Canadian Beacon | Kevin Drew, Jeen, Corb Lund & More New Homegrown Sounds

It’s unseasonably warm here. So after wading through today’s 1,400-plus Bandcrap Friday emails (far too many of which make me want to reply, ‘Dude, nobody wants to buy your f-ing test pressings’), I went for a nice long walk in the park. If you have the time, I suggest you do the same — perhaps while listening to the latest and greatest releases from some fine fellow Canadians:


Kevin Drew | Fixing The Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the release of his most vulnerable, minimal solo album to date, Aging, Broken Social Scene co-founder and frontman Kevin Drew releases the video for Fixing The Again. Partially shot and directed by Drew, the video is bittersweet and reflective, capturing the true essence of the human experience. Aging’s sonic profile sits in a similar place as beloved BSS songs like Lover’s Spit, Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl and The Sweetest Kill — beautifully dark, richly melodic and tinted with shades of melancholy and longing.”

Jeremy Dutcher | Pomawsuwinuwok Wonakiyawolotuwok

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jeremy Dutcher — the classically trained Two-Spirit song carrier, composer, activist, and member of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) in Eastern Canada — is excited to share a new live video for Pomawsuwinuwok Wonakiyawolotuwok, off the latest opus Motewolonuwok.”

Alex Maher | Red Planet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A Filipinx-Canadian multi-instrumentalist and loop artist, Alex Maher’s solo performances combine genre-bending mashups with passionate originals to showcase his musical instincts. Fusing classic soul influences, funk, electro-pop and jazz chops, his songwriting explores human connection in the modern age. The song Red Planet is a metaphor, using the image of the barren and desolate Mars as a parallel of what becomes of us when we struggle to remove ourselves from self-imposed emotional and spiritual isolation that occurs when rage and depression are allowed to linger, unaddressed and unamended.”

Alex Southey | I Think I Smell A Melody

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:I Think I Smell a Melody is acoustic guitar-based, like his previous single Never Listen, but that’s about where the similarities end. Never Listen was tight, and it popped; this, on the other hand, is a photo out of focus. I Think I Smell a Melody begins with loosely double-tracked vocals and rhythm guitar, until a smear of mellotron, cello, and strings enters and completes the personality of the song: A roiling pool of half-warnings of instability and spring imagery. “It began as a joke,” says Southey. “Well, it’s still a joke. You can’t take the title seriously. But it began as something I said to myself mid-writing session, totally understanding even in the moment I sounded like a cartoon villain music manager, but there was no cigar was present. No feet up on a desk.”

Moonshine, Pierre Kwenders, Uproot Andy | Sikoyo (feat. Branko & Fédération Internationale du Bruit)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Recently signed to Aluna’s new imprint Noir Fever, Moonshine are a post-border, multi-disciplinary artist collective with members in North America, Europe and Africa. Today, Moonshine share their second single Sikoyo, featuring Pierre Kwenders, Uproot Andy and Branko. “Sikoyo embodies embracing the present, pursuing your aspirations, and prioritizing what truly matters to you,” says Kwenders. “Whether it’s expressed through your expertise, talents, or, above all, love. Seizing the moment when it presents itself is crucial. It’s wiser to pursue a dream than to live with regrets. Sikoyo, in Lingala, translates to ‘Right Now!’ ”

Dream Eaters | Mood Pills

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since 2015, The Dream Eaters have evolved from a dream-pop band into a full-on video art project with an extensive catalog of weird and darkly humorous music videos of their catchy pop songs, growing a cult fanbase. The duo started working together after vocalist Elizabeth LeBaron, originally from Calgary, started working at the same bar as singer-songwriter Jake Zavracky, originally from Boston, in Brooklyn. At face value, “mood pills” simply refers to a pill one takes to enhance their mood. The song deals with what that does to a relationship — how it affects the overall dynamic of a relationship when one person is taking a mood-altering drug and the sexual dysfunction that comes from taking psychiatric drugs.”

Jeen | Xmas Angels

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As we approach the holidays, Jeen offers a sentimental soundtrack to the occasion with the release of an original lo-fi Christmas song titled Xmas Angels. “It’s a melancholy track about the people we miss the most,” she says of the song, written and recorded by herself in her attic with drums later added by Stephan Szczesniak. It was mixed by her long-time collaborator and Canadian indie vet Ian Blurton, who has taken on the role of co-producer for her last five albums as well as her forthcoming LP Gold Control, out Feb. 2. Xmas Angels was mastered by Brad Boatright (From Ashes Rise), with whom she has worked on all of her recent albums, as well as her 2021 cover of I Won’t Be Home For Christmas by blink-182.”

M’Grasker | She’s Drugs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:M’Grasker are a coven of humanoid meat sacks forged in the vats of creation by Dr. Gorp himself. Their mission: To rock. However, they are also permitted to roll. Human terminology might define them as a band, however they would be more accurately described as biological property of M’Graskorp Unlimited Enterprises and Subsidiaries of the GlanGlan Group. After a sufficiently long gestation period in Dr. Gorp’s humong creation tanks, the lovable lads from Lab 7 were able to record and write the song, She’s Drugs, ahead of schedule/budget. She’s Drugs is a song about how love is the only drug we need, except for some of the other drugs we still need.”

Mellohoney | Coward

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mellohoney are a post-punk/garage-rock duo from some noisy garage east of Toronto. No stone is left unturned when the two of them step foot on stage to create a wall of sound much larger than their member count. The pair’s music centers around post-punk, but often will veer into oncoming traffic, colliding with rock, ska, hip-hop, folk, and reggae, creating a mix that will have your head turning toward the sound of screeching tires to catch a glimpse of the maniacs behind the wheel. Their latest single Coward was written with “a sense of frustration and disillusionment with the political system, particularly with politicians and the government. A desire for change and accountability.”

Ouri | Blueprints Of Us / Tame Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ouri has returned with two new offerings via her double single Blueprints Of Us / Tame Me. As a musician, producer, DJ, vocalist, and composer, Ouri is known for her range, and this double single marks yet another notch on her belt. Both songs are relaxed and minimalistic, yet they maintain a hypnotising quality, both through her ethereal vocal and the track’s airy layering. Ouri shares: “I forget, remember and forget, but ultimately remember that we are all animated by the same indescribable thing called life. When we love each other, and when we ignore each other. That’s the only thought that helps me integrate the discrepancy of human experiences on this planet. Creating a liminal space between the intangible world of music and the actual world we live in. I had the privilege of having Oli XL, Decz, Loukeman and John Debold’s touches support my vision for these two songs, a dream come true.”

Corb Lund | Out On A Win

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Corb Lund will return with El Viejo on Feb. 23. The 11-track set was produced by Lund and recorded in his Lethbridge home with his Hurtin’ Albertans. Gathering around his living room, Lund & co. tapped into his most cherished musical influences of acoustic tone and lyrical aptitude — Marty Robbins, Kris Kristofferson, Bobbie Gentry, Jerry Reed. There is a common theme — possibly even a character thread — of the gambler, the outlaw who roams from place-to-place with no direction home. “It’s a lot of minor keys and gambling songs, is what it is,” Lund says in a matter-of-fact tone. “It was just a few of us in my house. No studio. No outside producer. No adults in the room. No stress.” He continues, “There’s not a single electric instrument on the whole thing, just acoustic sounds and singing. In terms of having a vision, this is a record I’ve had in my sights for a while and it came out exactly how I’d hoped. We cut all the songs live in the same room with lots of bleed. A bunch of the songs we captured in one take, first time through.”

Tyler Del Pino | Out of a Clear Blue Sky EP

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Winnipeg’s Tyler Del Pino has a pure passion for songwriting and an honest sound infused with starry-eyed narratives; a hybrid of rock pop, Americana and East Coast folk-rock that stays true to the roots of timeless tunes. File him beside James Taylor for his classic songwriting, Sam Roberts for his roughed-up Canadiana style, Mumford and Sons for their anthemic singalongs, and Strumbellas for their thoughtful themes and rosy melodies, born and bred in Canada. Backed by his new band The Brasstronautz, audiences will leave with earworms in their heads and hearts full of optimism.”

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