5 songs you must hear this week: 20 March 2023

We’re entering the time of year when some very big names release albums to set things up for summer tours. There are couple of songs/albums like that on this week’s list.

1. Depeche Mode, My Cosmos is Mine
Memento Mori (Mute/Sony)
Recommended If You Like: It’s Depeche Mode, innit?

Depeche Mode released their fifteenth studio album this past Friday (March 17), the first since founding member Andy Fletcher suffered a fatal aortic dissection last spring. This second single—the lead-off track from the album—is a pretty sinister-sounding thing. A tour is set to begin this week (March 23) in Sacramento, followed by sold-out shows in Toronto (April 7), Quebec City (April 9), and Montreal (April 12). Demand is so high that after swinging through Europe, DM will return to North America in the fall to play Montreal (Nov 3), Toronto (Nov 5), Edmonton (Nov 21), and Vancouver (Nov 24). The band may have formed 43 years ago, but they’re still as big as ever.

2. Sleaford Mods ft. Perry Farrell, So Trendy
UK Grim (Rough Trade)
RIYL: Being addicted to your phone

Sleaford Mods have some fans in high places. Iggy Pop thinks they’re great and sings their praises whenever he can. And Perry Farrell loves the band so much that he got in touch with the band saying “I want to work with you guys.” Done deal. The video is another AI creation by director John Minton designed to make you feel that you’re in a video game.

3/ Peter Gabriel, Playing for Time
i/o (Real World)
RIYL: Whatever it is that Peter Gabriel does

Gabriel fans have been waiting years for an album of new material. If you’re counting, the last pure Peter Gabriel record was Up in 2002. We still don’t have a release date for i/o, but it should be here soon given that he starts a world tour in Krakow, Poland, on May 18. Canadian shows are set for Quebec City (September 8), Ottawa (September 9), Toronto (September 11), Montreal (September 13), and Vancouver (October 7). This is the third single from the record following Panopticom (Bright Side Mix) and The Court (Dark-Side Mix).

4. Portugal. The Man, Dummy
Chris Black Changed My Life (Atlantic)
RIYL: Hype (with a dose of Queen)

I’m not sure who Chris Black is, but he apparently an awesome dude. The single of the new album isn’t anything like their hit Feel It Still, but it’s groovy in its own way—maybe in a Cure-ish way. Expect one or two more advance singles before the album comes out on June 23. And then there’s the Taco Bell commercial featuring this song that you may have seen already. . Oh, and please welcome new honorary member Tank Dog. He’s in the video.

5. Hayden, On a Beach feat. Fiest
Are We Good (Arts & Crafts)
RIYL: Legendary Canadian indie artists

I remember when Hayden first started playing shows around Toronto back in the 90s. The kids who came to see him (I recall him doing a lot of all-ages shows) sat respectfully and hung on his ever word. Albums have come sporadically. The gap since the last album, Hey Love, is about eight years. This single, which not only features Feist, but also Matt Berninger of The National and—wait for it—Steve Buscemi. The album will be out April 5.

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