For this week’s post, I wanted to start by honouring the life and art of Neal Casal, who reportedly committed suicide on August 26. While not a household name, you’ve probably heard music that he put his hands on. Casal entered the spotlight playing guitar and singing with arguably the best incarnation of Ryan Adams’ backing bands, the Cardinals. A gifted photographer as well as guitarist and songwriter, he shot several covers of his various projects as well as released a photobook entitled A View of Other Windows from his time spent with the Cardinals. As a solo singer/songwriter, Casal released a dozen albums of his own work. The top item list of his other credits includes playing with Willie Nelson, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Shooter Jennings, Fruit Bats, Vetiver, Amanda Shires, Mark Olsen, Lucinda Williams and James Iha.
Neal Casal appeared on the Inside Out podcast last week and seemed like a genuinely warm person in addition to his many talents. Those who saw him perform with his band Circles Around the Sun at Virginia’s Lockn’ Festival last weekend are among the many who are shocked by this tragic loss. We can never assume the life and health of anyone in the spotlight.
Rest easy, Neal. You’ll be missed.
Kicking off the jams this week is Waterbaby from Yaehsun. This psych-rock-whatever project is headed by Jason Haberman (The Paint Movement, Ocean Potion). Waterbaby features to vocals of stalwart Toronto indie fixture, José Contreras. Haberman promises more is to follow, so for now, enjoy Waterbaby.
LA-based Gia Woods is your new favourite queer Persian pop artist. Her breathy vocals complement this ominous video for her latest gritty pop tune, Feel It. I love this song and her overall vibe. Have a listen/watch and dig deep in her links.
My love of Montreal and Francophone pop is pretty damn obvious these days and I will fight you if you try to throw shade. The latest artists I’ve added to my growing list is Corridor. They’ve signed with Bonsound here in Canada and have become the first Francophone artist signed to Sub Pop. Below is the fun stop motion video for Coup d’epée from their 2017 album, Supermercado. I’m expecting a new album soon. They’re on tour this fall, playing all over the place, including a stop here in Toronto with the inimitable Absolutely Free. Only a fool would miss this show.
The last new blast before the Labour Day weekend begins is Brooklyn gypsy-indie-folk trio, Bandits on the Run. Superb vocals and playing are the standouts on Sweet Thing. Their new EP, Bandits Live at the Power Station came out on August 16.
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