Snappy Singles: Delightful Ditties for the Dog Days of Summer

Snappy Singles August 2019

Summer is still here. The cicadas are singing for us. The mosquitoes are feasting on us. And the sunsets are gorgeous. It’s a great time for music too, and naturally, we have some fantastic new tunes to share.  Here are four recent tracks that are even hotter than the weather right now.

The Actual Goners, “Temptation”

“Temptation” opens with a great ringing guitar riff, sounding distinctly modern, yet oozing with a cool 1980s late night AOR radio vibe.  Or perhaps the musical score that those popular 80s action movies played as the final credits rolled.  The Actual Goners could have easily been a VERY late add to an old Stallone movie soundtrack.  My crazy thoughts aside, what we have here is a great modern take on a classic indie-romantic pop sound.

Based in Toronto, this duo of Tristan Armstrong and Duncan Symonds originally met many years ago at college in Nanaimo, BC, and collaborated on several musical projects while living there.  Re-uniting in 2017, the duo both wound up in Toronto, and quickly started writing material, citing Jason Isbell and Ryan Adams as their primary influences.  “While “Temptation” could easily be something you’d recover from a decades old time capsule, it is easy to see that this throw-back sound is both genuine and downright cool.  Definitely check this out if you dig the likes of Adam Baldwin or The Fast Romantics.

 

Frankiie, “Compare”

Ooh, I am totally sold on this tune just a few seconds in, thanks to the amazing low-end, throbbing bass line. I should not jump to conclusions and think only of The Beaches when presented with new music from a four-piece female rock band, as Vancouver based Frankiie convincingly demonstrate that there is plenty more new talent out there waiting to be heard.  Comprised of Francesca Carbonneau, Nashlyn Lloyd, Zoe Fuhr and Victoria Sieczka, here we find a ‘dream-rock’ band who offer “an intimate anthemic approach [with] reverb-drenched guitars and intoxicating harmonies.”

Boasting a slow, funk driven beat, some electrified guitar strums set the tone, and opt not to yield to the moody, somewhat rebellious vocals.  And just like with The Actual Goners, “Compare” has its roots firmly etched in music from a previous generation too, and will no doubt be embraced by those who loved the early indie rock from the 90s through the twenty-first century.  Stick with this one for the wonderful ‘spoken’ word portion that kicks in around the 2:12 mark; with enough synth and drum beats to truly transport you back to that era.  I am already sold, and very much looking forward to their upcoming full length album, “Forget Your Head,” scheduled for release on September 20th, through Paper Bag Records.

 

Bobby Tenderloin Universe, “Sandpaper One Side, Rubber On The Other”

If you are going to pitch your music to me via email, having an unbelievably cool name in the subject line is going to catch my attention.  How could I possibly ignore an email from Bobby Tenderloin?  Of course, I could not, and better yet, this submission proved to be an outstanding new release.  I will always have a soft spot for some old fashioned country and western; you know, the type that you heard your parents play when you were just a young kid and became easily swayed by those influences. Bobby Tenderloin pulls off this old-school country charm with the best of them; peers such as Zachary Lucky and Colter Wall certainly spring to mind.

With an incredibly slow and melodic pace, “Sandpaper…” is not just old school; it is a bona-fide vintage affair that could easily pass for a sixty year old tune.  Adding great instrumentation, wonderful harmonies, and outstanding pedal steel, the almost-mono sounding vocals prove to be the perfect finishing touch here that really helps separate Tenderloin from the pack.  “The story of Bobby Tenderloin is one of legends, mystical death, a sacred transfer, a cosmic continuum, and is written in the stars and hearts of every being that ever was, is, or will be.”  If you only have time to sample one of these four tracks today, I’d give serious consideration to the Bobby Tenderloin Universe if I were you.

 

Rebekah Hawker, “Round Of Fools”

Blessed with a simply beautiful voice and some impeccable song-writing skills, this Barrie, ON native is a perfect choice for rounding out our selection of new singles today.  And while her voice alone can stop everybody in their tracks, the singular acoustic guitar and fine hints of pedal steel found on “Round Of Fools” make this tune impossible to ignore.  Sitting nicely in the country-folk genre, Rebekah Hawker offers an incredibly pure vocal delivery, that some may compare with Margo Timmins or Kacey Musgraves; yet upon raising the octave, I’m finding connections to the big guns out there; yes, a little Karen Carpenter, and a lot of Martha Wainwright.

“We all experience the raw, uncompromising feeling of heartbreak at least once in our lives,” Rebekah offers.  “No matter how much pain we suffer, when the opportunity to love again presents itself, we will always choose to follow it.”  The single tells a tale of self-acceptance; a story of a fragile woman exploring all the nasty facets of human emotion, regret, shame, anger and embarrassment that comes with heartbreak; those life experiences that many listeners can often relate to.  Somehow, Rebekah Hawker exists as part of our past, present, and undoubtedly our future.  Go ahead and seek out this upcoming singer-songwriter, and earn your future bragging rights for discovering her music before she becomes the next household name.  Believe me, Rebekah Hawker has arrived!

 

Martin Noakes

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.