Canada

Healing pop from Canadian singer/songwriter, Fog Lake: “rattlesnake”

Aaron Powell is the singer/songwriter behind the musical project Fog Lake that encapsulates music in a genre he calls “healing pop.” Powell is originally from St.John’s in Newfoundland and has been creating music since his first release, interference iii, in 2011. This fall, Fog Lake will be sharing his newest record with Orchid Tapes since the release of Victoria Park in June of 2015. In anticipation of this new record, he has shared with us the single, “rattlesnake”, which also includes “strung back around.” According to Powell, he wrote “rattlesnake” in the basement of his new house and many of the tracks on his upcoming record address the bad habits we rely on to deal with life: alcohol, drugs, and even expectations. “rattlesnake” is a gorgeous lo-fi gem that demands multiple listens to fully appreciate its beauty. There is something lonely about this song. You can hear the emptiness of the basement that was the writing space for the track. Despite the loneliness within “rattlesnake”, there is comfort; comfort that we all push through life in our own ways. We are not alone in that.

 

Stay tuned for more from Fog Lake and keep up with his new and previous releases via Facebook and Bandcamp.

Interview: Emmas Ringer

Emmas Ringer is a 90’s/80’s grunge-inspired band based out of Ottawa, ON in Canada. The three members span three generations in age, giving their music a truly unique quality. The latest release from the group is the record, Generations, which is available on Bandcamp and iTunes now. Scott McCooeye (keyboard, synth), Owen Coffin (drums, drum pad, synth, acoustic guitar), and Scott Maybee (vocals, guitars, bass, mandolin). I got the chance to run some questions by the guys and we covered everything from the origin of their band name to a stressful time when ALL of their music was lost because of a cat! Check it out:

MFL: How and why did Emmas Ringer come to be? Along that same vein, tell me about the name?  

 ER:  The name is a reference to what was going on in the 80’s and especially in the 90s, where you had these musical performers lip syncing as puppets to their own music.  Even Radiohead was forced to do that early on when they broke out.  The use of the word “Ringer” is a reference to the idea that pop star performers have become interchangeable.  We’re now entering a stage where performance isn’t even required.  It’s just a reference to that shift in focus for music and a reminder to us why it’s still important to embrace live performance and not be tempted to start cutting corners in today’s age of sequences, pitch correction, laptops and triggers.  It’s ironic for us since we try our best to infuse pure raw emotion in our music displayed onstage. 

 MFL: What happened to Emmas Ringer between the release of The Spirits Will Guide in 2011 and Generations fall of 2014? That may be a loaded question so feel free to answer in whatever way you see fit! 

ER:  In 2011 we decided we wanted to reintroduce “Emmas Ringer” as a duo and start trying to get shows, with Scott Maybee (guitar, vocals) and Scott McCooeye (keyboard).   It was basically a lounge act and our compositions didn’t really work well live.  In 2012 Owen Coffin joined Emmas Ringer as our drummer, and we began to compose new songs in 2013 but recording, mixing, and mastering of these songs were set back over a year because of a curve ball fired at us!   Scott Maybee had all the contents on an external harddrive and one night his cat knocked it over losing EVERYTHING! Luckily the studio had all the original bed tracks and in fact all our other new takes wound up better than the first so it was a blessing in disguise.

MFL: Top 3 favorite bands before the year 2000 and after the year 2000. 

 ER: Before : Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Doors

After: The White Stripes, Cage The Elephant, St. Vincent

MFL: Give a brief description of what goes down at your shows. Based on your sound, they seem like they could be pretty rowdy…but I could be wrong! 

ER:  We focus on dynamics and textures, very mellow one min; powerful the next.  We pay attention to our audience and look at what works and what doesn’t for them.  Our sets are diverse, some songs catchy and poppy, other songs heavy and others very trippy.  For electric shows we usually end our set in chaos, knocking things over and smashing instruments etc.  In today’s world of equity performers and DJ culture, it’s important for us to embrace the timeless spontaneous creativity of a genre like live jazz as opposed to having a scripted live performance that’s become so common.

emmas-ringer-cd-release-2

 

MFL: As a band, what is your dream for Emmas Ringer or where do you hope to see yourselves in 5 years’ time? 

 ER:  Like most bands we would all be very happy to someday be able to support ourselves comfortably with music full-time.  That seems like a pipe dream at this point so in reality we just hope to be able to continue what we are doing and build on our own songbook.  Playing major festivals is a goal for us, as is a full Canadian tour.  Hopefully we’ll get there sooner than later.

MFL: What was the inspiration behind Generations

ER: Many different things, some very personal such as drug addictions and failed relationships, others very imaginative, others political.  We wanted to pull from all our influences and take what was relevant in the past and what might be relevant today and hopefully make something that would connect with people.  We dedicated the name to the fact that we each come from 3 separate generations and we felt that was pretty unique and amazing that as a band we can still connect so well despite having such an age gap.

MFL: As a band, what are you favorite songs to play live?

ER:  “Hong kong” , “Woke Up”,  “Colours”, “Laws”

 

 

MFL: What is the songwriting process like for Emmas Ringer? 

ER:  Its very democratic.  Generally speaking, both Scotts write the lyrical content which is often a joint effort.  Much of the poppy stuff Scott Maybee writes while Scott McCooeye will write more abstract songs.  That being said we often surprise each other.  No specific pattern – it just all flows together in the end.  On our most recent album, several songs such as “Million Dollar Soldier” and “Breather Holes” were fleshed as a trio – the melody and lyrics all came after.  Owen plays several instruments and is also a singer, and although he’s still new to songwriting he played a big part in the creative process of “Generations”.  

MFL: Finally, any plans to hit the US in the near future if you haven’t already? 

ER:  We have no plans in the near future but are definitely interested to hit the US at some point.  We need to conquer Canada first!

Thank you so much to Emmas Ringer for reaching out to MFL and answering my questions! Keep up with the guys via their website and Facebook.

 

Stellar record from Animalia: “(Dissonance)”

Animalia is the name experimental electronic songstress, Jill Krasnicki gives the living, breathing being that is her music. Krasnicki is based out of Toronto currently but grew up in Tasmania, where she developed a passion for music via the bass guitar. In 2012 she took on the musical journey, Animalia. From this idea was born dark and beautiful electronica that is likened to that of the aura of the one and only Björk. In mid April, Animalia released (Dissonance), a gorgeous collection of tracks both brooding and bright, dark and dissonant, confining and explosive.

Unafraid to be unique, beautiful and powerful, Animalia creates music that can conjure up a whole host of emotions. The haunting single, “Paradise”, is a prime example:

 

You can purchase (Dissonance) now on iTunes.

The Foreign Films: Side 4 of 6

The Foreign Films is the musical project developed by Bill Majoros of Hamilton, Ontario. Majoros grew up living his life through the crackling sounds of his record player and in homage to the parenting his record player offered him throughout his life, he has created a 6-sided set of tracks. Six sides altogether are called, The Record Collector.  Sides 1, 2, 3 and 4 are out currently and we have a triple vinyl release to look forward to this September.

Side 4, his latest release, focuses on 70’s soul and 60’s pop from across Britain, France and the West Coast. Have a taste:

 

Stay tuned for Side 5 from The Foreign Films and enjoy Sides 1, 2, 3 and 4 on iTunes and Bandcamp.

Gorgeous piece from up and coming R&B musician, Hill: “Beckon (Run)”

Hill is the musical alias of Canadian-born songwriter and producer, MacQuarrie. Last month, Hill released the first track off of her debut EP titled, Give It a Rest (GIAR). The track, “Beckon (Run)”, features MacQuarie’s rich vocals, clear connectivity to rhythm, and ability to craft music that is emotionally evocative. Hill co-wrote the track with Canadian producer, Giordash and together they were able to create a track that was “lyrically directed at a man who lost his lover to her restless soul.”

The music video for “Beckon (Run)” creates a stunning visual that flawlessly accompanies the track. It stars actor, Chad Rook (War for the Planet of the Apes) and was done in collaboration with Hill’s “partner in crime”, videographer, HLDN. The video is breathtaking despite the fact that the idea seemed impossible to achieve. According to Hill, a fun fact about the shoot for the video was trying to figure out last minute how to heat the hundreds of gallons of water in large fish tank in the middle of Alberta in May.

Check it out:

 

Something easy from Canadian trio, Wood Lake: “Easy Love”

The boys formed their shoe-gazey, dream poppy musical creation, Wood Lake, back in 2012 in Ottawa. The recipe for Wood Lake is Harry McGuire (Guitar/Vocals), Rhian Meaney (Drums/Backing Vocals) and Colin Boudreault (Bass/Backing Vocals). “Easy Love” is their latest single off of their upcoming record, Hell, due out April 22nd of this year. The track encapsulates the human need for easy love. Let your imagination go where it will but in this context it doesn’t have to be physical. It’s just pure, easy love from human to human which can be hard to come across in this world.

The rippling synths, whispering vocals and gentle build of “Easy Love” makes it an ideal dreamy shoegazer. Check out their Bandcamp page for album-purchasing info!!!

New Album from SheLoom: “The Baron of the Fjord”

SheLoom is the collaboration of founding members Jordon Zadorozny, who lives in Canada, Filippo Gaetani, based out of Tuscany, and the newest member, Eric Matthews. Their newest collection of tracks is titled The Baron of the Fjord. They eclectically merge jazz, alternative rock, pop, orch pop and new wave to create a sound all their own.

The record was mostly recorded with band members all in their respective locations, scattered across the globe, besides a quick 10-day recording session. The album is available on iTunes now and stay tuned as the guys are working on a documentary about the making of The Baron of the Fjord.

Enjoy a taste of the record right now: