Rhett: Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye. Now that it’s getting nice out I’m finding the days are flying by!
This month my guest is another member of the Coburn clan. I don’t know if anyone consumes more music than Kelby and Nick combined. Always looking for something new, but also well versed in the old. Nick was always a musical influence on Kelby and I growing up. Whether it was throwing on one of Boyd’s Megadeth albums, letting us pound away on the drum kit set up in the basement, or introducing us to Motion City Soundtrack (“The Future Freaks Me Out” and “Capital H” were maybe my favourite songs of 2003). Name a music genre and I bet Nick enjoys it. We have continued to bond over the years in that love of music and our appreciation for the little details in songs not just the track as a whole. I’ve always admired Nick’s ear for things.
Nick has also dove into the world of photography and I’m super excited for you to see what he has paired up for us here! His attention to detail in music comes through in his pictures as well. I’ll stop writing. Move on to the good stuff!
Nick: When Rhett asked me to contribute to his blog a few months ago now, I thought, “how hard can it be?” I love music, I love finding new songs and artists and with now with Spotify, I especially love the fact that I can experience a band’s entire discography and discover old music that I never knew existed. From the complexity of my blog below, you would never guess that I’ve been working on this for a month now but alas, I most certainly have.
It’s not easy to nail down significant albums on a whole that have really impacted my life. And it’s also not easy to write about the ones that have hit you the right way. The last 18 months haven’t been overly heavy for new, groundbreaking releases, but there have been quite a few gems come out of the pandemic.
Childish Gambino’s “3.15.20” was one of the first I remember hearing when Covid hit last year and that album was, and still is, on high rotation for me. I won’t talk about it at all as it speaks for itself so take that in if you haven’t already.
The following are not necessarily brand new by any means but have found a special place in my audio arsenal over the last year.
Along with my selections, I have chosen some photos to accompany the music. I have taken photography more seriously over the past 12 months and have some work that I am very proud of that I’ll share along with my musical choices for you. My hope is that you may listen to these songs and albums, watch the videos attached and view my photos and enjoy them all for as long or as little as you wish.
Thank you Rhett for asking me to participate in your project. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog posts over the past few months along with your selected guest bloggers. I hope to make a valuable contribution to your snapshot in time.
SYLVAN ESSO – “WITH”
I have been a big fan of Sylvan Esso since their debut release in 2014 – The electronic pop duo has a very powerful sound, catchy chorus’ and unique beats.
“With” is a live album and youtube video/doc project released in April of 2020 and is simply fantastic. They gathered with a collection of close friends (musicians) and recreated previous songs with their newly formed 10 piece band. They gave each song a unique spin and delivered a live performance for the ages. It is truly an auditory and visual experience that will engage you from start to finish. It is essential to listen to loud and when you have the free time, please take in the visual performance on youtube for an additionally cathartic experience.
THE STAVES – “GOOD WOMAN”
Another group I have been following for many years since they first started making music back in 2012, The Staves are an Indie Folk trio of sisters from England. Jessica, Emily and Camilla have the ability to harmonize with each other in a way that will simply send chills down your spine. An erie, gorgeous, powerful sound comes through that will absolutely bring pleasure to your ears.
Along with this newest album, please check out their singles “Dead & Born & Grown”, “Winter Trees”, “Eagle Song” and especially if you take nothing else from my selections, “BLOOD I BLED”. It could be one of the most chilling songs I have ever heard. So delicate, beautiful and powerful at the same time. Harmonies, horns, strings and beats that will certainly give you chills.
They also have a cover of a Springsteen classic “I”M ON FIRE” that will blow the doors of the original.
“GOOD WOMAN” is their latest release and third studio album and it is wonderful front to back. Every song is unique and has a different feel from their previous records. The title track “Good Woman” is catchy and great in its own way. The second track “Best Friend” has a unique beat, beautiful harmonies and excellent lyrics. The third track of the album “Careful, Kid” is my favourite. Another completely different beat and overall sound, they just make it work really well.
LUCY DACUS – “HISTORIAN”
I have only recently stumbled upon Lucy and she is right up my alley. A completely different sound with a deeper monotone voice. Her songs are usually long and have multiple layers. Take for example “NIGHT SHIFT”, a 6:31 long tune that basically has 4 different songs all melded together. It starts off slow and steady, evolves throughout and features some epically grungy guitar that you would never expect from the way the song begins. I have to listen to that one start to finish every time it comes on.
With another Springsteen Cover, Lucy recreates the classic “DANCING IN THE DARK” in her own way and brings a nice, new sound to this pop classic. Big fan of this one too! “Timefighter” is another great tune from her Historian album that starts off slow and builds to a strong rock ballad.
Lucy has a brand new single just released May 20th, “VBS” which is a typical Lucy slow jam with a really cool sound and then after the bridge busts into a hard grungy guitar riff before going back in a slow, gentle finish. “Hot & Heavy” is another nostalgic tune if you’re digging Lucy Dacus.
While looking into Lucy a little further and checking out all of her music, I found a 6 song EP called “boygenius” that is a combo record by Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. Looking forward to going through that one front to back a few times over.
PAUL CAUTHEN – “MY GOSPEL” & “ROOM 41”
Paul has 2 studio album releases so far and I can’t pick a favourite. Both are fantastic. Paul fits into the new age, old style country genre if that’s a thing. He aligns with the likes of Colter Wall, Willie Watson, Lillie Mae, Margo Price, Orville Peck, etc.
Paul is a Texas boy who started out playing with the group Sons of Fathers from 2009-2014 before they split up and Paul decided to go out on his own. With a highly religious upbringing, Paul mixed his gospel roots with his love for country. His songs are unique, catchy and his baritone voice echos through with great conviction.
His first solo record “MY GOSPEL” was an 11 song LP released in 2016 and is wonderful from front to back with a great mix of slow and two steppin country tunes.
“SADDLE”, “LET IT BURN” and “AS YOUNG AS YOU’LL EVER BE” are my top three from this album.
After a couple years of playing bars and touring, Cauthen slipped into a dark place and began a heavy period of alcohol and drug use. His 2019 album, “ROOM 41” is a reflection of this dark time. This album is another great mix of slow ballads and catchy dancing tunes.
The title track and Cauthen’s most popular to date is “COCAINE COUNTRY DANCING” which is a cool, catchy new age pop country song. “PRAYED FOR RAIN” is great song that hits close to home coming from a farming family and community. “LAY ME DOWN” is a powerful song that can hit home depending on where you are in your life.
I’m a big fan of Paul’s sound and look forward to him putting out another record soon. I have had tickets for the Under the Big Sky festival in Whitefish for two years now. Paul Cauthen was one of the acts scheduled for last year and due to Covid, like everything else, the 2020 festival was cancelled. Paul has been secured for this years festival in July and my only hope is that the restrictions will loosen, the border will open up and we can head down south to see Paul and many other wonderful acts perform in the beautiful White Fish area.
RIVAL BOYS – “ANIMAL INSTINCTS”
I wanted to bring up an old album that still resonates today. An album that I feel was lost in time.
“Animal Instincts” was released back in June of 2014 – a 10 song debut album from the indie rock trio from Toronto. 10 unique songs all with a wonderful sound.
7 months later, after a brief stint touring their debut album, Rival Boys made a collective decision to go their separate ways and pursue other interests.
I remember playing this album on high rotation when it first came out. It was a fantastic selection that was just a lot of fun to put on and listen from start to finish. Quality musicianship, great vocals and catchy riffs made it one of my favourites.
Their cover of Wolf Parade’s “I’ll Believe in Anything” is so awesome and unique from the original. I didn’t realise it was a cover until a few years later so it was even more of a surprise later on down the road to piece that together.
I have found myself reaching back and throwing this album on lately. Brings back some great memories and still holds its own today. I can only dream about what other great music they would have made had they stayed together. Go check it out if you haven’t heard of them already.
SON LUX – “Lost it to trying” and “A different kind of love”
One last group that I would like to share with you if you haven’t heard of them already is SON LUX. They are an extremely experimental band who are completely unique from anything else I’ve heard. Several albums, tons of singles & remixes and now migrating into the movie soundtrack world, SON LUX are a group of incredibly talented individuals who will make you appreciate every sound they make electronic or otherwise. If you’re into this type of music of course!
Please check out these two songs and peruse the rest of their catalog if you dig it!
Thank you for taking the time to read, listen and look at my piece of Peanut Butter & Jams.
I’m looking forward to the evolution of this blog from a one of kind, heart of gold, voice of an angel, stunningly handsome SOB, Rhett Kirk. Love, Love.
Like PB & J – Nick Coburn
- SYLVAN ESSO – “WITH”
- THE STAVES – “GOOD WOMAN”
- LUCY DACUS – “HISTORIAN”
- PAUL CAUTHEN – “MY GOSPEL” & “ROOM 41”
- RIVAL BOYS – “ANIMAL INSTINCTS”
- SON LUX – “LOST IT TO TRYING” & “A DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE”