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Published on January 25th, 2019 | by Gilles LeBlanc

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This week’s surprise new music bonanza from Vampire Weekend, Florence + the Machine, a non-blink-182 project and something from Gerard Way.

(I should have probably asked Alan Cross for a picture of HIS music collection before he has declutterer Marie Kondo ask what sparks joy in him. Tell me that wouldn’t be an episode you’d watch on Netflix!)

January 24th, 2019 is what you’d call a New Music Bonanza. Not only did we get a surprise all-covers album from the almighty Weezer, some heavy-hitting contemporaries released a slew of singles for people’s listening enjoyment, including the slithery “Harmony Hall” from Vampire Weekend. It’s their first material in six years from the quirkily upcoming Father of the Bride. I love the “Wicked Snakes” lyric, the awkward pause after Ezra Koenig sings that he wants to die a minute and a half in, and the rollicking piano near the end.

Florence and the Machine obviously aren’t satisfied with the success last year’s High as Hope achieved. The somewhat ironically-titled “Moderation” (b/w whisper-quiet “Haunted House”) features more soaring vocals from the elegant Ms. Welch as well as fast-paced instrumentation that will be on full display when the group performs at New York City’s Governors Ball Music Festival, their only date scheduled so far for 2019.

If this isn’t enough, Mark Hoppus of blind-182 fame and almost-were Fyre Festival headliners has formed a supergoup of sorts with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth called Simple Creatures. Their debut is simply entitled “Drug”, which sounds as if it’s taking a bit of a shot at P!nk’s “So What”. They trying to start a fight with her or something?

Finally, Gerard Way (with some kick-ass guitar work from former My Chemical Romance bandmate Ray Toro) has given a punkish twist to the Simon & Garfunkel folk classic “A Hazy Shade of Winter”. It soundtracks the cool-looking trailer for new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, based on the comic book Way himself created. Now if only MCR would properly reunite so as to really make emo kids happy!




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About the Author

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.


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