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Saturday, October 7, 2023

Featured new music: Rockers from Lizzie No, TALK and U2, plus a quieter Arkells

Lizzie No: Lagunita

Photo by Cole Nielsen
This single brings a rock-band backing to the singer-songwriter whose repertoire also includes soft ballads accompanied by harp. No describes her upcoming album, Halfsies, as "a journey from exile to freedom." American Songwriter says "The driving, electrifying tune features guest vocals from Brian Dunne and emotes a feeling of deep determination for better days to come."

Talk: Wasteland

Another artist known for a quieter sound ("Run Away to Mars," "Afraid of the Dark") goes full-tilt rocker on this single, to be included on his debut album, Lord of the Flies & Birds & Bees. The artist, a.k.a. Nicholas Durocher, says "This post-apocalyptic wasteland dream world was a love letter to the island of misfit toys, to people who aren’t broken but just lost."

The Arkells: Skin

While Lizzie No and Talk crank up the amps, the typically exuberant pop-rock band from Hamilton, Ont., turns introspective and personal on its seventh album, Laundry Pile. Most of the lyrics deal with a romance breaking down, from the point of view of one still in love: "You told me, darling, it's time to move on." "Do I still have a shot in the dark, do I still have a piece of your heart?" And from this song, the catchiest tune in the bunch: "[You're] rolling your eyes when my heart's on my sleeve."

U2: Atomic City

Photo by Sam Jones
The venerable practitioners of arena rock whipped up this song that's vaguely about having fun in Las Vegas just before opening a string of dates at the new Sphere arena in that city. It won't join the ranks of the band's best works, but as Stereogum put it, "it's a hard-grooving, competent song." The band calls it an "homage to the magnetic spirit of the 1970s post-punk era with a nod to Blondie." In fact, there's enough of an echo of "Call Me" that Debbie Harry and her collaborator Giorgio Moroder get co-writer credits.

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