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Saturday, August 26, 2023

The Commotions, The Killers, Paul Rodgers, Citizen Cope, Land of Talk in our New Music bin

The Commotions: Feel The Commotion

This outfit is billed as a "Canadian Soul-Funk collective" and "an all-original Motown-to-Disco era band." It was founded a decade ago by Brian Asselin, who spent six years as part of Motown's Funk Brothers. Today, the band consists of 12 professionally trained jazz musicians, including three lead vocalists and a five-piece horn section. The group calls this first single from Volume III, due in October, "a lesson on letting the rhythm move you."  

The Killers: Your Side of Town

Photo by Anton Corbijn
This new track follows last year's "Boy," suggesting an album may be on the way. Brandon Flowers says "It’s like a collision of a lot of the music that inspired us and influenced us ... I hear Pet Shop Boys, I hear New Order, I hear Depeche Mode. But at the same time, I really do feel like I can take ownership of it. It doesn’t feel like a copy." Alternative Press calls it an ’80s-style synthpop song that "takes a surprising turn when Flowers tries on some vocoder in the chorus."

Paul Rodgers: Take Love

The former lead vocalist of Free, Bad Company and various other bands is about to release Midnight Rose, his first solo album since 2000 and his first on the iconic Sun Records label. He performed this song during his tenure fronting Queen on tour in the early 2000s, but hadn't previously released a studio version.

Citizen Cope: The Victory March

Clarence Gatewood emerges from behind his Citizen Cope nom d'artiste and puts his given name on the cover of his recent EP, from which this is the title track. KUTX writes that the record "closely follows the formulas that made us fall in love with Citizen Cope in the first place, amplified by the heightened discipline and maturity that only come after three decades of mastering one’s craft."

Land of Talk: Your Beautiful Self

Coming in October is Performances, the fifth album from the project headed by Montreal's Lizzie Powell. “It's the weirdest, mightiest little record I've made since I used to write music on my four-track when I was 14,” says Powell. “I needed to make a love letter to my teenage self by being more vulnerable and doing all the production myself.” After a subdued piano opening, this track builds momentum with percussion and guitar. The lyrics tend to the obscure, but seem summed up by this refrain: "Take a deep breath / Let it out /Show the love in."

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Rhiannon Giddens, Great American Canyon Band, Taylor Ashton, Margaret Glaspy, Soda Blonde - Latest in our New Music bin

Rhiannon Giddens: Yet To Be (feat. Jason Isbell)

The new album You're The One is the first consisting of all original music by this Grammy and Pulitzer(!) prize-winning vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. The 11-song collection "goes well beyond her profile as an esteemed folk singer and traditionalist, as it embraces pop, rock, blues, jazz, and gospel," writes Glide Magazine. This track is a story song about two runaways, a Black woman and an Irish man, finding themselves together in search of a better life.

Great American Canyon Band: You Were The One

Matt, Kris, Paul. Photo by Nicola Harger.
We're glad to hear new music from Paul and Kris Masson and their band. Tracks from the duo's 2016 debut, Only You Remain, and 2017's limited-issue EP Westward have been in our big mix since their release. After spending a couple of years on touring and a couple on songwriting, the group faced a couple of years of pandemic delays. Their sophomore LP is finally on its way, with lead guitarist Matt Boyer now a full-time band member. It will include this track, which Paul and Kris describe as "a rare tribute to the profound beauty of 'old love,'" in contrast with the "millions of songs that celebrate 'new love."

Taylor Ashton: Beauty Sleep

Photo by Shervin Lainez
This Canadian transplant in Brooklyn just released Stranger To The Feeling, a collection of folk-style songs composed while traveling all over the continent. No Depression writes: "Hitting the open road carries with it an endless sense of possibility, something captured by the warm acoustic soundscape that Ashton cultivates as well as by his use of evocative lyricism." This is the most upbeat track on the LP, co-written by and featuring backing vocals by Courtney Hartman.

Margaret Glaspy: Get Back

We've been spinning the single "Act Natural," and with the release of the full LP Echo the Diamond, we now pick up track 2. "The process of writing ‘Get Back’ helped lift me out of a dark time in life," Glaspy says. "Now, when I play it live, it seems to re-enact some kind of deep compassion and joy that I’m so grateful for. It is the most fun I’ve ever had on stage.”

Soda Blonde: Midnight Show

Here's the second track to emerge from the Dublin band's Dream Big, due next month. Melodic Mag calls it "a stunningly cinematic power ballad weighing disillusionment with the music industry on one hand, and the unapologetic pursuit of one’s desires to the point of prostituting yourself for success on the other."

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Dan Auerbach, Jenn Grant, Courtney Barnett, Colony House, Blindlove: New music variety

Dan Auerbach: Every Chance I Get (I Want You In the Flesh)

Through his Easy Eye Sound label, Auerbach just released Tell Everybody, a compilation of "21st Century juke-joint blues" featuring various contemporary artists. This is his one solo contribution to the collection, an original song that, as review site Exclaim! puts it, "joins a musical lineage of blues borrowing."

Jenn Grant: Nobody's Fool feat. Aquakulture

We dip back into Champagne Problems, this summer's release on which the singer-songwriter-producer collaborated with other artists from across Canada. This time she's joined by Nova Scotia neighbors Aquakulture as she stretches her sound into retro-soul.

Courtney Barnett: Different Now

This is a cover of a 2017 song by Seattle-based Chastity Belt. Barnett is joined by Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa on drums and synths. Paste magazine writes: "Barnett’s vocals take a subdued, scaled back route, as she morphs the song into an ‘80s pop soundscape." Meanwhile we await Barnett's next album, End of the Day, due next month.

Colony House: Cannonballers

This indie band from Tennessee calls its brand of music "landlocked surf-rock." This song "alludes to the pace of life we all seem to be living at these days - fast," says frontman Caleb Chapman. "When I stumbled upon the guitar riff that drives the song it kinda felt like a rollercoaster ride, so I began to form the lyric around the first rollercoaster I remember riding as a kid, the Wabash Cannonball at Opryland USA Themepark."

Blindlove: Juggernaut

These rockers hail from Salt Lake City and have toured the Mountain West, including opening stints for The Offspring and Blue October. We previously featured their 2020 debut single, "I Wanna Be Okay," which resonated through that year's lockdown days. Singer Brogan Kelby says this new single "is about overcoming obstacles and finding strength to move forward."

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Latest adds in our New Music bin: Middle Kids, Peter Gabriel, Metric, Hannah Georgas, Wilco

Middle Kids: Highlands

A couple of years after the award-winning Today We're The Greatest LP, we're pleased to hear more from this Australian indie-rock trio. Rolling Stone Australia says this single pairs "Hannah Joy’s mildly euphoric vocals with tight instrumentation." Joy draws on her Scottish heritage here by referencing the Highlands, using it as a metaphor for "a euphoric place where I have the space to be me, and you have the space to be you."

Peter Gabriel: Olive Tree

The one-song-each-full-moon release schedule for the new album I/O continues with the August 1 arrival of this upbeat track. Gabriel says there's no particular significance to the song's title, but the theme is connection: "In some ways I do think we are part of everything and we probably have means to connect and communicate with everything that we often shut off."

Metric: Just The Once

It turns out that last year's Formentera album has a Part II on its way this fall. The Toronto indie-rockers preview it with this single that they describe as "regret disco." Says lead singer Emily Haines: "It’s a song for when you need to dance yourself clean. Beneath the sparkling surface, there’s a lyrical exploration of a simple word with many meanings. ... As for doing something only once versus doing something once in a while, well, I think we all know how vast the difference is between the two."

Hannah Georgas: Home

We previously featured "Better Somehow" from the upcoming album I'd Be Lying If I Said I Didn't Care. Now just a couple of weeks from the LP release comes this song, which the Ontario singer-songwriter-producer says is "about dealing with feelings of being lost and unsettled, and comparing that to others who seem to have it figured out."

Wilco: Evicted

Photo by Zoran Orlic
The band has announced its 13th studio album is on the way. This is the first single from Cousin, due late next month. “I’m cousin to the world,” frontman Jeff Tweedy says. “I don’t feel like I’m a blood relation, but maybe I’m a cousin by marriage.” As for this song, he says he wrote it "from the point of view of someone struggling to make an argument for themself in the face of overwhelming evidence that they deserve to be locked out of someone’s heart."