Video Vault: Summer Sizzlers

Video Vault August 2023

If, like us, you were raised on an unhealthy dose of MTV, VH1, and CMT, the ‘music video’ is surely etched into your DNA now?  You shall never hear complaints from the GDW peanut gallery when it comes to discovering mini-music-movies from bands here in the present era – and we’re happy to prop the Video Vault door open more frequently if it brings musical gems such as these four toe-tappers to our attention. You know the drill – grab a beverage, take a break, and enjoy our hand-picked visual delights here today.

The Vanrays, “Hard Times”

I did not intend to kick off this edition of Video Vault with a seriously cool tune, but when this cut landed in my email to promote a new release from Vancouver soul-funk band The Vanrays, my excessive foot tapping and head bobbing sealed the deal, pushing this clip to the front of the line. Influenced by the soul and Motown sounds of the 60s and 70s, The Vanrays add plenty of deep grooves, punchy horns, and memorable melodies. This is Saturday night music that can be played any day of the week.

Bywater Call, “Sweet Maria”

Don’t sit down yet, not yet, we’re just getting started. One of our favorite musical discoveries last year were Toronto band Bywater Call, whose fusion of soul, rock, and blues was as refreshing as a cold bucket of beverages to combat the summer heat. Vocalist Meghan Parnell and slide-guitarist Dave Barnes dish out plenty of southern, New Orleans style blues with “Sweet Maria,” celebrating the adage “if you love something set it free” – you may as well get acquainted with the ‘Repeat’ button…

The Pairs, “Asleep”

This latest single from London, ON quartet The Pairs landed on our desk just as our July Video Vault was wrapped up, and having caught up with The Pairs recently, upon hearing this tune performed live, we pinched ourselves for not sharing sooner. “[This] is about the type [of sleep] that makes you feel like the whole world is moving and you’re being left behind,” they share. “It’s about still wanting to matter and to care about showing up, but at the same time, just wanting to sleep.”

Shred Kelly, “Nothing For A While”

With this latest single, Fernie, BC alt-folk rockers Shred Kelly did not just cross our radar, they landed on the bulls-eye with a convincing thud. Matching banjo licks to a pulsating beat, this is a summer jam perfect for a backyard cookout or pool party. This is a song about how the world around us is in a constant state of flux, and about finding beauty within the chaos, yet simultaneously yearning to slow down, turn off and disconnect from the constant stream of bad news at our fingertips.

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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