Adrian House’s latest single will make you grin even on the greyest day

Arcade Fire – We (Montreal)

Over the years Arcade Fire has always shown a powerful knack for writing and unpredictable ambition in their vision. In a record that sees the band evolving every song into a powerful, multi-part story, Arcade Fire may still not be at their catchiest, but they’re certainly bringing the scope we want from their writing. “Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)” goes from bleak to dark disco in its morphing sound, and there’s such a power to the bass and synth highs on this track, especially in the swing we get out of the later parts centred around Regine Chassagne’s classic vocal style. There’s a lot mixed into “End of the Empire I-III” with bits of Mott the Hoople, Bowie, Killers, and a uniquely Arcade Fire swell of orchestration, harmonies and acoustic guitars. After its empowering lead up in “The Lightning I” there’s a party-like high to “The Lightning II” as a Funeral-era Arcade Fire fury comes screaming out to let loose their arena shaking anthem of the album, and one that can easily get you euphoric every time it comes around. The lighter touch of “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” lets the size of its arrangements sneak up on, so by the time the chorus comes in with a wrecking ball-sized heft, you’re left incapable of holding back the scream of those lines.

Adrian House – Changes (Single) (St. John’s, Newfoundland)

For a sunny and upbeat track that will make you grin even on the greyest day, Adrian House’s latest single does the trick. With its bass and piano just rolling with glee, “Changes” is on a high that never stops. Even the jangly, little guitars keep it swinging with a cheeky sort of flow, never letting any of the darker lyrics dampen their spirits. House’s back and forth with himself in the vocals is a fun choice as well, seeming to hint at a point of sadness they’re trying to fend off with this cheery tune. And with all the vocables that bookend the song, and a little bouncy charm, House’s track easily gets its hooks set in you.

Warpaint – Radiate Like This (Los Angeles)

Six years since they last graced us, Warpaint pick up with the same smooth grooves and washed out tones we love them for. Less straightforward than they’ve been in the past, Warpaint let the steadiness of their core as rhythm-centric band let them get more experimental in composition to match their sound again. “Champion” feels like a seamless continuation of their older work, now grown more fuzzy and blown out, but with a new sort of pained cutting to the harmonies. There’s a dagger-like venom to the sound on “Hips” that touches on their more dangerous focal points as a band, with harmonies panning around and much more experimental tones infiltrating the mix throughout in track that’s silky yet always breaking away from itself. “Stevie” is their locking in at its glossy perfection, as they drift between R&B and jazz to points that feel sunny and hazy, but constantly mesmerizing in the way they keep a little tension going throughout. Despite a slightly brooding opening, “Altar” moves from its haunting moments to utterly blissful chords that layer multiple pianos and guitars over each other until you’re in a sea of sound and echo.  

Martha and the Muffins – Save It For Later (Single)  (Toronto)

Putting their own spin on a classic from The English Beat, Martha and the Muffins bring their own vintage pop to this brilliant track. The guitars glisten and sing with that retro, British sheen, but have a fun indie gloss to this version. The paired vocals on the track leave a great contrast in the mix as every chorus explodes with a strong dynamic charge, often elevated by other harmonies like the “Run aways” and the constantly sparkling guitars only growing more colourful and lush by the final refrain.

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Let It Be Blue (Sacramento, CA)

A constantly reliable voice riding the line of punk and dance in modern music, !!! still manage to bring slow moment for us on their latest release. Though a bit more focused on collaborations than a singular album sound, there’s a lot of individual moments on this record to get your body shaking. “A Little Bit (More)” cuts in with the bass instantly, and lets all those grimy vocals grip and shake your eardrums in seconds. After its floating verses start to collapse into waves of tension, “Here’s What I Need To Know” drops one of the most overpowering drops that !!! have ever unleashed on us, albeit after really making us work for it. There’s a more sublime kick to “Man on the Moon” that feels addictive from the get-go, and lets the hip hop fusion and vocals just soar. “Let It Be Blue” mixes a classic funk and disco feeling for whole other kind of classic-feeling homage, but one that really digs into every inch of their talents as a dance band that knows their roots.