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5 songs you must hear this week: 19 April 2021

I’ll let other people write about Taylor Swift’s re-recording for her Fearless album. If you’re looking for something different, you’ve come to the right place.

1. The Record Company, Ball and Chain
Single (Concord/UMG)
Recommended If You Like: Updated blues with a bit of a Tragically Hip twist

The first thing you should know is that this is a cover of a Big Mama Thorton song released in 1968 (although Janis Joplin had the bigger hit around the same time.) The Record Company, a three-piece from LA once nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category, has taken the song and given it a rough alternative edge. This recording and its video were made at the band’s house.

2. Gojira, Amazonia
Fortitude (Roadrunner)
RIYL: Sludge rock with an environmental message

The name is Japanese (and yes, they were once called Godzilla) but the band is from France and one of that country’s ten best-selling artists—and they’ve been nominated for a Grammy in the past. Their seventh album (due April 30) covers all sorts of heavy themes including this track, which tackles the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous peoples. And it’s that a Jew’s harp on this song?

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3. Architects, Animals
For Those Who Wish to Exist (Epitaph)
RIYL: Worrying about environmental doom.

Speaking of bands concerned about the environment and the overall future of our planet comes Architects, the British metalcore/alternative metal band with nine albums to their credit. This record basically underscores how we’re all screwed when it comes to the environment. The feel-good record of the spring!

4. The Elwins, For Love to Come and Find You (Don’t Wait)
IV More (Pink Eye Recordings)
RIYL: Leftovers that still taste good

After released IV, their cleverly named fourth album, The Elwins have released a companion EP featuring lost songs from those 2020 sessions. That includes a couple of demos to give fans insight into their songwriting process. This is one of the tracks that got away.

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5. Miesha and the Spanks, Mixed Blood Girls
Singles EP (Independent)
RIYL: Raucous female rock

If you’re looking for some raw, exuberant female-fronted garage-y punk rock, this is for you. Originally from the East Kootenays of British Columbia, Miesha Louie created this project in Calgary about a decade ago. She and the band draw on influences from L7 and the Runaways plus the MC5 and The Stooges. The result is something very riot grrrl-ish that’s most welcome.

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