Dec 31, 2020
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The band’s once-minimal sound—reminiscent, back in 2015, of Frankie Cosmos’ witty Bandcamp-as-diary style—has scaled colossally, transforming into a fever dream that lifts every song. Where 2016’s Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers, recorded in their drummer’s shed, had a dark streak, Every Bad is unabashed sorcery. Margolin’s dusky voice and serrated riffs sometimes recall Polly Jean Harvey, sometimes the attack of early Karen O, but Porridge Radio has devised its own approach to guitar music. The songs balance stoicism with just enough cracked-open ache to feel human. In their quiet-loud dynamics are the exorcisms of a woman who knows that a whisper is often more tormenting than a scream. PF
Recorded in late 1988, Lou Reed’s New York album sounded like he’d spent months glued to six TV sets blaring out a cacophony of bad news. Making sense of noise was always his trick and, given that he liked nothing better than turning observation into fast art, Reed managed to juggle references that ricochet from TV trash talkers like Morton Downey, homicidal killer Bernard Goetz, some bloke called Donald Trump, the Virgin Mary and questionable UN leader Kurt ‘just following orders’ Waldheim.
Despite a bewildering set of references, Lou gave it a universal rock’n’roll thrust, reverting to Velvet Underground aesthetics – two guitars, bass and drums, with occasional glimpses of Moe Tucker on percussion. LOUDER
Dec 24, 2020
Dec 23, 2020
Iceland's entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest had all the right ingredients for a classic of the genre: disco beat, infectious melody, funny video, bespoke dance routine. With this year's competition having been cancelled and it being announced that new songs will be selected for next year, Daði Freyr, frankly, was robbed.
Dec 22, 2020
The unsparing indie style of Chan Marshall or Liz Phair remains, but Saint Cloud is something far bigger. It isn’t just talking to Lucinda Williams’ 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, it pulls up right beside it, a vivid modern classic of folk and Americana. It’s a record that suggests maybe if you slow down, life slows down with you, and everything is in bloom. PF
Dec 19, 2020
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Dec 13, 2020
Let’s pack a picnic and we’ll head for the shore
To the ocean that’s between us and all those miles
that I don’t want to think about anymore
Dec 12, 2020
On A Wave Goes Wild is part acoustic with added electric guitar flair. “It’s the most raw and unedited thing I’ve ever put out,” Monks said in a statement. “Is it an acoustic EP? To me, it’s more of ‘Live from the studio’ — the way we would perform if we were ‘on air’ at a radio station.”
Dec 10, 2020
Away Is Mine is Gord Downie’s final solo recording.
Steered to life by “my oldest Toronto friend,” guitarist and co-writer Josh Finlayson, Downie recorded the ten songs of Away Is Mine in July 2017 at The Tragically Hip’s studio in Bath, Ontario, mere months before he died on October 17th that year.
A characteristically questing and idiosyncratic work that holds fast to its author’s unwavering artistic spirit, Away Is Mine is a contemplation on Gord’s life, written with his deft hand and forever inscrutable sense of humour even as he locked eyes with the Great Inevitability.
“This won’t be his last release, but these are the final ten songs Gord sang before he passed away. The last time he ever sang into a mic,” brother Patrick Downie wrote in a statement. “That’s pretty special to us.” KBM