Take 5 is back, baby. After different variations over the past year: including a holiday edition and quarantine/pandemic edition, Substream is excited to get back to the roots of Take Five.

There’s more music than ever, and through the pandemic, that has continued to be true. While live music hasn’t been around for months, artists have continued to release new music and will likely continue to do so, given that is their main connection with fans at this current state.

Without further ado, let’s get this Take 5 rolling. We’ve got five great ones for you this week, and will have more next week, and the week after, and — well, you get the point. Let’s go.

Bearings – “Sway”

Everyone can all use some feel-good pop-punk every once in a while. The genre that’s been ostracized from the mainstream since the mid-2000’s, outside of the powerhouses that are Green Day, blink-182, the Offspring, etc., but that doesn’t mean the music has suffered. In fact, you could argue it’s been quite the opposite. While the radio play has disappeared, Bearings‘ “Sway” is the perfect example of what would have been all over the radio in the early-2000’s. Listen to it once and find yourself singing “Says that she loves California / But she hates L.A., okay” randomly throughout the day.

Eastwood – “I (Don’t) Need You”

I’m a sucker for artists diversifying themselves, and showing off their chops as musicians. Cole Crutchfield has been part of the hardcore scene with Knocked Loose, and though their meteoric rise has been impressive and well-deserved, he chose to switch things up with his own side project: the indie-rock leaning Eastwood. “I (Don’t) Need You” is an indie/alternative song that sounds like it could almost been a Matchbox Twenty or Weezer song in the 90’s, and that was all I needed before I got hooked. Their new album, It Never Gets Easy, will be out on September 18th via Pure Noise Records.

Grand Khai – “Chris Brown”

Sometimes when you hear a song from an artist, you can immediately picture it succeeding in arenas. This was my reaction when I first heard Grand Khai’s “Love You, Love You Not” and he’s continued to exceed all expectations with singles like “Mention” and “Collide,” and his latest single, “Chris Brown” is no different. Blending pop, R&B, and hip-hop, Grand Khai never misses with a single, and coming in under 2 minutes, “Chris Brown” will have you wanting more as soon as it ends. Not to worry, he’s got plenty of material and features on streaming services to hold you over. Thank us later.

Alke – “Somebody Who”

When I received Alke’s “Somebody Who” in my email last week, I was told to expect “nostalgic pop” — and I’m happy to tell you the same thing. Nostalgic pop is a perfect descriptor of the song, in which Alke — the project of producer Jameson Flood and Kelsey Karrasch — do their best 80’s impression. If you like Zara Larrsson or Hailee Steinfeld, “Somebody Who” is right up your alley.

Happy. – “Liarliar”

Concluding this return of Take 5 is Substream favorites, Happy. with their new song, “Liarliar.” Released this past Thursday, Happy. continue to show-off their pop/rock skills, and “Liarliar” is an honest and personal analyzation of vocalist/guitarist Tate Logan’s experience with depression. It’s gritty, catchy, and enough to have you wanting more, but still hold you over until their new album, Imposter Syndrome, is released on October 30th via Rude Records.