Every week, the Music Lab is tasked with sorting through all the new tunes that come in and distilling them down to just five worthy candidates for your ears. How did they do this week?
1. Phantogram, Into Happiness
Single (for now) (Republic)
Recommended If You Like: MS MR, Tove Lo, some Lorde
Phantogram hasn’t released an album since 2016’s Three, so you’d think that they’d be close to releasing another (named Four?) at some point this year. This track weaves layers of synths with the voices of both Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter into something that’s close to but not quite Dark Wave. Catch them at Rebel on August 30 as part of their North American tour.
2. New Design, Where I Need to Be
Where I Need to Be EP (Independent)
RIYL: Suburban emo
Emo is alive and well and living in Brampton (so far). Having gained some notoriety with a single entitled Say You Want Me, the band is back with the title track of a new EP due later this year. This song is basically a love letter to the Toronto Islands, a place New Design says is perfect for chilling out. When they’re not being flooded, of course.
3. Aurora, A Different Kind of Human
A Different Kind of Human (Step II) (Universal)
RIYL: I hear a LOT of Bjork and Jane Siberry here.
Well, isn’t this pretty. Aurora doesn’t always just sing on this song but instead dances in and around the melody in this nearly beat-less track. Sounds fantastic on headphones. Better yet, play the CD (you want that fidelity) through a high-quality stereo. In the dark. With a glass of wine.
4. The Franklin Electric, Made It Up in Your Head
Made It Up in Your Head (Nettwerk)
RIYL: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene,
Led by singer Montreal’s Jon Matte, this indie-folk/indie-pop collective has been a going concern since 2012 with two albums and this third one on the way. This track is about “letting go of the ideas you’ve made up about yourself and protecting them as they haunt you.” If you’re heading to Osheaga this year, TFE has several sets planned.
5. Glorious Sons, Panic Attack
RIYL: Meat’n’potatoes Canadian rock
“I wanna be normal, I wanna be sane/ I wanna look at you and feel something other than pain.” I hear you, brother. Kingston’s Glorious Sons start a long summer tour in Kansas City on June 14 (a lot of dates are with The Struts), so it’s good that they have some new material ready to go. No Toronto date yet, but they will be one of the opening acts when The Rolling Stones play Burl’s Creek on June 29.
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