Pack of Three: Frøkedal, Valley Queen, The Suffers

Overcast optimism from Norway. Jangly aural sunshine from SoCal. Effervescent funk-soul from Houston, Texas. It’s time for this week’s pack of three, everyone.

Prepare your ears for some heavy weather!

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“David” by Frøkedal

Name: Frøkedal

From: Oslo, Norway

Sound: Yearning Nordic folk-rock meets shimmering, wintry dream pop, cast in distinct shades of melancholic blue.

Story: Anne Lise Frøkedal’s newest single from her upcoming album How We Made It seems elegiac, pervaded with wintry gloom. But there’s hope to be found in its lines, and purposefully so. While recording the album, Frøkedal knew she needed a bit of light to shine through to complement the shades of grey. Recorded in part during a session in a remote location at the top of a hill overlooking an amazing vista below, “David” is a reflection of the hope we sometimes miss in our own lives. The new album, How We Made It is due out August 31, 2018.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

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“Chasing The Muse” by Valley Queen

Name: Valley Queen

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Sound: Anthemic indie pop with a splash of longing reminiscent of The Cranberries and The Sundays.

Story: With a sound led by singular vocalist/guitarist Natalie Carol, Valley Queen provides an equally sunshine-soaked and deeply contemplative anthem, featuring Carol’s uniquely cadenced vocals matched with an sparkling pop jangle. The song is a highlight on their newest record, Supergiant. The album is named after celestial bodies and a subtle reminder that we are all, in fact, made of stars. The new record is out now. Valley Queen will be playing a show in their native LA on July 28 at The Moroccan Lounge, the beginning of a North American tour through the summer and into the Autumn of 2018.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

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“Do Whatever” by The Suffers

Name: The Suffers

From: Houston, TX, USA

Sound: Earthy, horny, seventies and eighties-style breezy funk-soul with a smooth jazzy lilt.

Story: Established in 2011, this eight-piece Houstonian soul band makes music for all frames of mind and for a wide range of human experience. Since their formation they’ve toured extensively, gathering adoring fans all along the way, including one David Letterman who, after their performance on his show, once declared: “if you can’t do this, get out of the business”. High praise indeed! Their newest record Everything Here is out now. For readers local to the lavish offices of Radio Free Lightning Bug, you can catch The Suffers at this year’s Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

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How did those tunes appeal to your musical sensibilities, friends? Pretend it’s 2009 and tell me in the comments section! While you contemplate that request:

Happy Listening!

Pack of Three: Transistor Girl, Lightning Echoes, Cubicolor

An interior tale of (literal!) quiet regret delivered in a late night, post-rock package. A hopeful tune in times of trouble. And a polyrhythmic electronica excursion that draws all the right comparisons.

It’s Radio Free Lightning Bug’s weekly Pack of Three, friends.

Find your favourite below!

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“Quiet Regret” by Transistor Girl

Name: Transistor Girl

From: Geneva, Switzerland

Sound: Quietly brooding and compellingly tense and atmospheric post-rock awash with electronics and echoey guitar.

Story: Some songs tell grand narratives of high drama. Others tell stories that happen only in the most fleeting thoughts and collected emotional geography. No points for guessing where this track falls, kids. This song touches on themes that the title only teases at, with the slow build of the music bringing it to fruition via movie soundtrack influences and smoky, downcast vocals. This is one to listen to with the headphones on, lights out.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Vimeo

Spotify

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“In Circles” by Lightning Echoes

Name: Lightning Echoes

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sound: Optimistic and texturally varied folk-pop with earnest, hopeful lyrics sung in real, untreated voices.

Story: In an increasingly uncertain world, having some encouraging and hopeful anthems is welcome – even necessary. This is certainly one of them from producer/performer/multi-instrumentalist duo Kaitlin Deavy and Alejandro Zarazúa who go by the name Lightning Echoes. The two met while studying music technology and production, with their partnership flourishing out of creating work for their portfolios, and based on a common love for smart pop music that goes beyond the expected. “In Circles” is their debut single.

Links:

Official site

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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“Counterpart” by Cubicolor

Name: Cubicolor

From: London, UK and Amsterdam, Holland

Sound: Haunting electronica with jazzy flourishes, ominous strings, and quietly menacing textures.

Story: Radiohead and Massive Attack comparisons abound with this trio made up of Dutch producers Ariaan Olieroock and Peter Kriek, and British producer / lead vocalist Tim Digby-Bell. Those comparisons are ultimately pretty justifiable. On this track, their newest single, they deliver the sonic richness contained within aural environments that are equal parts compelling and foreboding to easily place them in that company. The single is a follow-up to their debut album, 2016’s Brainsugar.

Links:

Soundcloud

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Time to round up your impressions, everyone. What are your thoughts? How have the above rocked your world, or kept it from rocking in the best possible way?

Do tell, and as always,

Happy Listening!

Colour Film Play “Open Road”

Matthew de Zoete (duh-ZOO-tuh) is a singer-songwriter based in southern Ontario, Canada who puts out music under the name Colour Film, which was also the title of his third record and its title track. (Ed: In another life, I even wrote about it!).

Since 2006, he’s been an active recording artist, songwriter, and live performer, appearing on stages with the best Canadian talent including Great Lake Swimmers, Serena Ryder, Whitehorse, and others. In 2016, he released the EP Super 8, featuring the centrepiece single, “The Money’s on the Dresser”.

Now, he’s released his newest single “Open Road”, featuring Caroline Brooks of folk-pop paragons The Good Lovelies.

Watch the video right here!

The song was inspired by a bike ride with de Zoete’s wife and two young daughters. They had pulled up ahead and a distance away from him at one point during their day out, inspiring de Zoete to think of his family as a kind of road to take him on a good journey.

To keep things authentic, the video (shot by Nathan Fleet) reproduced that ride, taking the same route that inspired him to write the song the day after the trip. This time is was Brooks who handled the bike duties.

With “Open Road” there’s a common thread that’s found in a lot of de Zoete’s music, particularly brought out in the video; Super 8 footage and the kind of gauzy memories of home movies captured on that vintage medium that has been the source of inspiration to de Zoete for many years.

With the wistful folk-pop of the song itself serving as soundtrack, the video seems to replicate that same gauzy and grainy quality of our favourite memories as we commonly experience them; as emotional impressions that we carry with us on our journeys. They are not always clearly defined, yet they shimmer with their own kind effusive beauty that somehow remains constant no matter where our journeys take us.

The song itself evokes the realization that we’re constantly leaving moments behind us, and that those moments ahead of us with the ones we love are all the more precious because of it. “Open Road” is a love song firmly planted in what’s most important to us when the distractions of our lives are set aside in favour of those things that give the journeys we take the most meaning.

It’s also about the people with whom we travel for however long we can, cherishing their company, and intertwining our memories with theirs. This can lead to journeys of other sorts, with their love for us and ours for them becoming a road that takes us to places inside of ourselves we never would have thought to go.

Happy listening!

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Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

CD Baby

 

Ana Egge Sings “Dance Around The Room With Me”

The best music touches us where we live, in an emotional place. Sometimes though, we get tied up in our emotions to the point where we can’t even identify how we’re feeling. That’s what this song from singer-songwriter Ana Egge is about; finding the strength to cut loose from that, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, and becoming more aware of ourselves as a result.

Now, she’s passing that same spirit of bravery, emotional honesty, and independence on to her now four-year old daughter, embodied in this song, “Dance Around the Room with Me” taken from her newest record White Tiger.

This kind of liberation was instilled in the songwriter from early on. Egge was raised by free-spirited parents and encouraged to explore her possibilities from childhood to the time the music bug seriously took hold. From there, she built her own guitar (which she still plays today) while apprenticing under a luthier, and set out on a musical journey of her own design.

Since her first record in the late 1990s, she’s shared stages with Lucinda Williams (who once called her “the Nina Simone of folk), Shawn Colvin, and Texas Swing legends Asleep at the Wheel, with whom she collaborated in the studio. She’s appeared on albums by Ron Sexsmith and Joel Plaskett, and has worked with producers Steve Earle and Martin Terefe, among others.

Photo: Shervin Lainez

With this song, she builds from a folk-pop musical base comprised of her warm acoustic guitar and light-as-air vocal. She throws in a few sonic surprises too with some ambient keyboards and subtle strings that make this song wistful and joyous all at once. And that “opens up, opens up your heart” hook will stay with you, friends.

It could be argued that this is a children’s song, dedicated as it is to Egge’s daughter and featuring a video that centres around children too. But an important takeaway here is that the sentiments of being free to feel one’s emotions as they are is a challenge set before all of us. This makes this song something of a defiant anthem in an age that seems to proudly tote “fuck your feelings” sentiments on the reg.

“Dance Around the Room With Me” is an antidote to that brand of callousness and disregard for the feelings of others, and ultimately our own feelings too. That makes this song pretty easy to love, and proves too that we have lots to learn about ourselves no matter how old we are.

Ana Egge is about to embark on a tour of the east coast of the US, with select dates in Canada and the UK, and some dates opening for Iris DeMent. Her new album White Tiger is out right now.

Happy listening!

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Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Winsome Kind Play “We Call It Home”

Vancouver-based folk pop duo and actual real-life family unit Winsome Kind released “We Call It Home” on June 22, a teaser and title track for their upcoming album set to appear August 24, 2018. It’s their second, following up This Much is True, their debut.

Here’s the heartwarming video that was shot in Mundy Park in Coquitlam BC, not too far from the luxurious offices of Radio Free Lightning Bug, as it happens. It stars the duo but also their kids, one of which is wearing a bee costume!

The duo, Scott Perrie and Leora Joy, met as actors in a production of The Buddy Holly Story in 2012. Love blossomed, and so did a musical partnership. In traveling across Canada by train (a recommended trip if you get a chance, BTW), the two artists solidified their collaboration by playing live venues of all kinds including festivals, train stations and living rooms.

Their most recent adventure was writing, arranging, and recording the new album, We Call It Home while also being attentive parents. The video and indeed this single is certainly a reflection of that, with the song being a paean to family and the sense of connection we treasure while nurturing and being a part of one. The close harmony singing between the two leads sounds like an aural symbol for all of that.

Living in this era where children and families are actively being torn apart in the name of national security, this song isn’t just a feelgood tune of contentment. In our current context, it becomes downright political. But in the another sense, it really is a gentle reframing of the things that most people value, and that often become momentarily forgotten in the middle of busy lives; the vital importance of connection, acceptance, and security that is so sought after in families, and in general.

Happy listening!

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Links:

Official site

YouTube

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Spotify

Pack of Three: Becoming Bristol, Confusionaires, Morten Lava

This is the first “pack of three” post ever, friends; a weekly series that groups three magnificent, although sometimes very stylistically disparate, musical gems together.

This week, we have a selection of aural delights ranging from chilled out pop electronica, to boot-stompin’ Saturday night rockabilly, to pastoral and introspective folk-pop.

Get stuck in!

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Becoming Bristol, “Sort Myself Out”

Name: Becoming Bristol.

From: Seattle, Washington.

Sound: Spacey and relaxed pop music with dreamily ambient electronic textures.

Story: Once monikered “The Exchange”, Becoming Bristol is a new musical entity, with this song being an anthem to starting again while taking responsibility for the past, too. Being in a band and touring since their teens, you can understand how autobiographical this song might be.

Links: Facebook, Instagram, band site

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Confusionaires, “Everybody’s Talking (But Nobody’s Talking to Me)”

Name: Confusionaires

From: Edmonton, Alberta

Sound: Rollickin’ three-piece twangy barroom rockabilly.

Story: This tune is featured on their newest record, Time to Make a Little Mess With …, contrasting the ballsy swing of the music with the socially awkward narrative found in the lyrics. I can relate to both, of course! Also, here’s the live version.

Links: Facebook, band site, Bandcamp

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Morten Lava, “In A Daydream”

Name: Morten Lava

From: Denmark (now based in London)

Sound: Wistful, melancholic, harmony-laden acoustic folk-pop.

Story: Trading in a sound that hooks into a similar sonic territory as José Gonzalez, Morten Lava’s (nee Larsen’s) music is an exploration across genres, and with plenty of atmosphere to enjoy along the way. The EP In A Daydream, was released today! To those of you within range, Morten is doing an EP launch party today at the Notting Hill Arts Club in Kensington, London.

Links: Buy the EP on iTunes, artist site.

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This is the part where I ask you your favourites of the three, friends. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Happy Listening!