Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tonight, We Dance

Bye bye, Ott.

It's my last night out in Ottawa and my very best friends have put together a fabulous going away party at one of my favourite local bars - where everyone is invited to partake in a few shakes, several bevvies, lots of laughs and plenty of bar stool cuddles as part of my last "hoorah" in the capital city. I can't wait. Since my birthday is at a very inconvenient time of the year, I find I never get to have my various groups of amazing friends together, mingling and having a ball. So, tonight's the perfect night when we can all join for one final jam - and knowing the music that's played at this awesome haunt, I feel like we'll get tunes as good as these...

PS. I am so lucky to know the people I know, and so lucky to be very aware that they'll always be a huge part of my life. Bring on the next chapter!

Here are some lovely farewell images (best paired with the above songs)...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Taking Flight

If I'm missing in action this week - it could or could not be because I'm moving cities in two days. Although I'm so very sad to leave my life how it is (glorious and blessed with wonderful people here), I can't wait for new things. New streets, new music, new friends, new home - new everything. I remembered this flashy little jam on the weekend while out for a few goodbye glasses of red wine with friends, and I was immediately invigorated by the thought of buzzing Toronto streets, buildings tucked in the sky, my high-rise abode and new beats to give me life.

This song is everything, if we're talking girl-on-the-go and new endeavours. With sounds like this, I guess you could say I'm starting to crave the city. Wish me luck!

Artwork by Rita Squier

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Try and Try and Try

In less than one week, I hit the road (Jack) and blow this popstand. It's going to be an interesting transition and a busy, sad, happy, exciting move, but songs like this and their sunny disposition always make for a more positive spin on something a little unnerving. A favourite, a classic, a timeless rock ditty and one that I tend to carry in my pocket any time I try something new - it's like a little spoonful of sugar:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Simple Songs

Whether it was your joyfully angsty days as a teenager or the day that Garden State, one of the most game-changing soundtracks of our time appeared on the charts - you and I both know we've all had a short, or long, love affair with The Shins. I can't really put my finger on what it is about these godfathers of indie rock - aside from that title being undoubtedly theirs - but I do know that between James Mercer's shrill indie howl, kooky lyrics and dreamy melodies, this band is usually the first thing that comes to my mind when the word "indie" is uttered.

In a day and age of underground sounds, misfit noise and indie peculiarities - sometimes, it's nice to hear back from the originators of an old kind of indie experimentation. A group of guys who, without butchering tracks with oddities and jolting interjections in an attempt to enhance originality, chose to weave a likable rock sound - something that maintained the attractive elements of a catchy sound - into melodies that were/are definitely new age and mainstream-challenging. And don't get me wrong, I love a lot of the weirdness and experimentation in music today - but, The Shins' fun song concepts, downright musical talent and whimsical storytelling are what have led them naturally to becoming one of the most definitive indie rock bands of the past two decades, without all of the shocking or strange bells and whistles tacked on to what's considered indie music today.

And that kind of originality and plain talent often equals longevity, as it has for this band who have stood the test of time since stepping onto the scene in '96. Last month, The Shins released the first glimpse into their latest masterpiece since 2007 - one that follows in the footsteps of past classics like Oh, Inverted World and Wincing The Night Away - called Port of Morrow, that features this first very Shin-like track, "Simple Song." I am in love this this song; The piercing vocals, soft kickdrum backing and sunny chord progression are fit for a bike ride around the world in springtime (something I always feel about Shins music). It's something, some feeling and some sound, that's so very reminiscent of why I fell in love with the band in the first place. They just sound like the feeling of growing up, don't you think? Or maybe they sound like deciding not to grow up. Either way, The Shins sound something like that.

Not sure if you will as much as I do, but I just love what happens around 2:45 - that moment when the power-pop anthem winds down into a calm hush, before flying right back into its blissful rock oblivion.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


What up girl.

She's back! This week, one of my favourite tight and bright lady superstars from a few years back has returned to make an inevitable splash with her groovy, beat-heavy followup track "Disparate Youth." Santigold, formerly Santogold (something which heavily confused me when checking recent music news; I'm a stickler for making little to no spelling errors and thought I had botched two years of writing about her), was hands-down one of the most talked-about new artists to make waves in 2008 with her strangely fabulous dancehall-rock debut.

Born Santi White, her sassy "just-watch-me" musical attitude attracted the likes of some career-feeding musical bigwigs in her first round of the game, before she took a brief hiatus - leaving us with bated breath to hear what other exalted dub album she would spit out. So, to hear that another favourite hip and mouthy female L.E.S. Artiste is back in the saddle with a lively party anthem, gets me a wee bit antsy to hear the rest.

This first whack, a quickened dub beat with spurts of fluttering piano, lightning guitar and her sultry pop growl, absolutely gives me life right now. Something tells me this single, and this flashy cool chick, are the first of something that will rock 2012 - a year already decorated by dub, controversy, and more room than ever for a few more pushy women on the airwaves. I don't know why or how, but my little ear is sniffing out a few massive awards, several hits and a big and bossy album on the Billboards. And to that I say - welcome back, girlfriend.

P.S. The last minute (4:00 onwards) of the song? My favourite.

Look out for her new album, Master of my Make Believe, later this year - and her 5-track EP in April.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekend Indeed

This cover is a delicious enough reincarnation as it is - with Damon Albarn's chilling, lazy vocals serenading you over that timeless "Crystalized" xylophone loop - but when combined with J. Thunder's scattered downtown beat? It's perfection. Wherever you're on your way to tonight; whatever walking, bussing, smooching or sipping you do - pop on this trendy tune for a vibe that suits any TGIF occasion.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ottawa-Born Songbird

Haunting voice? Check. Dating Justin Vernon of Bon Iver? Check. Songwriter extroardinaire? Check.

Something to add to that shiny list of life achievements for the great folk goddess Kathleen Edwards, is how she absolutely has the ability to make any listener's heart sing. Something about this Canadian songstress really cuts to the core of me, and I'm not sure what it is; her fiery personality, piercingly pure voice, rustic strums and heated riffs that stand behind her inviting melodies might have a little to do with it though.

This song, for instance, was an instant classic for me from the first click of the play button. Off her latest album Voyageur and sounding to me like telelvision/film soundtrack material gold - Kathleen's heavenly hum and fluttering guitar strings have made this undoubtedly one of the most intriguing songs of the new year so far. Emotional, hard-hitting while still so soft - it really encompasses everything that makes Edwards the unique artist she is. Keep an eye on this homeland hero, everybody - she's gearing up to make her biggest waves yet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Adele is the Vogue

Looking ever-so-fabulous on the upcoming cover of Vogue Magazine, Adele also delves into a few details of her plans moving forward following easily one of the biggest weeks of her already mammoth musical career. If you ask me, these quotes only further confirm her perfection, and make it nearly impossible to contain my excitement when it comes to what unstoppable sounds we'll be treated to next. Her utter confidence, raw revelations and humble attitude are an absolute treat to observe during her conquering of the music world. She is the definition of one for the books.

Adele, talking to Vogue about the man/heartbreak who inspired her number one album 21:

"He was amazing," she says. "He was great. But it was never going to work. And for ages, I was like, 'As if he deserves any f–––––– kudos for inspiring my record.' But now, after some time, it only seems right that the person who so far has had the biggest impact on me – has now changed my life for f–––––– ever with this album – deserves a little credit."

And talking to Vogue about the hiatus she'll take to focus on new music and revel in her six Grammy wins:

"So at least now I can have enough time to write a happy record and be in love and be happy ... I won't come out with new music until it's better than 21."

You go girl.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Whole Lotta Love

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Happy Valentine's Day, love birds! Whether you're celebrating with your guy or gal, spending quality time with a best friend, receiving heart-shaped gift packages from your Mom or majorly treating y-o-u - it sure is a great day to be feeling love.

As I mentioned last year, I really don't think today has to be about anything other than maybe that extra second you take to think about the crazy little thing called love and who brings it to you. If anything, love of all sorts, shapes and sizes makes the world go 'round - so single or not, suck it up, embrace whatever it is that romance means to you and plug in some happy and heartwarming tunes like these:

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Pure Bliss

The Head and the Heart are undoubtedly my favourite new band of the past year. I can't even remember how I found them, where I first heard them or when it turned into a full-blown obsession - but the best part is, it hasn't faded. They're still as breathtaking as the first time I heard them. And when they release videos like this? Rolling imagery of their tours, strums, shows and down-to-earth character I cannot help but melt a little and wish I was right there with them. Also, I really wouldn't mind marrying lead dreamboat Jon Russell.

Anyway, this destined-for-folk-fame group are playing Canadian shows soon - and oh, I will be there. Enjoy their newest video for one of the most beautiful songs to ever exist:

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Addicted is kind of an understatement. Two unbelievable songs, three of my favourite artists, a body-rocking beat and a timeless, echoey guitar loop? This remix really is everything. To any young person, headphones in, trying to make things happen for yourself - I think I've found the most sublime soundtrack. Also, who doesn't like a good XX remix anyway? They really are incapable of disappointing.

Go For A Spin

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The weather in the chilly capital has certainly been warming up over the course of the past few weeks. With a few lingering and persistent cold spikes here and there, we've still been able to tell that Mother Nature is at least thinking of warming up the city.

Which makes me think, seeing as I'll be in a new city soon that will require serious exploring, I really can't wait for long outdoor walks, runs and bike rides. Exploring new parks and sidewalks, soaking up one of the best and least boring means of exercise and feeling the sun splash up on me from the hot summer sidewalks are only a few of my favourite things about an afternoon or evening spin around the city. On that note, here are some lovely and warm spring/summer trekking songs - for those days you feel like wandering:


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Monday, February 6, 2012

Never Gets Old...

You know what truly never gets old? This song. I feel like, if for some reason someone was going to film a documentary of my life (typing this makes me laugh out loud - I'm absolutely confident this will never happen), I would want this song to be playing during any scene that involved exercise or physical activity. Do I say this because of Mark Wahlberg's scrappy scenes (set to this song) in The Fighter? Or because Mark Wahlberg is straight-up dreamy? Perhaps. Or, maybe I would want this song as my soundtrack because there is no way around it - this song is every single bit the definition of wicked.

Bring on the strut (air punching, mentally jumping rope)...

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Will Be Our Year

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It may be one month too late - but this is the perfect song for a happy new year. Beautiful meaning, heartwarming melody and calm vocals ... gorgeous start to a Friday.

This will be my year I think, and I hope it's yours as well. Have a fabulous weekend.