Wild Country EP
Summer is here (almost); the turn key cabins are being cleaned out, propane tanks are being filled, and the beer fridges and meat freezers are being restocked. It's that beautiful, albeit short, time of year where Saskatchewan residents are able to explore our wide, amazing province. Music is going to be important here and the Wild Country EP should be in rotation for your long drives up to the lake.
Wake Owl nailed the breezy west coast summer vibe like many Vancouver acts do. They're all so great at making us feel jealous if we don't reside there. Luckily they're willing to share the atmosphere through music.
Wild Country, a brief five song EP, is primarily an acoustic effort featuring heaps of slick violin and marching-band-esque drums. It feels light and easy, yet the songwriting is still very solid. The attention to arrangement and attitude add much to each song, such as hidden harmonies and accentuated hand clap rhythms. The album sounds incredibly full while utilizing only a handful of instruments and at only five songs it's a short glimpse into a summer full of possible adventures.
It's always nice to find these gems that get you excited for the summer season, I'm already planning all of my trips and I'll be sure that Wake Owl's Wild Country EP is along with me... You should too. Download it for a price that YOU choose at wakeowl.bandcamp.com (but don't be too cheap).
The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes
Jay William Henderson
In case you didn't know, I like musicians who go about things differently; who add an abrupt melody to a calm guitar string pluck, or who bring out so much power from a minimalist arsenal of instruments. Artists that cause you to think "Wow, slide guitar and clarinet really can belong anywhere". I like Jay William Henderson.
The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes is an exploration into experimental folk music. It's a genre growing ever wider as artists find themselves with more freedom to lean out and embrace new elements. Incorporating country slide, half tempo heavy drums, jazz, blues, traditional folk, and much more, The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes is like a multimedia art exhibit that is well framed and fluid.
This album remains within fairly conservative borders when it comes to the soundscape. Centered around Henderson's acoustic guitar and silky voice, a beautifully played pedal steel often accompanies him while the cello fills in the low tones. I love it when the strings, organ, or his small choir chime in to add extra layers. They appear at uncertain intervals and disappear without regret, always just giving enough. Using these instruments that usually blend into the background to bring melody to the forefront is a very tasteful choice.
I do have one complaint, however. I found that a few of the songs were too lengthy and not offering enough in terms of variation. Sadly, I became slightly bored with a handful of the tunes. Regardless, Henderson has released a brilliantly melancholic, superbly melodic collection of songs. Find this new release at jaywilliamhenderson.bandcamp.com