JORDANN – “Ashore”
JORDANN’s “Ashore” is a breezy and fun (the thick & funky bass strokes are particularly delicious) track that’s a splash of summer in the face of all this cold and grey weather. Lyrically, “Ashore” reminds us that even during the rockiest of times, love provides a safe passage home.
Iskwé (Feat. Tanya Tagaq) – “The Unforgotten”
Iskwé and Tanya Tagaq respectively are brilliant artists so, as you can imagine, together they sound unstoppable. “The Unforgotten” is an anthem. Tagaq’s guttural vocals and the thunderous percussion provide a foundation for Iskwé to stand tall on and declare that Indigenous peoples and culture are very much alive and together we all must fight for their future.
Shawn Kerr – “In My Eyes”
Back in 2016, we premiered a folky track from Shawn Kerr and now the Hamilton singer-songwriter has returned with a fresh sound. On “In My Eyes,” Kerr has traded in his folk-pop sound for one that’s a bit softer and with a more electro-pop vibe which fits well with his tender lyrics of longing.
The Lifers – “Front Door”
You know when you open the door and the wind catches it and blows it back with so much force you think your door is going to break off the hinges? That’s what The Lifers’ “Front Door,” from their forthcoming album Honey Suite, feels like. There were hints of The Lifers’ energy on their debut Out and In but on “Front Door” it bubbles over. “Front Door” is a percussion-heavy folk-pop song with horns and group vocals that makes for a very intriguing preview of The Lifers’ sophomore album.
Jon Vinyl – “Cherry Blossom”
When the cherry blossoms come out in High Park in Toronto, people lose their minds and flock to see them. And the enthusiasm is completely justified! They are an exquisite sight with a tragically short lifespan. After one rain fall the cherry blossoms have pretty much disappeared. Beauty’s brevity is at the heart of Jon Vinyl’s newest song “Cherry Blossom”. Vinyl’s track is a downtempo, soulful pop tune about a short-lived infatuation: “Lately I’ve been searching, I found a lot of nothing. Reflecting on the vibe I thought was something,” he sings. It’s a sweet and sad song altogether.
Jeremy Dutcher – “Mehcinut”
I plan to talk about Jeremy Dutcher and the record that he will release in April (Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa) for the rest of 2018 so watch out for that. On Dutcher’s standalone single “Honor Song” from late last year, he gave listeners a preview of both his stunning voice and the power of his project: Dutcher has transcribed traditional Wolastoq songs that were recorded onto wax cylinders by an ethnographer in the early twentieth century. His goal is to share these songs and inspire. “The revitalization of music is a catalyst for the promotion of culture more generally, as well as language and indigenous ways of living and knowing,” Dutcher writes on his website.
On “Mehcinut,” the first single from Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Dutcher and a voice from the original wax recording are woven together so their voices trade off throughout this orchestral track. It’s like a nod or a handshake from one generation to another one. I get chills during every listen.
Fanny Price – “Slow Burn”
Fanny Price is the latest signee to the loveable label Other Songs. Her debut track, “Slow Burn,” is a mellow electro-pop number that starts off quietly but then around the half-way mark, the song’s smouldering embers catch and the track lights up. “Slow Burn” is a song that burns with desire and flutters with the soft colours of a sunrise.