It’s January, it’s 2021 – we’re finally free from 2020 – and no matter how good or bad your weather may be outside right now, your friends here at GDW have a great selection of new and recent tunes here that we insist you enjoy. So, go ahead, take a much-needed break from shoveling snow, or working on your taxes, and instead, fix yourself a steaming mug of delicious hot chocolate (whipped cream and marshmallows optional, but recommended), and kick back with these four amazing tracks that we’ve hand-picked just for you.
Mike Boguski, “Five Days in May”
Known as both a current multi-instrumentalist with Blue Rodeo and as a solo ‘free-improvisation’ jazz pianist, Toronto’s Mike Boguski is no stranger to the Canadian music scene. Releasing his second solo album, “Detour,” late last year (officially The Mike Boguski Trio), he not only continues his foray into the jazz world, but pays tribute to the earlier music of Blue Rodeo with his own interpretation of several popular tracks. “With the Blue Rodeo material, I thought back to my one semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and a quote I once read from Keith Jarrett about it,” Mike shares. “He said, ‘Be careful, going there will change your music.’ So, with that in mind, I set out to do what I know … but in a jazz way.” It is interesting to note that Mike’s choices all pre-date his time with the band, giving them a new life, and this version finds him on acoustic piano, which puts a new spin on the classic tune. “What I know is Blue Rodeo,” he adds. “I’ve spent pretty much my entire career for the last decade with those guys, so it makes sense to try and express their music in the way that I hear jazz.”
Adrian Sutherland, “Respect The Gift”
Recognized primarily as the founder and vocalist for roots-rockers, Midnight Shine, Adrian Sutherland follows his powerful debut solo single, “Politician Man,” with this new track, officially released today. Hailing from the Attawapiskat First Nation on the remote James Bay coast, Sutherland is not only an accomplished musician, but also a hard-working family man who practices the traditional ways of the Cree community. Indeed, you’ll quickly appreciate the bluesy guitar riffs and rock & roll vibe, but listen closely and you’ll encounter the discreet presence of chants that help ground the song to those native traditions. “Respect The Gift is about using our ‘gifts’ for good, and not taking for granted the everyday freedoms and luxuries we have,” he offers. “There’s never been a more important time to appreciate all that we find precious, given the crazy world we’re living in right now.” It’s mind-boggling to think that pandemics can run rampant even in the extremities of our continent, but Adrian is taking precautions, and setting himself up to ‘work from home’ from Canada’s remote North over the coming year. “When this all passes, we must rise up from the rubble and ash,” he adds. “Better and stronger as humans.”
The All Canadian Soundclash, “I Want It”
Following the success of “Romp,” their breakthrough single released last summer, Ottawa, ON folk-rockers, The All Canadian Soundclash, kick off the new year with “I Want It,” the third single from the band and renowned award-winning producer Dale Murray (Cuff The Duke, Joel Plaskett). “I Want It is a brooding, yet somewhat uplifting song about never giving up on your desires and winning the race no matter what difficulties get in your way,” shares Andrew Michelin (vocals/guitars). “It’s about finally overcoming your demons and realizing it’s your time to shine.” Unable to travel to Dale’s Farmhouse Studio in Port Howe, NS, due to the strict social distancing rules mandated by the province at that time, Andrew found himself having to record his parts at his home studio in Ontario, while Dale (guitars/percussion) and Jordi Comstock (drums) tracked their parts in Nova Scotia. The resulting audio files would travel back and forth through email exchanges, so that Dale could splice and mix the combined tracks together at home. Fusing indie-rock riffs and catchy hooks with their vintage rock and roll influences, this is a band we encourage everybody to check out in 2021.
Small Sins, “Andre”
I must confess to having no familiarity with the band Small Sins, but upon learning that this was an older music project from Thomas D’Arcy, I was keen to give this one a spin. Having last recorded under this moniker just over a decade ago, the Channel Islands born, Toronto-based artist has stepped in front of a microphone on a few occasions, while spending many hours behind the scenes, engineering and mastering music for popular acts such as July Talk, Rich Aucoin, Neko Case, and The Sheepdogs. With this resurrection of Small Sins, D’Arcy brings back his unique blend of synth-driven pop; one that mixes orchestral string arrangements with overdriven guitars, Moogs, and layered vocals. “Originally, I was doing some writing sessions with Jordan [Kern] from Dear Rouge … trying to write songs their singer might sing, thinking that if I were writing to my husband, Andrew, I would call him Andre in a song to not be so – I don’t know – something,” D’Arcy shares. “Somewhere along the way, I realized the song would be perfect for my own needs and stole the thing back.”