Happy Friday! Friday means the last day of the week! Friday means NEW MUSIC.
I’m still working through a backlog of music, so some of it isn’t so new. But it’s still great, in this humble music editor’s opinion. I try to not just focus on the latest and the hippest. The National and Radiohead are not bands that are going to squeak through a release under the radar, so it’s unlikely you’ll find them here.
As always, my picks come with this statement. If you love the music you listen to, buy it. Streaming services and their deals with record companies are the reason why some artists can now barely survive. It takes roughly three streams of a song before an artist earns a PENNY. 100 streams fund a new guitar pick. So, support them for real, with money. Buy a shirt, buy some music, buy it from their website.
That’s what a music lover does. Supports the people who make the music they love.
Since the last new music post, we lost two artists who must be considered treasures and classics.
So, we’ll end the week saying goodbye to Dr. John and Leon Redbone, similar in how they forced us to define them not by anyone else’s standard, but by their unique artistry and style.
Cave In has a been a favourite band of mine since I fell in love with their 2005 album, Pitch Perfect Black. At its heart, the band dwells where post-hardcore, space rock and melodic rock meet. What separates them from their peers are the band’s stellar songwriting and vocals from guitarist, Steven Brodsky. The only real similarity between Cave In albums was that a song with enough ferocity and screaming to rip off your head would be followed by a comedown song that could be described as a pop song. The band went on a three-year hiatus after releasing this album. After filling their post-Cave In time playing in their own projects, the band members returned to put out two more albums. They released Planets of Old and White Silence between 2009 and 2016. To the disappointment of their many fans, they played few shows in support, choosing to keep things low key and again taking their collective focuses off Cave In. Finally, in 2017, they began recording sessions for a new album. On the morning of March 28, 2018, singer and bassist Caleb Scofield was killed in a car accident leaving fans and bandmates devastated. As a tribute to their friend, the band continued recording the album they had begun. Today, the ominously titled Final Transmission is out on Hydra Head. It’s yet another, solid album from the band. The somewhat chilling title track is a musical idea Scofield sent the band that unfortunately was never fully realized. Have a listen to the album HERE.
Many people were captivated by Alexandra Stréliski’s compositions in TV shows Big Little Liars and Sharp Objects. Both were directed by fellow Montrealer, Jean-Marc Vallée, the latter featuring songs from her 2018 album, INSCAPE. The album has since found a larger audience and won the CMW Indie Awards’ Album of the Year. Stréliski is playing a select number of shows this month including a stop at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. If you’re a piano player, you can try to learn the beautiful Burnout Fugue from INSCAPE. If like me, you’re not adept at tinkling the ivories, you can just close your eyes and listen.
Find out more via all these links.
Hailing and likely the biggest star to emerge from Estonia, Kerli is an avant-pop artist who combines visuals and wardrobe along with music to present a complete package. A songwriter and producer as well, Kerli co-wrote Skyscraper, one of Demi Lovato’s biggest hits, establishing herself as more than just a pop artist. Her latest album, Shadow Works was released earlier this year. Below was the first music video released. More about Kerli HERE.
Jon Stancer is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter who released his first solo album, For The Birds, last year. Full disclosure, Jon has been a friend of mine for over 20 years. I shot his promo photos for his album release. I was amused when I received his PR email but treated it like any other and listened to the featured song. When the outro of Can’t Get It By You hit, the hook was set. Hearing a hint of Neil Finn and the stellar production combined with his own strong voice, I felt this song needed to be heard despite any illusions of favouritism.
Hear more from Jon HERE.