Isla Craig - H.C. McEntire - Una Rose - Cozy Slippers
Today, Toronto based songwriter Isla Craig has shared 'Moon', the second single to be taken from her forthcoming album Echo's Reach. Of her new single, Isla says: "The new single is my humble offering into the canon of 'Moon' songs across the ages. A song that is more a vibe and a vibe that asks us to suspend the harsh frequencies of earthbound folly for a moment of reflection and feeling. Keeping it psyche and casting a spell, the lessons of the moon of which I live to tell!"
For over a decade Isla Craig has created a formidable body of work, a unique musical vision last heard on 2018’s The Becoming and stretching back to 2012’s Both the one & the other, (an a cappella suite of songs featuring some of Toronto’s best known vocalists Daniela Gesundheit, Tamara Lindeman, Ivy Mairi, & Felicity Williams).
With Echo’s Reach, Isla presents a sophisticated set of compositions that perfectly wrap her Highland influenced melodies in an organic blanket of musical peat formed from a mix of jazz, R&B and psychedelic folk. Leading a band of luminaries that include Evan Cartwright (drums), Ted Crosby (sax) and Mike Smith (bass), Isla showcases the affecting vocal presence that has made her an in-demand collaborator with artists such as Jennifer Castle and the spiritual jazz octet The Cosmic Range.
Isla summarises: “The album is a collection of songs that express an earnest desire for meditative paces and spaces, absorbing and reflecting the sacred grounds beneath concrete city life. Echo's Reach describes a desire to illuminate and walk in the transmissions and meditations of life between the fallow and the seed.”
|Photo - Heather Evans Smith|
H.C. McEntire shares her new single “Soft Crook” via Merge Records. An unfiltered reflection of navigating depression, the strikingly hopeful song is accompanied by a DIY music video she filmed herself. This weekend, H.C. McEntire will hit the road on a fall tour supporting Bob Mould, with stops in Nashville, Atlanta, Vienna and more.
“‘Soft Crook’ was an exercise in vulnerability and trust,” says McEntire. “At its narrative core, the lyrics expose my struggle with depression through an unfiltered lens—calling it what it is, shaking hands with it, unapologetically honoring the power of its grip. It’s a mysterious and unpredictable companion that can make walking this world feel like slogging through unforgiving fields of mud.” She explains, “Navigating the nuances of pandemic isolation while under a debilitating depression fog was the most alone I have ever felt. To embody grief honestly, to embrace its clumsy and unhinged corners—to survive—required efforts and elixirs of self-preservation. The chorus became an anthem, of sorts; a mantra for letting go of guilt in needing these things—whether medication or TV shows or other vices—to offer myself some grace.”
She continues, “I also wanted to capture a moment in time last fall when I’d opened myself back up to love; a way to summon the feeling of resting deeply in my girlfriend’s arms—that safety in hold, that transfer of both white-hot surrender and soft certainty, being touched strong and gentle at the same time; when guards are down and there is peace, if only for a moment, in the quiet consent of joy. So I walked to the front porch and snapped a photo of the late afternoon sky as proof, a reminder that there is much to feel, and much to lose. That love needs to be nurtured, even if stacked with unknowns. And we need to nurture ourselves as best we can, with whatever it takes to move towards another dawn.”
|Photo - Taryn Fleischmann|
“What good comes / from you still believing?” asks Montreal’s Una Rose in “Resolutions,” the opening song on her ephemeral and exploratory debut Myth Between. The solo project of Una Rose (Rosie) Long Decter from shoegaze duo Bodywash, Myth Between finds her trading walls of sound for delicate synths, crystalline vocals and deft lyricism. Far from an exercise in apathy, the EP probes the ineffable—the way feelings circulate and stick, laughter builds and dies—seeking hope in passing impressions.
Long Decter was named after her two grandmothers, Una Decter, a social activist in Winnipeg, and Rose Long, a music teacher in St. John’s. She grew up harmonizing at Newfoundland kitchen parties, playing open mics in Toronto, and studying the songwriting of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. A move to Montreal at 17 drew her towards dream pop and experimental music, and she founded Bodywash with Chris Steward in 2014. In 2019, they released their debut full-length Comforter via Luminelle Recordings with a follow-up forthcoming in 2023. Long Decter has also refined her musicianship as a band member for rising local acts like Helena Deland and Magi Merlin.
Bringing these experiences together, Long Decter approaches the singer-songwriter tradition from an experimental bent, drawing inspiration from Julianna Barwick’s ambient echoes and Cate Le Bon’s unknowable moods, as well as Sara Ahmed’s theorizations of affect. Composing in her bedroom via synth and voice, Long Decter wrote Myth Between from 2019-2021. She then enlisted the help of electronic producer Yoon Rachel Nam, longtime collaborator Steward, and percussionists Andy Mulcair and Ryan White to flesh out the arrangements.
Mixed by Steve Eldon-Kerr and mastered by Tom Nixon, the EP’s six tracks blend the grounded storytelling of folk with otherworldly atmospherics, lifting Long Decter’s lyrics into a space between real and imagined. Beginning with her personal experiences and observations, the lyrics expand outward. “Partly” tells a story of desire on its way out the door. “Resolutions” is a reflection on phone calls back and forth with her father; “In the Garden Digging” a tribute to her mother’s pandemic planting.
======================================================================Cozy Slippers - I Can't Keep You Safe.
Cozy Slippers announce their return with the release of their self titled debut album on Kleine Underground Schallplatten (vinyl) and Subjangle (CD) on October 14th, 2022. The First single from the album was "Nobody Knows Me, Anyhow", a love letter to alienation. A trapped narrator finds solace in knowing that anonymity makes space possible.
"I Can’t Keep You Safe" is an eerie jangler that addresses major pandemic fear - that protecting loved ones was not possible. Previously Cozy Slippers released the 7" "A Million Pieces" (Kleine Underground Schallplatten 2019), and two EPs: ‘Postcards’ (Jigsaw Record 2018) and ‘Late Night In Summertime’ (self-released 2017).
In 2019, the band toured the UK, including an appearance at the Cambridge Indiepop All-dayer. The band largely recorded the album themselves, and it was mixed by Dylan Wall (Versing, Great Grandpa, and High Sunn) and mastered by Paul Gold (The Chills, Allah-lahs).