Grace Mitchell, “NoLo”
Raceday EP (Republic)
RIYL: Lana Del Rey, Alanis Morissette, Lorde
Extremely red-haired 18-year-old woman from Portland who cut her teeth on the above-mentioned Del Rey and Morissette who came to the attention of some label folk after a couple of songs she posted on SoundCloud started getting thousands of listens.
You may have heard her already. Remember the 2013 Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Grace was on the soundtrack, singing a cover of Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.” She was all of 15 at the time.
Billy Talent, “Afraid of Heights”
Afraid of Heights (Warner)
RIYL: I won’t even dignify that with a response.
Yes, that’s a piano opening a Billy Talent song. But when it all kicks in, the piano is forgotten and we’re back to full-on BT. No Aaron Solowoniuk on drums for this album—his MS has acted up, so his buddy Jordan Hastings from Alexisonfire is sitting in—but the band is hopeful that Aaron will be ready to go later this year once the new meds start working. It’s another Ian D’Sa production, too. The album is coming July 29.
Say Yes, “Once Forward, Twice Back”
Real Life Trash Mag (Columbia)
RIYL: Alexisonfire, Saint Alivia and Billy Talent, obviously
If you live in the western reaches of the GTA, then this is your supergroup. Featuring members of Alexisonfire and Saint Alvia, Jordan Hastings (yes, him again) plays drums and Ian D’Sa (yep, he’s here, too) produces. The video is True Detective cool.
Royal Tusk, “Curse the Weather”
RIYL: Monster Truck, Big Wreck, Billy Talen
Five-piece Edmonton band whose debut record was produced by Eric Ratz (who also had a hand in the Billy Talent record; I sense a theme here). They’re quite hirsute. Must be a prairie thing. Gotta stay warm in the winter.
Ra Ra Riot, “Water”
Need Your Light (Caroline)
RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Broken Social Scene, some Fleetwood Mac
Indie rock from Syracuse, New York, that features a full-time violinist/cellist n its lineup. This is their fourth album and one of two songs from the record produced by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend. He as a long friendship with the band.