Song Of The Day: Damon & Naomi – The Aftertime

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Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang are back and it has been far too long. The duo recently released A Sky Record, their first album since 2015 and their tenth overall. It’s a gorgeous, slowly unfolding collection of songs that builds to the perfect ending with album closer “The Aftertime,” its lyrics expressing a hopeful sentiment that many can likely relate to:

Has the storm truly passed?
Is it morning at last?
Am I now finally free?
Finally free

The dark clouds of yesterday
They’re gone, they’ve blown away
Blown away

Song Of The Day: Peach Baby – Velvet

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The Malmo-based trio of Moa McAllister, Elenoor Rovers and Judith Stocks – collectively known as Peach Baby – first came together after taking a songwriting course in the city of Bollnäs. Naturally, this has lead to a situation wherein all three members share the spotlight, with each member taking the lead on different tracks and the band writing songs together as a group.

If “Velvet” is any indication, this collaborative approach has produced some good results, with the track highlighting the band’s flair for melody.

Check out the video for “Velvet,” taken off their debut EP Sensations, due out August 27 via Lazy Octopus.

Livestream Concert Review: Voivod, June 27, Hypercube Sessions

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Never ones to simply rest on their laurels, Montreal prog metal masters Voivod have never once stopped innovating over the course of their career, always offering up something interesting and creative with each new release. That said, it’s always nice to look back at the classics now and then, and that’s just what Voivod has been doing with a series of recent livestreams focusing on some of their earlier works, the latest of which saw the band revisiting their 1988 concept album Dimension Hatröss.

After a brief intro laying out the basic story of the album followed by a montage of each band member’s face in closeup, Voivod launched into their set, starting (obviously) with “Experiment”, the first track off the album. From there, the band locked into the pummeling groove of “Tribal Convictions”, one of the highlights of the entire set alongside later tracks “Technocratic Manipulators” and “Cosmic Drama”. The band’s performance was impressive throughout, though perhaps the most memorable moment came not from the performance itself, but from an intermission of sorts halfway through their set.

At the midpoint, we were treated to an interlude featuring the band unloading and unpacking a case belonging to former guitarist and founding member Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, who passed away in 2005. That case, stored at Jason Newsted’s studio and untouched since 2003, clearly brought back a lot of memories for the band, with vocalist Denis “Snake” Bélanger describing it as “like a time capsule.”

Amongst the items found within that case were two toy rayguns, fairly apropos considering the notable sci-fi bent of much of Voivod’s work. Amazingly enough, those toys guns still worked and they even made an appearance as part of this show, with Snake firing them off and incorporating the sound into the band’s set closing performance of Neal Hefti’s “Batman” theme. It was a nice moment that saw the band remembering and honouring a fallen comrade.

All in all, the band sounded quite impressive, both from a performance and a production perspective. While livestreams such as this can never really take the place of a live concert, this one did serve as a reminder not only of how good Dimension Hatröss was (and still is) but also of what a formidable live entity Voivod is.

Song Of The Day: Girl Ray – Give Me Your Love

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When Girl Ray first came onto the scene back in 2017, they caught my attention with the jangly, twee sounds of their debut, the cleverly named Earl Grey. When they returned a couple of years later with Girl, their sound switched to a much more overtly “pop” sound – an unexpected but welcome turn of events. It’s always great to see a band branch out and experiment with different sounds and Girl Ray managed to do so while still sounding very much like themselves. And now the London based trio is back with a new single which may be their best offering yet.

Produced by members of Hot Chip, “Give Me Your Love” is eight minutes of pure joy that seems tailor made for the dance floor. That it comes along with a Midsommar-inspired video that culminates in a dance party and romance instead of all the murder found in the original source material is just the icing on the cake. Check it out below.