Three Canadian Bands You Should Know

I love Canadian music. Yes, it might seem like everything I show in my videos comes from the Pacific Northwest, but I have a fairly large collection of Canadian music too. Most of the albums I collected prior to becoming a member of the YouTube VC were from Canadian artists, so you guys haven’t seen those records.

Since I’ve slowed significantly with my vinyl purchases, I decided that I had to do another kind of video to stay involved with the vinyl community on YouTube. I thought it would be fun to show older pieces of my collection, and talk about the music I love. And because I love Canadian music so much and feel that not nearly enough people in the States (or abroad) know about it, this was the perfect opportunity to show off some of my favorite vinyl acquisitions while also introducing some of my non-Canadian followers to some really awesome tunes.

I’ll likely have a few videos devoted to Canadian artists, and this is the first one. I talk about three very different bands: DIANA, PS I Love You, and July Talk. Whether you’re into rock, indie, or synth, I think you’ll find something you like here. Check it out and please, if you like something you hear, consider diving deeper into the music and make a purchase. Feed these bands so they’ll keep making amazing music!

Episode 12 is up!

I received a gift certificate for Last Vestige Music Shop in Albany, NY for my birthday two weeks ago, and it was burning such a hole in my pocket that I made a trip to the shop as soon as humanly possible. I’d been to Last Vestige before and knew they had a lot of great stuff, so I was looking forward to the visit.  Sure enough, I found more records than I had $$, so I purchased a small pile and will have to save the other records for another trip.

As you’ll be able to see in the video, my tastes vary widely: I love punk, indie, Canrock, jazz, folk, and anything that gives me warm, fuzzy nostalgia for my childhood. On this trip, I bought everything from The Rickets to Enya. Don’t judge. I see you giving Enya the side-eye.

I also show a few albums that I’d ordered online, and have clips of the music for everyone to check out, so give ‘er a watch below, eh?

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.

Introducing…The Friday Five!

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Remember Carrie Brownstein’s NPR gig, Monitor Mix?  If you followed the blog during her three-year stint, then you know about Five For Friday.  At the end of every week, Carrie would post five videos for everyone to check out.  It was a great way to introduce her readers to music they might not know, and to highlight excellent live performances as well.

While I’m not entirely copying her idea, I wanted to start sharing music with you guys, and I thought sharing my five songs of the week every Friday would be something fun to do.  Sorry, Carrie.  I am sort of shamelessly stealing your Friday theme.  But hey, I changed the name (a little)!  Starting today, I’ll be posting my favorite tunes of the week every Friday.  It’ll be a mix of YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and links to the artists’ sites.  Let me know what you think about the songs I post, and fill me in on what you’ve got spinning on your turntable or blasting in your headphones.  And hey, if you like something you find here, support the artist and buy an mp3 — or heck, a whole album!

Also, if you never followed Carrie’s thoughts on music and culture, head on over to Monitor Mix and check it out before NPR does something silly like take it down.  Trust me.

1.  July Talk – “Push + Pull”

I love July Talk.  I discovered them about six months after they put out their debut album, and saw them live at the Wolfe Island Music Festival outside Kingston, Ontario back in 2013.  They have unbelievable energy on stage, and their songs are top-notch.  There’s such a wonderful vintage quality to their music, but it’s ferocious too, and it’s guaranteed to get you on your feet.  Last week, they released the first track from their forthcoming second album, and it’s just as badass as I expected it to be.

2.  Hannah Georgas – “Don’t Go”

I discovered Hannah Georgas the same day I found July Talk, and I also saw her perform at the 2013 Wolfe Island Music Fest.  How appropriate, then, that they both released a new track from their upcoming albums on the same exact day last week.  Her slower tunes are dreamy, synthy, lush, and haunting.  And I can’t sit still when the faster songs are on.  Her new release, “Don’t Go,” is one of those slower jams that makes you want to curl into a ball and post ten crying emojis (sans context) on Twitter.

3.  Eskimeaux – “Drunk”

Oh, Eskimeaux.  I fall more and more in love with this band all the time.  I got my hands on a copy of their new EP a few weeks before it was released, and it’s been in daily rotation ever since.  Gabby Smith and her Epoch buds are phenomenally talented.  I saw them open for Frankie Cosmos this past weekend in Philly, and man, what a show.  It’s impossible for me to pick just one standout track from their EP, “Year of the Rabbit,” but this song has a video to accompany it.  Go over to their Bandcamp page to hear the rest, and then buy the damn album.  Seriously.

4.  Land of Talk – “Color Me Badd”

If you haven’t heard the news, Land of Talk is back.  And they’re touring.  And I’m going next weekend.  I got deep into Land of Talk very shortly after they disappeared and left everyone wondering if and when they’d ever be a thing again.  Trusting the exquisite musical tastes of Canadian Music Goddess™ Sarah Harmer, I gave Land of Talk’s 2010 album “Cloak and Cipher” a try, and wow.  It’s so freaking good.  I was devastated when I found out that they were pretty much on indefinite hiatus, and I feared I’d never see them perform live.  I consoled myself with YouTube videos of live performances, but I wanted to be there in person.  And now I get my chance.  After four long years of waiting, I get my chance.

5.  Cate Le Bon – “Wonderful”

Someone forget to send me the memo on Cate Le Bon, so I’m a very, very new fan.  New as in two weeks new.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not already a devoted follower, crying at the thought that two of my friends are seeing her live this very evening in Philly.  Curses.  I’ve been dabbling since my discovery, listening to songs on YouTube and getting a feel for her past work.  The new record, though, is weird and (oh, God, I almost used the word quirky) interesting and so different, and I love that.  I like to hear something that almost makes me a little uncomfortable or unsure at first, because it forces me to be open to music outside my usual tastes.  I’ve been digging this new tune, “Wonderful,” and the video is a trip, mostly because it’s basically me working out.

What’s everyone else listening to?