5 songs you must hear this week: 07 Feb 2022

Let’s just say it: There’s too much music. With 95 million songs available on each of the streaming platforms and with tens of thousands of tracks being uploaded every single day (the number at Spotify is an incredible 60,000!!!), it’s impossible to keep up with what’s out there. Luckily, there’s this list that breaks things down to just five essential songs every week.

1. Harm & Ease, Cut Me Loose
Single (CosmoCat)
Recommended If You Like: Crunchy Canadian rock

I first ran across this Burlington, Ontario, four-piece when they played a private Halloween party at the El Mocambo. I was impressed. They’ve been around for more than a decade and have a 2017 debut album (recorded in a condemned mansion in Buenos Aires, of all places) and are good buddies with everyone in Walk Off the Earth. They’ve also recorded with producer Joe Cicarelli, a guy who has worked with everyone from Frank Zappa and Elton John to the Foo Fighters and The Raconteurs.

2. W3apons, Gotta Stop
Adios Radio EP (Believe Music/White Rabbits)
RIYL: Straight ahead Canadian prairie rock

The more I listen to this song by this Saskatoon trio the more I hear elements of Holy Bible-era Manic Street Preachers crossed with bluesy 70s rock that sounds great in a bar that smells like stale beer. These guys are good friends with The Trews, too.

3. Lucius, Next to Normal
Second Nature (Dine Alone/Mom + Pop)
RIYL: Phantogram-style synthy alt-pop

Formed in Brooklyn in 2005 and now working out of LA, Lucius is a quartet fronted by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, two people who have moonlighted with ex-Pink Floyd man Roger Waters as backup singers on one of his many world tours. They’ve also sung for Jackson Browne, The War on Drugs, and many others. This track, the lead single from their third album (due April 8) features production help from Brandi Carlisle and backup vocals from Sheryl Crow.

4. Rex Orange County, Keep It Up
Who Cares? (RCA)
RIYL: Twee pop

If you’re into gentle melodic pop from the UK (think bands like Belle and Sebastian and anyone who describes what they do as “bedroom pop” like, say Owl Eyes), check out London’s Alexander James O’Connor who definitely found an earworm with this song. Who Cares? will be his fourth album.

The Smile, The Smoke
Single (XL Recordings)
RIYL: Well, Radiohead, for one.

In lieu of any proper Radiohead, fans are getting drips of a side project featuring Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood. A while back, the band introduced itself with a three-concerts-in-15-hours blitz along with a single entitled You Will Never Work in Television Again. That’s Thom Yorke playing bass on this new track. A debut album is apparently complete and will be released later this year.

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