Snappy Singles: April Anthems

Snappy Singles April 2023

Our hand-picked music selections this month share a common theme: each of these artists are completely new to the GDW family, and are making GDW debuts today. Furthermore, two of these artists also have strong European heritage, yet offer ties to Canada to meet our eligibility criteria for these recurring Snappy Singles features. Four new tunes here for your enjoyment, and all are uniquely different – if you have been seeking a new playlist that brings together four tunes likely not played anywhere else in succession, here you go…

Marthe Halvorsen, “Dissolve”

I feel the water around / Still afraid I will drown before I reach the other side / But now, I will swim like a child / Woven into the wild / And be the one who dares to shine.” As the first of two featured artists here today with a distinct European flair, Norwegian-born and current Montreal, QC-based indie folk musician Marthe Halvorsen releases the second teaser of new music from her forthcoming sophomore album, “For the Dreamers & the Bold,” due to be released later this year. “Dissolve” is a dreamy and ethereal indie folk tune that showcases the artist’s unique musical style and vocal signature. Despite the calm and soothing atmosphere of the song, it also carries some darker undertones.  “This song reflects upon the journey of learning to embrace the ever-changing ups and downs in life,” Marthe shares. “It’s about finding the courage to dive deeper into the darkness and confront what needs to be confronted in order to move forward and allow oneself to be happy. I wanted this song to be a homage to the imperfect (yet perfect) journey of being a human being in this strange world.” For those curious about visualizing Norwegian winters, be sure to enjoy the lyric video below, filmed on location in Northern Norway while waiting for the winter sun to return back to the Arctic Circle.

Elyse Aeryn, “Criminal”

We are always open to some fiery and rebellious rock & roll jams here at GDW, so welcomed this latest single from Sydney, NS singer-songwriter Elyse Aeryn with open arms. Matching a bold, yet warm roots-rock voice to some bluesy melodies, “Criminal” offers an ageless lo-fi music experience that transports the listener back to an 80s rock-inspired soundtrack, appealing immediately to anybody who appreciates their rock music served with plenty of attitude and a side of swagger (Grace Potter/Joanne Shaw Taylor). “I’m about to realize a dream that became clear when I could get quiet enough to hear my own voice, and confident enough to listen,” Elyse shares. “Criminal is the ultimate ‘I’m Done’ song, for anyone who had ever felt like it was easier to take the blame than explain yourself, knowing your words are falling on deaf ears.”  A lifelong writer ‘from the corporate world,’ Elyse creates lyrics that aim to tell the truth about her own life experiences, in the hope that they will equally inspire and illuminate the truth in those of others. “Well, I could try to explain / But they’re already putting me away / And I’m tired of fighting about it / I’m so tired / And I’m used to being misunderstood / And I’m burning the bridge like I knew that I would / Tell me does it feel good?”

The Velvet Grip, “Red Sky”

We are always happy to be introduced to an emerging artist/band who are taking that great leap of faith and sharing their debut single with the world, and when time permits, are happy to offer an ear. Upon receiving this stunning debut from Vancouver Island, BC-based euphoric alt-folk-rock band The Velvet Grip, the timing could not be better – I was craving some quality new indie music, and this tune delivered. Lead vocalist Dani Blond offers both a voice and a vocal range that perfectly fits both this tune and the genre, backed by some great instrumentation from her three bandmates – Jesse McCloy (guitar), Quin (bass), and Wes Langelier (drums) – who collectively draw inspiration from bands such as Florence and the Machine, and The Weakerthans. For Dani, “Red Sky” was written after she stumbled upon an article sharing the psychological effects of war on children in the 21st century. “I was thinking about these kids who are, today, experiencing the horrors of war as a way of life. This is something I could never understand due to the privileged life I live,” she shares. “This is also about the human experience. The duality of light and dark that we are all immersed in. Peace and war, innocence and treacherousness, the light and the dark, this duality connects us all.”

Lusitanian Ghosts, “The Long Train”

Seeking out great new music is a rewarding endeavor, but sometimes, can be so much, much more when stumbling across something that leaves you in a perpetual state of ‘wow.’ Recently discovering the music of the Transatlantic alt-neo-folk collective Lusitanian Ghosts, I was not at all prepared for the delightful sonic sounds once listening to this latest single, “The Long Train” – one subjected to many repeat spins whilst being shortlisted for this feature. Equally interesting is learning how this Portuguese-Canadian-Swedish ensemble resurrect lost Portuguese chordophones and other European string instruments to bring ancient sounds into their 21st century music – instruments once on the verge of extinction now becoming the real Lusitanian Ghosts (Lusitania is an ancient Celtic tribe from central Portugal). “This is a song celebrating freedom, celebrating life, celebrating the act of setting yourself free so that you may reach that transcendental level of commitment that only comes with love,” shares co-founder Neil Leyton. “Oh, and it’s also about storks.” The soundscape here mixes in some sweet 70s era Bowie-meets-The-Waterboys vibes, with enough modern indie-folk cues to draw the interest of fans of both The Black Crowes and Mumford and Sons.

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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