Ottawa’s beloved son The Acorn, aka Rolf Klausener, just released a mesmerizing video for the song “Rapids” off his 2015 Polaris nominated album Vieux Loup.
The video, made by Klaus energy himself, begins with drops of india ink falling into water and subsequently dispersing into beautiful dark creations, many resembling pieces from a Rorschach test or the sped-up full life-cycle of flowers. As the video progresses, there is a moment that transported me back to the live launch of The Acorn’s first album The Pink Ghosts. The video glances up at what looks backlit trees, reminiscent of the scene playing behind the band during that memorable release show at Club SAW many moons ago.
As the vocals kick in the video takes its next step. A paint brush weaves the lyrical script on the screen between more droplets of ink disperse into ever more impressive creations. One of the most picturesque elements of the video is when Klausener plays with negatives and flips the black and white of a spiraling dispersion.
Watch the video below and go see The Acorn perform on January 14th with Gianna Lauren at Pressed in Ottawa, more info here.
Ottawa based folk singer songwriter Jim Bryson recently released a new video for his song “Changing Scenery” off of his latest album, Somewhere We Will Find Our Place.
It begins with a couple sitting down looking into the camera and the man says: “Your tear ducts are little triangles at the base of your wolf eyes.” the woman replies “Maybe I cry triangular tears… I never watch.”
The video is beautiful, raw and a features a roller coaster of emotions. It is very relatable as the couple goes through fun, love, sadness, mundane, crisis and reunion all within less than three minutes. There is everything from super cute dancing together in the kitchen to screaming alone at the ocean.
One of the lines that really grasped at me was the following line from the chorus “it became you against me, instead me and you against the world.” Anyone who has had a relationship that started very fun and strong, and then eventually left the so-called honeymoon stage and hit some rocky times can certainly feel this video.
It also feels very appropriate that the video was shot in Los Angeles and I think Anthony von Seck does a great job of connecting relationship expectations and the false ideals of Hollywood in an effective yet subtle way. A staunch reminder that things aren’t always easy as they appear on the big screen.
Buckle up for a quick emotional roller coaster set to the beautiful sounds of Jim Bryson’s “Changing Scenery.”
Her Habour‘s new video for “Hewing Crowns,” the first single off of her upcoming album Go Gently Into the Night will give you chills whether you watch the video or simply close your eyes and listen along.
The black and white footage is dark and eerie just like the Her Harbour we have grown to love the nation’s capital. She has a way of evoking so much emotion and capturing the listener with her incredibly powerful voice and often simple but perfectly executed musicality. The video matches up well with Her Harbour’s signature ambient musing and haunting sounds. It also matches the title very well, as to hew is to either chop or cut with an axe, pick, or other tool or to conform or adhere to. Whether the cutting up of crowns, or conforming to them, both create imagery on their own.
The eerie video, was edited by Mike Dubue (Hilotrons), and is made up of found footage from the 1966 short film based on “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” by renowned American author Conrad Aiken.
As mentioned, “Hewing Crowns” is the first single from the local muse’s sophomore release, and is the oldest song on the album. Go Gently Into the Night is set to release on February 3, 2017 on E-Tron Records. She tells us that the album “is about cycles. I wrote the songs at a time where death felt omnipresent. This album has been my attempt at making peace with death as a character of growing importance in my life.”
I know February 3 is far away, for now you will have to settle for listening and watching the video for “Hewing Crowns” and keeping on the look out for Her Harbour playing live.
Tossin’ Socks, a local banjo and guitar duo, recently released their debut five song EP, kinda, actually, sorta (an EP).
The boys, Sheehan and Marc Leguerrier, play acoustic folk music heavily rooted in punk rock ideals and love. Guitarist a singer Sheehan Jordan is the lead singer of Ottawa punk trio The Tenenbaums which certainly influences the sound.
Kinda, actually, sorta (an EP) features four originals, with some really funny titles such as “Stroman Sucks” and “Chicken Noodle,” as well as a cover of 70’s rock band Half Japanese’s song “Put Some Sugar On It.” Both Marc and Sheehan sing on songs and while both their voices are quite different they work well together.
I love the final song of the EP, “Die Die Die (666).” It is a prime example of the overlap in folk and punk. This song could be played super loud and fast with 3 power chords and have people slamming up against each other crashing the stage to sing a long. But it can equally be just as they played it, nice and slow with a banjo and an acoustic guitar.
Have a listen to kinda, actually, sorta (an EP) below and look forward to the day when Sheehan returns from his latest adventure in Vietnam.
Local hip-hop artist Andre Thibault aka DRAE recently dropped his debut album E/SCAPE.
DRAE has been producing and mixing music for artists from the Capital region, Toronto and Montreal for years, but it was now time for him to step out and take center stage himself. The 11 track release blends hip-hop, electronic and has flares of dub steps, his calling card as a producer. The beginning of the album has you thinking this is going to be pretty dark, especially the album’s first single “Nightmare.” The tone begins to shift and isn’t all serious and dark, songs like “Drink Up” and “Wild N Young” will make you want to party all night thanks to the fun beats, party lyrics and sing-a-longs.
E/SCAPE is not short of great cameos by some of our favourite locals such as Yusso, Aron the Alien and Nicholas Poupponeau of Zoo Legacy. Poupponeau features on the second single “First Time” which is an uplifting song with lyrics praising the magic of being in love for the first over a very positive and grooving rhythm, even including finger snaps in the beat. I can picture this song perfectly fitting in on the club scene and having people grinding and swinging their hair around on the dance floor.
Many people have moved on from dubstep, and while DRAE does not focus on it, it creeps in through out the album and then he drops the bass and gives you heart palpitations in “Almost Famous.” I can only imagine how hard that drop with hit you live. BOOM.
Have a listen to E/SCAPE below and if you like what you hear go party with DRAE and his boys Yusso and Aron the Alien for his album release show at Mercury Lounge this Friday November 11. More information on the album release show here.
Ottawa’s Saint Clare just released their much anticipated debut self-titled EP. The album features great psychedelic and garage rock with jiving keys and absolutely exceptional performance by the horns in the band, some of the best I have heard outside of ska in some time.
The first song sets the tone for the whole album with its rocking flares and blazing beat right out of the gate. That did not slow into the next two songs, including their first single “Cheatin.” My favourite track from has to be the second song “Goodbye to the Ghost” which has everything I look for in a song. It makes me reminisce, makes me feel, it transports me into his shoes, the music makes me want to dance, the chorus makes me want to sign-a-long and the song has an “oh oh ohs” breakdown. I mean, what more can you ask for?
There is a vocal dispare to lead singer Matt Saint Clare’s voice which channels The Cure’s Robert Smith. I say this as a compliment since Matthew Saint Clare’s voice has me hooked and makes me want to adorn a little more black. But don’t be fooled – this is no copy. Saint Clare’s voice is still uniquely his own and one can certainly feel everything he is going through in every song as his voice fluctuates ever so slightly driving home real emotions. All of this is topped with perfectly executed brass which I just can’t praise enough as the perfect complement to the song writing.
For those who didn’t know, Saint Clare is Matthew Saint Clare (Guitar and Vocals), Richard Jeffrey (Guitar and Vocals), Casey Comeau (Piano, Organ, and Vocals), Morgan Grant (Saxophone), Nick Di Saverio (Trombone), Ryan Shannon (Bass), and Daniel DeVries (Drums).
All songs on the new self-titled full length were recorded and mixed at Little Bullhorn Studio in Ottawa, Canada by Jarrett Bartlett, and mastered at The House of Miracles in Cambridge, Canada by Andy Magoffin.
Check out Saint Clare’s most excellent self-titled album below and go see them live this Friday, November 4 at Bar Robo for the release party (info here) or November 5 at Bistro de Paris in Montreal.
We are happy to bring to you a brand new video from one of our fave wacky bands in town, Bonnie Doon. The song is called “Pants and a Face,” which we heard earlier this year on the Pentagon Black Compilation No.1. It has been about two and a half years since the Bonnie Doon EP came out, but it really feels like yesterday.
The video is by local artist Phil Osborne, and is a perfect fit with the uptempo sludgy, lo-fi track by the band. He describes it as “a hipster post-punk mutant that intermorphs and transmutes into different past incarnations of itself as it walks downtown looking for a good time.” The video itself is a colourful psychedelic trip that features fire and even a UFO. Check out more of his stuff on his YouTube channel here.
One of the most appropriate album titles of all time, The Guacamole Incident by Taco Bandits, dropped about a month ago and I am sorry I am just getting to it now.
The ska reggae vibes are strong in the Taco Bandits and The Guacamole Incident will surely have people skanking away the blues of the imminent harsh Ottawa winter. The newest ska-reggae band to hit the capital is made up of members of Sidelines, Fleeba and The Sentries. Their debut six track EP is a lot of fun and everything you want in a ska album, it has some fast moments, some slower moments, great sing a long opportunities and a whole lot of obvious dance breakdowns.
Two tracks that really stuck out are “Smile Politely” and “I’ll Repute.” “Smile Politely” has the perfect 90s ska and pop punk up stroke feel and flow to it. The band also samples “Believe, believe in me, believe…” from the Smashing Pumpkins’ hit “Tonight” which is pretty sweet. Where “Smile Politely” is 90s, “Seeing Red” has a more 80s rude dude vibe which transported me to dingy clubs in England when bands like The Specials and the English Beat where just kicking things off over there.
A really cool element of the album is the the radio distortion and clips musical clips throughout the EP. It starts in the intro and is weaved throughout with some great modern and older ska vibes. Feels like a very fitting tribute to the bands that influenced Taco Bandits to make the music they do.
Grab some chips and salsa or toss on your best dancing shoes and sink your teeth into The Guacamole Incident below.
One of the new Ottawa bands I’m most excited about this year is Mushy Gushy. Why? Those who know me will tell you I’m a sucker for punchy garage pop tunes, and for me, listening to Mushy Gushy is comparable to waking up on Christmas morning when you’re 12-years-old and finding a brand new Nintendo 64 under the tree. Earlier this year we premiered their debut EP Tight Snake, and threw a wild EP release party at Bar Robo that sold out almost immediately. These fellas have figured out how to write music that people love to hear.
Well, they’ve done it again. Teasing a new album on the horizon, Mushy Gushy have released a brand new track called “Schemestress,” their first new song since the release of Tight Snake earlier this year. It was recorded at Swell Studios in October 2016 and shows the band letting loose for the recording. With a hook of gold and just enough crunch to please the masses, “Schemestress” begs you to dance, scream, and sweat. Mushy Gushy might just out-do themselves with their upcoming sophomore release, and it’s clear that they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Check out the video below, and don’t forget to see Mushy Gushy play it live on November 17th at House of TARG as they share the stage with Mad Ones and Ornaments.
Local three-piece punk band The Valveenus have released a music video for their song “Runaway Train.”
“Runaway Train” is a blistering track off the band’s first full-length album Catalyst which they released last year. Many of The Valveenus’ songs have more of a country-punk twist, but “Runaway Train” is much more punk rock in sounds than country.
The video features old black and white footage of what appears to be an angry drunk man stealing a train and trying driving it to his demise. Luckily for him our hero, his wife? partner? friend?, does everything in her power, jumping from another train and then running on the roof of said moving train to convince him he has something to live for and saves the day. Meanwhile in between the harrowing train chase the camera cuts to the band rocking out in what could easily be one of the train carts.
Check out the video below and don’t blink as the video clocks in at just over two minutes of tense action. If you like what you hear don’t miss The Valveenus playing with Pistols at Dawn, Serenity Now and Reminder at Pressed on October 13th, info here.