Another Friday, another slew of great new music to fire up your amygdala. I think my inbox was so backed up, I was reading emails from when it was still cold outside. Yep, emails as far back as May…
The common thread among the artists featured today is that their actual voices are distinct, not their platforms or backgrounds, though those come into play too. The four singers featured here, I could listen to all day long. Perhaps you’ll agree.
I provide links to the music I feature because the only way to really support an artist you like is by giving them money so they can keep making music. Streaming services pay around a third of a penny per play. I usually do some math and let you know how many streams the artist would need in order to pay for recording a song or repairing a guitar. This week, just think about the fact that in Canada, in retail, we round change up and down because of how much of a pain in the ass pennies are. Don’t give artists you like pennies. Give them dollars. On their websites and at their shows. Buy a shirt.
And artists, make sure your shirts have designs that people want to wear. Hit me up if you need a logo for your merch.
The ADDICTED Music Dept. is a huge fan of Michael Kiwanuka. Helped by being played on every show on Netflix and HBO, Kiwanuka has one of the most recognizable voices in music, even if his face isn’t. While we wait for a followup to his breakthrough three-year-old Love and Hate, here’s a new one to listen to/watch featuring Brit producer, Tom Misch.
From one distinctive voice to the next, Mick Flannery’s is lilting and sweet, then haunting and rough. The Irish singer/songwriter has been working his craft since the release his first album Evening Train in 2007. With comparisons to Van Morrison (as made with most Irish singer/songwriters) and Bob Dylan, Flannery has named influences coming from Kurt Cobain and Leonard Cohen as well as writers like Bukowski and Steinbeck. He just released his self-titled sixth album. It has its moments of beauty and sorrow and it’s already sitting in my best-of list for the year. He’s coming across to North America in the fall. You will definitely find me at his show on September 11 at the Garrison here in Toronto. Here’s a solo performance of How High. Mick Flannery can be heard on the links below.
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Now for a unique female Canadian voice, vocalist/keyboardist Michelle Othop is half of Ottawa’s Paragon Cause, Along with guitarist/songwriter Jay Bonaparte, the two are releasing their latest EP, Lies Between Us on September 3. It is the first of what will be a series of releases leading up to a full-length album, expected in 2020. Have a listen to the single, Drop Me In from the forthcoming EP (which was produced by Sune Rose Wagner of Danish pop/alternative sensations, The Raveonettes).
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One of the best parts of my job as music editor is when I hear an artist, whether sent from their PR agency or from the artist themselves, and I suddenly find a new favourite. I (EVENTUALLY) listen to everything that is sent to the ADDICTED Music Dept. and honestly, the majority of it doesn’t get featured. Not because it’s not appealing to my personal taste, I don’t evaluate music that ADDICTED features that way. I think about what our readers may like and otherwise won’t ever hear. There’s a lot of music out there, it’s impossible to hear a small percentage of it. Which is why I listen to as much music as I do. This is a long preamble to introduce the band I just clicked on and heard. Hansom Ēli is a bilingual Montreal brother/sister duo formed by Camille and Alexy Guérer. Have a listen to Soho to hear Camille’s buttery, breathy vocals on top the band’s chill indie-pop R & B music.
Michael Kiwanuka photo by Phil Sharp
Hansom Ēli photo by unknown
Paragon Cause photo by James Park Photography
Mick Flannery photo by Susie Conroy