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5 songs you must hear this week: 04 January 2020

The music industry has been close to a hibernation state for the last couple of weeks. Today, though, things start to get back to normal. Here are five songs worthy of helping you get back into the swing of things.

1. The HU, Sad But True
Single (RCA)
Recommended If You Like: Mongolian covers of Metallica songs

If you haven’t discovered The HU yet, now’s the time. Formed in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, they’ve become that country’s most famous rock band. (Then again, name another band from Mongolia.) Their sound is a fascinating blend of Western music, with traditional Mongolian instruments, war cries, throat singing, and poetry. They also do a mean Metallica cover.

2. Simeon Ross, Under the Gun
Westmount EP (Independent)
RIYL: Royal dispositions (watch the video)

Simeon is a Toronto-based film school graduate (it shows in the accompanying video) and actor (commercials, short films, Shakespearean productions) who also works on music. He’s got ten albums so far and has opened for everyone from Oasis to Peter Murphy. He’s also buddies with Boz Boorer, Morrissey’s favourite guitarist.

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3. Satellite and the Harpoonist, Justine
Satellite Man EP (Tonic Records
RIYL: Songs with soul

Here’s an interesting COVID collaboration featuring Vancouver’s Shawn Hall (he of the Juno-nominated duo The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer) and members of The Deep Dark Woods, King Missile III, and The Boom Booms. Cool video, too.

4. Scenic Route to Alaska, Time for Yourself
Time for Yourself (Warner Music Canada)
RIYL: Slightly grungey prairie rock

This Edmonton band’s latest album was strategically released just before Christmas, hoping that they’d find some attention in early 2021. It might work, given that there’s so little going on in the first few weeks of any new year. Fun fact: Scenic Route to Alaska won the Western Canadian Music Award for Best Rock Act.

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5. Fitz, Head Up High
Head Up High (Warner)
RIYL: Fitz and the Tantrums, obviously

No Tantrums on this track. It’s Fitz on his own. The band is still very much together, but Fitz felt that this song was too different from what they normally release, which is why it’s come out as a solo single. He points out that this song is based around an acoustic guitar, an instrument that has only been used on one track over four Fitz and the Tantrums albums. If you need something optimistic to start 2021, this works nicely.