This is the first proper new music Friday in about a month.
Yes, some new music has trickled out, but it’s time to get down to business with some big-name releases.
1. Killers, Land of the Free
After hinting about a new single, The Killers return with a track accompanied by a powerful video (Spike Lee is involved) that tackles many of the serious issues facing the United States these days: immigration, guns, racism. It’s heartening to see a major band take a social and political stand in today’s environment. This is not going to be on an Oval Office playlist. Does this mean a new Killers album is in the offing? Probably not. Singer Brandon Flowers says not to expect anything until the end of the year or even early 2020.
2. The Cranberries, All Over Now
One year to the day of the tragic passing of singer Dolores O’Riordan in that London hotel room (champagne + prescription drugs + passing out in the bathtub), the remaining three Cranberries offered up this single from an upcoming album entitled In the End. Dolores had finished the guide vocals for the new album before she left Ireland for the last time, which is what we’ll hear throughout the record when it’s released on April 26.
3. Bryan Adams, Shine a Light
It’s been four years since Adams’ last album, 2015’s Get Up. This single serves as the introduction to a record also entitled Shine a Light, which is due March 1. This lead single was co-written with Ed Sheeran during a trip to Dublin last year after they met after a gig. If those sorts of collaborations are your thing, the album also features a guest appearance by Jennifer Lopez on a song called That’s How Strong Our Love Is. A brief introductory tour starts Jan. 22. Also watch for Bryan on season six of CTV’s The Launch.
4. Corey Hart, Dreaming Time Again
Please welcome the return of Mr. Sunglasses at Night. In the same week it was announced Corey will be inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame, out comes the first official single from an EP of the same name, due May 3. This will mark the first collection of new studio material in more than 20 years. The producer this time around is Canadian Bob Ezrin, the guy behind Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Alice Cooper’s biggest albums, and the best stuff KISS ever released.
5. Gesaffelstein and The Weeknd, Lost in the Fire
Controversy alert! On his third collaboration with French techno artist and DJ Gesaffelstein, The Weeknd has been called out for the lyrics on this song in which he dismisses a woman’s gayness, proposing a three-way so he can turn her straight. Oh, dear. Twitter is not happy.
London Calling: Slowthai, Doorman
Slowthai — born Tyron Frampton in Northhampton — is a combination grime rapper and hardcore punk who has this thing about taking his clothes off at gigs. Something about showing his vulnerability, apparently. You’ll also see what I mean in some of his videos.
Undiscovered Gem: The Beths, Happy Unhappy
First, there has only ever been one “Beth” among the members of this Auckland trio, which makes the pluralization of their name a little strange, but whatever. The band is now promoting a new album with the delightful title, The Future Hates Me.
Throwback Track of the Week: The Darkness, I Believe in a Thing Called Love
When this song first appeared in North America in early 2004, people either liked it, went with the joke, or hated it with much violence. But in the U.K., The Darkness was a sensation, selling almost two million copies of their debut album, Permission to Land. In North America, though, they had, er, mixed success. When this song was floated on the radio, the reaction of most people was to look at their radios and go, “What?” If you’ve never heard the song, you’ll soon see what I mean.
Alan Cross is a broadcaster with 102.1 the Edge and Q107, and a commentator for Global News.