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The weekend playlist is back: start the year with tracks from Mitski, The Weeknd, Broken Social Scene, Amber Mark and more

Keeping up to date with new music releases can be difficult. Each week, the Star’s digital producers share the most interesting pieces from a wide range of established and emerging artists.

This week’s playlist includes new music from Mitski, Burial, Loathe, Amber Mark, Broken Social Scene and more.

Click here for the Spotify playlist.

Mitski: Love me more

According to a recent Rolling Stone cover, Mitski was all set to quit music after the runaway success of “Be the Cowboy,” an album that catapulted the Japanese-American singer-songwriter to big-hit indie darling. public.

“I had the impression that it was slowly shaving my soul,” she explained. “The music industry is this oversaturated version of consumerism. You are the product consumed, bought and sold.

Much to the relief of her army of fans, Mitski, despite her best efforts, failed to bury her creative urges or desire for public worship, a struggle she details on her immediately contagious new single “Love Me More “.

“I need you to love me more… Enough love to drown it,” she hums over synths and bouncing drums that would ring at home to a New Order song, sublimating her pain into one. undeniable hook.

“Love Me More” is the fourth single from the highly anticipated “Laurel Hell”, which will be released on February 4th.


New York indie pop collective MICHELLE released their new single “Expiration Date” last week, one of several tracks slated to feature on their upcoming album “AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS”, which will be released on January 28th.

One of the many things to admire about the band is their versatility, from creating slow, calm R&B jams to blow away on a cold day, to funky, upbeat indie pop anthems to give you energy in the morning.

“Expiration Date” addresses the loss and abandonment of a relationship through melodic and satisfying harmonies, delivering a calming and uplifting melody that is sure to be added to your favorite song playlist.

According to the collective, their next album “is the culmination of what it means for six friends and collaborators to constantly reinvent their world on 14 succinct tracks. “

PS keep an eye out for MICHELLE’s upcoming performance at Massey Hall in Toronto on March 18, where the collective is slated to open for Mitski.

The weekend: less than zero

There are plenty of gripping twists and turns on Weeknd’s latest album, “Dawn FM”: the quirky and pitted vocals on “Gasoline”, the flowery chemistry of Tyler, The Creator and Beach Boy Bruce Johnston on “Here We Go… Again Jim Carrey’s surprisingly poignant spoken outro… together they constitute the sum of the parts of The Weeknd’s most ambitious and cohesive project in years, an electro-funk opus that represents the cutting edge of popular music.

One of the most satisfying left turns is “Less Than Zero”, the album’s second-to-last dynamic track, which channels the expansive energy of ’80s rock revivalists, The War On Drugs. “I can’t get it out of my head,” sings The Weeknd, with a hint of vulnerability, over a softly strummed acoustic guitar and sparkling synth hits.

Amber mark: most men

R&B singer Amber Mark delivered another amazing and calming song with her latest single “Most Men”.

Mark released a captivating live track performance of the single for Color Studios, giving the world a preview of his upcoming album “Three Dimensions Deep,” which is due out on January 28.

Singing barefoot with nothing but a microphone and a vibrant yellow background, Mark starts off dark and passionate, taking the time to accentuate each note before elevating the song to another level by gradually following the progressive beat and in blooming in full vivacity.

In song form, Mark gives a hard love hype talk that you would give to a friend – or say, a random stranger in the club’s bathroom – that you are trying to protect from being hurt in a relationship or who just has to. need a fiery boost of love and confidence. Mark gets right to the point, singing bluntly, “And I’m telling you honey, there are other men in this world who will give ab — the love she deserves.”

“Most Men” brings in all the perfect harmonies, hoarse tones, and whistled notes you could hope for.

In addition to his highly anticipated album release, Mark is also set to perform at Axis Club (formerly The Mod Club) in Toronto on March 31.

Hate: “Dimorphic display”

During those gloomy winter weeks, sometimes you need something so sullen to fit the mood.

Heavy metal quartet Loathe, who broke barriers and turned critics’ heads in 2020 with “I Let it In and It Took Everything” (even Pitchfork gave them a favorable review of 7.8 / 10), are releasing their upcoming album with black and the experimental single “Dimorphous Display”, announced as a collaboration with new producer Eddie Al-Shakarchi.

The nearly five-minute track is a diverse feat, swinging between heavy riffs on dangerously low guitars and soft, soothing atmospheric vocals to shatter its fiercest moments. Evoking a clear influence of ’90s nu-metal bands such as the Deftones, Loathe carefully and effectively balances this boundary between light and dark, occupying a space that so many other bands in the genre could only dream of. to reach.

The group from Liverpool, UK are set to release their fourth studio album later this year, and while “Dimorphous Display” is the first taste of what’s to come, things look promising.

Burial: Strange Quarter

Last spring, with hope still reigning, experimental electronic artist Burial released “Dark Gethsemane,” a sprawling ten-minute epic that culminates in a powerful climax built on a rousing gospel sample: “We’re going to do rock this nation, with the power of love! “

These feelings are hard to bring up months later, however, as time passes in the midst of yet another cold and gray pandemic in January. Thankfully, Burial is back with “Antidawn,” a mysterious and fragmented music package that manages to capture the sadness of the moment without succumbing to despair.

The EP’s opening, “Strange Neighborhood” has a dreamlike quality – with digitally altered vocal samples (a Burial signature), hazy organ chords and lots of ambient noise, the track switches between various moods and atmospheres. over the course of eleven minutes. It’s an enigmatic slow-burning experience – music that seems to float in place rather than advancing. In other words: a perfect soundtrack for this shapeless time.

Broken social scene: curse your failure

Are you nostalgic for the days of live music? Have all the shows you fought for tickets been canceled (yet)? Want to pretend it’s 2010? Well, why not take a step back in time with a newly released rarity from Broken Social Scene, the ever-evolving indie rock collective and a staple of Toronto’s live music scene?

Originally released twelve years ago as a rare 7-inch single split with American band The Sea and Cake, “Curse Your Fail” is the epitome of BSS: big drums, beautifully layered guitars and served vocals. by no less than four members of the group, including Sébastien Grainger (from Death From Above 1979).

The track appears on “Old Dead Young: B-sides & Rarities”, a collection of B-sides, rarities and shots spanning the band’s two-decade career. It’s out now.

Bonus: Mach-Hommy: LAJAN SAL

2021 has been a great year for Mach-Hommy. The Haitian-American rapper and co-founder of Griselda released the excellent album “Pray For Haiti”, appeared on numerous end-of-year lists, and landed a guest spot on the EP “Intimidated” from Kaytranada, where he rapped in Creole.

In December, he released his second album of the year, titled “Balens Cho”. The more low-key but still high-quality project features several gems, including “Lajan Sal” (Dirty Money), which brilliantly uses a sample from ’60s girl group Honey Cone.