Snappy Singles: New Year Nuggets

Snappy Singles

As we discard the 2022 wall calendar and replace it with an all new, glossy one, we prepare to go full-steam ahead for another twelve months with our recurring Snappy Singles feature.  Every second Tuesday of the month, we’ll bring you four hand-picked tunes (not necessarily brand new – our rules are pretty lax) for your enjoyment.  Time to let the New Year commence, and to let the music do all of the talking – check out our January finds.

Celeigh Cardinal, “Wrong Love”

I enjoy having a free rein to pretty much do and share as I please with these monthly Snappy Singles features, so let’s kick off the new year in style. The final musician found in this article last month was none other than Edmonton, AB artist Celeigh Cardinal, so it seems perfectly fitting that her latest single release should have the honors of being our first selection in 2023. In my opinion, nothing beats starting the new year with an upbeat number, and once again Celeigh both delivers, and surprises, with a pop tune.  “The inspiration behind this song came from a conversation between myself and some friends about how some of our most exciting love/sex experiences were in situations that were taboo, like falling for someone who is completely unavailable to you,” Celeigh shares. “Furthermore, inspiration came from one of my all-time favourite songs ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’ by Rufus Wainwright, about how the things we crave the most are the worst for us.” Creating this new sound meant creating a new writing and recording process, with Celeigh and co-writer Brennan Cameron spending a day in the studio (with Bradley J Simons and Brandon Unit) building the song from the ground up. “It was truly the completely opposite approach,” adds Celeigh. “And it was a liberating experience.

We Found A Lovebird, “Forget, I Can’t Forget”

Forget the world, she said / There’s no-one in it to save your soul / But don’t forget the night time, she said.”  Released back in early November, this alt-power pop tune from Vancouver, BC rockers We Found A Lovebird dropped into our email inbox, and quickly earned several hits of the PLAY button. “Often, you don’t quite know what a song is about until it’s finished,” the band share. “[This] seems to be about someone reminding themselves that what feels like a bad idea just might be the right thing to do after all.” Vintage guitar cues and rapid taps on the snare captivate my senses immediately – and upon hearing vocalist Larry Lechner deliver his opening lines, my memory kicks into overdrive – recalling thoughts of “To Live Alone in That Long Summer” – a single from fellow Canadian act Barzin – so similar are their sounds.  The band share that they’ve been compared to both Lord Huron and The Kinks (hard to disagree), and I’ll add to a touch of Wilco in there too.  Yet, as Lechner’s vocals intensify leading into the chorus, I’m left gasping by the Lennon-esque cries of “I Am The Walrus” that resonate in my own headspace. This is a band worthy of much exploration. “Forget the day, she said / It’s an illusion it runs away / But don’t you forget the night time, she said.”

L. T. Leif, “Pass Back Through”

Calgary-born, and currently Glasgow, Scotland-based singer-songwriter L. T. Leif dropped this teaser of new music late last year, taken from their soon-to-be-released “Come Back To Me, But Lightly” album.  “I had just gone through a painful loss and it was bringing up all this stuff in my past,” Leif shares. “I don’t really believe in closure, and I guess it’s about the way that wounds can resurface in you, again and again, as you roll them around like a little rock, learning to live with the new shape inside of you, that hold blasted through your insides.”  Atmospheric indie-rock synths combine with slacker-rock guitar riffs to create a perfect soundtrack for articulating such loss, pain, and internal grief – itself reinforced beautifully by an accompanying musical video, which is both a theatrical and slightly scary depiction of Leif’s battles with those inner beasts and dark thoughts.  “Well that one bird slips, sure as a bullet / Out of your chest, and over your head / And that thought thins out, as you stand there watching it / A part of you lifts.” Pass Back Through is an image of endurance that is flexible and moving: you still have a life to live,” Leif adds. “That path you’re walking isn’t linear, sometimes it’s all circles, and that’s ok.”   

Alanna Matty, “Swimming”

Something in her smile makes you feel like the world’s ending / You give her your all, but somehow she just keeps on taking / So you pack up, say I love you, then drive away / Listen to a podcast and wish that you hadn’t stayed.”  Toronto, ON (soon-to-be Halifax, NS) musician Alanna Matty is no stranger to us here at GDW, and while this single originates from back in very early November, we’ve kept this one on ice until now.  Our year-end slots filled quickly (as always), and we knew we’d need something amazing and wonderful to share in the new year – so here we are! “I was a competitive swimmer for most of my life, and being in the water was one of the few times that I could truly turn my brain off, or let my thoughts drift away from their usual over-thinking spirals,” Alanna offers. “I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that I crave that feeling, and when I’m feeling particularly dissociated or overwhelmed, I dream about being back in the pool.” “And dream about swimming / You dream about swimming / Head down, underwater / Feel your thoughts getting quieter / Breathe in, breathe out.” “The end of this song really encapsulates that feeling for me; the rhythmic focus on breathing and moving your body, one arm after the other, to get yourself through the water. It’s almost meditative, and I’m glad that I managed to translate that into music somehow.”

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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