WHAT'S PLAYING / WHAT WE'VE PLAYED on Birch Street Radio

Listen on Online Radio Box! Radio RoksScroll back through today's playlist or check past days

Saturday, July 7, 2018

In our new music bin: Joan Armatrading, Sheryl Crow, Joy Formidable, Conor Gains, Summerteeth

We're very pleased to have new music from Joan Armatrading. Her new album, Not Too Far Away, is filled with well-crafted songs and heartfelt lyrics. The multi-talented Armatrading wrote, produced, played every instrument and programmed the percussion tracks on this, the 21st LP of her long career. The 10 songs touch on various aspects of love and relationships, mostly with a positive outlook. We're featuring the opening track, "I Like It When We're Together," a simple love song with a broader message: "It's a song that I hope will bring people together," Armatrading says. "This is why we are on this planet after all. It's to like being with one another."

At a much earlier stage of a very promising career is Conor Gains, from Cambridge, Ontario. He's been known as a blues guitarist and vocalist, releasing a couple of albums with the Conor Gains Band, but his latest project is as a solo artist exploring a variety of styles including soul, R&B and jazz singing. The result is Compass, released a couple of months ago and brought to our attention by Canadian Beats, which called it "a sultry 10-track rollercoaster ... impeccably put together, varied and wholly unique." Our pick for the New Music bin is a slice of funky fun called "Dance Like It's Your Birthday."

Exploring a variety of styles is what we do all the time at Birch Street Radio. So now we jump to the heavy alternative rock of The Joy Formidable. Since releasing Hitch in 2016, the Welsh trio has been spending a lot of time in Utah and Arizona. The landscapes of the U.S. Southwest led to what lead vocalist Ritzy Bryan describes as "a colourful, mystical collage" of songs for their upcoming album, Aaarth. She describes our featured song, "Dance of the Lotus," as a “nighttime walk in the desert when you’re trying to escape from yourself and the chaos you’ve created.” As for the album title? "It falls somewhere between a scream, an exaltation, a play on words, and then this motif of the bear (“arth” in Welsh) that spiritually represents strength, wisdom and healing.”

Veering in another direction, we pick up a track from the latest release by Toronto trio Summerteeth. Their second EP, Sweet Nothings, unabashedly evokes turn-of-the-century pop-punk in the vein of Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and the like. According to review site Ouch That Hertz, the band's debut EP had a darker, emo tone, while this release has "an air of positivity abounding in resonant, cheery power chords and airy melodic riffs." Our featured track is the breezy "Talk About Anything."

We're a bit late catching up with this one: Sheryl Crow and Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) collaborating on a single called "Wouldn't Want To Be Like You." The lyric is addressed to someone with ill-gotten riches who ends up in an orange jumpsuit. Crow says the song is more broadly "about the climate of truth not being important anymore" - as heard in the refrain: "You tell a lie, you tell a lie, you tell a lie / but that don't make it true."

No comments:

Post a Comment