April 24th, 2013
Sometimes it's Britney and sometimes it's indie - our music taste really runs the gamut.
And sometimes, we just want some good tunes to wind down to. Calgary's Boreal Sons aptly-named latest album Bedtime Briar has the perfect combination of four songs that drifting off a little more melodic.
Sweet dreams guaranteed. —Kait Kucy
Boreal Sons, www.borealsons.com
October 23rd, 2012
Prairie boy Andy Shauf clears away the cobwebs of autumn with his crisp clear voice showcased on his shiny new album, The Bearer of Bad News, debuting early November.
Exemplary instrumentation and musicianship collide to create a mellow and somber collection of melodies that speak volumes about Shauf’s vision and creativity as a songwriter.
The piano and clarinet infused with Shauf’s daydreamy voice in Drink My Rivers is absolutely breathtaking – expect to put this song on repeat. In fact, expect to put the whole album on repeat as you head out on a mountain roadtrip this winter. —Kait Kucy
Catch Shauf on November 7 in Calgary at The Lantern Church in Inglewood. $12 at the door, www.andyshauf.com
May 9th, 2012
You know that feeling you get when a great song kicks in as the credits roll at the end of a movie? That satisfying swell of energy that makes you want to go forth and do something fun.
That’s the feeling that comes from the songs of The Heartwicks. The indie band recently released three songs on its Black EP with fist pumping classic rock tunes.
These are cruising tunes. Roll down your window, turn up the volume and drive down the open Alberta roads with The Heartwicks providing your soundtrack. —Jaelyn Molyneux
July 14th, 2011
In the summertime I like “Cocaine Trade”, “Calypso Hippo,” and “Pump It.” In the summertime I want to be an Autistic.
Along with word wizards Christian Hansen & the Autistics, that is, the Edmonton-based electro-disco-pop-punk band that takes the stage to a whole new dimension (think sparklers, litres of sweat and glowing fluorescents against a keyboard, cowbell, and synth).
While the release of their sophomore album after Power Leopard ($9.99 on iTunes) won't happen until spring 2012, we’re already excited about the new album title, Dance Floor Death Core and the foursome’s upgrade to a fifth member, a drum set, and a guitar.
As Calgary Stampeders get their country on, the Autistic crowd with the controversial name will be shooting animated, electrified music videos with E-town extras (this time for “Ma-Me-O” and “Pill Popper”).
Only these guys and gals could come up with such idioms. —Caroline Gault
June 1st, 2011
The mysterious and reclusive Calgary artist Chad VanGaalen, whose previous albums were recorded in a basement studio, has emerged, literally and figuratively.
The new album and his fourth, titled Diaper Island—VanGaalen is a father to a three-year-old girl, hence memories of diapers—was recorded in a much larger recording room with a straightforward approach, resulting in it being called the closest thing he’s ever done to a rock album.
There are still plenty of VanGaalen-isms on the album like musings on life and death and instrumentally layered jams (it was recorded on a vintage tape machine after all). But as most critics would agree (us included), it’s “Sara,” a lovely, whistling ditty, and ode to VanGaalen’s partner, that is the apple of the album’s eye. —MG
May 25th, 2011
The release of Bon Iver’s new album is still a month away, but Calgarians got a pleasant surprise last week when the Wisconsin band released their first single, “Calgary.”
The upcoming 10-track, self-titled album is the follow-up to the melancholic 2007 For Emma, Forever Ago, and a collaborative affair, according to frontman Justin Vernon who also offered a preview of the album in a recent interview with the Guardian, stating that the sound varies from heavy metal influences to layers of bass saxophone with finger-picked guitar. “Calgary” is a beautifully charming mix of Vernon’s impressive vocal prowess with a head-bobbing drumbeat that lingers long after the song is done.
As each tune on the album is inspired by a place, Perth, Minnesota and Lisbon also made the cut but hey, we were first. —MG
December 1st, 2010
In search of a soundtrack for cold, dark winter evenings, (lonely can also be thrown into the mix)?
Then Jason Collett’s new record Pony Tricks should be playing on repeat. The album includes acoustic recordings of nine previously released songs and two unreleased tunes. But far from a best-of album, here, many of the well-known sing-alongs like “Hangover Days” are so reworked that they are almost unrecognizable from their original versions. Others, like “Bitter Beauty,” still have their familiar beat even as they are stripped-down to a slow-motion flow. Not an album you’d play pre-party but the perfect compilation of old favourites to listen to when you’re winding down.
Just maybe keep away from the disheartened teens in your life.
$10 at Arts and Crafts.
October 13th, 2010
As a VitaminDaily.com editor once said, “Those Ronsons have charisma.”
Not to be outdone by his famous sisters, superstar producer Mark Ronson has released his third album, Mark Ronson and the Business Intl’s Record Collection.
A throwback to 1980s pop, complete with keyboards and synthesizers, the album includes a number of dance party musts like “Bang Bang Bang” featuring Q-Tip and “Lose It (In The End)” with Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and Ronson in his vocal debut. Boy George also makes an appearance as does D’Angelo, and we dare you not to sing along to “The Bike Song.”
We see a lot of kitchen dance parties in our future.
$11.99 at iTunes.
June 23rd, 2010
Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are allegedly feuding and everyone has a bone to pick with Miley Cyrus, but no one does bickering, drama and high-school-like theatrics like the Gallagher brothers did back in the day.
Since breaking up last year (again), Liam and Noel have called it quits for real this time so it looks like a greatest hits album is the last hoorah from the beloved British bad boys of Oasis. Released last week, Time Flies…1994-2009 ($10.99) is the complete singles collection with 27 songs spanning fifteen years and eight albums. A deluxe version ($24.99) includes their 37 videos and the last recorded Oasis live show in July 2009 at The Roundhouse in London.
That’s how drama is done, ladies.
June 9th, 2010
Model, mother and wife of White Stripe Jack, ethereal redhead Karen Elson has added singer/songwriter to her repertoire.
Her debut album, The Ghost Who Walks, is a mix of country, blues, ballad, folk and a bit of rock and roll that together makes a lovely collection of summer night tunes. Her husband produced the album, and played drums.
Not to mention she recently bumped out Angelina Jolie as the new face of St. John's. Is there anything this lady can't do?
$9.99 at iTunes.