As we bid September adieu and Fall into the new season, it is time once again to share some of the amazing new releases from our Northern neighbors. So go grab your pumpkin spiced pastries, a cup of hot chocolate (or something a little stronger), and spend a few moments enjoying this selection of October’s Snappy Singles.
Badge Epoque Ensemble, “Milk Spilt on Eternity”
Released back in early June, I just heard this track for the first time courtesy of CBC Radio 3 during a morning commute, and found myself instinctively cranking up the volume dial. Clocking in at a shade over six minutes, this instrumental is a delightful avant-garde cornucopia of psychedelic jazz-funk. If an alternative universe exists, rest assured that you’ll find Badge sharing their experimental sounds, a little trippy one moment, and very funky the next. This is a world where flutes and congas duel with electric guitars; where an electric sitar fights to survive in a mosh pit of bass riffs, crashing cymbals and frenetic drum beats. Badge feature an eclectic cast of characters from the Toronto underground music scene, who combine their improvisational skills under the guidance of Maximilian ‘Twig’ Turnbull, and if you are looking for a perfect fusion of jazz, psychedelic acid-funk and prog-rock, you have come to the right place. Buckle up and hold on tight – because this ride will bring on an all-out assault of sensory overload.
Laura Reznek, “You Are Bad”
“I’m a sucker for a great piano ballad,” I confessed a while back in a Snappy Singles article, which has since resulted in an influx of new piano-ballads in my email inbox. Give an inch, take a yard, right? Yet with this new release from Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Laura Reznek, there is so much more offered here to stand out from a very busy crowd. As the first single from her upcoming album, this is a folk-noir composition about trying to understand an intense and toxic conflict. With some stunning arrangements (particularly the strings), the haunting and uplifting sound captured my attention immediately, as did the slight rasp in her vocal delivery, which had me drawing comparisons to the likes of Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor and Beatrice Martin. “I was feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt when I wrote this,” Reznek explains. “Guilty for the situation itself and my role in it, but also wondering if I needed to be guilty at all.”
Rose Cousins, “I would Die 4 U”
Another piano ballad? Yes, Yes, I did offer my disclaimer earlier, but when you learn of new music from JUNO Award winning singer-songwriter Rose Cousins, this is something that cannot be ignored. Touring extensively since the release of her critically acclaimed (and GRAMMY nominated) 2017 “Natural Conclusions” album, Rose returns with this stunning Prince cover. “Prince died on my birthday. He was bigger than life and yet so utterly, humanly vulnerable,” offers Rose. “Everyone has their own relationship with his music. I find his story and talent fascinating and his death tragic.” Recorded in Toronto with Bear’s Den and Christof van der Ven (on a rare day off from touring), the ensemble offer a beautifully stripped-down acoustic-folk inspired version of the track. “This particular song fits the theme of the [new] record so well, [and] we had no idea we’d all be in town at the same time,” she shares. “I’m such a fan of these guys and I’m so pleased we got to collaborate again.”
The New Customs, “Chasing Light”
With the official release of their sophomore “Selling Religion on Government Street” album just last week, Winnipeg duo, The New Customs, are eager to showcase their music with this outstanding new single. Indie-folk singer-songwriters Emma Cloney and Dale Brown have taken a bold and evocative approach to songwriting with this single; mating perfectly the essential elements of both country and folk music with Emma’s soothing, yet deeply reflective voice. “Chasing Light offers an introspective reflection of our habitual busyness and living in tomorrow that robs us of today, as interpreted through the lens of Emma’s camera” the duo shares. Wrapping beautifully crafted lyrics in their precise, yet melodious, instrumentation, The New Customs are set to stake their claim on the highly populated male/female vocal folk duo genre. I can’t wait to check out the full album based on the strength of this single alone, and highly recommend you do the same. Actually, I insist. You can thank me later.