This is shaping up to be an insanely busy year for music. Not only are we seeing the release of material recorded during the pandemic, but we’re also starting to see how the summer will sound.
1. U2, Beautiful Day
Songs of Surrender (Universal)
Recommended If You Like: Bands that mess with a good thing
Ever second guess yourself, even when you think it was some of your best work? U2 has done that in spades with an album (due Friday in a bazillion different formats, including cassette and multiple vinyl colours) featuring reworkings/re-recordings of songs from their 40+ year career. They say this album gave them a chance to revisit some old tracks from the perspective of being older and wiser. We’ll see how this flies with the faithful. And if this doesn’t work for you, U2 is promising a full-on rock guitar album sometime soon.
2. Milky Chance, Living in a Haze
Living in a Haze (Dance Plant Records)
RIYL: Bands that get better with every album
When I ran into the band –the German duo of Clemens Rehbein and Phillipp Dausch—at a music conference in Cleveland last year, they promised their fourth album (due June 9) would take the group’s sound to another level. From what I’ve heard so far, they’re right. I quote from the band: “This one’s for everybody who wants to be able to dance the pain away.”
3. Sam Roberts Band, Picture of Love
Single (Known Accomplice/Universal)
RIYL: Well, it’s Sam, innit?
Sam and his crew were one of the many bands who had a rough time through COVID. But things seem to be better now with a new album (title TBA) that’s due this fall. It’ll be the first album from the band since 2020 when All of Us was nominated for a Juno. Expect to Sam on the road a lot this summer.
4. The Scarlet Opera, Alive
Comedy EP (Republic)
RIYL: Hype (with a dose of Queen)
This band comes with the tagline “The HOTTEST band in LA!” Understandable, too, because when was the last time we got a group with a Queen-style sound? They’re a lot like Maneskin in that they’re big, loud, bold, and Broadway, and make no apologies for being that way. Pay attention to singer Luke Bazulka. “Flamboyant” only scratches the surface of this guy.
5. Victoria Anthony, Can’t Hold Back
New Disaster (Independent)
RIYL: Infatuation bangers
Victoria’s second album (due May 12) is being promoted as a real-time coming-of-age record “made with a documentarian’s eye.” The sound is different from the first album, too, as she moves more into a pop-punk direction that will probably receive Avril Lavigne’s approval. Some serious buzz Stateside, too.
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