Rhett: One of my favourite things about living in Saskatoon is that it can still feel like a small town. You can run into people you know regularly. I don’t think there is anyone I run into more than Claire and it always brightens my day! She’s always smiling and eager to chat even if she’s working. I feel that there is this unspoken bond between us because we know where each other comes from. Not just where we lived, but our families and the people we grew up with as well. Our grandmas are even dear friends.
All my sentimental feelings aside, I think we have similar taste in music too. That is why I am very excited for you all to read/listen along! Thank you for doing this, Claire! Catch you later!
Claire: I’m just delighted to be writing this edition of PB&Jams. Rhett and I are linked by family and townie ties but didn’t really get to connect until our college years in Saskatoon. We happily catch up whenever we bump into each other – from riding the bus during our uni days to me slanging pints on the Yard & Flagon rooftop. He eagerly accepted my proposition (both a challenge and offer) to write a female-centred post for the blog, and I am happy to say I’m joining the company of other contributors rounding out the female and 2SLGBTQ+ content. I hope my list encourages you to not only hit up the singles I share here but to dig into the albums and catalogues of these artists; so let’s get to it! The hits gonna be coming at y’all fast. I’ve included selections ranging from alt-pop to Americana to full on rock and roll, and I’ve been crushing hard on all these tunes. I am 100 percent not ready for the summer to fade into fall, so I’ve been pumping these hits to delude myself into endless summer bliss.
VISSIA – “My Wom”
VISSIA is the perfect combination of indie meets pop. When people ask me what her music is like I usually reference some combination of Robyn and Sheryl Crow. Everything VISSIA puts out – from her merch, to her Spotify podcast “Making Out with VISSIA,” to her latest album, With Pleasure – is filled with colour and life. Her blue splatter vinyl has been spinning constantly at my house because it is one of my favourite albums to play when entertaining. And I did not know how much I needed her Tarot Tee until it was on my bod! Her new music video for “My Wom” is energetic, bright, and bursting with powerful lyrics that will leave listeners feeling sassy AF. So throw on your high rise jeans and dance your ass off to this song!
Mariel Buckley – “Hundred Cities”
Need an occasion to wear your Stetson and slam back a few whiskeys? Please go see Mariel Buckley ASAP. I know she is eager to be hitting the road with her band coming fresh off the recording floor with a Sloan cover and this new single, both featured on the 97 Riverdale EP. Currently based out of Edmonton, AB, her live show is not to be missed. You will fall in love with her swagger, drawl, stage banter, and old school Americana vocal stylings. Touring bassist Kurtis Cockerill is sure to crush some brews with ya after the gig too. If you dig on the tunes check out her merch too (hello “grass jacket” rolling papers) and let’s help get our local artists on the road after all this damn C****d mayhem.
Haim – “Summer Girls”
In case you haven’t already been jamming out to this song all summer long this is your chance. So relaxing yet simultaneously energising. Listening to Haim just makes me want to create a playlist with everything from Savage Garden to Fleetwood Mac. And if you want to pump it up a notch, the Amber Mark Remix or the Solomonophonic Bouncy House Remix are both really enjoyable. Haim Radio on Spotify is one of my favourite ways to chill out and feel good when I’m on my commute to work.
Partner – “Play the Field”
This catchy track, along with the quirky music vid, will hook you on this band. Please note the 420 and 69 jerseys they sport for the occasion! These adorable stoners will have you in a daze in no time with their bass heavy pop. Hailing from Canada’s East coast, Joseé and Lucy come together with a sound harkening back to the 90s garage band era out of Portland. MoSo fest was the first opportunity I had to see them live and I was grooving and singing along at the top of my lungs in Amigos Cantina. I’ve since hit up their live shows any chance I can and have all their vinyl – I can’t get enough. Blast them into your headphones at the grocery store and just zone out. I recommend you start with “Hot Knives” and “Everybody Knows Your High” before blissing your way into some of their newer jams like “Big Gay Hands” and “Honey.” Screw it, maybe just order an extra-large pizza and throw on all the tracks.
Tanya Tucker – “MUSTANG RIDGE”
Hit play on “Mustang Ridge” but make sure you have time to then enjoy the 2019 album, While I’m Living, in its entirety. Tanya Tucker should not be relegated to the 90s country that she was initially known for but instead should be celebrated as a modern troubadour and Grammy winning sensation. I particularly enjoy this record when I’m getting ready for work or when I’m taking a long solo drive in the country. Would recommend enjoying a cruise and the changing fall colours to help ameliorate any summer-slipping-away blues.
SATE – “Howler”
I first discovered SATE by happenstance. To explain, my mother is a Johnny Reid superfan – like go on river-cruises in Europe to see him perform kind of superfan. And as her child, and the good Scottish descendant that I am (lol), I’ve attended my fair share of Johnny Reid shows. Now as much as adult contemporary music may not be my go-to genre (it surely is not), Johnny Reid always has an insanely stacked band of talent up on the stage to support his act. Other notable female singers who have performed in his band include Miku Graham and Juno-nominated Tanika Charles. So when I discovered that after the Johnny Reid show one night SATE was doing an impromptu set at The Capitol I had to be there. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone rock so damn hard. “Howler” will have you wanting to rock out, dance, and scream. It makes me want to build the hugest campfire and howl at the moon all night long. Experience her magic and mayhem at your own risk because it’s going to make you want to get frisky or smash the patriarchy.
Megan Nash & The Best of Intentions – “Chew Quietly/Clean Slate”
Megan Nash can often be heard gracing the CBC Radio 2 airwaves and is one of my favourite Saskatchewan artists. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with their Juno nominated 2017 album “Seeker” and am thrilled that they are putting out a new album. This single is such an exciting tease for what is to come with Soft Focus Futures, out November 3rd. Maybe the fall season won’t be so bad after all! And in major Saskatoon excitement, Megan Nash & The Best of Intentions are going to be playing Amigos Cantina November 27th. In addition to Megan’s sensational song writing skills, soothing voice, and captivating as hell tunes they are also an advocate for inclusion and safe spaces in our communities and music venues, most recently fundraising for Moose Jaw Pride. I’m blushing with Sasky pride over here right now!
Yola – “Diamond Studded Shoes”
I was first curious about the artist Yola when I discovered she was featured on the track “Highwomen” by country music supergroup The Highwomen. And to my pure joy, I further realized she also collaborates with artists like Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow – bless! As much as her collaborations excite me, no questions about it she holds her own on her solo albums. Her tunes have elements of gospel, blues, and soul while creating a very contemporary Nashville sound. This ain’t no pickup truck country pop but the real deal and Yola is blasting through stereotypes in the country music scene.
- VISSIA – “MY WOM”
- MARIEL BUCKLEY – “HUNDRED CITIES”
- HAIM – “SUMMER GIRLS”
- PARTNER – “PLAY THE FIELD”
- TANYA TUCKER – “MUSTANG RIDGE”
- SATE – “HOWLER”
- MEGAN NASH & THE BEST OF INTENTIONS – “CHEW QUIETLY/CLEAN SLATE”
- YOLA – “DIAMOND STUDDED SHOES”