“Brother Cloud” – Eddie Vedder
I wasn’t sure about this whole “EdVed solo album” thing. And then “Long Way” was one of my favorite songs of last year. Still, I held off listening to any of the other advance singles, figuring I would wait until today when the album finally dropped to check them out. Then I heard this last week on Sirius and was, again, pleasantly surprised. This track was inspired both by Ed’s friendship with Chris Cornell and the death of his biological brother. It’s pretty good.

“Static” – Gold Tongue
This band, from London, Ontario, has a cool, mid-90s, post-grunge sound.

“Outlaw Love” – The Districts
The Districts landed on my Favorite Songs of 2020 list with their terrific “Cheap Regrets,” which was apparently a departure from their traditional sound. I’m not sure if this song is going back to that older sound, but I like it, too. There’s a strong hint of Depeche Mode in the song’s opening, but transitions into something much brighter than anything DM ever did, though.

“The Fires” – Blushing
Some very nice Shoegaze from Austin.

“The Freshman” – Mustard Plug
Brother-in-music Sir David V hipped me to this. I thought it might be a cover; I was not expecting it to sound like this.

“Take On Me” – A Ha
I was in the midst of a random music conversation with another brother-in-music, E-bro, last week when he mentioned how he had seen a live performance of this and Morten Harket could still sing. I went searching and found this, a different performance from 2017. Which is absolutely insanely good. I figured Harket was probably a decent singer, but also had some studio help hitting those high notes back in the day. Yet here he is, pushing 40 years later, still nailing them. And still looking fabulous. And making Cougars cry. Something tells me if he’s single, he gets it as often as he wants/needs it. You can read more about this version, and how the original came to be, in this article.