Audible/Visual Hoots: Basic Nature, Best Fern, Scary Bear Soundtrack & more

Elisapie – “Forefathers”

As Elisapie explores her Inuit roots on her forthcoming 2018 album, she’s dropped a very timely song given Canada’s 150th birthday and the peoples its history tends to gloss over. “Forefathers” is a cover of the great Willie Thrasher, and the arrangement is much bigger than the original. The mighty percussion is present in both the original and here, but the cover adds a more rock-oriented feel. The lyrics are no less relevant now than decades ago. –Michael Thomas

Best Fern – Covers

Best Fern’s Alexia Avina told me about her and Nick Schofield’s cover EP when we chatted in May and she was very excited about the project so it’s very nice to finally hear it. For Covers, Best Fern picked four songs from their biggest influences: Four Tet, Panda Bear, Jessy Lanza, and Majical Cloudz. The duo’s take on Lanza’s “It Means I Love You” has a similar high-energy beat as the original but Avina’s voice softens the track while their cover of Majical Cloudz’s “Bugs Don’t Buzz” is filled with the same gentle love as the original but instead of Devon Welsh’s intense stare, this is a shy glance. Bonus goodness: All funds from the EP will be donated towards helping Syrian refugees in Montreal. – LS

Mo Kenney – “If You’re Not Dead”

We love Mo Kenney and are buzzing with excitement for her long awaited new album coming out this Fall. “If You’re Not Dead” is a track about trying to figure out what you want which yeah, sometimes causes a path of destruction in your wake. There’s a sting to this upbeat sounding song (“If you’re not dead then get out of my bed,” Kenney repeats in the chorus) but not as bad as that from the brilliant “I Faked It” from Kenney’s previous record In My Dreams. Here we know that things will make sense eventually, just give it some time. – LS 

Basic Nature – “Love Won’t Always Be There”

A slow-burning, dreamlike video pairs perfectly with a gloomy pop song. Winnipeg’s Basic Nature remind us that love is never a constant, and that less-than-positive affirmation guides us through the video, as we follow a woman go from looking like something out of the Hunger Games to wearing a short blond wig and big face paint, before joining a bunch of masked people. What does it all mean? That’s up to you. – MT

Spruce Trap – “Justice For Her” 

In December, Vancouver trio Spruce Trap put out an incredible record in The Wise Prefer to Perish and celebrated its release with a show at Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral. That show was recorded and will be released in full later this year but in the meanwhile, this live video gives us a taste of what must have been a magical evening. “Justice For Her,” a previously unreleased song, is a breathtaking 17+ minute track in five movements. With intermitted shots of the church’s architecture and rolling multimedia projected behind the band, Spruce Trap shift from whispers to shouts, cries of pain, and gasps of relief. The final lingering shot of Kai Furugori behind his drum kit is particularly spine-tingling. A breathtaking journey in all. – LS

Lizzy & the Fanatics – “I Like You”

It’s hard not to like someone who says she works with “raw feels” and you can feel the goodness emanating from the latest single from this Montreal outfit. The feels are quite raw, expressing the kind of crush you can rarely put into words. It’s got a New Order-y vibe to it but is endlessly more positive than you’d expect from that kind of synth line. It especially picks up after we hear “We have more in common than we think.”  –MT

Carousel Scene – “All I Wanna Know” 

Carousel Scene’s “All I Wanna Know” is a sexy song! The songs’s throbbing electronica beat starts pumping out of the speakers, you’ve locked eyes with someone across the dance floor and you want to jump their bones. Carousel Scene is your wing-person. “I wanna feel the fever the heat between your thighs, I wanna be your lover I wanna take the night,” exhales Carousel Scene’s Ashley Weis. Woo-boy! – LS

Scary Bear Soundtrack  – “Asian Fetishist”

Pay no attention to the lyrics and you’ll see this song as cheery and upbeat, one to dance to. Listen to the lyrics though, and this song spins a deep story of racism, colonialism, sexism and so much more. The story begins with a guy approaching a girl at the bar, asking where she’s “really from,” and the guy only gets worse and worse as the song goes on. It’s a powerful statement from which everyone should learn something. – MT

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