Wow, where does 32 weeks go? Did anything happen since then? Was any new music released? Today is called the Thanksgiving Edition because I’m thankful to be back writing these pieces up. It’s been a long time and while we’re back in the shit, maybe some new music will help.
Feb. 28 was the last edition of NMF before the entire world changed to what we’re seeing now. Music, especially new music was turned on its side, with the wheels spinning to go nowhere fast. And to cut to it with your humble music editor, I wasn’t really interested in listening to music much at all. And I had lost the desire to pour through all the PR and band emails I get every day to find the gems. If you sent me your music between April and September, I apologize for not listening or following up.
The good news is that it’s time to get this ball rolling in the same old irregular fashion from the days long ago. This week, there’s are some great selections that I hope you’ll enjoy. As per my usual spiel, show love to your favourite bands, especially now, by buying their music and their merch directly from them or from Bandcamp. Music venues and musicians are disappearing and not until something approaching normalcy returns, when we can be in crowded sweaty rooms listening to live music again, will we be able to support those we love. Music venues were one of the few businesses that never were allowed to open up for obvious reasons. Look into what local programs exists that offer support to these venues that have had the hardest time to stay open.
First on the list today is Tawny Newsome and Bethany Thomas.
These two dynamic powerhouses aren’t just singer/songwriters. Both are actors and comedians in LA and Chicago respectively. They met in the Chicago scene where they were sought-after backing vocalists. They’re releasing their first full-length album today. They describe Material Flats as a windy, Black girl desert-punk record. White Balloon has been on repeat for me. Have a listen below and buy their damn great album here.
Jeen O’Brien has self-produced a handful of well-received releases over the past few years. As well, she plays in Cookie Duster with Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene. Canning lends his bass playing (as does Ben O’Brien) plus, Stephan Szczesniak on drums, Jeff Heisholt on synths, and Kevin Fox on cello. Co-producer Ian Blurton also adds lead guitar. Her self-titled album is being released today, highlighted by the lead single, IDOLS. It’s pretty fucking great and I look forward to listening to the entire album. Have a listen below and find out more about Jeen via the links.
Mise en Scene is a Manitoban duo formed by guitarist/vocalist Stef Johnson and drummer Jodi Dunlop. Their new brilliantly named album Winnipeg, California is out today and punctuated by lead single, Unsolicited Advice. It’s a gem of power-pop-punk that I think I listened to 3 times in a row this morning. That ain’t stopping this weekend. More about the band via the links below.
Last but not least and a week overdue, the pride of Midland, ON, Born Ruffians released their latest album, Squeeze. The album is a companion to Juice, the album released last April. Hopefully, the current situation didn’t prevent you from hearing about it. The song, Waylaid, featuring a duet with the beloved Hannah Georgas is our push to listen to the rest of the album.
Born Ruffians/Hannah Georgas photo by Jared Raab