Daniel Romano, from the forthcoming Come Cry With Me (Normaltown); streaming at soundcloud.com/crashave/middle-child
Even if this retro-country weeper wasn't true (which it is), it couldn't be more heartrending. Indeed, George Jones himself would have to shed a tear for the middle child, the only one of the three given away. The big-hatted Ontarian Daniel Romano sets a sad story to a steel-guitar shuffle, sublime in his dreamy way with a bar-stool lament. "Was there something wrong with me, that no one else could see," he sings, full up to the neck in bourbon. "What's the reason only I got turned away?" Heavy question. Heavy song.
Daniel Romano & the Trilliums play Ottawa, Nov. 30; Kingston, Dec. 1; St. Catharines, Ont., Dec. 2; Peterborough, Ont., Dec. 8.
Other essential tracks
Black Mold Grow
Levak, from Look a Little Closer (Lefse); streaming at levek.bandcamp.com/album/look-a-little-closer
Floridian singer-songwriter David Levesque describes his candy-house music as "Mickey Mouse tribal," which really doesn't mean a thing. The track Black Mold Grow is tasty, weird fungus, though, its floating light funk and fantasia laced with delicious bass playing, whistling and vibraphone dreams.
Justin Rutledge, from the forthcoming Valleyheart (Outside); streaming at youtube.com/watch?v=_8c_m_wgxhU&feature=youtu.be
Soft, quiet and graceful music, about the search for something new and real in America – "can you see it, is it made of gold?"
Ke$ha, from Warrior (RCA); streaming at youtube.com/watch?v=BmV2zPXMzdI
"That magic we got nobody can touch." Actually, everybody is touching the let's-pet-and-party-while-we're-still-young trope these days. Pretty standard stuff here. And, really, Ke$ha, you're much too old even at 25 for this kind of kid stuff.
Doom and Gloom (uncensored)
Rolling Stones, featuring Noomi Rapace; streaming at rollingstones.com
The band is featured prominently, but the dynamic video's main attraction is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace. She shoots zombies, she smokes way too much, she flashes, she burns currency, she projectile vomits, she flashes again and she, wait for it, moves like Jagger.