Jazz, like folk and blues, is a form of music in which one is largely indebted to the contributions of one’s musical forebears. Ultimately, the goal is to take the lessons learned from past traditions and inject them with new life while still paying homage.
Wild Pink invites listeners to a festival of sonic dancing on A Billion Little Lights. Their unique brand of synth-y folk blends strings with pads and everything in between. As one song melts into the next, Wild Pink slowly constructs a clear ambience that cerebrally targets the feeling associated with chasing bliss.
Number One is a dreamy, heavily electronic reconstruction of pop music. Littered with industrial influences and, at times, hyper pop motifs, the debut album of Carlyn Bezic, aka Jane Inc, is one hell of a statement.
Some artists are impossible to place inside a certain musical genre, for each of their songs have a life of their own. When you think you know what to expect from the next track, you are continuously surprised by the different nuances they showcase. Georgia Van Etten without a doubt fits this category. Her latest work Deep Black Water displays anything and everything from Florence + The Machine orchestrations to early 90s hits by The Cranberries.
It was worth the wait. Empires have risen and crumbled since the last time we were treated to a new Mahogany Frog album, and the eight and a half trips around the sun that have produced Mahogany Frog in the Electric Universe were clearly well spent. Though the four members of Winnipeg’s premier prog rock juggernaut have their hands full with a variety of other artistic projects, the cohesion on display here is that of a band who never let each other out of sight. As with their albums of yesteryear, Mahogany Frog offers a style of prog rock that is not marked by showiness or affectation – but rather an unhurried determination to prod, probe, and unwrap a never-ending series of sounds.
Where some may say that a record is the canvas, where each track makes up the independent yet linear details that tie the painting together, Chad Vangaalen has built an art gallery made up of pieces for each track, and called his collection World’s Most Stressed out Gardener.
With only their third full-length project since 2011, Toronto band Bernice offer a rather stunning mix of jazz and ambient that “openly plays with the shape of a pop song,” as lead vocalist Robin Dann shares on the band’s Bandcamp page. Eau de Bonjourno marks the first collaboration between the group and the grand multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, who acts as producer. Ismaily’s impressive resume, which features work with the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, comes as no surprise given the pleasant, pristine production throughout the album.
Snowdance started back in 2012 when it was unseasonably warm, and there was almost no snow. Due to the lack of snow there was no ski hill to run and there was an abundance of musicians on staff. Thus the impromptu music festival featuring staff gave birth to Snowdance.
“The only man I hold weight for” – Ghostface Killah
Kairo is a student, but he’s also a teacher. The Winnipeg rapper is constantly learning about hip-hop history, cultural traditions from his homeland in Trinidad, and even lessons from his ancestors in Africa. But Kairo is also using that knowledge in his own music, to connect it to his past and to teach a younger generation that may have yet to discover the importance of figures like Haile Selassie. Kairo’s conscious style but street-savviness makes him one of the most interesting up and coming rappers in Winnipeg today.
Aaron Powell has become a household name when it comes to bedroom pop. If you’ve ever spent hours scouring Bandcamp looking for your next lo-fi obsession, Powell’s project Fog Lake was probably the exact sound you were craving. From a rural small town on the East Coast, Powell started his project Fog Lake after getting into scoring film with friends – which didn’t come as a surprise to me. The layered soundscapes Powell creates tell the isolating stories of his songs as much as his writing does.