The rise of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected people in various ways, especially in the arts/entertainment scene. With tours cancelled and album releases postponed, musicians were challenged to innovate their way of creating music and promoting themselves. While many would say that their experience under quarantine has been far from positive, there are others who were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. To singer-songwriter Heather Thomas, these months in isolation gave birth to a new music identity that was free from genre restrictions and remotely collaborative. The musician, formerly under the name ATLAAS, has chatted with Stylus Magazine about the wake of her new persona called Diaphanie, and how quarantine made her reevaluate the next steps in her career.
Indistinct Conversations, the latest release from Toronto’s Land of Talk seems, from the outset, to be the kind of dreamy folk album that typifies mid-afternoon festival stages in the hot sun. “Diaphanous”, the first track, is a fitting title to describe not only the song, but the overarching sound of the album. Yet, as the tracks maintain a pronounced lightness, the content begins to reveal a complexity that is not fully realized until the final songs.
Hopeful or disheartening – which way does Leith Ross sway? Their debut EP Motherwell is simultaneously melancholy and faithful. Motherwell’s faith in the goodness of life is refreshing – Ross’ tender-hearted lyricism is organic and magnetic. This live-off-the-floor recorded EP dives earnestly into memories and deep, clever thoughts.
I don’t think any new, quarantine released music has made me as nostalgic for late nights spent dancing then this EP. I can close my eyes and see myself, dancing, arms wrapped around my friends, smiling. Baseball Hero has brought me back to a time I had almost forgotten and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Unless you are a musician or work with sound, chances are that the recording studio is as intriguing a place to your imagination as it is to mine. For us mere mortals, recording studios are a deep chamber of mystery where art somehow becomes encapsulated, mastered, and shared with the rest of the world.
In an age where music is engineered to ensure at least thirty seconds of playtime – the necessary amount to be paid out through Spotify – beginning an album (even an EP) with a spoken word track is risky, yet Jamboree’s Room pulls it off with unflinching confidence.
Next To The Sun, the latest release from Chicago-based musician KAINA (pronounced Kah-e-na), is an exploration into the struggles the artist has faced growing up as a first-generation Latina, born and raised in the United States. Her Venezuelan and Guatemalan background influences not only her musical styles but also her lyrics, which are honest and hopeful, keeping the listener open to the reality of her life experience throughout.
“Success is a gift, I hope you enjoy your present” – B-Flat
Earlier this year a group of writers from Manitoba’s most prominent newspaper compiled a list of the best songs to ever come out of this city and province. Of the 150 songs those writers chose, only five were rap songs. Winnipeg hip-hop deserves more than just 3% of a list. We deserve our own fucking list: The Top 100 Winnipeg Hip-Hop Songs, according to myself alone.
Collaged together with undying bop power, Edmonton based Wares’ album Survival, has already garnered national praise. One of 40 albums nominated for the Polaris Music Prize Longlist, the ten song album is lyrically devastating and compositionally stirring.
With Nowhere No One Knows Where to Find You, Slow Spirit continues to push traditional rock boundaries. The band’s utilization of an electronic sound gives depth to the production, all while keeping it refreshing and compelling. Punchy drums anchor most of the songs, which see jazz-like instrumentation built on top. The effervescence of Natalie Bohrn’s rich alto vocals bounces around, blessing the chaotic instrumentation.