New Music Friday: 8 releases worth your attention this weekend (20 May 2023)

We Canadians got our start on summer a week ago. But when it comes to the recorded music industry, everything starts to get real for the next three months with the US Memorial Day long weekend. The release schedules are pretty full from now until mid-August.


1. Foo Fighters, Show Me How (Roswell/RCA/Sony)

Last weekend, we learned that Josh Freese is the replacement for the late Taylor Hawkins (Temporarily? Permanently? We don’t really know.) and that it’s Dave Grohl on drums with the new album, But Here We Are. That record is due next Friday, about ten days after the Foos started their first proper headlining tour since Taylor died. This, the third single from the album, is an interesting mid-tempo change-up from the band. And that female singer in the background?  Dave’s daughter, Violet. (A mini-review of the record in this space next week.)

2. The Hives, Bogus Operandi (Frontside)

Thanks to their sharp suits and spikey songs, Sweden’s The Hives were one of the more interesting participants in the indie rock revolution that swept rock at the turn of the century. They’re been AWOL for a decade but have decided the time was ripe for a comeback. A new album, The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons (no idea what that means–yet), will arrive on August 11. Maybe this horror video will offer some clues.

3. Yukon Blonde, UP 2 U (Dine Alone)

Although the album won’t be until later this year (title still TBA), the band has touring plans for the summer. They’ll take that opportunity to slowly introduce new material from the next record. UP 2 U is a mid-tempo song with a touch of soul that will sound good during a hot humid summer day at the beach.

4. Depeche Mode, Wagging Tongue (Sony)

The third single from Memento Mori comes with a video that involves the collaboration of their favourite photographer, Anton Corbijn. It looks like it could have been taken from a trippy 1960s horror film.

5. Royal Blood, Mountains at Midnight (Warner)

A new album called Back to the Water Below is on the way (watch for it September 8) and the fourth single, says the band, “comes from a dark place” as singer Mike Kerr reflects on four years of sobriety. “It feels like I was writing from that place of being somewhere that’s very isolated, dark and deep down. henever I get to that place, it’s not always about trying to escape it. It’s not about trying to swim for the surface; it’s about acknowledging that this is where I’m at and sitting in those feelings. I’ll try not to give everything away, though.”


1. Matchbox Twenty, Where the Light Goes (Atlantic)

It’s been 11 years since Rob Thomas and his crew last released an album. It’ll be interesting to see how many people are interested. This is the current single–which, if I’m honest, is pretty much on target when it comes to the current sound of alt-pop.

2. Arlo Parks, My Soft Machine (Transgressive)

Parks (real name: Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho) is a much admired English singer-songwriter who won Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize in 2021 for her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. No pressure for a follow-up, right? She says the record’s sound was influenced by My Bloody Valentine and Fontaines DC. Now you’re curious, aren’t you? I don’t hear that in this single, but it’s still a really nice song.

3. The Dirty Nil, Free Rein to Passions (Dine Alone)

The fourth album from these Ontario punks starts with a single that’s awfully crunchy and riffilicious. Powerful stuff. Godspeed, lads.


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