Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Quality Not Quantity - Something Special Going On

First up is Melanie Durrant a singer-songwriter who embodies real artistry through her very unique, edgy and soulful music style. Born and raised in Toronto, Melanie attended the Earl Haig School of the Arts. She trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music and worked on an eclectic array of projects before she became an “alternative hip-hop soul” artist. Citing influences that range from the soulful swoon of Minne Ripperton to the hard-knock of Aerosmith to the “mercy me” melodies of Marvin Gaye, the radiant singer/songwriter has no problems crashing through the wall of sound.

She has received multiple accolades though out her career including a Much Music Video Award nom for her single “Where Iʼm Going” and Stylus Awards winner for Single Of The Year for her song “Bang Bang” ft Kardinal Offishall. Melanie Durrant is also a three-time Juno nominee with nominations every year since 2013. Most recently she was nominated at the Sirius XMʼs Indie Awards for Soul & R&B Solo Artist of Year.

Impacting tomorrow is the song 'Mr Wonderful' which is put simply - wonderful. This is soul that just has to be shared, yes for me it really is wonderful... Melanie's website Here


Next up Arkells and we are advised -  Coming off a Polaris long list nomination, a couple of Juno Awards and sold out Canadian and international dates, Arkells have released a cover of Tobias Jesso Jr.’s Can’t Stop Thinking About You.

The bands lead singer Max Kerman had this to say“When I heard the Tobias record, I immediately got jealous. The chord-melodies and string arrangement are right up my alley. He’s channelling all the 70’s piano-balladeers that I love so much. I think there is a real kinship in our song writing, and dude's got nicer curls than me too. Might be a long lost cousin."

If you are gonna do a cover version of a song, then learn from Arkells, treat it with respect and have the talent to make it special - they have!


On to Frog Eyes where we are informed - they will release their new album Pickpocket's Locket on August 28th, 2015 via Paper Bag Records.  The album features contributions from Spencer Krug, Jesse Zubot, John Paton and Paul Rigby. Frog Eyes have also announced a number of tour dates including West Coast shows with Destroyer.

Tour dates:

July 31 - August 2  Sackville, NB @ SappyFest
September 11 Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
September 11-12 Hamilton, ON @ Supercrawl
September 17-20 Victoria, BC @ Rifflandia
September 18 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom*
September 19 San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore*
September 20 Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater*
September 21 Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
September 23 Bellingham, WA @ Shakedown
October 16 Seattle, WA @ Neptune*
October 17 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom*
* = w/ Destroyer   

I am seriously enjoying listening to 'Joe With The Jam' it's intense vocals over such a beautiful soundtrack is just so good.

First the background info - Brisbane shoegaze duo FOREVR has released their debut EP after recording it in April of this year. FOREVR is made up of Donovan Miller (No Anchor, Roku Music) and Sam George-Allen (Mega Ogre, Low Season).  ‘Demonstration’ is their first recorded material. The four-track EP was recorded live at Tym Guitars in Brisbane, using programmed drums, dense synthesiser and cavernous, shimmering guitar. They wanted to make loud, beautiful music. ‘Demonstration’ is what happened.
Channelling the lush textures of My Bloody Valentine and the romance of the Cocteau Twins, FOREVR have adopted an electronic foundation - drum machines, audio sampling and synth bass - that places them at the forefront of modern shoegaze. ‘Demonstration’ has received praise from music press in Australia and abroad, including Triple J and international radio stations Primal Radio and DKFM. Triple J’s Nat Tencic calls their music “perfect shoegaze” and Primal Radio describes their sound as “sinister decadence”.

Having loved the Cocteau Twins music since those spiky hair days of the 1980's in my opinion nobody has ever come close to them. FOREVR by allowing the influence of My Bloody Valentine have actually come up with something quite special that is clearly their own sound, but those Cocteau Twins vibes are there and oh boy do I think they have something special going on here.


Final one for this round up and first the background - Lowki the result of an ex-theatrical performer meeting the son of a South African jazz musician in a smoke filled London studio at 3am.

Debut single F.A.C.E offers a genre-defying sound that blurs the lines between alternative electronica and relentlessly catchy pop. Its initially harsh yet minimal production composed of eerie pads, veracious beats, resampled vocals and dark bass tones is elegantly met with enticing falsetto melodies and heartfelt lyrics that refuse to conform to the same rigid formula of most contemporary music.

It was at a jaded after-hours studio session where Sara and Zeké first met and effortlessly ignited a creative spark, marking the start of their journey. From here they forged somewhat of an esoteric sound, shaped by respective influences of Dub, Hip Hop, Jazz and House music. Fast-forward a year and Lowki was born, enlisting another two members: multi-instrumentalist Sam and James on drums.

A song that sends tingles through me. Crafted, lush and atmospheric. As debut singles go they have set the bar very high.


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