Snappy Singles: September Sizzlers

Snappy Singles September 2021

Back in May, our monthly Snappy Singles feature concentrated on new releases from some of our favorite female Canadian artists, and I of course took the opportunity to throw down the gauntlet for the guys out there to step up to the plate and share their new releases with us.  Of course, our inbox very soon lit up with many new submissions from the guys, and now that we are inundated with some outstanding singles, here are four that we absolutely wanted to include in our feature today.

David Myles, “New 80”

If you ask me to name one of the most musically diverse Canadian artists out there today, I’ll offer no hesitation and toss the name David Myles right back at you.  With an exuberant and eclectic mix of albums featuring jazz to doo-wop, and folk to rap (not to mention a Francophone offering), this Fredericton, NB musician refuses to be labelled within any specific genre.  With his latest album, “That Tall Distance,” he mixes it up once more, this time making instrumental jazz his sole focus, and with this single, “New 80,” he does not disappoint. “I grew up obsessed with jazz, playing trumpet in high school stage band and the works,” David shares. “I love instrumental music, and I love the sound of a bigger sized band making it happen, together.”  The album explores shimmering soul, magic jazz, streetwise funk and earthy blues, all in the hands of a who’s who ensemble of household-name musicians.  Be sure to pay attention to the horns on “New 80,” courtesy of trombone player extraordinaire Andrew Jackson, who takes this one far, far out of this world and into one that floats along on the notes of his spacey plunger solo.  “This was the song that started the whole project,” David adds. “It was a dream come true, and I took so much inspiration from the jazz/funk and jazz/soul records of my youth.”

Jon Stancer, “This Cannot Wait (Until Tomorrow)

With his latest single, Torontonian Jon Stancer pleads with us to act (really, really) fast on issues surrounding climate change. As most of us are by now very aware, the adverse effects of climate change are manifesting all around the world, in real time, and is happening here on our doorsteps too.  Just recently, here in North America alone, we’ve witnessed devastating floods in Tennessee, scorching heatwaves across western Canada, and record rainfall causing extreme melting of the ice sheets in nearby Greenland.  “My social media feeds are crammed with dire and insistent warnings from scientists, experts and activists,” Jon shares. “All of this chatter and imagery were swirling around in my head at the time of writing this song.”  Jon did not purposely plan to write a song about climate change, acknowledging he is neither an expert or activist, but for him, it has become apparent that this is no longer a question of whether or not climate change is real, but rather, how quickly and meaningfully we can collectively organize and act to prevent things from becoming much worse.  “My hope is that this song might prick up a few ears and perhaps help to emphasize the seriousness of the moment,” he adds.  “The urgency’s great. Can’t overstate it.”

Marlon Chaplin, “Slipstream”

We are sticking around a little longer in Toronto to catch up with singer-songwriter Marlon Chaplin, who has been unbelievably busy sharing plenty of new music from his “Synestalgia” album, released last week after discreetly dropping several solo releases, which were more ‘leaked’ than ‘announced.’  Such actions certainly kept Marlon hovering ‘just slightly below the radar’ over these last twelve months, and we’re happy to share one of these most recent cuts here today.  With “Slipstream,” be prepared for some sensory overload, as Marlon shifts his attention to a blast of pure nostalgia, offering an entirely new sound in tone, shape, color and intent: “Let’s drift into a slipstream / Just you and me / Where we don’t need to breathe / Where we don’t need to see.”  Produced by Ewan Kay (Austra), Marlon’s latest project strikes a balance between the collaborators that marries modern psychedelic production with his gift for crafting memorable hooks and lyrics. “Synestalgia” – to see color through sound and nostalgia – is available now across streaming platforms.

Electric Religious, “Paralyzed”

And now for something a little different.  Edmonton, AB Métis singer-songwriter Brandon Baker (performing as Electric Religious) recently shared this single as a teaser of new music set to appear on his sophomore album, “Tragic Lover,” out later this month.  Mating some vintage rhythms and riffs to his distinct electric guitar-driven sound, Baker’s blues-based background – citing Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Django Reinhardt as his heavy influences – mixes nicely with subtle flourishes of jazz to bring his ‘non-traditional Indigenous’ music to life.  With this latest single, “Paralyzed,” Baker’s ringing guitars play out alongside a great late 80s beat, while the lyrics and pace are very up-tempo: “The things you’ve seen deep inside won’t let you be / And how can the future seem, so dark and so full of fear / Down in the mire, dirty in the mud / Paralyzed by your own bad luck / Forged in fire, cheated by love / Paralyzed by your own bad luck.”  Over the past few years, Baker has further immersed himself into his Métis ancestry, culture, and teachings, influencing his writing for this new record to create an honest and intuitive collaboration between himself, the band, and the producers.  One to watch.

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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