Alan Cross’ weekly music picks: Holiday hiatuses and hot heat

Justin Timberlake performs at AccorHotels Arena on July 3, 2018 in Paris, France.
Justin Timberlake performs at AccorHotels Arena on July 3, 2018 in Paris, France. David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns

Between national holidays on both sides of the border, the World Cup, and the oppressive heat across most of North America, this had to be one of the least productive weeks of the year.

Yet there are some new releases worth your attention.

1. Yungblud, I Love You Will You Marry Me

Yungblud (Dominic Harrison to his mom) is a highly-regarded alternative hip-hop dude from Yorkshire. Coming from a musical family (Grandpa played with T.Rex in the 70s), Geffen Records recognized the similarities between him and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. Singles have been dribbling out over the last year with this song having the most impact. It tells the true story of a homeless man who proposed to a woman through graffiti on some construction hoarding, but then she died and he stayed homeless.

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2. DevilDriver, Outlaws ’til the End: Vol 1

Here’s one for the campfire: metal versions of country songs originally released by artists like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and George Jones. There was plenty of enthusiastic participation in the project with about two dozen guest appearances (Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, Glenn Danzig, Lee Ving from FEAR). Knowing Steve Earle, he’s pretty chuffed that they chose to cover this song.

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3. Erasure, World Be Live

Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have been working together as Erasure since 1985. Tracks from the just-completed World Be Gone tour have been assembled as a 24-track collection of performances, most of which comes from gigs at London’s Evintim Apollo.

4. Justin Timberlake, SoulMate

JT wanted to surprise everyone with a new summer jam in time for July 4, so he sneaked this one out the day before. Anyone else hear a little Lionel Ritchie in this one?

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5. The Beatles, Yellow Submarine (7-inch reissue)

It’s been 50 years since this Ringo song got a single release, so a special 7-inch single picture disc has been issued with Eleanor Rigby on the B-side. There’s more to these golden celebrations (including revisiting the movie and the full album), but collectors are most concerned with this little slab of vinyl.

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London Calling – Slaves, Cut and Run

Not the American band of the same name, but a British duo who describe what they do as “punk with bluesy garage riffs.” You have to like how they let their accents shine through.

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Undiscovered Gem – Amy and the Sniffers, Cup of Destiny

Terrible name, but solid working-class Aussie punk. Amy, the singer, works on the line in a whiskey factory while the bass player has a job in the produce department of a grocery store. Maybe this song will lead to new careers.

Throwback Thursday – 13 Engines, Smoke and Ashes

If you were part of the ’90s alternative generation in Canada, there’s no way you could have avoided Toronto’s 13 Engines. There were several albums (some indie, some major) that peaked with 1993’s Perpetual Motion Machine. This single was all over the radio that year.

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Alan Cross is a broadcaster with 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.

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