Weekend Replay: New from All Time Low, Alessia Cara, and Catherine McGrath

A little over a year after the release of their seventh album, Last Young Renegade, pop-punk band All Time Low have released a new single titled “Everything Is Fine.” Deceptively upbeat, it could be read as a commentary on the oversaturation of bad news these days: “Pull the curtains back, I think my neighborhood’s on fire again / The kids are not all right it seems, but at least they went outside this time.” Fittingly, lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth sings the verses in an almost blasé manner, which contrasts nicely with the punchy chorus. Fans of the band might find the track reminiscent of 2012’s Don’t Panic era sound, returning to the dramatic energy so characteristic of the band.

Alessia Cara was seemingly everywhere in 2016 and 2017, between her hits “Scars To Your Beautiful” and “Stay” (with Zedd) and her performance of “How Far I’ll Go” for the Moana soundtrack. Now she’s back with a new single. “Growing Pains” is about that lost feeling that so often comes with brand-new independence and adulthood: “And I guess the bad can get better / Gotta be wrong before it’s right […] But still the growing pains are keeping me up at night.”

Country music fans know not all country artists come from the U.S.: Shania Twain is a Canadian, while Keith Urban is Australia. Add Catherine McGrath to the roster. She’s from Northern Ireland, but it’s impossible to tell from her sound. Following in the country-pop footsteps of the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, and 2008-era Taylor Swift, “Lost In The Middle” embraces the genre, literally. The lyrics talk about being stuck somewhere urban, only to turn on a country song to be swept away in the fantasies of the small-town, simpler life: “They’re singing about a small-town Saturday night / Dancing in the dirt, glitter in the sky / Had my first real kiss all over again / And he’s spinning me around in my little red dress / All I gotta do is put these headphones on.”

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