Snappy Singles: Musical Summer Sizzlers

Snappy Singles June 2024

We’re into our sixth Snappy Singles of the year, which can only mean one thing – the summer season is upon us!  Normally I would take the summer theme to run off on a tangent about our love for festivals and the like, but we have plenty of time in the coming weeks to devote space to ‘music in the great outdoors’ – and you know us, we won’t let you down! What has come to our attention recently though are a batch of fabulous new single releases from artists that we’ve not checked in on for quite some time. Here are four summer sizzlers that deserve to be heard – so be sure to add them to your playlists right now… 

Jesse Roper, “Way Down In The Valley” 

Aside from a brief mention in the GDW 2022 Memorable Singles list, and a pair of music videos featured in our Wednesday social media posts (also from 2022), Victoria, BC indie-folk/blues artist Jesse Roper just never seems to land on our pages – even though he’s put out some consistently great music over the last few years.  Time to correct this right here, right now, with this latest single from Jesse leading off our feature today. “Way Down in the Valley” is a song about Jesse’s BC home, which started out as a classic rock song, but with input from producer Gus van Go (Metric / Terra Lightfoot), evolved into this funky, soulful tune that has all the Jesse Roper hallmarks and signature sounds that we have come to expect.  “I’ve wanted to live in this valley since I was a little kid,” Jesse recalls. “I still can’t believe I actually live here. The ground grows tasty vegetables. The deer, wolves, bears, cougars and even the odd elk roam the surrounding hills. There’s old growth trees and the smell of the ocean freshens it up around here year-round. I’m truly lucky to call this place my home.” 

Boston Levi, “Pretty Little Heartbreak” 

Perth, ON alt-rocker Boston Levi (moniker of former pro hockey player Mike McNamee) first landed on our listening radar back in 2021, when the artist’s acclaimed single “Run Baby Run” (2021 GDW Breakthrough Single of the Year nominee) burst across the satellite radio airwaves, leaving us scrambling in its wake to learn more about this emerging band. That single quickly became a summer anthem for us, and with the release of “Pretty Little Heartbreak” just last month, Boston Levi offers a strong sense of déjà vu once more. Co-produced by Jay Emmons (Glorious Sons), there is a distinct bold and electrifying sound that captures the essence of raw emotion and relatable storytelling, the tune is a testament to the artist’s natural flair for crafting compelling rock anthems.  “Everybody feels something different from every song, so if people can take something from our music and use it in their own way, I think that’s a victory,” the band share. “We are very, very excited to have [Pretty Little Heartbreak] out in the world. The first song written as a group, and we think it’s something special.” 

Twin Flames, “Bones” 

Bones in your closet / Have tainted my soul / Buried me whole / Broken my home / And left me alone.” While we are skimming through the GDW archives, you’ll have to dig a little deeper (summer 2018) to locate coverage of Twin Flames, the Quebec-based husband and wife duo of Jaaji and Chelsey June (we did share the video for their single “Giants” in early 2021 on our social media pages). “Show me the light / Cries my innocence / That you stole from me / I feel so alone / Life has blinded me.” Clearly LONG OVERDUE for some editorial space, this indie-folk pairing just shared their latest single, “Bones,” just last week, and it’s an absolute corker with a deeply personal narrative. “I wrote this song as a personal mantra in uncertain times; the chorus ‘Gonna be ok’ serves as a reminder that life can get better,” shares Jaaji. “I dove into the darker parts of my past and all the times I spent wondering if I was going to be ok.” Reflecting on intergenerational trauma and the things witnessed growing up in a small, isolated community, for Jaaji and Chelsey June, “Gonna Be Ok” reminds us of the resilience we all hold within ourselves and the ability to heal. 

Cuff The Duke, “Got You On The Run” 

No matter how willing you are to dig deep through the GDW archives right now, any search centered on Oshawa, ON folk-rockers Cuff The Duke will sadly yield no results. Nothing! Nada! A poor oversight on our part, – maybe – but as huge fans of this popular alt-country ensemble, we offer in our defense that the band have flown under the radar (almost at ground level) since their last full-length album release in 2012 (which pre-dates our almost-eight years of music blogging).  With a triumphant return after a decade long hiatus, the band dropped this amazing new single last month, and announced their forthcoming seventh studio album coming later this fall. This much-anticipated comeback album shall offer a deeply personal exploration of frontman Wayne Petti’s journey with mental health – with this lead single, “Got You On The Run,” sonically encompassing the spirit of Cuff The Duke whilst simultaneously offering an analogy for Petti running from his own anxieties. For those of you unfamiliar with Cuff The Duke – savor this tune, then go explore their back catalogue – which is a wonderful place to lose yourself in for a few hours/days/weeks. 

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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