Once May arrives, we’re going to see a lot of big-name artists finally start to release music they’ve been sitting on over the course of the pandemic. Until then, though, the spotlight is on young, new acts this week–with one notable exception.
1. Cleopatrick, Family Van
Bummer (Nowhere Special Recordings/Thirty Tigers)
RIYL: The idea of Royal Blood recording with Kendrick Lamar
Luke Gruntz and Ian Fraser are both from Cobourg, Ontario, (pop. 19,000) and bill themselves as a heavy alt-rock band with hip-hop flourishes. Their first single, Hometown, saw 80 million streams without any major label support. Now with a full album ready to go for June 4, the guys have this single that comes with a video game. Enjoy.
2. Alice Merton, Vertigo
Single (Mom + Pop)
RIYL: The feeling of the walls closing in on you
Alice says this song was inspired by waiting in line to get into a club in Berlin. For some reason, anxiety got the best of her and she started to feel dizzy. If you were a fan of her first big single, No Roots, you’ll find much to like here. Anyone else feel the Muse influence in this song? Great video, too.
Half Alive, What’s Wrong
RIYL: Twenty One Pilots, for sure
Handled by the same team as Twenty One Pilots, half•alive (yes, that’s how they want you to spell their name) found some fans when their song Runaway ended up in one of the editions of the FIFA video game. And given how the chorus goes, shouldn’t Bruce Willis maybe get a co-write? The video might be a bit boy band-ish for some, but the song is probably going to blow up on TikTok.
4. Silverstein, Bankrupt
RIYL: Post-hardcore screamo
Burlington, Ontario’s Silverstein has been a going concern for 21 years now (est. 2000) and has released ten albums. There was supposed to be a 20th-anniversary tour, but COVID took care of that. Instead, they went back into the studio to work on new material. This standalone single takes on income disparity, the wealth gap, and all the corruption that goes with it.
Les Shirley, F**k I’m in Love
Forever Is Now (Bonbonbon)
Recommended If You Like: Beaches, JJ Wilde, Dirty Nil
Coming out of Montreal (can you hear the Quebecois accents?), the all-female power trio Les Shirley (pronounced Lay Shirley, by the way) has been winning indie awards for a couple of years now. The album contains no fat with its nine songs finished in 25 minutes. Add in the clean version of this song, titled Forget It I’m In Love, and it still doesn’t break a very Ramones-like 28 minutes..