These are a few of the songs and artists in high-rotation on my devices these days and a blurb about how each got there.
Here’s the Spotify playlist- https://open.spotify.com/user/scotianjon/playlist/54ZJ3LRuUamyhIolB5Xnsv
Not a Spotifier? No prob; here’s the YT version- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSEdhB9faEs&list=PL508FxkkXQxYx1uH9ddEIHh5Si6r-WRs4.
STRAND OF OAKS – RADIO KIDS
I was watching a bunch of KEXP sessions as I was working and heard Strand of Oaks’ performance. I could just as easily have stumbled upon the stripped-down Tiny Desk performance (pre-dating this song) which is excellent in a different way. Radio Kids is a straightforward rocker with just the right edge for me and it makes good use of my generation’s nostalgic narcissism. It reminds me a bit of “We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire, which is another great tune in my opinion.
RYAN ADAMS – DO YOU STILL LOVE ME?
This isn’t a really a stand-out from Ryan Adams’ vast catalogue but that’s just a testament to how good he is. Just a strong tune with great tones.
LOST (SEASON ONE) – CAMP COPE
You Tube’s autoplay brought me to Triple J’s Like A Version show in January of this year and I poked around a bit before finding Camp Cope’s terrific cover of ‘Maps’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I am somewhat obsessed now- I listened to ‘Lost (Season One)’ on repeat at times. As far as I can tell, this band deserves whatever level of success they want. Georgia Maq is a powerhouse songwriter and, while we all have different tastes, has an amazing voice paired with fitting delivery. It’s obvious she can sing in the traditional sense but can dial up the mania to just the right level. The bassline in this and most CC songs is downright tasty.
TASH SULTANA – JUNGLE
Another find from Like a Version was the loop-artist Tash Sultana. I have a great respect for loop artists but usually I tune-out after a while. Her version of ‘Electric Feel’ by MGMT had me transfixed. Of her songs, this is her most known and my favourite.
LIAM GALLAGHER – WALL OF GLASS
I don’t always agree with his takes but L.G. is the embodiment of Rock and Roll. If you know me closely you probably know that Oasis has had a huge influence on me. This year, when I heard this single I, like almost everyone else, was happy to see that the Kid is back. The two other singles ‘Chinatown’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ are strong too. This one’s a rocker though and has soundtracked spring and summer drives well.
GUN CONTROL – CITY OF NO
Gun Control is good. I went to school at Bishop’s University with Steve and Justin from GC and liked all of their collaborations before this but ‘City of No’ is probably my favourite of their releases to date. It’s crazy catchy with a great hook but still wild enough to be exhilarating. You’re a lucky place Vancouver.
THE KILLERS – RUN FOR COVER
The Killers single before this one, ‘The Man’, didn’t do it for me really but ‘Run For Cover’ is more of the bombastic, anthemic stuff I like most from them.
THE STROKES – THREAT OF JOY
The Strokes rarely miss the mark and this snappy little number doesn’t break the trend. This tune is a bit like a sonic updating of ‘Someday’ or ‘Under Control’.
ALVVAYS – IN UNDERTOW
This summer, I’ve gone days listening only to Alvvays, maybe it’s a Nova Scotia thing, and this song and the most recent single ‘Dreams Tonight’ got me excited for their new album. It turns out that my anticipation was not for nothing.
THE TRAGICALLY HIP – AHEAD BY A CENTURY
The Hip just sound like Canada and some songs, like this one, just sound like seasons in Canada, don’t they? After last summer’s deserved love-in for Gord and Co., I treated myself by not forgetting about the hours and hours of excellence from The Hip this year.
Six-song EP, “If Not Now” featuring “Night Like This” out now.