Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Besnard Lakes • Raindrops • 2020

The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a double LP. "Near Death" is the title of the first side. "Death," "After Death," and "Life" follow next. It's a  journey into (and back from) the brink: the story of The Besnard Lakes' own odyssey but also a remembrance of others', especially the death of Lasek's father in 2019. Being on your deathbed is perhaps the most psychedelic trip you can go on: in Lasek's father's case, he surfaced from a morphine dream to talk about a 'window' on his blanket, with a 'carpenter inside, making intricate objects.' That experience pervades the album.
In late 2020, as the world burns, there might be nothing less trendy than an hour-long psych-rock epic by a band of Canadian grandmasters. Then again, there might be nothing we need more.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Haunted Mansions • Rebel News • 2020

Norwegian newcomers Haunted Mansions bring psychedelic warmth and understated confidence to their hiphop-inspired indie weirdness. Haunted Mansions namecheck Portugal The Man, The Shins, Danger Mouse and Gorillaz when asked to describe their music and while those artists have inspired Haunted Mansions it's clear to all that they bring their own flavour to the music as well. The band combines old-school hiphop beats, almost shimmering acoustic guitars, textured synths and weird, smoky and infectious vocals to perfection. The songs are seductive in all their gloom, mildly psychedelic and strongly melodic, but most of all just really great.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Scott Garett • Dementia/Blue • 2020

As a board-certified music therapist working in mental health for over 15 years, Garred has served in state psychiatric facilities, private hospitals, memory care, and prisons; as the frontman for bands Super XX Man and Silver Scooter, and a musician for nearly 30 years, he’s written about thoughts or feelings on a more personal level. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Milky Wimpshake • Confessions Of An English Marxist • 2020


“A slow birth! At least one song on this album was written when ‘Dave’ Cameron (remember him?) was prime minister, hence a nod to bestiality on one track. Oh yeah, and then bloody Brexit happened, blimey, that didn’t escape anyone’s attention did it? And now this album finalised at a time of global pandemic, ha! This predicament meant that a working title of ‘The Wimps are Alright’ had to be abandoned (possibly to be revived later). There’s a few confessions on this album, but not enough confessions of guilt perhaps – I’ll get there.” - Pete Dale about ‘Confessions Of An English Marxist’

Rosie Carney • Bones • 2020

Helena Deland • Truth Nugget • 2020


We had the pleasure of seeing Montréal’s Helena Deland open for Connan Mockasin at the 2019 Montréal Jazz Festival, where Deland’s deft lyricism and sonic edge left a lasting mark. For her debut album, she’s signed to Chris Cantallini’s (of timeless indie blog Gorilla vs. Bear) Luminelle Records, and her dreamy sound slots nicely next to label mates like Anemone, Hana Vu and Jackie Mendoza. On songs like “Someone New” and the spectacular “Truth Nugget,” Deland expands on themes of interpersonal dynamics and identity in powerful ways. She is undoubtedly one of the best new talents to emerge from the robust Montréal indie scene. —Adrian Spinelli

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Max Gomez • He Was a Friend of Mine • 2020

Today, the Taos New Mexico-based musician Max Gomez has shared his new single "He Was A Friend of Mine." A traditional folk song first recorded in the 1930s by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, the song has been covered by many legendary artists, including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and The Byrds. Gomez's interpretation revises the lyrics as a lament for the life of George Floyd and other icons of the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movement, providing a solemn reflection on historical and contemporary racial and social injustice.

Lauren Aquilina • Swap Places • 2020

‘Swap Places’ is a song about insecurity, but mostly it’s a song about wanting to be nicer to yourself,” Lauren previously explained. “I find that when I get into that dark hole of comparing myself to other people, it’s usually not because I actually would rather be someone else, but more that I just wish I had the confidence to be the best version of myself all the time. It’s a lyric that resonates a lot with me but also the most upbeat pop song I’ve put out for a while, so I’m excited for people to hear it.”

Mamalarky • How to Say • 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah • Hesitating Nation • 2020

New Fragility will be released on CYHSY/Secretly Distribution. The album was produced by Alec Ounsworth, with additional production from Will Johnson, recorded by Britton Beisenherz in Austin, TX and mixed by John Agnello in New Jersey, mastered by Greg Calbi.

“These songs are politically motivated, which is unusual for me,” Ounsworth says of "Hesitating Nation" and "Thousand Oaks." "The only other song I’ve written about the failed democracy that is the United States is ‘Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood’.” That track helped launch their landmark self-titled debut back in 2005. And now, after 15 years, six further records, and numerous other side projects, Ounsworth felt compelled to once again tackle politics, and what’s happening in the US indicates how serious he believes the situation to be.

Matthew Caws • "When History Comes" • 2020

Today, Nada Surf's Matthew Caws shares a new political song, "When History Comes," via Barsuk Records. Recorded and produced by Caws himself at his home studio, the song was created for the Rough Trade Publishing compilation Talk - Action = Zero, Vol. 2, which enlisted artists to write songs relevant to the current state of the world. Profits from the single will be donated to the ACLU.

Ellen Siberian-Tiger • If A Tree Falls in the Forest • 2020

The album is about gender; both an exploration of my Ellen Siberian Tiger's identity and an exploration of the power dynamics created in society by our collective perceptions of gender. Existing in the patriarchy without benefiting from it feels to like I’m under scrutiny, like people are looking at me and measuring me against what they think I should be and in the process rendering me a passive thing to be judged. So I tried to write about who I am without those expectations. I made this album to reject that passivity, and to take an active roll in shaping my own narrative as a queer, non binary person. Making these songs gave me a sense of clarity and strength in my gender and my queerness and I'm hopeful that it could do the same for other people.