It’s a couple of weeks overdue, but with familial obligations since late June, I’ve finally found the time to put together my second post of the year. Better late than never, right?

Since my last post in March, the mercury has been rising steadily with new music releases in 2014. There’s still plenty of country, a little bit of soul, and finally some good rock n’ roll, so hopefully you’ll find a song or two you’ll enjoy as much as I have:

Abelene – Anna Lynch
A slow, sad country ballad about spousal alcoholism. Right in my wheelhouse for those lazy hazy afternoons.

Adult Diversion – Alvvays
The Toronto quintet, led by Molly Rankin (yes, those Rankins), hail from Toronto, but have a sound made for California. The perfect surf-rock tune for a sunny summer day.
Listen to the full album streaming on NPR this week.

Blood Bath – Saintseneca
A lovely folk rock tune from this act out of Ohio.

Cope – Manchester Orchestra
Glad to see the Sabbath-inspired guitar work is still there on the latest album.

Demon Stuck In Your Eye – Le Butcherettes
Mexican garage punk at its best. (Honestly, they’re the only Mexican garage punk band I know.)

Divisionary (Do The Right Thing) – Ages And Ages
An upbeat pop anthem with a fantastic singalong chorus. Just so damn catchy.
Also check out: Light Goes Out from their Tiny Desk Concert on NPR.

Don’t Say A Word – Major and The Monbacks
A bunch of white dudes singing retro soul in 2014? No, it’s not St. Paul & the Broken Bones, but these guys are helping with latest southern soul revival.

Falling Off – Unicycle Loves You
From the fourth release of this Brooklyn noise-pop trio.

Forever Is Just A Day – Hurray For The Riff Raff
Apologies for making you work to hear this track… you have to click the link, and then scroll to the bottom of the page. It’s definitely worth it to hear this standout on a solid album of tunes.

Funeral Beds – The Districts
In the running for my favourite song of the year. These teenagers from Pennsylvania are deserving of the praise they’re getting on the festival circuit this summer.

Good Luck Charm – The Mastersons
More country goodness from this married duo who’ve been a part of Steve Earle’s Dukes for a few years now. Their second release shows they’re capable of making a name of their own these days.
Also check out: Cautionary Tale.

Goshen ’97 – Strand of Oaks
A driving roots-rock number to lead off Tim Showalter’s incredible new LP. This is the album I had really hoped The War on Drugs was going to release this year.

Henry Lee – After Jack
A trio of beauties blending bluegrass, folk and gospel melodies. Did I mention the banjo?

If I Told You Who It Was – Johnny Cash
New music from the Man in Black. ‘Nuff said.

Kathleen – Catfish And The Bottlemen
The lead single from the Brit band’s upcoming debut is very promising.

Love You Like A Man – Chris Smither
The latest from the American blues singer. After 40 years of recording, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Magnolia – Lee Fields
The latest from the American soul singer. After 40 years of recording, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Also can’t wait to see him at Interstellar Rodeo this summer.

Masten Lake Lagoon – The Pharmacy
The first track off the new album from this Seattle garage/psych rock outfit.

Monday – NO
More National than The National. These guys blew me away when they opened for – and upstaged – Reuben and the Dark earlier this year. The entire album is just fantastic.
Listen to the full album here.

Moving Target – Fire Mountain
Their bio describes them as “effortlessly alternating between Southern slow-burners and folk-rock jams”, and that sums them up nicely.

Natural - Preston Lovinggood
This song is too damn good for him to still be serving coffee at Starbucks.

Red Lights – Molly & the Zombies
The new Gaslight Anthem album is being released later this year, but while I wait, I’ve been caught up in Brian Fallon’s side project.

Rollin’ Round This Town – Dirk Powell
He’s recorded with Jack White and Levon Helm. Steve Earle calls him “the greatest old-time banjo player alive”. This bluesy-rock track is a little outside his traditional Appalachian sound, but will have you foot stomping in no time.

Stand Up – A.J. Ellis
The former Five O’Clock Heroes frontman released his solo debut this year. “Everyone betrayed everyone over everything. Women, alcohol, drugs and money. ‘Stand Up’ was homage to that.”

Stinky Song – Yankee Dixie
Lead singer Tara Mills warbles over the stand-up bass and banjo here on this soulful, folky bluegrass tune, and I’m at a loss to find the stink in this song.

Turtles All The Way Down – Sturgill Simpson
An outstanding follow-up to his High Top Mountain debut, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is worthy of every accolade it’s received this year. I have to think Waylon himself would be proud.

Violent Shiver – Benjamin Booker
Described as “a well-mixed musical cocktail of punk, folk, and New Orleans blues”, this may be my most anticipated album of the summer.

Willy Loman – EdTang & the Chops
Back with a solid new EP to follow up one of my favourite albums of 2013, EdTang has rounded out his gritty acoustic folk songs with the rockier chops of a full band backing him.

Late to the party…
I somehow missed these tunes last year, but have been making up for it lately:

Mystery Man – The Strypes
Stellar tunes from this gritty, garage rock four-piece from Ireland. A splendid mix of rhythm and blues reminiscent of The Yardbirds and the Stones. Did I mention they’re only teenagers?
Also check out: She’s So Fine and What A Shame.

Record Time – Quiet Life
Atmospheric folk rock from this band of Portland brothers.

I hope there’s a new discovery or two in there that you enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment or tweet at me to let me know what I’ve been missing.



With a broken entertainment console and a one-hour delay on my flight back from Mississauga last week, there was no better time to write my first post of 2014. It’s been sitting in my drafts ever since, but I managed to finish it while watching the Oilers fall apart in the third last night.

Lots of country, plenty of soul, a little R&B, and not nearly enough rock n’ roll… here’s what’s kept me inspired, enthused, and entertained so far:

All Those Other Love Songs… – Joel Thomas Hynes
Actor, writer, director, musician. I marvel at this man’s talent in the arts. This spoken word track shows his uncle isn’t the only one in the family with the gift of telling a good story, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start this list.

Alone With The Owl – Sarah Jaffe
A beautiful cover of a Jason Molina tune off a tribute album for him that’s being released this year.

Another Night – The Men
Five albums since 2010. Quite likely the most prolific band of this decade and quite simply the most innovative. Noise rock. Country. And now soul-soaked R&B with a wonderful horn section that has them sounding like the new E Street Band.
Also check out: Pearly Gates.

Call Me – St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Originally written as two different songs, this is vintage soul at its best today. I thought I was being kol-rolled when the video started, but Paul Janeway can really wail.

Can’t Be Broken – Twin Forks
I took a pass on the EP last year… figuring there was only so much emo I could stand from Chris Carrabba. Turns out he may have had enough of it too. His new band, Twin Forks, takes him into Americana/folk-rock territory, and he seems pretty comfortable there on the new LP.
Also check out: Scraping Up The Pieces and Something We Just Know.

Gateway Blues – Catl
I caught this two-piece at last year’s Sled Island and was blown away as they burned up the place with an energized set of rhythm and blues. They can get you moving, and if this first track off their upcoming album is any indication, I’m not expecting that to change.

Heel Toe – Dawn Landes
I quickly moved past the thought that the intro sounds like Pearl Jam into a daydream of waltzing across a darkened Nashville saloon’s empty sawdust floor in the middle of an August afternoon. Slow and sultry.
Also check out: Bluebird.

How Could I Want More – Jamie Lynn Spears
I snickered before listening, but changed my tune from “this isn’t terrible” to “this is actually pretty good” as the song played. As Aaron pointed out, we wouldn’t think twice about the country authenticity of a young mother from Mississippi with any other name.

Now You Are Free – Augustines
If Sonic was still a modern rock station, this might have a shot at some airplay. A standout on a delightful follow-up to their wonderful 2011 debut, Rise Ye Sunken Ships.
Also check out: Cruel City and Nothing To Lose But Your Head.

On The Road – The Far West I’ve been reading about a new revival of roots country that’s occurring in L.A. of all places, and if these guys are a testament to what’s happening there, it can only be welcomed.
Listen to the full album here.

Really Want To See You – Lydia Loveless
Only 23 years old and already on her way to becoming the queen of cowpunk, Lydia Loveless is the R-rated antithesis to Taylor Swift’s PG-13 status. A refreshingly honest album full of songs about sex and sin without feeling contrived.
Also check out: To Love Somebody and Head.

Retreat! – Sharon Jones
Returning from her struggles with cancer last year, Sharon Jones’ delayed release kicked off 2014 with the sweet sounds of soul to warm up the darkest, the coldest, the longest days of January. And oh was it worth the wait.

Right Time – Nikki Lane
If Lydia’s album didn’t impress me enough, I was delighted to hear that Nikki Lane would be releasing a new album this year as well. Produced by Dan Auerbach, it promises to be more of the same outlaw country that marked her last album, Walk of Shame.

Swannanoa – Water Liars
The lyrics and melody here are sweet perfection. It hasn’t played once where I haven’t stopped whatever I was doing to just listen. I hope that feeling never goes away. Truly my favourite song of the year on what could very likely be my favourite album. The bar is set, Hey Rosetta!
Listen to the full album here.

This Heart – Classick
A good rocking track featured by Tim Thompson during one of his opening HNIC montages earlier this year.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues – Against Me!
Back with their first release since 2010 and they haven’t changed a bit. On an album of punk rock anthems, they sound like they’re just going for it on every single track. It’ll be great to see them live at the end of the month.

Unfucktheworld – Angel Olsen
I actually discovered Angel Olsen’s new album while looking for updates on Nikki Lane earlier this year. The Missouri native switches between – and at times, marries – acoustic folk with reverb-laden indie rock beautifully, creating a sound old and new all at once.
Also check out: Forgiven/Forgotten.

Unsafe, Unsure – Marlaena Moore
A standout from the local songstress’ debut. With songs this good, it won’t be the last we hear from the 20-year-old.

You Go Down Smooth – Lake Street Dive
A swinging soul tune that’s a genuine throwback to its Motown roots. Led by the booming pipes of Rachel Price, LSD are blowing up this year… and with good reason.
Also check out: Bad Self Portraits.

I hope there’s a new discovery or two in there that you enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment or tweet at me to let me know what I’ve been missing.


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Sled Island 2014: Initial Headliners Announced

March 7, 2014

When the Sled Island festival was cancelled last year due to the flood, there were a lot of questions about the future of the event. It was disappointing to miss performances from the likes of The Jesus & Mary Chain, but even more concerning was wether this institution that had become so important to Canada’s [...]

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Sasquatch 2014

February 5, 2014

Well done Harry. Well done. I was completely oblivious that they were taking a page out of Coachella’s playbook and doing 2 weekends……but with 2 completely line-ups!! That will be over 175 bands. I’m still trying to comprehend the magnitude of this undertaking. It’s quite remarkable actually. With that being said there is a hell [...]

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Chris’s Favourite 50 Concerts of 2013

January 22, 2014

We’re almost a month into the new year and I was recently reminded to post my top concert list from 2013… …which was an insane concert year for me. According to my spreadsheet, I saw almost 400 different “sets”. I defined a “set” to include all performances by headliners, opening acts, and festival acts that [...]

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“I Listen to Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet”

January 3, 2014

Isn’t it great “discovering” a new band? I think it’s one of the truly great joys in life….especially if you can throw it in someone’s face. “Oh….well. You’ve never heard of them? Hmm. I’m surprised.” Down below are some of my favourite debut albums of 2013. I will say that Chance the Rapper isn’t technically [...]

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Best of 2013… Albums

December 31, 2013

The Top 10 Albums of the year is a @yegmusicclub ritual where we compare our lists, note those who have made multiple lists, create new lists of great music we missed this year and most often, the time where we beg for more than 10 slots to fill. Without further ado, here are the lists! [...]

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Best of 2013… Songs.

December 30, 2013

As per previous years, #yegmusicclub gets together at the end of the year and shares lists. Top 10 Albums, Top 10 Songs and Top Gigs. To start us off, here are some of our club members’ song lists. Heather “I Need My Girl” by The National “Sirens” by Pearl Jam “Broken” by Jake Bugg “Another [...]

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Aaron’s Favourites of 2013: Albums, Singles, & Concerts

December 29, 2013

Top 20 Albums I tried to figure what I actually listened to the most and came back to repeatedly. As a result, there are some newer releases (or ones that I only got into recently) that missed the cut. This isn’t intended to be a “best-of”, just a what I (subjectively) enjoyed the most. 20. Drake, [...]

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Aaron’s Favourites of 2013: Albums On Bandcamp

December 17, 2013

In making a list of my favourite albums of 2013, I realized that much of what I liked I had already spent a lot of time talking about and/or had a fairly high-profile. The only value I find in year-end lists is from discovering music I had missed, and it’s somewhat redundant of me to [...]

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