Wednesday, January 29, 2020

ERA is One To Watch (Toronto)

THE MAILBAG - Everyone has a chance to shine. A couple of times a month, I spin fate's wheel and listen to unsolicited music from the inbox. 

This week I found "The Edge" a hot new single from mysterious Toronto/Tel Aviv artist ERA. A beautiful human being, Eden, aka Era is on all of the artist's collateral on Facebook and Instagram running counter to her low-range vocals. The results are quite beautiful, especially on repeat. Those deep tones and the song's subject matter create passive tension for listeners.  

"ERA is a multimedia artist with a background in fine arts. During her studies at Bezalel Academy of Arts, she has begun to use music in her performance and video art pieces. "The Edge" is her first independent release, and it features a strong reflective hook, inviting listeners to look within and ask deep, compelling questions."

Our Take: "The Edge" is a melancholy Valentine along the lines of a sado-masochistic ballad (ala Morrissey) where one end of the spectrum is an atmospheric love affair and at the other is utter despair fueled by emotional starvation and loss. So in other words, this is an pretty smashing entry and completely relatable material these days.  (Any song that throws in a Gregorian Chant sample you know is a winner in my book.) 

Spotify / Fb / TwInsta

Saturday, January 04, 2020

My Albums of The Year: 2019

Music as you know is both a flourish and an escape. And it's with that I begin today with the revelation I wasn't going to produce a Best Of List this year. I simply did not have the time.. and then something deep inside of me kicked in and the passion for this exercise re-ignited. 

Music happened. We lead crazy lives. You probably don't have time to read this or listen either. But you are. For some odd reason we soldier on despite the madness in our lives and the darkness outside beyond the street light. I suggest that reason might be that Music is Life.

2019 offered evidence, once again, that creativity and inspiration in music abounds even while "the industry of music" continues to sputter and swirl; struggling in it's own way. The construct of old is largely only tangentially involved in the global creative process going on, facilitated by technology which both unites and somehow still excludes. Still, more audiences are finding their art and more artists are finding one another. And in this way 2019 could be the most successful year for music ever. And now we begin. I stopped numbering after 11. (From there on in it was truly exhaustive and I kept second-guessing myself.) Artist names are the official links. If you prefer Spotify, access the artists through the playlist. Have a blast..

My Top Albums of 2019

#1 Paul Cauthen - Room 41
#2 Brittany Howard - Jaime
#3 Hallelujah The Hills - I'm You
#4 Big Thief - Two Hands
#5 Matt Sucich - Thousand Dollar Dinners
#6 Fort Frances - The Front Page of the Modern Age
#7 Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
#8 Jesse Malin - Sunset Kids
#9 Pip Blom - Boat
#10 (tie) Nate Leavitt & The Elevation - I Miss Me Too
#10 (tie) Kate Teague - Kate Teague
#11 (tie) Illiterate Light - Illiterate Light
#11 (tie) The National - I Am Easy To Find
Wanderwild - Sleep Tight, Socialite
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Fishing for Fishies
Calexico and Iron & Wine - Years To Burn
Brad Byrd - Phases
Gruff Rhys - Pang!
Moonlight Parade - Caught In A Wave
 Dry Cleaning - Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks
Wilco - Ode to Joy
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Orville Peck - Pony
Slow Pulp - Big Day
Hollis Brown - Ozone Park
Thyla - What's On Your Mind
The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality
King Pine - None Use Swear Words
Broken Social Scene - Let's Try The After
Pottery - No. 1
Lucy Daucus - 2019
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
STL GLD - The New Normal
Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell!
 Manhunter movie soundtrack (full tracklist available for the first time ever, vinyl only)

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