Milky Chance ft. Izzy Bizu, “Bad Things”
Recommended If You Like: The gentle side of Germany
Germany’s favourite folktronica band (yeah, let’s go with that) has had their second album out since March, but because “Cocoon” has done so well as a single that they’re just now moving onto the second single from the record. And who is Izzy Bizu? An Ethiopian-British songwriter who released a debut album of her own last year. A Moment of Madness is worth checking out on its own.
Seaway, “Lula on the Beach”
Vacation (Dine Alone)
RIYL: Weezer, blink-182, Sloan
Here’s a band from my ‘hood. Seaway is a five-piece from Oakville who created a video for this song that looks like a cross between Weezer (cf. the “Buddy Holly” video) and the Beach Boys. I have no idea where they shot this clip, but it sure wasn’t in Oakville. This is the third single from the album.
Vance Joy, “Like Gold”
Nation of Two (Warner)
RIYL: George Ezra, James Bay, Niall Horan
Given that Vance has a five-album deal with Warner, it doesn’t look like he’s going back to being a professional Australian rules football player anytime soon. The first album, Dream Your Life Away, sold about 2 million worldwide and turned songs like “Riptide” and “Fire and the Flood” into big streamers. Album two-of-five is set for release sometime in February.
Chicano Batman, “Freedom is Free”
Freedom is Free (ATO)
RIYL: Nothing I can think of, really. But isn’t that enough to make you want to check them out?
Don’t let the goofy name or the old-school Mexican-style wedding suits fool you. This four-piece from LA dabbles in everything from Latin and soul to tropicalia and funk to indie and psych. You want something alternative? Here you go. Be brave.
Desert Star (Independent)
RIYL: Band that spell their name like ee cummings would—if ee cummings liked to rap, of course.
In an era when a lot of artists and bands spell their names in ALL CAPS comes grandson, a weird spin on rock-rap born in New Jersey but now residing in Toronto. If you’re into something along the lines of Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker and maybe Royal Tusk, grandson—a dude, not a band, by the way—is worth the time.