The Friday Five – October 14, 2016

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It seems like a lot of great albums are coming out on October 28th.  I know I have some records coming in the mail that are being released that day, and there are others too.  I’ve been tripping over fantastic, new-to-me music all week, and each time I research the artist, bam — new album coming out on October 28th.  Maybe the music planets are aligning that day or something.

I had an extensive list of songs I’ve been accumulating since last Friday, but I’ve narrowed it down to the five that have stuck with me the most.  Some are new, some are new-to-me, but all are introspective, haunting, beautiful songs.

1.  Emily Reo – “Spell”

This track is gorgeous.  It’s Imogen Heap’s “Hide & Seek” v2, though to simply relegate it to a comparison is really doing it an injustice.  It stands firmly on its own.

2.  Julianna Barwick – “Crystal Lake”

I can’t even remember where I stumbled across this song, but it captured my attention immediately, and then I proceeded to listen to all the Julianna Barwick tracks I could find.

3.  Salvia Palth – “I Was All Over Her”

Lo-fi, shoegaze, bedroom pop at its finest.  I always seem to come across these little musical projects long after they’ve disbanded.  It’s my curse.

4.  Foxes in Fiction – “Ontario Gothic”

I’m just a super fan of everything Orchid Tapes is putting out.  Seriously good.  Why don’t I own anything by this band??

5.  Gord Downie – “The Stranger”

This is the new song and video for the reconciliation project Gord Downie’s been working on.  It’s part of an album/graphic novel/film release based on the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack, who died after escaping a residential school and attempting to make the trek home to his family.  Gord’s doing some amazing work during his last years on this earth, and this project is not only haunting and stunning, but so very necessary for Canada.

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The Friday Five – October 7, 2016

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I missed the Friday Five last week. I had planned to pre-write the post and then publish it from the road since I knew I’d be traveling, but I didn’t remember until it was too late. Last Friday I was in Canada at the Kingston Writers Festival, attending a talk/performance by Anna and Jane McGarrigle, moderated by Sarah Harmer. What a great event.

But I’m back this week with some tunes to share. Some of these are recent releases, and some are a little older, but most of them are from new-to-me artists. Check ’em out and let me know what’s been on your playlist this week.

1.  Flock of Dimes – “Semaphore”

2.  Yohuna – “Golden Foil”

3.  From Indian Lakes – “Blank Tapes”

4.  Hazel English – “It’s Not Real”

5.  Forty Seven Teeth – “All the Feels”

The Friday Five – September 16, 2016

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I’ll be honest — most of my week has been devoted to July Talk, whose excellent second album arrived at my house last weekend, and Mitski, because, well, it’s Mitski and “Puberty 2” is a phenomenal album.  But I’ve also given a listen to the new Wilco album, and I’ve been listening to one-off songs as they come up in playlists or my memory.  And those are mostly what I’m featuring today.  It’s a mostly quiet collection of songs, good for the fast-approaching fall and those cold, cold nights.

1.  Wilco – “Cry All Day”

I really like this new Wilco album.  It’s quiet, low-fi, cohesive.  I prefer it to last year’s “Star Wars” release.  This is probably my favorite track off “Schmilco” after one listen.

2.  Venus and the Moon – “Marry Me”

I love these guys.  I’ve been a fan of Frally Hynes since her first solo release, and this project with Rain Phoenix is just as exquisite.

3.  Laura Gibson – “Empire Builder”

I’m new to Laura, but I like her sound, and I love this quiet beauty of a song.

4.  Rose Cousins – “What I See”

Whenever I’m in the mood for some Rose, I always go to this live recording of “What I See” first.  I actually prefer it to the studio version, though both are lovely.  Damn fine Canadian music.

5.  Kathleen Edwards – “Soft Place to Land”

My favorite song off her 2012 release, “Voyageur.”  And I love this live version with the ever-lovely Hannah Georgas on backing vocals.  Kathleen’s busy these days running a coffee shop in Stittsville, Ontario, but I do hope she’ll eventually return to the music, especially when I listen to songs like this one.  Oh, Kitty, I miss you.

The Friday Five – September 9, 2016

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I’ve been slacking.  No Friday Five for two weeks now.  But I was sick with a bad cold and just didn’t feel up for making any selections.  I’m all mended now, though, so I’ve pulled a bunch of tunes from my work playlists to share with you all.  It’s really a mixed bag of music, but there should be something in this group for everyone.  As usual, if you hear something you like, buy it!  I don’t get anything from it other than the satisfaction of having influenced a listener out there, but in this day and age when so much music is simply streamed for free or illegally downloaded, I feel I need to nudge everyone towards supporting the artists with a purchase.

1.  Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”

2.  The Both – “Milwaukee”

3.  Jennifer Castle – “Nature”

4.  PJ Harvey – “Good Fortune”

5.  Wild Flag – “Romance”

 

The Friday Five – August 19, 2016

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Tomorrow is the final stop on the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour.  The band will play one final show in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario, and then it’s radio silence as the world waits to see if Gord will be strong enough to make more music.  As much as the band is preferring not to say this is the final show for them, it likely will be.  I was one of the lucky ones to get tickets to the event, so we’ll be there to celebrate and cry with everyone in Kingston.  It’s going to be an evening so full of joy and so full of emotion, too.  It seems weird to think that this is my very first time seeing the Hip, and it’ll also be the last.

I’ve had their catalog playing non-stop for a few weeks now, so it seems appropriate to devote this Friday Five once again to the Tragically Hip.  I shared my favorite songs last time, but there are so many gorgeous tunes.  Here are a few of them.

1.  “It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken”

2.  “My Music at Work”

3.  “Ahead by a Century”

4.  “Scared”

5.  “Wheat Kings”

The Friday Five – July 29, 2016

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So many new albums and tracks have been released from excellent Canadian bands over the past couple of months. A good portion of my record collection is devoted to Canadian artists, and it makes me happy when I can introduce my fellow Americans to my favorite performers. Check out the tunes below and let me know what you think. Any Canadian artists you like? Tell me some of your faves.

1.  Billy Talent – “Afraid of Heights”

Billy Talent’s new album drops today, so I thought I’d share my favorite track off the record. Actually, it might be one of my favorite BT songs in general, coming in at a close second to “Surrender.” I love the energy, and can’t wait to grab a copy of the album (hopefully this weekend).

2.  July Talk – “Strange Habit”

July Talk released another track off their upcoming sophomore album the other day. It’s a bit softer than their usual fare, but I dig it. I’m so excited for this album to come out. Now if only I could get them to play somewhat near me on a Saturday night…

3.  DIANA – “Slipping Away”

I feel like I’ve been waiting years to hear some new DIANA. Oh, wait, I have. I’ve been into these guys since seeing them at the Wolfe Island Music Fest a few years back, and it’s great to see them releasing some new tunes. This one definitely doesn’t disappoint.

 

4.  Veda Hille – “Lover/Hater”

Veda’s new album, Love Waves, was long-listed for the Polaris Prize this year, and if you ask me, it should have been short-listed as well. The album is a bit more synth-heavy than her previous work, but it’s as lovely as ever. The chorus of this particular song is perfection.

 

5.  Hannah Georgas – “Loveseat”

I’ve had Hannah’s new album on repeat all week. Love it. Can’t get enough. My favorite track is “Don’t Go,” but I already featured that one on another Friday Five, so I picked out another good tune.

The Vacation Friday Five

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It’s Friday once again, and guess what?!  I’m on vacation as of 5:00 PM today.  I’ll be on my way to the Pacific Northwest shortly, and I can’t wait to make my way through all the record stores from Seattle to Olympia to Portland.  I’m armed with an extensive list of shops, recommendations from Ben at Kill Rock Stars, and a 32-page list of albums I’m seeking.

So yes, this Friday Five will feature more bands from the PNW.  Enjoy the tunes, and keep up with my travels via Twitter and Instagram.

1.  Tacocat – “Dana Katherine Scully”

2.  Bangs – “S.O.S.”

3.  Bratmobile – “Cool Schmool”

4.  Cadallaca – “Fake Karaoke Machine”

5.  Courtney Love – “Uncrushworthy”

 

The Friday Five – June 10, 2016

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My Pacific Northwest vacation is so close now. I can’t wait to dig into all the record stores out there and come home with loads of vinyl. Until then, I’ve been listening to a lot of my favorite PNW bands, past and present. You all know that I have huge love for Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, and Wimps, so I figured I’d highlight some other bands this week.

Without further ado, here are some PNW bands and tunes I dig.

1. The Gossip – “Don’t (Make Waves)”

2. Beat Happening – “Indian Summer”

3. Heavens to Betsy – “Complicated”

4. Team Dresch – “She’s Amazing”

5. Excuse 17 – “Nervousness Never Fades”