Just one month into the new year and there is already a lot of really good music arriving on our shores along with some intriguing song nuggets in advance of the proper records to be released later in the year. Here is just a small sample of what has been on heavy rotation in the office halls of Rock is the New Roll.
Peter Bjorn & Bjorn – Drama King
From the ear-worm kings that brought you “Young Folks” their latest record in advance of a new long-player to be released later in the year has a groovy bassline and an infectiously hypnotic groove that is a perfect jam for those hazy nights. Look for the new record, Endless Dream, to be released on March 13th.
Shopping – For Your Pleasure
Yet another album we are looking forward to absorbing in all its glory, the band Shopping will be releasing into the wild a new record, All Or Nothing, on February 7th. This Post Punk band sort of reminds us of what The Bangles would have sounded like back in the day without the major label filter that would not allow them to let their freak flag fly.
Roger Harvey – Burn One With John Prine
In late 2019 Roger Harvey started releasing a couple of singles in advance of his record to be released later this year. Technically a cover song, it was written by Kacey Musgraves, in Harvey’s capable hands you really believe him when he says that his idea of heaven is to burn one with John Prine.
The Just Joans – Hey Ho, Let’s Not Go
From their newly released record, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans, this one has already cemented a place for itself on our top songs of the year list. If you knew nothing about this Glasgow sextet and this is your virgin exposure to this song, the first thing that will come to mind is that you are listening to a Phil Spector girl group anthem. Then, the male member of vocal siblings David and Kate Pope kicks in and all sensibilities are dashed. Once Kate joins the party as the Ying to David’s Yang the song starts to become really special. And, of course, extra credit is given for the homage to The Ramones.
Thorbjorn Risager – Come On In
Full disclosure here, we here at Rock is The New Roll had never heard of Thorbjorn Risager or his band The Black Tornado before hearing this song and started to check out his latest album, Come On In. Perhaps, we are not as up on our Danish Rock and Roll as we should be. This guy, this band, and this album are all absolutely awesome.
Part Delta Blues, Part Stooges era Iggy Pop, there is a slight Robert Palmer vibe thrown in there for good measure. Perhaps a solid comparison here could also be a more blues-based Wilko Johnson and Dr. Feelgood. Either way, the better news is that these guys have been around for almost a couple of decades now and there are plenty of YouTube and Internet rabbit holes to go down in search of more information about this exciting new find.
Anna Calvi – Don’t Beat The Girl Out of My Boy (feat. Courtney Barnett)
In March, Anna Calvi will be releasing Hunted, a stripped-down version of her 2018 release Hunter. For this reimaging, these new versions will feature several musical guests including Julia Holter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Courtney Barnett.
Tops – I Feel Alive
Sort of a new age Indie-Pop Mama’s and the Papas, this song was written for those that want to leave their healthy January behind and get back to their old vices.