Refreshing Album – Milky Chance “Blossom”

Milky Chance have grown and it would seem, they have become more of their own with the release of their second album Blossom. A fitting title for the band, indeed the group have blossomed with their sounds. A cleaner album, in which I listen to the album in full without skipping any songs. Each song transitions so lovely to the next track. When a band can accomplished that, it’s quite something.

The return of Milky Chance happened a few months back with the release of their single “Cocoon.” I listened to this song over and over again. And still do. Next was the release of “Doing Good” which had me wanting more.

Oh and they delivered. My favourite tracks off the album are: “Ego,” “Stay” and “Bad Things.” Be sure to check out the deluxe edition, however, as there are acoustic renditions of select songs.

Getting through to you/Is what I’m aiming for
Won’t you hear me now/ Like you’ve done before

I think really what works with this album is the electronic reggae sounds. It’s refreshing for a band to bring it back to good beats, guitar riffs that stick with you, and powerful lyrics that have you nodding your head.

Milky Chance have two shows in August at the Danforth Music Hall. If you like what you’re hearing, best to buy some tickets fool.

Judah & The Lion [Case Study]

If anyone knows me – they know I’m a lover of Mumford & Sons. They are able to write, adapt, expand, and bring comfort to anxious moments. One band that is currently emerging from the shadows, is Judah & the Lion. And, I can’t help but compare the likeness that have with Mumford & Sons. Their lyrical writing is of similarity, and the vibes coming off their tracks are both calming and inspiring. Add in some banjo sounds, mandolin here and there, as well as a powerful voice, and you’ve got a good thing going on.

Take It All Back 2.0

The first real break for Judah & the Lion has been “Take it all Back 2.0” A great song about the important things in life. Brian Macdonald (the mandolinist) says the song comes from a place of “saying that our successes do not define us as people. We would give up everything we do to have the things that matter most to us: love, friends, family, ice cream.”

Suit and Jacket

The next song that I’ve been playing nonstop has been “Suit and Jacket.” A song that most of us can relate to. It’s about wanting to live. ACTUALLY live. Stop the thinking, stop the rushing, stop the surviving. But actually collect experiences, have real conversations, and try not to just exist. Isn’t that scary? I know I have spent too much time overthinking, analyzing, and trying to let everything be perfect. You are in constant battle with yourself because you don’t want to say the wrong thing to someone, as it may jeopardize your current connection.

But if we were to take the moment in, and say what we are actually thinking? Wow. What a beautiful thing that would be to express genuine feelings. I strive for this. Little by little – but I’m getting there.

“So how am I supposed to slow it down so I can figure out who I really am?”
Our Love

The last song I share with you is a live version of “Our Love” which showcases the true talent lead singer Judah Akers has. That voice! The song resonates with me, because I feel like I am searching. You can fill in the gap as you please.

 

I leave you with that. Take a listen — it’ll make your day better. I promise!

Find this amazing band on Spotify and Facebook.

Playing at the Opera House (great venue!) on March 21st.

Wednesday Listens E31

Oooh I haven’t posted one in a few weeks my loves. Let’s get to it, shall we? Because my thoughts have been driving me crazy lately!

One of my all-time favourite tracks off of the VS. mixtape. Bastille pairs with HAIM to bring us listeners to a delight of a soundtrack.

You don’t have to look any further//I’ve been waiting here for you for time//You don’t have to look any further//You’re missing what is right before your eyes

Hits it right on the head? Doesn’t? Once you realize the lyrics basically describe your life, you also realize the beat is super sick, and gets ya grooving in time.

“falling for you somehow”

The latest single from Milky Chance brings up some stellar beats. Milky Chance want their newest album to show the development of the band. Instead of pure electronic sounds, we are hearing more of a rock tone.

I love this take on Ellie Goulding’s “On My Mind.” I like how it’s less “pop-y” and there is more percussion.

 

Realizing the direction of this playlist, oooops. C’est la vie. Sadly.

Wednesday Listens E30

Exited to see where this Toronto band goes. They give off a Runaways or Heart vibe. I love the bad girl feel to the song, and the keyboard tune? Yeah can’t deny those excellent sounds.

Which leads us to The Runaways. An iconic group breaking traditional feminity stereotypes in rock n’ roll. Look at these badasses on stage.

Another strong all-female group is HAIM. Three sisters with some stellar bass face if you watch ’em live. They’ve got strong vocals and work great together.

Wednesday Listens E29

Oh wow. I haven’t posted one of these in a few months. I do apologize. So to get things back on track, here are three tracks that have been on loop this week.

LÉON

I’m really excited for this Swedish artist. Her debut album will be legit fire. Her tracks bring out raw emotion that no one wants to say out loud. Her vocals are unique and are definitely strong. I have listened to this song on repeat, I love the beat during the chorus, and the piano is complimentary.

Be sure to check out her debut single, “Tired of Talking.”

“If it’s love, it is rough. Why am I, not enough?”

Jessie Reyez

A Canadian artist that is making her mark with this strong single. Again, another female with raw emotion. This song is about being in love with someone that treats you poorly. A feeling most can relate to.

The xx

Glad to see The xx back with this single “On Hold.” A song about a broken relationship. The title suggests that the relationship is “on hold” much like a person being “on hold” on the phone. Do they stay on the line to wait for the call to resume, or do they hang up?

Fun fact: Hall & Oats is sampled in this song during the chorus.

Interested in more of what I’m currently listening to? Follow me over on Spotify.

July Talk @ Danforth

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I got to see July Talk at the Danforth last month, and it was one of the best concerts I have been to. The dynamic between these two is electrifying, you begin to feed off of their vibes. They are able to portray two people in love so well, but apparently they aren’t together?

It was great to listen to their new music off of Touch and old tracks from their previous albums.

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A Defense for “Today’s Music”

DSC_0155_edit_bfWho’s tired of the overused phrase “music just isn’t as good as it used to be?” Raise them, raise those hands high.

This past weekend I had the most pleasurable experience of engaging in conversation with an older gentleman, let’s say late 50’s to early 60’s. He thought it was best to – in his beyond drunken state of mind – to argue that my generation won’t get to appreciate music, as we have no defining icon to represent us. He then continued to explain how Rihanna receiving an MTV Lifetime Achievement award is fallacy and how artists stick to music for a year – tops – have a single, and call it quits.

Of course it was at this point in time, after many attempts to explain how we should not dismiss “my generation’s” music that I called it a day. There was no use getting through to someone who was not going to listen to the points I had to express.

As you can see, I’m still bothered. It’s best to write and get this point across:

It is with each generation that they will complain about the younger generation, this is nothing new.

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

This is a quote from Socrates. Yes, Socrates, and yet did you not just resonate with the statement centuries later? Don’t tell me you haven’t complained about an 8-year old owning a cellphone. Heck! I just did that today.

Oh my reader. Do not give up on me just yet, keep pushing through my rambles. This quote still applies to music, don’t rush me now. It relates in that with each new generation comes a new wave of sounds. The generation preceding will complain of the new wave of sound, as they are accustomed to the sounds that define their own generation. A GENERAL overview would look like: 70s – disco, 80s – rock, 90s – age of boy bands, etc. (Of course within each decade is a mixture of even more sounds depending on the crowd you associated with.)

Going back to the nameless man, if we look at his generation, he identifies with the sounds of the 70s-80s. If we look at his parents, they would not have appreciated the sounds of the 70s-80s and enjoyed the sweet melodies from say 40s-50s. Both groups – as you will – have different ways in which music was organized. 70s-80s we get into more of the classic rock guitar sound, while 40s-50s was more focused on the frontman with a band behind.

Overall, for the case of “today’s music” it is really a matter of how it is presented to the masses. Unfortunately there has been an increase in top40, as it is obvious that there is a formula to successful songs. Does that mean that there is no good music for my generation? Hell no. There are so many musicians out there that are still undiscovered just because it is harder for them to get airtime. My generation is dealing with an increase in content that we have to spend more time sifting through what is presented. As an individual, you just have to put a bit more work into finding the great artists. Once you start getting into the digital world and looking about, you will realize all the amazing sounds that are readily available to your ears.

Right now I suggest: “Shake” by The Head and the Heart, “Tornado ‘87” by The Rural Alberta Advantage, and “Giant” by Banks & Steelz.

The Head and the Heart

The Rural Alberta Advantage

Banks & Steelz

Mumford & Sons Johannesburg EP

Johannesburg EP came out June 17th, and it does not disappoint! There are five tracks that are all gold in their own ways. Johannesburg is a mini-album which collaborates with Baaba Maal, The Very Best, & Beatenberg. It was created in two days, and encapsulates Mumford & Sons’ time spent in South Africa.

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One reason I’m so drawn to Mumford & Sons is that they aren’t afraid to explore new sounds. (plus they are so humble to their fame, but— I’ll save for another time). Clearly, Johannesburg allows them to experiment with new “world sounds,” that us Westerners aren’t all too familiar with.

“There Will Be Time” was the first sneak peak to the album, followed by “Wona” which was released a few weeks before the album release date. “Wona” only has one awkward transition where Marcus Mumford takes over from Beatenberg near the beginning, but I’ll let it slide. All in all, both are great singles, and have great dancing beats.

“Fool You’ve Landed” has more layering of drums which I enjoy, while “Ngamila” experiments with layering of vocals. There is also a mixture of different tempos, which somehow works for both songs.

“Si Tu Veux” is the last track which gives me all the feels, because, it’s just so impactful? Hard to explain. Maybe because it translates to “If You Want,” who knows.

Now see all their cuteness in a live performance of “There Will Be Time.”

Cheers.


Want more Mumford & Sons news? Here’s my review of their 2015 concert on Niagara-on-the-Lake and review of Wilder Mind. Bonus analysis of “Snake Eyes.”

Wednesday Listens E27

This week only features two tracks. But, two amazing tracks.

I like to stay ahead of the music curb, so call me a music snob if you will. But let the record show I am showing you this band before they are big. Kaleo are going to be huge, and I am so looking to see their success. Indie folk band from Iceland. Some songs give off a Lumineers feel, others remind me of Bon Iver. They are without a doubt, musically talented. VOCALS are very pleasing.

One of my favourite memories is seeing these cuties at the Opera House two years ago! The small venue made their sound even bigger and more intimate. The crowd that was also there were truly there for the music, so it was a nice scene. KONGOS are a group of brothers, who have lived in South Africa for most of their life. However, were born in London, and are now based in Phoenix, Arizona! They have a good, alt sound, and aren’t afraid to bring the accordion into play. One of my fave songs off Lunatic is “I Want to Know.” Because, who doesn’t want to know?

Wednesday Listens E26

I’ve been trying to figure out the direction I wanted E26 to take. I’ve decided, like always, indie alternative was the way to go, with a focus on Canadian musicians (#CanCon represent).

I’ve heard “Oh Cecilia” on the radio a few times, and kept meaning to write the band down as I could never find it when I searched later on. Man oh man is this song catchy and has a great sound to it. Like Kathy Byers, this song is a good tune to dance to. It has a smooth sound to it, and has an intoxicating feel too.

What adds to the fun? Kathy Byers is a dancing crossing guard in Toronto, and Born Ruffians are from MIDLAND. That’s right, Midland, Ontario. Some good ‘ol Canadian boys, no wonder I love their sound.

The Zolas are another favourite Canadian band, and I always find comfort in their music. This is a nice track that brings homage to Toronto. The Zolas always have strong lyrics with multiple meanings.

Down for getting dark cause the dark gets me//And all the other lovers make it so heavy//Takes a little emptiness to feel complete//When crowds come ever-thicker and liquor it comes free

You may have already heard “Swooner” on the radio, I know Indie88 has been playing it. It’s the title track off the album, and it’s also pretty swooooonish. Don’t you just hate it when someone swoons you? Swoon, what a good word.

Ahhh I have a mild crush on Half Moon Run. Their guitar strumming and plucking is seriously so in line with their tight drumming. Like The Zolas, Half Moon Run also has solid lyrics with deep meaning. I just can’t help but be in love with their second album.

Thank God for good music, eh? It really does keep me going, which is why I share it so often.