Week End Wrap Up • 09.19.14

Sept19-2014

BeatRoute features Christine Fellows and her new album/book of poems Burning Daylight: “Winnipeg singer-songwriter and poet Christine Fellows is aiming to bring some light to the far corners of our Canadian culture with her newest project, a song-cycle and book of poetry in collaboration with artist and friend Alicia Smith called Burning Daylight. The project intertwines haunting poetic narratives and evocative songs about the Yukon Gold Rush of yore, as well as its present struggles, all seen through a feminist lens. The idea came to her seemingly out of nowhere when she was in transit with her husband, singer-songwriter John K. Samson.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Exclaim! hosts an exclusive of the new album from Christine FellowsBurning Daylight: “The new record was inspired by Jack London stories and Canada’s sprawling North — beginning when Fellows served as the songwriter-in-residence at the Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon, and spurred on by a trip to Nunavut with the National Film Board. Burning Daylight channels the wild of the Canadian North into refined and sometimes haunting piano-driven folk songs that highlight Fellows’ gorgeous voice. Sure to be a Canadian treasure for some time to come…”

Listen to the album HERE.

NOW Toronto on Christine Fellows‘ Burning Daylight: “Like the Spartan landscape she describes, Fellows’s music is appropriately austere, antique yet avant-garde, and quietly theatrical. Her piano, pump organ, uke and melodeon are backed by a couple of cellists/multi-instrumentalists, plus touches of horn and percussion and lots of backup vocals. There’s a palpable sense of running on ‘Call Of The Wild’ that contrasts with ‘To Build A Fire’’s low, heavy chords and the plaintive beauty of the opening title track.”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Uniter features Christine Fellows and Burning Daylight: “‘I’ve been to lots of poetry readings and I love poetry, but I’ve never put the pen to paper with that idea in mind,’ she says. ‘Something about that workshop led by Jennifer (Still, local poet) just clicked: I put away music completely and just started writing poetry. Every morning I would stumble over to my desk and start writing. It was like a fever and it reminded me of the urgency I felt when I first started writing songs. Writing music is more like piecing together a puzzle while writing poetry seems like a much freer activity and there’s more room to go outside of the lines, which I really enjoy.’”

Read the whole feature HERE.

The Examiner features The Weather Station and her new EP, What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know: “It’s just this little release: I have a full-length I’ve been working on. This is just something to bridge the gap, and we really liked some of the songs and wanted to make this little release. I met some people in North Carolina who said ‘Why don’t you come record with us?’ And I did, and it was really awesome. I couldn’t believe how good it sounded. And I was recording with my friend Dan (who recorded my last record) in his basement, and then I noticed that all these songs kind of went together, and it worked well in the short format. So I put them all together.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Quick Before It Melts on The Weather Station‘s What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know: “Tamara Lindeman has ben busy with All Of It Was Mine producer Daniel Romano and members of Megafaun working on a number of new songs that have found a home on a new, limited edition 12″, 45 rpm EP called What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know. With Romano in his Welland ON studio and Megafaun in North Carolina, Lindeman created a unique, self-contained collection.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Indy Week on The Weather Station‘s What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know: “As The Weather Station, Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman makes placid music about fretful searches—for love, for contentment, for something more stable than the changing chords of a three-minute folk song. If that tension was a ripple on the 2011 LP All of It Was Mine, it’s turned into waves for the forthcoming What Am I Going to Do with Everything I Know?, a transfixing seven-song set due in October.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

BRBR on Coyote‘s Proof of Life: “Ce deuxième effort pourrait très bien se nommer preuve de pop. Il faut le dire, la bande sonore feels good du mois, Coyote le fait à fond, car le groupe originaire de Charlottetown incarne l’exubérance joviale du début de la vingtaine. Allons-y donc avec une sorte d’hommage à ‘All My Friends’ de LCD Soundsystem, entrecoupé d’une power pop rebondissante (‘Proof of Life’) et de tounes pop parfaites, où le facteur danse n’enlève rien à l’intelligence musicale de Coyote (‘Old News’). Mentionnons également au passage les tonalités de guitares huppées de ‘Melody Maker.’ Même la nostalgie des années 2000 coule tout naturellement dans les chants de gang de ‘Future Love.’ Chapeau, la bande semble prête à passer au prochain niveau.”

Read the whole review, en français, HERE.

Vue Weekly features Coyote and their new album Proof of Life: “‘The first EP we did in 2013 was just a collection of ideas, because we needed something to give to people. For Proof of Life we thought about how to approach the songs, stepping back and thinking of a theme or way to tie them together. It turned out that the theme was already there: light-hearted, upbeat, good memory stuff about our last six years. Growing up but still being young, with a few moments of intense darkness thrown in, which is what these years are like, really.’”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Exclaim! hosts an exclusive stream of Cam Smith‘s latest, Cannon: “Halifax hip-hop figure Cam Smith is just about ready to explode, with his new Cannon LP set to go off later this month…The album features Smith detailing decadent, all-week benders spent with sinners on tracks like ‘Turbo,’ driving into hard-hitting dancehall territory on ‘Nonsense,’ and turning up with XXX CLVR on the strip club-set, glamour-grabbing ‘Gold Drapes.’”

Listen to the album HERE.

Americana UK on Bend The River‘s So Long Joan Fontaine: “It’s an ambitious album, yet all seven players get it right. Never veering haphazardly into self-indulgence, they instead nail a groove that makes the album and sound familiar, nostalgic and, importantly, natural. From the opening hook of ‘Jenny and the Night Before’ right through to the closing jaunt of ‘The Echo and The Sway,’ there’s a playfulness woven through the varying emotions and styles. ‘The Hunter in Me’ is particularly good fun, while ‘No One Else to Blame’ is a beautiful slice of sad country. Excellent stuff.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Killer Baby Tomatoes previews “Nineteen, the single from the VKNGS self-titled LP: “Halifax post punk band VKNGS are prepping the release of their first full-length after eight years together, and you can stream the crushing ‘Nineteen’ off the self-titled LP now. ”

Listen to the track HERE.

Exclaim! rolls out details of the debut full-length from Legato Vipers, LV: “Ontario surf rockers Legato Vipers previously worked with Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet’s Don Pyle on an EP, but the group are now preparing to take their first full-length leap. LV is due out on October 7. The album was captured live-to-tape at Guelph’s Boogie Barn with engineer/mixer Harri Palm. The 13 songs were performed by the lineup of guitarists Mike Brooks (Bry Webb & the Providers, Gregory Pepper & His Problems) and Jordan Howard (the Skeletones Four, Jim Guthrie Band), bassist Tyler Belluz (Del Bel, Chrome & the Ice Queen), and drummer Jay Anderson (Biblical, Maylee Todd, Sandro Perri Band).”

Read the whole piece HERE.

NOW Toronto previews the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival in their Fall Music Guide: “The good folks behind Bloor Ossington Folk Festival have done it again: three days of free music in and around Christie Pitts while it’s still nice enough to sit on the grass. The neighbourhood festival’s fourth-year lineup includes Julie Doiron and the Wrong Guys, Brendan Canning, AroarA, Fiver, Eamon McGrath, Shotgun Jimmie, Baby Eagle and many others.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Silent Shout on Double Tooth‘s “You Should Buy Myself A Drink”: “It’s all a very cool journey through 60’s Nigerian afrobeat with interestingly cinematic twists of jazz, space-rock and modern music. The brand new project is composed of Robbie Grunwald (Fender Rhodes, Micromoog, Roland Juno 8, bass, guitar, glockenspiel, congas, hand claps)  and Joshua Van Tassel (drums, congas, shakers, misc percussion, glockenspiel, hand claps, psycedelics).  What we really fell in love with were the simply sweet analog synth lines scattered throughout.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Finally, here is a re-cap of some of our clients that have hit the earshot! charts over the past week:

Top 50 National Weekly Charts:
#46
 – Vogue Dots – Toska

Week End Wrap Up • 09.12.14

Sept5

Exclaim! on Slow LeavesBeauty Is So Common: “The mellow quality of Davidson’s voice has drawn comparisons to the likes of Doug Paisley and JJ Cale, while the overall sound of the record brings to mind the California country-folk singer/songwriter albums of the early ’70s (he would have been a fitting inmate on that era’s Asylum label). There is just enough variety in the tempos and tones of the songs here to maintain your interest, allowing the material’s subtle strengths to win you over. This is an album of uncommon beauty.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Digital Journal on Slow Leaves‘ Beauty Is So Common: “Beauty is So Common definitely takes things to another level. A lot of emotion comes through in the lyrics and performance. But what really stands out is Davidson’s voice. To me, this has always been his strongest asset. Deep and rich with just a hint of vibrato, there is a sense of familiarity that just draws the listener in. There is an intimacy created here.The songs themselves range from quiet ballads to faster tempo upbeat songs, some with a bit of quirk, but all fall within the folk/alt-country spectrum.”

Read the whole review HERE.

New Canadian Music on Slow Leaves‘ Beauty Is So Common: “…hits one out of the park with new album Beauty Is So Common. He wrote all the well-crafted material, and sings it in a warm relaxed style that has been compared to Doug Paisley. The sound suggests the best California folk-rock of the ’70s. One beautiful album. Let’s hope for live dates soon.”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Gazette on Slow Leaves‘ Beauty Is So Common: “The album showcases the natural beauty of Slow Leaves poetic lyrics, accompanied by a melodic Americana folk instrumental with pop style harmonies. Every track sounds unique. The final product is comparable to other Canadian folk artists such as City in Colour and Great Lake Swimmers. Tracks range from more upbeat country tinged tracks like ‘Life of a Better Man,’ to easygoing and subtle melodies, such as ‘Institution.’ Slow Leaves provides a collection of polished and well written ear candy.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Dusty Organ on Cam Smith‘s “Mad Crack” video: “Haligonian Cam Smith has released his second single from his upcoming album Cannon, set to be released October 1st. ‘Mad Crack’ is a top-notch track showing Smith is a force to be reckoned with - but the music video is on an entirely different level. Check it out in full screen if you dare.”

Read more HERE.

Hip Hop Canada makes Cam Smith‘s “Mad Crack” their Song of the Day: “Dave Hung directs the new visuals from Dartmouth’s own Cam Smith. The gore-filled ‘Mad Crack’ pays tribute to the ’80s horror film, Street Trash. This video is a follow up to Smith’s recent video drop for his lead single ‘Turbo’ featuring xxx clvr. Both songs are featured on his long-awaited upcoming album, Cannon, which is set for release September 30. Cuts were provided by award-winning DJ Plaeboi and the song was mixed/mastered by Corey LeRue.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Exclaim! rolls out details of the debut full-length from VKNGS: “Long-running Halifax unit VKNGS have been grinding it out onstage and on short-format releases for close to eight years, but the band have now finally unveiled plans for a proper full-length. Their self-titled debut album arrives on LP September 16 through Noyes/Acadian Embassy. Like their three-song 12-inch from 2007, the record appears on clear vinyl and comes in a see-through plastic sleeve. Included are nine numbers that were recorded between 2008 and 2011, with a mastering job from Ron Bates completed in 2013.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

The Coast hosts an exclusive stream of the self-titled VKNGS full-length: “It took eight years, but it’ll cause about eight years of eardrum damage in one go—so don’t fret, VKNGS didn’t forget about your post-hardcore needs all these years. The debut full-length will be released Tuesday, September 16 by both Noyes Records and Acadian Embassy on clear vinyl. Inside the vinyl will be fine, angular, very noisy and sludgy beauty from a band comprised of members of North of America, The Holy Shroud, Union of the Snake, Jon Mckiel, Jimmy Swift Band, Adrenaline and Gorbage.”

Listen to the entire album HERE.

One Chord To Another previews The Weather Station‘s upcoming What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know: “Today one of my favourite labels You’ve Changed Records announced that they will release a new The Weather Station EP in October. What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know is a limited edition 6 song 45 RPM 12″ EP (also digital). I’m really looking forward to this one, because her earlier releases All Of It Was Mine and the Duets series are both so amazing. ”

Read the whole piece HERE.

The London Free Press previews a Fearing & White tour stop in London, ON: “Fearing & White, which teams Canadian folk star Stephen Fearing and Belfast-tied singer-songwriter Andy White, plays Aeolian Hall on Saturday. Fearing also plays with Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, while White has collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sinead O’Connor, and Neil and Tim Finn. They’ll be joined on Saturday by drummer Gary Craig. The band is touring in support Fearing & White’s new album Tea And Confidences.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

One Chord To Another previews Community Theatre‘s Northern Register: “…there’s indeed a collaboration album coming from some of my biggest Canadian heroes. Community Theatre will include Mathias Kom (the Burning Hell), Kyle Cashen (Old Time Machine), Chris Adeney (Wax Mannequin), Michael Feuerstack (formerly known as Snailhouse), Steve Lambke (Baby Eagle), Ian Kehoe (Marine Dreams), Jim Kilpatrick (Shotgun Jimmie), Richard Laviolette, and Colleen Collins and David Trenaman (Construction & Destruction). That’s almost a dream-like line-up and I can’t wait to hear the album when it arrives.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

BRBR on Coyote‘s Proof of Life: “Si le groupe roule sa bosse sur la Côte Est canadienne depuis 2010, Proof Of Life marque un tournant pour la bande, réputée pour la solidité de sa pop en spectacle…Les membres du groupe affirment que si le concept de proof of lifedemeure objectif, il sert de synthèse de l’esprit qui habite l’exubérance de Coyote, autant dans ses hameçons que dans les textes. Coyote carbure au moment présent, comme en témoigne sa quête depreuves de vie. C’est dans ce contexte que le groupe aura l’occasion de savourer leur première tournée nationale, une réalité qui semblait impossible il y a six mois.”

Read the whole feature, en français, HERE.

Finally, here is a re-cap of some of our clients that have hit the earshot! charts over the past week:

Top 50 National Weekly Charts:
#48
 – Jon McKiel – Jon McKiel

Top 10 National Folk/Roots/Blues Charts:
#10
 – Graham Nicholas – Sometimes Chicken, Sometimes Feathers

Top 200 National Monthly Charts for July 2014:
#25
 – Vogue Dots – Toska
#33 – Kuato - The Great Upheaval
#63 – Nap Eyes - Whine of the Mystic
#67 – Jon McKiel - Jon McKiel
#188 – José Contreras – José Contreras

Week End Wrap Up • 09.05.14

Sept5

Exclaim! hosts an exclusive stream of the new album from Slow Leaves, Beauty Is So Common: “The record combines Davidson’s knack for storytelling with his heartfelt vocals. There’s an alt-country twang to what he does, with his music described as ‘deeply rooted in the genuine and honest, rich in melody and sung from the heart of downtown.’ Impressed by the production on fellow Winnipeggers Imaginary Cities’ debut record, Davidson got in touch with the duo’s Rusty Matyas and Beauty Is So Common is the result of that collaboration.”

Listen to the album HERE.

The Winnipeg Free Press on Slow Leaves‘ Beauty Is So Common: “Beauty Is So Common, which will be fêted with a CD release party at the West End Cultural Centre on Sept. 6, is most certainly a contribution. It’s a gorgeously rendered, hyper-melodic folk album that shimmers with pure-pop production, Davidson’s rich vocal timbre anchoring those affecting cinematic sweeps and swells.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Metro Winnipeg on Slow Leaves‘ Beauty Is So Common: “Beauty Is So Common sees Davidson taking a chance, adding pop harmonies and arrangements to his folk and country sound…Helping Davidson shine up his hard-luck sound was producer Rusty Matyas of Winnipeg indie-pop band Imaginary Cities and Saskatoon rock group The Sheepdogs. ‘I think we struck a good balance,’ Davidson says. ‘I was definitely cautious to go too far into a sparkly kind of pop production, you know, heavy synths or electronic beats. I definitely wasn’t going into that territory. I felt like my songs were strengthened (by working with Matyas) and I didn’t lose ownership of them by any means.’”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Scruffy The Yak on Slow LeavesBeauty Is So Common: “Winnipeg’s Slow Leaves (Grant Davidson) are (is) releasing a brand-spankin’ new album entitled Beauty Is So Common on September 6 at the West End Cultural Centre. Beauty Is So Common should park Slow Leaves in the same field as singer-songwriters such as Ron Sexsmith and Scott Nolan, fellas that somehow manage to create fresh songs that already sound classic, gimmick-free and devoid of any need to be pigeon-holed into genres such as alt-country. Is it folk? Is it pop? Country? Who cares?”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Uniter features Slow LeavesBeauty Is So Common: “Grant Davidson, now known to Winnipeg folk music fans as Slow Leaves, stopped playing music only as a hobby while working at his newest album Beauty Is So Common. ‘Part of making the record I always wanted to make came from the fact that I just really wanted to take music more seriously,’ says 34-year-old Davidson. ‘Previously I made music while working a day job, but this time the big difference was I quit my job and just decided to take that risk. It really forced me to put much more of my focus on making music and actually trying to build a career out of it.’”

Read the whole piece HERE.

CBC Music includes Slow LeavesBeauty Is So Common in their list of ’15 albums you need to hear in September.’ See the whole list HERE.

The Cadre on Slow Leaves‘ Beauty Is So Common: “I was excited to get back to The Cadre this year and start writing and reviewing again, but much of what was waiting for me in the office left a lot to be desired or was just a bit too strange. So when I popped Beauty is So Common into my laptop, I was pleasantly surprised. Beauty is So Common is the latest album from Slow Leaves, which is the recording alias for Winnipegger Grant Davidson. The singer-songwriter partnered with producer Rusty Matyas on this album after expressing admiration for his previous work with Imaginary Cities. The result is ten very strong tracks.”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Chronicle Herald features Nova Scotia Music Week: “Over 100 acts will perform at eight venues around the town during the four-day event. Instead of a gala awards celebration, Long said organizers opted for a big-name concert at the Rath East Link Community Centre featuring Blue Rodeo.For Truro, the event, expected to draw 5,000 visitors to performances, is about more than celebrating Nova Scotia musicians. It’s good business for the downtown core. ‘We are starting to change our attitudes about what should, can and must be done to continue to grow this area,’ Truro Mayor Bill Mills said Tuesday of the importance culture can play to the local economy.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Music Nova Scotia Executive Director Scott Long stops by Global Morning Halifax to talk about Nova Scotia Music Week. Watch the interview below:

Exclaim! previews the latest release from Graham NicholasSometimes Chicken, Sometimes Feathers: “Some days you get chicken, some days it’s feathers, but on September 30 it will be Sometimes Chicken, Sometimes Feathers. That’s the name of the new album from Ontario songwriter Graham Nicholas. The album was recorded at London, ON’s Sugar Shack Studios with returning producer Aaron Comeau (Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs, Dear Sister), who also helmed last year’s Ruby, and Other Bedtime Stories EP.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

The Permanent Rain Press previews “Wandering Angel” by Graham Nicholas: “Graham Nicholas has released ‘Wandering Angel,’ the first single off his upcoming debut album, Sometimes Chicken, Sometimes Feathers. The full-length will be released September 30th, and will find the country artist “honing in on his concise form of storytelling and refining his irreverent sense of humor.”

Listen to the track HERE.

Exclaim! on the latest from The Weather Station, What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know: “Following last year’s duet series, the Weather Station (a.k.a. Toronto folkie Tamara Lindeman) has announced plans to issue an EP this fall and a new full-length in 2015. Up first will be the six-song mini-release What Am I Going to Do with Everything I Know, which arrives through You’ve Changed Records on October 14…The limited-edition 12-inch release presents interconnected songs on each side, with the first trio of tracks acting as ‘a meditation on knowledge,’ and the flipside being ‘a love story in three parts.’”

Read all the details HERE.

Wondering Sound on “What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know” by The Weather Station: “It’s been three years since Tamara Lindeman (aka the Weather Station) released All of It Was Mine, a stunning collection of spare, timeless folksongs. Her new track ‘What Am I Going to Do (With Everything I Know),’ off a forthcoming EP of the same name, sounds like a more collaborative effort, with rich backing vocals and expanded instrumentation. The percussionless song starts with delicately fingerpicked acoustic guitar, and swells with a soft bass line and lap-steel guitar.”

Read the whole preview HERE.

Canuckistan Music on Slight Birching‘s Cultural Envelope: “The Vancouver-based singer-songwriter trades in the same sort of lo-fi folk that made Bill Callahan’s work as Smog so compelling, which is to say sparse, off-kilter songs that wallow in that beautiful sadness…Some of his songs are dismally minimal, almost like roughed-out demos, which I suppose was the effect Ramsay was looking for. But it’s the subtler touches, like the shimmering synthesizers that augment a song like ‘Beacon Hill’ or the jarring intro to ‘Autodidact’, that take the record beyond your standard stoner folk.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Noisey premieres Cam Smith‘s “Mad Crack” video: “‘Mad Crack’ pays homage to 1987 melt-movie Street Trash, with visual allusions to the Tenafly Viper wine that turns thirsty junkyard hobos into gruesome ooze. It’s a badass cult-horror flick that informs the apocalyptic aesthetics of Cam Smith’s neon crack house. But it’s not just any crack; it’s Cam Smith’s mad crack and it liquefies his rap competition. Best be careful when you’re buying shit in back alleys.”

Read the whole piece HERE and watch the video below.

Exclaim! hosts an exclusive stream of the new Coyote EP, Proof of Life: “Opener ‘Your House’ begins with a piano figure reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All Your Friends’ before swelling to a surging rock climax. Elsewhere on Proof of Life, there’s a hint of funk to the palm-muted guitar licks on the dance-rock grooves of ‘Old News,’ while the title track is the most urgently upbeat song here, and closing cut ‘Toothache’ is delivered with quiet restraint before swelling to a cinematic (yet still fairly restrained) finale.”

Listen to the album HERE.

The Uniter on the debut solo album from José Contreras: “The record is endearing and haunting, light on instruments and heavy on the heartstrings. Contreras doesn’t rely on heavy production or a wide array of instruments, instead layering vocals over his own guitar and piano playing. By Divine Right fans will recognize all of the songs from their previous records, but Contreras reworks these pieces without a band to back him up.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Silent Shout on the new single from Vogue Dots, “Way Out” : “Another gem has washed up on the East Coast shoreline thanks to Vogue Dots. This time around they’ve gone a bit darker. A shoegazey wall of sound meets their usual left-field pop with “Way Out,” a single released on the amazing Cascine label. The track starts out as a sort of exotic noisy jungle island filled with echoed bird noises which reminds us of Southern Shores (also on Cascine). Then a warm wall of sound hits us like a ton of feathers: loud, distorted and fluffy. The only problem with the song is it just ends too soon.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Week End Wrap Up • 08.22.14

July11-2014

Ground Control Magazine on José Contreras‘ self-titled solo album: “That sense of intimacy, grace, candor and elegance is perfectly self-evident from the moment ‘Listen To My Angels’ opens the album. Listeners won’t be able to deny that a certain trepidation starts to overtake them as Contreras’ acoustic guitar slithers in and establishes itself darkly, in much the same way Tommy Tedesco’s did on his performance of ‘Suicide Is Painless.’ There too, Contreras keeps up the worried, even fragile, tone in his vocal performance which almost seems to quiver with fear. In spite of all these potentially off-putting elements though, listeners will find it impossible to turn away; the song just oozes catharsis and aches to be heard, so of course those who begin with the album will continue on with it.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Exclaim! on José Contreras‘ video for “Past The Stars, a track from his new self-titled solo album: “Last year, By Divine Right released a music video for their song ‘Past the Stars,’ and now that frontman José Contreras has recorded a stripped down version of the same tune for his solo album, it has gotten another music video. Like the original video, this is a bitty of a trippy affair with layered faces and backlit silhouettes. This time around, however, Contreras appears alone while shadowy black and white camera work complements the nocturnal atmospheric of the balladic reworking.”

Read the whole piece and watch the video HERE.

Exclaim! on “Way Out, the latest single from Vogue Dots: “Halifax duo Vogue Dots recorded their new single in an island cottage, although ‘Way Out’ and ‘Thunder’ don’t feature the rustic palette you might expect to emerge from these surroundings. The brisk ‘Way Out’ is anchored by a dreamily danceable drum machine loop, and this is overlaid with abstract textures and buried, breathy vocals.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Razmataz Magazine on “Way Out, the latest single from Vogue Dots: “The song is a mish-mash of electro-dreamy sound. Soft blinking beeps fade into an orchestral synth tone before empty droplets pull you in. At that point, the track explodes and soft, husky vocals take over as the music melts together, though each part still somehow manages to stand separate.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Ride The Tempo on Slight Birching‘s Cultural Envelope: “…if you give it a few spins you come to appreciate its subtle beauty. You begin to discern texture in those extended passages of synthesizer music, and realize that they are being used in the same way that an artist uses space on his canvas, i.e. to provide a contextual framework for the areas of more detail (the track ‘Perplexion/Perception’ is a prime example). These areas of detail can range from simple brush-strokes (the afore-mentioned guitar noodling) to patterns of complexity (lyrically) that you may never be able to unravel but whose form you can admire nevertheless.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Ottawa Citizen features Constantines: “Four years is not too long for a band to take a break, but for the devoted fans of Toronto-based rockers Constantines, the hiatus was an eternity. To them, a Cons live show is a quasi-religious experience. Those fans were over the moon to hear the news the quintet has reunited this summer for a series of concerts, including a headlining show in Ottawa at the third annual Arboretum Festival on Aug. 23.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

The Coast features Kuato and their latest album, The Great Upheaval: “Released in June, The Great Upheaval is a carefully constructed concept album drawing from the culture and heritage of the Acadian members of the band. Both from Yarmouth, Pothier and guitarist Mike D’Eon approached the communal songwriting process with intense themes. ‘We wanted to present Acadian culture in a way that hadn’t been done before,’ Pothier explains. ‘I mean, I grew up with that stuff and it’s always fiddles pounding and very traditional paintings, stories, narrative poems and strictly folkloric kinds of art. But for me it was like, how can I feel like I’m contributing to my culture but at the same time fulfill my creative goals?’”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Secret East re-caps SappyFest 9: “The tent was a madhouse during the Constantines. People yelling the lyrics, crowd surfing with reckless abandon, smiles on every face. Did they play your favourite song? Probably. This was an epic set in both scope and duration. I would have loved to hear ‘National Hum’ but with a band like this, with four near perfect records to pick songs from you celebrate the moment and do not get bogged down in what is not there. It was a triumphant set.”

PennyBlackMusic on Bend The River‘s So Long Joan Fontaine: “The album is littered with yarns spun about various characters and their various mishaps and fortunes. From the upbeat ‘Jenny and the Night Before’ to the brooding and lovelorn ‘Assassins’ pretty much all genres and emotions are touched upon to make ‘So Long Joan Fontaine’ a well-rounded affair. There are moments that sound like a homely Lynyrd Skynyrd, particularly on ‘The Hunter in Me,’ but also some songs such as ‘This Heart Of Mine’ and ‘We Still Don’t Know’ give off a Ben Harper reggae-meets-Americana vibe which as it goes it a fairly good combination.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Mike Campbell, creative director of the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, stops by Global Morning Halifax for a chat about the downtown-Halifax fest, which kicks off this weekend. Watch the interview below:

Finally, here is a re-cap of some of our clients that have hit the earshot! charts over the past week:

Top 50 National Weekly Charts:
#38
 – Jon McKiel – Jon McKiel

Week End Wrap Up • 08.15.14

Aug15-2014

Exclaim! on Slight Birching‘s Cultural Envelope: “Cultural Envelope, a nod to Northrop Frye’s notion of how humans separate themselves from nature, is dominated by low bass and synth drone lines, topped by finger-style guitar and Ramsay’s earnest, lower-register vocals. At moments, this album conjures Nick Drake’s beautiful sadness, and at others, Beck at his most pensive (Sea ChangeMorning Phase). The eerie ‘Get Up In The Morning And Fight’ could be the theme song for a spooky carnival clown, while ‘Eventually’ feels like a fairy tale processional. Near the end of the album, the title track features Joseph Hirabayashi on beautiful interwoven trumpet lines.”

Read the whole review HERE.

New Canadian Music on Slight Birching‘s Cultural Envelope: “On the new album Cultural Envelope, [Sean Travis Ramsey] stretches the envelope stylistically, adding fascinating aural atmospherics to his philosophically-inclined folk-inflected material. The artist explains that the album addresses ‘humanity’s fascination with creating complex structures, systems, and beliefs that separate us from nature.’ The record appeals to both the intellect and the heart, a powerful combination.”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Permanent Rain Press previews Slight Birching‘s video for “Currency” from Cultural Envelope. Watch the video HERE.

The MusicNerd Chronicles features Kuato and their new album, The Great Upheaval: “It is probably no coincidence that the first full-length effort from Halifax post-rock quintet Kuato is dubbed The Great Upheaval. A seven-song record that recalls Do Make Say Think among others, the album’s title serves as a reference to the Acadian expulsion of the 1700’s. Accordingly however, Kuato treat their listeners to emotive songs that, although instrumental, manage to still speak powerful testaments.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Replicant Ears reviews a Kuato tour stop in Toronto: “Here’s the straight-up deal: Kuato was the closest thing to perfection I have ever witnessed live…Kuato have painstakingly crafted such wonderful compositions that, although there are three very capable guitarists, one bass player, and one drummer, are as far away from showboating as is humanly possible. The album is recreated live almost flawlessly, with each player adding to the whole in an equal manner, weaving together an intricate and complex performance that somehow manages not to talk down to or even lose its audience for one second.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Verb Magazine speaks to Wax Mannequin about his new project, Singular Songs: “I started making candles awhile back, as a merchandising idea. These self-portrait candles. And then I figured I could put stuff inside the candles, like prizes. I ended up putting my discography, all of my records, on one piece of machine memory inside the candle. I kind of liked how inaccessible the music was, that it was a sculpture that needed to be destroyed to get the tunes out. I wanted to push that concept further. I thought, ‘What if I did individual tunes?’ I guess the natural result was the idea of one song inside one candle. A song that doesn’t exist anywhere else. A song where I delete the raw mix, the raw tracks on my end, so it exists as only one copy.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Southern Souls on the debut, self-titled José Contreras solo album: “There are seven elements in modern music, these elements make up the vast compositions we hear every day. Every artist or band tends to choose one that makes them who they are, something that defines them. The Talking Heads used rhythm to their advantage and a group like Godspeed! You Black Emperor, use dynamics as a backbone to their atmospheric cacophony of noise. José Contreras has chosen melody. His melodies are what makes By Divine Right a principal of Canadian indie rock. José uses melody to project his lyrics of love and spirituality.  José’s new self titled record focuses on those lyrics by cutting away the crunching Fender Jaguar riffs and straight ahead rock drums and gives us what he is so good at, melody.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Noisey recaps SappyFest 9: “With the three main venues — a tented main stage on the closed off Bridge Street, the stately if slightly under-ventilated Vogue Theatre (a poster outside the cinema’s current lone nightly screening, Hercules starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and Sackville’s Royal Canadian Legion — in a block and a half radius from each other, making it easy to leisurely navigate between shows. Besides the music, there were poetry readings, late night karaoke (surprisingly light on Sloan songs, but a passionate rendition of The Bangles’ ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ united the room), local vendors selling food, clothes and artwork, a daily journal The Sappy Times, and a D.I.Y. mail service straight out of a Wes Anderson film. Sappyfest also took all the things that suck about summer music festivals — overzealous security, overpriced beer and disgusting washroom facilities — and replaced them with friendly volunteers, delicious $5 craft brews, and not entirely disgusting port-a-potties.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Ride The Tempo on Vogue DotsToska: “Vogue Dots are meticulous in their production, leaving not one note wasted or out of place. Listening to their EP is such a rich and satisfying experience that you want to scream in frustration when it ends all too quickly. This is essentially indie folk set to dreamy electronica. The duo weave complex tapestries of clever instrumentation, while Hayward’s ethereal voice hangs in the air like a wispy cloud. From the throbbing, danceable beats of ‘Skinny Thing’ to the gorgeous atmospherics of ‘Mercy’ this is one of the best collection of songs you’ll hear all year.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Adobe and Teardrops on Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State‘s Late At Night: “Alanna Gurr’s voice is immediately arresting. Pair that with the laidback, folk-inspired indie rock and you’ve got yourself some truly hypnotic music. Late at Night is frighteningly easy to get lost in…Gurr’s warmth will keep calling you back.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Finally, here is a re-cap of some of our clients that have hit the earshot! charts over the past week:

Top 50 National Weekly Charts:
#24
 – Vogue Dots – Toska

Week-End Wrap Up • 08.08.14

July25

NOW Magazine on Kuato‘s The Great Upheaval: “The Halifax five-piece excel at moody drama, inventing sonic landscapes that wax and wane, surge and settle…The album works well as one long set piece, as several songs run straight into one another. But arresting moments break things up and prevent The Great Upheaval from becoming background listening. Groundwork features stunning, bombastic drumming, while the title track gets deliciously heavy in a violent, sludgy, satisfying way.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Killer Baby Tomatoes interviews Kuato about their debut full-length, The Great Upheaval: “When Halifax doomey post rock five-piece Kuato were looking for inspiration for their debut LP, it only made sense to draw from their surroundings. ‘We’re a dark band, and this is super dark history, it’s something that’s around us all the time. It’s in the soil, it’s in the air, it’s just part of the energy [here],’ says drummer Josh Pothier, who grew up going to Acadian schools in Nova Scotia.”

Read the whole interview HERE.

The Kingston Whig Standard features Kuato and their new album The Great Upheaval: “The title refers to the British expulsion of Acadians — some of them were sent south to Louisiana — during the mid-1700s. Thousands of them perished. The theme gave the record a visual element from which to draw, [Josh] Pothier explained. ‘It’s visceral music so you can’t say it’s about anything, but the music is really dark, so we wanted to draw from something that was kind of dark,’ he said over the phone from his home in Halifax.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

CBC‘s Bob Mersereau on Bend The River‘s So Long Joan Fontaine: “The songs are recorded live off the studio floor, and sound organic and a bit old-fashioned, roots-rock in the spirit of The Band. By sticking to the real deal, Bend The River stay happily, purposefully, away from the mainstream, away from today too. Swamping vocals with singers Norma MacDonald and Becky Siamon, Sarkar gives us a full story to enjoy, with different scenes, feeling very much like something from the recent past. Like a film, then.”

Read the whole review HERE.

The MusicNerd Chronicles on Bend The River‘s So Long Joan Fontaine: “Owing a debt to greats like The Band, Halifax’s Bend The River wears the influences of rock, roots and country on their sleeves yet manage to craft something completely authentic. Then again, that was precisely what made The Band so great – their refusal to be categorized into one specific genre. It takes a certain kind of band to be able to pull off blurring those lines; Bend The River is indeed one of those groups. A stunning sophomore record from one of Atlantic Canada’s best up-and-coming bands.”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Alternate Root on Bend The River‘s “No One Else To Blame” from So Long Joan Fontaine: “Film and music meet on the cover of the most recent Bend The River album, So Long Joan Fontaine. I am not sure if the track that gets the band into the Top 10, “No One Else to Blame,” is about a film. What it does accomplish is to structure a pretty amazing roots tune that successfully lives in the world of pop without needing to compromise itself.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Noisey features an interview with Shotgun & Jaybird ahead of their SappyFest appearance: “One of the most endearing bands in the history of Canadian music, Shotgun and Jaybird, were a force to be reckoned with in the early 2000s. The celebrated group, formed around the hilarious and vibrant duo of Jim ‘Shotgun Jimmie’ Kilpatrick and Fred Squire (alias Dick Morello) churned out just as many wide smiles as they did infectious, jangly pop tunes in their time. They played an integral role in putting Sackville, New Brunswick back on the map musically, and ushered in a whole new generation of scrappy, jangly, fun-loving East Coast indie rock. After charming the pants off of audiences from Dawson City to Halifax for years, the band laid their wildly entertaining brand of messy, bed-head Canadian rock to rest in 2007.”

Read the whole interview HERE.

BRRB recaps SappyFest 9: “C’est long et plate, la Transcanadienne. Les arbres et les villages se succèdent, traversés par la très grande majorité des tentes-roulottes du Canada, en route vers les campings de la côte Est. Les speakers du char grondent à l’écoute de ‘Today, More Than Any Other Day d’Ought.’ Le band nous rappelle que « Everything is going to be ok ». Ben kin! J’ai hâte de serrer dans mes bras les amis à qui j’ai dit au revoir l’an dernier, pis de revoir la Bridge Street, habillée de ses grosses tentes blanches.”

Read the whole piece, en français, HERE.

Quill & Quire premieres “Call of the Wild, the debut single from Christine Fellows‘ Burning Daylight: “In 2011, Winnipeg musician Christine Fellows travelled through the Yukon as Dawson City Music Festival’s songwriter-in-residence. The experience inspired Burning Daylight, a full-length album and poetry collection, both to be published by ARP Books in September. Q&Q spoke to Fellows, who is an adjunct creative-writing instructor at the University of British Columbia, about the project.”

Read the interview, and hear the song, HERE.

Quick Before It Melts premieres “Nostalgia, the lead single from Slow LeavesBeauty Is So Common: “There is such a thing as ‘urban folk,’ and Winnipeg’s Slow Leaves evokes a homespun, storytelling sound that comes from the heart of downtown. ‘Nostalgia’ is the first single from the new record, and premieres in today’s post. It’s leisurely, easy melody feels like an instant classic.  Punctuated by bursts of horn and Davidson’s velvety falsetto, ‘Nostalgia’ is a dream of a song, a sliver of memory that triggers a flood of emotions and recollections.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Exclaim! hosts an exclusive stream of the new album from Slight Birching, Cultural Envelope: “The collection’s 11 songs bend acoustic music into strange, atmospheric directions. Opener ‘Autodidact’ begins with swaths of distortion, which suddenly melt away as the song turns into a stripped-down rock groove. This proves to be a trend throughout the album, as straightforward, rootsy passages drift in and out of focus while making room for spooky drones and bleak sci-fi tones. The album is said to be inspired by ‘humanity’s fascination with creating complex structures, systems, and beliefs that separate us from nature.’”

Listen to the album HERE.

Sound Vat on the video for Vogue Dots“Skinny Thing” from their debut EP, Toska: “Halifax duo combine ambient electronic music with well-crafted melodies and lush vocals for a beautifully layered sound. It’s appropriate that their video for single ‘Skinny Thing’ is also layered, with images of Toronto at night and highways scenes behind a dancing figure.”

Watch the video HERE.

Finally, here is a re-cap of some of our clients that have hit the earshot! charts over the past week:

Top 50 National Weekly Charts:
#26 - Kuato – The Great Upheaval
#33
 – Vogue Dots – Toska

Week-End Wrap Up • 08.01.14

Aug1-2014

CBC‘s Bob Mersereau talks to Bry Webb about SappyFest 9: “SappyFest also has a big meaning for him in his solo career as well: ‘When I stopped with The Constantines, I didn’t know if I was going to make music any more. When I ultimately did decide to make a record on my own, I didn’t expect to tour a lot. My life changed quite a bit, I had a son, we moved to Guelph, I got a full time day job. I just wasn’t touring much, and there were all these people that I didn’t see that I used to through touring with the Cons. So for me SappyFest is this reunion of all these people that I care about. It’s always the conditions that I love. When I got to go back to Sappy a couple of years ago in my solo style of playing, I reconnected with a hundred people that I missed dearly and hadn’t seen lately. It’s had an important role in my life.’”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Kreative Kontrol sits down with all five members of The Constantines to chat about their reunion shows, including a headlining slot at SappyFest 9. Listen to the podcast HERE.

The MusicNerd Chronicles talks to Lucas Hicks about SappyFest 9: “Hicks says that although he is new to the role of creative director, his predecessors anticipated vacating their roles and thus began grooming him for the position and responsibilities a couple of years ago. He credits the close work with Henderson and Claytor as helping him hit the ground running. ‘Sappyfest definitely has a certain look and a certain feel to it. What people love about Sappyfest are the same things I love about the festival. The last thing I would have wanted to do was to come in and change a lot about the festival and the way it is run and what people can expect from the festival.’”

Read the whole feature HERE.

The Chronicle Herald on the Halifax Pop Explosion initial lineup announce: “Starting locally, they built from familiar East Coast favourites up to major headliners, including Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, backed by Toronto rhythm trio BADBADNOTGOOD, and Florida punk game-changers Against Me!. There was also a surprise last-minute announcement that Detroit rapper Danny Brown, who has previously collaborated with Halifax singer Megan James from the electronic duo Purity Ring, would also be performing at this fall’s indie pop extravaganza.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Metro Halifax on the Halifax Pop Explosion initial lineup announce: “For the first time ever, the Halifax Forum will host multiple shows as an official Pop Explosion venue this October, including headliners Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan, rapper Danny Brown and BADBADNOTGOOD. On Tuesday, new executive director James Boyle announced most of the lineup for the Oct. 21-25 festival, saying the team “couldn’t be more excited” about presenting one of largest list of performers the Pop Explosion’s ever had. ‘We’re really excited that we have a proper all-ages venue,’ Boyle said about the Forum after the announcement.”

Read the whole feature HERE.

Exclaim! on the Halifax Pop Explosion initial lineup announce: “Details are beginning to leak behind the 22nd annual Halifax Pop Explosion, with organizers having revealed the first wave of artists announcements includes the likes of barrier-breaking rockers Against Me!, Detroit rapper Danny Brown, and Wu-Tang vets Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. The lineup reveal also confirms appearances from Twin Shadow, Tokyo Police Club, Chad VanGaalen, Austra, Whitehorse, Operators, Kevin Drew, the Wooden Sky, SonReal, Ill Gates, Thugli, Jen Kirkman, Cousins, Swearin’, the Flatliners, Bry Webb, PS I Love You, Solids, Single Mothers, Mike Boyd, Petra, Teenage Kicks, Astral Swans, and City Natives.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Noisography on Kuato‘s The Great Upheaval: “This is clearly a record that you, as a fan of instrumental music and emotional music in general, need to own; the band has managed to create a compelling record that doesn’t just stand out in the post-rock genre but in any space of modern music…There are no moments on this record that will leave you bored; this record smartly balances the long form structures of post-rock with the catchy hooks and beats of pop and rock.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Ride The Tempo on Kuato‘s The Great Upheaval: “The music is expressive, evoking feelings as diverse as fear, joy, anger and wonder. Take for example ‘Ripped from the Soil’ (which would appear to be the subject of the album’s cover, featuring artwork by bassist Stephen MacDonald): The song starts off quietly with twangy, echoing guitars, but it’s sinister. Something dreadful is about to happen. Then the cavalcade of strident guitars hits you. This part is pure horror. The music then softens again, but this time it is mournful. You are overcome by the tragic loss. Who needs words when the emotions of a story are as well presented as this?”

Read the whole review HERE.

Fresh Independence on Vogue DotsToska: “This group embraces the ambient side of electronic music with Babette Hayward’s vocals taking the forefront, backed by her lush guitar playing and Tynan Dunfield’s electronically crafted melodies. What culminates is meticulous layers of beautifully, dark sound. It’s the type of music that hushes a room and sucks the crowd into their calming, seductive vibe.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Pennyblack Music on Melissa Payne‘s High and Dry: “Those all important first impressions are that here is yet another fine singer/songwriter plowing that country/pop field resulting in a bumper crop of instantly catchy, irresistible even, intelligent adult pop songs. The title song that opens the album takes less than a minute from its quiet beginnings to burst into a sunshine-drenched sing-along that you just know is going to be rattling around inside of your head for the rest of the day. As the song progresses, it becomes more obvious that Payne has a unique voice. While the quality of the song is such that it’s hard to imagine any artist making less than a fair fist of such a strong composition, it is the way that Payne’s vocals unfold with the intensity of the song that impresses the most. ”

Read the whole review HERE.

The Coast on Fearing & White‘s Tea and Confidences: “Fearing tends to sing low harmony with White, the opposite of his role with Blackie [and the Rodeo Kings]. ‘Another Time, Another Place,’ a ballad with the two trading verses, effectively showcases their contrast and unity. Each has Irish roots, resulting in the bittersweet ‘Emigrant Song.’ Fearing plays well with others and rarely stops writing, which has generated this mid-life breakout year.”

Read the whole review HERE.

NOW Toronto on Bend The River‘s So Long Joan Fontaine: “On their second album, the group try out more ambitious arrangements, speeding up, slowing down and going nuts with organ and tambourine solos. Yet sometimes their efforts sound meandering; Ronok Sarkar’s voice and songs often work best when the band keeps things simple and nostalgic, as on stripped-down highlight Half Of My Love. BTR do country rock well on fast-paced The Hunter In Me – the only song with banjo – while Assassins, with its slow, soft chorus, is most melodic.”

Read the whole review HERE.

Finally, here is a re-cap of some of our clients that have hit the earshot! charts over the past week:

Top 50 National Weekly Charts:
#19 – Vogue Dots – Toska

Top 200 National Monthly Charts for June 2014:
#22 – Kuato – The Great Upheaval
#27 – Jon McKiel - Jon McKiel
#32 – Vogue Dots - Toska
#62 – Nap Eyes - Whine of the Mystic