Happy freaking October, everyone. Congratulations, we’ve made it ten months through 2020 — seven months essentially through a once in a lifetime pandemic. Good for you — no seriously, good for you. It has been a hell of a challenging year, but eventually it has to end and get better.

There have been hundreds of think pieces on 2020, but this isn’t going to turn into one of them. Just know that you’re doing amazing, ok?

Now, onto the more lighthearted stuff — I fucked up. I missed last week‘s Take 5. It is what it is, I’ve got no excuse. So, dear reader, forgive my mistake? I promise to make it up to you with these five songs below.

Maybe promise is too heavy handed, but you know, whatever. Onwards my noble steed.

Julia Michaels – Lie Like This

This is a classic case of “artist who doesn’t need our attention but we can’t stop listening so you’re gonna read about it in Substream’s Take 5.” What a song. Try not to listen once and start tapping your foot. It’s easily catchy, and not overly-complicated. Some people think simple pop music isn’t good — not in this house, baby. We’re already dying for more, and you should be, too.

glimmers – “For Me It’s You (feat. Jack Wachtel)”

The Atlanta-based pop-rock glimmer is a lot of fun. Vocalist Maggie Schneider has been kicking it in the music industry for a very long time; there’s a few people that come to mind who truly deserve to reap the rewards of the grind, and Schneider is one o them. “For Me It’s You” isn’t necessarily a new song, as it first appeared acoustically on her debut EP, Insomniac, but it got re-imagined and re-released under glimmers. But, it’s a refreshing take on the acoustic track and the end result is pop-rock gem. Trust us.

Wallows – “Virtual Aerobics

When will I ever stop talking about Wallows and including them in these? Probably never. As long as they’re making music, I’m in. “Virtual Aerobics” continues Wallows dominate run on the indie genre, and while it doesn’t stray too much from their developed sound, why would it? Sometimes forced change is worse than just doing that you love. That sentence wasn’t meant to be as deep as it turned out, but here we are. “Virtual Aerobics” is a nice, consistently beating indie/alt song, and if you’ve liked Wallows before, you’ll love it. If you haven’t liked their stuff so far, you might not, but couldn’t we all use an excuse to watch Dylan Minnette and co. do aerobics?

The Snuts – “Always

Banger. After. Banger. It’s just what Scotland’s The Snuts do best. I first heard of the band last year with their single “Maybe California,” and knew that they were gonna be a fun band to keep an eye on. While “Always” is a bit of a different sound for the band, The Snuts pull it off well. What is it in the water that makes bands from the U.K. so consistently good at making alternative/indie/rock? There’s gotta be something that we simply are missing. Maybe it’s the haggis in Scotland. Someone find out for us.

Hotel Etiquette – “Sex Questions”

At least a few times a week I go outside and stare at the sky and yell, “God, why did you take Pentimento away from us?” It’s a bold strategy for me as a non-believer, but I mean, anything is worth a shot, right? I would forgive 2020 for all it’s done and potentially convert into a believer for a Pentimento reunion. We may not get that — save for the one-off show and a new song last year — but luckily we’ve got the next best thing: a new project! Hotel Etiquette is Pentimento’s Mike Hansen’s newest project, and it’s probably the best thing we’re gonna get. They dropped an EP, Sex Questions, earlier this year — which includes the title-track making a lyrical reference to Pentimento — and this past Friday dropped a split EP with Fake Space. If you like more aggressive alt-rock, then Hotel Etiquette will be for you. Then promptly work your way back through Pentimento’s catalogue as 2015’s I, No Longer is the best Jimmy Eat World record not written by Jimmy Eat World. An endless amount of thank you’s to Substream veteran Joel Funk for making me aware of this project.