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Five Songs For The Third Week Of January

five songs
Muse

It’s very difficult to find new songs you truly enjoy. So much music is released every week and nobody has the time to listen to all that stuff. It’s challenging, but, each week, I will try to find freshly released tunes, five songs that I like.

Muse – “Won’t Stand Back”: We hadn’t heard about Muse for a while – their last album, “Simulation Theory” was released in 2018 – but they are back this week with a new song, a hard-hitting rock piece flirting with metal and led by Matt Bellamy’s usual operatic croon. “’Won’t Stand Down’ is a song about standing your ground against bullies, whether that be on the playground, at work, or anywhere,” Bellamy explained in a statement. “Protecting yourself from coercion and sociopathic manipulation and to face adversity with strength, confidence, and aggression.” The song truly sounds as I remember Muse at their beginning, blending melodic rock with a gritty approach, but the riffs have never been so heavy. Muse’s signature is all over this track so it should please their fans, just like the dark sci-fi video released with it.

Spoon – “Wild”: A new song, very consistent with Spoon aesthetics and released with a video that transports us in the old wild west. The piece is a catchy rock song, the guitars slowly build the melody with the help of cutting piano lines and Britt Daniel’s soaring vocals. This comes from their upcoming album, “Lucifer On The Sofa” that Britt Daniel has described as “the sound of classic rock as written by a guy who never did get Eric Clapton.” The new album is produced by Adele/Queens Of The Stone Age producer Mark Rankin, although this song has almost a British touch. According to Brooklyn Vegan, Daniel told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that “Wild” is “a song I started with my buddy, Jack, years ago. We came up with some music, mostly he came up with some music. And, I tried to do my part and sing as we went, but the vocals didn’t come together that day, I was just, I just had this great bit of music and there it sat for years until I got inspired one day in 2020 and pulled it together on my couch. Finally came up with a good melody and some good words. And it’s a song about living a regimented life, but still hearing the call of a more beautiful world, a wilder world.”

Hippo Campus – “Ride or Die” I have included this one because the first part  (featuring the vocals) gives me strong Vampire weekend vibes… and I don’t think I will be alone on this. It is not the case of the ethereal guitars that follow but overall, the catchiness and playfulness of the song are cute and addictive… even though I have to repeat, it sounds like a complete rip-off of “Contra.” This is another cut of “LP3,” their first full-length record since their 2018’s “Bambi,” and set for a release on February 4 via Grand Jury Music. On the track, frontman Jake Luppen said: “It’s one of my favorite songs on the record — you can really hear everyone in the band doing their thing.” The track arrives with an accompanying video directed by Joe Pease.

Cat Power – “Bad Religion”: Cat Power’s Frank Ocean cover, with vocals echoing to each other and some poignant and hypnotic delivery. She has changed the song to the point of making something new and quite unrecognizable. It has become a piano song while there were even several lyrics alterations like “Hallelujah, little girl” in place of “Allahu akbar,” some new lines (“We’re all just stuck in the mud/Praying to the invisible above”), and of course, much more use of the word “love” in her version. That song was bringing me down,” Cat Power explained when talking about her own original “In Your Face.” “So I started pulling out lyrics from ‘Bad Religion’ and singing those instead of getting super depressed. Performing covers is a very enjoyable way to do something that feels natural to me when it comes to making music.” Cat Power’s new album, “Covers,” also features covers of Bob Seger, Lana Del Rey, Jackson Browne, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, the Replacements, and more.

Jack White – “Love is Selfish”: A stripped-down acoustic execution that is very easy to love simply because it sounds like a sweet one from the White Stripes. Unlike Jack White’s fuzzed-out and explosive numbers, this quiet ballad sounds simple, heartfelt, and soothing, just like the video released with it. “Love is Selfish” will be featured on “Entering Heaven Alive,” the second album White will release in July 2022 via Third ManRecords.

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