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5 songs you must hear this week: 20 July 2020

I know we’re not even at the end of July yet, but it’s already time to start looking ahead to third- and fourth-quarter releases for 2020.

1. Will Butler, Surrender
Generations (Merge)
Recommended If You Like: Arcade Fire, obviously

While we’re probably overdue for a new Arcade Fire album, the second-best basketball player on the team, Will Butler, will release his second solo album on September 25. He’s also been busy giving a series of touring town halls on things like police contracts, prison reform, municipal paid sick leave, and voting rights. Plus he now has his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard. Whenever that new Arcade Fire album appears, expect some deep lyrics.

 

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Fast Romantics, Hallelujah, What’s It’s To Ya?
Pick It Up (Independent)
RIYL: The concept of faith. And penguins.

Produced by Marcus Paquin (known for his work with Arcade Fire), the six-piece Toronto indie band explores religion from a non-religious viewpoint. (The father of singer Matthew Angus was a preacher but Matthew and his father aren’t on the same spiritual plane.) Interesting use of penguins in this video. The album will be available August 7.

 

3. Wallows, Are You Bored Yet?
Are You Bored Yet? (Atlantic)
RIYL: Acting is fine, but what I really want to do is be in a band.

Nope, this isn’t new. The song from this American band has been floating around online for over a year. Note that the band features Dylan Minnette, whom you might recognize from the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. The track might apply to how we feel in COVID-19 lockdown, but it’s actually about a stagnant relationship. Fun fact: This song was almost killed in the demo stage because a glass of wine was spilled on the computer containing all the files. Fortunately, Apple Care came to the rescue.

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4. Command Sisters, I Like It
Single (21 Entertainment/Republic Records/Universal)
RIYL: Sister acts?

Charlotte and Sarah Command—yes, that’s their actual last name—started gigging around Toronto in 2016. With a record deal in hand, they decamped to LA where their sense of visual style attracted gear endorsements for everyone from Marshal Amps to MAC Cosmetics. This track was produced by Tim Pagnotta, who has done work with Weezer, Blink-182, Walk the Moon, and Neon Trees. If you like what you hear, check out their first single, I Can Do What I Want.

5. Silversun Pickups, Toy Soldiers
7-inch single (New Machine Recordings/Warner)
RIYL: Songs about addiction.

If you’re of a certain vintage, you may recall a number one single from early 1989 by Martika with the same title. Yep, it’s that song. (If you’re not that old, Eminem also sampled it for his track Like Toy Soldiers). Available as a non-album 7-inch single (and produced by Butch Vig), this version is a lot darker (and perhaps less cheesy) than the original.

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