Five Things We Liked This Week – 12/06/20

Further Listening:

5. This Is Not The End Of The Grizzly Coast

Grizzly Coast is the music project of Toronto-based songwriter Alannah Kavanagh. Alannah started life as something of an acoustic troubadour, and has since expanded her sound into fuller, more driving territories, both as a live performer and a recording artist. Since 2017’s debut album, Gold Lined Path, Grizzly Coast have shared just a handful of stand-alone singles, however that is set to change with the upcoming release of a brand-new EP, Party Of One. Ahead of that release, this week they’ve shared the latest track from it, End of the Night.

End of the Night is in many ways a celebration of music, and the community that is created around it, as Alannah explains, “shows became a place where I took the pressure off myself to always say the right thing because the music was so loud. I could fully immerse myself in the moment, the art, the people, and not overthink anything”. Here that feeling is channelled through a suitably ebullient slice of fuzzy indie-pop, where triumphant guitar lines crash into clattering drums and the yelp along refrain, “I’ll be there at the end of the night”. Discussing the upcoming EP, Allanah has suggested it’s a celebration of community, friendship and not always assuming that being independent is the same as being happy; on this evidence, Party Of One might just be the sort of party a divided world so badly needs.

Party Of One is out later this year. Click HERE for more information on Grizzly Coast

4. Torres’ Glorious New Single

When Torres returned earlier this year with her fourth album, Silver Tongue, it was rightly championed as a fantastic comeback. After parting ways with previous label 4AD, the future looked somewhat rocky, yet Silver Tongue, released through Merge Records, sounded anything but unsure. Following the recording of Silver Tongue, Torres returned to the same studio, O’Deer in Brooklyn, and recorded a stand-alone track, Too Big for the Glory Hole, which has this week been shared into the world.

The track was at least partially influenced by Florine Stettheimer’s painting The Cathedrals of Wall Street, and harks back to a different period in Torres’ life, as she explains, “I wrote it before I moved in with my girlfriend. I was living alone in the East Village and having a hard time of it. This song is what came of the loneliness”. The resultant track is perhaps unsurprisingly a somewhat downbeat affair, as a bed of bassy organ is punctuated by the gentle meander of Rhodes-keyboard, bursting through the gloom like sunrays through a dirty window. The whole track seems to reach a sombre ending, as Torres repeats the line, “I want you to love me forever”, with the wistful tone of someone watching that desired outcome drifting gently away. The whole track feels like a monument to loneliness, an unwanted celebration of the act of being alone and serves as yet more evidence to the enduring brilliance of this most intriguing of songwriters.

Silver Tongue is out now via Merge Records. Click HERE for more information on Torres.

3. Red Light Is A Fine Introduction To Introduction

Bear with us because introducing you to a band that we have only just ourselves between introduced to called Introduction might get a little complicated. The trio formed in Adelaide back in 2019, with the aim of being an antidote to, “the banal backdrop of a male dominated music scene”. Introduction subsequently set about crafting influences from post-punk and echo drenched pop into their own take on a girl-gang. With their self-titled EP out next week, the band have recently shared the latest offering from it, Red Light.

Red Light is a track that doesn’t quite end up where you think it might as it begins. The listener is greeted by a twangy bass-line, that feels distinctly DIY-garage, like Huggy Bear or Forth Wanderers, yet quickly it moves somewhere else. A warm meander of organ buzzes into earshot, and the whole thing drifts into the lushest of territories; the vocals easy, repetitive, a little bit hypnotic, sitting just above the synth-bed, like drift-wood bobbing on the waves. A fabulous introduction to the fabulous Introduction, we already can’t wait to get to know them better.

Introduction is out June 19th via Tenth Court. Click HERE for more information on Introduction.

2. Popular Music Starts With The Philadelphia Sound

Continuing our accidental theme of bands with really quite confusing names, Popular Music is the new project from Paranthetical Girls’ Zac Pennington and Prudence Rees-Lee. The pair have been releasing monthly singles in the build-up to their upcoming debut album, Popular Music Plays In Darkness, described by the band as a, “12-track reimagining of songs from 20th century cinema”. This week the band have shared their cover of Neil Young’s track, Philadelphia, the closing track to the 1993 film of the same name.

Popular Music’s take on the track was recorded in the band’s home studio, a 19th century barn in Upstate New York. Primarily the track is composed on an ageing Optigan Organ, lacing the track with a Beach House-like melancholy. At the heart of the song is Zac’s vocal, imbued with a certain melancholy, like Vera Sola or Angelo De Augustine, Zac seems to inhabit another time and place entirely, part Golden Age Hollywood, part Dickensian widower looking longingly out of his window. What’s perhaps most amazing about the track, is just how easily you forget the wonderful original, the words and melody become Popular Music’s own and their’s alone, a truly magical cover version from a band who are onto something really wonderful.

Popular Music Plays In Darkness is out later this year. Click HERE for more information on Popular Music.

1. Rose Brokenshire Casts A Spell

Currently working, “within the confines of my small apartment in the west end of Toronto”, Rose Brokenshire first emerged with a series of EPs between 2013 and 2014. Some six years later, 2020 has been a year of re-emergence for Rose as a songwriter, with the release of Dazed For Days, a collection of tracks recorded between 2010 and 2016, followed quickly by a new single, The Little Things. This week has seen Rose share her latest offering, In A Spell, the first of four tracks Rose recorded back in the middle of April, “the third week of social distancing and isolation”.

In A Spell, is not a song about the extremes, not the highest highs or the most crushing despairs, instead it inhabits a moment of peace and reflection, as Rose explains, “it is okay to have slow, lazy days. We have the ability to let go of needing to be constantly productive”. While it’s a perhaps a slightly unusual subject matter for something as creatively productive as songwriting, somehow In A Spell does just seem to hit that sweet spot, the absent-minded dreaming, staring into space, aiming for productivity and falling short of the mark, and it’s all the better for it. Musically, the track seems to just drift by (a definite theme of this week’s offerings), atop layers of sumptuous keys, Rose’s layered, reverberating vocals ask, “It’s already five. What have I done? I swept the floor, and played guitar I watched the plants just as they are. Am I in a spell? ‘Cause I can’t tell”. At a time when the world is simultaneously terrifyingly busy on a global level and worryingly uneventful on a personal one, perhaps this is exactly the message we need – it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling, to do nothing and to simply be content with getting through – Rose Brokenshire knows this, and now we all do too.

In A Spell is out now. Click HERE for more information on Rose Brokenshire.

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