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Nothing Is Anything (Without You) by Wintersleep

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

While cruising on the Hype Machine this morning I found this new track (or at least new to me) by Wintersleep, the Canadian indie rockers who brought us great songs like “Weighty Ghost” (remember that one?) and received a Juno award in 2008.

I have to say that it always excites me to learn about great Canadian musicians, and also to see their success and be able to share some of their talents with whoever chooses to read earphone adventures.  It makes me proud of Canada!!

Anyway, back to Wintersleep. These rockers have a new LP coming out mid-June – only a month away! Their sound is fresh on this new track but they also sound familiar, possibly because you can hear similarities between the sound of  “Nothing Is Anything” and their older material. It has a breath of fresh air though, and makes me think of a warm Summer day with a cool breeze. I picture myself blaring this tune while I drive across the mountain on Jeju with the windows down and the sun shining. Or maybe during a Canadian West Coast road trip through the Rockies? Mmm. Sounds great to me.

Check out this track and let me know what you think. Wintersleep releases Hello Hum, their new album, on June 12th and also has a free track for download on their website right now. I also embedded it below for you :)

Muchos love, music fans.

Let You Sleep Tonight (Young Empires)

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on April 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

I was cruising my friend Laura’s blog last week and saw that she posted a song by Young Empires, that kick ass Canadian band that I posted about mid-January. Do you remember “Enter Through The Sun“? That song makes me move. BIG TIME.

“Let You Sleep Tonight” is the last track on their recently released EP, Wake All My Youth, which is available on iTunes, by the by. Once again, its got a great beat with some ethereal elements that always make me feel good. So to me, this band just makes me feel good, and I think that’s the best. That’s what the self-named “haute-rock” band wants, right?

If you like this track, I would totally encourage you to support this band. I’ve been listening to some tracks that I downloaded from birp.fm and also just by streaming them online, but I last week I went on iTunes and bought their EP myself…because its so great! And don’t you want to support small bands? Isn’t it the best? These guys deserve it…

For a little preview, take a listen to their EP here…

#111 – Court And Spark (Joni Mitchell)

In 124-100, Top 150 on February 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

Until I listened to Court And Spark, Joni Mitchell’s sixth studio album, I think the only two songs of hers that I consciously knew were “Big Yellow Taxi” and the 2002 version of “Both Sides Now” – I didn’t even know the original! Still, this Canadian singer-songwriter is infamous for her contributions to the music industry.

Court And Spark was released in January 1974 and Mitchell worked on the album for about a year in-studio before it was released. In fact, 1973 was the only year since her debut album in 1968 that Mitchell did not release an album. She took time in 1973 to focus on expanding into different sounds, including the jazz influences you can hear on Court And Spark.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect of Joni Mitchell. As I mentioned, most recent track I’ve heard of Joni Mitchell’s was her 2002 release of “Both Sides Now”.  It was released over 40 years after her first album, and as a result, her voice also aged and is more full and mature. I thought her voice would be similar on her 1974 album, but I was wrong. Its much more ethereal and smoother than I expected.

Court And Spark was Mitchell’s most popular album, especially after the release of “Help Me” as a single, which made it into the Billboard Top 10. There are two characteristics of this album, and in particular, her music in general (from what I’ve heard and researched)  that I find particularly interesting.

The first is the clarity with which she writes. Reading her lyrics, they are emotional and honest, discussing her personal struggles and unease, such as in “People’s Parties”, where she sings about “living on nerves and feelings / with a weak and lazy mind / and coming to people’s parties / fumbling deaf dumb and blind”.  All of her songs are beautifully expressed stories with a simplicity and poetic ease that is unmatched by any of the albums I’ve listened to so far.

And of course, Joni Mitchell has a very distinct vocal style, balancing the deep fullness and power of her voice with higher range, falsetto lines. Her use of varied rhythms and changing time signatures gives her songs such a free-flowing feeling which also highlights poignant moments in her stories. A great example of this would be in “Same Situation”.

I’d like to listen to more of Joni’s music now, although I don’t think Court And Spark is my favourite. Its very accessible and was commercially successful, but its got really easy rock vibe to it, which isn’t really in my tastes. That said, my understanding is that when this album was released, it was the most jazz influenced album for her, with the previous five albums being rock-folk albums. It will be interesting to listen to some of her older music (and newer music, too) to compare differences.

Although “Both Sides Now” is not part of Court And Speak, if you want to see a really interesting comparison of her music, check out this live video of Joni singing the song in 1970, and this live video of her in 2000. Very different sound, very different feeling.

What do you think? What has Joni’s influence been on the music industry? If you’re a fan, what do you think makes her fantastic? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Stay cool, music fans.

Track Listing

Side One

  1. Court And Spark
  2. Help Me
  3. Free Man In Paris
  4. People’s Parties
  5. Same Situation

 Side Two

  1. Car On A Hill
  2. Down To You
  3. Just Like This Train
  4. Raised On Robbery
  5. Trouble Child
  6. Twisted

Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen)

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on February 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

All of a sudden this song has exploded onto the pop music scene, at least in Canada, and rumour has it, its working its way up the charts in the US. I don’t usually post mainstream pop on here, but I’ve got to say, Carly Rae Jepsen has released one of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard in a long time. And I’m so proud to say that Ms. Jepsen is Canadian-born, from Mission, B.C..

“Call Me Maybe” is from her new EP, Curiosity, and this girl can sing, too. There are some low-quality live performances on YouTube that show how she actually rocks out to this song live. You could also search some of her videos from her stint on Canadian Idol in 2007, in which she placed third.

Just last week, it was announced that Scooter Braun, signed Carly Rae Jepsen onto his label, Schoolboy Records, which also signed Justin Bieber two years ago.  And only a few days ago, J-Biebs and some of his friends released an impromptu, fun home made video to Jepsen’s song, which you can check out here.

So, I’m sorry if you don’t like pop, but this song is so catchy I couldn’t resist…and I wanted to support a fellow Canadian. Congrats, Carly Rae Jepsen!

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