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5 songs you must hear this week: 11 May 2020

AWOLNATION at The Phoenix Concert Theatre 180210.
AWOLNATION at The Phoenix Concert Theatre 180210. Mark Booth / markbooth.zenfolio.com

There’s a lot to worry about. COVID-19. The economy and jobs. The kids’ schooling. Personal grooming (I may soon be forced into a man bun.) Murder hornets. It’s a lot to process.

Take a moment to enjoy five fresh songs that could used your attention.

1. Half Moon Run, Jello on My Mind
A Blemish in the Great Light (Frontside)
Recommended If You Like: Gelatin desserts?

Montreal’s Half Moon Run was one of the bands left hanging when the Juno Awards were canceled this year. Their 2019 record, A Blemish in the Great Light, was nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year, but because of COVID-19, no one knows who won any Junos in 2020. In the interim, this track from the album has been given a new mix by Dan Gretch, who has done a lot of work with The Killers and Mumford & Sons.

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2. Fontaines DC, A Hero’s Death
A Hero’s Death (Partisan)
RIYL: Angry Irishmen

I’m a huge fan of the Dublin group who impressed with their debut album, Dogrel, last year. This Difficult Second Record™ comes about a year after their first, which seems to indicate that this band has a lot more in the tank. Can’t wait for the record which is due July 31. The first single—the Strokes-ish title track—comes with a very goofy video.

3. Jimmy Eat Word feat. Bethany Cosentino, Call to Love
Single (RCA)
RIYL: Obscure covers

We last heard from Jimmy Eat World when they released their Surviving album back in October. Now they’re back with an obscure cover. The original is by a band called Crooked Fingers (a side project of Archers of Loaf frontman, Eric Bachmann). Bethany, as you might know, is from the band Best Coast. This recording originally made on April 17—what would have been Record Store Day—as part of a livestream. We’ll see where this goes.

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4. The Royal Foundry, okay?
WAKEUP WAKEUP (Independent)
RIYL: Commiserating

Not a song written during the COVID-19 crisis, but it could have been. The Edmonton band says ““The message of this song has become increasingly more meaningful to us in light of everything going on with COVID-19 and we hope this is something you can connect with too. It’s gonna be OKAY?” Cool animated video, too.

5. AWOLNATION, Mayday!!! Fiesta Fever
Angel Minders & The Lightning Riders (RPM Promotion/Better Noise)
RIYL: Rocking and rolling at a disco party

With their fourth album now available, AWOLNATION has moved on to a new single featuring Alex Ebert from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. This is the kind of stuff we would have seen performed live this summer (AWOLNATION was supposed to tour with their Canadian friends, Bleeker, and The Beaches), but the coronavirus made that impossible.

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