5 songs you must hear this week: 24 May 2021

With so much of the country’s attention focused on the surprise new Tragically Hip album, let’s not forget that there is plenty of other new tunes floating around out there.

1. GRAE, Spinning
Single (Independent)
Recommended If You Like: A song for Fathers’ Day

This 80s-tinged track (think she’s a Cure fan?) is about GRAE’s relationship with her dad, something that became even tighter after her mother died. I can’t imagine going for a tattoo with my father, but that’s just me. GRAE spent some time living in Australia before returning to Canada and is now headquartered in Toronto.

2. Not Now, Lost My Head
Black Holes & Rituals (Independent)
RIYL: Maritime Rock

This is the first single from a four-piece pop-punk band based out of Sussex, New Brunswick (pop. 4,282; I have a soft spot for small-town bands with big ambitions). More is coming in the form of a debut album later this summer. If you like what you hear, an EP entitled Suburbia was released a couple of years back.

3. Bowling for Soul, Getting Old Sucks (But Everyone’s Doing It)
Single (Independent
RIYL: Lamenting the passing of time

Dating back to the rise of pop-punk in the middle 90s, Texas’ Bowling for Soup has made the round of the major labels, releasing ten albums over the years. Given that they’ve released records with names like Drunk Enough to Dance, A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, and Lunch Drunk Love, they seem to have come to terms with the fact that life moves by quickly.

4. Duran Duran, Invisible
Future Past (Tape Modern/BMG)
RIYL: Well, it’s Duran Duran, innit?

Has Duran Duran really been around for 38 years? Yes. Wow. Getting old DOES suck. This record, due October 22 (yes, we’re already talking about releases deep into the fall) features multiple guest appearances, including Graham Coxon (Blur), Mike Garson (Bowie’s favourite piano player), and Lykke Li. The first video was apparently created by an artificial intelligence named Huxley. Groundbreaking, yes. But could it also have been cheaper than shooting a regular video?

5. Bleachers, Stop Making This Hurt
Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night (RCA)
RIYL: John Hughes movies

Nice funky indie-pop that will remind you of the kind of music that used to be included on the soundtracks of John Hughes movies back in the 80s. The head dude is, of course, Jack Antonoff, a guy who has become a much-in-demand producer/collaborator for everyone from Lorde to St. Vincent to Taylor Swift to Lana Del Rey. This song is a series earworm, so approach with caution. The full album will be available on July 30.

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