She was stoned at the nail salon and she wrote a song about it, and it’s the lead single from her third record, ‘Solar Power’, out August 20. “This song is sort of a rumination on getting older, settling into domesticity, and questioning if you’ve made the right decisions,” Lorde said in a statement. “I think lots of people start asking those questions of themselves around my age, and it was super-comforting to me writing them down, hoping they’d resonate with others too. I used this song as a dumping ground for so many thoughts.” ‘Solar Power’ is produced by Jack Antonoff, who also worked on her last album, the #1 hit ‘Melodrama’.
Oh man, this is a big one! ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ drops on August 27. She recorded it with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who are formerly known for their work in Nine Inch Nails and are currently celebrated as Oscar-, Golden Globe- and Grammy-winning film-TV composers. ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ is the followup to her 2020 #1 hit album ‘Manic’. Her first book, 'I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry', debuted on the New York Times Best Sellers list last November, so naturally, she was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Are you on fire? Am I on fire? It turns out we are all on fire. We are because Kirty says we are, and she is so sure of it that she named her new record ‘We Are All On Fire’. Kirty lives in Toronto, where she also gets to be part of the criminally underrated band Fast Romantics, who are touring this fall. 'We Are All On Fire’ is co-produced by her longtime collaborator Josh Van Tassel and her Fast Romantics bandmate/songwriting partner Matthew Angus. “Josh played drums, Graeme Moffat played bass, and Matthew played a smattering of other instruments,” Kirty said in a statement. “I’m not like most musicians in the sense that I don’t always like to be cooped up in the studio. I tend to leave the room unexpectedly, get restless, and fluctuate between bursts of creativity and bursts of stir-craziness.” The bounty of her process are the lead singles, “Turn You On”, “God Help Us”, and “This Year’s Been Hell”. ‘We Are All On Fire’ stops, drops, and rolls on August 20.
Suzie Ungerleider (The Artist Formerly Known As Oh Susanna)
Her name is Suzie Ungerleider, and it’s pronounced Unger-lye-der, and you need to know this so that you can tell everyone that her new album is called ‘My Name Is Suzie Ungerleider’. Gather ‘round because the Vancouver alt-country wonder is getting so vulnerable with us. “So here I am, leaving behind the trappings of a persona that gave me the courage to climb up on stage and reveal what is in my heart,” she said in a statement. “It once protected me, but I need to take it off so I can be all of who I am.” ‘My Name Is Suzie Ungerleider’ is her tenth record and it’s out on August 13. It was produced by Jim Bryson, who has also worked with Kathleen Edwards, Kalle Mattson, and Skydiggers.
"Hole In My Heart" is the third single from the Montreal songstress' upcoming album, 'Love Will Be Reborn', out August 20. "'Hole In My Heart' flew out of me when I was sitting in a sunny room trying to contend with this incredible feeling of joy and gladness," Wainwright said in a statement. "After feeling scared and lonely and unsure of everything, someone came along and changed my life . . . It's about making a commitment to living as two, together, against the odds." "Hole In My Heart" follows the lead single, title track "Love Will Be Reborn", and the Franglish second single, "Falaise De Malaise." Wainright recorded the new album during the pandemic in the basement of her new Montreal cafe, Ursa. Lots of Toronto music friends helped out on this recording, including Thom Gill, Phil Melanson, Morgan Moore, Josh Cole, and producer Pierre Marchand, who collabed with Sarah McLachlan to produce some of her iconic tracks in the '90s. Wainwright has just announced these Canadian tour dates, so get involved!
10/09 - Knowlton, QC
10/21 - Ste. Therese, QC
10/24 - Trois-Rivieres, QC
10/30 - Quebec City
11/04 - Montreal
11/05 - Joliette, QC
11/06 - Shawinigan, QC
11/15 - Sidney, BC
11/16 - New Westminster, BC
11/19 - Sherwood Park, AB
11/20 - Saskatoon
11/21 - Regina
11/23 - Winnipeg
11/27 - Ottawa
11/30 - Toronto
Tour dates are more changeable than ever, so remember to check your local listings!
‘Pressure Machine’ is out on August 13. The album reunites the production team behind their last record ‘Imploding The Mirage’, which came last year. Who is that production team? It’s the band, plus Shawn Everett and Jonathan Rado of Foxygen. The album’s songs are based on the memories and stories of people that impacted frontman Brandon Flowers growing up. “We were discussing [Brandon] moving to Nephi as a kid and being stuck in the middle of nowhere,” says the band’s drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. in a statement on Flowers’ stint in Utah as a teen. “And during COVID-19, it started to feel like we were all in the middle of nowhere.” Flowers added, “I discovered this grief that I hadn’t dealt with. Many memories of my time in Nephi are tender. But the ones tied to fear or great sadness were emotionally charged. I’ve got more understanding now than when we started the band, and hopefully, I was able to do justice to these stories and these lives in this little town that I grew up in.” The Killers are touring ‘Pressure Machine’ and giving ‘Imploding The Mirage’ the tour that the pandemic robbed. Next year, they’ll play stadium shows in Vancouver on August 19, in Toronto on September 23, and Montreal on September 24. (Remember: those are 2022 dates.)
There’s a hecka bunch of lead singles from the new album ‘Human’, and they’re all hits. There’s “Run”, “Rescue Me”, “Somebody To Love”, “Wanted”, “Didn’t I”, and “Better Days”, which, combined, have 1.75 billion streams. The Grammy-nominated group will drop ‘Human’ on August 27. Their last record, ‘Oh My My’, came out in 2016, but since then, they’ve released “Start Again" ft. Logic, from the “13 Reasons Why” soundtrack; the Jeep commercial jam “Connection”; and two tracks from the Disney movie “Clouds”: “Lose Somebody” with Kygo and “Wild Life”.
Dan + Shay
Warner Records Nashville
Three years after their mega-hit self-titled album, the country/pop-crossover phenomena are back with ‘Good Things’ on August 13. The lead single was actually released way back in 2019, and you’ve for sure heard it because it’s the Grammy-winning #1 worldwide smash “10,000 Hours" feat. Justin Bieber. The second single was the #1 hit “I Should Probably Go To Bed”. The latest single is “Glad You Exist”, and it’s a jam that you’ll probably be glad exists.
He’s got 11 #1 hits, so people are pretty amped about Young’s upcoming eighth record, ‘Famous Friends’. It’s out on August 6. You already know the title track. The hit duet with Kane Brown took home the trophy for Collaborative Video of the Year at the 2021 CMT Music Awards. But that’s not Young’s only famous-friends flex. This record also has collabs with Lauren Alaina and Mitchell Tenpenny and features backing vocals from Sarah Buxton, Hillary Lindsey and Shay Mooney. “There are so many incredibly talented artists, songwriters, and producers – all friends of mine – who helped make this album possible,” Young said in a statement. “Having friends share their talents as collaborators, songwriters, producers and more, it’s only natural to call the album ‘Famous Friends’.”
(Hi, this is an album that is relevant to viewers of "Parks and Recreation". Much of the following will make sense only to them, although the album itself is probably a bop for all to enjoy. Mouse Rat is, IRL, fronted by Chris Pratt.) Mouse Rat, formerly known as Scarecrow Boat, Everything Rhymes With Orange, Fleetwood Mac Sexpants, Threeskin, Just The Tip, Tackleshaft, and Teddy Bear Suicide, is fronted by shoe shiner Andy Dwyer. Mouse Rat is best known for hits like "5000 Candles In The Wind (Bye Bye Li'l Sebastian)", "Catch Your Dream (featuring Duke Silver)", "Two Birds Holding Hands", and "The Pit". The album's press release asserts that "Not since Guns N' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy' has an album been so hotly anticipated" and it's "already being heralded by Ron Swanson as 'highly competent.'" It's delights like this that make us happy to be alive.
Emmanuel Alias's new psych-rock EP 'It's Not Funny So Stop Smilin'' drops on August 13. Get excited because this is the work of a capital 'A' Artist. The Quebec-based jazz phenom who also dabbles heavily in punk and hip hop does a lot of soundtrack work, which you can hear on "Big Little Lies" and "Sharp Objects", among many others. He also produced the Polaris Prize-longlisted album 'Dreamweaver' by multidisciplinary Oji-Cree/Mi'kmaq artist Anachnid.
Hand Drawn Dracula
Come in close and we'll tell you a secret: Breeze is Toronto-based producer Josh Korody. His record 'Only Up' is out August 26. It's packed with cool collabs with Tess Parks, Cadence Weapon (his 'Parallel World' is currently on the Polaris short list), and members of Orville Peck, Tallies, Vallens, Zoon, Sauna, Fake Palms, Rapport, Praises, Civic TV, Moon King, Blonde Elvis, For Jane, Ducks Ltd, TOPS, and Broken Social Scene. The latest single is the post-punk disco bop "Hard Boiled Wonderland". "I really love the energy of this track so much," Breeze said in a statement. "Lyrically, it's the only song that isn't about anything specific. It's a complete stream-of-consciousness style of writing as a result of the early stages of the pandemic and feeling extremely existential, which ends up making the song quite nihilistic while still anthemic." Sign us up.
Hand Drawn Dracula
The new EP is called 'EP4' and it’s out on August 6. Don’t worry — the tracks contained within are more creative than the EP title. It’s made up of pieces reflective of this era of human reckoning. It includes the love song “Apples For My Love”, the protest songs “We Let Go” and “Soil”, and the war-themed piece “A World On Fire”. The tracks were mixed by longtime musical partner Josh Korody (a.k.a. Breeze, whom we just told you all about in the previous slide, eh?)
‘Chroma’ is out on August 20. In a statement, songwriter Todd Macdonald explained that the latest single, “Farmhouse”, was inspired by his “experience with Gestalt therapy, visualization exercises, and grounding myself within the physical world.” The song was co-produced by Matt Thibideau, who has worked with Altitude, Graham Van Pelt, Regina Gently and Repair. ‘Chroma’ follows Silver Pools’ 2016 debut record, ‘Memoirs Of An Oblong Sphere’.
Arts & Crafts
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hip frontman's first solo album, 'Coke Machine Glow' is getting a posthumous expanded reissue called 'Coke Machine Glow: Songwriters' Cabal'. Out on August 27, it includes twelve unreleased demos, alternate versions, and never-before-heard outtakes. "Having lived in Toronto for over 10 years, Gord wanted to make his first solo record in his adopted city," co-producer and musician Josh Finlayson recalls on the liner notes. "He had met and befriended many artists in different disciplines and was keen to collaborate with that community." In related news, 'Coke Machine Glow' was originally released with an accompanying book of poetry, which is now getting the audiobook treatment. Downie's poems are read by Dan Aykroyd, Rob Baker, Julie Doiron (of Eric's Trip fame), Johnny Fay, Sarah Harmer, Paul Langlois, Ron MacLean, Bruce McCulloch, Gord Sinclair, and many other friends and family members.