THE LISTENING BOOTH — First, the coronavirus pandemic cancelled concerts. Now it’s messing with album releases.
While plenty of artists are playing live music from home, a handful of bands — Bon Jovi, Weezer, Rufus Wainwright, to name a few — have pushed full-length releases to later in the year or put them on hold indefinitely.
Though album releases have slowed, new singles keep popping up. Here are a few you may have missed over the past few weeks.
"No One Wants to Party!" — The Aquabats
You know the world is in a dark place when even the Aquabats are feeling down.
The southern California five-piece gets somber (by their ridiculously peppy standards) on their latest single. It’s a synthesizer-driven surf song lamenting being alone on a Saturday night. "I bought some games and a box of corn dogs/Some beef jerky and towels/But it was so lame/Because nobody came." Ouch.
If all goes well, the band’s new album, "Kooky Spooky...In Stereo!" will be available June 20.
"Circles" (Post Malone cover) — Dashboard Confessional
Singer Chris Carrabba and his crew started the year with big plans to tour the country, celebrating 20 years of Dashboard Confessional.
While the tour is on hold, the band found time to release a live single featuring a reworked version of their hit, "Screaming Infidelities," as well as a cover of Post Malone’s "Circles."
It’s a straightforward homage, but ends up being even sweeter than the original.
"Stuck with U" — Justin Bieber and Arianna Grande
When the pandemic hit, Justin Bieber cancelled his June 9 stop in Salt Lake City and his entire tour.
So what are disappointed "Beliebers" supposed to do to fill the void? Luckily, Bieber just teamed up with Ariana Grande for the duet, "Stuck with U."
Though it’s intended as a we’re-quarantined-from-the-world-and-that’s-just-fine slow jam, if you were to throw in some sleigh bells and a mistletoe reference, it would work just as well as a Christmas love song.
If it’s not enough Bieber for you, check out his "Seasons" documentary on YouTube.
"Hero" — Weezer
Weezer’s new rock-focused album, "Van Weezer," was supposed to hit shelves earlier this month but has been put on hiatus indefinitely.
However, to soften the blow, the band released the album’s second single last week. "Hero" is not only a step up from its immediate predecessor but it also may be the band’s best single since "King of the World." The video for the new single is filled with at-home footage of the band, paired with hundreds of shots of Weezer fans delivering a thank-you note to health care workers.
Speaking of Weezer fans, each week, singer Rivers Cuomo has been inviting them to video chat with him. It’s strangely entertaining.
"Tea and Biscuits" — The Kooks
It looks like The Kooks have used quarantine to clean out the closet.
The U.K. indie-rockers recently released two EPs of album outtakes and alternate versions of songs from the back catalog.
"Tea and Biscuits" is an instant reminder of what the band does so well: The harmonies, the laid back guitars that burst into bluesy solos and the lyrics pulled from the everyday. Somehow they make it all seem so effortless.
A few more to check out
- "Forever - Separate But Together" — CHVRCHES: The indie popsters play their hit "Forever" live for Jimmy Fallon — from four different home studios. How’s that for social distancing?
- "Call to Love" — Jimmy Eat World: The Arizona emo rockers team up with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino to cover a Crooked Fingers song.
- "Daisies" — Katy Perry: The soon-to-be mother comes back with another anthem. Spoiler alert: You can’t hold her down.
- "Birmingham" — Jordan Moyes: Provo singer-songwriter Jordan Moyes just keeps getting better and better. His latest single may be his best yet.
What did we miss? Share your favorite new songs in the comments.