Foxwarren take the long view, Confidence Man show their Claus, Cat Power has it covered, Orville Peck takes to the sky, Norvhar troll you and more in today’s Roundup. I went to the dentist because my teeth were yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie!
1 If you haven’t already checked out the magnificent self-titled debut album from singer-songwriter Andy Shauf and Foxwarren, you’re only hurting yourself — this eclectic standout is guaranteed to be feted, celebrated and accoladed as one of the finest Canadian albums of the year. Stop being alone in the crowd — and get a taste of what you’re missing with their long-distance video for the song To Be. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sometimes the simplest ideas are the hardest to execute,” explained the video’s directors, Ft. Langley. “Our concept for To Be — featuring a tryptic of introspective portraits — came together at the 11th hour, despite having been originally written a year and a half ago. Locations fell through, actors dropped out, gear malfunctioned; what could go wrong did go wrong. Yet the final film manages to reflect, in its own scrappy way, the heartbreaking loneliness of Foxwarren’s song, despite breaking our own hearts a little along the way.” Meet them halfway above.
2 What do you want for Christmas? Australian electro-popsters Confidence Man only want one thing: A beat. Though I have no idea why, since their new holiday song Santa’s Comin’ Down the Chimney already has an irresistible one. Hear for yourself — and watch the minimalist Archer-style animated video that goes with it. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s time to pop Bublé‘s bubble. Throw Mariah in the fire. Christmas has a new sound and it just got a whole lot more confident. Christmas ain’t all eggnog and tinsel. Sometimes it gets a little dirty. Sometimes Santa skips the plate of cookies and goes straight for the whiskey. So unwrap yourself some sass and see what Santa’s really been up to. You’re welcome world.” On, dancers:
3 Who is that masked man? It’s Orville Peck — though I presume that’s not his real name; I mean seriously, who names their kid Orville? In any case, he’s Sub Pop’s newest signing. And the enigmatic Americana-gothic twanger makes his label debut with the grim tune Big Sky, a haunting and hushed introduction if there ever was one. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Big Sky, his first single, is a campfire lullaby of Orville’s past lovers. He sings about his relationships — with an aloof biker, an abusive boxer and an overly protective jailor in the Florida Keys — and the inevitable demise of each one, as Orville leaves them for the wide open big sky.” Up, up and away:
4 “Epic Folk-Metal, beer, dancing and trolls!” Few things could make my day better than getting a press release that opens with those words. Though it definitely helps when the song it’s designed to hype — in this case, Swiss pagan folk-metal outfit Norvhar‘s Of Stone, Gold & Blood — is as fantastically ridiculous as this Spinal-Tapian jewel. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Six friends offer a music which is inspired, epic, melodic, but which also makes you want to drink beers until the end of times. Vastly inspired by Tolkien’s universe, but also by Nordic mythology, the texts are dense and deep, filled with adventures and battles, with mystical tales and latent alcoholism. The folk melodies, sometimes played on the keyboard, sometime on the flute or on acoustic instruments, intermingle with powerful and sharp guitars, all punctuated by intense bass and battle-like drums. The vocals, straight out of the plains of Valhalla are calling the warriors to battle by their unquenchable fire.” Get ready to meet The Mighty Pick:
5 You can’t go wrong with Cat Power. And she can’t go wrong with Burt Bacharach and Hal David. So suffice to say her sweet, gently bouncy rendition of the beloved songwriting duo’s oft-covered classic What the World Need Now is a winner. And exactly what we all need now. It was originally released on a single in the deluxe edition of her recent Wanderer album, but now you can hear it on its own. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wanted to release a song with a message of hope,” says Chan Marshall. “‘What the world needs now is love sweet love,’ is a lyric anyone can embrace right now.” More power to her:
6 I gotta be me. You gotta be you. But Swedish duo I Am Nova have other ideas. As they insist repeatedly in their infectious new dance-pop single, they need a girl, need a girl, need a girl, need a girl, need a girl — and it’s Gotta Be You. Assuming you’re a girl, of course. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Gotta Be You is a midtempo pop/rock/disco-funk song with a high energy singalong chorus that makes everyone wanna move their bodies. Gotta Be You is influenced by bands such as OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, DNCE, Maroon 5 and The Weeknd.” Gotta be:
7 You’re born alone. You die alone. You’d think that between those two endpoints, you wouldn’t have to be alone, especially in a world as insanely interconnected as ours. But it’s never that simple, is it? No, it isn’t. London, Ont. foursome Never Betters know the name of that tune — and they’ve turned it their own crunchy little pop-punk fuzz-bomb titled (you guessed it) Alone. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Alone is about trying to enjoy the euphoria of new love or infatuation, without being bogged down by the harsh reality that the affection is unrequited.” It’s the loneliest number that you’ll ever do the pogo to: