Alan Cross: 5 Songs You Must Hear This Week

Nothing like starting off the week with some fresh tunes. And for the first time ever in the history of this feature, the list actually features six songs.

1. The Blues Stones, “Black Holes (Solid Ground)”
Black Holes (eOne Music Canada)
Recommended If You Like: Anything in the blues-rock vein of the Black Keys

There’s a tiny chance that you see this title and go “Wait a minute! This song was released back in 2016!” And you’d be right. This Windsor, Ontario, band—besides the Tea Party, can you name another band from that city?—issued this album on April 15, 2016, but sometimes the music industry moves in slow and mysterious ways—especially if a bigger label offers a chance for a reissue (due October 26, by the way). Maybe second time’s the charm.

2a/2b. 311, “Self-Esteem”/Offspring, “Down”
Singles (Independent)
RIYL: Freaky Friday movies

At some point in the planning of this summer’s joint Offspring/311 tour (The Never-Ending Summer Tour, which starts next week and rolls into Toronto August 28), someone said “Why don’t we each cover one of each other’s songs?” And lo, it came to pass. Here’s what 311 chose to do…

…and now there’s the Offspring doing “Down.” We can’t feature one without the other, right?

3. Cleopatrick, “Youth”
The Boys EP (Independent)
RIYL: The sound of impending doom a la Japandroids, DFA and Royal Blood

Another twofer band, featuring frontman Luke Gruntz (yep, that’s his name) and Ian Fraser on drums. This song is a big f-you to all the people the guys went to school with somewhere in small-town Ontario. Totally understand, dude. Been there.

4. Honyock, “Patron”
El Castillo (Independent)
RIYL: “Peyote-Tonk” (Psych-slacker stoner rock)

I just learned a new word. “Honyock” is a disparaging name for an immigrant homesteader (usually someone from Eastern Europe) seen to be good for nothing more than tending to livestock. It’s the root of later disrespectful terms such as “hunky” (those of Ukrainian heritage will know that one well) and “honky” (paging Richard Pryor!). Now Honyock is a four-piece from Sacramento with their first full record.

5. Moon Panda, “Rabbit”
Single (Supertone Records)
RIYL: Feist, Florence, Tori

Headquartered in Brighton, the band’s four members are drawn from London, Bristol, Denmark and California. Here’s some lovely dream-pop about the unhealthy love the comes with co-dependent relationships. Best heard while drinking something strong in the dark.

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