Nothing about Taylor Swift follows. I promise.
1. Lana Del Rey, F- It, I Love You/The Greatest
Norman F-ing Rockwell (Interscope)
Recommend If You Like: Music for people richer and more beautiful than you
There’s no doubt that Lana Del Rey is a polarizing figure. Is she a singer with an image or an image that happens to sing? Her sixth album—and we’re already six singles deep into the record’s 14 tracks—can be strangely unsettling. The album’s title and the titles of songs like this and Venice Bitch somehow seem both at odds with her delivery and style and strangely refreshing. There’s also a song called Cinnamon Girl that’s not a Neil Young cover. Ballsy, that.
2. Winnetka Bowling League, Kombucha
Cloudy with a Chance of Sun (RCA)
RIYL: Fizzy fermented drinks?
This is the first time I’ve ever run across a band that is also a bowling team (and technically a full league). Coming out of Los Angeles, this four-piece led by lead singer Matthew Koma combines Cali pop with bits of hip-hop. A self-titled EP was released last year. Watch for them in Toronto November 12.
3. Joywave, Obsession
RIYL: A dark late-night disco
This quartet from Rochester, New York, is prepping to release their third album by touring with Bastille (they’ll roll into the Budweiser Stage on September 20). This song was released in partnership with—wait for it—Marvel Comics. Its appearance was announced on the back cover of a number of Marvel titles.
4. Clayton Bellamy and The Congregation, Resistorz
Welcome to the Congregation (Matador)
RIYL: Black Keys, Black Pistol Fire, Sheepdogs
Yes, this is the guitarist from Road Hammers, who are apparently the highest-selling country band in Canadian history. While country will remain his thing, Bellamy has decided to broaden his horizons with this fuzzy, bluesy, stompy guitar track that displays some serious rock tracks. Best heard EXTREMELY loud. Watch for music supervisors to jump all over this one.
5. Big Wreck, One More Chance
…but for the Sun (Warner)
RIYL: The grindy side of Big Wreck
Ian Thornley and crew are back (minus, sadly, Brian Doherty, who died of cancer earlier this year) with their sixth album and the follow-up to 2017’s Grace Street. This is already the third single from the record (the first, Locomotive, came out back in February) and will be followed by a big tour through Canada and the US starting on September 18th and won’t wrap up until a hometown gig in Toronto on December 20.
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