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Are You Gonna’ Waste My Time? (Zeus)

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on February 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

Get ready to rock out, music fans…this fan is surely going to bring rock you right into the weekend! Because it kicks ass! I am so pleased that I discovered this radical song from an amazing Canadian label, Arts & Crafts, that has an amazing list of great artists, including Broken Social Scene, Dan Mangan, Feist, Apostle of HustleLos Campesinos!, Stars, Jason Collett and The Hidden Cameras.

I heard “Are You Gonna’ Waste My Time?” for the first time today, and its so nostalgic of classic rock, I couldn’t resist. Zeus has got the incredible 70s sound of The Who, mixed with some Beatles-esque guitar riffs and some great rag-inspired piano added into the mix. This song has got some serious bad-ass attitude, and its got the slow swagger of all of your favourite tunes from the early 70s.

Listen to this track and love it. I’m going to go check out some of their other tunes!!

Oh, and you can download this track for free off their website right now! Check it out!

Metals (Feist)

In albums, current listenings on November 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

Since Feist released Let It Die in 2004, her music has gained popularity. Now, with the release of her fourth studio album, Metals, Feist might have just released her best record yet.

Metals boasts the same sweet and sultry vocal stylings of Leslie Feist (that we all know and love), but her style matured after licensing her music to Apple. Feist exploded into the mainstream with the infamous “1, 2, 3, 4″ iPod commercial. The success of her second album brought her four Grammy nominations and five Juno awards in 2008.

The album starts with the beautifully pain-fueled “The Bad in Each Other,” which layers Feist’s whispery, powerful vocals with a driving guitar before it relaxes into a playful but resigned chorus. Each track on the album seems to have this diversity.

The next track, “Graveyard,” slows down in a very classic Feist sound – easy, folk-jazz piano and vocals that play with rhythmic timing not commonly heard in the mainstream. The energy and togetherness of Feist and her musicians is captured on Metals, especially on tracks like “No Commotion,” with simple, driving rhythms that errupt into the chorus with choral singing and yelling. Feist and her band also sound honest and sincere on more subdued tracks like “The Circle Married The Line,” which is sweeter and quieter but still powerful.  Even when the sound is stark on “Cicadas & Gulls,” it’s executed with precision and intention that demonstrates the new maturity of sound, which differentiates this album from Feist’s previous releases.

Metals captures the musicianship and sultry vocals that Feist is known for. Her new album is deeply charged with an intensity of emotional vulnerability and powerful music that is harmonious and full of clarity and stillness. Quite simply, it’s a beautiful and diverse record. Enjoy.
As posted on Blogcritics.org.

Pink Strat (Bahamas)

In albums, current listenings on June 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Pink Strat (Album Art)

Pink Strat is the relaxed, chill-out album by Afie Jurvanen, based in Toronto. But its not quite a solo project. I mean it is, but he is also supported by a number of prominent Canadian musicians, including Haydne, Leslie Feist, and more! Jurvanen is often backed by a different Toronto percussionist for his solo shows, so it seems like he enjoys mixing it up a bit.

The entire album is pretty much love-themed, and its got this interesting contrast between a warm sound (potentially from his infamous pink strat guitar, which I’m assuming the album was named after), and this odd, start chill to the album. The album isn’t spectacular by any means, but his music is relaxing to me. It has a bit of a lull (and I mean that in a good way) to it that just makes me want to slow down and kick up my feet.

The album starts with a more peppy song, “Lonely Loves” (even if the lyrics are really peppy…the music has energy to it). And it continues on to “Hockey Teeth”, a great track that just has a perfect amount of playfulness to it and pays great homage to the Canadian sport we all know and love. (Yes, I said hockey is a Canadian sport. I know its not JUST Canadian…) There are also some even slower, beautiful tracks, such as “For Good Reason”, with a nice open and honest sound. Afi has a bit of a growl to his voice that can be interpreted as any emotion you think it could be, and he is backed by beautiful vocal harmonies that are subtle but fill out the sound perfectly.

This is a great track to put on while you are relaxing around the house – it creates an atmosphere of inward-thinking and as you listen, you feel connected to the music, and as a result, feel just a little bit more exposed than you did before you put it on. And that isn’t a bad thing.

I love to support Toronto musicians and other Canadian musicians. I think we have a fantastic folk-rock and indie scene, and I’m so happy to see another great artist like Bahamas. Check this album out and give it a full listen. Its not on my own personal list of top albums, but I still really enjoy it and I think you will too.  (Oh, and I really like “Already Yours”, too. In fact, the second half of the album is better, in my opinion!)

Track Listing

  1. Lonely Loves
  2. Hockey Teeth
  3. Southern Drawl
  4. For Good Reason
  5. You’re Bored, I’m Old
  6. Sunshine Blues
  7. Already Yours
  8. What’s Worse
  9. Let The Good Times Roll
  10. Try, Tried, Trying
  11. Till The Morning
  12. Whole, Wide, World
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