Hello. It’s been one two week(s), or whatever Barenaked Ladies said 23 years ago. Listen, I keep saying: I’ll get better at doing these more consistently. I know, ok? But, to be fair, every two weeks is certainly better than every two months, right? Progress not perfection.

Regardless, what’s everyone been up to? I guess this is where I shamelessly plug that I started a new podcast a few weeks ago. Yeah, that’s right, I’m that guy. Another millennial with a podcast, what the fuck else is new. What makes my podcast special? Not a clue. Other than that each episode focuses on one (1) and only one (1) ~emo~ record. What’s emo? In the words of Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazarra, perhaps I’m paraphrasing a bit, isn’t all music emo?  So, you know, there’s that. You can find the podcast here.

As always, lots of good tunes have been released in the two weeks since the last Take 5 went up, but as the name suggests, only 5 get selected every week for this prestigious article. Maybe we should start putting together awards. Could even do an awards show at the end of the year or something, best Take 5’s of the year. Kinda like the APMA’s but, you know, without Andy Biersack. I’m just spitballing here.

Anywho, carry on.

The Spill Canvas – “Darkside”

Who had The Spill Canvas reuniting this year on their bingo card? Furthermore, who had them writing badass music on their bingo card? Youtube critic/music commentator SquareWaveSymphonies notes in the comments, “Has a Coheed and Cambria vibe to it at some moments. I dig it, great song” — and he’s right. From the instrumentation to the vocal delivery of Nick Thomas, “Darkside” continues to show that The Spill Canvas is not the same band they were 15 years ago. You’d be crazy to not be paying attention.

Chapel – “First Love

Alright, this one is maybe cheating because it came out almost two weeks ago. But it’s my article and my rules so here we go. Chapel is an alt/pop duo that have been kicking around in music for a few years now, each release and each single improving on the foundation they’ve established for themselves. Their new EP, Room Service, will be released on April 23rd via Rise Records, and continues that impressive pattern. The single, “First Love,” which came out on February 11th is a taste of what’s to come from Chapel: their signature playful-yet-emotive lyrics, soaring pop melodies, and R&B inflected rhythms, synths, and guitars with a twist.

Alexandra Kay – “We Wouldn’t Be Us”

Yeah. Another February 11th one, sue me. Alexandra Kay is a true treat, a reminder that country music is, generally speaking, timeless. I got introduced to Kay a few months ago via her publicist, resulting in my first interview of 2021, and my attention pivoting to keep an eye on the undoubtable success coming Kay’s way. Growing her following through Tik Tok, where she shares what she calls “coffee covers” and her own original tunes, Kay promises to only get better from here. Her throwback sounding country music is a welcomed sound for many folks, and if you’re not one of them — well, I don’t wanna say you’re wrong, but you’re not right, either.

Conan Gray – “Overdrive”

Conan Gray does not need my silly little article to gain him any traction, but this song is simply too good to leave off this list. For Gray, Kid Krow had to have been a bigger success than anyone could have imagined, with both “Maniac” and “Heather” from the album earning platinum certification from the RIAA. As it stands, “Overdrive” is currently a standalone single from Gray — but here’s to hoping many more are to come. Musically, it finds its footing somewhere as a sequel to “Maniac” with slower verses before ripping into a chorus that you can dance around to. I just did it in my office after all.

Sarah Proctor – “The Breaks”

Sometimes you just hear a song that hurts so good, ya know? Sarah Proctor’s “The Breaks” is about as perfectly ambiguously painful as you could want from a slow burning indie song. “Maybe I’ll empty the bottle / Maybe I’ll be okay / I see hope in the shadows / But the tide, it pulls me away” leads into a hauntingly delivered “And if I go down with the devil / well, that would be her mistake” in ways that are hard to explain without you just listening. It’s a song that doesn’t have much background noise, instead letting Proctor carry the song, with some background piano and instrumentation to round it out.