In any normal year, this would be the time when labels and artists start to get their ducks in a row for the coming summer season. Will we see much in the way of touring? Doubtful, really–but that doesn’t mean we won’t end up drowning in new music.
1. Danko Jones, I Want Out
Power Trio (Sonic Unyon)
Recommended If You Like: RAWK
Danko and this band keep hammering away and damn the pandemic. The tenth Danko Jones album—coming in the year of their 25th anniversary—will be here on August 27th. It’s always baffled me as to why Danko is bigger in places like Sweden than he is in his native Canada. Maybe this one will be the one to convert the naysayers. The video is perfect for people who are tired of being locked down.
2. Japanese Breakfast, Be Sweet
Jubilee (Dead Oceans/Secretly Group)
RIYL: Experimental pop
Originally from Seoul, Michelle Zauner now works out of the US. Japanese Breakfast has been a going concern for her since 2013 with two albums previous to this one, which is set for release on June 4. The video for this first single (written by Jack Tatum of Wild Nothings) might remind you a little of the Beastie Boys Sabotage video.
3. Lilhuddy, The Eulogy of You and Me
RIYL: Blink-182-style punk-pop
Blink-182’s drummer Travis Barker is like Dave Grohl in the sense he never seems to sit still. Among his latest production efforts is this track with Lilhuddy, otherwise known as TikTok star Chase Hudson. Barker is also credited with a co-write on this track which is part wedding, part funeral. If you like what you hear, check out Lilhuddy’s previous single, 21st Century Vampire, was also a Travis Barker production.
4. Mike Shinoda feat. iann Dior/UPSAHL, Happy Endings
RIYL: Late-period Linkin Park
Mike has been the most visible and prolific member of Linkin Park since the death of Chester Bennington. When he’s not experimenting with selling NFTs, he’s working on poppy songs like this. In this case, he’s roped in UPSAHL (a Phoenix singer) and UPSAHL, a rapper born in Puerto Rico now living in Texas. The video was released as a fundraiser for a COVID-19 relief foundation.
5. Mansionair, More
RIYL: Whatever they’re doing in Australia these days
Born in Sydney in 2014, Mansionair is an electronic pop trio who managed to gain respect with their 2019 debut album, Shadowboxer. The first single from the band’s second album (due sometime later this year) is produced in a big, anthemic, cinematic style. It says everything it needs to in just over two-and-a-half minutes.
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