Northern exposure rules the day in this weeks edition of Release Day! Vancouver, Montreal, and London England are all excellently represented. So let’s get started!
Brill Bruisers | The New Pornographers (Vancouver)
These guys have been a round for a while and they’ve had a big impact on people who have grown up with them. Challengers, Together, Twin Cinema – these are not only records that strike an immediate chord with those who loved them when they were big, but still have an impact to those who are just now getting into them. By his own admission A.C. Newman, lead songwriter for the group, has been going through a lot of personal problems since their 2010 release, and his desire was to write something upbeat and immediately gratifying. He has. Of course, just as is the case with every New Pornographers record, it’s difficult to view this record as a body of work as a whole. After the first couple of listens one has a tenancy to focus on single tracks rather than look at the “concept” of the album – “Champions of Red Wine” and the single “War On The East Coast” are already on their 25th rotation while other selections are still awaiting their 2nd.
Angels and Devils| The Bug (London)
Returning for the first time since his 2008 release London Zoo, renowned producer Kevin Martin (known by his pseudonym The Bug) has split his record into two halves with Angels and Devils. Instead of simply droning the listener into exactly what they were expecting after a 6 year follow-up, Martin takes the listener on a contrasting journey. That’s not to say that the opening tracks are boring or throwaways to just fill time before the hit comes along. The opening tracks are just as catching.
Neuroplasticity | Cold Specks (Montreal)
It’s her voice that catches you first on this record, which is pretty standard with most low-key neo-soul records such as this one, but it’s the combination of these “doom and gloomy” sounds that keeps you listening. Smooth jazz, indie rock, R&B, soul, down-home New Orleans boogaloo, along with the amazing vocal work that is featured on this record makes this one of the most haunting and interesting records of 2014.