It’s 2017, finally! We’ve kicked 2016 to the curb and good riddance.
Last year, we lost a Dame. We lost a Prince. We lost a Poet Laureate. We lost a myriad of others who we count as heroes. Somewhere in there, the world gained a Drumpf. Last year sucked, basically.
From here, we have quite a job to do to make sure that this year, 2017, doesn’t suck as much. It’s early yet. But I get the feeling it may be a tall order. This is particularly given our political climate as racist organizations re-brand themselves, slither into the mainstream, and drip poison into the ears of the public. We have to fight them. For that, we’ll need fuel for the trip.
Among other sources of spiritual nutrients, music is pretty high up on my personal list. If you’re here, you probably share my point of view on that. With that in mind, here is a selection of new music to kick off your new year. As is the norm, I invite you to take a deep dive, and tell me about your favourite tracks, and maybe even some ways you’re going to make sure that 2017 rocks instead of sucks. So, what are you waiting for? Step into my office …
Summer is the time for new tunes! It’s like a rule or something.
So, as we proceeded last year with the Delete Bin June Tunes Digest, so do we do so this year with a selection of new tunes from bands and songwriters who deserve your attention. Some you may already know. Some you may be discovering for the first time. Either way, you win.
As we did last year, we’re going to make an exception to the “10 songs” format too. This is 16 songs, good people, 16 songs of goodness freshly baked for the summer of 2014 which is just around the corner. Think of it as a mix tape made just for you.
And as per usual, this list of tunes represents various points along the pop music spectrum, and is listed in no specific order, as is the custom on the ‘Bin. See which ones resonate with you the most.
LA-based Owenstone deliver this summer anthem, with a touch of modern psychedelia, a dash of Far-East flavouring, and (to these ears) a bit of an ecstatic ’80s bombast too. This track comes from their recent self-titled EP which you can learn all about when you slide along to owenstone.com.
Vancouver-based rock ‘n’ roll band No Sinner is fronted by rip-roaring 26-year old R&B vocalist Colleen Rennison (spell her last name backwards …), who takes her love of classic R&B-influenced rock and channels it through an impressive set of pipes to deliver the real thing herself. This track is from the upcoming record Boo Hoo Hoo, out June 24 – that’s this Tuesday! Check out nosinner.com for more.
Incendiary vocals, ’60s-style garage-punk energy, and LUST. What is more summery than that, good people? This single is the new one from Montreal’s The Damn Truth, which for a limited time you can get for free on their site, thedamntruth.com.
Ottawa’s The Red Rails rock the classic power trio dynamic with this effervescently ferocious single that displays the band’s chops, but not at the expense of their deft hand at songwriting. This song serves as the harbinger for the upcoming full-length A Living Fiction, due to drop on July 15. Find out more about the band by mosying on down to theredrails.com.
Hamilton Ontario band who deal in enormous pop hooks and songs that make you wonder why no one thought to write them before, The Arkells present guitar pop with sweeping strings, descending Lennonesque chords, and soaring vocals. This is music made for radio and for summer, too. What, I tells ye, is not to love? This is the first single as taken from their most recent record High Noon, their third, and a song I got to hear them play live at CBC Live this year, held at Deer Lake Park, just up the road from where I’m writing this. To catch up with the Arkells, head on over to Arkells.ca.
New South Wales Australia’s Nine Sons of Dan deliver this title track to their newest EP that should be all over the radio everywhere. If it isn’t, demand your money back, kids. This is a song built for mainstream appeal, unabashedly pop and that is full of alternative rock gravity, delicate strings, and all-around aural sunshine. Learn more about them at ninesonsofdan.com.
London Ontario’s Ivory Hours deliver buoyantly melodic pop music that doesn’t shy away from the darker end of the human experience spectrum. This is the title track to their recent EP, a song about friendship, losing one’s way, and the effect that one’s choices have on the those who care about them. But amidst the emotional gravity, they don’t forget to write a good tune ready for radio play. Learn more about them at ivoryhours.com.
Every summer romance needs a theme song, and this could be it if yours is of the unrequited variety. Lyonn (aka Tyler Gelrud) splits time between Orange County, CA and Knoxville TN, crafting acoustic pop music with a punch as featured on his latest EP Promenade. Get the latest news at LyonnMusic.com.
If wistful art rock with ecstatically shimmering atmospheres is your idea of what will kick off your summer, then Calgary’s Boreal Sons is here to put the capital “R” back into Romance for you. This is a track from their most recent full-length record Threadbare. The band recently completed dates in Britain, after a cross-Canada tour. You can learn about their adventures at borealsons.com.
Toronto’s Future History mix warm acoustics with echoey post-punk production to create darkly compelling pop music. This is the first single off of their latest record Lungs that was recorded clubhouse style in an abandoned hermitage in rural Ontario. You can watch the video for the song here, featuring that same rural Ontario setting.
If retro-futurist synthpop with a dance feel that is only rivaled by its sense of atmosphere is your thing, than Toronto’s DAVIDS (not “Davids”, and certainly not “David’s”, I’m told…) is here. This is the lead track from the EP 0613EP, characterized byEuropean-style electronics that hearken back to a time of analogue grooves and icily compelling pop hooks. Like the band on Facebook.
Summer is time to dance to something poptastically life-affirming. This is one of those ones made to sing along to while you’re dancing. This track by LA-based electronic pop duo Imperial Mammoth is set to become that summer anthem to which to move one’s feet, taken from their album Gold Confetti, released this coming Tuesday, June 24th. Visit the band’s website at imperialmammoth.com for more.
Atmospheric soundscapes mixed with a kind of hazy R&B feel is what typifies this single from the album When Color Lost Light. The band hail from Toronto, with an ear for experimental texture, perfect for sultry summer evenings kicking back. You can like Daysdeaf on Facebook.
Montreal’s Fire/Works deliver a moody, folky and cinematically evocative single in this track. This is a forerunner to their upcoming album Shenanigans. Look for the album in the Fall, folks! In the meantime, you might as well like the band on Facebook.
S’Ambrosia hails from Nairobi in Kenya, following a similar path to India Arie and Jill Scott despite the considerable physical geography that separates those artists from her. This is wistful acoustic pop with soul overtones, not to mention overt gospel elements that makes this tune a modern hymn without forgetting to be sonically interesting, too. Hear more at the S’Ambrosia YouTube channel.
“Don’t let the ones that wanna steal your dreams away … just laugh and let it go”. Good advice this summer, with Old Man Canyon’s (otherwise known as singer-songwriter Jett Pace and his band) recent single as taken from the EP which is cleverly entitled Phantoms And Friends. The band is currently on tour with Foster the People, no doubt enjoying some pumped up kicks of their own. Check out oldmancanyon.com to stay up to date.
Right, so there we have it summer people!
What’s your favourite track? What tracks can you recommend from a local band in your area that aren’t on this list?
Happy New Year, ‘Binners! Here’s hoping you had a nice holiday, and/or are continuing to have one. Whether you’re still on holiday, or are contemplating having to go back to work, a few new tunes couldn’t hurt either way, right?
Well, then. Here you go; a number of tunes from the best minds in pop music with whom perhaps you’re not altogether familiar. But, you can solve that by perusing the tunes below, clicking ‘play’, and perhaps discovering the best music you’ve heard all year – so far!
Fill your boots!
1.”Helios” by Raleigh
Kicking things off is Calgary’s Raleigh, most certainly one of my favourite Canadian bands. I got to interview them a couple of years ago when they put out their debut. This one is the lead track off of their sumptuous follow up, Sun Grenades and Grenadine Skies.
2. “Fall Of The Summer Heart” by The Foreign Films
Art-pop vehicle The Foreign Films led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Bill Majoros will follow up 2007’s Distant Star, after a number of stellar EPs. Look out for that later in the year. In the meantime, this track is practically an EP all in one; a multi-layered series of songs within a song inspired after a tour of the UK.
3. “Butane Brain” by The Almighty Rhombus
Dark and angular, yet also bright and poppy all at once, here’s my favourite track as taken from Sudbury Ontario’s The Almighty Rhombus’ Lucid Living full-length. Light it up!
4. “6 Year Vignettes” by Vast Robot Armies
Sumptuous, ambitious and slightly on the proggy side if I might be so bold, Vast Robot Armies (under the creative direction of songwriter Jason Thompson) evoke a sort of Porcupine Tree-esque approach to bold, and epic scale music that still hits the pop spot. This track is taken from the most recent full-length, Goodnight Myopia.
5. “Fortunate Boy” by Dave Rave
Dave Rave is a local legend on the Southern Ontario music scene and beyond, having exercised his capacity for pop music of all kinds of sub-categories, including a stint in punk-pop daddies Teenage Head. As a departure from that sound, this track hits on a late-70s singer-songwriter feel with jazzy flourishes, taken from his most recent release Memphis Midnight.
6. “Button” by Colornoise
But, maybe all of these gentle, radio-friendly pop hooks need to be tempered with something more avant-garde. This band from Costa Rica delivers all of that, but keeps the hooks blended in quite nicely, thanks.
7. “Origin of Water” by Nheap
If soundtrack-y Sylvian/Sakamoto-influenced instrumental pop turns your crank, then this will help you start the year off right. This track is taken from Italy’s Massimo Discepoli, aka Nheap’s, latest record Flying In The Silence.
8. “A Freckle In Time” by The Sunshine Dreamers
If sunshiny psych (from the Mid-West!) is your favourite way to begin a new year, then what are you waiting for? This is the closing track to The Sunshine Dreamers’ record Good Morning Afternoon. Get your lysergic pop fix!
9. “Wasted” by Dog Day
Transporting yourself back to that classic late ’70s punk sound is easily done with this track from Halifax, Nova Scotia; Dog Day. It was offered as a free track from the band’s recent record Fade Out.
10. “Spaceship X” by Sun Stone Revolvers
If Apocalyptic Pop isn’t a genre, it’s possible that Toronto’s Sun Stone Revolvers have just invented it with this track as taken from the album after which it’s named – Spaceship X.
11. “1994” by Ben McKenzie
When you’re starting a new year, sometimes you need an anthem. Ben McKenzie’s “1994” may be that anthem, easily suitable twenty years into the future in 2014 (is it twenty years already? How did that happen?). This track is taken from his most recent EP Stand Down Son.
12. “Grand Tracadie” by Newsmen
Toronto’s Newsmen have managed to create effervescent power-pop meets art rock by mixing in a level of complexity that doesn’t interfere with its pop appeal. No small feat! This is their most recent single.
13. “The Tourists” by Clockwork Noise
A new year can be uncertain, and events can change direction at any time for ill, but also for good. So, here’s a soundtrack to all that in the closing song from the album Whethermachine, a pop-hook laden noise-rock feast if there ever was one by Ireland’s Clockwork Noise.
14. “The Family Tree” by Unconditional Arms
Under the name Unconditional Arms, post-rock composer Jeffery Wright created an album of soundscapes in honour of his newborn son Owen (born in August of 2013) appropriately entitled Kinship . Instrumental, and emotionally evocative, this track also manages to sing with a pop music spirit.
And there you have it, Good People; a veritable smorgasbord of musical delights to help you kick off your 2014. Which one’s your favourite? Tell me all about it in the comments section!
Otherwise, thanks for staying tuned! More to come all year long!
Fall; or is it Autumn? It’s such a great season it has two names, Good People.
Whatever you personally call it, it happens to be my favourite season, with it’s overtones of new beginnings in a new season of colours and campfires and undertones of beautiful melancholy at the thought of summer’s end.
With its arrival comes some new tunes from up-and-coming acts from various points on the map who have generously shared their musical bounty with me. And so, I pass on this cornucopia of sonic riches to you in this first annual Fall Into Tunes showcase.
As you’ve come to expect from the Delete Bin, the sounds and styles found in this showcase are all over the musical map. But, I’m sure there’s something here to delight you, no matter what your personal predilections happen to be. So, as the colourful leaves of a new season make their descent from the branches of a fading summer, get stuck into to these 14 sounds perfect for the time of impending Autumn, even if some of them aren’t exactly autumnal.
Have a listen!
“Little Town” by Air Marshal Landing
Since many of us will also be pale pasty white again soon enough, why not commiserate with this groovetastic indie-rock tune that isn’t afraid to cut a rug? At very least, it’s an upbeat way to kick off a showcase of tunes in Autumn, right?
Air Marshall Landing is a trio – Matt, Cory, and Graham – hailing from right here in the Great White North, recently having put out their debut record from which this song comes You Used To Be Me. You can learn more about them at airmarshallanding.com.
“Laura V” by The Meaning of Life
As we lose the light in the evening, the echoey post-punk meets dreampop sound of New York City’s the Meaning of Life is the perfect soundtrack. This track is a single featured on their Play Fuego EP.
The Brooklyn-based duo mixes the Jesus & Mary Chain with Mazzy Star, and a generous dollop of Blondie, full of serated guitar, airy vocals (courtesy of Marta DeLeon), and sonic spaciousness. You can watch the video for “Laura V” , too of course.
“The Salt” by There’s Talk
San Francisco’s There’s Talk have recently released their EP Tiny Strands, with this song as the lead single, fast becoming a fan favourite. Full of folky melancholy, and balanced with icy-cool electronics, you can understand why.
A highlight here is creative head Olivia Lee’s gentle, far-away voice holding down a melody that takes its time. Fans of Bjork (particularly Vespertine-era) take note! For more information, check out the There’s Talk site.
“Sun City” by Lucas Jack
In the spirit of ’70s singer-songwriters and mainstream radio play of that time comes Michigan-born, Texas-based Lucas Jack, making the sounds of that era into what can be thoroughly appreciated as the sound of Autumn 2013 as well.
This is the title track of his newest record Sun City, a sumptuous piano-driven tune that evokes the rootsy-pop of early Elton John. You can learn all about Lucas Jack at lucasjackmusic.com.
“Brothers & Sisters” by EONS
Toronto’s EONS is the parallel project of Matt Cully and Misha Bower of another band – Bruce Peninsula. Their music is sets the scene for a fading summer and the gathering cold with a sound that seems much older than it is, full of old-timey sepia-toned texture and sense of tragedy. This track is taken from their recent release Arctic Radio.
Intertwined voices, acoustic guitar, subtle strings, and the essence of emotional desolation make this track a late-in-the-day standout. Learn more about EONS at their bandcamp page.
“Scapegoat” by Matt Stevens
A member of British instrumental proggists The Fierce & The Dead as well as being a prolific solo artist, Matt Stevens’ work with solo guitar and loop technology is well-known in local scenes in the UK. Here’s a track from his latest live offering London Looping Festival Live.
Thanks to his dedication to his craft as well as building a fanbase on the Internet, his gene pool of fans is growing internationally. Check out Mattstevensguitar.com to join mailing lists and to get the latest news on a very proactive, innovative artist.
“300 Days In July” by Pete Galub
Native New Yorker, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Pete Galub has paid his dues in bands for two decades, honing his approach all the while. This track is taken from his new record Candy Tears, a song that is less a summer anthem and more of a summer’s lament.
Singer-songwriter Jenn Fiorentino grew up in the suburbs of Toronto on a steady diet of punk rock energy and DIY ethos. She’s taken that base and has built up a an acoustic pop sound that really sizzles. This track is taken from her From Darkness To Light record, an effort that adds a touch of rootsy poetry to ferocious melodic attack.
Can you write a pop song without being repetitive? Sure you can! Well, maybe you and I can’t. But this is what songwriter Scott Alexander from Oakland California does best, using his chops as a classically-trained composer an instrumentalist to get him there. This track is taken from his record Scott Alexander Gets Distracted.
With it’s non-repetitive nature, the song comes off almost like a short-story with a Loudon Wainwright III feel. And for more of them, and more information on his approach, check out ScottAlexanderMusic.com.
“Safe Side” by Bad Cello
Minimalist 21st century synthpop that is not too far up from the musical family tree from its early-80s roots; that’s what Bad Cello delivers. The Bad Cello moniker is driven by Zeno Pirratelli, originally an acoustic project that has morphed into a brittle and spare synth-driven sound that comes off as a sort of Americanized Soft Cell.
“Safe Side” is a single as taken from the EP Finna. You can learn more that EP and about the band at badcello.com.
“Future Fires” by Blinker The Star
Catchy and complex at the same time with a compelling art-rock sheen, Toronto-based Blinker The Star finds the perfect balance. This track was the coda to the new Songs From Laniakea Beach record released at the beginning of the year.
Blinker the Star has released a number of records over a twenty-year period all helmed by principle creative mind Jordon Zadorozny. This past June, the band began playing shows for the first time in 9 years. For more information, check out blinkerthestar.net.
“XXXO” by Smile Swamp Princess
The rock opera is alive and well, but not taking itself so damn seriously with Smile Swamp Princess’s self-titled story about a Space Cowboy and a brooding Princess. This is the opening track of the accompanying EP that stands as a companion piece to their live show.
The Smile Swamp Princess show premiered in New York on September 4 and 5. You can learn more about the show and its creators Megan Lui and Justin Johnson at smileswampprincess.com.
“Mama Tried” by The Dirty Nil
Who says that traditional country music can’t crossover into the realm of crunchy, kick-over-your-amp rock ‘n’ roll? It does so profanely well in the hands of Hamilton Ontario-based The Dirty Nil, a trio of inebriated upstarts who make this song by Merle Haggard into one that could have been about any one of them. Play it loud!
This song appeared on the band’s Summer Mix Tape, Vol 2., where it stands alongside cover versions of songs by Iggy Pop, Guided By Voices, and the Misfits.
“Woke Up” by Zachary Lucky
And speaking of traditional country this time with a decidedly folky edge, 23-year old Zachary Lucky of Saskatoon Saskatchewan takes the beautiful desolation of the prairies, and pours it into an appealingly spare approach to country music in the Townes Van Zandt tradition that sounds as if the dust of a lonely road is still on it. This track is taken from the winningly-titled album The Ballad of Losing You.
As young as he is, this is Zachary’s sixth record! You can learn more about this young and prolific artist at zacharylucky.com
Well, there it is Good People – the sound of Autumn, 2013. Well, some of the sounds that have turned my crank recently.
What do you think? Do you have any favourites from above? What’s on your own turntable (real or virtual) this season?
Tell me all about it in the comments section. Otherwise …
Summer is nearly upon us! And so, summer tunes are required. There have been a lot of requests from cool bands from all over to get their songs included here on this here pop music blog. It’s a huge honour to be asked!
In the spirit of the oncoming summer season, I thought I’d present a digest of tunes from a few acts who’ve turned my head in the last few months. So here are some highlights for the Delete Bin’s June Tunes 2013!
Usually, I try and make lists of 10. But, I’ve kicked that format to the curb this time around. I just couldn’t say no to any of these. So, there’s 14 big tunes to savour, good people! It’s like a ready-made summer compilation album!