Josie Cotton rides again, Ro Bergman clouds up, GospelbeacH burn another one in today’s Roundup. Why do people who listen to the shittiest music in their cars insist on playing it the loudest?
1 Johnny, are you Ukrainian? And a cowboy? If so, you could be the one for Josie Cotton. Yes, that Josie Cotton. The singer of ’80s pop hits Johnny Are You Queer? and He Could Be The One. She’s back with the new single Ukrainian Cowboy — “an age-old story of cowgirl meets Bolshevik, falls for Bolshevik, dumps Bolshevik on horseback” — set against a twangy spaghetti-western backdrop and a colourful video to match. Saddle up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ukrainian Cowboy is basically about someone who’s had her heart ripped out, gone on a kind of journey and becomes the hero of her own story. It was a cowboy song I could never seem to finish writing,” she explains. “But I was fooling around with it on the guitar one night with the news on in the background and when I got to the chorus, I heard the newscaster say ‘Russia’ at that exact moment. It hit me like a tons pf bricks how rich it would be to make the song about that. And Russia is way bigger than Texas!!” Yee-haw:
2 I don’t know if Austrian indie-popster Ro Bergman has looked at clouds from both sides now. And I couldn’t say if still somehow, it’s cloud’s illusions he recalls. I really don’t know if he doesn’t know clouds at all. But I do know he wrote a bouncy pop single titled Clouds, with a video featuring plenty of pictures of you-know-what. Go figure. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The essence of the song is featured by characteristic spots from my home area. It shows and symbolise that no matter where an idea is born, it can grow and transcend all borders.” And feather canyons everywhere?
3 There are artists you know, and the artists you need to know. If Brent Rademaker and GospelbeacH aren’t already in the former category for you, they definitely belong in the latter. Assuming you like music that sounds like a cross between the swampy heartland rock of Tom Petty and the folky earthiness of the Laurel Canyon sound. Because that’s just what you get from the Beachwood Sparks’ co-founder’s Bad Habits, the latest single from his band’s Oct. 4 release. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “GospelbeacH is back with a set of great new songs. Let It Burn is the follow up to their acclaimed 2017 album Another Summer of Love and the third proper studio album by the infamous Los Angeles rock combo. It features the return of virtuoso guitarist Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood). Let It Burn is an album of West Coast rock and roll, redemption and guitar solos!” What more is there to life?
4 Music may not be the universal language, but it’s definitely an international one. At least as far as Gong Gong Gong are concerned. The Chinese-Canadian art-punk duo incorporate everything from Cantonese opera to Bo Diddley to electronica into their sound. And they don’t stop there: New single Some Kind of Demon — the latest preview from their Oct. 4 debut Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 — channels the West African desert blues of Tinariwen. It’s a small world after all. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is probably the most slow and meditative song on the LP, and one of our favourites. The lyrics are a kind of self-reflection or internal monologue, combining Cantonese words to look at different possibilities or things that could have happened.” Going, going …
5 Nobody likes a name dropper. But Peterborough singer-songwriter Evangeline Gentle would be happy if somebody would drop theirs. Though probably not in the way you expect. Hear what they mean in the smouldering Stevie Nicksian gem Drop My Name. Inspired by a former job at a fast-food chain, the latest preview of their self-titled Sept. 13 album is — much like its predecessors — drop-dead gorgeous. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The track is about knowing what you’re worth, when you’re being taken advantage of, and when to walk away.” Order up:
6 Need a short, sharp shot of garage-rock power and propulsion to get you to Friday? You got it, courtesy of new Toronto outfit Queens & Kings. That might seems like a weird name, considering there’s only two of them — drummer Alissa Klug and guitarist Brendan Albert, both of whom also sing. Then again, their sound is clearly bigger than both of them. Hear for yourself on their debut single You Got Me. If they’ve got more like this in the bag, they’ve definitely got me where they want me. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Queens & Kings is a post-punk garage rock duo from Toronto and is very much a product of fight, a symbol of resilience and an emblem of victory. For eight years, Brendan and Alissa struggled, with each of their own musical and artistic projects, with their health, with themselves and with each other. From that struggle, Queens & Kings was born, like a big middle finger rising from the ashes.” Got it?