5 songs you must hear this week: 25 November 2019

With Black Friday heralding the official start of the Christmas shopping season, artists and labels are scrambling to get new material out. Some are already setting up new releases for the first quarter of 2020. Here’s are five tracks that might go well with your Black Friday.

1. Absofacto, Dissolve
Thousand Peaces (Atlantic)
RIYL: Twenty One Pilots. Definitely them.

Not a band but a Michigan indie rock performer named Jonathan Visger. He’s been kicking around since 2008, releasing singles and EPs through his own website as well as Bandcamp. He’s now working in LA having finally signed that big major label deal. Let’s see where this goes.

half.alive, Runaway
Now, Not Yet (RCA)
RIYL: More Twenty One Pilots. Plus AJR. And maybe Lovelytheband

Here’s a three-piece from Long Beach, California with an unusual lineup: singer, bass player, drummer. They were a studio project for the first couple of years of their existence; their first live gig didn’t come about until almost two years after they were formed in 2016. Half.Alive could also have some of the best choreographed videos you’ll see.

Pinegrove, Phase
Marigold (Rough Trade)
RIYL: Americana crossed with emo and indie rock

This is the kind of song that would have been a slam-dunk for alt-rock radio at the end of the 90s. Somewhat reminiscent of Cracker during their best years back in the 90s, look for this six-piece from Montclair, New Jersey, to make a push with their fourth full album when it comes out January 17.

Upsahl, Smile for the Camera
Single (Arista)
RYIL: Bouncy indie pop along the lines of Elle King

When she was 19, Taylor Upsahl moved from Phoenix to in hopes of scoring record deal. It took her about a year. So much for her plans for going to medical school. Fun fact: Her father has played with various Arizona bands through the years, including ones with names like Surf Through Death and We Were Stereo.

Jeremie Albino, Hard Time
Hard Time (Sleepless Records)
Recommended If You Like: Talk, Matt Mays, Glorious Sons, Nathaniel Rateliff

Soulful rock from a guy signed to the same label as July Talk, Albino (now working out of Prince Edward County) seems to be on something of a roll with nearly a million streams of this song on Spotify. His sound—the more I listen to this song, the more I hear Nathaniel Rateliff tinged with a bit of Michael Kiwanuka. This should travel well internationally.

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