Marika Hackman is not where you are, Old Man Luedecke shares some hard truths, Girl Friday keep current, Drew Thomson makes time and more in today’s Roundup. How the hell did it get to be Wednesday already?
1 Some songs are like a slap in the face. Others are like sitting in the bathtub fully clothed. Still others are like eating waffles with a Bloody Mary or gazing at a tree full of underwear. The darkly alienated I’m Not Where You Are, the first taste of uncompromising singer-songwriter Marika Hackman’s Aug. 9 album Any Human Friend, is all of these. And more. Hear and see for yourself. Then take a messy walk down the middle of the street. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This whole record is me diving into myself and peeling back the skin further and further, exposing myself in quite a big way. It can be quite sexual,” Hackman says. “It’s blunt, but not offensive. It’s mischievous.” Another Bloody Mary?
2 There is truth. And there are consequences. We’ve let greedy scum destroy the first bit by bit. Now we’re stuck with the latter. Thankfully, there are still voices of reason out there. One belongs to singer-songwriter Old Man Luedecke, who weighs in on our sorry state with the tender, personal ballad Death of Truth, the latest preview of his June 14 album Easy Money. Listen close and you’ll hear Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) on backup vocals. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Death Of Truth is a political memorial song to Luedecke’s late father, a news junkie who passed away the week before the inauguration of the current U.S. administration … Death Of Truth is in part inspired by Leonard Cohen’s You Want it Darker who also inspired Luedecke’s choice to play a nylon string guitar on the cut. Leonard, you’ll remember, was also spared the current administration.” Lucky him:
3 Harmony-laden folk-rock, chiming jangle-pop and noisy punk have co-existed peacefully but separately in California for decades. But Los Angeles musical collective Girl Friday are breaking down those barriers — their new single Decoration/Currency fuses all those sounds and styles into one fantastic shapeshifter that honours everyone from The Bangles to Hole. Check out their June 28 EP Fashion Conman to see who else is on the list. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “None of them are L.A. natives—they take aim at the noted sinister shallowness of entertainment industry interactions in that city on Decoration/Currency, which swings easily from sweetly melodic verse to distorted, fist-raising chorus.” Get Friday on your mind:
4 The Drew Thomson Foundation sounds like one of those charities run by a washed-up athlete that aims to buy sporting gear for inner-city youth. It is, in fact, the clever handle of Hamilton singer-guitarist Drew Thomson’s new band. His old band was called Single Mothers, which suggests some sort of a theme that I can’t quite put my finger on and can’t be bothered to waste time trying to pinpoint. Thankfully, their song A Little More Time — from their upcoming full-length debut — is not a waste of time. Not if you like crunchy little power-pop riff-rockers, that is. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Drew Thomson from The Drew Thomson Foundation shows us his everyday life in the new video for A Little More Time. The video is a day in the life of a man with his cardigan, cats and coffee. The video shows a candid side of Drew and keeps it real and to the point. The video takes place in the city Drew lives in, Hamilton. Follow Drew as he explores the Hammer and shows us his true colours.” Operators are standing by:
5-7 For those who feel one new Lumineers video is not nearly enough, good news: The Denver folk-rockers have unleashed not one, not two, but three — count ’em, three — clips this week. All from their Sept. 13 album III (which a press release helpfully explains is ‘pronounced 3,’ just in case you thought it was ‘aye-yi-yi’ or something). And apparently, there’s plenty more where they came from — the whole album is some sort of complicated concept album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The new album is a cinematic narrative told in three chapters, with the songs from each chapter focusing on one primary character out of three generations of the fictional Sparks family. The 3-song Chapter I revolves around the family matriarch, Gloria Sparks.” Aye-yi-yi:
8 We all have to divide our time between the things we have to do and the things we want to do. And for everyone who’s ever dreamed of smashing the computer and living their ballet dream to the max — specifically, by dancing in a corporate boardroom in front of a band — Swiss alt-rockers Souvarof have you covered with the video for their track Two Lives, from their recently released self-titled EP. You’re welcome. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Souvarof unleashes an organic energy, fueled with a heavy rhythm section, wild guitars and a hoarse voice. The six tunes (on their EP) blend raw elegance and full-power which set the band off to propose furious, dynamic and thoroughly entertaining live shows.” Get in step:
9 L.A. pop-rock power trio Cherry Glazerr is a good thing. Musical comedian Reggie Watts is another good thing. So what could be gooder than the latter remixing the former’s song Daddi into a dance track? What, indeed? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Watts – a renowned musician and comedian – reimagines it, expanding Daddi into a driving club track with quick, anxious beats. Says Clementine Creevy: “I think a lot of rock musicians secretly would love to make a club floor banger – and Reggie helped us get there with his amazing booty shaking remix of Daddi.” Everybody on the floor:
10 We all know there’s no use crying over spilt milk. But what about milk spilt on eternity? That would seem to be worth shedding a tear or two. But should said tears be shed in perpetuity? And what becomes of the Oreos of immortality? Where and when can they be dunked? I would like to tell you that these questions are answered somewhere in Milk Spilt on Eternity, the latest trippy groovefest by Toronto eccentrics Badge Époque Ensemble — but since it’s a six-minute instrumental track that takes more twists and turns than a bag of pretzels, I’d be lying. So you’ll just have to figure it out for yourself. Perhaps listening to this cut — the second single from their June 7 EP — will help. Though I doubt it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Milk Spilt On Eternity is a “mood map, triangulating the intersection of the sensual and the cerebral,” says Maximilian ‘Twig’ Turnbull (formerly Slim Twig). “You can follow it, or lose yourself midstream and be tossed out at any number of alternatively dank destinations. 2 chords, but a choose your own adventure.” And bring your own beverage:
11 I heart the ’80s as much as the next guy. Unless the next guy happens to be Christian Dryden, leader of New York City rockers The Ritualists. He seems to have a serious jones for the sound of Duran Duran, Simple Minds and the like. Nothing wrong with that. At least, not on the song Ice Flower, the first single from their Aug. 2 album Painted People. See if you heart it. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The track finds its foundation in a repeated bass groove before bursting into a sea of expansive guitar lines. The chorus rips through the ethereal textures and frantic tones, as Dryden stretches his voice, navigating through the chaos with an impassioned, melodic hook.” Enjoy some flower power:
12 I have heard of a vicious circle. But until today, I had never heard of its opposite: A virtuous circle. So I owe one to the man who clued me in: Vancouver singer-songwriter Jordan Klassen, whose tensely beautiful track, Radiohead-like composition Virtuous Circle is his first new music in two years. And hopefully not his last. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Despite having its roots in such a tumultuous season, Virtuous Circle isn’t despairing. Contemplative, propulsive, and at times sweeping you away, the single brings the strongest cards of Klassen’s talents to the forefront once again. Ever-changing piano lines, aching string arrangements, and an anchor in the immediately recognizable calming vocals. “I wanted the song to have a sense of darkness, contrasted with hopefulness. I want it to feel like running – breaking away from whatever it is that is chasing you,” Klassen further added.” Virtuosity is its own reward: