September/October 2021

I’ve got a bit of a double-month list this week. I have to say that I ran out of steam on this a little bit. Partly because I felt like I had nothing interesting to say and partly because I’ve basically been listening to the same things over and over for the last while. Hoping to get this one in and then start to gear up for another “Year in Review” type blog for December. 

There is a definite feeling in the air that fall isn’t going to linger much longer. Honestly, I’m looking forward to the music that keeps me cozy during the colder months. I think the prospect of being inside more makes me sit with the music a little longer too. I usually find more meaning in the words and get more attached to a beat this way. In saying that, I have already found a few favourites but I don’t think they will surprise you.


I am having a tough time placing this guy under the right umbrella. He reminds me of about 4 different people at the same time and that confuses the hell out of me. A few years ago I found his song, “Hypersonic Missiles” which I really dug. The Apple Music write up on that album compares him to Brandon Flowers of The Killers, which I can totally get. This new album is also something different. “Seventeen Going Under” and “Getting Started” reminds me of The War on Drugs and that is the highest form of praise I can give. The drums, the guitar, and that “full band” sound is so similar. I love that you can hear every instrument from piano to saxophone and everything in between. He still sounds like Brandon Flowers in these songs, but then he morphs into another form. Listen to “Get You Down” and “Long Way Off” and tell me if you hear Dallas Green. I have looked down at my phone more than a couple times to see if it was him when I first started listening to these. City and Colour, The Killers, and The War on Drugs. Does that make sense? Either way, I’m digging this album a lot.


Well would you look at that! Hot on the heels of a reference, I need to include this here. No shame folks, I fucking love this band. I think this is the third time I am putting them on my blog and I don’t care. Excuse me for a second, I forgot to pre-order this on vinyl…

P.S. Wiki says their record label is called Secretly Canadian. I mean come on…


I am just running the gamut on bands we all know I like already. During the recent U.S. presidential election, Jason Isbell said that if the Democrats won the state of Georgia, he would write an album featuring cover songs from Georgia artists and donate the proceeds to Georgia based non-profit organizations. The state was won and he kept his word. In doing so, they put together a pretty random collection of songs, but it is still enjoyable nonetheless. The cover of Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia” ft. Brittany Spencer slaps. I also like “Honeysuckle Blue” for that classic rock guitar and a little organ. A few R.E.M. songs in there too for all you boomers out there. This is not going in my Jason Isbell shrine at my house, but I’m still going to listen to it from time to time. 


How can I list two of my favourite artists in a row and then not include Andy Shauf? Guys, he did it. AGAIN! Another top to bottom great listen. If you enjoy Andy’s offbeat style and mumble voice like I do then you can plug-and-play this one any day of the week. Much like all his albums before, every song feels like it belongs right where he put it. It is a perfect collection. When you listen to it front to back you can tell how thoughtful he is about writing an album as a whole not just a list of singles put together in an arbitrary list. I just got this record in the mail today and can’t wait to put it on my turntable once I stop writing. “Jaywalker” was the first song to jump out at me with its catchy little guitar piece but “Green Glass” is my favourite for sure. Not being facetious here, I think it might be my favourite song this year. 




Claire Peacock

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.  




August 2021

What a month! Lots going on in my world these days. Hope everybody is having a good end to August. Not much to say today so let’s get right to it!


Named after the Cincinnati Reds of the 70’s, Big Red Machine is the combined power of Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon. Yes, Aaron Dessner, a founding member of The National and producer/writer for many of today’s artists including Sharon Van Etten, Ben Howard, and Taylor Swift. And yes, Justin Vernon, better known as Bon Iver. Could this get any more “Rhett”? Not to mention the album also features songs with Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, Anais Mitchell of Bonny Light Horsemen and all of the artists mentioned above. Yowza! I could be trapped in my room for a good while listening to this album with my headphones on. If you are a nerd about music like me, you should definitely look at all the things these two have been involved in. When you have T-Swift knocking at the door to work with you, you must be doing something right. 


This is an album off my “not yet released” list, but I have been listening to “Rae Street” so much that I have to put it on here before the whole thing is released. Whenever I see a Courtney Barnett album come out I know I am going to like it. Just soooo consistent. Another gal that just simply rocks. Check her whole catalogue for lots of other good tunes if you haven’t already.  


He’s back and he’s gone traditional country again. Remember the computer game “Oregon Trail”? That is what I think of when this is on. Blazing a trail on the open prairie in a covered wagon just hoping that half your crew doesn’t die of dysentery. The song “Sam” is a perfect example of a cowboy campfire song. Another thing worth noting is that Sturgill refers to his band as the Hillbilly Avengers and that just makes me laugh. Sturgill doing Sturgill. 


This might be my favourite band name of all time. Fossum introduced me to the album These Four Walls in 2009ish and it still holds up big time. Recently, they had fallen off my radar until I randomly found this new album in my regular search. My love for them has been instantly revived. Only a few songs are released so far, but they are all solid. And how can you not love a Scottish accent breaking though a little? Glasgow, stand up!


Was thinking about Alabama Shakes recently and wondering what the hell happened to them? Somehow, I had missed that Brittany Howard, the lead singer, had put out a solo album in 2019 and Heath Fogg, the guitarist, did the same in 2020. I also learned that the drummer was a very bad man and now I understand why there is no longer a band (I’ll let google teach you the details). Luckily, the world still gets to hear this gal belt it out. One of the most soulful voices I’ve ever heard. Fossum, Shaun, and I almost saw her from the front row at Lollapalooza a while back but a torrential downpour cancelled the show and pushed everyone out of the park and into downtown Chicago to fend for themselves (that was pure insanity, but it’s a story for another time). “Stay High” is a perfect pick me up. Smell ya later, Sunday blues! 


AUGust 2021


Jordynn Thienes

Rhett: Where do I even start with this post? So many things to say about my next guest. In preparation for this I started looking through old pictures to find some good ones of Jordo and I to put up here. They are almost exclusively from 2012-2014, which means it is certainly time to get some new ones together. Nevertheless, here is one of the oldies:

If you don’t know her, you need to meet her. One of the most fun, hilarious, genuine people that I know. From a few summers in Cypress together, to Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington (see below: a picture Jord took of me watching Rodriguez at The Gorge), to an infamous road trip to Great Falls, MT (shout out to Julie as well on this one). These memories are deeply ingrained in me. I feel like it has been a lifetime since we last hung out, but it has been so nice to text back and forth a bit about this blog over the last little while.

I hope this post brings you as much joy as it brought me today! You are the best, Jord!

Jordynn: Hi folks, just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to have a peek into some tracks I’ve been wild about this summer season. Although not many of them are hot new stuff, I’m hoping something resonates or you maybe check out a genre you might not have considered up your alley before! I feel very lucky to live in the current ‘great wide open’ era of musical tastes, where we can all be into anything and share it so easily with our friends – and thanks to Rhett for making that even easier with this lil’ blog. 

I feel that I come from a much deeper pop & country background than our other lovely friends that have contributed their picks (for example, I’ve been Shakira’s biggest fan for the last 20 years – like to the point that it’s not healthy). I also feel like I’m a bit of a loose cannon when handed the aux cord; Rhett and our other friends have been on a more than a few road trips where I’ve taken the car on an experimental pop journey that nobody asked for, but that they always politely nodded along to. I’ve spent a good chunk of our slowed lifestyle this past year or so building psychotic playlists, with titles such as “music for a sleepover at Joanna Newsom’s house”; “dirtbag canadiana”; and “Guy Fieri’s discman on shuffle, probably” (this last one is heavily Steely Dan). Again, I’d like to reiterate that nothing good will come from being kind and passing me the aux if you’re ever in a car with me.

I really had no intention for this little list to skew as Canadian as it did – can’t say I’m a great patriot or anything but tend to just leech onto the current music scene of wherever I’m living for a few years, and have been especially lucky to always be near wicked college radio stations. I’ve also noticed how female-dominated my top tracks seem to be, in complete contrast to our pal and previous contributer Tegan’s tastes! Jesus… maybe Shakira has an even deeper grip on my psyche than I previously thought. 

This Summer of Jord has been insane so far – I wasn’t 100% sure how I felt in the spring about summer events with tons of faces going ahead, but I buckled up and took the vaccine doses that had been marinating in my arm for a few months out for a spin. I’ve been drinking doubles and yelling at the top of my lungs like the good old days, and feel like I’ve packed months of good times into the past few weeks. It’s been GREAT to get out and see all the friends I’ve been missing since summer 2019, now with a whole new layer of appreciation for our time wasted together. I hope these songs I’ve settled on give you some semblance of a summer feeling, even if some of them are pretty low key!

Starpainter – “WILD AZaLEAS”

This southern Alberta band has been strategically placed at the top of this list along with Vanessa from Swift Current – if there’s any groups I hope you take away from this and gas up to your friends for the remainder of the summer, it’s these Western Canadian artists. I bought multiple copies of Starpainter’s 2020 album “Bury Me by My Family” as housewarming gifts for friends with varied music tastes as a little experiment this last year, and have had my heart swell hearing back from each of them about how much they liked every single track. This country/rock ballad for me stirs a lot up, like nostalgia of backroad drives in an ancient single cab Silverado that absolutely everybody’s Dad seemed to have when we were kids. Other standout tracks on the album included “Mark of Cain” and “Slammin’ on the Brakes”, which are a bit less dainty than this one but still hit hard in the emotion department; all up, we’re talking about a truly unskippable album listing.

Vanessa Gauvin – “HOME”

I was lucky enough this month to spend a week at my childhood summer camp with Vanessa, who spent her summer out there leading introductory music classes for the kids and working on her own music. She held a room full of teenagers rapt when she played them this song from her EP Devil Man, which I can guarantee you is not easy (or do kids just hate me?). Another track I’ve been enjoying from the EP is “Sunshine with a Storm Brewing”, which I’m shocked wasn’t written about our weather in the woods that week. Although I wasn’t able to push kids out of the way to have her help me learn chords for myself, I did bang out a kazoo riff for Heart of Gold I’m pretty proud of. We’re all very glad she was able to make it out for the summer and share her passion for music with so many kids – you never know who the next young Vanessa in the crowd is going to be (spoiler: not me).

SG Lewis – “WARM”

Gotta say that when summer started I was having more of a smoky contemplative summer than the hot vax summer that was promised by our various premiers, and I found myself reaching back to this fairly introspective 2015 track from the UK producer SG Lewis heavily. It isn’t a hot new summer track by a long shot, but I would call this an easing into summer track – the wooziness of our long winter hangover is real, and reminds me of this faraway sounding, potentially-underwater production style.


Ratboys’s lead vocalist Julia Steiner has a real diminutive vocal style that often gets completely overpowered by their energetic rickety-ass country instrumentation, and I’ve thought more than once while listening to them that it’s like waves are crashing into what she’s trying to say – which I love. The group had a wicked album out in 2017 called “GN” which was where they piqued my interest; other standout tracks from this album included “The Record” and “GM”. They also put out an album recently that was very well-received; definitely worth checking out if you liked these few tracks that have gripped me.

Benee f. Grimes – “SHEESH”

Although Grimes’s wrinkly space cowboy boyfriend seems to get most of the press these days, the Vancouver/Montreal mystic is a powerhouse whose first album from a decade ago rocked my world and was the playlist to my morning snowboard laps while living broke out in Whistler for a fun, weird winter fresh out of uni. Here, the Galadriel wannabe adds a dreamy, bratty touch to this track from Auckland, NZ’s other (better?) popstar, Benee. If my frantic pop tastes aren’t speaking to you here, Benee has also put out some great/less hyper stuff such as her track “Winter” that features a fellow antipodal musician on the rise, Mallrat.

Toro y Moi – “OMAHA” 

Although the guy behind Toro y Moi, Chaz Bear, has put out some really strong albums in 2019 & 2020, this older track was one I revisited quite a bit early into the summer that helped inch the sad cobwebs of a global respiratory outbreak off of my mind, even for 3 minutes at a time. I’ve been making countless smoky trips on the Crowsnest highway this summer getting moved west for a new job, and whenever this track has come up on rotation in my aforementioned playlists, I throw rational caution to the wind and roll that window down and sing while sucking in that gritty ash – but frig it, ya know? And if that isn’t summer energy, not sure I know what is. I continue to attempt the high vocals that loom in the background after the two minute mark, and then quickly abort when I remember I have no musical talent and my lungs get pissy and I wonder if my childhood asthma is gonna resurface from smoke irritation. Worth it, baby.

Eamon McGrath – “SIGNALS”

Do you have a driving while mad song? Do you want one? If so, most things by this guy originally from Edmonton could probably fit the bill. My favourite band of the 80s was The Replacements from equally-landlocked Minneapolis, and Eamon McGrath has always reminded me of their best stuff; kinda snarly, wounded, and real loud. Again with an older pick from his album “Young Canadians” from like a decade ago here, but bite me. If you’re into this song, some other tracks I’ve also always enjoyed from him include “Chlorine” and “Dark End of the Street”.  

WAYLON NAPADOGAN – “On a Scale of Rob Ford to Jim Lahey, How Drunk are You Lady?

Our friend Dave texted me and our other pal Randy a spontaneous link to this song a couple months ago, and it hit me like a ton of bricks and became a cornerstone of my summer listening. While reading up on him further, I found an iconic intro that read “You probably know Waylon Napadogan from being voted the 12th-best country music singer from southeastern New Brunswick two years running now” – I laughed til I cried and it cemented my appreciation for his brand. Mr. Napadogan is a deeply Canadian artist, with other sizzlers such as “Frig Off Bud” and “Gettin’ Stoned Behind the Tim Hortons” that are equally great and droll. This track makes me giggle every damn time and think of all the times you’ve gone out for drinks with the homegirls, go full ‘Alberta Premium princess’, and then end up shutting down one shady establishment or another while being complete terrorists and making multiple enemies as the night unfolds. What a glory. 


Jordynn thienes


July 2021

I’ve got a pretty random list this month for you. To be honest, I have mostly been listening to Bo Burnham’s new special Inside on repeat since it came out. It is absolutely incredible and I recommend it to everyone. I do have a few other things here but it’s a little jumbled. Hopefully you can still find something that you dig! 

Vincent Neil Emerson – Vincent Neil Emerson

My recent favourite album is this one. Nathan introduced me to him last summer and I had “25 and Wasting Time” playing constantly after that. This new album is even better. Vincent’s songwriting is much more refined than in his previous album two years ago. There also seems to be more natural emotion in his new songs which I really enjoy. “Texas Moon” is an instant country classic, but my favourite songs are “The Ballad of the Choctaw-Apache”, “High on Gettin’ By”, and “Learnin’ to Drown”. His tales about enduring through the hard times make him easy to connect with. I love the line, “Every time the well runs dry I tell myself, ‘if it don’t kill me then I guess I’ll never die.’” 

You might notice a tie in to Colter Wall here as well. Colter has taken the East Texas product on tour with him and they also share a label, La Honda Records. 

Said the whale – “Show Me Everything”

I remember buying Islands Disappear in 2009 because I loved the song “Camilo (The Magician)” so much. That song reminds me of my first summer after high school. Since then I have been a little hot and cold on Said the Whale. There are things I really like and others I struggle to be into. I’m hot on their three new songs. “Show Me Everything” has some Win Butler/Arcade Fire vibes and I dig the hell out of that. 

Wavves – hideaway 

Anyone need some surfer rock for the summer? This is exactly that. A little rough, upbeat, garage pop/rock. “Sinking Feeling” is full of that offbeat surfer sound that makes you feel like you’re watching people catching big waves off the coast. Get it while the weather is hot!

Lucy dacus – home video

Nick touched on Lucy in his recent post for me but I needed to mention her again. This new album is wonderful and I’m starting to listen to it a lot. This is right in my wheelhouse for everyday listening. Just another of the many many female artists that I admire so much. She’s cool and immensely talented. I love both of these songs so I had to link both.

boy golden – Church of better daze

Another random find in my recent searches. I couldn’t go past a song called, “KD and Lunch Meat”. If that doesn’t tell you someone is from Winnipeg, I don’t know what will. Do yourself a favour and google this band or the Church of Better Daze. Classic. Spread that gospel, Boy Golden. 


July 2021


Tegan Dutton

Rhett: Again I am behind on my timeline for getting this post out! Summer has meant a lot less of my free time huddled around my laptop working on this thing. Back at it today!

I was looking at my blog recently and realized I needed some more female voices sharing their tunes and their creativity. The first person I asked was Tegan. An extremely creative person who is always working on something different, artsy, and beautiful. Also, if you need to procure some coffee beans from a great local roaster, she’s your guide. Mostly, her photography is incredible and I knew I needed to get some of her shots on here.

I know Tegan does not love the spotlight, so I very much appreciate her sharing with us. Enjoy!

Tegan: I’ll be honest when Rhett asked me to contribute to his blog I was shocked? Floored? Stunned? I’m just a girl who could live the rest of her life listening to Dallas Green so why on earth would he want me to contribute? Still wondering. Anyway, I met Rhett in high school and I can thank him and the rest of Climax/Frontier for broadening my music horizons. If it weren’t for them, I’d only be listening to Nickleback and Katy Perry. I’m going to share my favourite songs. Songs that I never skip over. Songs that I could listen to over and over again. They all happen to be male singers which was kind of shocking at first but after thinking about it, it makes total sense as I find I am drawn more to deep voices in music. I’ll warn you that 99% of them will be slow and maybe sad. And I’ll also warn you that I’m tone deaf, not very technical, don’t know what most song lyrics are and sometimes I like songs just because. I paired each song with a picture that may or may not fit with the song. 

Here we go in no particular order.

City and Colour – “Body in a box”

When I said no particular order, that may have been a lie. This song is my absolute favourite. Maybe a bit morbid considering it’s about death, but it’s my go to song. Really anything that Dallas Green sings is my go to, but this one especially. And ESPECIALLY if it’s the acoustic version. Holy moly. I’ve seen him live a couple of times and I had goosebumps the whole time. Coincidently, the cities flooded those nights too. I pictured it with the picture of my farm because it’s my favourite place on earth and when it’s my time to go, I would like my ashes spread there. Like Dallas said ‘And let my ashes blow with the wind’ fitting since it’s windy as hell at the farm. 

Allman Brown – “sons and daughters”

It was the winter of 2020 and we sat down to watch The Good Doctor. This particular episode had Logan ugly girl crying. After he stopped sniffling and sobbing, I could finally hear the show AND this song. I quickly fell in love with it, which Spotify solidified as it was our most played song of 2020. It took me a year and a google search to finally know what he was singing in this song, but we’re not surprised. Like I warned you before, listening and lyrics aren’t my strong suit so I guess that’s why photography makes sense to me. We went to Mexico in 2018 for The Balic wedding and while wandering around Playa Del Carmen I saw this huge wall covered in greenery. I made Logan go stand in front of it and he happily agreed (ok maybe not so happily) but then this topless man rode his bike in front and stole the show. I kind of love everything about this photo. So much that I have it hung up in our house. Thank you topless man for photobombing, but making the photo. 

Wild Feathers – “If you don’t love me”

I was given this record as a gift and it was on repeat for months. If records weren’t meant to play from start to finish with no disruptions, this song would have been the only song I listened to. The Wild Feathers are a little folky, a little alt rock and a little addicting. This song is catchy.In 2016 I went to Europe for 10 weeks and saw a lot. This photo is from Portugal and always kind of made me giggle. Portugal is an amazing country that I feel I only scratched the surface of. I hope one day I can go back. 

Wintersleep – “Dead Letter and the Infinite Yes”

The first time I heard this song was at the U of S campus bar, Louie’s, with Eric Anderson and Rhett. Something about a small venue gives me goosebumps. Ever since then, I’ve been digging the acoustic version of this song (go figure) and blasting it in the car. You’ll never catch me singing it though because no one needs to hear this tone deaf voice. We’ll leave the singing to Rhett. I haven’t heard this song for some time but it instantly came to mind when writing this blog. It was nice to play it on repeat like I’m 18 again. I was looking through old pictures to hopefully find something for this blog and I stumbled across this beauty. How fitting since Sailor Dan was a Saskatoon legend. He was outside of Midtown mall and I bought a print off of him. He came into Starbucks and added our family name on some flags. Pretty neat to own a Sailor Dan print. 

Bear’s Den – “AGape”

I think the first time I heard Bear’s Den was in the movie/documentary “Austin To Boston’. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s a MUST.  5 old VW camper vans. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 incredible film. When it was on Netflix, I think I watched it at least 80 times. It was filmed amazingly, the music is awesome and you’re guaranteed to have goosebumps the whole 71 minutes and 44 seconds. You can’t go wrong listening to any of Bear’s Den, but I chose Agape because I find that I never skip over this song when it comes on. Also, this music video is sweet. This van may not be a Volkswagon, but I’d say it’s pretty close 😉 

Revivalists – “Soulfight”

Logan found this beauty earlier this year and it’s been heavy in our rotation. It’s not a new song but it never gets skipped over. The piano at the beginning just gets my little heart racing and in some songs you can hear the trumpet. Being a trumpet player in a highschool band (band was cool, okay), I can really appreciate a good trumpet player. It’s not easy. Oh and the band also has a saxophonist- WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR?! If you haven’t checked out these guys before, I think you should go do that now. This photo is of my Uncle Cecil. Or Uncle Dick. I chose this photo because it’s one of my favourite portraits. It wasn’t staged or planned; he was just sitting in the seed cleaner shed in his natural element. This man is a kook and brings joy to our family. He has a gold tooth and told us when we were kids that a calf peed on it and that’s why it’s gold. Or that his daughter named her kid, Ketchup, because she loved Ketchup so much. We didn’t stay gullible for too long. 

SHAKey graves – “family + genus”

One year for my birthday, Carly got me floor tickets to see City + Colour and Shakey Graves opened for him. What a dreamy pair. This song has been one of my favs ever since. The picture is from when Carly and I took a trip to Boston. We went to a couple of ball games at Fenway Stadium and toured their stadium. This lone red chair is 502 feet from home plate and marks the longest home run in Fenway history. It was struck by Ted Williams on June 9, 1946, supposedly. David Ortiz, otherwise known as Big Papi, was the Red Sox big slugger and he would go out everyday with an aluminum bat and wouldn’t even come close to the chair. He’s not saying that Ted didn’t do it, but he’s skeptical since there is no video proof and only the word of witnesses. Either way, a cool story and an even cooler stadium. 

foy vance – “burden”

Foy and the piano is just money. You don’t need much else. Foy is an Irishman and you can vaguely hear his accent while he sings which I always thought was interesting. In University I watched/listened to music on YouTube A LOT. Probably too much and that’s why I had to take Organic Chem twice. But since Spotify came out, I rarely use YouTube. While writing this blog post, I opened YouTube up again and I never realized how much I missed it and how much more immersed in the music I get while watching. Foy Vance has a lot of videos of him just playing and they’re quite incredible. Plus he has a moustache that most men might envy. In 2019 I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding in Ireland. Logan and I headed to Europe a couple weeks before said wedding and did some travelling. Logan loves war history and really wanted to go to Germany and see Hitler’s Eagles Nest. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what he was even talking about. So we went and I can honestly say, it was my favourite part of the trip. Hitler’s Eagles Nest is on the summit of Kehlstein, a rocky outcrop that rises above Obersalzberg near the town of Berchtesgaden. The town of Berchtesgaden is the quintessential German town. It’s where you would imagine people that wear lederhosen to live. The Eagle’s Nest was a gift to Hitler but he only visited it 14 times since he disliked heights. I could go on and tell you more facts, but I’ll spare you the time. Google is always there for you. Or if you have seen the show Band of Brothers you’ve seen it and know what i’m talking about. This picture is from the top of the mountain, quite breathtaking if I do say so myself. 

Thank you for listening to me ramble about music and other random things. I’m going to leave you with this picture of an outhouse to remind you that not all shit is ugly. 

Like PB & J – tegan dutton


June 2021

Yeeesh! I fell behind here a bit this month and am a few days late on my post! I had planned on writing everything last weekend but the weather was so nice in Saskatoon and I just couldn’t find the time to stay in and get my list made up. Euro 2020 has also been consuming my life now that I have an allegiance to a team (Auf geht’s Deutschland!). Better late than never!


I feel like every month I am telling you about another “song of the summer”, but right now this is my jam. Two heavy hitters in the indie/alternative music scene join forces to bring us a gem. I admittedly have never been a huge fan of their solo work, but if you jump onto any other music blog you will hear people going bananas over these two. I remember Jay Onrait writing about Angel Olsen’s song “Woman” from her 2016 album MY WOMAN saying it was this slow burning song that really starts rocking around the midway point before falling off again. I circled back on that album too and it’s definitely growing on me. “Like I Used To” is another one to turn up loud when the sun is shining. Each voice is distinct but both fit perfectly as they weave back and forth from lead to backup . This makes me feel like I’m stuck in a summer montage on MTV. These women rock, plain and simple.


I saw this band a while back on KEXP’s Youtube channel. I don’t know much about the band, but these are good background summer tunes. I put this on often lately when I just need some music that I can let run and not think about. “The Shining But Tropical” has a Death Cab for Cutie vibe at times. Also, I just noticed that Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Creek is in this video. If you haven’t watched that show you should do so immediately. 


I’ve missed a few opportunities over the years to see this Canadian duo and then I instantly regret it when I hear people talking about the shows. I’ve listened to this album a lot recently and I keep finding something new in it each time I listen. There will be something for everyone in at least one of these songs. Do you like drinking ice cold drinks on the beach? Put on “Relic In The New Age”. You want to relax at the end of a long day? “Radio Silence” will calm the evening jitters. My favourite right now is “Liar Liar”. I like the eclectic little guitar and the chorus is catchy as hell. 


In September 2017 I took a solo trip to Croatia. In many ways that little trip altered my life. I learned some things about myself, I met my now girlfriend, and I got out of a low point emotionally. I had written a journal while I was there and I dug that out this week to give it a little read through. One of the things I wrote about in my first couple days was having lunch in this little place in Zagreb called “Goodfood”. I was sitting at a bar seat against a window that faced the pedestrian, cobblestone street. I remember feeling proud of myself for making a plan to go solo somewhere and then making it happen. I also remember being embarrassed that I could only speak English when I went up to order my food. Luckily most Croatians speak English too. As I sat at my seat and watched the well dressed people walk by outside, I keyed in on the song that was playing in the shop. It was “Post Break-Up Sex” by The Vaccines. I vividly remember the smile that put on my face. Since then I have always tried to focus on music being played in restaurants, clothing stores, etc. This album still holds up for me and is perfect for summertime. It’s upbeat and has that British pop-rock feel to it. “All In White” was the first song I fell in love with but you can easily put the album on front to back.  


Have you guys watched Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” on Netflix? In the second season somewhere, his Italian love interest puts this song on in the kitchen for them to dance to. WARNING: this is an Italian pop song from 1962. I understand that this is likely not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no way you can look me dead in the eyes and tell me that this doesn’t make you smile/laugh/feel something happy. There are some mornings where I put this song on the second I know Jessi is fully awake. Not her favourite alarm clock. I don’t even know what he is saying but I love it. Edoardo, I hope you are sitting on some lovely balcony in Tuscany drinking $1000 bottles of wine. You deserve it.. 


JUNE 2021


Nick Coburn

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. 


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. 


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. 


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 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. 

*nice little cameo from Shakey Graves*

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. 


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!

“Lost it to Trying”
A release from back in 2013. So good!
“A Different Kind of Love”
A beautiful visual from their latest release 2021

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


May 2021

Happy warm weather days! It’s the perfect day to sit outside, go for a bike ride, lounge in the park, and listen to some music. I’m pretty happy with the new music that is coming out lately, but it’s been hard for me to hold back on albums that aren’t fully released yet. Hope you like what I’ve got for you this month. Can’t wait until everyone gets vaccinated (please go get vaccinated!) and we can all meet up and listen to these together! Life’s a garden, dig it!


If you do anything today, please go listen to the track “Just Like Leaving”. I’ve basically had it on repeat for the last month. Even if you aren’t a fan of bluegrass/folky music I think this will appeal to you. This 20 year old, Calgary, AB born and raised gal is just a pleasure to listen to. Her voice is soothing with just the right amount of twang to it. I’m a sucker for harmonizing and she does this perfectly in the chorus with her bandmate. Jacey Fossum, if you’re reading, this one is right in your wheelhouse! With the likes of Colter Wall, Belle Plaine, Kacey & Clayton, Bella White, and many more, I would argue that Western Canadian artists are leading the world in this americana/folk/bluegrass genre. And if you missed it the first time, she’s only 20 years young! There will be much more where this came from in the coming years!


Listening to Bella White also spun me back into some other bluegrassy things I used to listen to. One of the main ones was the Punch Brothers. Anyone ever watched the movie “Inside Llewyn Davis”? It’s a movie starring Oscar Isaac based around a folk singer trying to make his way in the world and navigate the changing popular music scene. The sound track is a mix of old folk songs and new stuff written for the film. It features Oscar Isaac himself, but also Marcus Mumford, the Avett Brothers, and the Punch Brothers. This is where I became familiar with this band. There are Youtube videos of a soundtrack concert where they sing an a cappella version of an old Irish folk song called “The Auld Triangle”, which I love (linked below). If Hoja or Streetnix would have performed this in the Climax School Gym in elementary school my head might have exploded (It’s hilarious how often I connect with people over having had Hoja and Streetnix perform at my school growing up! haha). My other two favourite songs are linked below as well. If nothing else, stick around to hear Chris Thile play the mandolin. Again, even if you don’t like bluegrass music, this is simply amazing musicianship. 


Switching gears now and getting right into some upbeat alt-pop in my list this month. I stumbled across this album in my regular iTunes browsing and I’m happy I did. Supposedly this guy was on American Idol in 2013, which surprised me a little based on how indie this sounds to me. Now you can all pretend to be Randy Jackson and give it a “that’s gonna be a yes/no from me, dawg!” This is good weather music. “Sinkin’” is my current song for leaving work.


I was going to put girl in red – “if I could make you go quietin this spot, but the more I listened to her lyrics I felt like I couldn’t relate to the sexual problems of a 22 year old Norweigan gal. So instead, I settled on something right back in my wheelhouse. This one is hot off the press so I haven’t had a tonne of time to digest it yet, but I can assure you this will be heavy in the rotation over the next while. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys at Lollapalloza in 2012 with my friends Fossum and Shaun. It was one of the most memorable concert experiences I’ve had thus far. I thought it was cool how Patrick Carney, the drummer, was positioned right at the front of the stage beside Dan Auerbach, not at the back where the drummer normally sits. I loved how this gave me a better view and appreciation of what he was doing (The Rural Alberta Advantage does this set up as well and their drummer, Paul Banwatt, is incredible to watch). This will be a great summer time bluesy soundtrack for everyone. Turn it up! 


Let’s keep rolling with our regularly scheduled programming. A suggestion to me from the music guru, Eric Anderson. After casually forming this “supergroup” at a music festival run by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National), Bonny Light Horseman decided to formally join forces and record a full album together this past year. Anybody else wondering what the hell a bonny light horseman is? After a quick search I found that it formally refers to the nimblest, most handsome rider in the cavalry (put that one in the Jeopardy memory bank!). It is also the name of an age-old folk song from the 1800’s, which is track #1 on the album. I’m a sucker for beautiful vocals, simple acoustic guitar, and some piano. I think this one is a slam dunk for most people. 


I mentioned this album in my last post, but it is now released in its entirety. Please go back to it and listen to the rest of the songs! Also, watch the music video for “Telepath” below. How beautiful/sad is that? It has a similar theme to Jason Isbell’s “If We Were Vampires”. I love how the characters dance from start to finish and that it is filmed as one continuous shot. Creativity at its finest.  


APRIL 2021


Dillon Currie

Rhett: I’ve got a real one this month, folks! I am very excited to get Dillon to write a piece for me this month. He is a guy who most certainly has his finger on the pulse of the music world. A front man in a rock band, a singer/songwriter, a family man, and the owner of one BEAUTIFUL head of hair. He’s a creator of great songs himself but also just a lover of music at the core. 

I’ve known Dillon for many years now, both being from small town, southwest Sask. We were even dorm mates at a hockey school in our younger years. While we don’t see each other often anymore, I always admire that when we do he takes the time to say hello, have a chat, and often remembers some little details about what I’ve been up to. For a guy who could easily have his head in the sky, he’s as grounded and kind as they come. Salt of the earth. 

I wanted him to lead us through the current changing of the seasons and I’m thrilled with what he came up with! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Dillon: This last winter lingered longer than most. I don’t know or particularly care if that’s true in terms of seasonal norms in the region, but I do know that, to me, it felt DAMN long. I’ve grown up having busy winters—travelling and competing in years and years worth of frigid prairie hockey games; touring and performing across the mountains and through the Canadian shield regardless of the road conditions; skipping from one family Christmas in the southwest to the next in the southeast. Traditionally speaking, winter is a busy time of year for someone like myself. Of course, this last year was (and I know this is a colossal understatement) different—in so very many ways. In many ways, it felt like we had less—less time with friends and family, less opportunity to travel, and certainly less toilet paper in the aisles of our local grocery stores; however, one thing I do know that I had MORE of was free time, and a lot more time with myself. So Rhett, go ahead and play Time by Hootie!—just kidding. Hang with me here.

So, you know that feeling near the end of a scheduled pause, maybe it’s a holiday or a school break or a destination vacation (remember those?!…swoon), where you’ve overindulged in almost EVERYTHING that’s bad for you, you’ve had little to no responsibilities for the majority of that time, you’ve devolved into a whisper of the parent you were at the start of the break (effectively rendering your children feral), and you’ve just had enough of doing ‘nothing’? 

OK…maybe that got a touch specific for most, but I think you likely know what I’m TRYING to say here: WINTER WAS LONG AND SOUL SUCKING. So much so that, after a considerable spell spent deliberating with myself on whether spring was even real anymore and yearning for sunshine, I realized that due to the circumstances we find ourselves in, it may just be the first time I’ve really had the down time to see Spring clearly—in its entirety and for what it really is. 

I was born in April and so, as a kid, I always connected with spring simply because of that—I liked that it was the pretty and hopeful season, but now I see it’s a lot more complex than that, and it’s really more like me than I thought it was. What I mean is, despite the convincing pitch, spring does not always come as advertised (and if you live in Canada, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s actually pretty filthy at first until the street sweepers get out). 

Like myself, and if you humour me and we imagine spring as a person for a moment, I think it’s fair to say that Spring is not always a morning ‘person’. It can be a groggy, miserable wreck of a thing—one that hits snooze a few too many times before it finally rolls out of bed. One that does so knowing full well that it’s off to a late start and may need to skip the shower, but gets up and out the door anyways, and (eventually) gets back to work—extra-large coffee in hand.  If that’s not admirable, I don’t know what is. 

Spring is really just like all of us. It’s ugly and it’s beautiful. It’s tired and it’s hopeful. It’s…well…before I start reciting Alanis Morissette lyrics, let’s just agree to celebrate that inherent dichotomy, and enjoy a few dandy tunes while we’re at it.

Half Moon Run – How Come My Body

Half Moon Run was one of the last live ticketed events I was fortunate enough to attend before the live music business, and the rest of the world, effectively shut down—and what a show it was. I had regrettably missed them a few times throughout previous tours due to bad excuses, but the last time was an unexpected cancellation on their behalf. They had played Regina the night prior, and then proceeded to cancel the remaining dates of the tour, leaving the Saskatoon show to be rescheduled (thanks a lot, Regina). Sorry, I just had to get that jab in there. Anyways, when they returned the following year to Saskatoon, I was finally able to catch them live, and the show was unbelievable—the energy, the musicianship, the sound was all basically perfect. I would seriously not recommend missing them if you ever have a chance to attend a show. Since that show, they have been busy and have released several EPs, as well as one to be released later this year. The first single is ‘How Come My Body’—a succinct, vulnerable, gorgeous teaser of what’s to come. I chose to share it not only because its been on repeat for me the last few weeks, but also because it highlights those awkward, uncomfortable stages of growing up, much like the turmoil we see from spring so often. In a recent interview with Exclaim!, Half Moon Run’s frontman Devon Portielje described that difficult metamorphosis we as people endure as we transition from adolescence to adulthood to be at the heart of this beautiful little song, and that’s a sentiment I imagine Spring could empathize with if, you know, it had a body.

My Morning Jacket – Spinning My Wheels

MMJ is an all-time favourite of mine. I love EVERYTHING they do, and so I was thrilled when they released The Waterfall II last Summer and I had some fantastic music to help me cope with the limitations of our newly-adapted lifestyle. A year later, this heart-wrenching song certainly resonates with me now more than ever. Back in late November of 2020, much to my surprise, I wrote a Christmas song (see ‘Staying Home This Christmas’) and like a lunatic, I decided to write, record, and release it in a matter of a few weeks—so December WAS busy. After Christmas, however, with the ensuing lockdowns and the heightened risks of travelling, it became clear that I wouldn’t be finishing the full album, which I’d been working on writing since last spring, anytime soon. Making an album always takes more time than one would expect, but in a world where so many things are currently at a stand still, I must admit that I had hoped to be able to put more time into recording these songs at this point. Alas, it just hasn’t been in the cards, and reaching that one-year point since I began writing has certainly been a wake-up call. These lyrics really do speak to my feelings, and perhaps the feelings many of us are having as our plans and goals continue to reside in limbo for the time being:

“I held white snow in the palm of my hand
And watched it turn back into water again.

Just spinning my wheels, just spinning my wheels, just spinning my wheels

Gotta find a way out—A way out of here.”

Perhaps the most impactful part of this song, however, is its idyllic resolution. In the end, the narrator chooses a path of hope rather than defeat by vowing to look towards a new day instead of dwelling on his troubled past. May we all go forward with such grace this spring! Have a listen:

Plants and Animals – Flowers

I like to think I’ve chosen to share this little gem not only because it’s called ‘Flowers’ (although, I must admit that’s probably what brought it to mind), but primarily for the undeniable spring feel the song has. Again, this song is equal parts lovely and melancholy. Somehow, the constant refrain “Oh, we’ll all be together, or we’ll never be together again” has the power to provide hope and despair in the same breathe, and it seems to me to be a mantra that is all too real for today and the world we presently find ourselves in. 

Foxwarren – Sunset Canyon

It’s no secret: I am a massive Andy Shauf fan. I think he’s one of the best songwriters in music—period. The fact that he is also a small-town Saskatchewan boy is really just icing on the cake. Much like his solo catalogue, his work with the band Foxwarren is brilliant. Their self-titled 2018 record is a staple in my personal record collection, and one I strongly encourage you to have a full listen through if you haven’t yet. Paired with a serene, nature-themed music video featuring Busy Philipps, ‘Sunset Canyon’ is a laid-back, introspective tune which pairs nicely with a nice spring walk or jog.  

Hannah Cohen – This Is Your Life

Speaking of Andy Shauf, I had the pleasure of seeing Hannah Cohen support him at Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon a few years back, and I became an instant fan. Accompanied by her band and the exceptional Sam Evian, who also produced her wonderful album ‘Welcome Home’, she has an absolutely pure voice and is not only an entrancing performer, but a gifted songwriter as well. Her song “This Is Your Life” is the first track on the aforementioned record and was an easy choice for this list. In keeping with the theme of waking up and going for it, this track is about taking action, taking risks, and creating your own destiny in the face of adversity—an apt message for those who are looking for some extra motivation this spring! 

Said The Whale – Wake Up 

This song is about—you guessed it—waking up!  With chants of ‘Wake Up’ and the persistent refrain, ‘Time makes all things fall together. Time brings all things together’, it’s a perfect anthem for springtime and for waking up my boy every morning for school (I don’t do this, but I may start). There is a slow-growing energy and drive to this one which takes you on an interesting sonic adventure, to which I say, what a way to start the day! Check out the video below to see Said The Whale’s very own Ben Worcester making what looks to be a delicious pot of coffee in a French press, not unlike the one I use most mornings…when I wake up early enough, that is. 

My Morning Jacket – Spring (Among The Living)

These guys clearly were meant for this blog, and I clearly couldn’t help but include another atmospheric banger like this from them. This one is a slow burn but worth the ride and an obvious choice. Check out these tailor-made lyrics:

“Boy, I was ready. Boy, I was ready for spring. Its beauty changes—changes everything. Done hibernating. We animals roam out of our holes. Then we spend all spring looking for the next one to go down.”

“Among the living. Among the living again. Out in the light of day’s warm embrace. What a gift!”

What a gift, indeed! With all the figurative examples I’ve used today to exemplify spring and what it means to me, I think this is a nice tone to end on: literal AND positive. Despite all the work I’ve put into making the case that spring is not all rainbows and flowers, when it comes down to it, it’s undeniable: spring really IS beautiful, growing pains and all. It just is–and I wish you all the very best one yet!


Dillon Currie