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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dizzy, Selfish Bodies, Kathleen Edwards, Sam Gifford, Sunset Jet featured in our New Music bin

Dizzy: Magician

When your debut album wins the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year (2018's Baby Teeth), you might feel rather daunted. But Dizzy came right back last year with a couple of stand-alone singles, and the early tracks from their upcoming sophomore effort The Sun and Her Scorch indicate Katie Munshaw and the brothers Spencer are only getting stronger. This upbeat song has a sad background: Munshaw said it's about "wanting to magically bring a friend of mine who passed away back to life. ... It's a really emotional song for me but is masked by tricky, pretty production to make it sound almost joyful."

Selfish Bodies: Waitress

We swing out to Edmonton to find this quintet of musicians from across Canada with varying musical backgrounds and interests who came together in 2018 and quickly gelled as a band. CanadianBeats writes: "Their songs are written collaboratively; they’re adamant everyone is listened to and is able to bring their unique ideas to the table. They note their sound has taken more of a pop glaze over time, but still maintains the alt-rock edge they began with." This song about infatuation showcases their self-professed aim to combine "poppy choruses ... [and] driving melodic verses ... with unconventional rhythms to keep things interesting and fun."

Kathleen Edwards: Options Open

After four albums, this singer-songwriter felt the need for a break from the pressure to "keep the ball rolling." So she suspended her music career and opened a coffee shop in Ottawa, dubbing it Quitters. "It allowed me all the time and space I needed to even just enjoy listening to music again. There were so many times where, if I was thinking about my own writing or playing, my heart just wasn’t in it," Edwards says. "I realized I’m entirely in control and deciding what my course of action is.” Now after her eight-year pause, Edwards returns with Total Freedom, expected in August. The refrain of this single sums up her outlook: "For 39 years I've been keeping my options open."

Sam Gifford: Leave With Nothing

This is the second single to spin out ahead of next month's release of Man Made. It's billed as Gifford's debut EP, although we've been playing tracks from his previous project, Sam Gifford and the Innocent, for a couple of years. The London-based guitarist-singer-songwriter has a sound that would fit well in the current rock scene around Nashville or Austin. This track has a leave-it-all-on-the-floor intensity to match its title.

Sunset Jet: Happiness Is a Work of Art

Hailing from the Isle of Man, this group describes itself as "combining indie-rock and Britpop influences with the classic surf-pop of The Beach Boys." That pretty well sums up the sound of this buoyant single, the band's seventh but the first from its current lineup as a trio. Frontman Brad Meechan says this track "is about making sure not to be overly rational about doing what you think will make you happy, because if you try to force happiness it tends to elude you.” Finding ways to create happiness is certainly a noble cause in these stressful times.

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