays

Yellowcard: Childhood Eyes

Here's the first new music in seven years from the band that reunited last year and is currently touring to mark the 20th anniversary of Ocean Avenue, their double-platinum fourth album. This is the title track of a five-song EP. The band says it's "a song about being defeated, let down, and deceived time and again, but still managing to find your creative soul and carry on."

Foo Fighters: But Here We Are

Here's the title song from the band's 11th album, which is suffused with grief over the death last year of drummer Taylor Hawkins. Some tracks, such as "Under You," speak directly about the loss of a close friend. Here, the lyric is a bit more oblique: "Hey, lay your burden down / Turn around, turn around / Fate written in the stars / Arm in arm, arm in arm we are forever."

Destroy Boys: Shadow (I'm Breaking Down)

Since forming in Sacramento, Calif., in 2015, this punkish band has released three albums - and this single will be on its upcoming fourth. Lead vocalist and guitarist Alexia Roditis says the song - which she sings partly in Spanish - "is about compassionately confronting the parts of yourself that you don’t like, or do like but might be toxic."

(Photo byAmbar Navarro)

Bethany Cosentino: Calling On Angels

On her new solo album, Natural Disaster, the Best Coast singer gets a bit more personal with her lyrics, reflecting (sometimes heavy-handedly) on life in an age of climate turmoil, while bringing a more polished and somewhat more country sound to her music. This upbeat track would blend well with some of Sheryl Crow's hits.

The Vanrays: Shake My Hand

This band is made up of veterans of the music scene in Vancouver, B.C. They bill their music as "East Van Garage Soul." Their latest album, Put It Out, was recorded largely in socially distanced sessions. Piano and organ player Gordon Rempel says the tracks were assembled "instrument by instrument, together and apart." Yet in the end, the record manages to capture a live-off-the-floor sound. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

New: The Gaslight Anthem, Stand Up and Say No, Night Talks, Dave Matthews Band, Pony Gold

The Gaslight Anthem: History Books (feat. Bruce Springsteen)

This New Jersey band went on hiatus in 2015, and during that time frontman Brian Fallon says he sought out his friend/idol for guidance. Fallon credits their chat at a Freehold pizza place for helping him bring his band back together. And then Bruce sent him a text. "When Bruce Springsteen said I should write a duet for us, I think my head exploded," Fallon says. The result is this title track for the Anthem's sixth full-length album, due this fall.

Stand Up and Say No: Something Normal

Ottawa-based SU&SN is the project of guitarist, songwriter and producer Andre Nault. "I had to write this track because I’m sick and worried about how things are going," Nault says, listing the overlapping crises of recent years in politics, climate, pandemic and war. "This song is my way of coping, and I hope it brings solace to those who listen to it."

Night Talks: Nights

We get the impression our favorite LA indie-pop band is dealing with a lot of anxiety these days. Close on the heels of "Roll On," which dealt with being stuck at home as the world rolls on outside, comes this new single about insomnia, night frights and imagined monsters. Crunchy guitars and swirling synths back up Sorya Sebghati's nervous vocal.

Dave Matthews Band: Monsters

Almost in answer to Night Talks, Matthews sings that there's "Nothing in the closet / Nothing underneath the bed / Just the monsters in your head." Although the lyric conjurs disturbing images, it ends with reassurance: "Love won't let you go."

Pony Gold: Paradise

From Victoria BC comes this "Americana singer-songwriter group with a heavy emphasis on vocals and slide guitar." Singer Theresa Pasaluko and guitarist Matt Bromley played together in various groups for years before forming Pony Gold in 2018. This is their debut single under that name. They cite among their influences Lucinda Williams, Tom Petty and Tedeschi Trucks Band. 

Saturday, July 15, 2023

The latest: Shale, Blue October, Jakob's Castle, Almost Monday, Royal Blood in our New Music bin

Shale: Shake

Billed as an alternative rock band "with a vintage twist," this group from Victoria, BC, released its first EP just over a year ago. It returns with this single that vocalist Kiarra O’Connor says "tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university. ...I took the idea to the rest of the band, and everyone added their own flare. The song transformed from an acoustic singer-songwriter style piece into the hard-hitting rock song that it is today.” Canadian Beats writes that O'Connor's vocals sound vulnerable at the start but "grow braver by the third verse."

Blue October: Down Here Waiting

Last year's LP Spinning the Truth Around turns out to have been the first of a series. Part II is due for release this fall, followed by a Part III that will consist of alternate takes and remixes. This single is the first of the new tracks to emerge.

Jakob's Castle: Time Traveler

Jakob Nowell (son of Bradley Nowell of Sublime) self-released a couple of tracks earlier this year under the Jakob's Castle name. Now comes the Los Angeles-based musician's first single via a freshly signed deal with Epitaph Records. It has a laid-back groove and an optimistic new-love lyric: "Our love is just beginning / I'm a time traveler / I can see you in my future."

Almost Monday: Life Goes By

This California band's latest tune is billed as a quintessential summer single, "pulling from surf-rock and indie-pop influences." Fittingly, its music video shows the trio surfing, swimming and performing on the beach.

Royal Blood: Pull Me Through

The Brighton-based rock duo add some piano to their bass-and-drums-heavy sound on this single from their forthcoming fourth album, Back To The Water Below. Vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr says the song "is ultimately about giving up on persevering alone and finding strength in asking for help."

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Grace Potter, The Record Company, Soda Blonde, Beach Riot, Jon Batiste now in our New Music bin

Grace Potter: Good Time

The Vermont native references the Montreal airport as a jumping-off point for adventure in this single from her forthcoming LP, Mother Road. "When I was writing ‘Good Time,’ I was thinking about all the times when there were no boundaries between me and the world at large,” Potter says. “As you get older, there’s this expectation that you need to fall in line, that you can’t keep living a fantasy your whole life. But I don’t know about that - maybe we can."

The Record Company: Talk to Me

With this new single comes word of an album coming sometime this fall from the LA-based trio. "We used the same junky yard-sale drum set heard on our earliest recordings" on this track, says bassist Alex Stiff. "When the question came up later whether to re-record the song in a more professional studio setting, we voted that the original spirit was more important than polish, and we left that groove intact. A lot of the album follows this same vision.”

Soda Blonde: Bad Machine

The Dublin-based band will release its sophomore album, Dream Big, in September. Of this lead single, guitarist Adam O’Regan says: “This idea that ‘every part of me is a bad machine breaking everything all the time, every part of me has been wired to repeat, I’ve got a bad desire by design,’ it’s this idea of recognizing that this is just a part of who you are and going with that."

Beach Riot: Tell Me I'm Wrong

Here's the second single to emerge from the Brighton-based "fuzz-pop band" since their 2021 debut album, Subatomic Party Cool. "All we wanna do is take this song onto the stage and be the soundtrack to people’s summer," says the band.

Jon Batiste: Calling Your Name

Here's another single that signifies an upcoming LP release. World Music Radio will arrive in August as the follow-up to Batiste's 2021 Grammy winner, We Are. He describes it as "a concept album that takes place in the interstellar regions of the universe."

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Slip~ons, Close Kicks, The Kut, Aphrose, Wye Oak - The latest adds to our New Music bin

SLIP~ons: Heavy Machinery

From Vancouver, BC, comes this "guitar-forward, power-pop band" consisting of Brock Pytel (guitarist formerly of The Doughboys), Brian Minato (bassist for Sarah McLachlan), Rob "Shockk'' Matharu (guitarist from the Spitfires) and drummer Shane Wilson. This is the title track from their debut EP.

Close Kicks: Never Gonna Give This Up

Darryl James, bassist for The Strumbellas, has just released his second EP as Close Kicks, the solo side project he launched a couple of years ago. Titled Colours, it's billed as "a celebration of the possibilities and outcomes of believing in yourself."

The Kut: Runaways

The London multi-instrumentalist who calls herself and her band The Kut just released this single, described as "a feel-good track about spending the summer outdoors." It actually was on her second LP, Grit, which came out a year ago, but that's not stopping us from putting it in the New Music bin.

Aphrose: YaYa

We add some Neo-Soul flavor to our mix with this new single from the upcoming debut album, Roses, by Aphrose, aka Joanna Mohammed. We're told she grew up in Toronto, where her Trinidadian parents owned a record store and she absorbed the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and many others. Here she blends 70's Soul, 80's Roller-Disco and 90's House vocal harmonies.

Wye Oak: Repeat (If You Remind Me)

The latest album from the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, Every Day Like the Last, is a collection of seven singles released over the past three years plus two new songs - the title track, which we featured last month, and this one, both of which include Alan Good Parker on pedal steel.