Snappy Singles: February Folk Delights

Snappy Singles Feb 2024

Due to riding extremely close to the deadline with our Snappy Singles feature last month, where the editorial portion was a little light, the four selected tunes spoke volumes for themselves.  We’re back to ‘normal programming’ this month and bring you four recent folk tunes from across Canada – the first single being fresh off the press and released TODAY. We hope you enjoy this curated selection of new music, as we take great pleasure in sharing some of the finest cuts on offer from our northern neighbors.

Leaf Rapids, “Starling To A Starling”

We’re kicking off this feature with a beautiful new tune from Winnipeg, MB JUNO-Award winning band Leaf Rapids – a gorgeous pedal steel laced number formally released today, giving this one that fresh baked aroma of hot scones coming out of the oven. “This song was inspired by starling murmurations. Separate entities magically flying in sync to form beautiful dancing shapes in the sky,” shares vocalist Keri Latimer. “It made me wonder about that elusive thread of connection between humans and what amazing things we can do when we work together.” Dig into Keri’s lyrics here, and quickly discover her amazing flair for painting vivid picture with mere words: “My synchro-mystery, I have no existory / Before reflected in your eye / Whether near or farling, my heart’s a tethered starling / Dancing in the twilight sky.”  This is also the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album, “Velvet Paintings,” due out in April.  This is my attempt to describe the juxtaposition of when people are in love and tether themselves to one another,” Keri adds. “Rather than being tied down, they gain a whole new sense of freedom.”

Old Man Luedecke (ft. Bahamas), “My Status Is The Baddest”

Released back in the opening days of 2024, this surprise cut from JUNO-Award winning Nova Scotian Old Man (Chris) Luedecke was a lock for coverage here at GDW. Trust me – if you have not heard this one yet, you’re in for a surprise, as Chris leaves his trademark banjo and folk vibes at home, and offers instead this breezy, ‘out on the lake’ charmer of a tune. Needing another income source during some down-time away from music, Chris hopped on a North Atlantic commercial fishing boat as a deckhand – and naturally, songwriting ideas and inspirations from his seafaring adventures would soon materialize.  “Oh my status is the baddest / My happiness is the saddest / Am I a coward or a traitor? / I’m always at war with my nature.”  Accompanied by Afie Jurvanen’s (Bahamas) unmistakable guitar licks, these two very different artists connected during a BBQ event. “Afie thought that we should let go of the chains and expectations that come with writing songs around an instrument (banjo), and that I should just write the songs without the instrument in mind,” Chris offers. “He convinced me to abandon my signature sound, and I had this newfound sense of freedom in my songwriting.”

Geneviève Racette, “Same Old Me”

It’s always wonderful to learn of new music from Montréal, QC Canadian Folk Music Award-winning artist Geneviève Racette, whose latest single “Same Old Me” was released last week – and better still when the news includes mention of her fourth studio album tentatively set for release later this year. With both lyrical observations and astute storytelling, Geneviève has a natural connection with her audience, and endears herself once more with this poignant tale of the destructive nature of insecurity. “I wish I was more easy going / Not so uptight, more fun less boring / I wanna go out without worrying about everything / Did I sound stupid? Did I stutter? / Maybe my English could be better / I wanna speak without my voice echoing back at me.” Inspired to write this song after a significant social event, Geneviève recalls walking home as the echoes of the night replayed in her mind, weaving a narrative of self-doubt. Contemplating her constant struggle with these feelings, she poses the question of whether this cycle of insecurity and an ongoing struggle for self-acceptance will ever break.

Clever Hopes, “Blue Parachutes”

If you’ve perused our pages over the last few years, then you’ve likely seen MANY mentions of Toronto-based duo Clever Hopes – the tandem of Andrew Shaver and Eva Foote. Bursting onto the Americana music scene in late 2021, Clever Hopes became an immediate favorite here at GDW – so again, if you’ve ridden this train with us for a while, you know that already. Announcing their long-awaited forthcoming sophomore album, “New Kind Of Familiar” (FINALLY – yes, I’m impatient), the duo offers “Blue Parachutes” as the lead single to whet our appetites once more.  “I wrote Blue Parachutes after I released Artefact and was in a time of great transition,” Andrew recalls. “I was reflecting on where I’d been and ensuring I understood how I had gotten to where I was.” Oh – and talk about a small world – Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) is found here too with his signature guitar licks. “It’s a call to action to myself. To embrace the new familiar before it became just another ghost of something that once was,” Andrew adds in closing.  “Life had moved on, and it was time I did, too.”

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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