Despite Covid, New Albums for 2020

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the live-music/entertainment industry continues to suffer a big blow. No concerts at the stadiums in the city nor even small gigs at little cafés in some corners of the town. However, for lovers of recorded music, don’t fret over it. A good number of artists have been able to record their respective new albums and release these recently on CDs and vinyl records.

Here are some of the notable ones. You may get your copy at Sunrise Records at Polo Park Shopping Centre or even at independent recordshops like Into the Music in Downtown Winnipeg. Or, better yet, get them online via Amazon or Discogs.

*The Killers – Imploding the Mirage*
The band that gave the Alternative Rock in the 2000s a new lease on life, via a string of chart-topping singles such as “Mr. Brightside,” “When We Were Young,” and “Human,” The Killers releases its sixth album–still full of hooks, melodies, and big-sound aesthetics. Recommended tracks are “Blowback,” “Dying Breed,” and “Lightning Fields,” featuring k.d. lang.

*Erasure – The Neon*
The prolific English Synthpop, chart-topping Erasure is back again with an ever-shiny and catchy album. *The Neon* is the duo’s 18th opus! Be ready to be enticed onto the dance floor by its beats and melodies, even only in your own living room. Just hang a mirror ball and dim the lights, and everything should be a go-go. You don’t even need to wear your dancing shoes. Recommended tracks are “Nerves of Steel,” “Fallen Angel,” and “Diamond Lies.”

*Johnny Hates Jazz – Wide Awake*
A purveyor of Sophistipop, the English band is back with its followup to its 2013-released album; and it never lost its slick, sheen, and soulfulness. No need to turn back the clock nor shatter dreams as yet. This fourth affair, *Wake Up*, is enough to lullaby the listener to nostalgia or rock him a bit with a couple of stompers. Recommended tracks are “Spirit of Love,” “Greater Good,” and “Love the Light.”

*Taylor Swift – Folklore*
Much of the music of the American singer-songwriter has been associated with Country Pop, in which she unarguably excels, with chart toppers like “Look What You Made Me Do,” “Teardrops on My Guitar,” and “Today Was a Fairytale.” That’s why her latest offering will definitely be a pleasant surprise especially to seasoned fans. In *Folklore*, her eighth album, Taylor Swift broadens her stylistic horizons by exploring the world of Indie Folk; and she succeeds in delivering what the genre calls for–mellow songs driven by piano and guitar on a backdrop of prairie- and hillside-conjuring sonic landscapes. A change of aural wardrobe indeed! Recommended tracks are “The Last Great American Dynasty,” “My Tears Ricochet,” and “Invisble String.”

*The Waterboys – Good Luck, Seeker*
Alteady the fourth in the series of Folk/Blues-oriented albums released by the British-Irish band, *Good Luck, Seer* is another bluesy and soulful excursion interspersed with spoken poetry. The songs are familiar yet refreshing, engaging and soothing–with the piano, strings, and horns complementing the distinct velvety, raspy voice of the waterboy himself, singer-songwriter Mike Scott. Recommended tracks are “The Soul Singer,” “Why Should I Love You,” and “My Wanderings in the Weary Land.”

Final Note
These are just some of the new albums that can take your mind off the current craziness. Let them ease your weary heart and spirit, at least even momentarily.