I must confess that it gets harder each time to select just four singles to share in our monthly Snappy Singles feature, especially now with so much amazing new music continuing to be released this summer. We’ve heard from so many of our artist friends from across Canada lately, reaching out to us with exciting news of new singles and upcoming albums. And while we really do have more than we can possibly hope to share with you, we truly hope you enjoy these four stunning new tracks here today from some of our GDW Frequent Flyers. Here’s to good friends, who we hope to catch up with one day and enjoy some of their wonderful music.
With the ever-possible light at the end of this tunnel called Covid-19 becoming a reality, many of our favorite musician friends are sharing news about imminent new albums, or releasing tour schedules. Brampton, ON folk-soul artist AHI is doubling down and offering us both, with news of his latest album, “Prospect,” coming in November, and a subsequent North American tour next February. Recording this new album in Nashville with GRAMMY-winning producer Paul Mabury, AHI will quickly earn your attention and respect with this powerful new tune about the loss of a child to gun violence. “Timothy was / Left on Adelaide to lay there cold in his own blood / Shadows fall down / Endless alleyway a fiendish pain where bullets struck / Ricochet laws / Innocence don’t shield your skin, protect your fragile bones / Single teardrop / Gazing into dusk as he looked up and he cried.” “I don’t know what this means or why I dreamt this song, but I know my voice is meant for healing, so I pray for every mother who has lost a child to senseless violence and is still dealing with the scars left behind,” shares AHI. “Not sure what I can do to make a difference, but God-willing this song can help them find the healing they need.”
velours, “Whatever That Means”
It’s hard to believe that a year has almost passed since making the acquaintance of Saskatoon, SK alt-pop artist velours, whose singles “Summer Haze” and “Your Sweater” became some of our go-to jams. With this latest release, “Whatever That Means,” it truly is time to go ahead and scratch the ‘emerging artist’ tag, as velours once again delivers another stunning single and music video – making a strong announcement that she has most definitely arrived. “The song was inspired by male front-men of bands often writing songs about a girl, who’s usually seventeen,” shares velours. “I wanted to use the female artist’s perspective to turn it on its head with lines like ‘her hair was like the sun’ and adding ‘whatever that means!’.” “She likes to sing along at shows / I’d like to burn all of her clothes / Rip off the band aid, kiss her bruise / Know what it feels when you lose / The only thing I ever yearned for / But get to change her just a bit more.” Teaming up once again with Versa Films, the music video offers so many visual delights, and for me, it’s the two-tone mint green ’56 Ford driven briefly by velours. “That car is my grandpa’s pride and joy and he was amazing enough to let me drive it,” she adds. “The smell of oil and car has made me so nostalgic of when I’d find him in his garage working on a car. He was in the back seat the whole time.”
The Fretless (ft. Rachel Sermanni), “My Moon, My Man”
We are very excited to learn that JUNO Award winning folk music quartet, The Fretless, shall be releasing their latest album, “Open House,” this coming October. The album promises to be their most ambitious recording to date; a ten-track guest-singer collaboration featuring an astounding list of powerhouse vocalists that will further solidify them as an ever-evolving group. Following our recent feature on their cover of Dan Mangan’s “Troubled Mind,” The Fretless offer up another classic cover – this time a very popular Feist number, “My Moon, My Man.” The band are all huge fans of Feist, making it an easy choice to cover such a hit, and appearing with the quartet to provide vocals this time around is Scottish folk musician Rachel Sermanni, a pretty solid choice for a tune of this magnitude. “[This] was a make-out song for me and my high school girlfriend when it came out. I don’t think the rest of the band knows that,” shares band member Ben Plotnick. “I think more than personal connections or a common theme, it required us to really imagine what songs from a wildly diverse list of options would fit our band (and the singers we choose).”
The Strange Valentines, “Small Tree”
Following the release of their “Does Anyone Know How to Fix Old Radios” album back in early June, Nova Scotian contemporary folk duo The Strange Valentines refuse to rest on their laurels and take a post-album break, and instead, continue to hit the ground running with yet more new music. Released just last Friday, “Small Tree” is described by the duo’s David Farrell and Janet Mills as an ‘anti-deforestation sentiment,’ and is the first taste of music from an upcoming EP, “Dear Mother Earth,” that shall follow later this year. “Small tree looking up / To where the parent once stood / Tall shadows once cast / They disappeared so fast / To the moose and white-tailed deer / To you we did feel very sorry / Your safe shelters are in ruins / We extracted our quarry.” “Small Tree is a song of desolation and apology for what humans have done in decimation of complicated ecosystems in exchange for short term profit and gain,” the duo share. “Listen for somewhat of a quiet rage within its softly painted walls. What starts as a small tree looking around in bewilderment ends in a cry of pain and loss as emotion builds.” With plans to release 3 EP’s of new music, expect to hear plenty more from The Strange Valentines very soon.