“Seasick” by The Seahags? A shanty from Cape Breton, no doubt? Hardly. It’s actually some cowpunk from Saskatchewan. No matter — it’s good old rootsy fun regardless.
by Mark Anthony Brennan
There is nothing finer than spending time in the funky confines of the Solstice Cafe on a lovely Victoria summer evening. Nothing, that is, unless you add some terrific music by two of Canada’s classier acts. Continue Reading
The first twenty seconds of “Make Your Own Culture” may leave you thinking you’ve accidentally wandered into a Greek wedding. But no, this is the crazy world of Victoria’s Tower of Dudes. They describe themselves as a gypsy punk accordion rock band. Who am I to argue? It’s zany, lively, irreverent, funny and always entertaining.
If your search history includes ‘Cute Donkey Videos’, then the new Bry Webb video should be of interest to ya. The Constantines‘ frontman released a video for single “Prove Me Wrong” off his solo album Free Will. Instead of the usual ‘lip-sync to your own song’ music video treatment, director Colin Medley chose to include slow moving shots of the animals filmed at Donkey Sanctuary of Canada near Guelph, Ontario. The sanctuary provides a haven for donkeys who have been neglected and abused, and the serene video helps in dignifying these animals even further.
Songs with serious messages restores the notion that music is words by humans for humans. And if there is a music video that furthers the song’s sentimentality, then the message resonates even more. Montreal’s Kandle Osbourne aka Kandle released a stirring video for “Not Up to Me”. The video features the story of a young girl slipping into darkness as she battles emotional and physical abuse. The youthful singer is releasing the video in partnership with Canadian Women’s Foundation. Great to see when artists want to make a difference.
Currently the lads from Half Moon Run are busy working on the follow up to Dark Eyes. In the mean while, you can feast your senses with the video for ‘No More Losing the War’. The haunting clip is directed by Czlowiek Kamera (Polish for camera man). The young Polish filmmaker was also behind the eclectic and playful filled imagery video for ‘Call Me In the Afternoon’. The new video has darker undertones matching the stirring vibe of the song. Prepare to feel feelings!
Recall the last time you got goosebumps? No? Watch the video for ‘The Spell’ and you might remember that feeling. That’s new stuff from B.C’s Evan Konrad, aka Bed of Stars coinciding with the release of his new EP Tell Me If Its True. The soft piano ballad features Konrad’s emotive voice with vulnerable words. The music video is an exceptional compliment to the subtle brilliance of the song. Konrad will be releasing a new single in September and is currently working on a new album to be released early 2015 on Daniel Victor’s (Neverending White Lights) Last Light Records.
For now, tide yourself with a stream of the EP below.
Toronto’s dream-pop outfit The Autumn Stones are working on their new record Escapists. In the mean while, you can enjoy the single ‘End of Faith’. The song features a distinct sax riff, Ciarahn Megahey’s melancholic yet comforting vocals and his cerebral words. (unlock your mind / make friends with time ). The acoustic version features Margot Collins on flute, adding to the soothing vibe of the song. Recommended listen while taking a stroll in a spring evening with a light breeze
Listen to ‘Protégé’ by Heaven for Real. The moniker of twin Grundy brothers from Halifax are premiering the single off their new EP Heaven For Real’s Live Underground. Categorizing this as ‘pop music’ would be an insult, and labelling it indie-rock is laziness. How about we describe their sound as having the simplistic Beatles-esque sensibilities featuring melodic guitar intricacies and 60’s spacey vocals. Make sense? No? Well,then listen to the song yourself and draw your own conclusions. If you like what you hear, check em out in Toronto on May 28 @ Smiling Buddha
Ever caught yourself humming a song after just one listen? And yes, I know you felt bad because you were singing the chorus for “Timber”. Well, set your guilt aside, and check out “Better Alone”, courtesy of Edmonton’s Diamond Mind. The chamber-pop quartet have the Beatles-esque holistic pop soaking in rich harmonies a la Beach Boys. Their songs could be the background score to a glorious sunny day playing a friendly game of beach volleyball. .. yeah summer can’t get here soon enough!
Vancouver’s Real Ponchos are bringing their flavour of Canadiana all across this great country of ours this May and June. The four-piece are independently releasing their full length debut Since I Let You Go on May 6th, and bringing the party to Toronto on May 16. To get a preview of their folk, country and roots concoction, you can stream the track “Outta This Place”. The song has enough twang to please the country folks and grooving melodies to keep the others humming.
Are you saddened by all this snow melting away and sunshine? (YEAH RIGHT!) Fear not you crazy one, The Strumbellas have the solution to bring back the misery of the horrid Canadian winter via music video for “Sailing”. The music video sees the six-piece brave the harshest of the conditions in their quest to find a buried vintage suitcase. I hope the recent Juno win for We Still Move on Dance Floors, their sophomore release, is keeping them warm.
While there is no official statement, hope no one suffered a frostbite in the making of this video.