Snappy Singles: Fantastic February Treats To Feast Upon

Snappy Singles February 2021

We’re only into the second month of the year and the GDW inbox is overflowing again with so much amazing new music.  From Americana to country, and indie-pop to rock, the choices are simply staggering.  Go ahead and fix yourself a hot drink and take a few minutes to relax and enjoy this selection of four hand-picked new tunes.  The journey commences on Prince Edward Island, before moving out through Quebec, Ontario, and winding up in Saskatchewan.  Here’s proof that having too much great new music is not a bad thing – not a bad thing at all.

Shane Pendergast, “It Slips Away”

We start off this edition of Snappy Singles with a recent release from Tracadie Cross, PEI, courtesy of folk singer-songwriter Shane Pendergast, and this first taste of new music from his forthcoming sophomore album, “Second Wind.”  Firmly rooted in rural life and Maritime history, Shane adds a little old country charm that offers warmth and comfort from the opening licks.  “Nothing in life disappears without a trace, even if we wish it would,” he shares. “There are always remnants of the past when things (or people) slip away from us.”  Recorded at Crabbe Road Studio in Miltonvale Park, Shane calls upon a pair of PEI’s finest to help with this single, entrusting production duties to Andrew Murray (Wildcat) and engineering to Sergey Varlamov (Mark Haines, Irish Mythen).  Mixing duties are handled from outside the province, care of Toronto multi-instrumentalist Aaron Comeau (Jerry Leger, Skydiggers).  “’I saw a new idea, it was rusting in the rain’ came from an old piece of farm equipment that I saw laying beside the road. It was obviously from a distant time,” Shane continues. “Ironically, the words New Idea were painted on it.  That carried many meanings.”

Favourite Daughter, “Long Distance”

Heading west from the Maritimes, we catch up next with Montreal, QC singer-songwriter Julia Kennific, who just released her indie-pop debut single as a solo artist, under the name Favourite Daughter.  This upbeat guitar driven tune will quickly get you up and moving, but gets more and more anxiety inducing as it progresses; a song about trying to keep up appearances when walls around you are crumbling.  Recorded at Lites Down Studio in Montreal, and produced by Steven Gibb (The Blaze Velluto Collection), “Long Distance” is catchy, a little loud, a bit messy, but very honest.  Never easing off the gas pedal, this is one to blast on repeat in your headphones while out on a long, angry post-breakup run.  “I wrote Long Distance on an unplugged guitar during a blackout on a night off from an opera gig I was doing in Halifax, in tears after a frustrating phone call with my then-girlfriend,” Julia shares.  “We were spending a four month stretch away from each other while I travelled for work. Neither of us were communicating well, [but] kept up the charade that we were good, while allowing fear and resentment to build up, which ended up costing us the relationship entirely.” 

Munroe, “Don’t Rush To Get Old”

Up next we find ourselves in the Steel City of Hamilton, ON, with this stunning slow burner of a tune from indie-pop artist, [Kathleen] Munroe.  Currently splitting time between Ontario and California, Munroe teams up with acclaimed Los Angeles based producer Benjamin Schwab (Golden Daze) to create what she thought could be a song with some edge or regret, but what transpired was a song full of well-wishing and love.  “This one’s a cozy song, even though there’s some longing in it,” Munroe shares. “Forcing a song just slightly out of the natural range adds a bit of ache, a bit of yearning, and Benjamin really understood that it’s what the song needed.”  I personally love the minimalist nature of the instrumentation and deliberate echo that bounces around Kathleen’s vocal delivery for maximum impact.  “The song is a gentle ask: to slow down and love the entirety of yourself or something else, even and especially in moments of failure,” she adds. “I realized that might sound trite or platitudinal, but I’m finding that some platitudes resonate these days.”

Megan Nash, “Quiet”

With time already devoted to our year-end pieces in late December, we unfortunately had no space to share “Artifact,” the last single released by Mortlach, SK singer-songwriter Megan Nash and the first release for this JUNO Award nominated artist in several years.  Needless to say, “Artifact” was an instant SXM radio hit, so upon learning of Megan’s follow up single, “Quiet,” we locked it in for our finale in this month’s Snappy Singles feature.  “Quiet is a song about ‘your husband, soon to be ex-husband,’ driving away from you on the prairies,” says Nash. “What an unforgiving horizon Saskatchewan has. It can really draw out a goodbye.”  Loaded with some vintage keys and the type of eighties-inspired guitar riffs that conjure images of speeding along an empty highway with the stereo cranked and the rearview mirror torn off, Megan’s stunning vocal delivery brings everything together to ground you from such reckless behavior.  “Quiet was born out of heartbreak and I hope it serves as an anthem for the lonely, the one left behind,” she adds. “The lyrics are personal and heavy for me yet I want to dance when we play it on stage. It contains two truths – life is pain and life is a party.”

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.