If you’re looking to add songs to your summer playlist, let’s have a look at these survivors of a cull of the 500 new songs that came in over the last week.
1. Excuses Excuses, Meaning of Life
Single (Known Accomplice)
Recommended If You Like: Angsty Canadian power trios
Here’s a trio from smalltown Ontario—I think they’re from Oakwood, which is just west of Lindsay northeast of Toronto—that could be poised for big things, thanks to deals in Canada, the US, and the UK. They’ve been around since 2016 and have a couple of previous EPs. If you’re into bands like Billy Talent, PUP, and The Dirty Nil, this is for you.
2. Will Butler, A Stranger’s House
RIYL: Arcade Fire-adjacent music
Just as Arcade Fire released the We album, Will Butler, brother of frontman Wil, announced that he was leaving the group to pursue more solo things. The first thing to come out of this new phase of his career is a single (actually two songs; the other is called Nearer to Thee) that is just a taste of things to come.
3. Ocean Alley, Deepest Darkness
Single (The Orchard)
RIYL: Shimmery Australian psych
The Next Big Thing from Oz™ (they’re from the northern part of Sydney) has a big Canadian tour planned with already sold-out shows (Victoria and Vancouver among them) with plenty of festival appearances. They’ve won a bunch of awards back home and are set to take on North America. Let’s see where this goes.
4. Ripe, Setting
Songs You Must Hear (Glassnote)
RIYL: Modern yacht rock. With horns.
Ripe, a five-piece band born in Boston and with connections to the Berklee School of Music, likes their music funky and combines guitars with a horn section. To me, this sounds like a cross between Jack Johnson, Sublime, and Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long. Your mileage may vary.
5. Yot Club, U Don’t Know Me
Yot Club (actually Ryan Kaiser, originally from Mississippi and now in Nashville) originally went viral on TikTok with a song called YKWIM?, which has also seen more than 100 million streams on Spotify. That attracted attention that pissed him off. I quote from his bio: “Soon, almost every major label in America was making him offers that would gouge Kaiser and steal his work.” You can tell by listening to this song that he spent a lot of time with his dad’s CD collection of alt-rock from the 80s.
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