Okay, I’m a day late. Sue me. If it matters, I was a little sick yesterday and that’s kinda just where I was. Trust me, dear reader, you were on my mind all day and so was this Take 5 piece. Don’t believe me? That’s okay, I don’t care.

Anyway, it wasn’t COVID so we’re all good. Negative tests and all. In fact, I’m getting vaccinated this Friday — so, it’s official: hot girl summer is back on. I’ll be participating; but first, I need to get back in shape because a year into quarantine and no summer of 2020 has gotten me feeling and looking some type of way.

Hopefully live music can begin to return by the end of this year, with festivals getting announced left and right, and even some tours to. A lot of new music has been released over the last year that is deserving of a tour in support behind it. Speaking of new music, what an amazing segue, as we dive into five songs released last week that you need to hear. Voila.

Citizen – “Black and Red”

Citizen continue to show that their new record, Life In Your Glass World, is about to take the world by surprise when it’s released later this month, March 26th. The three songs that Citizen has released so far have shown off their evolution, and showcase some of Mat Kerekes’ best songwriting to date. “Black and Red” itself is an absolute blistering alt/rock song from start to finish, capturing the band’s focus on blending propulsive rhythms with anthemic hooks and pounding bass lines. Citizen is far from the same band they were on 2013’s Youth, and that’s perfectly fine with this writer.

The Spins – Lucky Cig

If you’ve found yourself missing Modern Baseball like me, or always looking for new bands like Tigers Jaw (who just put out a great album themselves), look no further than New Jersey’s The Spins. The band is gearing up to release their new album this summer, after hunkering down last year with producer Gary Cioni over a three-week stay at Sound Acres Studios. The Spins look to wear their influences and inspirations on their sleeves, and “Lucky Cig” is no different — showing off their take on the indie/punk genre.

America Part Two – “Officer”

America Part Two is a band that truly has a wide-range of influence, and leans into each one across the entirety of their new album, Price of a Nation (released last Friday via Revival Recordings). I know we say that a lot about bands, but trust me more than ever when I say it about America Part Two. The band pulls in influences from 60’s rock to 90’s grunge to 2000’s emo — if it sounds chaotic, at times it can be, but they walk the line so well. A perfect example of this is album track “Officer,” which features social commentary on the current state of the roles police officers play in society, through the self-deprecating lens of America Part Two.

This Wild Life – “You Swore Your Love Would Burn”

Does anyone right heartbreakingly beautiful songs better than This Wild Life? No. No I do not think so. At the end of 2020, they released “Nothing Hurts Like Love for the First Time” and last week followed it up with the equally painful “You Swore Your Love Would Burn.” Don’t let the Pokemon-inspired music video fool you, “You Swore Your Love Would Burn” still tackles the topic of heartbreak, wishing the person who hurt you to feel what you feel. “You loved me in your bed / Then you left me unmended / You broke into my heart then you kept it” seems to be one that would be on many AIM away statuses if that was still a thing.

FELICITY – “Watermelon Sugar”

By now you’ve most certainly heard the Grammy-award winning Harry Styles’ song, “Watermelon Sugar.” First of all, I want to repeat that: our lord and savior Harry Styles won a fucking Grammy! It’s about damn time. Anyway, in honor of that lovely fact, this week we’re including an alt/rock cover of “Watermelon Sugar,” from Orlando, Florida’s FELICITY. The song was released just last week while the band continue to work on new, original music to put out. While you and I both wait for that, you can check out their wonderful cover of “Watermelon Sugar” and do a shot to celebrate Harry Styles. Because when in doubt, Harry Styles.