5 songs you must hear this week: 21 March 2022

As we ease into spring, things have started to pick up when it comes to Q2 releases. Here are some highlights.

1. Thom Yorke, 5.17
Single (XL Recordings)
RIYL: Radiohead and Peaky Blinders

Technology makes it possible for anyone to release new music to the world at any time. A couple of Sundays back, Thom Yorke dropped a new piano ballad on us without warning and reason. Funny how that happened in conjunction with the release of the third episode of this season’s Peaky Blinders, a series to which both Thom and bandmate Jonny Greenwood have contributed music. The artwork also hints at a second song, That’s How Horses Are. It’s scheduled for release on April 3, the date of the Peaky Blinders finale.

2. Nilüfer Yanya, anotherlife
Painless (ATO Records)
RIYL: Non-metal umlaut music

This one is tough to categorize. Nilüfer Yanya is a London-based singer who recently released her second album which contains elements of jazz, funky, dream pop, and more. She dances on melodies and offers up unexpected turns into different musical textures. Each time I listened to this song, I got something different from it.

3. Bakar, Free
Nobody’s Home (Black Butter/Epic)
RIYL: Indie rock in your hip-hop

Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr continues to be on a roll with this track from last month’s Nobody’s Home, his first proper album. Living in Camden, the spiritual home of so much British indie rock, exposed him to many different types of music which he has distilled into a unique style. If you do choose to stream the whole album, pay close attention to the lyrics. He drops some gems along the way

4. Odezsa, Better Now (feat. Maro)
Single (Ninja Tune)
RIYL: Big choruses, Enya style

Odesza is an electronic duo over the border from Vancouver in Bellingham, Washington, who have been making music for about a decade now. They’ve been nominated for a couple of Grammys in the remixes and dance music categories and saw one album reach as high as number three on the Billboard charts. After spending COVID working on new music, this track hints at some pretty good stuff to come.

5. Envy of None, Look Inside
Envy of None (KScape)
Recommended If You Like: Songs that are short and sweet

While this record is (due April 8) is being hyped my many as a post-Rush Alex Lifeson record, it’s much more than that. It’s a band effort fronted by Portland, Oregon’s, Maiah Wynne, and supported by Andy Curran (Coney Hatch, among others) and producer Alfio Annibalini. Super dreamy and loaded with subtle yet effective production flourishes, this is one for listening in the dark on a good pair of headphones.

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