Rebekah Hawker - Candy Ambulance - Cold Reading

Rebekah Hawker has released 'Kempenfelt Bay' a stunning country folk song which places her on a par with many a fine artist who inhabit the world of Americana or should that be Canadiana.

We have featured Candy Ambulance just once before back in 2017 and now we have 'Road Valium'. The trio mix grunge rock with a dash of pop sensibilities on this track and do so splendidly.

Lucerne based Cold Reading have a new single entitled 'Present Tense', which is our third feature for the band and follows on from 'Through the Woods, Pt.1.' shared earlier this year. The bands alt rock is a little softer this time, the melodic hooks and impassioned vocals are notable.

Rebekah Hawker - Kempenfelt Bay.

Arguably, the defining characteristics of a modern musical artist with breakout potential are aesthetic in nature. Carefully chosen fonts are assigned to enigmatic monikers and pseudonyms; vowels optional, excessive punctuation encouraged. In this environment meticulous stage curation is a limiting factor, with the correct fabric and lighting acting as key nutrients for rapid stage eutrophication. Rebekah Hawker’s defining characteristic is that she, inarguably, needs no such frivolities to capture and hold one’s attention.

The ability to command an audience is a quality that most of us do not possess and yet every great performer must. And it is in her contrasts that Rebekah Hawker manages to achieve this perfectly. On one hand her lyrics and melodies are a serious affair, evoking powerful images that resonate unbiasedly. They can be fierce or they can be fragile, but they can never be taken lightly. They speak of a life lived, not imagined, giving an authenticity to the ups and downs strewn throughout her musical tales. Yet on the other hand, her audience interaction and stage persona are so wonderfully light and refreshing that she transforms what could be a sombre experience in a joyful, cathartic journey. Humble, self deprecating, earnest and consistently hilarious, she smiles often and easy, and it takes only one look through a typical crowd to see that it’s contagious. Sometimes, a performer can be said to never leave a dry eye in the house. With Rebekah, there is never a frown.

There is an undeniable sense when watching her perform that you’ve been gifted that rare chance to see an artist before they were famous. Someone you will tell your friends and colleagues about, subtly bragging years later that you were there first. Yet in describing her, it’s always with a slight vagueness and allegory. It is so easy to liken and compare her to artists we hold dear to our hearts, in more of a spiritual homage than direct similarity, for though Rebekah may be singular we can all find something familiar and comforting within her music. She coaxes out vivid memories and emotions, her music amorphously accompanying them as though there all along. Somehow, Rebekah Hawker exists as part of our past, present, and undoubtedly our future. Are you listening?

Rebekah Hawker is a country folk singer-songwriter from Barrie, Ontario, that city you drive through on your way to the cottage. She sounds like an equal-parts mix of the following artists: Kathleen Edwards, Joni Mitchell, Kacey Musgraves, Patsy Cline and Martha Wainwright. She has played in venues across Canada, most recently as an artist on the Via Rail Train. You can catch her on tour this summer in support of her debut EP, ‘Careful Women,’ out August 23rd.


Candy Ambulance - Road Valium.

NY grunge trio Candy Ambulance return with a raw new single “Road Valium” today. A delicious blend of punchy grunge-rock is splashed with twist of punk antics and pop hooks to build the band’s unique and addictive sound. Self-deprecating lyrics are served in cheeky, brash manner, while diving deep into intimately personal truths. “Road Valium” comes off Candy Ambulance’s upcoming album Traumantic, out September 13th.

“This song is very on-brand me,” shared vocalist Caitlin Barker. “The subject matter is pretty dark – Iʼm admitting that I seek chaos and attention in order to distract myself from deeper wounds – yet Iʼm delivering it in an incredibly cheeky manner. Iʼm flirting, Iʼm drawing you in and Iʼm letting you know that the ride is gonna be a rough (but usually pretty fun) one. When I say “every time I find a spot to lie in I get so uncomfortable” I mean it. If I stopped partying or chasing men Iʼd go absolutely bonkers.” The single, and upcoming album, reflect heavily on Barker’s personal experiences as she confronts trauma, past relationships, and self-analysis in therapy.

““Iʼm in bed with everybody, I know” is something I wrote as a joke about how I canʼt stop hooking up with my friends, but upon reflection, I know it could be relatable to people. What other energies to you bring home with you when you lie down to sleep?” shared Barker. An incredibly open admittance, Barker notes the support of bandmates bassist Jesse Bolduc, and drummer Jon Cantiello as crucial to her comfort in addressing hard truths. Splashed with a fiercely brash and brazen delivery, they speak honestly, revealing the truth: we’re all human, we’ve all got problems, and you might as well enjoy the time you’ve got.

Candy Ambulance has found their niche of gritty grunge, served up with a dash of punk antics and glued together with irresistible pop hooks. Their upcoming full-length Traumantic, due out September 13, 2019, was notably recorded and produced by The Replacementsʼ Tommy Stinson and includes a slide guitar collaboration from Josh Marre (Blue Ranger, Pinegrove). Raw, emotive, and deeply personal, Barker summarizes the album as “the sum of my life experiences with men.”


Cold Reading - Present Tense.

Lucerne-based Alternative Rock band Cold Reading introduces the second part of their three-part concept album with their new single 'Present Tense'. The eponymous EP will be released on September 27 via Krod Records.

After releasing 'Part 1: Past Perfect' in May and achieving notable successes beyond the confines of their scene, they are ready to strike a new path. Where the first part was mainly influenced by the rawness of the Emo-/Post-Hardcore movement of the late 90s or early 2000s, part two offers a sound which moves away from the niche the band has been inhabiting so far. Now they are drawing inspiration from contemporary Indie and Pop music to complement their classic sound with new atmospheric elements.

With their new single 'Present Tense', the band foregoes the traditional dynamics and roaring guitars and thus delivers their most straightforward song yet. Cold Reading combines the lightness of Death Cab for Cutie, the drive of The National and the sensuousness of From Indian Lakes on 'Present Tense'. The vocals and the message are the core of the song. As regards content, singer Michael Portmann explains the song as follows:

"The title track 'Present Tense' is about consciously dealing with my feelings. I appeal to myself to break free from old patterns of repression and to allow the Now, even if the feelings can be painful. I tend to put my painful memories in a box and lock them away. I do not want that anymore. I want to be mindful and feel my own self. Only if I manage to do so in the moment, I know that I’m alive. "