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5 songs you must hear this week: 25 May 2020

The days leading up to the US Memorial Day weekend is usually filled with hype for superstar releases, but in the age of COVID-19, those records were conspicuous by their absence. The good news is that it gives other acts a chance to be heard.

1. Tea Party, Isolation
Single (Coalition)
Recommended If You Like: Joy Division covers

Like everyone else, the Tea Party is hunkered down, waiting for the coronavirus to go away. Since they’re all in isolation, why not cover that Joy Division song? It was a multi-time zone with Jeff Martin on the east coast of Australia, Stuart Chatwood in Vancouver, and Jeff Burrows in Windsor. Not only did they make the song work, but they also shot a video using iPhone footage from all three places. Technology, right?

2. The Pretty Reckless, Halfway There
Single (Sony)
RIYL: Soundgarden covers recorded in lockdown

This past Monday with the third anniversary of the death of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. As a way of remembering Chris, Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless teamed up with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron to cover this song that appeared on the King Animal album in 2012. Like so many other songs these days, this was recorded with each of the players in their own quarantined environment.

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3. Monowhales, RWLYD (Acoustic)
Single (Independent)
RIYL: More quarantunes

Another lockdown song. Having already had a hit with the studio version of RWLYD, Monowhales decided to rework the song in an acoustic -ish version with each member in their own self-isolated space. The result is something a little darker and more somber version of the original.

4. USS, Odd Times
Single (Coalition)
RIYL: Er, odd times?

After a little while off the grid—their last album was New World Alphabet in 2017—USS returns with a new single. There’s more where this came from, but we’re not sure when we’ll get it. By the way, it took Ash and the Human Kebab more than three years to get this song into a form they liked.

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5. Machine Gun Kelly, Bloody Valentine
Tickets to My Downfall (Bad Boy/Interscope)
RIYL: Straight ahead pop-punk

Yes, he started as a rapper, but MGK has moved to a more pop-punk space with this album, thanks in part to Blink-182’s Travis Barker who produced this album. Guests included Yungblud, blackbear, and Young Thug. We’ll find out more about this new director when the album is released on July 17.