COVID really messed things us with the music business. On the live side of things, agents and promoters are playing catch-up, rebooking shows that had been canceled two, three, or more times over the last few years. That’s in addition to booking new gigs and tours.
The same thing is happening with recorded music. There are albums released during the worst of the COVID era that are still being promoted because labels need to make up for lost time and opportunities. Plus these same acts are now back on the road, so the crunch is even greater
This explains why a couple of songs on this week’s 5 Songs List are from albums more than a year old.
1. Walk the Moon, Giants
Recommended If You Like: Happy summer pop
Yes, this song came out a year ago, albums can have a long life, especially if the label decides (for whatever reason) to relaunch things. That appears to be the case here. The last single from this record—its third—was back in October. But now that summer is coming, maybe it’s time for another push. We’ll see what happens.
2. The Offspring, Behind Your Walls
Let the Bad Times Roll (Sony)
RIYL: Duh. It’s The Offspring.
Speaking of albums kept simmer, this Offspring album came out last April and launched four singles before the end of 2021. Just like with Walk the Moon, maybe this renewed push is to make up for time and attention lost to COVID last year. And if you like videos set in post-apocalyptic landscapes, then this one is for you. Perhaps it was inspired in part by what Russia has done to Ukraine?
3. The Royal Foundry, Little High, Little Low
Little High, Little Low (MapleMusic)
RIYL: Alberta indie rock
Bethany Schmacher and Jarde Salte (a husband-and-wife team, if you weren’t aware) started out as a folk duo in Edmonton about a decade ago but have since evolved into more of an indie-rock headspace. When COVID broke out, they were in Nashville, forcing them to stay in the city longer than they expected. Being stranded from home informed a lot of the music on this fourth album, which will be out June 17.
4. Destroyer, Tintoretto, It’s You
RIYL: Walking tours of NYC
Run by Vancouver’s Dan Bejar, you can never tell what Destroyer will sound like from album to album. When it comes time to write new material, Bejar says “I start from scratch every time.” In the case of this thirteenth album, he and collaborator/producer John Collins exchanged tracks online the through the darkest months of the pandemic. This track, which namechecks a 16th-century painter, is mysterious and weird—and I mean that in the best possible terms.
5. POESY, Still Breathing
I Exist (Big Machine)
RIYL: Florence + The Machine, for one.
I first ran across POESY in the pre-pandemic Before Times when she released a debut single entitled Strange Little Girl that should have been (in my opinion) a major international hit. Alas, it wasn’t, but I haven’t given up hope. Known to her mom as Sarah Botelho, she’s from a classically-trained singer from Toronto and is signed to the label that blew up Taylor Swift.