Single Release: Misty Blue, “Subtle Divine”

Misty Blue, “Subtle Divine”

The beauty of a multi-genre music festival is the exposure offered to new and emerging artists, who are often tasked with warming up the stages during the earlier part of the day before the ‘big guns’ arrive. Attending the Tall Pines Music and Arts Festival last summer, we soon discovered the Toronto-based band Misty Blue – who impressed with a short, but superb set of original indie-folk tunes.

Having featured Misty Blue as part of our festival recap series last year, the band released their latest single, “Subtle Divine,” just yesterday, to kick off their 2024 campaign. Receiving news of this upcoming single just prior to the official release date, I was eager to rediscover some of their previous cuts heard during that festival encounter – and promptly recalled their indie-pop leanings that appealed to my senses.

Misty Blue

I’ve made frequent references to the influences that have shaped my personal listening pleasures over the years, especially of the impact of that brief era in the early to mid 1990s when the world of indie and alternative pop-rock officially cut my umbilical cord from the mass produced (dare I say monotonous) mainstream variety. Just spending a few minutes in the company of Misty Blue, I found myself recalling those fond memories, before allowing the band to transport me back to this musical happy place.

With “Subtle Divine” – the band’s fourth single released over the last twelve months – the opening acoustic guitar strums trigger those subliminal responses once more, leading to all-out bliss as vocalist Ally Foote delivers her opening lines: “I had a dream about you / Of wondering if they knew / I wouldn’t be with you…” If I approached this tune with a blank canvas, Misty Blue’s brush strokes very quickly painted images of 90s Brit Pop and US alt-folk music – even Bob Ross would approve.

“The song is about the journey of a woman finding the strength to break free from the things and people that hold her back,” the band share. “And the story is told fiercely, with an underlying sense of hope for a better future.”

Misty Blue

Sonically, the band are more than content to join me in this happy place, drawing on those same 90s era alt-rock influences. Ally’s vocal range is pitch perfect for this genre, drawing immediate comparisons to some of the dominant female leads that came before her – notably both Tanya Donelly (especially her ‘Belly’ material) and British pop-powerhouse Sonya Madan (Echobelly). Is it any coincidence that the mere mention of these two similarly named bands further demonstrates a reliance on my ‘gut’ instinct? Yes, bad pun, I should know better – but it is Friday after all, weekend mode is kicking in.

Embracing these folk, pop and even classic rock influences, Misty Blue bring a natural sense of timelessness to their music, which not only appeals to those of us that lived through the heyday of the genre, but now exposes such sounds to an entire new generation of indie-pop devotees.  A band to watch in 2024, and for us collectors out there, here’s hoping for a compilation of Misty Blue tunes to be pressed onto vinyl someday soon. In the meantime, I’ll take what we have here today, and sign off with two simple words: Crank It!

Photo Credit: Misty Blue EPK

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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