New music: The Sturgeons

Straight from the Canadian Prairies, the Sturgeons make music that is equal parts nostalgia and Canadiana. As a folk album, This Is typifies the charm of the genre — music that is honest, frank and unashamed of where it comes from. The album opens with “Someone to Love,” a song that evokes images of barn… Continue reading New music: The Sturgeons

New music: Rebeccca Lappa

In her latest album, Edmonton-born Rebecca Lappa blends folk and classical vocals to create Ode to Tennyson, her fourth full-length album. The album is inspired by the works of 19th century British poet laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson. Lappa’s music is energetic and complex, with classical and folk influences dove-tailing into jazzy, Celtic and even Latin… Continue reading New music: Rebeccca Lappa

Fucked Up

The latest album from Vancouver band Fucked Up delivers a chaotic and complex punk rock sound. Glass Boys is a mix of hardcore punk and indie that is unpolished, but tenacious. But with this hybridization the album suffers from an overall lack of unity — many songs shift from mellow instrumentals to screaming vocals at… Continue reading Fucked Up

Blades of Steel

Full Frontal Nelson & the Boxcar Bolsheviks, the latest album from Calgary hip hop group Blades of Steel, is defined by brash lyrics and catchy instrumentals, which produce a sound that is an interesting fusion of hip hop and other genres. The EP wastes no time with “So Fast,” dropping synth beats layered with rapid-fire… Continue reading Blades of Steel

Ellen Doty

Ellen Doty’s debut album Gold is jazz in the most classic sense. Unashamed and frank, Doty embraces a sound that brushes aside modern studio gimmicks. When it works, Gold stands out as a homegrown and warmhearted listen meant for easy summer days. When it doesn’t, the lyricism falls flat, forcing songs to drag out and… Continue reading Ellen Doty

Reuben And The Dark

Funeral Sky — the debut album from Calgary-based Reuben and the Dark — sees the indie-folk outfit explore “the duality of misery and joy.” The album is produced by Florence + The Machine drummer Chris Hayden (who vocalist Reuben Bullock met serendipitously at a resort in Mexico) and Stephen Kozmeniuk. The album incorporates chilling choir-like… Continue reading Reuben And The Dark

Chromeo

Chromeo’s fourth album, White Women, delivers what their previous album, Business Casual, couldn’t: a clever, tongue-in-cheek summer playlist. While many artists are just discovering the semi-vintage, always fun, electro-funk music that is a mish-mash of 70s discotheque and 80s pop sensibility, this is Chromeo’s regular mix. And they have finally found the combination that strikes… Continue reading Chromeo

The Black Keys

Turn Blue marks the Black Keys’ eighth studio album and sees the duo continue to grow. The psychedelic album cover and psych-rock soul reflect the style of co-producer Danger Mouse. This is the band’s fourth collaboration with the producer, known for his work with Jay-Z, Gorillaz and Beck. With morose lyrics and a tempo slower… Continue reading The Black Keys

Michael Jackson

The reception for Michael Jackson’s second posthumous album Xscape has been mixed. Some feel MJ would approve, while others, like Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, call it “bullshit.” Releasing posthumous work is tricky. It’s great to hear new music from a deceased musician, but it’s never entirely their music. Xscape features unfinished songs recorded between… Continue reading Michael Jackson