Song of the Day

SXSW Song of the Day: Saint Sister, Causing Trouble

Posted on by Gary in Everything, Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Adding the adjective Celtic to any modern music automagically evokes that most popular of icons in the “New Age” of 1990, harmonizing on an island clifftop as “Orinoco Flow” plays over the airwaves, whilst I was living on an island without those same airwaves. Sad, regarding that second bit.

New Age is unfortunately a bastardized term that could taint many music genres performed by Irish women for which philistines lack the attention span to digest. Thankfully, Dublin-based Saint Sister is unlikely to be boring even to those readers of a bourgeois disposition, which of course we have none, so my bad. Having released their first EP, Madrid, just two years ago, the sisters Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty were promptly named one of the Best Irish Acts of 2017 by the Irish Times. This is high praise that has been sustained by appearances in festivals like Reeperbahn and Glastonbury, as well as major broadcasting centers like ABC and BBC1. Very exciting stuff, indeed.

“Causing Trouble” is the first track off their next album. Their songs are characterized by clear, crisp, yet delicate vocals with a distinctly Celtic and Nordic melody. The lack of a purposeful harmony is refreshing, as it steals a peek almost naturally, yet when you least expect it. I’m determined NOT to read the lyrics here, however, because “Causing Trouble” is the last thing on my mind when I hear this. Paired with a backdrop of simple electronics, it is just an atmospheric and cleansing soundscape that recalls a rejuvenation spell in Skyrim (perhaps I’ve completely destroying the imagery at this point). I also recommend “Blood Moon” from the first EP, which is a bit more sparse but also more emotional. Looking forward to seeing them live, as well as taking a stroll on a beach with this buoying my state of mind.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – Someplace

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Come this March, a whole lot of acts will be descending upon Austin, Texas for SXSW and as per usual, several Torontonians will be playing, including (just to name a few) Greys, Beams, Frigs, Lido Pimienta, The Weather Station, U.S. Girls and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan.

The former Montrealers, now Toronto-based, will be releasing their new album Dirt on March 23rd and will be previewing songs from the album at SXSW before starting a North American tour. Interestingly to me, the tour includes a stop in Sarnia, Ontario. Does Sarnia even get that many touring bands? I feel like they don’t get as many, so you’d better check this one out, Sarnians. Are they called Sarnians? I’m pretty sure they are, but that also kind of sounds like something out of Lord Of The Rings so maybe not. Any Sarnia folk please advise.

“Someplace,” the first single off of Dirt, starts out relatively serene before blossoming into big, doomy, epic heaviness for the homestretch. Check it out below and check them out at SXSW or Sarnia or wherever if you get the chance.

Song of the Day: Lucy Dacus – Night Shift

Posted on by Gary in Everything, Song of the Day | Leave a comment

It’s hard to recommend break-up songs. Search one’s Best-Of lists over the years, and I would argue that it’s a specific and endangered species of accolade like the albatross. In this age of hyper-connectivity and over-social carnage, spending the time to compose and write a song is more of a redundant anachronistic mechanism, like the mix-tapes from the 1980s. Where is the catharsis if you invest it into a creative work, only to prolong the hurt like an albatross around your neck every time you play it? One is supposed to vent the anger and disappointment immediately, and move on to better and brighter things one can Instagram. Plus, wouldn’t you question the recommender’s frame of mind? Who would heartily and vicariously share pain?

We covered Lucy Dacus’ excellent debut at SXSW two years ago. This new single is broken up into two parts (no pun intended). Thanks in no small part to Dacus’ evenly narrative voice, as on the first album, we are able to follow the story in the lead portion. But if you lack patience, skip to 3:25 for the beautifully written refrain: a feat all by itself that fits any shoe. It feels ever so slightly wrong to be excited in the anticipation of being depressed, but I’m sure you’ll get over that feeling very quickly, too. This is now my favorite night-shift song next to The Commodores. No, they don’t mix well.

Dacus’ new album, Historian, is coming out on March 2nd.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Max Richter – Dream 3 (in the midst of my life)

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Today SXSW released its list of the next batch of performers for this year’s edition. It’s the biggest announcement yet with plenty of noteworthy names on the list, one of the most intriguing of them being Max Richter. The British composer, who among many other accomplishments has written several excellent film and television scores, (shout out to The Leftovers, one of the best things to ever be on TV) will be presenting the North American debut of his 8 hour composition Sleep. A more manageable 10 minute excerpt is presented below.

I don’t really have a clear notion of how such a piece would even work at SouthBy, where set lengths of 20-40 minutes are the norm, but I am intrigued. Maybe it will be more of an installation piece where people would be free to come and go and those that are up for it and have the stamina could stay for the duration, but who knows? Regardless of what form it takes though, this promises to be one of the more unique and interesting bits of programming for this year’s festival.