Without using the word “unprecedented” for the thousandth time, the world is having a tough time right now. Having said that, there are still things to be grateful for, among which are the stellar new releases that have been unveiled this week. We compiled a list of the five tracks that brightened our days, as musicians continue to band together from isolation to contribute bangers to our community. Take that, COVID-19.
1. Violent Soho – ‘Pity Jar’
The magic of legends Violent Soho hasn’t been lost over their decade-and-a-half of playing together, which means every new album continues to be a blessing to Australian music. With Everything Is A-OK dropping today, we’ve been gifted ‘Pity Jar’ alongside nine other blissful tracks to experience, with the only real tragedy being that we won’t hear them live any time soon. Speaking to Blunt Magazine, guitarist James Tidswell optimistically noted that if they “don’t do shows again”, at least their last Sydney show “was at a venue as legendary as The Lansdowne.” We doubt that will be the case, but in the meantime, we’ll have to be patient.
2. Iceage – ‘Lockdown Blues’
Only Danish post-punks Iceage could write a track that references COVID-19 by name without being too on the nose. The band described the impetus for the song as their “urge to touch base now that the physical touch has been suspended and contribute an effort to raise spirit in the face of adversity”. All profits from Bandcamp will be contributed to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) who are on the frontlines fighting the pandemic.
3. Hayley Williams – ‘Over Yet’
There is no year that deserves Hayley Williams’ solo effort more than the absolute shit storm of 2020. Williams has graced us with singles coming out of our ears ahead of the release of her debut solo album Petals for Armor in May. Those – including ‘Over Yet’ – have centred on rising above adversity, with Williams laying an 80’s themed lens over the message for today’s drop. The Paramore frontwoman has truly made her bones as a solo artist, and we could not be more grateful to be on this journey with her.
4. All Time Low – ‘Monsters’ feat. blackbear
When we spoke to RnB aficionado Blackbear earlier this year, we had a very enthusiastic conversation about the unity between the rock and hip hop scenes – a marriage not readily seen until this decade. Little did we know he had a collaboration with pop rock kings All Time Low under his belt, released today as part of the Baltimore group’s 8th studio album Wake Up, Sunshine. A match made in heaven.
5. Marcus Bridge – ‘Break Stuff’ (Limp Bizkit cover)
As Northlane frontman Marcus Bridge himself said, this song is a “self-isolation anthem”. Indeed, his rendition of Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ comes at a crushingly relevant time, where every day is “just one of those days” in preventative solitude. It’s not every day that you can sing a Limp Bizkit track with such conviction, but it’s also not every day that a pandemic sweeps the world and no one can go outside.