I stumbled upon this one by accident. I was searching for bands in Kingston upon Thames and found these guys from Kingston, Ontario. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t play them on the local music show I was preparing but I can plop them here.
Listening to ‘One Last Time’ you are unexpectedly struck with a sumptuously melancholic tune that’s possibly too pretty for outright wallowing, but it can still strike you right in the gut. The instant melodic hit contrasts with a rusty-sounding blues-rock guitar that is mostly understated but screams out when given a chance, like a moody teenager at a family gathering. There’s a Cobain slash Corgan vocal that sears through with a piercing brand of solitary and cracked pain. It doesn’t sound youthful, but at the same time it’s not mature. It’s in that awkward gap between being confused and wise, it’s a frustrated daydream that catches you unaware.
What’s the one thing you could never write a song about?
I’ll be honest, I’m a fairly candid lyricist. I really prefer to not write songs about nothing, or a song for the sake of a song. So I think that anything I find to be superficial or anything that I lack a real passion towards is a recipe for lackluster piece that I definitely try to avoid. I find that in order for me to really get into a song or a band, I have to recognize and grab on to the same passion that they used to write the song. So I guess in a nutshell, that simmers down my justification for a muse that I must be passionate about. If I can’t reconnect to a song after writing it, it’s often dead in the water. Why would I try to get people to connect to a song that I can’t connect to myself? My music captures the zeitgeist of what I consider to be the most important times in my life and career.
What Tom does have going for him is a set of widescreen melodies and a soft manly voice that glides from simmering distance to bold crescendos. It’s that style of modern folk that is hugely uplifting without constantly veering into the easiness of a pop hook or a shameless rock thump. If you haven’t seen him lurking in the background of the musical landscape over the last couple of years, we forgive you. But if you miss him in 2014 you are silly, especially as vital tastemakers such as Rob Da Bank and 1Qmusic have all been vocal in their support.
What was the first song that really mattered to you?
It was actually something I penned myself. It was aptly named ‘The Colour Song’, and involved repeating the word colour for as long as I could, using any melody and as many notes as I saw fit. In many eyes, it was an early work of improvisational genius, although perhaps it’s heavy reliance on dissonance and repetition ultimately limited it’s wider audience appeal. Colour, colour, colour, colour, colour…
I wrote a similar song to that called ‘Jah Jah Bundesliga’, go to a club and just repeat the title in time to any House track. You will feel amazing, trust.
Here’s the title track from his album Sleep, which you can buy right here.
Straight outta Brisbane… is a song that probably doesn’t exist. But if it did, it would be about three guys and a gal who formed a band called The Creases and banged out understatedly melodic Indie-Rock with a fuzz of garage thrown in. It might not be about that, but this post is.
There’s definitely something here for fans of early Strokes, or generally anyone who likes looking at faded pictures of people having fun in 1970s bathing suits. Ewww, not that kind of fun though. We don’t want this blog to become all PG-13. I meant like, sitting on cars by a lake or riding bikes that only have three gears.
What’s the most impolite thing anyone has ever done to you in the street?
I guess the most impolite thing we’ve seen on a street happened after our first show. We were taking all our gear back to the van and returning to the bar when we had to cross by this dodgy park. Aimon tried to call out to Joe that he was walking a little bit to close to bunch of rough looking junkies but it was too late. One of the younger ones followed him for a bit asking for cigarettes but he said he was out. Suddenly the junky guy grabbed Joe by the collar and punched him straight in the face, knocking his hat off. Realising there were about 30 of them we just kept walking. Jarrod ran back to get the hat and the junky said sorry but I’m not sure Jarrod believed him. Well it turns out Joe actually did have cigarettes and if he had just been generous enough to share one with the nice junky man the whole incident could’ve been avoided and everyone would have had a great night. That was most impolite thing we’ve ever seen on a street.
Well, that puts “nobody talks on the tube” into perspective doesn’t it? Anyway, here’s a video of theirs that costed them $5.50 to make.
I love writing about artists like this. You hear people say “oh, you can’t put my music into any one box” or “well, we don’t really sound like anyone else” and it’s always total nonsense. (There’s nothing wrong with doing an established genre well by the way.) But with Emily’s eclectic mix of instrumentation, classical twists over smoky beats, and voice like an outcast angel, you really are getting something that you don’t see elsewhere too often. It feels like a welcoming hand to hold through an intimidating landscape, thoroughly assured and effortlessly skilled.
My headmaster was called Mr. Wells, so we’ll look at the topic of discipline. What rule must all of your band members follow?
Well, I’m the only band member! So… practice.
I felt like such a willy when she answered that, had no clue why I thought she had other band members. Then I checked and saw that she used to have other people joining her on stage, which was where I got the memory from. So I wasn’t totally wrong… Anyway, she does fine on her own. Here’s an example:
Madame So makes a real honest style of scuzzy pop, melodies delivered with a snarl. Her sound has a lo-fi immediacy that can be compared to The Replacements in some of their earlier recordings. Her track ‘Camden Scene’ could easily be played over a sepia-tinted scene as a party begins in some art-house movie that you’ve never seen but have repeatedly told yourself you should. Short punchy songs get to the point quickly and don’t hang around, they’re a mix of grunge and early New York Punk.
What was the first piece of music that you truly cared about?
Here’s a towering, impending sound coming out of Stockholm, seemingly via Pandora. Sailor & I is the pseudonym of producer/instrumentalist/singer Alexander Sjodin, who must have thoughts of Krakatoan proportions if his music is anything to go by. Blending occasionally lonesome strings with tribal drums, Sjodin creates a dramatic soundscape that you could build ships to.
Your music has a cinematic feel to it, what’s the coolest thing someone could do while listening to your music?
Well, my first thought was going out to space, but sitting on a plane to a destination you have never explored is good enough I think.
It definitely has that feel of being 30,000 feet above a foreign mountain range. There’s that heady mix of fear and excitement that the impending unknown can produce. Check out the video to ‘Tough Love’ to see what we’re talking about.