We’ve turned the calendar over once again, meaning that it’s time to share yet more Snappy Singles, and we sure have some stunning sentimental releases for you this month. Each of these artists are no strangers to GDW, and all four add plenty of charm and whimsical nostalgia with these fabulous finds.
Justine Giles, “Another Chance”
Back in April, we had the pleasure in premiering the music video for “Save Myself,” the first single released in 2022 by Calgary, AB-based artist Justine Giles – and were equally delighted to learn of this subsequent single released into the world following Canada’s Thanksgiving. “I’ve been to hell and back / I wasn’t planning on giving love another chance / I’ve been hurt, lost track / Thought it was safer to give up in advance.” Collaborating once again with friend/co-writer Matt Blais, this latest tune moves on from the heartache of “Save Myself,” offering hope and the possibility of leaving trauma in the rear-view mirror on the road to new horizons. “There’s an element of fun, mystery, and exploration – and also a hint of frustration about not being able to predict the future of our relationships,” Justine offers. “Although the overall tone of this song is about finding acceptance and going with the flow, there’s definitely an element of surrender in admitting that maybe we don’t know it all.” Drawing from her own personal journey that saw Justine bidding farewell to her Ontario home and seeking a sense of renewal and new beginnings in Alberta, this single articulates the lessons learned from dealing with her past and looking for a brighter future. “But meeting someone like you makes me question that / Wasn’t planning on it, but here goes another chance.”
Wolf Willow, “The World Kept Turning”
Having reviewed their fabulous “Old Guitars & Shooting Stars” album just a little over a year ago, Regina, SK countrypolitan band Wolf Willow quickly became one of my go-to alt-country bands, their music firmly rooted in nostalgia and old-country charm. For Wolf Willow, the impact of the televised live music show has long been essential to the country and western tradition, citing both the Buck Owens Show (USA) and the Tommy Hunter Show (Canada) as prime examples enjoyed by audiences all over the continent looking to get their fill of honky-tonk hits and country ballads. The very notion leads to a recollection of watching highlights of the Grand Ole Opry with my family on British TV in the early 1980s, bringing to life artists such as Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, and Charlie Rich, who we only otherwise recognized from their album covers. “The World Kept Turning” – the latest single and video from Wolf Willow – features the sweet accompaniment of the Slippery Butte Strings and the vocals of Stoneface Stanley, delivering this heartbreaker that transitions from confessional to bombastic in a short run time. The visual element certainly adds to the experience, originally recorded at The Artesian in Regina back in March.
Roslyn Witter, “Chasing Fireflies”
We first heard music from emerging Hamilton, ON singer-songwriter Roslyn Witter (daughter of country musician Jim Witter) this past summer at the Muskoka Music Festival, and sensed immediately the impact this artist was about to make on both the country and Americana music scenes. With the recent release of her debut single, “Chasing Fireflies,” co-written with Jim, the lyrics and vocal delivery elicit joy and encourages introspection. “My husband is a big outdoorsman. On our first date, he asked if I would like to go on a hike to see the fireflies,” Roslyn recalls. “I had no idea what this meant, but I was so excited that he suggested it. We arrived at sunset, and the fireflies started to show themselves. I had never seen anything like it before.” “In the thick of the traffic, you quiet the madness / It all disappears when we’re alone.” “I wrote Chasing Fireflies to help you focus on the ‘little things’ that made you fall in love in the first place,” Roslyn adds. “Whether you live in a busy city centre and you just can’t escape the noise, or your mind is always cluttered with thoughts, your ‘person’ should help you tune it all out. My husband is this person for me. If I’m ever feeling lost in the chaos of life, I turn to him and he helps make the noise vanish.”
Jill Barber, “Instant Cash For Gold”
With the recent announcement of an upcoming album, “Homemaker,” scheduled for release in early 2023, Vancouver, BC JUNO-nominated artist Jill Barber teased us with this lead single, “Instant Cash For Gold.” Having earned her reputation as “Canada’s Sweetheart” through romantic jazz projects and most recent retro-French pop, Jill returns to her folk-roots origins – signaling her desire to share publicly an identity of being a wife, a mother, and importantly, the transition from young romantic to middle age – to a homemaker. “Instant Cash for Gold” is a reflection on the chasm that exists between the personal value that music holds for people, relative to its commercial value,” Jill shares. “Sadly, the persistent undervaluing of music forces so many of us musicians to trade it all in – often in a defeated way, much like those willing to trade in their most valued possession out of pure desperation to have cash in hand.” Warmth and nostalgia glow in the accompanying music video, captured with an iPhone at “MacCool’s Re-use” in Chadsey’s Barn, along the bucolic roads of Prince Edward County, ON. “I’ve always been fascinated by second hand objects sitting on a shelf,” Jill adds. “There’s a sadness, but also a beauty to a ramshackle collection of things from people’s past that I find intriguing.”
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.