Mounties fly their flag, Larkin Poe get sweet and lowdown, Jean-Michel Blais flies blind, Pristine sin to win, Hannah Georgas introduces a stranger and more in today’s Roundup. Are you ready for some weekend?
1 Mounties always get their man. But man, it’s taking a long time for us to get our Mounties. The Can-Rock supergroup of Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays and Ryan Dahle planned to release their sophomore album Heavy Meta around now. Then they bumped it to May. Now it’s due April 26 — though I’ll believe that when I see it. For the time being, you can make do with the quirky pop-rocker Flags of Convenience and its drum-pounding, kitty-littered video. Get it, man? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The term is taken from a business practice of merchant ship owners registering vessels in a different country than that of the owner to avoid regulations, laws, and taxes. This underlying meaning becomes a metaphor for other behaviour from our obsession with convenience boiling all the way down to pure sex.” Take a musical ride:
2 If you missed Nashville neo-blues duo Larkin Poe’s Venom & Faith album when it came out last year, do yourself a favour and circle back to find it. Sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell did a fine job of fusing traditional roots music with contemporary rock and electronics to create a stylish musical hybrid. Dip your toe in the water with their latest single and video Honey Honey, an ominous slow burner laced with plenty of swagger and slide guitar. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Bandmates Rebecca and Megan Lovell have maintained an outlaw mindset in a traditional genre, infusing pop sensibilities with a raw and traditional blues foundation.” How sweet it is:
3 What do you want from a 5:30 music video? A complex narrative? Dramatic tension? Decent acting? Excellent cinematography? Creative editing? And oh yeah, how about a gorgeously intricate instrumental piano score for a soundtrack? Seems like a pretty tall order — unless you’re talking about Blind, the new video from Montreal pianist Jean-Michel Blais’s newly expanded reissue of his celebrated 2018 release Dans ma main. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Directed by Mauriès Matos, the video is “the story about Anna the overachiever, who uses herself as a subject during experimental research as a young acclaimed yet controversial plant neurobiologist. During the process of using herself in her study, she makes an incredible discovery of a type of rhizome plant which allows one to reach their own consciousness. One night, on the eve of preparations to reveal this great announcement, she experiences the first encounter with Self.” What, no subplot?
4 We can’t all be rock stars. But thanks to Norway’s Pristine and their new POV video for their riff-rocker Sinnerman — the newest single from their upcoming fifth full-length Road Back to Ruin — we can all be roadies. But not very good ones, apparently. Oh well. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “We wanted to have a different approach on this video than on our previous releases. Our video producer from Amodei Visual came up with a story filmed in a POV (point of view) perspective and we absolutely loved it! A fun idea and an unusual video for a rock band.” See for yourself:
5 As Annie Lennox and Eurythmics taught us, Love is a Stranger. But Canadian singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas is no stranger to Love is a Stranger: The Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) album track is the second single from her forthcoming four-track EP Imprints, which will feature songs by female artists who influenced her. It’s also her latest video, shot in glorious black-and-white during a performance at Toronto’s Massey Hall. Get an eyeful (and an earful) before the disc drops on International Women’s Day, March 8. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Annie Lennox is an inspiration and someone I’ve always had so much respect for,” says Georgas. “I’m so drawn to lyrics in music and the way she describes what it feels like to fall in love with someone is so raw and beautiful. Her lyrics reveal that it’s far from perfect. It’s painful, it’s ugly, it makes you crazy and can be consuming. Eurythmics’ version of the song is so catchy and fun to listen to. I love how it plays with the dense and serious tone of the lyrics.” Would she lie to you, honey?
6 The Tubes once asked: What do you want from life? To kidnap an heiress or threaten her with a knife? To get cable TV and watch it every night? An Indian guru to show you the inner light? A meaningless love affair with a girl that you met tonight? Well, you can’t have any of that. But here’s the good news: You can have this kitschy-cool animated felt-puppet video for Toronto duo Harrow Fair’s infectiously nostalgic roots-pop single I Just Wanna. And really, what more do you want? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This song is a catchy commentary about growing up with an analog childhood and digital adulthood. Love letters versus Tinder. Phone calls versus texts. The throwback chorus is a reference to when sex wasn’t allowed to be alluded to in songs except with made-up words like Shoop and Shamalama.” Get felt up:
7 For a bluegrass band that wouldn’t be out of place at a backwoods barn dance, Mile Twelve sure seem fixated on urban living. The Massachusetts quintet’s upcoming album is titled City on a Hill. And it’s preceded by the new black-and-white performance video for the topically titled single City That Drowned. Maybe they need to get a few more titular miles under their belt — or at least get out of Boston a little more often. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “City on a Hill is comprised of ten new songs that feature Mile Twelve’s impeccable ability to tackle dense and often heavy subject matter from an easy-going, honest perspective … First single City that Drowned (is) a song the band calls “a dark parable of events that may come.” All pickin’, no grinnin’:
8 Their name sounds like a family business in Oklahoma. But Edmond Jefferson & Sons are actually a ’70s-style blues-rock band from Switzerland — and one that does not include anyone named Edmond Jefferson, near as I can tell. But even though their name doesn’t fit, you must acquit them of being musically inappropriate with their latest single and video for The Winter, the title cut from their next album. It’s a fittingly chilly excursion through a darkly beautiful, shimmering landscape. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Winter is a melody that resonates in the wind, a wanted notice addressed to sweetness. Hills just before nightfall, that moment when everything takes on a blue colour, a feverish guitar line that appears in the air, a mild cold soothes the forehead of the one who thinks he is inconsolable.” Play it cool:
9 You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Unless you’re Joi Noir. The post-punk outfit debuted here as a DIY Discovery earlier this week. Now, singer Olga Gallo and guitarist Igor Plotnikov are striking while the iron is hot, unveiling their stock-footage lyric video for Used To Be, the latest single from their recently released (and downright superb) album Celeste. And if you like what you see, click here for more. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Used To Be could be Siouxsie Sioux or Florence Welch singing gloriously atop The Stones meets New Order. The song features producer Stephen Hague on bass and acoustic guitar as well as James McMillan on trumpet “to give the song an Exile On Main Street vibe” and is “a prayer to someone you’ve been together with for a while.” Amen to that:
10 Rising and falling. Falling and rising. It’s all part of life for Washington metal old-schoolers Fifth Angel. Last year, they returned from the wilderness with The Third Secret, their first album in nearly three decades. Now they’re stepping out with a new lyric video for the disc’s opening track, the Dio-style scorcher Stars Are Falling. You better run! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Stars Are Falling is a song that will probably have different meanings for different people,” states Ken Mary. “But the overall idea is that there is this race of life that we’re all in… where we strive, we fight, we struggle, and we depend on the fact that the sun will rise and that tomorrow is going to be here one way or another. There’s a time where that may not be the case; whether that’s on a global level or on a personal level. So really it’s a song to ponder some of the deeper meanings of life, actually. And with that I believe I’ve said enough, lol!” Way to keep a secret, dude:
11 They say discretion is the better part of valour. Clearly they never say that to Australian DJ Godlands. For her, a banging beat, some lush keyboards and a sharp vocal hook from Boi are the best parts of Valour, her new single and video. And she’s right. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Valour is an empowering track about going to war and facing your demons,” states Godlands. “It’s the first track I ever worked on with a vocalist in a studio. To be able to work with Boi was really inspirational, bouncing back ideas constantly and moulding a track into a finished piece was a really rewarding experience.” Fire when ready:
12 Singer-songwriter Lissie is back in action — and going back to basics on her forthcoming album When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective. In keeping with its title, the disc finds the Iowa artist deconstructing and reworking some of her best-known and best-loved tunes — beginning with the plaintive title cut, illustrated here with an animated lyric video. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The transformation of breakthrough single When I’m Alone (from her 2010 debut Catching a Tiger) – the first single to be released from this album – boils down the soaring pop single to a tense and emotive song that aches with heartbreak. When she sings, “When I reach out and I only grab air / And it kills me to think that you never did care”, her immediately identifiable velvet-lined vocals take center stage and pull at the heartstrings.” Go it alone:
13 Breakfast, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. Especially on the day of the Daytona 500. And who better to illustrate that point than Irish synthesist Alpha Chrome Yayo, whose tasty new instrumental track goes by the intriguing handle Breakfast in Daytona. Fire it up and take it for a spin. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a summery slice of dreamwave about the excitement of a day at a race track. Hi-octane fuel in the air, tarmac baking in the summer sun, all that good stuff.” Gentlemen, start your Egg McMuffins: