Today is one of my favourite days of the entire year, the Friday leading into the first summer long weekend. After a cold winter and a cool, and for many, disastrously wet spring, Canadians are possessed by hopeful optimism about what the next four months will bring. This means it’s also time to load up on some new music.

Ben Harper

Give Till It’s Gone (Out now)

Most of Ben’s best records have been released in either the spring or summer, making them great soundtracks for heading camping or the beach. His tenth studio album-which again features his band, The Relentless 7, fits that bill. And yes, that’s Jackson Browne making a guest appearance.


Destroyed (Out now)

Electronica’s favourite bald vegan returns with an album written mostly in hotel rooms in the middle of the night. A chronic insomniac, Moby captures both the peace and loneliness one feels at three in the morning in a strange city. Listening to this album in the daytime doesn’t feel quite right, but in the middle of the night, it makes all the sense in the world.

Lady Gaga

Born This Way (Monday)

OK, so the artwork is among the ugliest the world has seen (Gaga,, morphed into an over-the-top chopper motorcycle), but she’s sold 16 million albums and 20 million downloads, so no one is about to second guess her. Gagamania will continue unabated, especially now that she has GagaVille, her own universe of crystals and unicorns on Facebook.

Thurston Moore

Demolished Thoughts (Tuesday)

The tall dude from Sonic Youth had his fourth proper solo album produced by Beck. It’s dark and brooding yet beautiful. Hey, he used a harpist on this record.

Death Cab for Cutie

S/T (May 31)

Leader Ben Gibbard has been telling anyone who will listen that the band’s seventh album will be “a much less guitar-centric album than we've ever made before” and “more Eno” (as in Brian Eno). Expect to hear a lot of piano and keyboard textures.

Eddie Vedder

Ukulele Songs (May 31)

When you’re one of the most famous singers in the world, you can do whatever you want, including recording a solo album where you play the ukulele. Rumour has it that Eddie originally planned this project as gift to friends and family, but it turned out so well that it’s getting a proper release. Haunting yet very, very pretty.

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