<![CDATA[!Exclaim.ca - Folk & Country Music Coverage from Exclaim!]]> <![CDATA[!Exclaim.ca - Folk & Country Music Coverage from Exclaim!]]> http://exclaim.ca/RSS/logo-rss.jpg Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:33:00 -0500 Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:33:00 -0500 Copyright: (C) Exclaim! Media. en-ca 120 <![CDATA[Ryan Adams Announces 'Prisoner' Album, Shares New Single]]>

This summer, Ryan Adams had promised a new '80s-inspired album to arrive in November. And while the release never actually materialized then, the beloved alt-country singer-songwriter has now locked down a new release date for the album, titled Prisoner.

Due out February 17, the LP will arrive via Pax Am/Blue Note/Capitol. Prisoner will mark Adams's 16th studio album and the first new record of all-original material since 2014's self-titled effort. Its first single, "Do You Still Love Me?", is expected to arrive tomorrow (December 7).

UPDATE (12/07, 12:15 a.m. EST): You can now hear "Do You Still Love Me?" at the bottom of the page.

While recently discussing the album with regular Exclaim! contributor Cam Lindsay for the Japan Times, Adams had this to say about Prisoner:

I started writing this record while I was going through a very public divorce, which is a humiliating and just a fucking horrible thing to go through no matter who you are. To be me and to go through that the way that I did was destructive on a level that I can't explain. So a lot of extra work went into keeping my chin up and remembering what I did and what I loved about who I was.

Adams has also been teasing the album recently via his social media, tweeting the following in the lead-up to some Australian shows: And while "Do You Still Love Me?" isn't officially out yet, you can watch some recently captured fan footage of Adams playing the song live in Sydney [via Stereogum]:
 
 

A video posted by Flavio Sapha (@flaviosapha) on



While we wait for that new single to arrive, you can check out the album cover above and the tracklist below.

Prisoner:

1. Do You Still Love Me?
2. Prisoner
3. Doomsday
4. Haunted House
5. Shiver And Shake
6. To Be Without You
7. Anything I Say To You Now
8. Breakdown
9. Outbound Train
10. Broken Anyway
11. Tightrope
12. We Disappear
 


]]>
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:33:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Jim Bryson - "Changing Scenery" (video)]]>

Back at the beginning of 2016, Jim Bryson released his latest LP Somewhere We Will Find Our Place, and just before the year comes to a close, he's shared a brand new video for album cut "Changing Scenery."
 
Anthony Seck directed the clip, which was shot in Los Angeles. It stars Annette Coderre and Jim Pallett (yes, he's Owen's uncle) as a couple experiencing the full emotional range of a relationship — from impromptu kitchen dance parties to awkward silences to painful separations and heart-warming reunions.
 
"Working with the actors in the way we did allowed them to reveal themselves," Seck said in a statement. You can see them open up to the camera by watching the video premiere of "Changing Scenery" below.
 
]]>
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA['Revival' Revisited: Gillian Welch Reflects on Her Debut with 'Boots No. 1']]>

It's been 20 years since Gillian Welch and her partner David Rawlings released their debut album Revival. The anniversary was the impetus for them to rummage through old tapes and computer files they've been accumulating. "We tape all these things, and then… what?" Welch asks. "What were we going to do with them? If we didn't do it for this, then what?"
 
The alternate versions, outtakes, demos and live radio performances that make up Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg (out now on Acony) cover the time from Welch's arrival in Nashville in the summer of 1992 to late 1995, when Revival was mixed. Aside from radio performances, live cuts were left off, possibly for release later in a different context. Gillian Welch tells Exclaim! about some other notable considerations that went into Boots No. 1.

 Gillian Welch's Boots No. 1 Reflections:
 
1. The two-disc package doesn't include Revival, in whole or in part.
 
"David and I are pretty anti amending or appending the original album, 'cause I just want the album to stay the album, you know? It would be like if you made a painting, and 20 years later you put some Post-it Notes on it and said, 'Here, this too.' I find it very challenging when a record I know so well, say the Band's Brown Album, is playing at someone's house and the record's over, and I know it's over, and then some other thing comes on."
 
2. Boots No. 1 reveals their playful side.
 
Over 21 tracks, Boots No. 1 showcases all the musicians playing songs in different styles, speeds and subgenres, from traditional Grand Ole Opry country to freewheeling rockabilly, gospel and bluegrass, including an early version of "Red Clay Halo," a song that would eventually appear on 2001's Time (The Revelator).
 
"I like that you can sort of tell [that] the studio wasn't all drudgery and melancholy," Welch laughs. "You can tell that there are days where we're goofing around, playing around. Because there's so many ways to get what I call 'a master' — you can luck into them, you can sweat over them, or you can get them when you're just goofing around. That's what the master cut of 'Revelator' is — that's a mic test."
 
3. Welch wasn't keen on the band approach to the album, and it won't happen again.
 
"I wasn't as interested in putting the band on tracks, 'cause David and I were already playing as a duet — the duet was what we loved and what we felt was the most original and closest to our vision. So I guess I'd say, I wish that [producer] T Bone [Burnett] and the record label felt that our duet version of, say, 'One More Dollar,' was interesting enough that you wouldn't have to put the band on it. But I also find it interesting as a collaboration. By the next record, we just wouldn't really let it happen. [Revival] was the first time we would let someone else do stuff, so it stands really as [our] only artistic collaboration. What you're hearing is a collaboration between myself, David Rawlings, and T Bone Burnett. From that point, you're never really going to get that again."
 
4. Nashville didn't recognize Welch's genius…
 
"I got to town a month before Dave and as soon as he got to town, he prodded me to go play. He said, 'you should be playing writers nights every other night.' Usually what would happen is you'd play your couple songs, and then some publisher would come up to me and say, 'Hey, I liked your stuff. Do you have more?' You say, 'Yes,' he'd say, 'Well, come and see me Wednesday.' I'd go in, bring my guitar and play the guy a couple songs, and he would invariably say, 'Don't you have any happy love songs?' I would say, 'No' and that would be that."
 
5. …Until someone finally got it.
 
"When I finally sat down in front of the man who would give me my first job in this town, David Conrad, my first publisher, he was the first one who didn't ask me that question: 'Don't you have any happy love songs?' He heard 'Orphan Girl' and he says [now] that in that one song he knew he was going to sign me. Without knowing what he would do with the songs, he felt like, because of their quality, they would find a place in the world."
 
Welch and Rawlings plan on putting out more bootleg compilations, and have a specific time period in mind, but all Welch will reveal is that "it won't be chronological." Time is, after all, a revelator.]]>
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Greene)
<![CDATA[Bob Dylan Has Submitted a Speech to Be Read at the Nobel Banquet]]>

After totally ghosting the Nobel Foundation in the wake of being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan will now literally mail it in for his acceptance speech.
 
Despite finally breaking his silence over the prize win, the iconic singer-songwriter still has no plans to attend the award ceremony on December 10 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Foundation, however, has revealed that he's sent in a speech that will be read aloud at the event.
 

 
In place of Dylan, Patti Smith is scheduled to perform a rendition of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" at the ceremony on December 10.
 
Dylan previously declined the invitation to attend, citing "preexisting commitments." Following his initial silence, Dylan did reportedly call the foundation to thank them, saying: "The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless. I appreciate the honour so much."
 
While he won't be accepting his honours in person, Dylan is still required to deliver his laureate's lecture within six months of receiving the award. It can be delivered as "a written speech, a spontaneous discourse, a film," or another format of his choice, though he has remained unsurprisingly quiet about what he might have in the works.]]>
Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:01:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Canadian Folk Music Awards Announce 2016 Winners]]>

Following a reveal of their nominees this past September, the 2016 edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards were held at Toronto's Isabel Bader Theatre last night (December 3). Now, the names of this year's winners are out.

Awards were handed out in 19 different categories at the bilingual gala event. Ontario singer-songwriter David Francey came away with two awards, winning both Solo Artist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year.

Other winners included Jadea Kelly, Donovan Woods, Sultans of String, Willy Rios, Chaim Tannenbaum, Kaia Kater, Les soeurs Boulay, Hillsburn, Twin Flames, the East Pointers and more. You can find the full list of nominees and winners below, with the winner of each category in bold.

The gala was hosted by musicians Jean Hewson and Benoit Bourque, and featured performances from Bruce Cockburn, Colin Linden, The Ennis Sisters, Sultans Of String, Red Moon Road and Klô Pelgag.

Canadian Folk Music Awards 2016 Winners:

Young Performer of the Year:

Jake Vance - Eden
Jessica Wedden - Fiddling is My Passion
Chanelle Albert - How Beautiful We Are
Nick Earle and Joe Coffin - Live at the Citadel House
Keltie Monaghan - Someone Tell Her

New/Emerging Artist of the Year:

Ben Caplan - Birds With Broken Wings
Hillsburn - In the Battle Years
Evening Hymns - Quiet Energies
Old Whiskey Road - Under The Neon Lights
The Small Glories - Wondrous Traveler

The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award:

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin - Auprès du Poêle
Ozere - Finding Anyplace
Kaia Kater - Nine Pin
Jim Bryson - Somewhere We Will Find Our Place
Whitehorse - The Northern South Vol. 1

English Songwriter(s) of the Year

Royal Wood - Ghost Light
Donovan Woods - Hard Settle, Ain't Troubled
The Strumbellas - Hope
Danny Michel - Matadora
The Small Glories (Songwriters: Cara Luft, JD Edwards) - Wondrous Traveler

French Songwriter(s) of the Year:

Les soeurs Boulay - 4488 de l'Amour
Richard Séguin - Les horizons nouveaux
Safia Nolin - Limoilou
Philippe Brach - Portraits de famine
Sept jours en mai - Songwriters: Mara Tremblay, Michel Rivard, Luc De Larochellière, Éric Goulet, Gilles Bélanger, MountainDaisies (Ariane Ouellet, Carl Prévost) - Sept jours en mai

Aboriginal Songwriter(s) of the Year:

Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick - Dream Big, Little One * Fais de beaux rêves, petit ange
William Prince - Earthly Days
Digawolf - Great Northern Man 
Amanda Rheaume - Holding Patterns
Twin Flames - Jaaji and Chelsey June

World Group of the Year:

Tio Chorinho - Chora Brazil
Nomadica - Dance of the Infidels
Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray - Live in America
Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus - Round Trip
Sultans of String - Subcontinental Drift

World Solo Artist of the Year:  

Jocelyn Pettit - Caravan
Kattam - De Tombouctou à Bombay
Élage Diouf - Melokáane
Karim Saada - Mon frère
Willy Rios - Para ti

Traditional Album of the Year:

Auprès du Poêle by Ten Strings And A Goat Skin
Coffee Creek by The Slocan Ramblers
Princes et Habitants by Yann Falquet & Pascal Gemme
Terre Rouge by Vishtèn
Un Canadien Errant by Fásta

Traditional Singer of the Year:

Rowen Gallant from Ten Strings And A Goat Skin - Auprès du Poêle
Chaim Tannenbaum - Chaim Tannenbaum
Shannon Quinn - If All The Young Ladies
Yves Lambert from the Yves Lambert Trio - Laissez courir les chiens
Sophie Lavoie from Fásta - Un Canadien Errant

Contemporary Album of the Year:

Empty Train by David Francey
Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams by Corin Raymond
Hope by The Strumbellas
Just Keep Moving by Big Little Lions
Hard Settle, Ain't Troubled by Donovan Woods

Contemporary Singer of the Year:

William Prince - Earthly Days
Matt Andersen - Honest Man 
Jadea Kelly - Love & Lust
Megan Bonnell - Magnolia
Danny Michel - Matadora
 
Instrumental Group of the Year:

The Andrew Collins Trio - And It Was Good
Tio Chorinho - Chora Brazil
NUA - FLOW
Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus - Round Trip
The East Pointers - Secret Victory 

Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year:

Don Alder - Armed & Dangerous
Duane Andrews - Conception Bay
Daniel Koulack - Frailing To Succeed
Arnie Naiman - My Lucky Stars
Lotus Wight - Ode to the Banjo
 
Vocal Group of the Year:

Rosie & the Riveters - Good Clean Fun!
Hillsburn - In the Battle Years
Musique à bouches - Jusqu'aux oreilles
Big Little Lions - Just Keep Moving
Sweet Alibi - Walking In The Dark]]>
Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:09:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Exclaim!'s Top 10 Folk & Country Albums - Best of 2016]]>

Our Best of 2016 albums lists by genre continue today with our staff picks for the 10 best folk and country albums of 2016.

Click next to read through the albums one by one, or use the list below to skip ahead to your favourites.

Top 10 Folk & Country Albums of 2016:            To see more of Exclaim!'s Best of 2016 lists, head here.



 
10. Weyes Blood
Front Row Seat to Earth
(Mexican Summer)
 
Natalie Mering is a modern producer trapped in the body of a classic songwriter. For her second album, Front Row Seat to Earth, she splits the difference, delivering nine Laurel Canyon-indebted broken heart piano jams that, in the wrong hands, could have fallen into an embarrassing renaissance-fair balladry. Mering's know-how behind the boards — gleaned from years as a collaborator with musicians like Ariel Pink and aided here by Chris Cohen —gives her music an otherworldly quality that no doubt helped to inspire the album's title.
 
Stacks of vocals, synths and even old movie clips underscore her heart-baring lyrics. Just as she creates tension in her music by mixing the classic and the modern, Mering's lyrics convincingly captures the frightening sense of loneliness that comes with the dissolution of any relationship. Front Row Seat to Earth is a fraught yet thrilling view of a personal apocalypse.
Ian Gormely
 


 
9. Ryley Walker
Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
(Dead Oceans)
 
In 2015, Ryley Walker released the best album your friends who like Phish still probably haven't heard but should: Primrose Green, a collection of jammy, jazzy, freewheeling folk songs that would have sounded good whether they lasted for four minutes or 14 (some of them did in concerts).
 
Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, on the other hand, is a far more restrained affair. Where listening to his previous album felt like getting caught in a dense, psychedelic whirl about to fall off its orbit, everything feels simpatico this time around, with each instrument (including Walker's Van Morrison-lite vocals) finding a place to call home in any arrangement. That's a testament to former Wilco multi-instrumentalist LeRoy Bach's strength as a producer as much as to Walker's growing strength as a songwriter.
 
Golden Sings is the perfect reintroduction to a talented composer and performer whose career is about to reach new heights.
Matthew Ritchie
 


 
8. Veda Hille
Love Waves
(Independent)

It's been six months since this amazing record burst onto the scene, and it still feels fresh; I'm looking forward to listening to Veda Hille's Love Waves five or 10 years from now — it's one of those albums. This unlikely dance party about art and middle age, motherhood and marriage, riddled with kid logic, defies categorization. I'm going to call the genre: Veda Hille.
 
It's an omnivorous one, one that brilliantly ties together all of time in one instant by grafting flickering computer bleeps to the end of a baroque pop song on "Eurydice" — and who knew Ford Pier could sing like that? High fives to JC/DC for making it sound so huge, so great. Hille draws from David Bowie, Brian Eno, Gilbert & Sullivan, Rilke and her own life to create something truly remarkable here.
Sarah Greene
 


 
7. Marissa Nadler
Strangers
(Sacred Bones)

Marissa Nadler's vocals on her newest record are as dreamy and ethereal as ever. They hang in the foreground, never quite being the sole focus but always grabbing the listener's attention, working in tandem with crystal-clear guitar chords and gorgeous backing instruments to provide a dark experience not found in mainstream singer/songwriter music. So downbeat and ominous is Strangers that metal band Ghost chose her as an opening act for their latest tour, fully confident in her ability to sway crowds of discerning rock fans with her sombre, hypnotic performances.

This is Nadler's seventh studio album, following up the success of her 2014 release July, and the two records' similar cover art illustrates a Gothic link between them that may possibly continue. Time will tell if Strangers will be indicative of her legacy as a songwriter, but even if, god forbid, she were to stop tomorrow, it would be a legacy worth leaving.
Adam Nizam
 


 
6. Cass McCombs
Mangy Love
(Anti-)

Over the past decade-and-a-half, Cass McCombs has quietly and confidently developed into a wry psych-folk veteran, and his experience shows in spades on Mangy Love.
 
While McCombs's songwriting style still feels earnest and conversational, he takes a smooth and smoky soft-rock approach to many of the arrangements here that strain at the traditional confines of what one would consider "folk" music. These ethereal sound beds backdrop McCombs's trademark array of wily characters and off-the-cuff witticisms, revealing little details and turns of phrase that are woven into his narratives.
 
McCombs uses this platform to explore relationships, friendships and infatuations in all their messy and confounding glory. He does a remarkable job of illustrating the often surreal, dream-like moments of lucidity where the proverbial house is turned upside down and we exist in little augmented worlds with those we care about.
Cole Firth
 


 
5. Daniel Romano
Mosey
(New West Records)

Musical mad scientist that he is, it's logical that Daniel Romano would craft a record that grapples with so many man-made monstrosities. Scan the liner notes to his records, where he's often credited with playing every instrument, writing every song and producing every note, and you get a sense of the breadth of his talent. Mosey, though, is something different; it more clearly conveys the sensitive intelligence that propels Romano's artistic mind.
 
He's couched these songs in a certain studio hue; occasionally the symphonic arrangements pop out like sepia-soaked theme songs for flashy 1970s action TV shows, but the songs themselves are biting and gritty, their measured, aching deliveries belying a seething condemnation of the cult of personality and fashion consciousness that we've come to embrace like a default setting.
 
Romano himself knows that; because of his penchant for Nudie suits, giant Stetsons and moustaches, he's painted himself an image. This is the sound of a man fighting his way out of his own corner.
Vish Khanna
 


 
4. case/lang/veirs
case/lang/veirs
(Anti-)

Let's face it — most collaborative albums are known to be largely disappointing. For every Dolly, Linda and Emmylou there are a dozen Dylan & the Deads. So what makes the union of Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs work so damn wonderfully? It may be because the trio never seem the least bit interested in being in a supergroup, as they find themselves rather content working to each other's strengths, crafting something that sounds equally comfortable and invigorating. 
 
Their 14-track debut manages to avoid sounding bloated, as Case, lang and Veirs possess enough musical intelligence to find the simplicity and beauty essential to each track — even the superb group of musical collaborators (including Wilco's Glenn Kotche, Soul Coughing's Sebastian Steinberg and producer Tucker Martine) serve the songs the way old-time session players were accustomed to. Expertly showcasing Case's from-the-rafters delivery, lang's vintage aesthetic and Veirs' emotional versatility, case/lang/veirs comes off as the sound of three superstars, not one supergroup.
Daniel Sylvester
 


 
3. Margo Price
Midwest Farmer's Daughter
(Third Man)

Sometimes, life sucks. There's not much you can do about it; you're going to face some tough times in your life. Now, you can let those hard moments get you down and trample on your spirit, or you can be like Margo Price. On her phenomenal debut record, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, not only does the Nashville transplant present all this torment and strife, but she tackles it head on.
 
From the hypnotic, slow-burning "Hands of Time," an ode to a life of hardship, to the raw grit of "Tennessee Song" and its guitar that bites and barks, Midwest Farmer's Daughter is full of moments that put to bed any notion that Price is just a talented imitator, as she masters and, indeed, breathes new life into country music. On her first solo outing, Margo Price not only pays homage to the country canon, but suggests she may one day be part of it, alongside Hank, Waylon and Loretta.
Corey Henderson
 


 
2. John K. Samson
Winter Wheat
(Anti-)

John K. Samson's sophomore solo record, Winter Wheat, almost feels like more than we deserve. It sprawls like his Prairie hometown of Winnipeg, and is not-so-simply a folk record. Over 50 minutes, he rails against environmental destruction in vicious rock'n'roll fashion with "Vampire Alberta" and whispers in spacey spoken word the thoughts of a delusional truth-seeker on "Quiz Night at Looky Loo's," eventually giving him a companion on the starlit sway of "Alpha Adept."
 
Each track on Winter Wheat feels dense and endlessly navigable. Samson details the vastness between two people on the delicate familial forgiveness of "Requests," and uses relationships to send messages that resonate on a heartbreakingly global scale on the sweet, wintry title track, which lifts a line from Miriam Toews for a thesis statement: "We know this world is good enough because it has to be." "Oldest Oak at Brookside" wraps Winnipeg's history into a few minutes.
 
Yet they all remain, at their heart, about connection, its beauty and its consequences. On "Virtute at Rest," when the late Virtute the cat comforts her troubled companion from the bed in the back of his brain, it's at once devastating and inspiring — like all of our most important relationships.
Matt Williams
 


 
1. Sturgill Simpson
A Sailor's Guide to Earth
(Warner)

Pitched somewhere between Muscle Shoals soul, outlaw country and Elvis Presley circa On Stage, Sturgill Simpson's bravura third record sounds like little else you're likely to have heard in 2016. A loose concept album based on an itinerant sailor's letters home to his wife and son from overseas, A Sailor's Guide to Earth is reflective, swaggering and spiked with moments of disarming honesty.
 
It's also profoundly weird. From the woozy flow of "Breaker's Roar" to the rollicking thump of "Keep It Between the Lines" and "Brace for Impact," Simpson weaves his unlikely influences into tight braids that seem at once familiar and exotic. But perhaps most attractive of all is that underneath all of this careful construction lies a sparkling playfulness. There are sound effects, a radical Nirvana cover, political statements and sudden admissions of anguish and loss. It's a high-wire act, pulling all of this off without succumbing to self-indulgence or messiness, but you get the sense that Sturgill Simpson isn't even worried about falling anymore. Hell, he probably thinks he can fly.
 
And really — who's to tell him he can't?
Stuart Henderson]]>
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Exclaim! Staff)
<![CDATA[Austin Basham - "Sounds Like Help"]]>

Last year, aptly named Austin, TX-based singer-songwriter Austin Basham shared "On the Hunt" from his Linton//Oslo EP. Now, he's readying the follow-up full-length and has shared a new single titled "Sounds Like Help" to tide over eager fans.
 
The track is a soft, folksy number that opens with Basham's vocals and jangly acoustic guitar. As the song progresses, a rhythm section kicks in and he's joined by bouts of warm vocal harmonies.
 
Hear it all meld together by giving "Sounds Like Help" a listen below. The single is officially released on digital streaming platforms tomorrow (December 2).
 
]]>
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Noah Derksen - "Deep Blue" (video)]]>

Winnipeg-bred, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Noah Derksen recently released his latest LP In Search of the Way, and Exclaim! is giving you the first look at the video for "Deep Blue" from that very album.
 
The soft, contemplative tune pairs gentle acoustic guitar with Derksen's warm, emotive voice, and the video picks up on the underlying melancholy of the song. It was directed by Farhad Ghaderi.
 
The opening shot finds a man at the water's edge, and the camera follows him as he slowly marches into the ocean, eventually overtaken by the waves.
 
Watch the video for "Deep Blue" below.
 
]]>
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[​Jenn Grant Announces 'Paradise' LP, Shares New Single]]>

Jenn Grant's last full-length arrived with Compostela back in 2014, but the Haligonian singer-songwriter is set to return with a new album early next year. Paradise will be out on March 3 through Outside in Canada and Ba Da Bing Records in the United States.
 
The album marks Grant's sixth, and it was recorded at her home studio with her husband and producer Daniel Ledwell. According to a press release, the new record hears Grant's usual "insight and intimacy," but also adds new layers of wisdom, which all blend together to infuse her balladry with both R&B and folk influences.
 
"I wanted to explore new soundscapes," Grant said in a statement. "I also thought about my singing much more. I feel like I am a completely different artist from when I began performing. I don't feel like I really heard my own voice until recently. The delivery of songs has become crucial to me. For some of these new songs, I decided to approach singing more like a whisper, to get a feel for it's softness."
 
The first sampling of the new material arrives with lead single "Galaxies," which aims to evoke the awe experienced at trips to the planetarium, as well as greater existential questions. "I pictured people standing at the edge of the earth, hands outstretched, asking, 'What is bigger than us, than this?'" Grant explained.
 
You can check out the full tracklisting for Paradise below, then hit play to hear "Galaxies" beyond that. You can pre-order Paradise here.

Along with the new album, Grant will be taking the album on a North American tour next year. It comes with plenty of Canadian dates, and you can see them all below.
 
Paradise:
 
1. Paradise
2. Galaxies
3. In My Dreams
4. Lion With Me
5. I'm A River
6. Hero
7. Dogfight
8. Rocket
9. Sorry Doesn't Know
10. Working Girl
11. Legacy

Tour dates:

03/09 New York City, NY - The Rockwood Music Hall
03/12 Boston, MA - Club Passim
03/15 Montreal, QC - Petit Campus
03/18 London, ON -  Aeolian Hall
03/22 Waterloo, ON - Starlight
03/24 Toronto, ON - The Great Hall
03/25 Ottawa, ON - National Arts Centre Theatre
03/27 Winnipeg, MB - The Park Theatre
03/28 Regina, SK - Artesian
03/30 Saskatoon, SK - The Bassment
03/31 Edmonton, AB - The Rec Room
04/03 Nelson, BC - Spirit Bar
04/05 Nanaimo, BC - The Queens
04/06 Cumberland, BC - The Waverly
04/07 Victoria, BC - Sugar Nightclub
04/08 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
04/27 Charlottetown, PE - Florence Simmons Performance Hall
04/29 Margaretsville, NS - Evergreen Theatre
05/06 Lunenburg, NS - Lunenburg Opera House
05/13 Halifax, NS - Rebecca Cohn Theatre
05/17 London, UK - The Green Note
05/19 Manchester, UK - The Castle Hotel
05/21 Glasgow, UK - The Hug & Pint
05/24 Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
 
]]>
Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Damien Jurado & Richard Swift - Other People's Songs: Volume One]]>

It shouldn't be a surprise that Other People's Songs is an album composed entirely of covers, or that Damien Jurado and Richard Swift are working together — Swift has produced several of Jurado's previous releases. What's surprising is that Jurado and Swift manage to strip down these nine songs and reinvent them as something entirely original.
 
The songs chosen by Jurado and Swift is what makes Other People's Songs stand out. It's representative of the duo as aficionados of their trade, and reflects the gamut of their musical taste. Through mastery of their craft, Jurado and Swift pay homage to cult icons like Bill Fay and John Denver, and also more popular acts such as Yes, Chubby Checker and even Kraftwerk. The motif in these choices is definitely demonstrative of a passion for '50s, '60s and (mostly) '70s-era rock'n'roll, soul and pop that's catchy, upbeat and, mostly, groovy.
 
Other People's Songs is ultimately a passion project, the sound of two music-loving friends pulling out some antiquated recording equipment and just jamming songs out. The warmth these lo-fi recordings emit, though, is felt through and through; hopefully, Volume One is the beginning of what could be an incredible series.]]>
Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Zack Fenech)
<![CDATA[​Hear the Social Experiment Rework Paul Simon Tracks into "Stranger"]]>

The Social Experiment have gained plenty of acclaim for their work with Chance the Rapper, but a couple members of the collective have just shared a new collaborative track that hears them taking on the work of Paul Simon.
 
Nico Segal (formerly known as Donnie Trumpet) and Nate Fox have helmed a remix of two songs from Simon's recent LP, Stranger to Stranger. The new track brings together "The Werewolf" and "The Clock," merging them into a cut simply called "Stranger."
 
Segal shared the song on Twitter, declaring Simon one of his "biggest inspirations." Give it a listen below.



Simon's not the only folk great that Segal's paid homage to recently; he recorded with Neil Young at Rick Rubin's Shangri-La studio earlier this month.
 
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Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:39:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Joel Plaskett Joins Forces with His Father Bill for 'Solidarity' Album]]>

A little over a year removed from passing The Park Avenue Sobriety Test, East Coast singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett is truly making his next musical effort a family affair. Recorded alongside his father Bill, the pair have announced that a collaborative album titled Solidarity will arrive in February through Pheromone Recordings

Running 11 tracks in length, Solidarity is described by Bill as "a touch of the traditional mixed in with the new, and a lot of the unexpected, arrived at through experimentation."

The record's title track, which can be heard below, is perhaps the truest summation of their collaboration both lyrically and sonically. 

"I wanted a song Dad and I could sing together that connected our individual journeys and our personal politics," Joel said. "The word 'solidarity' came to mind and didn't leave."

Not unlike his son, Bill is an accomplished musician in his own right.

"My father has certainly been one of my biggest musical influences," Joel said. "I grew up around him playing guitars and his love of folk music, particularly music from the British Isles and Ireland is something I've inherited from him – artists like Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson and Paul Brady. Conversely, I have introduced him to some of my favourite records by artists like Those Bastard Souls, Led Zeppelin and Gillian Welch."

Alongside the album announcement, the pair of Plasketts have detailed an accompanying trek in support of the new disc. The "Solidarity Tour" will begin on March 15 and will take them both across Canada straight through until May. A current list of dates can be found below, with more set to be added. Tickets for all shows will go on sale December 2.

Solidarity officially arrives February 17 through Pheromone. Read through the tracklisting and tour dates to hear the title track in the player below.

Solidarity:

1. Dragonfly
2. The Next Blue Sky
3. We Have Fed You All For 1000 Years
4. Blank Cheque
5. Help Me Somebody Depression Blues
6. Up In The Air
7. Jim Jones
8. The New California
9. No Sight Compares
10. Solidarity
11. On Down The River

Tour dates:

03/15 Truro, NS - Marigold Cultural Centre
03/17 Montreal, QC - L'Astral
03/18 Ottawa, ON - National Arts Centre
03/22 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
03/23 Regina, SK - WA WA Shire Centre
03/24 Saskatoon, SK - Broadway Theatre
03/29 Kelowna, BC - Mary Irwin Theatre
03/30 Nanaimo, BC - The Queens
03/31 Victoria, BC - Alix Goolden Performance Hall
04/01 Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre
04/05 Waterloo, ON - Starlight
04/06 Waterloo, ON - Starlight
04/07 Hamilton, ON - The Studio at Hamilton Place
04/12 London, ON - Aeolian Hall
04/13 London, ON - Aeolian Hall
04/14 Stratford, ON - Avondale United Church
04/20 Halifax, NS - Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
04/22 Port Hawkesbury, NS - Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre
05/04 Paris, ON - Dominion Telegraph
05/05 Bayfield, ON - Old Town Hall

]]>
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:55:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Lambchop Reveal North American Tour Behind 'FLOTUS']]>

With Kurt Wagner and co. releasing their FLOTUS album earlier this month, it only makes sense that Lambchop would take it out on a tour. So they'll soon be doing just that.

Following a string of European dates, the forward-thinking Nashville indie vets will kick off a North American tour in March. Along with several U.S. stops, it will also find Lambchop playing Toronto on March 27.

You can check out the entire tour schedule below.

The dates will find Wagner and bandmates Tony Crow and Matt Swanson touring as a quartet with Wye Oak member Andy Stack.

Tour dates:

10/29 Bilbao, ES – Bizkaia International Music Experience
10/30 Zaragoza, ES – Bombo y Platillo
11/02 Castellon, ES – Teatro Principal
11/03 Sevilla, ES – Auditorio Box
11/04 Cartagena, ES – Cartagena Jazz Festival
01/26 London, UK – Roundhouse
01/30 Paris, FR – Trabendo
02/05 Erlangen, DE – Markgrafentheater
02/06 Luzern, CH – Sudpol
02/08 Zurich, CH – Schauspielhaus
02/09 Utrecht, NL – Tivoli/Vredenburg (Cloud Nine)
02/10 Groningen, NL – Oosterpoort
02/11 Brussels, BE – Botanique
02/12 Mainz, DE – Frankfurter Hof
02/14 Vienna, AT – WUK
02/15 Munich, DE – Kammerspiele
02/17 Dortmund, DE – Konzerthaus
02/18 Berlin, DE – Heimathafen
02/20 Hannover, DE – Capitol
02/21 Cologne, DE – Gloria
02/22 Hamburg, DE – Elbphilharmonie
02/25 Stockholm, SE - Fasching
02/26 Oslo, NO - Parkteatret
02/27 Copenhagen, DK – Vega
02/28 Leipzig, DE – Felsenkeller
03/01 Mannheim, DE – Capitol
03/02 Linz, AT – Posthof
03/22 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway Nightclub
03/23 Iowa City, IA – The Mill
03/24 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
03/25 Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
03/27 Toronto, ON – The Great Hall
03/28 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
03/30 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
03/31 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
04/01 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
04/02 Carrboro, NC – Cat's Cradle
04/07 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West (Lambchop trio of Kurt, Tony & Matt)

]]>
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:25:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Danny Michel Details 'Khlebnikov' LP]]>

Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel recently gave us the ins and outs of recording his latest album in the Canadian Arctic aboard a Russian icebreaker, and now more details on his latest effort have surfaced. Titled Khlebnikov, the album will arrive in late January.

Running 10 tracks in length, the album was recorded aboard the Russian vessel (named Kapitan Khlebnikov) as part of Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield's Generator Arctic expedition, which saw scientists, photographers, writers, videographers and musicians travel the Arctic Ocean and capture their experience to share with the rest of the world through their respective disciplines.

As far as Michel's recording process went, he created the record in a makeshift studio aboard the ship built from camera tripods, hair ties and gaffing tape. Col. Hadfield features on the LP singing in Russian, while Michel also incorporated found sound through recording the ship kitchen's dishwasher.

Along with the announcement, Michel has shared album cut "24,000 Horses," which was inspired by a beautiful moment in nature that took place in the early hours of the morning.

"One evening at 4 a.m. I woke to massive muffled booms and thuds of the Khlebnikov lurching through the Arctic ice," Michel recalled in a statement. "Too curious to sleep I put on all of my gear and went outside to see what was happening. There alone, at the bow I witnessed one of the most glorious moments of my life. Under an endless sky and midnight sun, I watched pieces of ice the size of tennis courts break, flip, and bounce around like bowling pins under the hull of the mighty Khlebnikov. Later that day I wrote '24,000 Horses'"

​Khlebnikov arrives on January 20, but listeners in Western Canada will have a chance to take in songs from Michel's new LP on a short run of dates next month. You can find those, along with the tracklisting and lyric video for "24,000 Horses," below.

Khlebnikov:

1. Inlet
2. Khlebnikov
3. 24,000 Horses
4. Homeless
5. Lifeboat
6. Qilakitsoq
7. Fall (ft. Chris Hadfield)
8. The Dishwasher's Dream
9. Down Down Down
10. Outlet

Tour dates:

12/01 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
12/02 Edmonton, AB - St. Basil's Cultural Centre (Sold Out)
12/04 Lethbridge, AB - Geomatic Attic (Sold Out)
12/05 Canmore, AB - Communitea
12/06 Rossland, BC - Flying Steam Shovel
12/08 Vancouver, BC - St. James Hall
12/09 Erring, BC - Errington Hall

]]>
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 16:27:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Neil Young Pens Passionate Plea in Support of Standing Rock Protestors]]>

No stranger to supporting environmental causes, Neil Young has penned a lengthy message to United States President Barack Obama, calling to support the protestors at Standing Rock.

Police monitoring the peaceful protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline used water cannons and rubber bullets in an effort to deter demonstrations last week, with 17 protesters requiring medical treatment for hypothermia among other health concerns.

"We are calling upon you, President Barack Obama, to step in and end the violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock immediately," Young wrote in a Facebook post today (November 28). "Your growing activism in support of freedom over repression, addressing climate change, swiftly replacing a destructive old industries with safe, regenerative energy, encouraging wholistic thinking in balance with the future of our planet; that activism will strengthen and shed continued light on us all. These worthy goals must be met for the all the world's children and theirs after them. This is our moment for truth."

Young also wrote about his experience in visiting the site earlier this month, where he performed for protestors on his 71st birthday. "It is an awakening. All here together, with their non-native relatives, standing strong in the face of outrageous, unnecessary and violent aggression," he wrote. "We will be going back to support the water protectors again."

Despite their recent history regarding music usage, Young warned of the impact president-elect Donald Trump could have on the situation once he takes power. 

"The surprise president elect was not the winner of the popular vote [and] does not have a mandate for the change of ideals envisioned. Keep in mind, close to over two million more people voted for another candidate," Young wrote. "Nor is the surprise president the leader of the free world. Two hundred of the world's nations believe in science, above the profits of the oil, gas and coal industries, and are committed to working together to protect the future from an unchecked climate crisis."

In conclusion, the rocker urged readers to be "Unintimidated, stand, speak up and show up. Be counted. Be like our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock. Be there if you can. The progress we have made over two hundred and forty years as a nation, has always come first from the people."

Young's new record Peace Trail is set to arrive on December 9 through Reprise. Read his entire statement regarding Standing Rock and view an accompanying video he shot in the player below.

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Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:50:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Winsome Kind - "Sweet Second" / "Song for a Winter's Night" (Gordon Lightfoot cover) (videos)]]>

Christmastime is almost upon us, and Vancouver-based folk pop sweethearts Winsome Kind are celebrating with a single. They've rolled out two new tunes for the holidays: a seasonal original called "Sweet Second" and a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "Song for a Winter's Night."

The husband-and-wife duo recorded "Sweet Second" in the CBC Saskatchewan building along with a drummer, upright bassist and pianist. It's a romantic, wintry tune about all-too-brief moments in front of the fire with a lover. The similarly tender "Song for a Winter's Night" comes from the same session, and it features the couple harmonizing while gazing into one another's eyes.

The songs were mixed by Tom Dobrzanski (of the Zolas) in Vancouver. Check out the premiere of the songs below along with in-studio videos captured during the recording session.

Tour dates:

12/01 North Vancouver, BC - Musos Holiday Show
12/03 Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Christmas Market (3:30-5:30 p.m.)



]]>
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Alex Hudson)
<![CDATA[​Laura Marling Announces 'Semper Femina' LP, Shares New Video]]>

We heard from Laura Marling earlier this year when she launched a new podcast project called Reversal of the Muse, exploring femininity in creativity. Now, she's revealed that a new album is on the way.
 
Semper Femina is due out on March through Marling's own More Alarming label. The record will mark the follow-up to 2015's Short Movie, and while it was written primarily on the road over the course of last year, it was captured to tape in Los Angeles with producer Blake Mills.
 
The new album picks up on similar themes to those discussed on Reversal of the Muse, addressing "questions of how society views sexuality and gender but without seeking to provide definitive answers."
 
"I started out writing Semper Femina as if a man was writing about a woman," Marling said in a statement. "And then I thought it's not a man, it's me — I don't need to pretend it's a man to justify the intimacy of the way I'm looking and feeling about women. It's me looking specifically at women and feeling great empathy towards them and by proxy towards myself."
 
The nine-song tracklisting for Semper Femina can be found below. The vinyl version of the album features two discs, the second one containing a live recording of the album in its entirety from a show at Martyrs' in Chicago.
 
The first preview of the upcoming album arrives with lead single "Soothing." The new track comes complete with an accompanying music video, which was directed by Marling herself. Scroll past the tracklisting and hit play to check it out.
 
Semper Femina:
 
1. Soothing
2. The Valley
3. Wild Fire
4. Don't Pass Me By
5. Always This Way
6. Wild Once
7. Next Time
8. Nouel
9. Nothing Not Nearly
 
]]>
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 08:53:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Gillian Welch - Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg]]>

It's coming on Christmas, and no doubt the shelves are stocked with deluxe this, complete box set that; but Gillian Welch's Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg is something different.
 
At times it almost feels like you're listening to a collection compiled for the Smithsonian, yet that's not right either, because Boots is hardly field recordings. It contains outtakes, demos and, in one case, an early morning live radio broadcast. It's a direct line to the early-mid '90s in Nashville that feels like it, in turn, had a direct line to the '30s (and '40s, and '50s, and '60s …). It contains the raw materials from which Welch and David Rawlings, along with producer T Bone Burnett, would go on to create Revival, the duo's seminal American gothic debut album that we know and love so well, and that set the stage for so much subsequent Americana.
 
The earliest song on this new double album is an "Orphan Girl" home demo, recorded in January, 1993 after Welch had been in Nashville only about six months, Rawlings one month less. It's the exact four-track tape that got the song covered by Tim and Mollie O'Brien and Emmylou Harris.
 
But the bulk of this collection is outtakes and alternate versions (and alternate mixes) from the Revival sessions in the summer of 1995. What's incredible is the quality of the recordings that ended up on the cutting room floor in the process of making Revival. Boots' more rough and intimate look behind the duo's evolution and process is in its way no less compulsively listenable than the cohesive Revival itself, which would introduce Welch and Rawlings to the world sounding basically fully formed.
 
To give a sense of what was at play here: Rawlings had just lucked upon the realization that he could get a great sound out of an archtop guitar after he arrived in Hollywood for the sessions; and Welch and Rawlings were still solidifying the duo partnership (as songwriters as well as performers) that would inform their entire career. Some of the songs were still being finished ("Only One and Only") and some were a big part of their live set but wouldn't make the album ("Wichita"). Some, like the bawdy talky blues "Georgia Road," were recorded and apparently never played again.
 
On Boots, you get both a taste of the early duo versions of songs that would appear with a band on the album; and also of Welch and Rawlings' goofier, more hepped-up side, especially with T Bone and the band, on songs like the Johnny Cash-inspired "Dry Town" and "455 Rocket," where T Bone moves from hand claps to maracas to a very rock'n'roll piano solo. When Welch and Rawlings plug in for "Pass You By" it's surprisingly bluesy and loud. Early Welch and Rawlings turn out to be more eclectic, bar-broken, and for lack of better word, country, than I realized — Boots kind of busts Gillian Welch's reputation of being unshakeably solemn.
 
That said, the reason Welch and Rawlings came out the other end of this with "a sound" is that that sound works best for them; I'd listen to the tracks that are just the two of them any day, from "Annabelle" to "Go on Downtown" (a wonderful Robert Earl Keen cover that didn't make the record, simply because they decided to go with all originals) to "By the Mark," with Rawlings' beautiful counter-melody harmony. Same with "One More Dollar," "Barroom Girls" and "Red Clay Halo."
 
On Boots, you get to hear a duo that are still figuring it out (an early version of "Tear My Stillhouse Down" is perhaps most dramatically different, and you'll hear Welch sing on Boots in ways you probably never have before), yet at the same time are already holding those magic ingredients — the close harmonies and fluid, improvised guitar parts, the stellar songwriting — that make them so instantly recognizable, even after all these years.]]>
Fri, 25 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Greene)
<![CDATA[Tasseomancy at the 24-Hour Cosmic Laundromat, Contemplating 'Do Easy']]>

Sometimes you have to get away from home to find out who you are. Toronto dream-folk band Tasseomancy's last album, 2015's Palm Wine Revisited, was partially recorded in Kensington Market, and at Artscape Gibraltar, but for their new release, Do Easy (out now on Hand Drawn Dracula) they've been further afield.
 
"We're always interested in places that are no one's home — liminal spaces, where the usual rules don't apply, like train stations, or 24-hour diners," says Romy Lightman.
 
Sari Lightman, her twin sister and co-frontwoman, joins in. "Midnight diners are a rebellion against the very way we order our time, of the separation of day and night. And if we're on 'Tasseotime,' we keep no respectable or predictable hours."
 
Los Angeles, one of those further afield places they've found themselves, has often been mythologized as one big borderline space. In songs by Tom Waits, or novels by Raymond Chandler, the city comes off as a home of permanent nomads. No wonder time spent living and recording there has altered the Lightman's point of view.
 
"There's no where to go in L.A., no where you could walk to or ride your bike," Romy explains, "And we like being hobbits who stay in our village and know everybody. For us, living in L.A. was a social science experiment. We weren't, like, the small-town kids hopping off the bus in bowties, hoping to 'make it.' We're more interested in the kind of artists that have a slow burn, that are allowed to take the time to get really good at what they do."
 
Romy refers to Toronto songwriter Jennifer Castle as the sort of artist to take as a career model, "She's always doing something interesting, something different. And people know to sort of leave a space for her."
 
Sari agrees, "And that's what we've been doing on this album, looking for inspiration to people who've made a life that pushed against those conventional paths."
 
In that vein, Tasseomancy have a song on Do Easy based on one of Colette's early novels, Claudine and Annie. The French writer's career is another source of inspiration. "In her 20s and 30s, she was married to a publisher who took her books and printed them under his own name," explains Sari. "So she split and started over, became a vaudeville performer, and wrote provocative, experimental, exciting books."
 
"As a culture, we undermine the small things. We want the big flashy thing," says Romy. "And doing easy feels like giving yourself more choices. It's like doing your cosmic laundry. Nobody wants to do it, but it's the only way to do things your way."
 
Check out the video for "Missoula" below.
 
]]>
Fri, 25 Nov 2016 08:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Emily Zimmerman)
<![CDATA[Cass McCombs Shares Video Inspired by Canada's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women]]>

The shuffle of Cass McCombs's "Run Sister Run" arrived on the songwriter's Mangy Love LP earlier this year. Now, the track has been treated to a video that features the inspiring story of a Canadian track and field athlete who looked to raise awareness to the country's missing and murdered indigenous women.

The video follows Manitoba native Tracie Léost, who set out on a four-day, 115-kilometre solo trek on foot to bring attention to what she believed was an epidemic. In the clip, Léost dons her running gear and a pair of moccasins in recreating her run, striding through rural Canada past memorial bouquets and dresses hung up to commemorate the missing women.

"Every second day it seemed like there was another story about a young First Nations female who had gone missing or murdered," Léost told Vogue. "And our prime minister at the time, Stephen Harper, denied that there needed to be an open inquiry into it. I kept bringing it up to my indigenous studies teacher until finally he said to me, 'If you want to see changes, why don't you do something about it?' "

The video was shot and directed by photographer and McCombs collaborator Rachael Pony Cassells, who thought of the young runner's story when asked to make a video for Mangy Love. The project ended up becoming a family affair, with Léost's grandfather making a Steadicam out of hay bales and a blanket, while her mother drove the truck for tracking shots.

"I was thinking of film and I was drawing a blank on images of strong women running in films," Cassells told Vogue. "All my immediate thoughts were of women being chased....Women running in public space is an act of defiance."

In completing her run, Léost raised more than $6,000 for the Families First Foundation, which helps the families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has since opened the long-awaited public inquiry Léost began running for.

McCombs's Mangy Love is out now through Anti-. Watch the video for "Run Sister Run" and a short documentary about its creation in the players below.



]]>
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 14:46:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Father John Misty - "Holy Hell"]]>

Never one to be silent for long, Father John Misty has unloaded another nugget of song upon us. This time this comes via the new track "Holy Hell."

Stripped down to just Joshua Tillman and his piano, the song weaves an appropriately dark atmosphere, as the balladeer strikes a political nerve. Starting with a grim "Hell / Holy Hell / Holy Hell / Damn the future ain't looking so bright," Tillman sings of "highly effective rhetoric" and "perverts who get off on it."

He even closes with a pseudo call to arms, singing, "But all my friends, yeah, I'm talking to you / The world won't end unless we want it to / There's no one in control / And it's our life to choose."

Hear the seemingly one-off track for yourself below.

]]>
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 23:54:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Shirley Collins - Lodestar]]>

Being a song catcher is it's own art, different from being a songwriter, but quite as necessary. Shirley Collins' fifties and sixties recordings of British and North American folksongs are still crucial listening for fans of traditional, often horror-tinged ballads. Lodestar is true to Collins' roots. These are songs of murder and revenge, not tame pastoral fantasies. Some ballads are heartrending, some, darkly funny, some gruesome. And death is a never far away, sometimes as in  "Death and the Lady," it's even a character in the story. Collins sounds like a fairy-tale grandmother, something out of an Angela Carter book, telling thrillingly scary stories that impart useful warnings of strange men in the woods.
 
Collins ' strengths have always been in song selection and in performance. Backhanded compliment it may be, but she has the sort of singing voice that loses nothing with age. She's always depended on phrasing over tone, and doesn't sound much different than she did 50 years ago. The same goes for the instruments; Lodestar is true to the song catcher aesthetic of mid-century folk music. It sounds like it was recorded on a reel-to-reel in Collins' front room. You can clearly hear where Collins takes a breath, and the squeak of strings played close to the mic.
 
This is Collins' first album in nearly 40 years. Apocryphally, she lost her voice when her husband left her for another woman, which frankly sounds like the plot of one of her tragic ballads. And yet, not all is gloomy. The album contains a version of "Pretty Polly", not the Appalachian murder ballad of the same name, but the one about the girl who dresses as a soldier to follow her sweetheart. After the war, Polly "…Lives at her ease/She goes out when she's ready, returns when she please" which is about as happy an ending a girl in a ballad could have.]]>
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:30:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Emily Zimmerman)
<![CDATA[The Wooden Sky's Annual Holiday Revue Returns]]>

The Wooden Sky recently road-tested some new material, but they've returned home and are preparing for their annual Holiday Revue.
 
This year marks the seventh time that the band have organized the Christmastime shows, and they will once again be hosting the fundraising concerts over multiple nights in multiple cities.
 
On December 12, the band will take over St. Alban's Church in Ottawa. Proceeds from the event will benefit Carty House. The Facebook event page can be found here.
 
The show will then come to Toronto's 918 Bathurst. With the December 14 show nearly sold out already, the band have added a second show on December 15. Tickets for the second date go on sale this morning (November 21) at 11 a.m. local time. Proceeds from the Toronto editions of the Holiday Revue will be donated to Romero House.
 
Each of the three shows will see the Wooden Sky joined by special surprise guests.
 
Singer Gavin Gardiner shared a statement about the upcoming benefit shows, and you can see it in full below:
 
It's hard to believe it's been seven years since we had the gall to call the first event an 'annual' affair. Over the years this has been an opportunity for us to bring a great group of friends together, try out new songs and play old ones in new ways. After spending the year recording and touring in conventional venues, it's really special for us to put on such a D.I.Y. event, taking on every responsibility from delivering tickets by bike, to setting up the bar. Of course it's not just the five of us putting it together, it takes a lot of loved ones to pull it off and we couldn't do it without them.
 
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Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA['Farewell to the Anxieties of Youth': Collaborators Help Martha Wainwright Find Herself on 'Goodnight City']]>

Martha Wainwright's new album, Goodnight City (out now on Cadence) is "a farewell to youth and the anxieties and the angst of youth." Her last solo album, 2012's Come Home To Mama, was partially a response to the death of her mother, Kate McGarrigle, in 2010, which happened immediately after Wainwright herself became a mother.
 
In the interceding years, Wainwright had a second child and made a record of creepy lullabies with her half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche (2015's Songs In the Dark). So at 40, Wainwright is deep in the "domestic life," as she calls it; a place of strength and kindness and less-self-absorption, but not always especially conducive to songwriting.
 
"I knew I needed to make a record, and I didn't quite have enough songs — probably because I was more distracted from being a songwriter from being a mother," she tells Exclaim! "I spoke to [pianist and co-producer] Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, The National) and he had this idea of asking other songwriters that we know to write songs for me or with me in mind as a way to fill out an album.
 
"For me it was a great release," Wainwright adds. "I wrote six or seven songs for this record but it was wonderful to not have the pressure of writing all 12 or 13."
 
It was also an opportunity for Wainwright — an incredibly versatile, theatrical, and sometimes edgy singer — to flex out in various directions and stylistically meet her writers and co-writers halfway. She says she made changes to all the songs, except her brother Rufus Wainwright's song about her younger son, Francis. "It was basically me sounding like Rufus, which is really fun," she says. Other contributors include Wainwright's cousin, Lily Lanken and aunt, Anna McGarrigle; poetry/lyrics by Michael Ondaatje paired with music by Bartlett; Beth Orton, Glen Hansard and Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus.
 
"I get to play bit more, I get to be a little bit more theatrical, I get to be a little more open," Wainwright says. "Less constrained by my own life and my own eccentricities. In many ways it's the way I've always wanted to make music." Wainwright explains that her taste has always been eclectic, but early on she felt pressured to stay more in a box or a genre.
 
"I would sort of touch on these interests of mine: a little jazzy here, a little rocky there, but I was never able to fully go for it as much as I've let myself do on this record. Even my own songs — I find my own songs are much more open and they're definitely less navel-gazing."
 
Wainwright views Goodnight City as being more hopeful, joyful and lighter than her previous records (though it has it's blue moments) and admits this probably has to do with parenthood and aging. Her sons, Arcangelo and Francis Valentine, and her husband, bassist and co-producer Brad Albetta, permeate the album: there are three songs that are specifically about the kids, and many of the other songs mention them.
 
"It's kind of a great relief," Wainwright says. "You have to be stronger for your kids. You have to get out of the bed in the morning and make breakfast and be available to them emotionally cause they need you to be. You can't really fall apart, or, you can, but you have to hide that as best as you can to protect them."
 
"Around The Bend," one of the best songs on the album, and one of the ones that Wainwright wrote, is partly autobiographical, partly fictional, and may just be about consciously choosing to leave the dark times behind.
 
"I've had a lot of great opportunities and a lot has been handed to me in my life. I'm a very privileged person but I've always struggled a lot," Wainwright admits. "There was something uncomfortable with everything in the past for me; I've been pained, I've been insecure, I've felt that somehow I didn't succeed or [something] was not quite right.
 
"I've always had that weight on me, I don't know why exactly, but I feel that with this [record] that sort of changed a bit. Maybe I'm one of those people — I'm hoping that I'm one of those people — that the second half of my life is going to be better than the first."
 
Martha Wainwright will be performing in Toronto, ON on November 23 and Stratford, ON on November 24.]]>
Fri, 18 Nov 2016 14:13:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Greene)
<![CDATA[Conor Oberst / Waxahatchee - Massey Hall, Toronto ON, November 17]]>

Many are quick to dismiss affection for Conor Oberst as a passing phase, implying that his music is merely a coping mechanism to get young listeners through the melodramatic, angst-ridden years of adolescence. But for those who have stuck with the singer-songwriter, following his work into post-Bright Eyes solo offerings, there's an emotional attachment that isn't as easy to leave behind as high school itself.
 
His music dials into a certain universal sadness, and on his latest record Ruminations, his songs are still packed with allusions to existential dread, Catholic guilt ("The Rain Follows the Plow"), addiction ("Gossamer Thin," "Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out") and mental illness ("Counting Sheep"). It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that Oberst's live performances are far from being traditionally fun affairs.
 
Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield opened Thursday evening's (November 17) show with an immaculate solo set of her achingly honest songs, setting heart-on-sleeve lyrics to lo-fi indie rock and introducing lots of new material, as well as a handful of songs from her first three LPs, to a deservedly larger audience. Accompanied by just her electric guitar, Crutchfield's set was sparse but gorgeous, with American Weekend oldies like "Bathtub" and set closer "I Think I Love You" tugging particularly tightly on heartstrings, covering the theatre with a blanket of beautiful melancholy before Oberst took the stage.
 
Taking a seat at his piano and strapping a harmonica around his neck, Oberst launched into "Tachycardia," kicking off what would be a performance of Ruminations from start to finish. Recorded while Oberst was holed up in Nebraska recovering from a cyst on his brain, the album's 10 instrumentally bare, lyrically raw songs are some of his finest in years. In a live setting, they were warmed up a bit thanks to MiWi La Lupa on bass and Oberst's awkward but affable stage presence, which shone through as he repeatedly switched between attacking his piano and acoustic guitar with ferocity.
 
He credited "your boy Neil Young" with the idea of a fishbowl onstage to keep and clean his multiple harmonicas, introduced "Counting Sheep" as a "deranged lullaby" with a warning to young kids (though he did change the controversial "Hope it was slow / Hope it was painful" lyric about a child dying to "Hope it was quick / Hope it was peaceful," for what it's worth), and took a couple of occasions to denounce Donald Trump to rapturous applause.
 
Taking a brief pause after Ruminations' ender "Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out," Oberst returned to the stage with La Lupa in tow to delve into his vast back catalogue. "Lenders in the Temple" started the second set of the evening, but it was the back-to-back-to-back emotional onslaught of covering Leonard Cohen's "Passing Through," bringing Waxahatchee's Crutchfield out to join him for "Lua" and then delivering a spirited rendition of Lifted's "The Big Picture" that marked the high point of the night. A rousing sing-along take on "At the Bottom of Everything" followed, bringing the evening to an unexpectedly joyous close.
 
Realizing that Oberst's early work still resonates and that his new material remains relatable may be surprising (and perhaps even painful), but it's comforting to know that he's still got great songs in him — and it's moving to watch and hear him deliver them to a crowd of people that feel the same way.
 
 ]]>
Fri, 18 Nov 2016 13:04:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Bob Dylan Could Still Give His Nobel Prize Lecture Next Year, Academy Says]]>

The never-ending saga chronicling Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize in Literature victory has perhaps garnered more attention than the win itself at this point, and though he won't be picking up the prize in person, the Swedish Academy says Dylan could give his required laureate's lecture next year.

The Academy said today (November 18) that with a performance in the Swedish capital of Stockholm next year, Dylan would have "a perfect opportunity to deliver his lecture," the Associated Press reports. Academy secretary Sara Danius told Swedish public radio that Dylan can deliver the lecture as "a written speech, a spontaneous discourse, a film," or another format of his choice.

Danius added that timelines for laureate lectures are flexible, so long as they are completed within a six-month period from the official award ceremony. Though he won't be in attendance, Dylan will be officially awarded the prize on December 10.

As previously reported, Dylan was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."]]>
Fri, 18 Nov 2016 13:03:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Son Volt Return with New Album 'Notes of Blue']]>

Following a hefty bout of silence, Jay Farrar will soon be resurrecting his post-Uncle Tupelo project Son Volt for a new album. Called Notes of Blue, the new album is set to arrive on February 17 via Thirty Tigers.

While Son Volt released the archival live album Live at the Bottom Line earlier this year and treated their 1995 debut Trace to a 20th anniversary reissue in 2015, this will mark the alt-country group's first proper studio effort since 2013's Honky Tonk. According to a press release the album will feature 10 songs, which are "inspired by the spirit of the blues, but not the standard blues as most know it."

It adds: "The unique and haunting tunings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James and Nick Drake were all points of exploration for Farrar for the new collection."

Album pre-orders are set to go live on November 29 over here on Son Volt's website. That same day the band plan to announced a tour in support of the album, though so far it's unclear if the group will head to Canada.

The latest Son Volt touring lineup features Farrar, along with Andrew Duplantis, Jacob Edwards, Chris Frame and Mark Spencer.

Of course, while Farrar formed Son Volt when Uncle Tupelo broke up in 1994, Jeff Tweedy went on to form Wilco.]]>
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:20:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Jim James Says a Second Monsters of Folk Album and Film Are in the Works]]>

A little over six years ago, rumours of a second album from indie rock supergroup Monsters of Folk were promptly dismissed after being thrown about by a fake Twitter account. Now, group member and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James has revealed the four-piece haven't been completely idle these past few years.

In a Reddit AMA yesterday (November 16), James was asked whether the group that also includes M. Ward and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, had plans to release a sophomore LP. He then revealed that the band had started work on both a second record and an accompanying film project.

"We started another Monsters of Folk record a few years ago, for a screenplay that Conor wrote for a Monsters of Folk film," he said. "We hope both happen someday, cuz we wanna write music for the film, but it's tough to get a weird film made these days! Maybe someday!"

Back in 2009, James said that the group would "likely" begin working on a second record that year.

Elsewhere in the AMA, James spoke about his latest solo album Eternally Even, striving for peace and love in life, and even commented on internal combustion engines. Additionally, he revealed that My Morning Jacket have plans for a new recording project in the spring of 2017.

Monsters of Folk's self-titled debut was released in 2009. Revisit their video for "The Right Place" in the player below.

]]>
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:30:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Calum Slingerland)
<![CDATA[Pegi Young Opens Up About Neil Young Divorce on 'Raw' Album]]>

In 2014, after 36 years of marriage, Neil Young filed for divorce from his wife Pegi Young. While Neil has been actively releasing music as usual, Pegi will finally address the split on an album of her own. 

The release is called Raw and marks the fourth LP from Pegi Young. The album is a mix of covers and original songs that were co-written by Young and her bandmate Spooner Oldham.

Speaking with Rolling Stone, Pegi explained that her breakup with Neil took her by surprise. "We were having a rough patch," she said. "But I never would've thought in a million years we would be getting divorced. So, yeah, there was a bit of a shock value there."

Pegi used that shock to write the songs on Raw. As she explains in a press release, however, she hopes its themes are more universal. "Writing [Raw] was very cathartic for me," she said. "What happened was real, but I also look at this record as having a universal quality to it. I'm certainly not the only one to go through a late-in-life divorce, and I'm not going to be the last.

"I've begun to look at this record as a soundtrack to the seven stages of grief. We all have our inside voice and our outside voice and I chose to let more of my inside voice out on this record. And each song could be sung by either party."

You can hear Raw's lead single "Too Little, Too Late" below. In addition to original compositions, Raw features covers of Dolly Parton, Otis Clay, Randy VanWarmer and others.

Raw will arrive on February 17 via Baltimore Thrush Records. Pegi Young & the Survivors will also embark on a tour in 2017, the dates of which are yet to be revealed.

]]>
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:31:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Josiah Hughes)
<![CDATA[Hear M Mac and Flex the Antihero Join Forces to Remix Birds of Bellwoods]]>

Toronto folk quartet Birds of Bellwoods released their debut EP The Fifth this year, and now one of the tracks off that effort has been twisted into a "folk-hop" offering.
 
"Grey Ghosts" has been given a remix courtesy of Toronto producer M Mac, and in addition to amping up the formerly calm folk vibes of the song, he's also enlisted rapper Flex the Antihero for a string of guest verses.
 
"I immediately gravitated to 'Grey Ghosts' — it had this really cool eerie energy to it and I knew immediately I would have a lot to work with," M Mac tells Exclaim! "Around the time I began crafting the remix, Flex and I were working on his new album, Born Rebels. He's as much a fan of Birds of Bellwoods as I so it just made sense to get him on it. The rest is history."
 
Flex adds: "M Mac threw it out there that he was working on remixing some of Bellwoods music. He seemed pretty geeked over getting his hands on them, and I was as well. Stevie and I had discussed finding something to work on together, and 'Grey Ghosts' was always a favourite of mine. I don't really feel it was so 'out there' to me, as it has been a natural progression for me to start messing with music outside of my genre. I was a fan of their work prior, so it was a no brainer."
 
Hear the deeper, darker new rendition of "Grey Ghosts" in the player below.

 ]]>
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 10:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[New Details Surrounding Leonard Cohen's Cause of Death Revealed]]>

While the world continues to mourn the loss of Leonard Cohen, more details have now been revealed regarding the Canadian icon's cause of death. According to Cohen's manager, Robert B. Kory, Cohen's death came after a fall in the night.

"Leonard Cohen died during his sleep following a fall in the middle of the night on Nov. 7," Kory said in a statement released to the New York Times. "The death was sudden, unexpected and peaceful."

As previously reported, Cohen's death at the age of 82 followed a long period of ill health. Cohen revealed he was suffering from cancer in his final interview, which was conducted with The New Yorker. Shortly before his death, he made headlines by stating, "I am ready to die."

Sadly, Cohen's swan song proved to be the recent You Want It Darker.

 ]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 18:54:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Tasseomancy - Do Easy]]>

If Tasseomancy's last album, 2015's Palm Wine Revisited, was a lush and mysterious landscape, their latest work focuses in on a much smaller picture. Do Easy is witchery on a more minute scale, a far more domestic weirdness. Using the full range of their expressive voices, Romy and Sari Lightman and their band conjure up references to musician, books and films, as though going through a collection.
 
The esoteric lyrical subjects, seemingly random instrumentation (dreamy bebop saxophone from nowhere, anyone?) and arrangements seem cobbled together, a serendipitous jumble of mismatched sounds. The result is like picking your way through a house stuffed with brilliant clutter, or reading a story told only through shelf contents, and realising that it's all a deliberate assemblage.
 
The album's central piece, the title song, is inspired a 1972 William S. Burroughs essay. Like a strung-out mystic Marie Kondo, Burroughs described a ritualistic, self-hypnotic re-wiring of one's habits, until grace and perfect personal order were as natural as breathing. Do Easy, the album, makes the magical mundane, and vice-versa.]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Emily Zimmerman)
<![CDATA[Miranda Lambert - The Weight of These Wings ]]>

When first single "Vice" was released, I hoped that The Weight of These Wings would be Miranda Lambert's Blood on the Tracks. Considering how sophisticated that song was, I was even hoping for an album as good as Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E, a baroque work of broken feelings, of self-loathing over bad men and worse relationships. But Blood on the Tracks is over in 10 tracks, less than an hour, and Tammy Wynette does the same job over 11 songs and 29 minutes. Lambert's new full-length is 24 songs over two discs.  
 
If it was ten songs, it could have been a tightly contained narrative about the pull of vice and its logical consequences. "Vice" here is not only a metonym for sex; like "Smoking and Drinking" or "Little Red Wagon" off 2014's Platinum, it's about a whole catalogue of vices, including leaving too soon, drinking whiskey, spending too much time at the bar, her vagabond ways, an ambivalent relationship with Christianity and the totemic power of cheap plastic sunglasses.  

However, when she sings about sex, Lambert's at full strength. The hint of it in "Vice," about how she can not avoid what's terrible for her, leads into "Smoking Jacket," a smouldering torch song about claiming pleasure and refusing moralism with a serpentine guitar line and languorous percussion. The whole song moves between countrypolitan, cabaret and chanson, picking up the cleverness and eroticism of all of those forms. Written by Lambert herself, Natalie Hemby and Lucie Silvas, it features lines like "I want a man who knows his status / and makes a habit of loving me as it burns," and, "I want a man with a smoking jacket / and a car which is classically bourgeois."
 
The best, perhaps, is "We go together / like nicotine and Chanel," and when the album works, it goes together just like that. The cleverness of songs like "Smoking Jacket" is deepened by the simple story well told "Pushin' Time" and the heartbreaking "Getaway Driver." But there are a few clunkers here. The nostalgia of "Tomboy" doesn't work thematically, and "Covered Wagon" is placed too close to the end of the first disc. Also, as much as I love "Pink Sunglasses" or the working class solidarity of "We Should Be Friends," it doesn't work as well as similar songs on previous albums.
 
But these are minor complaints, and there's a masterpiece of a divorce album hidden in here. Cobble together "Vice," "Smoking Jacket," "Pushin' Time," "Runnin' Just in Case," "Use My Heart," "Well Rested," "Covered Wagon," Ugly Lights" and "Bad Boy" in roughly that order, and you have a lasting classic — almost as good as Tammy or Dylan.]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Anthony Easton)
<![CDATA[Tim Buckley - Wings: The Complete Singles 1966-1974]]>

Tim Buckley's musical growth was something to marvel at; with every album and with every song he wrote throughout his short, nine-year recording career, the American singer/songwriter became more daring, exploratory and confident. All ten of his singles (A-sides and B-sides included) have been collected — including a pair of unreleased songs from 1967 — on new compilation Wings: The Complete Singles Collection 1966-1974, along with liner notes featuring an interview with Buckley co-lyricist Larry Beckett and photos of every 45 included.
 
Released in chronological order, it's fascinating to hear Buckley's transformation from straight-ahead folk-rocker ("Wings," from his 1966 self-titled debut) to jazzy crooner obsessed with vocal experimentation ("Happy Time," from 1969's Blue Afternoon) to hard-edged boogie singer ("Move With Me," from 1972's Greetings From L.A.) and proto-classic rocker ("Wanda Lu," from his 1974 swansong Look at the Fool).  While many of his B-sides, including the cocksure honky-tonker "Honey Man" and the unearthed British invasion-inspired "Lady Give Me Your Key." show Buckley sounding exceptionally loose and experimental, Wings is a highly listenable compilation that shows this true talent across all his many musical incarnations.]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Daniel Sylvester)
<![CDATA[It's Official: Bob Dylan Will Not Be Picking Up His Nobel Prize in Person]]>

Following a whole lot of drama, it's been confirmed that Bob Dylan will not be picking up his Nobel Prize in Literature in person.

Despite finally acknowledging the award after a lot of silence, Dylan has officially told the Swedish Academy that he will not come to Stockholm to pick up the prize at the December 10 ceremony, the Associated Press reports.

The Academy said Dylan told them that "he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible."

The award was fist announced on October 13, with Dylan winning the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Soon, however, controversy began to brew due to Dylan's silence over honour, with one member of the Academy even calling him "impolite and arrogant."]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 11:20:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Where I Play - Danny Michel Aboard the Khlebnikov]]>

Danny Michel has a history of approaching music with a sense of exploration — his 2012 album Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me was recorded in Belize — and wacky adventure (check out his web video series "Dan's Space Van"). But the St. Jacobs, ON-based songwriter has outdone himself by writing and recording his upcoming album in the Canadian Arctic aboard a Russian icebreaker.
 
"It's kind of the closest thing you can get to leaving the planet, without leaving the planet," Michel says. "We might make the Guinness Book of World Records for most northern record — north of the 80th parallel."
 
Earlier this year, Michel's friend, astronaut Chris Hadfield, invited him, along with nine other writers, photographers, bloggers and filmmakers, to participate in Generator Arctic, an 18-day expedition from Greenland to Nunavut aboard the Kapitan Khlebnikov, a massive Russian icebreaker.
 
Their mission was to capture what they experienced and share it with the world, and Michel, the only musician of the group, embraced that idea wholeheartedly. "I didn't want to just write a song and put it on my next record," he says. "I wanted to write a project all around this — and I was obsessed with the boat. It's like a giant, floating Grand Budapest Hotel. I got on it and was laughing so hard. Every hallway, every room, everything looks exactly like a Wes Anderson film."
 
But it wasn't just the ship that was inspiring. The journey took the passengers to remote towns where sled dogs outnumber people, where their arrival doubled the local population; on hair-raising helicopter rides over glaciers; past humpback whales; and to Qilakitsoq, an abandoned Inuit settlement where they witnessed perfectly preserved ice mummies of women and children who died hundreds of years ago. At one point the ship came to a silent standstill — briefly breaking from its constant smashing and crunching noises — to let a polar bear pass. "We were the first human beings he'd ever seen," Michel says. "He's looking at us confused about what we are, smelling us. It was an amazing moment. I had tears in my eyes when he came up."
 
Michel wrote about the mood of the ship, the communities that they visited and the rim of the boat. But when it came time to record, he faced some unique challenges. First of all, there was nowhere to record except for his tiny cabin, #712, which he shared with a roommate. "Every time I came to do a recording, I'd have to turn the fan off and close the bathroom door — there was a fan you couldn't turn off in there — and close the port hole. It would get so hot that my roommate would come back and go 'it's so hot in here what are you doing!,'" Michel says.
 
His setup was simple and improvised: just a parlour sized Chris Hadfield model Larivee (the same kind that Hadfield took to the Space Station), two Neumann TLM 102s, a laptop, and, because they had to weigh everything they were bringing with them to meet strict weight and space restrictions, a borrowed camera tripod to use as a mic stand, gaffer tape, and a bunch of hair ties. "I totally MacGyvered it," Michel says. "I used my bathrobe as a little tent [for soundproofing]."
 
Michel says that lack of privacy resulted in Khlebnikov being a more intimate-sounding recording. "I had to sing a little quieter, because there were people all around and I didn't want to be in there screaming," says Michel. "That kind of forced it to be mellow in a neat way. We were right across the hall from a guy who had an office and his door was open all the time, our doors would open to each other."
 
Since coming back, Michel has been working with his old friend and bandmate Rob Carli (an award-winning film and TV composer) on string and brass arrangements, to give the songs a symphonic "Tom Waits meets Tim Burton" feel; you will also be able to hear sounds from the Khlebnikov's engine room on it.
 
He's also been processing what he refers to as a life-changing experience. "It's been hard for us," he says. "It took a while to process what we had seen — even Hadfield said that, and he's been to space.
 
"I was completely unprepared for the size of stuff; how [the ice] made the Grand Canyon look like Cambridge, ON; [we saw] pieces of ice that would go from Toronto to Kingston. These glaciers. And seeing how much they've receded. I'd love to take all the people in the world who don't believe in climate change up there.
 
"The world I came back to seems so crazy. All I can think about is those little mummies and those men that were harpooning the narwhals from their kayak in the freezing cold water to feed their families in the middle of nowhere, and they're living exactly the same way humans did a hundred years ago.
 
"It's just making me appreciate life a little more, go a little slower, be constantly amazed and respectful of how beautiful and immense this world is and how much we just kind of wreck stuff."]]>
Mon, 14 Nov 2016 15:18:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Greene)
<![CDATA[Blackie and the Rodeo Kings Map Out Canadian Tour Dates]]>

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings recently released their latest album Kings and Kings, and now the long-running Hamilton roots-rock unit have revealed plans to take it on the road in the new year.
 
The band will play Toronto's Massey Hall on February 25, before heading west on a run through Winnipeg, Swift Current, Saskatoon, Calgary, Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver in March.
 
Find the full list of shows down below.

Tickets go on sale November 18 and will be available here.
 
Tour dates:
 
02/25 Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
03/04 Winnipeg, MB - Burton Cummings Theatre
03/05 Swift Current, AB - The Lyric Theatre
03/06 Saskatoon, SK - The Broadway Theatre
03/07 Calgary, AB - Jack Singer Concert Hall
03/08 Regina, SK - Casino Regina
03/09 Edmonton, AB - Winspear Theatre
03/10 Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
 
]]>
Mon, 14 Nov 2016 11:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[​Leonard Cohen's Son Shares Tribute to Late Father]]>

News of Leonard Cohen's death broke on Thursday night (November 10), though it was later revealed that Cohen passed away last Monday (November 7) and has already been buried in his hometown of Montreal.
 
Now, his son Adam Cohen has shared a public statement on the passing of his father. He posted the message to Facebook yesterday (November 13), and you can read it in full below.
 


The younger Cohen produced his father's recently released final studio album You Want It Darker.
 
You can also read commemorations for the late singer, songwriter and poet from other members of the music community here.
 
]]>
Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:54:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Rock Veteran Leon Russell Dies at 74]]>

Leon Russell, a songwriter and producer whose career stretches all the way back to the 1950s, has passed away. He was 74 and died at home in Nashville.

An announcement on his website reveals, "Leon Russell died on Nov. 13, 2016 in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife said that he passed away in his sleep." He had bypass surgery this summer after suffering a heart attack.

Born in Tulsa, OK, Russell began his career as a diverse session musician who played rock, blues, gospel and country. He was known for notable collaborations with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Joe Cocker and many more.

He performed country under the name Hank Wilson in addition to releasing music under his own name. In 2010, he and Elton John teamed up for an album called The Union.

Russell was a multiple Grammy Award nominee, and George Benson won the 1976 Grammy for Record of the Year with his cover of Russell's "This Masquerade." Russell was a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

]]>
Sun, 13 Nov 2016 13:09:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Alex Hudson)
<![CDATA[Leonard Cohen Died on Monday and Has Already Been Laid to Rest]]>

While last night (November 10) we were met with the devastating news that Leonard Cohen had passed away, few details about his death were revealed. We now know, however, that Cohen in fact died on Monday (November 7).

Despite the news of his death only just being announced publicly, the Canadian legend passed away at 82 early in the week, a Sony rep confirmed to Billboard. Cohen was also reportedly already buried yesterday.

Cohen's Montreal congregation, Shaar Hashomayim, stated, "Leonard's wish was to be laid to rest in a traditional Jewish rite beside his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents."

The full statement released by the congregation reads:

'Magnified, sanctified be Thy holy name.' These are the words of Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of memory, that were recited at Eliezer/Leonard Cohen's graveside on Thursday, November 10. Leonard's wish was to be laid to rest in a traditional Jewish rite beside his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Leonard was a beloved and revered member of Shaar Hashomayim and he maintained a lifelong spiritual, musical, and familial connection to the synagogue of his youth. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his memory be a blessing to all.

Of course, Cohen's death has hit many hard, and you can read some of the reactions from across the web over here. You can also listen to Cohen's final interview here, while you can learn about his storied life and history via Exclaim!'s Timeline on the artist.]]>
Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:38:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Brock Thiessen)
<![CDATA[Matt Pond PA - Winter Lives]]>

New Englanders have a rather turbulent relationship with the winter months, so it's no surprise that New Hampshire native Matt Pond, creative force and namesake behind upstate New York-based indie-[op band Matt Pond PA is able to mine creative inspiration from that particular time of year. Winter Lives is a 12-track tribute to winter set during Pond's formative years in his native state that picks up where the band's 2005 EP, Winter Songs, leaves off.
 
Having released 11 long-players and eight EPs since 1998, Matt Pond PA (PA being the abbreviated form of Pennsylvania where the band was formed) are veteran musicians in every sense of the word, and that experience shines through here via longtime band member Chris Hansen's crisp production efforts. Hansen also adds his guitar proficiency to the record alongside core member Shawn Alpay's excellent cello and string arrangements.
 
Pond himself is the band's primary songwriter, and contributes guitar and his trademark lead vocals that reside in the upper registers. He also executes some bright harmonies with album guests Laura Burhenn of Mynabirds and Leslie Sisson of Moving Panoramas.
 
Unfortunately, most of the gains achieved on this album through strong production values, competent arrangements and seasoned musicianship are lost with the thinness of the songwriting. For instance, album opener "In Winter" combines a wholly uninspiring melody with generic lines such as "the cold will bring us close" to badly miss the desired target. Ditto for track seven, "Whoa," which for starters repeats drawn out vocal variations on the word "whoa" far too many times, then contains indolent lyrical content like, "shivers going straight down to my bones." The penultimate track, "Winter Lives," doesn't pack much of a punch either with a tawdry, slightly grating melody.
 
The album isn't a total loss, though. "Force of Nature" energizes things a bit with anthemic flair, and "Dirty Looks" is an engrossing track with some lyrical ambiguity that at least gets the listener thinking a bit. There are also instrumental interludes between tracks that break up the flow of the album in a mildly interesting way, as well as a pretty decent cover of Beach House's "Used To Be." The Cocteau Twins' "Fotzepolitic" is also covered here.
 
Winter Lives isn't a terrible album, but it's also not great. It's a strongly produced, pleasant sounding project with not a lot of all-embracing depth or meaning. In other words, it's something light and plain, to ease us into another challenging winter season.]]>
Fri, 11 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Glenn Vanderkloet)
<![CDATA[Daniel Bachman - Daniel Bachman]]>

Daniel Bachman has released an astonishing amount of high-quality music in recent years. What makes the feat even more impressive is that he's just 27 years old. The Virginia-born wunderkind and fingerstyle guitarist of the American Primitive persuasion has 16 official releases to his name since 2011. His latest, a self-titled effort, is a dizzying display of his enviable talent.
 
The album gets underway with "Brightleaf Blues I," a fine opener that begins with a screeching drone before settling into some slide guitar reminiscent of Ry Cooder's Paris, Texas soundtrack. The song gently meanders to the finish, and the slow pace continues with "The Flower Tree" until Bachman's percussive arpeggios pick that song up in the latter half. "Wine and Peanuts" is probably the one foot-stomper on here, with a determined, bluesy rhythm, while the next track, "A Dog Named Pepper," slows things down again with a fading and then recovering finger-picked pattern that finishes with some dominant slide guitar — and somewhat mystifyingly, the sound of car wheels driving on a gravel road.
 
The second instalment of  "Brightleaf Blues" is next, and feels much like the first edition save for the 14-plus-minute runtime, while "Watermelon Slices on a Blue Bordered Plate" makes you long for a lazy summer afternoon in your favourite lawn chair with its swampland slide work. Bachman closes out the album with "Farther Along," his take on the Southern gospel standard sans lyrics.
 
This is an intriguing album that doesn't allow the listener the placid, breezy experience that some instrumental albums permit. Also, instruments such as the octotone and shruti box, both used to provide drone as accompaniment to other instruments, serve well to pique the listener's curiosity. It's a capricious, indecisive creation at times, but in the most pleasurable way possible.]]>
Fri, 11 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Glenn Vanderkloet)
<![CDATA[Martha Wainwright - Goodnight City]]>

The last time we heard from Martha Wainwright — okay, the last time we got a solo album from her — was 2012's Come Home to Mama, a record that was partly in response to losing her mother, Kate McGarrigle, in early 2010, right after becoming a mother herself (her son Arcangelo was born in 2009). Since then, she's had another child (Francis Valentine) and made a record with her sister Lucy Wainwright Roche (last year's creepy lullabies album, Songs In The Dark).
 
Goodnight City feels lighter. With Wainwright busy with two kids at home, Wainwright and co-producer Thomas Bartlett opted for an album split roughly down the middle, half originals and half covers by or co-writes written with friends who had Wainwright in mind. This served to open Wainwright's music up, because the writers who contributed — Lily Lanken and Anna McGarrigle, Michael Ondaatje's words paired with Bartlett's piano music, Beth Orton, Glen Hansard, Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus and Rufus Wainwright — are so varied.
 
But as anyone who's heard Wainwright interpret Piaf (or noticed a bit of a punk-rock edge to her folk performances) knows, it was probably never Wainwright's intention to be stylistically pinned down. Goodnight City lets Wainwright's jazz side show; it lets her bluesy contemplative side show; it weaves in some French, some soulful retro-pop, and it tries on experimental heaviness and blows off some steam.
 
Garbus' "Take The Reins," for example, is a funky four-minute dance party — so fun — while Orton's "Alexandria" (about waiting for the kids to go to sleep so you can get it on) is intense and jammy, the album kind of letting down its hair for a moment. Things get heavier still with Wainwright's own Sonic Youth-ish "So Down."
 
Ultimately, variety is good for the album, but here's the thing: Martha's own songs can be completely riveting. Take opener "Around the Bend," a playful and honest (in a moulding the truth like Play-Doh kind of way) and funny song on which Wainwright postures and tries on a character, Dylan-style, but sounds completely at home in her voice, delivering lines like "I used to do a lot of blow" (open and wild-sounding) and "but now I only do the show" (closed, more adult and responsible). "Watch out for my life / watch out for my creativity," she declares later. It's cool.
 
Often, the songs sound like love songs for friends or lovers, but it's Wainwright's two young sons she's singing to on catchy tunes like "Franci," which fills her youngest in on some of his family history, and "Window," a solemn-sounding, experimental song for Arcangelo. "Before the Children Came Along," a breezy, sweeping, sepia-toned look back at the beginning of romance, is probably actually for Wainwright's husband, Brad Albetta, who played bass on and co-produced the album.
 
Wainwright probably didn't set out to prove that most of the time she writes for herself better than others do, but she kind of did. "Traveller" is arguably the best song on the album; it's certainly the most haunting, and it feels like extra attention went into its production. It's a tribute to Bartlett's brother Ezra, who died far too young, at 40. The idea that Wainwright infuses in the almost Chrissie Hynde-like chorus is that he's still out there somewhere, travelling. Put this on in the car and crank it.
 
The one cover Martha didn't dare alter was her brother Rufus's song "Francis," the closer. With Rufus on piano and Martha singing, it's full of pure light and motherly love and perfection.]]>
Fri, 11 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Greene)
<![CDATA[The Dead South - 'Illusion & Doubt' (album stream)]]>

Regina-based roots outfit the Dead South return with a new LP titled Illusion & Doubt next week, but you can give it a listen in its entirety at Exclaim! right now.
 
Injecting folk and bluegrass sounds with a punk rock ethos (not to mention a banjo player who's a self-proclaimed metalhead), the band bring a fresh perspective to classic genres. Their new album was made with producer, engineer and mixer Jason Plumb at Studio One Recordings in their Saskatchewan hometown, and it aims to capture the group's raucous energy in recorded form.
 
From the gently plucked intro on opener "These Boots," things pick up quickly, moving immediately into rapid-fire riffs and grizzly vocals that are softened and sophisticated with the addition of instruments like mandolin and cello. That sound runs through the remainder of the album too, with each song alternating like love letters between a man and a woman — eventually coming to a close with "Gunslinger's Glory."
 
Some of the themes may be familiar to fans who have been following the band for a while. "But it's a more mature take on lovin', cheatin', killin' and drinkin'," singer/guitarist Nate Hilts insists. "We've been experimenting with different instruments, and lyrically, we're growing along with that."
 
You can hear that growth for yourself by taking Illusion & Doubt out for a spin below, before the record is officially out on November 18. The Dead South also have a long string of Western Canadian dates coming up, and you can see all those here.
 
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Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[The Music World Mourns Leonard Cohen]]>

News of Leonard Cohen's death arrived earlier this evening (November 10), with the legendary Canadian artist passing away at the age of 82.
 
Undeniably a huge influence on countless singer-songwriters across the last five decades, it's no surprise that Cohen is being honoured with outpourings of appreciation.
 
Many artists — and even politicians — have taken to social media to react, sharing messages of love, sadness and gratitude for his astounding talent. Read a collection of those messages below.

You can also read more about the artist's life and career by revisiting Exclaim!'s timeline of Leonard Cohen.
 



 

Merci Leonard. Rest easy.

A photo posted by PUP (@puptheband) on


 
 

Dog...*sigh* all due respect to the gawd. #LeonardCohen

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on




 

 

 
 

Leonard Cohen RIP

A photo posted by Slash (@slash) on


 


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Thu, 10 Nov 2016 23:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[Leonard Cohen Dead at 82]]>

Iconic Canadian poet, artist and musician Leonard Cohen has passed away. He was 82 years old. While Cohen's cause of death is unknown, his passing was confirmed by his official Facebook page.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement reads. "We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries."

The Facebook post added, "A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief."

Cohen was born on September 21, 1934, in Westmount, QC. His life and legacy includes dozens of albums, poetry books, novels and other achievements.

Cohen's debut album came via 1967's Songs of Leonard Cohen, a now-classic LP that was soon followed by Songs from a Room in 1969 and Songs of Love and Hate in 1971. With this quick string of albums soon came a long life of touring, with Cohen performing countless concerts up towards the time of his death.

Cohen also made a mark with such albums as Various Positions (1984), I'm Your Man (1988) and The Future (1992), the former of which included perhaps his most famous song (if not the most covered) "Hallelujah."

Cohen was a big collaborator over the course of his career, working with the likes of Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Judy Collins, Phil Spector, Jennifer Warnes, Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters, among many others.

Among his novels are 1963's The Favorite Game, along with 1966's Beautiful Losers. He also produced many tomes of poetry throughout his life.

Read more about Cohen's life and career by revisiting Exclaim!'s timeline feature from 2012.

Most recently, Cohen released his latest album You Want It Darker last month. He had recently turned heads in the media by discussing his own mortality, saying, "I am ready to die." He later added that he intended to live forever. Through the impressive body of work he left behind, he undoubtedly will.



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Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:47:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Josiah Hughes & Brock Thiessen )
<![CDATA[Daniel Romano - "I Had to Hide Your Poem (In a Song)" (video)]]>

Before adopting the moniker of Ancient Shapes, Daniel Romano delivered Mosey earlier this year, and now "I Had to Hide Your Poem (In a Song)" from that record has been given some visual accompaniment.
 
The new music video finds a couple out at sea — a place Romano is particularly fond of when it comes to travelling on tour. Scenes starring a suave-looking Romano and his female counterpart are rapidly spliced together with shots of the boat's deck, dining room and wide open water.
 
Watch the video for "I Had to Hide Your Poem (In a Song)" below.
 
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Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:55:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[100 mile house - 'Hiraeth' (album stream)]]>

Edmonton-based husband-and-wife duo 100 mile house return with their latest LP Hiraeth next week, but Exclaim! is streaming the record in its entirety right now.
 
The 13-song offering marks the pair's fourth studio album, and it came together after three years of living on the road. Bringing together an eclectic, folksy mix of acoustic guitar, piano, ever-present vocal harmonies between Peter Stone and Denise MacKay and even a sometimes-present choir, the new music hears 100 mile house opening a window into their lives.
 
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that vaguely translates as "a sense of nostalgia and longing for a place or person that may have never existed," and that feeling emerges through songs that explore losing a loved one ("Hidden Springs") and the challenges of starting a family ("Last Branch"), as well as deep fears and the ability to find hope in those dark places.
 
Across the album, the sound ranges from lush and lively upbeat numbers to more haunting moments of shadows and sadness — a reflection of the two-piece's ability to take the ups and downs of life and spin them into song.
 
Hiraeth is officially out on November 18, and you can see the group's upcoming live dates listed below. Beyond those, hit play to hear the new record a whole week early.
 
Tour dates:
 
11/18 Calgary, AB – Fesitval Hall
11/20 Edmonton, AB – L'UniThéâtre at La Cité Francophone
12/02 Toronto, ON – The Painted Lad
 
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Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Sarah Murphy)
<![CDATA[David Bazan - Dark Sacred Night]]>

Don't be misled — this is not the album to listen to while finishing your Christmas baking or while trimming the tree. This isn't Burl Ives, nor is it Nat King Cole. This is Seattle native David Bazan, and with his experiences, you can bet on a provocative and inspiring, if at times dark and solemn, collection of songs, Christmas album or not. Bazan describes the impetus for the songs as follows: "There is something dark and underrepresented in Christmas music, and that's just how uncomfortable the holidays can be for a lot of folks."
 
Dark Sacred Night is a compilation of Christmas-themed music plucked from Bazan's time with Christian rock/indie outfit Pedro the Lion as well as from his various solo forays. The compelling part is that some of these songs were written and/or recorded when Bazan was a practicing Christian, and some after he had denounced his faith — roughly around the time of his first full-length solo record, Curse the Branches, in 2009.
 
The album doesn't break new ground from an instrumentation perspective, sticking mainly to guitar/piano/vocals and the odd flourish of bells or reverberation, but it's in the lyrical content and the vocal delivery where the album really bears fruit. There are a couple of no-frills standards on here, such as "Away in a Manger" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem," that mirror the original versions, but Bazan chooses to customize the lyrics on a couple of other tracks, including "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" ("Sipping Christmas whiskey, wondering if I still believe") and "Silent Night" ("Isn't it strange how many were beaten and maimed...in this baby's name?").
 
There's a version of John Lennon's "Happy X-Mas (War is Over)" on here, as well as a beautifully poignant carol based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Christmas Bells," called "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Bazan also covers Minnesota band Low's "Long Way Around the Sea." For the final track, "Wish My Kids Were Here," Bazan tells the story of a father who, for legal reasons, is unable to spend Christmas with his children, a very personal song on an album that otherwise deals with more universally existential themes.
 
Dark Sacred Night is a non-traditional Christmas album, but one of great import nonetheless. It makes a perfect companion for those of us whose Christmas experience is absent of the typical festivities and jubilation.]]>
Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Glenn Vanderkloet)
<![CDATA[Cory Hanson - The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo]]>

Whether he's fronting the garage-rock trio Wand or working with psychedelic heavyweight Ty Segall, Cory Hanson has made numerous contributions to the psych-revival canon. The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo is his latest contribution, but the first under his own name.
 
Hanson ambitiously returns with more vintage and delicate sound in comparison to his previous work, yet it's still familiar in style. The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo shows Hanson embracing more classic psychedelic folk influences, reminiscent of works from a different epoch, but features moments of soft-rock and pop harmonies that echo '60s-era popular music, too. Hanson pairs skeletal vocals and acoustic guitars with cosmic string orchestra arrangements that make for a vibrantly colourful and mystic sound, despite what the record's redscale cover may suggest. 
 
Hanson croons in a honeyed tone, with an accent that imagines some sort of psychedelic language. What he speaks often paints him as an observer, one that describes the world he is looking at as something alien, or at the very least foreign to its citizens. The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo is simultaneously unsettling and comforting in nature, as Hanson achieves what he ostensibly set out to do here: set a mood stuck somewhere between Heaven and Earth.]]>
Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500 editorial@exclaim.ca (Zack Fenech)