I knew I was forgetting something! Right after I fired off last month’s missive I realized I completely forgot to put in my best-of 2018 list I’d been planning to share with you. It’s short but sweet, and with some real beauts and you can find it just below, along with news about the upcoming Calgary show this very Friday!
BEST OF THE YEAR!
I’ve written about the individual tracks below, but if you just wanna listen, CLICK HERE to get to the Spotify playlist or listen on the player below. As Spotify is pretty brutal for artists when it comes to streaming royalties, I’ve also included Bandcamp links to individual songs where possible (in the text below) to support the artists as well as possible.
JEREMY DUTCHER – Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa – favourite track: Mehcinut – I’m sure that the rest of Canada is already well aware of Jeremy Dutcher, particularly after his Polaris Prize win for this album. For folks reading this elsewhere who are yet to come across his work – Jeremy has done something incredible and incredibly powerful and important. His album is sung in the language of his Wolastoq people from New Brunswick. He reworked and reimagined songs that he found in the national archives originally captured in the early 20th Century. He has a powerhouse voice, and is a beautiful piano player, and I was lucky to hear an early incarnation of this song when we were at a residency together back in 2016 and it just blew my socks off
LA FORCE – La Force – fave track: Lucky One – Ariel Engle’s last project AroarA put out one of my favourite album’s of 2014 “In the Pines” (this album has somehow disappeared from the internet, but if you can get ahold of a physical copy I highly recommend it!). La Force takes off where that album left off with Ariel’s affecting voice, veering from heartbreaking to shitdisturbing, backed up by woozy, powerful arrangements.
MICHAEL FEUERSTACK – Natural Weather – fave track: Love is All Around – for my money this is one of the most beautiful songs that Mike has ever written. I’m honoured to call him a friend and a collaborator, and on a Paper Beat Scissors sidenote – the cover photo for his latest album was taken in Karlsruhe, Germany, right before a PBS show. After the storm clouds cleared a little we saw the most tremendous double rainbow from the dressing room window. (Sidenote to the sidenote: “rainbows” in German is “regenbogen”).
ICHIKO AOBA – マホロボシヤ – fave track: マホロボシヤ – actually from 2016, but the Spotify algorithm delivered it to me this year as an early Christmas present. Everything I can find out about this artist is in Japanese, as are the lyrics. But the impact is so strong. The sparsest Spanish guitar accompaniment under her delicate voice.
JAKE NICOLL – Stone Arch – fave track: Stone Arch – last summer I was on my way to play a late night football game, and was so close to skipping the house show I’d been planning on attending. Good sense got the better of me, and, when Jake played this song, I felt like time just stood still. Such a cliche, I know, but everything else really just disappeared, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck each time he got to the chorus and I just felt like I could live inside the song forever and be completely content.
ADRIANNE LENKER – abysskiss – fave track: From – this album snuck in just under the wire, but is probably my favourite of the year. Simple, but entrancing arrangements that catch you off guard every now and then, and a voice that just hurts to listen to in the best way.
ERIC CHENAUX – Slowly Paradise – fave track: An Abandoned Rose – master of the weirdandbeautiful guitaring, Eric nails it again with stuttery, fuzzed-out, at times fart-like, at times baritone-saxish guitar atop stop-start-stuttering other guitar and a creaky, longing voice. Put it on and float off with the dreaminess.
Last week I uploaded the 4th track to the new monthly subscription service – if you want to get access to exclusive tracks and the whole back catalogue, jump onboard!
Friday February 22nd – Calgary, AB: Blockheater Festival at the King Eddy, 438 9 Ave SE with six-piece chamber orchestra – tickets