5 songs you must hear this week: 24 February 2020

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performs at Fenway Park on Sept. 4, 2018 in Boston, Mass. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The weekly cull of submissions complete and here are the five songs that survived.

1. King Princess, Ohio
Cheap Queen (Deluxe edition) (Zelig Records/Columbia)
Recommended If You Like: Badass queer woman rock

For anyone who is looking for a woman (or anyone, for that matter) to rock their world, you’ve found her. King Princess—aka Mikaela Mullaney Straus—is a multi-instrumentalist dynamo who deserves your attention. You may have already learned about her through her appearances at Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Glastonbury—and the fact that she’s signed to Mark Ronson’s label. This track (and please watch the video) is from a deluxe re-release of her 2019 debut album.

2. Boniface, Oh My God
Boniface (Mountain Records)
RIYL: Songs with 80s DNA

Boniface (named after the Winnipeg neighbourhood) specializes in material that is equal parts 80s synth-pop and early 2000s emo. For someone to emerge this fully-formed is nothing short of remarkable. Once you listen to a few songs, you’ll understand why comparisons are being made to Lana Dey Rey. BTW, Boniface is not a group but an individual who uses they/them pronouns. That will explain the grammar used in press releases.

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3. AJR, Bang!
Single (S-Curve Records)
RYIL: Pure pop for power people

The AJR brothers (Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met) are teasing their fourth album with a song about “the middle ground between being a kid and growing up; a time when we’re doing all these things adults are supposed to do, but we don’t feel grown up.” The video will appeal to anyone who recognizes the style of director Wes Anderson. Very retro.

4. KennyHoopla, How Will I Rest In Peace If I’m Buried By a Highway?
Single (Mogul Vision/Arista)
RIYL: Does anyone else think of New Order when they hear this?

Actually, his name is Kenneth La’ron of Cleveland. He hasn’t released much—less than half a dozen singles—but all of them have attracted a decent amount of attention. He likes to refer to what he does as “new wave nostalgia” (Hah! So I’m not far off with the New Order vibe!), but it’s definitely mixed with contemporary alternative R&B. Definitely a guy to watch.

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Pearl Jam, Superblood Wolfmoon
Gigaton (Republic)
RIYL: Er, Pearl Jam?

The new album is still more than a month off (Gigaton will be out March 27), but with a tour set to start in Toronto on March 18, it’s best to get another single out into the wild. If you haven’t tried the AR app for this song (download it at, give it a shot. It’s a new way of looking at the night sky.

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