5 songs you must hear this week: 28 February 2022

As February turns into March (Finally! This feels like a super-long winter, doesn’t it?) here are five strong songs that will hopefully brighten things up during some pretty dark times.

1. The Rural Alberta Advantage, CANDU
Single (Paper Bag)
Recommended If You Like: Rootsy Canadian folk-rock

It’s been almost five years since RAA has released any new material. They return with two songs, CANDU (which relates to Canada’s nuclear reactors and the mining of uranium in northern Saskatchewan) and AB Bride (presumably about a bride from Alberta). Keyboardist/vocalist Amy Cole is back in the group, too. A new album this year? We’ll see.

2. Snail Mail, Valentine
Valentine (Beggars Group)
RIYL: A very angry Sarah MacLachlan

This is 22-year-old Lindsey Jordan’s second album as Snail Mail. It starts quietly, but just wait. If you had a bad Valentine’s Day this year, then you’ll appreciate the sentiments of not only this song but of all 32 minutes of the album. Apparently, Jordan wrote most of this album while lying on the floor of her childhood bedroom. Does anyone else get some mid-90s alternative vibes from this one?

3. Caroline Polachek, Billions
Single (Perpetual Novice/The Orchard)
RIYL: Songs that require repeated listening

After releasing a divorce album in 2019 (Pang), she’s back with a slinky, slickly-produced single that features her vocals floating all over a complex melody. This could have been a mess, but she pulls it off, even when her voice cracks when she drops an octave. Billions will reveal new things with each listening.

4. Sheenah Ko, Wake Up
Future is Now (Independent)
RIYL: Synth Beats

Working out of Montreal, Sheenah is a synth-pop singer/songwriter who is also a member of Besnard Lakes. Future is Now is a follow-up to Nowhere in Time, her 2020 debut solo, which won a couple of awards. If you’ve been locked inside your head because of the pandemic, this song might be the thing you need to, er, wake up. You may even want to dance a little.

The Linda Lindas, Growing Up
Growing Up (Epitaph)
RIYL: Adorable moppets

Very blink-182, this. The extremely young (one of them might be 11) has been a sensation since they released their debut single, Sexist Racist Boy, recorded at the LA Public Library last spring. Snapped up by Epitaph, the LA quartet will release its debut album on April 8. This will go viral long before then. Nice to hear some solid guitar rock band from this new generation.

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