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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Introducing Fly the Nest, plus new Soda Blonde, Terra Lightfoot, The Shins, Midnight Oil

Fly the Nest: Borrowed Time

We've just been introduced to Dublin-based singer-songwriter Stephen Cooper and the latest of a string of singles he has released over the past year or so. Splitting his time between Ireland and Denmark, he draws on his experience writing music for films and television to bring a cinematic sweep to his solo project. The name Fly the Nest refers to his travel "and moving on from a previous musical journey to the one he’s currently on," his bio says. On this track, over brass, strings and drums, he sings "about giving life everything you have while you are on this earth, appreciating what you have, and embracing every opportunity."

Soda Blonde: Love Me World

Dublin is also the home of this quartet that hit our New Music Bin last year with its debut single, "Swimming Through the Night." Since then, the group has released two EPs, most recently Isolation Content in May -- and they're back already with this single. It's "a song about acknowledging the darker moments of wanting to be loved by everyone," says lead singer Faye O'Rourke. "The idea of bending to fit the zeitgeist in the pursuit of acceptance and love." You'll hear some of the band's other tracks popping up in our mix as well.

Terra Lightfoot: It's Over Now

This roots rocker from Hamilton, Ont., traveled to Royal Studios in Memphis to record her upcoming album, Consider the Speed, with a cast of premiere session musicians and Grammy-winning producers. Lightfoot says this track "first emerged as a slower, more sombre song about letting go of a failed relationship ... In-studio, it took on a new life as a straight-ahead rock song." FYI Music News writes: "The track begins with a propulsive groove, and Lightfoot’s signature husky voice and virile fretwork hint at an explosion to come. That never quite happens, but the tension created is effective."

The Shins: The Great Divide

Much of the music emerging this year is keyed to current events, either expressing anger and protest or offering encouragement and hope. This single from James Mercer and his band leans toward the hopeful side. Mercer describes it as an epic about longing and love in a broken world. "I guess we wanted to try to provide a bit of warmth and sentiment in hard times.”  

Midnight Oil: First Nation

This Australian band has been tackling social issues since its formation in the late 1970s, most famously with "Beds are Burning" and "Blue Sky Mine." The plight of their continent's aboriginal people has been a frequent theme since "Beds," and Midnight Oil returns to that topic on its first album of new material since 2002, The Makarrata Project. Makarrata translates roughly to reconciliation. "These songs are about recognising that our shared history needs settlement, and that more than ever ... we need to walk together to create a better future," said frontman Peter Garrett. The band collaborated with First Nation artists on the album. 

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