I know, I know – it’s been a little while since the last column, you’re probably wondering where I’ve been! The answer: catching up on photo editing and writing, petting my dog, and recovering from COVID – I’m on the road to feeling much better now, thankfully, and very excited about the plethora of new music that’s been released in recent weeks. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites to include in this edition of the column, but let it be known – it was not easy narrowing this list down to five.

And on that note, here’s today’s edition of On Repeat…

Lauv – “Love U Like That”

OMGOMGOMG there’s a new Lauv song. (If you’ve been reading Substream for a few years, you’ll know I’ve been a Lauv fan for a while.) Ari never slows down, does he? After releasing his album All 4 Nothing in 2022, “Love U Like That” is his fourth release of 2023 so far. “Love U Like That” takes everything I love about Lauv – but this time, there’s a spin of self-acceptance and true inner happiness. Lauv has announced tour dates for the next few months across Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America (LoveLoud Festival in Salt Lake City, plus shows in Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico).

Yungblud – “Low Life”

I first caught Yungblud when he was Warped Tour a few years back; his spunk and unmatchable attitude have been top of mind ever since. “Lowlife” came up in my inbox recently and I can’t get enough of the song – and its video. The music video shows Yungblud and a younger version of himself strutting around Camden Town in London. Yungblud has recently announced his first-ever headlining shows in Asia; ever the road warrior, it’s likely it won’t be too long before he’s back stateside.

Val Astaire – “Little Animal”

Most of Val Astaire‘s releases have a dreamy, alt/indie-pop sound – but “Little Animal”, which Brian Joyce (Val Astaire) wrote as a letter to his younger self, is for the pop-punk fans out there (any Major League fans reading this one?). His nephew, Tyler, stars opposite him in the black-and-white video. “Little Animal” comes from Val Astaire’s album Everything Good Must Happen Somewhere Else, coming out September 8 and available for pre-order and pre-save now.

The Band Camino – “Save My Life”

Now I’m not normally the type to make assumptions, but… I’d hazard a guess that if you’re reading this column, you love The Band Camino (was I right?). The Nashville trio recently released their new album The Dark; the whole album deserves a listen (or several), but with its hooky gang vocals right from the start, “Save My Life” is my personal favorite track. Catch the band on tour this fall; head to their website for tickets.

Saint Motel – “Fine Wine”

Cascading synths, ethereal harmonies, clever lyrics; it’s hard not to be hooked on Saint Motel’s “Fine Wine.” In a press release about the song (which follows their recent single “Everyone’s A Guru Now”), frontman A/J Jackson says, “Life’s a bottle you keep coming back to, savoring the taste of joy and
heartache, knowing damn well it won’t last, but you keep raisin’ that glass anyway. Embrace the mess,
cause it’s all we got.” And ain’t that something we all ought to keep in mind! Saint Motel will be hitting the road for the second leg of their The Awards Show tour next month – check out the full list of shows on their website.