Song Of The Day: Svalbard – Listen To Someone

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What’s in a name? Shakespeare wrote that, and while he was talking about a couple of lovestruck teenagers, the question could also be applied to band names. Take Svalbard for example.

With a name like Svalbard, one’s first thought would be to assume that they’re some Scandinavian black metal types, all grim and menacing and hanging out in the forest with swords and stuff. Nope, they’re from Bristol. Still heavy as hell though, with a sound that falls somewhere between hardcore, metal and shoegaze. They are named after a Norwegian archipelago though, so I wasn’t too far off with my initial black metal assumptions.

The band released their latest, When I Die, Will I Get Better?, back in September and were just announced as part of next year’s Roskilde Festival lineup. Will things be close enough to normal by that point so that the festival can take place as planned? Who knows? But in the meantime, you can check out the video for Svalbard’s “Listen To Someone” below.

Song Of The Day: Shitkid – baby roulette

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2020 has been a shit year for everyone, but all things considered, it’s also been a pretty good year for Shitkid, at least from a productivity standpoint.

ShitKid (aka Åsa Söderqvist) has been a favourite of mine ever since seeing her live a couple of years back and while there certainly won’t be any live shows on the horizon any time soon, Söderqvist has certainly kept busy regardless, having already put out three releases so far this year before following them up with her fourth, the soon to be released CROTCHROCK (recorded in the Spring/Summer of 2020, partly with former bassist Lina Molarin Ericsson).

While Söderqvist’s most recent full length, 20/20 ShitKid, delved into more synth-based sounds, the CROTCHROCK EP sees Shitkid bringing things back to a more guitar-centric style. Check out lead single “baby roulette” below.

CROTCHROCK is out December 11 via PNKSLM Recordings.

Song of the Day: Casper Skulls – Ou Va la Chance

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A good cover song can take the original song and frame it in a new light as the artist puts their own spin on it, but just as often a band’s choice of cover song can reveal something new about them as well. Casper Skulls’ “Ou Va la Chance” manages to do both.

The Toronto indie rockers’ recently released cover of Francoise Hardy’s “Ou Va la Chance” (itself a French language version of Phil Ochs’ “There But For Fortune”) hits the sweet spot between the gentle sounds of Hardy’s original version and the band’s own sound. And the song itself has a special significance to singer Melanie St. Pierre, who has dedicated it to her mémère:

“When I was young my mémère used to sing a French song to me called “Melanie” by Mélanie-Chantal Pary & André Sylvain. I specifically remember the lyrics going “Mélanie on a besoin de toi” which translates to something like “Melanie we need you.” Now as an adult I realize how sweet that was. This song is now dedicated to her.”

Give it a listen below:

Album Review: Molly Tuttle – … but i’d rather be with you (2020, Compass Records)

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One could argue that (among other things) the mark of a great performer is what they bring to the table when interpreting someone else’s work, and to my mind, Molly Tuttle‘s recent covers collection, … but i’d rather be with you, is a perfect example of a great cover album.

Recorded during quarantine in collaboration with producer Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird), the album features Tuttle’s takes on songs by such unlikely bedfellows as The Rolling Stones, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen Dalton, and Harry Styles, but the songs all flow together perfectly, to the extent that it’s not at all jarring to hear her transition straight from the beautiful balladry of FKA Twigs’ “Mirrored Heart” into the much more rollicking sound of Rancid’s “Olympia, WA” over the course of the album.

Tuttle made her name as a virtuosic bluegrass guitarist (she’s been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018), and her instrumental prowess is most definitely on display throughout this album. And yes, Molly Tuttle is an impressive guitarist, but just as important is her voice, with particularly strong and memorable performances coming through on her versions of Arthur Russell’s “A Little Lost” and the aforementioned “Mirrored Heart”.

In her song selection on this release, Molly Tuttle branches out and shows the breadth of her influences, covering artists across various genres and putting her own distinctive mark on each song while also showing her range as a performer – Bob Dylan’s not the only one out there who contains multitudes, you know.

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