Hello from the icebox that is Saskatoon! Hope everyone is staying warm wherever you are. I’ve got another monthly piece for you to enjoy while you are keeping the fire place full of logs!
Mandolin Orange – My Brother, My Keeper
I’ve always got something a little folky in my repertoire. The North Carolina duo blends their voices perfectly and are so easy to listen to. This single pairs a deep bass line with bright mandolin notes and it works so well. The song kind of bobs along and reminds me of something that would be playing in the background of a whisky bootleg movie. If you want another good/sad song from them check out “Golden Embers”. It’s a song written about the loss of Andrew Marlin’s mother when he was 18. Again, just amazing blending of voices and harmonizing here.
Half Moon Run – The Covideo Sessions
This is a cool take on music during COVID. This whole album is a collection of their songs recorded all from separate locations where each band member is isolating. All of it is recorded in video too, so you can watch them all on Youtube as well. It’s funny to watch them relaxing in their homes but still finding a way to make music with their friends. It also gives you some of that live feeling of watching them play their respective instruments. They are actually one of the last bands I saw in concert pre-pandemic so listening to these songs makes me remember that time fondly.
Slow Pulp – Moveys
This one might be a little too indie for some people. I will admit that it has a bit of that “hipster music” feel to it. But if you give it a chance there might be a couple songs that you like. There is something very 90’s about this but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. The song “Idaho” makes me think of The Cranberries a little bit, maybe? I would start with this song and then branch out from there if you are hesitant based on the start of my description.
Kings Of Leon – When You See Yourself
Kings of Leon is a pretty safe pick every time. Before even hearing a song off of the new album you can pretty much count on it being enjoyable. The first songs that have been released are terrific. I love Kings of Leon, you love Kings of Leon, your dog loves Kings of Leon. It’s pretty simple.
The War on Drugs – Live Drugs
I am admittedly not a huge fan of live albums. Do I think seeing a band live has something more than listening at home? Absolutely. Live music is something I am really passionate about. You get the imperfections and changes that you can only hear in the moment and I love the collective experience you get with others. But I’ve always found it odd when I fall in love with a song’s studio version and then hear it played slightly different on a live recording and think, “This just isn’t the EXACT same song!” or “They didn’t play that one part EXACTLY how I like it!”. I’ve said it before, I think The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding is one of my favourite albums of all time. It just seems like it is going to stand up to the test of time. Whenever I go back to it I realize how much I love it again and it continues to sound current. This clouded my view on the live album even more. So when I saw The War on Drugs – Live Drugs come up on my phone I didn’t even think to tune in.
A couple weeks ago, I was talking to someone about missing concerts and live music. I suddenly found myself thinking about live albums as a fix. Remember Metallica – S&M, where they play with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra? My oldest brother, Jori, had that on DVD and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing since Stretch Armstrong. Seriously, go check that out if you haven’t or if its been a while. So back to Live Drugs I go. Boy, am I happy I gave it a second thought! It has all the things I like about my old favourite songs but it adds that element of something extra. The onstage improvisation has added value this time for me. I love listening to the crowd and I feel like you can really hear the way the instruments are being played individually not just as a sum of parts. Put on the song “Pain” and enjoy those guitar solos towards the end. They friggan slap. The War on Drugs is #1 on my list of bands to see in concert post COVID. Fitting for a pharmacist.
- MANDOLIN ORANGE – MY BROTHER, MY KEEPER
- HALF MOON RUN – THE COVIDEO SESSIONS
- SLOW PULP – MOVEYS
- KINGS OF LEON – WHEN YOU SEE YOURSELF
- THE WAR ON DRUGS – LIVE DRUGS