It’s almost time for the tsunami of songs that will soundtrack our summer. Here are some music recommendations that may be early contenders.
1. Econoline Crush, No Quitter
When the Devil Drives (Independent)
Recommended If You Like: 90s resurrections
Econoline Crush had a great run in the 90s before leader Trevor Hurst dropped out of the music industry to get clean, get a degree in psychiatric nursing, and spend time working at Indigenous people’s health centres in Manitoba where he helped other addicts. This single comes from When the Devil Drives (due later this year) which will be the band’s first release in more than a decade. This song details Trevor’s own battle with addiction.
2. Steve Mason, Brixton Fish Fry ft. Javed Bashir
Brothers & Sisters (Domino)
RIYL: A wonderful clash of cultures in Mixolydian mode
You’ll immediately recognize the feel of this song because it’s written with a specific type of chord progression that feels so uplifting that it’s impossible not to feel good. Brit Steve Mason enlisted Pakistani singer Javed Bahir. Mason loves the sounds of South Asia and has a connection to Kashmir through his Indian wife. This is a prime example of how inclusive and joyful music can be.
3. Lana Del Rey, Hurt
Single (Some kind of weird AI program)
RIYL: AI manipulation
I often like to include a cover with these lists as a way to illustrate how a great song can be interpreted in multiple ways. In this case, though, there’s no human on this recorded. A YouTuber named FaustoX used AI to create a fantasy cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt sung by Lana Del Rey in the style of Johnny Cash. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? One thing’s for sure: This tech is not going away.
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4. The Beaches, Blame Brett
Blame My Ex (Universal)
RIYL: Getting a jump on fall releases
We’re already talking about fall albums when we haven’t even hit the May long weekend yet? Such is the marketing plans behind the new Beaches album which won’t be here until September 15. But with summer gigs beckoning—including some big American gigs like Lollapalooza—The Beaches want something new to promote. Never too early to prime the pump, I guess. I’d expect a few more advance singles in the coming months, too.
5. Lovejoy, Call Me What You Like
Wake Up & It’s Over EP (In2une/AWAL)
RIYL: British indie with a bite.
Lovejoy, a relatively young British indie band from Bristol, has made some inroads with this song (originally entitled Awake Forever) in America over the last couple of weeks. It sounds quite fresh and different next to much of the current crop of new releases to alt-rock radio. There’s an edge here that I really like. The entire EP became available this past Friday.
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