5 songs you must hear this week: 17 May 2021

This week’s selection of new tracks includes some Canadian brothers who found a shaman, a Saskatchewan woman who loves physics, and chocolate cake for dessert.

1. Tom Morello and Pussy Riot, Weather Strike
Single (Independent)
Recommended If You Like: Revolutionary art armies

Tom loves people who stand up for something, so it’s no surprise that he’s long admired the uncompromising activism of Russia’s Pussy Riot. This co-write, sung in both English and Russian, takes on both police killings and Putin’s authoritarianism. Note that the video is age-restricted on YouTube. Beware the strobe effects, too. YouTube won’t allow embedding of the video, but you can find it here.

2. Mountain Head, Let It Out
Single (Alternative Rock)
RIYL: Videos sung by ugly puppets

Ah. A mystery. Mountain Head is the Hannah brothers who look like they should be in ZZ Top (long hair, long beards) but also have gold grills. Yet they sound neither like Texas rockers or a NYC hip-out outfit. The story is that they wandered through the wilderness, climbed a mountain (presumably somewhere in their native Canada), and received some kind of enlightenment from a shaman at the summit. And then there are the puppets.

3. Hotel Mira, The Eyes on You
Perfectionism (Light Organ Records)
RIYL: Killers, Arkells, Arctic Monkeys

The Vancouver band formerly known as JPNSGRLS continues to work their fourth album with a new single that is a nice slice of springtime alt-pop. If you watch Jann Arden’s show, Jann, you’ll have seen singer Charlie Kerr in the series.

4. farideh, WaveForms
Single (Independent)
RIYL: Quantum physics. No, really.

Farideh (pronounced fair-i-day, just like “Faraday Cage” and stylized as “farideh”), formerly of Saskatchewan’s feminist activist band Rosie and the Riveters, found herself getting motion sickness while on the road. That led to learning about meditation and shortly thereafter, explorations of quantum physics. WaveForms is both a love song and a “melodic expression of the physical phenomenon of quantum entanglement” used as a metaphor for the emotional interactions she has with her husband from a distance. The metaphor works. Trust me.

5. Ali Barter, Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake EP (Inertia Music)
RIYL: Er, chocolate cake?

This was an accidental discovery made when I wasn’t even looking for new music. Ali, who is based out of Melbourne, Australia, has been releasing material for the last couple of years. This song was supposed to be part of her third album, but COVID meant a change in plans. Call this grunge-pop.


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