Well, winter arrived in the sleepy burg of Toronto this week, plunging temperatures down to the minus double digits. This means the brief walks that have helped retain my sanity over the last ten plus months include lots of skin tingles from Jack Frost nipping at my nose. Not much else to do but bundle and suck it up. <INSERT HERE: SOMETHING SOMETHING BUT HERE’S SOME MUSIC TO KEEP YOU WARM WHEREVER YOU ARE>
This week, my 4 NMF picks are on the warm and mellow side, as if I found them with a cup of veggie broth in one hand and my overflowing inbox in the other, whilst warming in front of an open fire. Enjoy. And please, show the artists you love, some love. We’re far enough out from the holiday season to spoil yourself. Go buy a shirt or a tote bag or a travel mug from your favourite independent artist, once you’re done with this week’s missive. XO.
First up is one of my favourite Canadian bands, Besnard Lakes. They are so musically rich, dramatic and cinematic. I admit it’s been a long time since I spun their 2015 album, A Coliseum Complex Museum. However, today, they are releasing their latest full-length album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings, reverting to the titling style of their first two releases. This is an album that if released on vinyl will enter my collection and be spun wearing headphones and around 10mg of cannabis oil. This psych-rock masterwork gets a proper release at 5 pm EST today over on their YouTube channel. Until then, watch a video from the new album below. More info on the Bessies, the Lakes, the Blakes, whatever their diminutive name is, in the links below.
Two artists who have the power to knock me over have joined together to release a new single. Chelsea Wolfe and Emma Ruth Rundle recorded Anhedonia apart from each other but the way they harmonize and how their voices ebb and bend together seems as if they were staring into each other’s eyes during recording. The song is one from Wolfe’s archives that she revisited after COVID cancelled her European tour and she found herself restless. Choosing to finish it, she reached out to friend and label mate, ERR to add guitar and vocals. The results, well, listen for yourself. You can read my 2018 interview with ERR here.
Need some new music for your evening walks? To cook dinner to? To make sweet, sweet love to? Whatever the activity, I don’t think you’ll go wrong with the new release, It’s Our Love by Thee Sacred Souls. This San Diego soul trio have released the song via Penrose Records, the recently launched imprint from the Daptone Records. As you know, seeing the Daptone stamp anywhere guarantees the moving and grooving quality of anything. They’re a name you can trust. Listen below, likely over and over again. This is such a great track.
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Finally, another new release today is from psychedelic-tinged Americana artist Lia Ices. Lia is one of those artists that I discovered somewhere sometime and due to the tentacled reach of our algorithmic overlords, she pops up on various platforms on various devices, making me race over to find out who this phenomenal singer is. I love that memory-loss-based rediscovery. Accompanying and announcing her latest album, Family Album, is the gorgeous video for the album’s title track. Have a look below and dig into more about Lia Ices via the links. See how easy I make it for you? Enjoy.
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Chelsea Wolfe and Emma Ruth Rundle photo By Kristin Cofer
Thee Sacred Souls photo by Gus Olivares
The Besnard Lakes photo by Joseph Yarmush
Lia Ices photo by Renee Friedrich