The good folk of Canada continue to shower the RGM inbox with their musical missives and we’re delighted to be able to share with you another selection of exciting new tunes from over the water.
We start this roundup - ever so gently - in Montreal with Daniel Isaiah and ‘Javelin Fade’, taken from the album Only One Left, which is out now. Vocally, Isaiah sits somewhere between Tom McRae and The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and this is apt for the intimacy and fragility of the song. Isaiah’s Nord synth was central to the writing of the record, so expect lashings of electronic moodiness. ‘Javelin Fade’ is definitely a track to lower the lights to and justifies a trip to bandcamp where the album streams in full.
Nova Scotia’s band of heavily-bearded brothers Pretty Archie put a grin on our faces with their latest single ‘This Whole Town’, a lusty, upbeat chunk of bluegrassy Canadiana (their term, not mine) about the value of sticking around and sticking it out. The song’s racing mandolin and three-part harmony vocal reminded me of the mighty Sister Hazel. ‘This Whole Town’ is taken from their third LP ‘Hanging On’, which is due in the New Year but available for pre-order now via Curve Music.
Jane’s Party are a band that have been on our radar for a little while and the jangly guitar-pop of ‘Wait For You’ has established itself as a firm favourite at RGM Towers ever since its release at the start of November. The Toronto-based group formed in 2008 and have since released a string of records and played some notable support slots, including a European tour with Tom Odell. The single’s B-side (remember them?) is a cover of The Cars’ classic hit ‘Drive’, which certainly got me started but possibly not in the intended direction.
Over in Halifax, singer-songwriter Don Brownrigg is gearing up for the release of his new LP Fireworks, due in February 2019. From it comes new single ‘Room For Me’ which is as delicate and introspective as they come. Set starkly against boxy, close strings are nothing more than Brownrigg’s rich vocal and a deftly picked acoustic guitar. The album offers a wealth of other textures (as well as a smartly pitched Suzanne Vega cover) and I look forward to telling you all about them at length in 2019. Watch this space.
We close with Ontario four-piece Lost Cousins, who caught our attention with the grandiose, urgent indie-pop of their last single ‘Stay’. The cinematic slow-burn of current single ‘Trails’ (think Sigur Ros jamming with Coldplay) is making waves in the digital world and both tracks promise a great deal for the band’s debut album, scheduled for a 2019 release. They say it’s going to be “sprawling, celestial, sweeping, anthemic” and we say: “we’d rather like to book our flight to Canada now please…” So, that’s all for 2018, we’ll see you next year for more Maple Leaf goodness.
The Maple Leaf is a Rich Barnard production for Red Guitar Music.