Summer 2022


Ice ice icicles, pop pop popsicles, test test…testing one, two, three. Hope everyone is having a good summer so far. Things are moving along quick! Jessi and I were able to get back to Germany which was a definite highlight for me in the last few years. Feeling more like myself since coming home and have quite a few tunes to put out there for people to listen to! Let’s cut to the chase!


DEHD – BLUE SKIES

I love these poppy grooves during the warm days. I listen to this on the way to the gym in the morning a lot because it’s upbeat and puts a little pep in my step (it’s still very little pep first thing in the AM). “Bad Love” is the jam. Put on some sunflower shaped sunglasses and hit the beach!



PETE YORN – HAWAII

This has been my most steady play for the last while. On our trip last month, Jessi and I skipped over to Mallorca for a week. We were whipping up some tapas in our little Airbnb one night and I threw this album on. Jessi said, “Who is this? I like it.” Nothing like having your music choice validated by the company you keep. Put it on and don’t touch the dial.



BARTEES STRANGE – FARM TO TABLE 

My favourite new discovery. “Heavy Heart” friggan slaps. It’s got a great blend of calm and chaos. Great voice, lots of interesting instruments, and just a nice little banger once it gets up to full steam. He was touring with Lucy Dacus last year which means he’s starting to pick up speed in the indie world.



SPACEY JANE – HERE COMES EVERYBODY

Some good old indie rock here as well. Not much to say. This is my cup of tea front to back.



JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW – THE LESS I KNEW

I have posted about JVM before. I found out about this album because Dan Mangan posted a story about the opening song “Hurricane”. Dan knows a good song when he hears it. Like usual, this is full of catchy tunes and JVM’s signature voice. 



MARLON WILLIAMS – MY BOY

Another artist I have mentioned previously is Marlon Williams. I am finding it harder and harder to attach a genre to his name. Previously, I would have linked him more to country/americana/folk music but these songs seem much different. It still feels older, but maybe more 80’s pop now. Either way, the first few songs have caught my attention. They are different but in a good way.



DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – ASPHALT MEADOWS

Ben Gibbard and Co. know the formula. You don’t make successful albums steadily since the late 90’s by accident. Transaltanticism is one of my favourite albums of all time and their sound is the epitome of my musical taste at its core. All that said, they have fallen off my radar the last little while. I wasn’t super into either of their last two albums, Thank You for Today and Kintsugi. I thought that they had lost me for good. How dare I back Ben Gibbard into a corner?! These songs take me right back to what I loved about Death Cab when I first heard them.



JACK JOHNSON – MEET THE MOONLIGHT

Sticking with nostalgia, we have some new Jack Johnson songs! I was really trying to leave this off the list but I just felt that I needed to mention it for the sake of continuity in my life. I remember my brother, Jori, coming home from University and playing “Banana Pancakes” on guitar. When I picked up my first car in 2008, I went to Walmart in Swift Current and bought the Sleep Through The Static CD and listened to it on repeat the whole way home. I sang “Better Together” at two close friend’s wedding just last year. Jack Johnson is attached to my memories at many stages of my life. So how could I leave these new songs off my list? And you know what? “One Step Ahead” is a jam. Full stop. 


Rhett



SUMMER 2022

  • DEHD – BLUE SKIES
  • PETE YORN – HAWAII
  • BARTEES STRANGE – FARM TO TABLE
  • SPACEY JANE – HERE COMES EVERYBODY
  • JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW – THE LESS I KNEW
  • MARLON WILLIAMS – MY BOY
  • DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – ASPHALT MEADOWS
  • JACK JOHNSON – MEET THE MOONLIGHT

Spring 2022


Hello, hello. Hope everyone is having a good start to the spring! I know some parts of the province are still under a bit of snow, but things seemed to have turned the corner here in Saskatoon. Starting to string together a few warmer/sunny days in a row. 

I’ve been listening to a lot of the same things these days and have the new Rural Alberta Advantage album on most days (I am really digging that and you should too). That being said, the change in season always motivates me to start digging for some new music. I have a few here that I think people might be into. There is some bright, poppy stuff but also some slower quiet stuff for your peaceful spring mornings.

Throw on some headphones, get some sun on your face, and take these tunes for a spin!


DEANNA PETCOFF – TO HELL WITH YOU, I LOVE YOU

Starting off with something fun and easy. “Failing Upwards” is the perfect first song for you to check out today. It’s upbeat and full of life. She has a rich, mature voice that makes her sound older than she is. Although she comes across as a veteran, this is the debut album for the Toronto based artist. I think she’s off to a good start. 



ERIN RAE – LIGHTEN UP

I stumbled across this mostly because I follow along with Kevin Morby and Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee) on Instagram. Kevin Morby is featured in the song below which is the tie in here. I did a scroll of the bio on her website and it’s a good little read if you are interested. I love the ramblin’ feeling of “Can’t See Stars” and the old organ notes in “True Love’s Face”. I think everyone can find something interesting and fun in these songs. 



ALDOUS HARDING – WARM CHRIS 

New to me so I don’t know a damn thing about her. Well, I do know that she is from New Zealand and boy oh boy, New Zealand seems nice! Another easy listener to get you bopping along while you run for groceries. 



ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER – ENDLESS ROOMS

Admittedly, a lot of their albums sound the same to me. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them though. Quite the contrary. You know I love that indie, surfer rock stuff, right? They always seem to be a band I enjoy throwing on for warmer weather. A couple of the songs off their new album are out and I like them just like the others. Horrible band name though. 



MITSKI – LAUREL HELL

I can’t really put my finger on what it is that I like about this, but “Heat Lightning” was my top play for quite a while at the beginning of the year. It has fallen further down my list as of late, but I felt like I had to put it on here out of respect for my subconscious preference. I love the long build up in “Heat Lightning” but rather than exploding during the chorus it falls immediately back without boiling over. Something interesting there that I enjoy. 



ALTAMEDA – BORN LOSERS

I had kind of forgot about Altameda until I came across their newest offering. This is all quality. From Edmonton, but now based in Toronto, these guys have a bit of a nostalgic sound to me. There is something familiar and warm about their sound. Troy Snaterse sings with somewhat of a walking vocal from time to time which I like as well. Written after the loss of Snaterse’s father to illness and step-brother to a tragic accident, the band states, “Born Losers is a meditation on change, loss, and growth, but more than that, it’s a reckoning with mortality, a call to live while we’re still alive.” No time like the present!



Rhett



SPRING 2022

  • DEANNA PETCOFF – TO HELL WITH YOU, I LOVE YOU
  • ERIN RAE – LIGHTEN UP
  • ALDOUS HARDING – WARM CHRIS
  • ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER – ENDLESS ROOMS
  • MITSKI – LAUREL HELL
  • ALTAMEDA – BORN LOSERS

January 2022


Long time no talk. I couldn’t quite muster up a year end review like I did last year. It was much harder than I thought it would be to formulate new material from things I had already discussed in detail. That on top of a cancelled trip over the holidays had me bummed and unmotivated to do much. 

I learned a few things this past year while writing this blog. The first thing is that it is very hard to constantly be searching for new material every month. When you are perpetually searching you don’t have time to sit with the things you have already found (Now that I write it out I see that this might be true for most things in life….but I digress). It was challenging for me to move on from the music that I was enjoying knowing that I needed to find new things to write about. Secondly, as I touched on, it was hard for me to circle back and write a year end review when I had already stretched myself thin talking about the minutia of every item all year. Lastly, I felt like my writing on my first few posts was more natural and unique but the more I had to cram in posts the more similar the posts felt to me. So with this, I am going to try writing a little less. Maybe try and do a post every quarter or every couple months instead. I still have lots of friends wanting to help me out with posts, so I hope to have them fill in for me as well.

I started this last year as a way to fill my time during the pandemic and share my musical taste with friends. For those of you who are still hanging around, I hope you have added a few new songs to your playlists and maybe even thought a little harder about the music you like or the stuff you don’t. Again, these aren’t supposed to be the best songs in the world, just trying to expand the horizons. Looking forward to seeing what you guys are into this trip around the sun!


PEACH PIT – FROM 2 TO 3

Most of the things on my list today are fresh to me. Peach Pit is an indie pop band from Vancouver which I am digging right now. It is bright, smooth, and beachy. The little guitar riff at the end of “Up Granville” pretty much sums up that sound for me. I am new to the party here, so I need to go back and listen to their first two albums as well. I always love finding more CanCon whenever I can. 



WeaKENeD FRIENDS – QUITTER

Some more indie rock coming your way. This one is a little more rock than the last. I also just love this album cover. I am still trying to come up with a point of reference for you on this one. You might just have to give it a listen and tell me what you think. It reminds me of something I would have listened to in Grade 10 thinking I was so rad. This will not be everyones cup of tea, but it has given me a nice “throwback” feeling lately.



ALICE PHOEBE LOU – CHILD’S PLAY 

I think this is the first South African on my blog so far. After moving to Berlin upon completion of highschool she started busking in S- and U-Bahn stations which is where she really honed her craft. She also has multiple previous albums but this is my first taste. I like “Underworld” and “Silly”. This is hanging out music for a slow morning or evening. I’ve been putting this one in my headphones while I’m working on stuff or just needing a breather. It has an expansive/spaced out feeling to most of it. Nothing is rushed, nothing is forced. It just comes to you when you are ready for it. 



TOKiMONSTA – “REALLA” FT. ANDERSON .PAAK

This kind of goes against my whole indie persona but I randomly found this song from 2014 and I just can’t stop listening to it. I was watching a Netflix show where they interviewed Jennifer Lee (TOKiMONSTA) about being diagnosed with Moyamoya Disease in 2015 where she briefly lost all her language and comprehension skills. She regained them and started working on her next project but still wasn’t able to fully understand music. I don’t even know if I can wrap my head around what that means, but I found it interesting. I also said to myself, “TOKiMONSTA is the stupidest name ever! I’ve got to see what stupid music she makes.” Much to my chagrin I found this song and really like it. This song only folks. 



WIDOWSPEAK – THE JACKET

“Everything is Simple” is the only song released off this album so far, but it’s my current top play. I love the simple little bass line that is at the forefront. Molly Hamilton has an easy listening voice to go along with the grungy sound of everything else. They also do this with other instruments throughout the song, pairing elegant with rough around the edges. Clear notes with blurred ones. I love the contrast that that creates. Looking forward to hearing what else is on this album! 



Rhett



JANUARY 2022

  • PEACH PIT – FROM 2 TO 3
  • WEAKENED FRIENDS – QUITTER
  • ALICE PHOEBE LOU – CHILD’S PLAY
  • TOKiMONSTA – “REALLA” FT. ANDERSON .PAAK
  • WIDOWSPEAK – THE JACKET

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.


SAM FENDER – SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER

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.



THE WAR ON DRUGS – I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE

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…



JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT – GEORGIA BLUE 

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. 



ANDY SHAUF – WILDS

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. 



Rhett



SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

  • SAM FENDER – SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER
  • THE WAR ON DRUGS – I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
  • JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT – GEORGIA BLUE
  • ANDY SHAUF – WILDS

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!


BIG RED MACHINE – HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT’S GONNA LAST?

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. 



COURTNEY BARNETT – THINGS TAKE TIME, TAKE TIME

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.  



STURGILL SIMPSON – THE BALLAD OF DOOD & JAUNITA 

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. 



WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS – ENJOY THE VIEW

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!



BRITTANY HOWARD – “STAY HIGH”

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! 



Rhett



AUGust 2021

  • BIG RED MACHINE – HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT”S GONNA LAST?
  • COURTNEY BARNETT – THINGS TAKE TIME, TAKE TIME
  • STURGILL SIMPSON – THE BALLAD OF DOOD & JAUNITA
  • WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS – ENJOY THE VIEW
  • BRITTANY HOWARD – “STAY HIGH”

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. 



Rhett



July 2021

  • VINCENT NEIL EMERSON – VINCENT NEIL EMERSON
  • SAID THE WHALE – “SHOW ME EVERYTHING”
  • WAVVES – HIDEAWAY
  • LUCY DACUS – HOME VIDEO
  • BOY GOLDEN – CHURCH OF BETTER DAZE

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!


SHARON VAN ETTEN & ANGEL OLSEN – “LIKE I USED TO”

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.



WILD PINK – A BILLION LITTLE LIGHTS

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. 



WHITEHORSE – MODERN LOVE 

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. 



THE VACCINES – WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES

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.  



EDOARDO VIANELLO – “GUARDA COME DONDOLO”

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.. 



Rhett



JUNE 2021

  • SHARON VAN ETTEN & ANGEL OLSEN – “LIKE I USED TO”
  • WILD PINK – A BILLION LITTLE LIGHTS
  • WHITEHORSE – MODERN LOVE
  • THE VACCINES – WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES
  • EDOARDO VIANELLO – “GUARDA COME DONDOLO”

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!


BELLA WHITE – JUST LIKE LEAVING

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!



PUNCH BROTHERS – THE PHOSPHORESCENT BLUES

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. 



BRISTON MARONEY – SUNFLOWER 

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.



THE BLACK KEYS – DELTA KREAM

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! 



BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

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. 


MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD

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.  


Rhett



APRIL 2021

  • BELLA WHITE – JUST LIKE LEAVING
  • PUNCH BROTHERS – THE PHOSPHORESCENT BLUES
  • BRISTON MARONEY – SUNFLOWER
  • THE BLACK KEYS – DELTA KREAM
  • BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

April 2021


How’s everybody doing? It took me a little time to get my list compiled this month but hopefully you can still find something you like here! I’ve had a few crazy weeks at work so it was nice to sit down and try and put another post together! Throw on some headphones, brew your favourite coffee, and take a stroll!


CHET FAKER – “GET HIGH”

Last month I said I wanted to join a horn section. Scratch that. I think I will now dedicate my life to learning piano so I can play this intro. I’ve already put in some serious work on the air piano version and am close to mastery. My early candidate for anthem of the spring/summer this is just pure catchy goodness. Put it on early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or well into the evening. It plays well no matter the mood. 



CHET FAKER – “LET GO”

Another top play right now from Nick Murphy, AKA “Chet Faker”. I love the simple bass line that leads the way from the start. This is an earworm that occupies my mind long after I turn it off. “Just because I feel low right now / It doesn’t mean all that I’ve got has run out” seems like advice we could all use these days. A little daily affirmation for your week ahead. 



SLOW LEAVES – “FEEL IT TOO” 

I mentioned my emotional tie to Slow Leaves in my yearly review, but bias aside, I think his two new singles are just great tunes. Grant Davidson is a great songwriter. I’m someone who listens to full albums rather than playlists of handpicked songs from various artists. The uniqueness of each song keeps me interested when I listen to his. I like “Feel It Too” because it is a little moody (there is a baseline moodiness to his music) and more set up for a full band, which strays a bit from his more acoustic work. The guitar chords have a somewhat Spanish sound to them which I like and that little reverb thing in the intro makes me happy too. 



SLOW LEAVES – “STICK AROUND”

And just like that we are back to a softer acoustic track from Mr. Davidson. If you like dad humour you should also check out his instagram. It is filled with self-deprecation and awkward selfies. The video for “Feel It Too” will give you a good sample of what to expect. It makes me laugh quite often. Just that alone makes me want to support this guy. 



PARKER MILLSAP – BE HERE INSTEAD

I’ve got a story for this one. When I was living in Swift Current in 2017 I got invited by some friends from home to go out to Shann and Ray Gowan’s farm for a BYOB concert. They have a beautiful little spot right on the creek and set up a big fair tent, which they also used at the Long Day’s Night Music Festival in town. Parker Millsap was the entertainment. It was a wonderful, warm, summer evening and the whole thing had an amazing intimacy to it. There might have been 60 people there total, which made it feel like a private concert. We had our cooler and chairs set up at the back so if you needed a refill it was only a quick reach away. The picture above is from that night looking at the back of the tent. I will always remember Fossum and I stepping outside the tent at the midpoint break for a leak and we see the violin player violently puking at the other end of the canvas. For a guy that was either extremely drunk or quite ill I wouldn’t have guessed based on his on stage performance. 

His newest offering was just released this week and I am already a big fan. It’s a good mix of all the things I like. “Rolling” is a perfect song to get you into it but my current favourite is “Vulnerable”, which makes me think of old orange carpet and people smoking inside. I love the line, “Sometimes your meekness / isn’t a weakness / sometimes a whisper says it all”. Go listen to his album The Very Last Day as well. I always play “Hands Up” when I’m hitting the road on a trip somewhere. Makes me feel like I’m a man on the run. START THE CAR!



Rhett



APRIL 2021

  • CHET FAKER – “GET HIGH”
  • CHET FAKER – “LET GO”
  • SLOW LEAVES – “FEEL IT TOO”
  • SLOW LEAVES – “STICK AROUND”
  • PARKER MILLSAP – BE HERE INSTEAD

March 2021


While it seems awfully premature to say this out loud, I think we may have made it to the early days of warmer weather and BBQ’d steaks. Longer days and the sight of sidewalks emerging from the snow has been a real mood booster for me. The changing of the seasons also has me thinking of brighter music. Get outside and feel that fresh air in your lungs people!


WAXAHATCHEE – SAINT CLOUD

My current “sunny days ahead” soundtrack. Waxahatchee, named after a creek in Alabama, lays down some light and catchy tunes perfect for this time of year. I like that it is upbeat and bright but still a little restrained. Like a volcano waiting to erupt, you can feel it building but not to the point of explosion. It mimics my cautious optimism towards spring weather. I can hear Katie Crutchfield pushing her voice to the edge of her range in songs like “Fire”, but she always keeps it just within her limit. This constant testing of her boundary is entertaining for me. I have cycled through the songs “Oxbow”, “Can’t Do Much”, “Fire” and “Lilacs” a lot this last week. Does anything scream spring like the smell of lilacs? This is also another beautiful album cover for leaning up against your record player. 



MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD

When I first started learning guitar I loved the song “Colly Strings” by Manchester Orchestra. I used to play the intro over and over again because it was simple, which let me sing over top without focusing on the guitar. From there I was always interested in their albums. Simple Math in 2011, Cope in 2013, and A Black Mile To The Surface in 2017 were all top plays for me. I never really know what basket to throw them in genre-wise. Each album sounds so different to me. Some have heavier rock, some have haunting vocal tunes, and the first song released on this upcoming album has an electronic rock feel to it. I’m excited for more of these songs to be released.



MIDDLE KIDS – TODAY WE’RE THE GREATEST

It’s 9am, I’m having my first coffee of the day and am looking out towards the river watching the ice slowly melt. I throw on Middle Kids’ “Cellophane (Brain)” to give me a little spark and get me moving for the rest of the day. It’s feel good music that goes down easy. I also really love the little horn parts in the song “Questions” (Note to self: learn a horn instrument and join a horn section). It’s gonna be a good day folks!



WALLOWS – REMOTE EP

Is anyone still listening to the band Matt and Kim? When I first heard this band it instantly reminded me of them. Pretty eclectic and lots of pop. It reminds me of my early high school days. It’s music that I don’t spend too much time thinking about, I just put it on for something happy, energetic and different. You know the Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why” that sparked some suicide awareness talk? Dylan Minnette, the male lead, is one of the founding members of this band. 



MARCUS KING – EL DORADO

When I heard the first song on this album,”Young Man’s Dream”, I couldn’t stop thinking about how similar his voice was to James Vincent McMorrow’s (Go listen to “We Don’t Eat” and let me know if you agree!). Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced this album and you can certainly hear that influence in songs like “The Well”. If I had one word to describe this collection of songs, it would be: soul. I just love the sound he has found here. “Wildflowers & Wine” makes me want to join a gospel choir, throw my hands up in the air, and do that back and forth choir shuffle that you see in the movies. Also, this cat can really play the guitar! If nothing else, just focus in on his guitar for a while and get mesmerized. Eat your heart out, this guy can do it all. 



Rhett



MARCH 2021

  • WAXAHATCHEE – SAINT CLOUD
  • MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD
  • MIDDLE KIDS – TODAY WE’RE THE GREATEST
  • WALLOWS – REMOTE EP
  • MARCUS KING – EL DORADO