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5 songs you must hear this week: 27 July

In the history of this feature (it’s in its fifth year), I don’t think there’s ever been a time when all five recommended tracks have been Canadian.

1. METZ, A Boat to Drown In
Atlas Vending (Royal Mountain/Sub Pop)
Recommended If You Like: That pounding in your head

METZ, one of the heaviest alt-rock bands ever produced by this country, won’t have their new 10-track album out until October 9, but everything is in the can and ready to go. The first single (out now) is about leaving a bad situation behind. I think we can all relate these days, right? The video is good, too, unfolding over almost nine minutes. Furries will certainly like it.

2. Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins, Teenage Insurrection
246 (Independent)
RIYL: Lowest of the Low, obviously

Lowest of the Low frontman Ron Hawkins’ new band is set to release this debut album on August 28. The first single celebrates that F***-You-I-Won’t-Do-What-You-Tell-Me spirit of our teenage years. Fun fact: The entire record was made using a vintage 1985 Tascam 4-track cassette recorder in the living room of drummer Jody Brumwell. That’s about as analogue as you can get. (The video underscores the whole process.)

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3. Basic White, Brigade
Brigade (Independent)
RIYL: Arkells for sure

Basic White, a trio from London, Ontario, has a new single that explores themes of personal support systems and getting tough when things don’t seem to be working out the way they should. Riley White, the founder/guitarist/singer, played a lot of hockey growing up and this track sums up how he feels about teamwork.

4. Mike Edel, Toy Hello Universe
Single (Pop-Up Records)
RIYL: Breezy summer alt-pop

Canadian-born Mike Edel shot the video for this song over five days in Morocco (he just managed to sneak it in before the borders closed). It’s a glimpse of the Before Times, which now seems so long ago. And if you’d like to win the boombox Mike used in the video, go here.

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5. Cleopatrick, Hometown
Single Up (Sony)
RIYL: Hometowns

Meet Luke Gruntz (guitar/vocals) and Ian Fraser (drums), two life-long friends out of Cobourg, Ontario, who like to meld riffs and grooves. They’ve already had nearly 40 million streams of this song, so they’re off to a good start. Again, just because you’re from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t make it big.