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New Music Friday: 8 releases worth your time (09 June 2023)

New Music Friday–the day when most new releases magically appear online and in-store–has arrived once again. While not quite as busy as last week with big names, this gives a chance to dig a little deeper.

Singles

1. The Glorious Sons, Mercy Mercy (Front side)

With a new album entitled glories due to this fall and plenty of upcoming tour dates, The Glorious Sons are looking to continue a string of hits on both sides of the border with this new single. There’s a bit of a twist in the band’s sound with this one. Singer Brett Emmons knows this is a risk. “That’s how you create a long career that’s relevant and stays fresh for decades. I mean, it can be the simplest thing that changes, but as long as you keep on challenging people and giving them something they don’t expect. They might hate it at first. You might lose fans. But I believe that’s the way that you create a career that catches up with itself rather than just hits and then fizzles out. You don’t want to be a prisoner of any moment, ever. You want to continue and you want to lead.”

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2. I Prevail, Deep End (Stripped) (Fearless Records/Concord)

The latest single from last summer’s TruePower the album is a stripped-down piano-heavy version that shows the band is capable of more than their metalcore reputation. You might find yourself thinking about Linkin Park as you go through this. Going through some tough times? I Prevail is ready to commission.

3. Dizzy, closed (Royal Mountain Records/Universals)

Dizzy, a four-piece indie pop band from Oshawa, has been slowly increasing their fanbase since they won a Juno for Best Alternative album at the 2019 Junos. Their third record, a self-titled thing and the follow-up to 2020’s The Sun and Her Scorch, will appear in August. This track–inspired by a van breakdown in the wilds of Wisconsin on American Thanksgiving weekend–will sound good on languid summer evenings.

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Albums and EPs

1. Christine and the Queens, ParanoiaAngels, True Love (Because Music)

Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier (aka Christine) is a French singer who has become quite the star in Europe. She’s mounting an attempt on the North American market with a fifth record. Someone named “Madonna” appears on a bunch of tracks. Anyone heard of her? The album is loosely based on Angles in America, the 1991 novel by Tony Kushner that follows gay men having angelic visions during the AIDS epidemic.

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2. The Boo Radleys, Eight (Boost)

The Boos had quite the run in the 90s adjacent to both the shoegaze and Britpop scenes. And then after the 1998 record, they disappeared until a reunion in 2020 reunion (yep, during the pandemic; what else was there to do?) They took baby steps with a single and an EP before a full album. Reception has been encouraging so we have this eighth album. Nineties nostalgia lives on.

3. The Dead Milkmen, Quaker City Quiet Pills (The Giving Groove/MVD)

The Dead Milkmen are, what? A punk band with a sense of humour? A parody group? A bunch of guys just having fun goofing around? All of the above. Born in Philadelphia in 1983, they’ve broken up and reunited twice, most recently in 2008. This marks their tenth album–their first since 2014–which, like all the others, will both make you laugh and think. If you have a Trump lover in the family, this single will hit home. The band is signed to a philanthropic label called The Giving Groove. The label proceeds from this album will be donated to an organization that funds free, student-driven music programs.

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4.King Krule, Space Heavy (Matadors)

English singer Archy Ivan Marshall grew up troubled, suffering from mental health issues including depression and severe insomnia. Much of his life experience is reflected in his music (which includes a love of Elvis and the movies Creole kings from which he took his stage name). His fifth album explores the themes of “the space between” and, according to him, contains a balance of negative and positive space. This is the one album that is best heard after dark for maximum effect.

5. Janelle Monáe, The Age of Pleasure (Bad Boy/Atlantic)

If there’s a female Prince, Janelle may be the closest thing we have to such a creature. This record would not sound out of place next to albums from Prince’s sexy (ie before he found Jesus) years with its themes of pleasure and outright hedonism. All the songs are short–only two are longer than three minutes–so it moves along quickly and is over in less than 32 minutes. Thirteen people, ranging from Sly Dunbar to Stevie Wonder make a guest appearance on this single.

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