5 songs you must hear this week: 14 June 2021

The Linda Lindas from the LA Public Library. YouTube

A couple of collaborations, some Canadian indigenous reggae rock, and a bunch of teens and tweens who shook things up with a viral video.

1. The Linda Lindas, Racist Sexist Boy
Single (Independent)
Recommended If You Like: Unexpected viral hits

A couple of weeks back, The Linda Lindas—an all-female Asian-American and Latinx punk band from LA—were videoed performing at the LA Public Library. The video caused such a sensation that within days they were snapped up by Epitaph Records. Ten days after that, they were on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Fans include Tom Morello, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill. Note that the oldest member is 16 while the youngest is just 10.

2. CHVRCHES, How Not to Drown (feat. Robert Smith)
Screen Violence (Glassnote)
RIYL: Collaborations

Robert Smith of The Cure has no trouble appearing on a recording of another band he admires. He’s no Dave Grohl or Travis Barker, but he does emerge from his bunker in Crawley when the spirit moves him. In this case, he shows up on the new CHVRCHES single. The full album will be out on August 27. Fun fact: Screen Violence was one of the names the band entertained before settling on CHVRCHES.

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3. Big Wreck, Middle of Nowhere (feat. Chad Kroeger)
Single (Warner)
RIYL: More collaborations

Ian Thornley and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger have been buddies for years but never had the time to work on something together but pandemics that bring the world to a stop have a way of opening up one’s schedule. With COVID protocols in place, Big Wreck went to Chad’s place in BC and hammered out this track in its basic form with the last bits put in place in Toronto.

4. Surf Curse, Freaks
Buds (Atlantic)
RIYL: Songs that take a while to rise to the top

A quick YouTube search will uncover that this song was first posted on July 10, 2017. But it gets better. The song appeared on the Buds album eight years ago. Since then, though, it’s amassed 21 million views and a ton of streams across all the platforms. How did this happen? TikTok. Someone picked it up and it just exploded. That must have been a surprise.

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Street Pharmacy, Descolada
Delusional Discourse (Independent)
RIYL: The idea of a Métis-lead reggae rock band

Street Pharmacy (est. Welland, Ontario) has been with us since 2006 during which time they opened for everyone from Walk Off the Earth to Rush. And I love this story: After frontman Ryan Guay recovered from a case of encephalitis, he found he had an ability to write and produce music. If you want to go down a real rabbit hole, look up the origin of the word “descolada.”


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