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Good AdviceGatefold LP With Poster
Good Advice is the fizzing, phosphorescing new pop LP by songwriter Basia Bulat. Captured and produced by My Morning Jacket leader Jim James in Louisville, KY, it follows on 2013's Polaris- and Juno-nominated Tall Tall Shadow and two years of tour-dates alongside acts like Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Lanois and Destroyer. These are 10 songs of desire and redemption, lit up with a bottle-rocket of liberated, faintly psychedelic sound.1. La La Lie
2. Long Goodbye
3. Let Me In
4. In The Name Of
6. Good Advice
9. The Garden
10. Someday Soon$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tall Tall ShadowTall Tall Shadow, the third album by Toronto singer-songwriter Basia Bulat, is the bravest album she has made. Raw and spectral, heartbroken, yet jubilant, these ten songs tell the story of a very hard year in the artist's life and all the love that helped her through it.
Whereas the singer's past two LPs, including 2008's Polaris-nominated Oh, My Darling, were made in Montreal's all-analogue Hotel 2 Stango studio, Tall Tall Shadow is a more modern thing. This is a record with echo and reverb, electronic flutters and electric autoharp, voices that charge and incandesce around buzzing guitars, lonely piano and rattling percussion.
To get to this place, Bulat co-produced the album with, Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson. Kingsbury, a member of Arcade Fire, can play anything and everything, she says. Lawson, who has worked on records with Akron/Family and Colin Stetson, and who won a Grammy for his work on Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, is a studio alchemist, someone who hears things hidden in songs, who is always keen to transform them.
They started recording in Toronto, at a reverberating 60-year-old dance hall. Once again, Bulat put together a band: her brother, the punk-inclined drummer Bobby Bulat; Holly Coish on keys and backing vocals; Kingsbury and Ben Whiteley on guitars and bass. One song features Whiteley's father, the folk legend Ken Whiteley, on gospel organ. But Tall Tall Shadow isn't acoustic folk music: like Beck's Sea Change or Buckingham Nicks, chord and strum are a launch-pad for wilder sounds.
Bulat's goal was to keep challenging herself. Promise Not to Think About Love, with shimmying bass and dancing handclaps, is the poppiest track she has ever released. It Can't Be You, played on an Andean charango, is one of the simplest. Never Let Me Go is all crescendo, a woman in a storm, and the title track reaches soaring for the sky: has there ever been a better showcase for Bulat's powerhouse voice? For her steam-train heart?
Two months before I was due to begin recording, I suffered a deep loss, Bulat says. I kind of started over. She started; and she didn't stop.
- Sean Michaels1. Tall tall shadow
2. Five, four
3. Promise Not To Think About
4. It Can't Be You
6. The City With No Rivers
8. Paris or Amsterdam
9. Never Let Me Go
10. From Now On$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ReckonPolitical. Personal. Poetic. Such is the new album Reckon from one of Canada's most renowned songwriters, Jason Collett. Recorded at Revolution Recording Studios in Toronto, the album was produced by Howie Beck and includes guest appearances by Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), Basia Bulat, Kevin Drew and Zeus. An 11-song retrospective titled Essential Cuts will be released as a companion to Reckon as a digital download in the vinyl package. Chosen by Jason himself Essential Cuts represent the sense of community that he has always held in such high regard.
There is a poetic serendipity to the fact that Jason Collett started recording Reckon during the same month that Occupy Wall Street began. Not necessarily setting out to make a record with these overtones, his travels and political engagements lead to the subject matter being unavoidable. "The consistent thread throughout this record is loss," he explains. "The love songs are largely emotive reflections of the 'political' songs. All written through the distillation of events since the economic calamity of 2008 and it's insidiously long looming shadow. I've seen first hand the kind of devastation this crisis has wrecked upon much of the world I've toured these last few years. The shut-down-shops and foreclosed homes on the suburban fringes as I've made my way to and from cities I've played. This record is a personal reflection of the crisis we've all witnessed and read about every day in the paper. Calling it Reckon is an acknowledgement of loss ... lost jobs, lost homes, loss of faith in our political and financial institutions and in turn, loss of illusion."
The Essential Cuts album is more or less a family affair featuring everyone from Amy Millan (Stars), Zeus, Feist, Emily Haines (Metric), Bahamas and more as well as production from long time friends Andrew Cash and Howie Beck. Collett reflects, "With a little help from my friends indeed...There is a revolving door cast of characters that make this a sweet selection of the back catalogue. The myriad of producers and players that have graced these recordings are a testament to the blessed incestuousness of the musical family I'm lucky to be part of."Reckon
1. Pacific Blue
2. Jasper Johns' Flag
3. King James Rag
4. Sailor Boy
5. Ask No Questions
6. You're Not The One And Only Lonely One
7. Miss Canada
8. Talk Radio
9. I Wanna Rob A Bank
10. Where Things Go Wrong
11. Song Of The Silver Haired Hippie
12. Black Diamond Girl
13. My Daddy Was A RocknRoller
14. Don't Let The Truth Get To You
15. When The War Came Home
Essential Cuts (Digital Download)
1. Bitter Beauty
2. Blue Sky
3. We All Lose One Another
4. Hangover Days
5. I'll Bring The Sun
6. No Redemption Song
7. Angel Of Kensington
9. Long May You Love
10. Love is a Dirty Word
11. Every Night$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now