Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just a little reminder...

... only 5 days until the new release from Phoenix drops.

Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. 

Mother mother

Rocking the fuck out of Vancouver, British Columbia - as are many bands after my own heart these days - comes Mother Mother. This five piece ensemble does some magical things to the auditory sensory area of my brain. Their second release, O My Heart, is a whirlwind tour of dark, layered pop that's at once creepy and accessible: not a bad combination to master on a sophomore attempt! So like, Kudos. I just can't get enough of the falsetto-ish girl/boy harmonies and crisp annunciation (yeah, sounds like a weird thing to love... but it really makes some of the tracks).

The title track - O My Heart - starts off with a bass line that gives the initial impression that this is going to be a pretty pop song. That lasts for about ten seconds before the ringing lead guitar picks up the melody in a minor. From this point forward, there's no mistaking the heart-wrenching (pun fully intended) intention of the track. Which I leave for you to discover, dear reader. Despite it all... I could really still dance to this. It's a perfectly-crafted pop song, after all. Just with some seriously dark undertones. And overtones. Mmmm.

The next masterpiece to stumble gracefully off the album is the track Hayloft. The sound is a hybrid of pure Canadian indie-rock and Japanese pop-punk. I absolutely love the aggressive sound and the innocently kinky lyrics, not to mention the drums that sound like tripping iambs. Talk about getting a wave of the horns. There's a really neat fan-made video on YouTube if you've got a few minutes that need killing.

Arms Tonight has a pretty standard love-song construction from the instrumental side of things. Coupled with some mushy lyrics [that eventually turn literal], it gives me warm-fuzzies everytime it comes on. Shit... I haven't said warm-fuzzies since Kindergarten. Whatever, I still love this track and crank it often.

There's a ton of other gems on this album, so the best advice I can give at this point is to get your hands on a copy. This is for sure the kind of album I had to listen to a few times over besides more than a song or two stood out, but it was worth the investment.

If you're in the Ottawa area this summer, they'll be playing the Blues Festival on July 12th!

Pretty, pretty please come do a show in Edmonton soon. :)

Update: Playing at Capital Ex in Edmonton on July 23rd!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An intimate evening with Emily Haines

Metric frontwoman Emily Haines and her partner in [almost] crime[s] Jimmy Shaw, have taken it to the road. And it is so good to hear it. To promote the new Fantasies album, the pair gave a special acoustic performance for Edmontonians who had either pre-ordered the new album, or had been lucky enough to win tickets. My album wasn't pre-ordered, nor am I a lucky person: good thing a friend of mine always wins shit.

The venue was a little theatre on the north end with all the seating removed to accommodate the 300+ hardcores that had run all over the city trying to grab tickets being given away by a local radio station. I loved the anticipation: you knew these were, for the most part, the fans that would know every word to every song on the new album.

Listening to the pair do their hard-rockin' tracks from Fantasies as acoustic numbers was really interesting. It certainly added new dimensions to tracks like Gold Guns Girls and Gimmie Sympathy and the rendition of Front Row was like hearing it whispered from Emily's lips to my ears. It's amazing how personal it got in that space.

Gems of the night, for sure, included the impromptu break-out of Anthem for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl and the cover of Pink Floyd's Nobody's Home, with vocals by Shaw.

On the same stroke, previous Metric shows had me geared up for some really high energy; not only from Emily, but from the crowd as well. It was a little disappointing to look around and see one or two people swaying along to the music. It was calm enough to hear camera flashes going off. I got shushed when I started singing along to the first song. What the Fuck? At least the crowd was singing along by the end of the 10-song set (with some serious urging from Ms. Haines), but still... did all the old Metric fans get married and buy a house and start having babies or something? What happened here?!

Let's move on to the new album. It is Metric through and through: Rock! Guitars! Dancing! Beats! Electronica! Everything we've come to expect... but pared down a little. More simplistic. Live It Out (don't get me wrong, I love that album) got a little heavy at some points, like the band was focusing so hard on making a point that it starting dragging on the music. Fantasies simply doesn't make that mistake. It comes back to the listener playful and [light]-hearted. Not to say that the album ooozes cheery pop licks and pollyanna lyrics; but rather that they took a hard look at themselves and were satisfied with what they saw.

This third (or fourth... depending on how die-hard you are) album really showcases a band comfortable with their trademark sound. Is this a good thing, though? Only the next album will tell. Let's hope this contentment doesn't lead to stagnation.

You can buy the album HERE

Metric - Gimme Sympathy (can I get a "Fuck-Yeah"? My rock-out track of the year so far!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Fix Friday - Because Alliteration is Fun.

Okay, everyone is in love with Passion Pit right now and eagerly awaiting the drop of the new album, Manners (If you're not, here's your first head's up).

Sleepyhead has been on my iPod for almost 6 months. It was love at first listen.

However, my love for Sleepyhead has been surpassed by the track Moth's Wings. Have a little listen for yourselves. And another one. And maybe one more.

Pick up your Manners, here.

Happy Friday!