Just last month we brought you a selection of new singles that we discovered in our inbox, and wanted to share. Well, these emails keep flying in, and once again, many of them are simply outstanding. While we don’t have space to list them all here, check out this selection that stood out from the pack this time around.
J.R., “Be My Man”
Okay, so there are no excuses here for missing out on this brand new release from J.R. (Julianna Riolino). Clocking in at just 1:37 in length, you are going to have to be pretty creative in conjuring up a reason for not finding time to give this one a spin. With a rapid drum roll and upbeat indie-rock beat, Riolino literally takes you on a 97 second journey; filling your eardrums with some pop, some indie-rock, and a splash of punk-rock attitude for good measure. That’s right! 97 seconds! I am ignoring all excuses for skipping a song that is shorter than the average pro-hockey TV time-out.
Hailing from Welland, ON, Julianna Riolino describes “Be My Man” as her own personal soundtrack, breaking free from a relationship and returning from the big city to the safer confines of her small town home. “This song is about making the same mistake over and over, hoping that you learn from it,” she explains. “Be My Man is a plea to let go of the past and believe in the present. I don’t care about the past, I’m just thinking about how great the future could be.” Cranking up the dial on the noise meter, J.R will certainly draw comparisons to the high-octane sounds of The Beaches and/or Skye Wallace with this catchy number. “At the time of recording, an abusive relationship had depleted my confidence and amplified my self doubt. This song is a reflection of that period in my life and my response to an angry man.”
Run Coyote, “The Chase”
And now for something completely different! I was drawn to this single from Toronto’s Run Coyote solely from their artwork alone. An all-red female figure being observed by the dark silhouette of a would-be snoop outside her window immediately painted an image of early detective film noir. Hitting play, I was not at all prepared for the wonderful surf-rock sounds, leading nicely into the narrative of vocalist Jake Allen and his duel with co-vocalist Amanda Grant. Yet while the surf rock helps to define the era, the combination of guitars and the distinct sound of Aaron Goldstein’s steel guitar adds a spaghetti western twist to the track too. “Here lies the fatal affairs of late night lovers, the adventures of downtown cowboys, and the chase and foil of private eyes,” the band offers in response to the uniqueness of this single.
Having established their brand of alt-country, western-surf-rock-noir, Run Coyote shall release their new album, “In Shadowlands,” on April 26th through So Sorry Records. “The Chase is one of our favourite songs to play live [and] features the antihero of our forthcoming new album,” offers the band. “Feeling betrayed, she tries to take justice into her own hands and is pursued by a private eye across city and desert, under the night sky.” I draw a blank when seeking to find comparisons for this one. Sure, the guitar licks may share similarities to C&C Surf Factory, and the duo vocals are reminiscent of, say, Harrow Fair, but Run Coyote’s single is completely original, unique, and leaves me craving much more from the soon-to-be released album. “In Shadowlands is the marriage of our love for Film Noir and Spaghetti Westerns through late night rock ‘n’ roll songs. The Chase is a perfect representation of that.”
Lenny Bull, “Don’t Talk About It”
Aaron Goldstein is a busy man. Following his involvement performing with Run Coyote, this time around he is handling production duties at Baldwin Street Sound for this hot new single from Lenny Bull. Combining hints of eighties Blondie music with the sharp lyrical wit of Mo Kenney, Lenny Bull shows absolutely no discomfort in verbalizing our exact sentiments when confronted with the annoying bragger, gloater, or office gossip that we all encounter in life. “Sometimes mischievous, sometimes provocative, sometimes humorous…the songs I write dive into relationships, getting over yourself, and not taking any bullshit,” Lenny explains. “[This] is a tongue-in-cheek message to anyone out there who’s spreading rumours or talking trash. It’s a reminder to not be bothered by what people say or think.”
Cowbell in the instrumental! Yes, cowbell!!! Goldstein is a genius, adding this unique touch (and other ‘telephone’ effects) to further accentuate the tongue-in-cheek nature of this single. “[This] is about a day in the life of a very disgruntled, very lazy office employee, who would rather be elsewhere,” shares Lenny. “It pokes fun at what we have to do to make ends meet, in order to do what we love.” Up-tempo and positive, there is not a shed of anger within her lyrics. Bull may be incredibly fed up with the obnoxiousness and pitiful attempts to brag by those around her, yet her “Just Go Away” rebuke (in a nutshell) is that of somebody with no tolerance for the BS, and seeking her personal space and refuge elsewhere. No insults. No negativity. Just somebody who does not give a hoot. Lenny Bull, I hear ya – and I cannot wait to check out the debut “Sharp Teeth” EP scheduled for release on April 25th.
Saint Lo, “Blueberry Fields”
The biggest obstacle as a music blogger is my own struggle to sometimes find the right words when tasked with composing a review of a new song or album. Having that sensory rush when first hearing a great new track; yet hitting a wall when seeking to articulate such revelations, has often resulted in a decision to skip rather than be continually self-critical of the perceived disservice done. And as I listened to “Blueberry Fields,” a recent track from Montreal-based quartet Saint Lo, that proverbial ‘wall’ would seek to haunt me once more. BUT this song is too good to skip; TOO amazing not to share, and almost three weeks since my first spin, I’m going to give it a shot. Descriptive words may evade me, but great music conquers all, and I encourage everybody who loves folk-roots music to seek this one out.
Sold instantly on the soothing accordion introduction, the traditional-folk sound that follows proves to be very multi-dimensional, with some hypnotic vocals and lush harmonies that reminded me of some of the earlier works of bands such as The Strumbellas and The Lumineers. Vocals that choose not to dominate, but are instead layered and contextually woven into the music, and thus allow all aspects to shine equally for the full 4:34 run-time. “Blueberry Fields is that feeling of nostalgia, like the exhale of a sigh; the constant feeling of shifting away from the past, but keeping it close as you move forward,” the band share. “[It] is about people and places, loved and lost, while ever cherished.” Maybe being at a loss for words here is not necessarily a bad thing? Maybe the best course of action is to listen, to enjoy, and as the band say, to simply cherish! Excuse me now, while I go back and spin this one a few more times.