Another jam-packed playlist to please your ears and your hearts this week.

“Living Proof” – The War on Drugs
Here it is, the first new TWOD song in four years! It does not hit with the same impact that the early songs from A Deeper Understanding hit with in the spring/summer of 2017. But as a side one, track one, this is a beautiful teaser for what’s to come. Music writer Steven Hyden said his advance copy of I Don’t Live Here Anymore is already his most-listened to album of the year and that is is “laden with bangers.” Excellent! I’m counting down the days until it the full album arrives on October 29.

“Dark Kept Secret” – EXUM
I don’t keep up with modern R&B the way I did back in the New Jack Swing era of the late ’80s, early ’90s. But every so often a song bubbles through all the other stuff I listen to and grabs my attention. Here is one. Such a cool sound to this track, not really true R&B but neither is it indie or straight pop. Yet it can appeal to folks who live in any of those spaces. And I had no idea this was former NFL player Antone Exum Jr. He’s an interesting cat.

“Jupiter” – Beachheads
This is just about a perfect summer song. Half of this band is also in a Norweigan metal band. Wouldn’t have ever guessed that!

“Chaeri” – Magdalena Bay
A strong Robyn vibe to this track.

“Seize the Day” – Paul McCartney, Phoebe Bridgers
A few months back Paul McCartney released McCartney III Imagined, in which various artists from his 2020 album McCartney III are reworked by other artists. So of course Phoebe Bridgers just knocked this track out of the park. I just listened to his version. It’s not bad. It might even be pretty good. But Phoebe’s is amazing.

“Knife Fight” – Painted Shield
Painted Shield is kind of a super group. Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard put the group together. On vocals is solo artist Mason Jennings, who sounds a hell of a lot like Spoon’s Britt Daniel on this track. Brittany Davis handles keyboard duties. And on drums is Matt Chamberlain, most famous for being the second of Pearl Jam’s many drummers. This track is funky and fun.

“Cassette” – Swiss Portrait
Another terrific summer song. Obviously I’m influenced by the title, but this makes me think of making mix tapes for some super cute girl in 1988. Or more likely a mix CD in the ’90s since this has a dream pop thing going for it.

“Summertime” – The Sundays
Not everything from the ’90s holds up well. But this sure as shit does.