5 songs you must hear this week: 08 March 2021

I’m just going to come out and say it: There’s just too much music coming out right now. That we’d reach this point was inevitable, of course. With COVID, the lockdowns, and artists cooped up like the rest of us for the last year, they’ve been writing and recording to pass the time. Now we’ve blessed/cursed with a tsunami of new releases.

Can we keep up? Well, these five songs are at least a start.

1. Mother Mother, I Got Love
Single (Warner Music Canada)
Recommended If You Like: Stompers

You can sometimes tell if new material is imminent from an artist if their website seems to be almost blank and non-functional. That’s what happened with Mother Mother recently. All anyone could see was the band’s name, some social media links, and tellingly, a field for subscribing to the band’s mailing list. Then last Friday morning, this song appeared without notice. More to come, then.

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2. We Were Sharks, Problems
New Low (Revival/Cadence)
RIYL: The crunchy stuff

Ottawa-based We Were Sharks (although everyone is originally from Eastern Canada) has been together for a decade. Now signed to Revival Recordings in North Carolina, they’re taking a different approach to breaking through to a larger audience—and it seems to be working. The album is set for release in May. Now if COVID would only let everyone on the road again…

3. Mammoth WVH, Distance
Mammoth WVH (Loma Vista/Concord)
RIYL: Van Halen, obviously

Wolfgang Van Halen had a good thing going playing in his dad’s band, but it was only a matter of time before he wanted to record his own stuff. After a Van Halen tour back in 2013, he started demoing material. Now that dad is gone (this video will make you tear up), Wolfgang can step out on his own. The 13-track album is due June 11. Fun fact: Mammoth was the name of his dad’s band until they changed it to Van Halen in 1974.

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4. Ohtis, Schatze feat. Stef Chura
Single (Saddle Creek)
RIYL: Extraordinarily honest male-female conflict songs

Of all the songs on this list, this is the track that I wish I could play on the radio the most. Sadly, I can’t, thanks to all the swears. But Ohtis—described as a country-rock trio from the adorably-named Normal, Illinois—goes very alt-rock here with a song that will sound very familiar to some couples going through a rough patch. Pay very, very close attention to the lyrics. You may laugh out loud.

5. Wolf Alice, The Last Man on Earth
Blue Weekend (Dirty Hit)
RIYL: Being surprised when a rockin’ band releases a delicate song

Ellie Roswell and Jeff Oddle are back with a new single to introduce their third album, which is due June 11 and is their first since they took home Britain’s Mercury Prize. If you were expecting something that rocks, you may be surprised by this track which is essentially just voice and piano. Bold move—but it’s a great song.

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