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The Burning Hell, Garbage Island (Fairfield PE)

Garbage Island is a record about the fall and rise of a future society recorded while the real world was crumbling around the Burning Hell’s idyllic PEI HQ. Chief Hellions Ariel Sharratt and Mathias Kom were at home on their farm on the island while collaborator Jake Nicoll was on a family farm in Ontario when you-know-what happened. Left to their own devices, the trio cobbled together these latest compositions from the Burning Hell’s powerbase of drums, guitar and bass alongside field recordings and found items. “The Last Normal Day,” a song about “the end of the internet and the things people made,” feels highly prescient given the recent Rogers service outage, but let’s just hope it was all a big coincidence. As meta as it all sounds, Garbage Island is still full of mega-fun tunes and witty lyricism we’ve come to expect of the Burning Hell. • Jim Di Gioia

Curves, a line or outline which gradually deviates from being straight (Vancouver BC)

Every few months, Vancouver trio Curves treat us to a couple of new emo-adjacent scrappy garage-rock songs and they are always worth celebrating. On their latest release, a five-track EP entitled a line or outline which grad deviates from being straight, Curves trace the unsteady trajectory of relationships. The EP’s best moment happens amongst the haze of “House Party” when Jet Simon summarizes the absolute mess of being in love in a unique and perfect way: “love is tar.” • Laura Stanley

Darling Congress, Jubilant Blue (Hamilton ON)

Peter van Helvoort has delivered on the promise of the advanced singles from his debut as Darling Congress. Jubilant Blue is a perfect summer deck record, chill while still kicking ass. Its laid-back vibe never comes at the expense of the songs or the emotion van Helvoort so deftly translates into singalongs all these years. Current favourite track: “Drugs and Potions.” • Mackenzie Cameron

heavy body, BOBBY, FROM MEMORY (Halifax NS)

I can’t find anything more about Halifax artist heavy body other than what’s on their Bandcamp page. Here are a few of the small details: they are Bandcamp user k matsui’s “boo”; they have impeccable taste in all-time bangers as proven by their slowcore cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in my Pocket” which appears on BOBBY, a rowdy and twangy LP released in April; from BOBBY’s cover image, heavy body might be a basketball-playing cowboy.

A month after the release of BOBBY, heavy body transform almost completely. The final two songs from their EP FROM MEMORY have a quiet lo-fi twang that’s similar to BOBBY but the first tracks are layered glitchy downtempo pop tunes full of keyboards and electronic beats. heavy body’s voice is warped, obfuscating their identity even more. The many sides of heavy body are worth getting to know. • Laura Stanley

Jimmy Jay Swinn, “Long and Dusty Road” (Austin TX)

Jimmy Jay Swinn’s new single “Long and Dusty Road” sounds exactly like you think a song with that title should: it’s a rollicking, cosmic country tune. But its familiarity doesn’t make it feel any less like an adventure. Swinn sings about how much better it is to travel down the long and dusty road of life with companions and when you’re done listening, you’ll find yourself heading out the door to do just that. • Laura Stanley

Metric, “Doomscroller” (Toronto ON)

My list of favourite ten-minute pop songs is extremely short. Up until last year, when Taylor Swift officially dropped “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version),” the only song on that list was Bowie’s “Station to Station.” I would not have bet on Metric being next to join this exclusive list, but here we are. “Doomscroller,” the opening salvo from Formentera, the band’s eighth studio album, is a raving mad prog-rocky rollercoaster ride that I am refusing to get off. Like an adrenaline junkie, I keep playing this multi-suite epic on repeat. I haven’t yet drawn any solid conclusions about the rest of the album, but “Doomscroller” is turning out to be the unlikeliest summer banger and my latest obsession. • Jim Di Gioia

No Frills, Downward Dog (Toronto ON)

I saw someone online refer to No Frills as a “bummer pop outfit,” which is accurate if not completely fair. The songs on the quintet’s debut, Downward Dog do explore themes of depression and despair but do so with sugary sweet lo-fi charm. Daniel Busheikin, Maddy Wilde, Jonathan Pappo, Matt Buckerrough, and Mike Searle all come from other bands whose names you might recognize — Hooded Fang, Twist, Rapport, Grounders. And while not all Canadians may be familiar with the discount grocery store chain from which No Frills takes its name, all will instantly catch on to their iridescent and ironic pop sensibilities. • Jim Di Gioia

Poolblood, “twinkie” (Toronto ON)

We are well into Cancer season and feelings are abundant! Perfectly coinciding with the summer sun and this tender time comes “twinkie,” a dreamy bedroom-pop track about starting fresh from Poolblood (their first via Next Door Records). If you spend these warmer months journalling and reinventing yourself (I tell myself I’ll get into biking every summer and then I don’t), be encouraged by Poolblood who sings, “I know I’m not the same and I know I’m not my yesterdays.” • Laura Stanley

Gillian Stone, “Amends” (Toronto ON)

Gillian Stone’s new single “Amends” is a raw exploration of a key stage of the recovery process. It is a song about fearlessly facing one’s past in order to live comfortably in the present. Lines about lingering memories and the wreckage of addiction proliferate. Recalling a bar in an old hometown leaves the speaker “too haunted to hope,” while anger arises in the place of words until all that is left is the “wily muse” of regret as the song builds to its climax and conclusion. • Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay

Tomb Mold, Aperture Of Body (Toronto ON)

If you are not inclined towards extreme music, death metal may be something you’ve avoided your whole life. Fair enough: it can be ugly, brutal, punishing — you get the idea. But I have found that consuming it in short, sharp shocks can be an extremely satisfying listening experience – especially when done well. This makes Tomb Mold’s new EP, Apeture of Body, extremely appealing to me. The Toronto band’s first new music since the exceptional, Blue Nile-inspired Planetary Clairvoyance is a blast and the perfect way to test the waters of death metal. Swim at your own risk! • Mackenzie Cameron

Ways Lain, As You Lay Sleeping (Toronto ON)

As You Lay Sleeping grew from a few fevered days of composing “lullabies” about all the monsters and magic that surface in the precious time between lying down in bed… and falling asleep,” writes Ways Lain (Amelia Izmanki) about her latest release out now via Vain Mina. It’s only fitting that As You Lay Sleeping is restless sounding. This neo-classical/chamber/pop EP mirrors the process of trying to fall asleep but instead of using the box breathing technique, you’re clenching your jaw and replaying the day’s events. At one point on the EP, Ways Lain repeats “I hate you.” But just like how each day eventually ends, sleep does come. • Laura Stanley