Tag: Edmonton AB

New Video: The Lysergic Sounds and Visuals of Jesse and the Dandelions’ “Give Up The Gold”

Jesse and the Dandelions are an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based indie rock act comprised of Jesse Northey, Conner Ellinger, Daniel Sedmark, Travis Sargent and Dean Kheroufi, and “Give Up The Gold,” the album title track and latest single off their forthcoming album Give Up The Gold is a lysergic-tinged dream centered around distorted boom-bap-like breakbeats, shimmering guitar fed through delay and other effect pedals and arpeggiated Wurlitzer chords — and the result is a song that has the a retro-futrustic vibe that recalls JOVM mainstays Pavo Pavo and Drakkar Nowhere; but as the band’s frontman and songwriter Jesse Northey says in press notes, the song found him exercising an active restraint while including a few lyrical double entendres.  

Consisting of cinematography by Truthful Works Films’ Dylan Howard and glitch art by Parker Theissen, the recently released video features the band performing in an empty studio but at points, the screen goes into a the sort of glitchy feedback and noise you’d expect from warped and old VHS tape, which further adds to the psychedelic vibes.

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New Video: The Contemplative Visuals and Sounds of Faith Healer’s “& Waiting”

Initially begun as the solo recording project of its Edmonton-based creative mastermind, founding member, singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Jalbert, as a way to avoid and resist being pigeonholed as just a sensitive, singer/songwriter strumming a guitar, Faith Healer project expanded into a duo with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Remmy Wilson, who joined before the recording sessions for Jalbert’s sophomore Faith Healer effort (and first as a duo), Try ;-).  

As Jalbert has explained in press notes, the newly constituted duo’s recently released newest effort is a sonic and creative departure for her. “The last album had a lot of flowery ’60s flourishes. This time, we wanted to simplify it and just do some straight-ahead songs. Focus on the song itself rather than all of the production.” And although the material may seem effortless to the listener, the creative process which spawned it were according to Jalbert, rather intensive, as she and her bandmate spent time meticulous crafting the album’s material while focusing on plainspoken lyrics that focused on self-empowerment, depression and appreciating all the good in life; in fact, the album’s title was also deeply inspired by its creative process, and is a reminder that sometimes you need to be proactive and grab life by the horns rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

Now, as you may recall, “Light of Loving,” Try ;-)’s first single featured a lush melody within an expansive, 60s psych rock-inspired song structure consisting of trippy and unexpected key and tone changes and a soaring hook — and while being relatively stripped down from its predecessor, the song manages to reveal some ambitious, arena rock meets psych rock-inspired songwriting that in some way reminds me of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference and The Fire Tapes’ Phantoms. Interestingly, the album’s mellow yet jangling latest single is a subtle expansion of the sound they’ve developed on the album’s earliest single, as it finds them drawing a bit more from easy going, 70s AM rock, complete with a deeply introspective and sultry vibe. 

The recently released video further emphasizes the introspective nature of the song, as it features a simple concept, as we follow a brooding Jalbert on the beach, staring at the ocean, drinking wine from the bottle, waiting for something — or someone to happen. 

 

 

Mark Berg is an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based singer/songwriter, electronic music artist and producer, whose solo recording project Tropic Harbour specializes in hazy, dream pop inspired by nostalgic images and dreams of the coast, during the summer — and in many ways, Berg reportedly created the project as a way to mentally escape the harsh Edmonton winters. Along with a backing and that features Kurtis Cockerill
Andrew Brostrom, and Marcus Rayment, Berg began receiving national attention, playing at a number of Canada’s renowned festivals including Pop Montreal, NXNE and Sled Island, as well as opening for the likes of DIIV, Jessy Lanza, Homeshake and Will Butler.

Berg’s latest Tropic Harbour single “Can’t Pretend” will further cement his reputation for crafting, 80s-inspired, nostalgia-inducing and summery synth pop; however, it’s a much more downtempo and atmospheric production featuring a sinuous bass line, gently swirling electronics, shimmering synths and stuttering drum programming, and in some way, the song sonically speaking will remind some listeners of I Love You It’s Cool-era Bear in Heaven, Neon Indian and others — while thematically focusing on its narrator letting go of a past relationship and trying to find himself again in the process.

 

 

Initially formed in Kingston, Ontario and featuring Colleen Brown, Elijah Abrams, Shea Connor, Trevor Mann and and Murray Wood, the Edmonton, Alberta-based indie rock, All-Star band Major Love is comprised of members of several locally and regionally renowned bands including Scenic Route To Alaska, Jesse and the Dandelions and singer/songwriters Colleen Brown and Elijah Abrams. And since their formation, the band has specialized in what they describe in press notes as “soulful pop-rock music for their hoser friends.” The band’s latest single “Tear It Down” has started to receive some attention across the blogosphere, and as the members of the band explain in press notes, the song was inspired in the aftermath of two explosions at an Edmonton area senior residence, which as it turned out was across the street from where the band’s vocalist Colleen Brown lived. Two people died — as a the result of a bizarre murder/suicide. Over the course of the next three years, Brown saw the building gutted, rebuilt and furnished. And while contemplating the disparity between the tradesmen who were responsible for rebuilding the senior home and her life as a musician, she began writing a song, which thematically asks one of the biggest questions in our lives: is there beauty in destruction?  But along with that the song subtly focuses on the passage and brings up leitmotifs about life and death.

In some way, the song suggests that there are certain unassailable facts of life: that despite the tumults and joys of our lives, time keeps moving forward and that all things will inevitably die, but from that there’s something truly profound — an awareness of everything’s mutability, of everything being finite, and life’s constant renewal. Interestingly, the band manages to pair Brown’s gorgeous, pop belter-like vocals with twangy and jangling power chords, a propulsive yet old-timey backbeat and a rousingly anthemic hook that features Brown joyously singing ” Tear it down/down/down/Let’s start over,” and sonically speaking the song reminds me of Northern Aggression-era Steve Wynn and the Miracle Three,  Fleetwood Mac and others, as the Canadian act reveals some effortless yet incredibly crafted songwriting with a pop leaning.

Look for Major Love’s self-titled full-length debut early next year.

 

Faith Healer initially formed as the solo, recording project of its Edmonton-based creative mastermind, founding member, singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Jalbert, who started the project as a way to avoid being pigeonholed as just a singer/songwriter. However, the project has expanded into a full-fledged band with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Remmy Wilson, who joined the project before the recording sessions for the project’s sophomore effort — and first as a duo — Try 😉, which was recorded at Wilson’s personal studio in Montreal, during  a month-long session last September.

As Jalbert explains in press notes, the newly constituted duo’s newest effort is a departure both sonically and creatively for her. “The last album had a lot of flowery ’60s flourishes. This time, we wanted to simplify it and just do some straight-ahead songs. Focus on the song itself rather than all of the production.” And while the material may seem effortless, its creation was reportedly intensive, as the songs were meticulously crafted with deliberate effort but paired with plainspoken lyrics that reflected on self-empowerment, depression and appreciating all the good in life; in fact, the album’s title was deeply inspired by its creative process, and is a reminder that sometimes you need to be proactive and grab life by the horns rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

“Light of Loving,” Try 😉‘s first single finds Jalbert and Wilson pairing a lush melody and an expansive 60s psych rock-inspired structure consisting of a trippy and unexpected key and tone changes paired with a soaring hook — and while revealing a relatively stripped down approach from the project’s preceding effort, the song reveals some ambitious, arena rock-leaning songwriting, as the band paradoxically possesses a towering sound full of some impressive, power chord-based guitar, fed through various pedals, blasts of organ and propulsive drumming. Interestingly, although the song is clearly nodding at 60s psych rock, there’s a subtle hint at much more contemporary fare — in particular, I think of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference, The Fire Tapes‘ Phantoms and others.

 

 

 

 

 

Growing up listening to an eclectic variety of music including Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Bob James, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Bjork and The Black Crowes among others, up-and-coming, Edmonton, AB-born, Toronto, ON-based soul artist Tanika Charles quickly developed a reputation locally as an emerging solo artist, whose puts a modern spin on the classic Motown soul sound — frequently meshing it with swaggering, hip-hop-like beats and deeply, confessional and honest lyrics, reminiscent of Mary J. Blige, Kelis and others. And as a result, within Canada’s soul scene, Charles has largely been considered her country’s next big thing; in fact, interestingly enough, over the past couple of years Charles transformed from being an emerging solo artist to being a commanding performer and bandleader, as well as one of the scene’s staples. Adding to a growing national profile, Charles has collaborated with Estelle, Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray, and has made regular appearances on CTV, Global and CBC Radio.

Produced by Slakah the Beatchild, best known for collaborating with Drake, Charles’ latest single “Soul Run” is the first single off her self-titled, full-length album, slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Italian soul label, Record Kicks, and the single will further cement the Edmonton-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter’s burgeoning reputation for crafting confessional lyrics based around her own personal experiences with “Soul Run” based around Charles’ experience of feeling trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship in rural Canada — until she decided to “borrow” her then fiancée’s car and left for Toronto to start her music career, never looking back. Considering the personal nature of the song, Charles as the song’s narrator expresses regret over her own foolishness that wound up with her being hopelessly trapped in an abusive and fucked up relationship and desperate desire to get away and start over. You can almost picture Charles, jumping into the car with whatever possessions she could manage and hitting the road without an idea of where she was going or what would happen — and yet feeling true freedom to do whatever she wanted.