Kalle Mattson is a Christmas card, Cold Collective play with dolls, Ocean Potion have a notion, Murray Lightburn grows up and more in today’s Roundup. If you’re lookin’, it ain’t cookin’!
1 There are countless Christmas songs about families coming together at the holidays. But Ottawa folk-pop singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson has one for all the families coming apart: The tender-hearted Christmas divorce anthem Twice The Gifts (Half The Love), presented here in all its vandalized Hallmark-card glory. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “My parents got divorced something like the day after I was born (a little insight into how I am the way I am), so my only memories of Christmas and the holidays are divorced ones,” says Mattson. “Spending half the day at one house then driving to the next. Two dinners, double the families, and yes twice the gifts. I did some research and I couldn’t believe there weren’t any divorced Christmas songs (or any that I could find), so hopefully I’ve filled the gap for all us children of divorce.” Um, thanks?
2 You don’t need a bunch of money, a ton of fancy equipment or a complicated storyline to make a video. All you need is a cheap camera, a slightly creepy scarecrow doll and a bunch of people willing to pose with it. Think not? Have a gander at Don’t Forget to Leave, the new single from Massachusetts singer-songwriter Tim Landers and Cold Collective. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’ve met so many amazing people on this journey, and it kills me to know other people struggled as I have. It’s a song about putting the fear of opening up aside. It’s about being comfortable with yourself.” Forget about it:
3 Naming a band is probably one of the hardest things to do. There are so many bad names and so few good ones. Case in point: Ocean Potion. That’s a pretty good name. But it’s way better than some of the other rhyming options the Toronto duo could have gone with — like Ocean Lotion, Ocean Motion or Ocean Notion, which is guaranteed to be printed wrong on every marquee ever. Aside from their naming skills, these guys can do a pretty decent job when it comes to penning a dreamy psychedelic pop number, as their Flaming Lips-style single Lights Out makes quite clear. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The lyrics are partly inspired by an old radio drama of the same name, Lights Out. The show always started with the same, ominous phrase: Lights out everyone. It is later than you think. After laying down the basic framework, we took it on a journey and gave it that dreamy sound with a thick groove.” Flip the switch:
4 Murray Lightburn has some things he wants to say. Which is probably why The Dears frontman’s upcoming solo album will be titled Hear Me Out. But if you’re expecting it to sound like his day job, his tellingly titled latest single — the sophisticated Latin-tinged ballad Change My Ways — should set you straight. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wanted this song to be gentle and fragile yet strong; a balance that kind of encapsulates the album and its theme. I wanted something that was confident — without being perceived as arrogant. That is really hard to achieve.” Hear, here:
5 There’s a time to go it alone. And a time to ask people for help. For Chris Cohen, the latter time has come. The multi-instrumentalist, producer and former Deerhoof member’s dreamy new jazz-pop single Edit Out — his first new music since 2016 — finds him enlisting some timely assistance. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Edit Out features Jay Israelson on piano and Kasey Knudsen on saxophone and marks the first time Cohen has actively collaborated in the studio with others on his own music, rather than recording everything alone.” Give him a hand: