Hoot Owl Festival :: New Name, Same Place, Familiar Spirit

by Chris Bryson

Continuing tradition can be a great thing. Apply that to music festivals and you’ve found many people’s version of heaven. Areas of the world have so many memories spread across what eventually becomes sacred musical land. The first ever Hoot Owl festival makes its home in Kerry, Manitoba at the old locale of the legendary Shine On festival and sets out to continue tradition while being its own thing in the process. Continue reading “Hoot Owl Festival :: New Name, Same Place, Familiar Spirit”

Raine Hamilton :: Night Sky

By Matt Harrison

Soft violin gently starts this album with the soothing hum of singer Raine Hamilton over top of it. Before you can fall into the melody, the violin turns to a jagged sort of snap and the story of Night Sky begins to unfurl. As the same song, “Starlight”, carries on, the acoustic folk sound offers vibes akin to wandering through a forest, the intervention of light a hopeless wish.  Continue reading “Raine Hamilton :: Night Sky”

Birthday Tapes :: Birthday Wishes Vol. 2 :: Review

by Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell

Birthday Tapes have announced their second compilation album appropriately titled Birthday Wishes Vol. 2. Featuring Seventeen artists, many of whom are local, Birthday Wishes Vol. 2 provides a wide range of steady pop and shoegaze. This is a mellow album, there’s no way around that. So if you’re looking for something to pump you up, try another route. If you’re looking for a soothing array of blended melodies, electronic tones, and whispered vocals, then slap this in your tape deck. Continue reading “Birthday Tapes :: Birthday Wishes Vol. 2 :: Review”

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE :: In Conversation with José González

Photo by Malin Johansson
Photo by Malin Johansson

By Harrison Samphir

Since the release of his debut album, Veneer, 12 years ago, José González has remained an enduring indie-folk figure, crafting mellow yet affecting compositions on his classical guitar. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, the 37 year-old has since released three full length solo records – his latest, Vestiges and Claws, dropped in February – several extended plays, and various other works with the Scandinavian band Junip, and London’s trip hop ensemble Zero 7.

Some might recall González for his ultra-popular covers of famous songs like The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” or his more recent rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls,” performed live on Sweden’s most popular television quiz show På spåret. Whatever the case, his vast array of successful work continues to garner critical acclaim and open the door to new creative opportunities. He wrote three original songs for the soundtrack of the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, lent a track to a massively popular 2010 video game, and participated in experimental collaborations with orchestras from Europe to North America.

Stylus Magazine spoke to González from his home in Gothenburg about his new record, creative inspirations, and the underlying meaning of his most personal songwriting.  Continue reading “ONLINE EXCLUSIVE :: In Conversation with José González”

Raine Hamilton :: Introducing Small Packages

Raine window sill gallery

by Daniel Emberg

Raine Hamilton grew up in Winnipeg and has been in music her whole life. Her expertise in theory and technique were largely earned by way of the violin, but she has recently added guitar to her toolbox and is forging her own path through the singer-songwriter forest.

Her debut EP, Small Packages, is something of Hamilton’s “howdy” to the world. A short collection of songs that are simultaneously earnest and mature, Hamilton is already preparing to take Small Packages on the road with an extensive tour planned through British Columbia later this summer.

First things first though: a release show will be taking place on Monday, June 9 at the Exchange Community Church (75 Albert Street). In advance of that event, Stylus found Raine Hamilton waiting at a picnic table in the middle of the city. To call the space a “serene oasis” would surely be taking it too far, but a little pocket of calm amidst urban bustle seemed perfectly appropriate for the conversation, and here’s where it went.
Continue reading “Raine Hamilton :: Introducing Small Packages”