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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."

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