billy-moon

Introducing, Billy Moon: “Roads” + music video

Billy Moon is what this creative singer/songwriter from Hamilton, ON calls himself. It’s the name he gave himself when he felt like he was literally the only person on the planet. Billy Moon was the constant companion when he felt like he could not figure out for the life of him why he didn’t fit in anywhere. About his first years at university he says:

“The whole time I was convinced that I was too negative, that I wasn’t fun enough, that I needed to lighten up and  that I had to fit in. Fuck, I felt like I was 7 years old again except this time I was going to do it right.”

Billy Moon’s EP, That Which You Can’t Throw Away, came out this past April and recently he released the music video for the EP’s closing track, “Roads.” The video is simple but totally absurd. He sits in a speedo, covered in a bath robe outside an RV while strange cartoons play. Somehow it works. It works flawlessly with the track. “Roads” opens with a drum machine and a growling 90s gararge rock guitar riff. His simple vocals and clever lyrics perfectly describe Billy Moon himself. The track blossoms into a true catchy-ass pop-garage track at the chorus.

He says this about the music video for “Roads”:

“My new video for ‘Roads’ can be summed up as if Ryan Lochte went to Burning Man but no one wanted to hang out with him.”

He clearly has a sense of humor and it’s fantastic.

 

You can catch Billy Moon touring with Walrus starting next week and can find his EP on Bancamp.

Sept 29: Sudbury – Townehouse
Sept 30: Sault Ste Marie – Lop Lops
Oct 1: Thunder Bay – Foundry
Oct 4: Winnipeg – The Handsome Daughter
Oct 5: Regina – O’Halons
Oct 6: Saskatoon – Vangelis Tavern
Oct 7: Calgary – Broken City
Oct 8: Edmonton – Up+Dt Festival – Brixx
Oct 20: Toronto – The Horseshoe w/ The Pack A.D
JLP150123_Jason_Weaver_0040

A piece of writing from musician, JD Weaver

I had the pleasure of interviewing JD Weaver last fall. JD’s passion is music but he’s recently taken up writing as another means of communication. He posts fairly frequently so if you like what you’ve read, check back with his blog periodically.

This piece is my personal favorite and a great example of JD’s ability to mesh his pasison for music, life and writing. Click the link below:

The greatest music envelops diversity, transcends adversity. I will never give up on music as a disabled person, because others before me didn’t

Playlist: Summer Sounds Vol III

Deep in the depths of my inbox, sonic magic awaits:

singing saw

Album Review: “Singing Saw” by Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby hadn’t spent more than a few moments with a piano in his lifetime until he stumbled upon an old upright in his new home in Mount Washington in LA. With the piano, was some simple sheet music and a book of fundamental piano chords, enough to instill in Morby a new love for piano and the spark that became his newest record, Singing Saw. Within his neighborhood in LA, a dichotomy arose, a striking bifurcation between the expansive city skyline and the complex beauty of the natural world surrounding him. This, too kindled what became Morby’s stunning lyricism and storytelling material, the duality simultaneously reflected in the blooming instrumentals on the album.

Singing Saw is the journey of a man through life, from wakefulness to dreaming, joy to sorrow, acceptance, relief and surrender. The record is stitched together with mentions of the singing saw, both its power as an instrument and a tool and mentions of tears, always streaming, gathering in his eyes. The record opens with “Cut Me Down”, the first sound you hear, a singing saw. It is the perfect introduction to the album. It displays his simple lyricism that is deeper than each word’s surface value:

Take me as I am, a man.

And they’re going to do,

what they came here to do.

I can see it in their eyes,

They’re going to cut me down.

The following track is a powerful ballad with a commanding bass line, decorated with prevailing vocals and of course, the piano. Like many of the tracks on the record “I Have Been to the Mountain” has a blossoming quality. Morby’s songs grow, expand and became something more beautiful and sprawling than what they were at the start. A unique music video accompanies this song. According to Morby, “‘I Have Been To The Mountain‘ is a song for those struck down by the hands of evil – senseless killings which have always overwhelmed our planet, but especially recently,” says Morby. “It’s dedicated to and inspired by the death of Eric Garner.” It stars dancer, Nathan Mitchell.

Besides “I Have Been to the Mountain”, “Dorothy” is the most up tempo piece on the album. Fuzzy guitars surprise you from the get go and hold steady through the track, while Morby plays tricks with the song, it slows to a crawl, piano holding it together and all of a sudden, it’s back at full speed:

Tears will gather in my eye.

Hold my hand, ah babe you know I’ll cry.

The title track, “Singing Saw”, is the first time Morby literally describes the duality of the singing saw. The track is a dream, the singing saw cutting down willows, destroying what’s in its path and chasing after him. The song lingers on and on for 7 minutes, like those moments between sleep and wakefulness where voices echo in your mind, leaving you unsure of what is real and imagined. The singing saw prominent in the track, eerie and ominous.

One thing that makes Morby unique is his singing quality, it’s somewhere between speaking and singing, giving his music a gentler feeling. My favorite display of this on the album is “Drunk and On a Star.” His voice rises and falls as though he’s telling a story but he simultaneously is singing, changing notes.

After “Dorothy”, the latter half of the album is rich, slow and gorgeous, ending with the celebratory track, “Water.” It builds, flourishes and grows while Morby begs to be put out like a fire:

If you find water,

Please call my name.

Put me out like a fire,

Cover me in rain.

The Singing Saw is a special album and is constructed in a way in which the listener is brought full circle from the start of the album to its end. The record is out now on Dead Oceans and is available on iTunes among other music-purchasing platforms.

Check Kevin Morby’s website for his fall European tour dates.

 

twin peaks

Album Review: “Down in Heaven” by Twin Peaks

Down in Heaven is the third record to come to us by Chicago fellows, Twin Peaks. They set out on a recording mission in the comfort of a friend’s home in Massachusetts where the goal was to focus on creating an album that they themselves would want to listen to. Not restrained by the sound of their previous records and inspired by bands like The Velvet Underground who created albums that were each unlike their others, Twin Peaks came up with Down in Heaven.

 The record is a celebration of heartbreak, triumph, being a loser and not really giving a f#ck. The record is acceptance and acknowledgment of the life you live, what you can and can’t have and what you do and do not want. In the track ‘You Don’t’, over and over again we hear them sing “I don’t wanna be yours.” Plain and simple, sometimes love just doesn’t work out in both directions. Melodically the track is fun and low key, an easy jam with hoots and hollers in between the verse and the chorus. This mellow attitude is the overriding theme for the record.

Tracks like ‘Butterfly’ feature a slightly more garage rock feeling with a catchy “Ba ba ba ba” bridge that sticks relentlessly in your brain. Twin Peaks’ ability to write catchy sound bites is apparent on Down in Heaven. The tempo is slightly more restrained on ‘Cold Lips’, ‘Heavenly Showers’, and ‘Stain’ but the boys’ energy is apparent, the record never losing steam.

They play with their musical abilities, featuring a variety of instruments on each track. The piano at the forefront of the whimsical track, ‘Getting Better’, and brass featured in ‘Lolisa’, the fellows showcase their knack for layering instruments and writing songs in a way that gives each track a unique sound. My personal favorite on this record is ‘Holding Roses.’ It has a familiar sound, there’s something retro about it but Twin Peaks puts their spin on it and creates the most ridiculously satisfying sound. Unfortunately, it’s one of the shortest tracks on the record! The chorus demands a belting sing-a-long.

Down in Heaven was the perfect record to kick off the 2016 summer and has remained a favorite of mine throughout. The record was released May 13th on Grand Jury and is available on iTunes, among other music-purchasing platforms. Catch them touring this fall!

9/06/2016 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
9/07/2016 Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
9/08/2016 Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight
9/13/2016 Orlando, FL @ The Social
9/14/2016 Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
9/15/2016 Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder / Union Productions
9/16/2016 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
9/17/2016 Houston, TX @ Raven Tower
9/19/2016 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
9/20/2016 Austin, TX @ Mohawk Austin
9/22/2016 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
9/23/2016 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
9/26/2016 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Club Atrium
9/28/2016 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
9/29/2016 Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret
9/30/2016 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey!
10/8/2016 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue & 7th St Entry

fake guns

Debut track from Fake Guns: “Blue”

With Alex Fitts of The Kickdrums on vocals and his partner in crime, Chris Wall on drums , Fake Guns’ debut track, “Blue”, is the perfect resuscitation for summer. The track is laced with a killer chorus, sizzling summer synths and a melody that’s made to be blasted from your car stereo.

 

 

The duo has been remaining relatively mysterious and all they’re willing to reveal about themselves is that besides “Blue”, more music is to come!

ethan burns

New single from up and coming blues boy, Ethan Burns: “22 Knots”

Something about Ethan Burns’ voice speaks more than you would imagine coming from someone the age of 25. There is a maturity and a thick, rich quality to Burns’ vocals that absolutely make his music what it is. As a young boy, he grew up primarily on gospel music but music took on an entirely new meaning to him  when he discovered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. It was then that he discovered his knack for learning music by ear. The rest is history.

Last month he released his latest single, “22 Knots”, a track Burns says is “about a lonely man taking to the emotional high seas to try and escape his worries, then has second thoughts.” The single is off of his upcoming EP which is due out on Fairfax Recordings on September 30th. “22 Knots” is blues, it’s pop, it’s retro and modern all a the same time. The track encompasses a vast spectrum of genres, gluing them together with his one of a kind voice.