Archive for the ‘Canadian’ Category

Half Moon Run

Half Moon Run

Indie folksters Half Moon Run seem to attract good press where ever they go. Unsurprisingly for the Montreal trio the same thing seems to be unfolding here in Australia. After playing Woodford, Peats Ridge and a string of smaller gigs up and down the coast  it’s easy to understand why The NME called Half Moon Run “one of the most important bands débuting an album this year.”

Their minimal but textured sound fizzes and bubbles under serene melodies and heart crunching lyrics; often rising to surface of their live shows adding to the much talked about buzz.

Sydney folk can catch Half Moon Run this week playing at The Standard. Which is, by the way, an awesome venue space in Surry Hills!

Check out their Band Camp page for details of their upcoming début Dark Eyes out soon


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Chris Assaad

Chris Assaad

Canadian feel good folkster Chris Assaad is headed to Australia this month and bringing with him his latest collection of feel good roots & folk tunes. The new EP ‘Into the light’ is out this month and reflects on one’s ability to remain strong in the face of adversity, holding your head high and remaining true to yourself… It’s pretty inspiring stuff!

“It’s about bringing our passions and our creative gifts to light and some of the challenges we encounter along the way and the idea of community, walking the path together and having other people to share that journey with.
On a spiritual level you could base it on the notion of – when you go within you never go without.” – Chris Assaad

The six track EP will be a must for fans of Busby Marou, Ben Howard or John Butler. It’s the perfect accompaniment to combi vans and log fires with your friends but will sound equally at home on your Sunday afternoon session in the sun.

Stand out track for me is the title track ‘Into the Light’. It’s a modern day ‘Stand by me’, a musical shoulder to lean on when your chips are down. The perfect pick me up after a tough day at the office and a reminder, if it were needed, that everything is going to be ok.

Chris Assaad will be sharing his sunshine vibes in Sydney toward the end of this month playing the Beach Rd. Hotel on 22nd March before heading to the uber cool 505 for the official Into the light EP launch the day after on the 23rd. Get involved, you won’t be disappoint!

** Check out my Interview with Chris Assaad. **

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Wake Owl

Wake! Owl – Wild Country EP

Lead by vocalist Colyn Cameron, Wake! Owl, are a folk outfit from Vancouver!  The team of troubadours got together over to pour their  musical know-how into creating the 5 songs collectively known as the Wild Country EP. The songs evoke a disparate landscape that would be well suited to the snow capped hinterlands of Canada. Yet the tracks bear the glow of a great log fire to produce an EP that is both warm and inviting, bursting full of promise.

Fans of Boy & Bear, or Bright Eyes will no doubt enjoy Wake! Owl. They’ve drawn comparisons from the likes of Tallest Man on Earth and Mumford and Sons, though I believe that’s more to do with the soaring violin and raspy vocals rather than bluegrass banjo’s.

Below is a sneaky taster of what the Wild Country EP is made of (which I found over at Fresh Muse) and you can find out much more info through the Wake! Owl FB page. Their music is available for a donation via their Bandcamp page and I can assure you, any dollars you put forward will go a long way to ensuring the longevity of this project, so get involved!


If you like Wake! Owl – You’ll probably dig Art of Sleeping

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Mayer Hawthorne

Who is Mayer Hawthorne?

Right, here’s the thing. Last year I was given a CD named A Strange Arrangement. At that point I had no idea who Mayer Hawthorne was, but I like the cut of this guy’s jib.  His modern soul stylings are similar to Amy Winehouse – lending a modern twist to a more traditional sound with bigger, brighter beat. New music for a chilled out Sunday afternoon.

Mayer Hawthorne‘s lyrics are a little cheekier, a little lighter on the heartbreak than Amy’s and it’s for this that I kind of considered him a little less cool. Like some guilty pleasure I kept him all to myself, happily bopping along whilst no one was looking without mentioning it to anyone. Afraid I was turning into that old guy who likes young pop songs. Was I about to start wearing chino’s and shopping at Gap? Who is Mayer Hawthorne?

How is Amy Winehouse cool and credible musician and yet this guy feels a little bit like Harry Connick Jnr… Who is still pretty cool but, well, y’know… Not that cool. I tried to put him out of my mind but couldn’t resist having a little listen on a lazy Sunday or a cool spring evening whilst the sun was out.

Then a few weeks ago I received a press release inviting me to download his new single The Walk. I could choose between the clean version for radio or the other one. Confused that such a clean cut, happy go lucky, summer sounding, jazz man would add some naughty words I opted for that one almost immediately. I wasn’t disappointed. First listen gives you the normal happy, everything is wonderful feeling yet pay a little attention and there’s a touch of vindictiveness hidden within the lyrics. Check out the video below and you’ll see the playful nature Hawthorne serves up in much of tunes extended to this Mr & Mrs Smith style shakedown. A darker story that adds weight to the tune and implies a little more credibility to the singer.

So now I’ve caved. I wanted to find out more and was surprised to see his music mentioned on a range of blogs from humble music blogs like this to hardcore Hip Hop sites. Word on the street is, this Michigan based crooner used to scratch a living as a Hip Hop DJ before being convinced to cut his teeth on a real like RnB record. Lucky for his it worked out well!

There’s a new album out and it’s a broader, wider influenced record than A Strange Arrangement. Hints of Rat pack style jazz numbers mixed with flirtatious rock, bossa, and soul music. It’s very soulful …and it features Snoop Dog on on of the tracks. The new album is called How do you do? and it’s out in the all the right places.

Fans of New York Disco should head to his site and download the Do Over Disco Mix… Awesomeness awaits.

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Two Hours Traffic

Two Hours Traffic

Canadian quartet Two Hours Traffic have been supporting the  Jezzabels as they tour the nation. The final gig was today was up in Brisbane and both bands have been receiving rapturous reviews and praise for their on-stage performances. Blazing guitar riffs loaded with fiery pop melodies put the in the same fields as Weezer and The Go-Betweens happily stoking the flames of Canada’s musical uprising.

Two Hours Traffic have come of age with their latest album Territory, after their previous album Little Jabs gained nominations and turned heads around the world. Territory, their third offering, has earned Two Hours Traffic spots on the O.C and (Tim’s favourite) Gossip Girl.  WE were able to send them a bunch of questions which Liam, the founder, vocalists and guitarist kindly answered:

What bands have had an impact on forming your Band’s sound?
We had a gig playing mostly cover songs when we first started out, so I guess we learned a lot from how those songs were put together.  We played songs by many artists, including the Pixies, Radiohead, Spoon and Beck.  It was just the stuff we were listening to at the time, and it helped shape our own writing style.

Was there a specific moment or turning point when you decided to go for it as a band?
We started playing in University, and after we graduated we had a big decision to make: continue on as a part-time group or try to make a career out of it.  We decided to give it a shot and we moved up to Toronto and eventually secured a label and manager.  I wouldn’t say we have a ‘career’ just yet, but we’re still going strong.

Three albums in, a bunch of nominations & awards tied in with heaps of recommendations, as a band you seem to have found your way, kept your sanity and still had a lot of fun along the way… What keeps you going?
Creating new music is what keeps us motivated.  It can be very exciting. We love writing songs and we take pride in it.  Of course, the other ‘best part’ is hitting the road and playing for a room full of people who are dancing and singing along to your tunes.  This certainly doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s beautiful when it does.

Where’s next after Australia?
We go back to Canada soon and we are planning on doing a lot of writing in the next few months.  We are planning on doing a short US tour in February, but aside from that we will be focusing on new material.

As you’re coming to the end of the Aussie leg of this tour what’s been the high point?
Our show in Sydney at the Gaelic House was a highlight.  It was a fantastic stage to play on and there was a great atmosphere in the room.  I also have to mention the three nights we did in Melbourne at the East Brunswick Club…we were treated very well by the staff and we did our damndest to win over a few of the Jezabels’ faithful.

Have there been any ‘Walk of Shame’ moments you’d like to share on this tour… (Or in general)
We are a very PG band and therefore our road stories are too embarrassing to mention; embarrassing in that they are incredibly boring and completely free from rock star excesses.

Have you had much of a chance to enjoy the fruits of the local music scene whilst being on tour, and stand out acts?
We have been exposed to a wealth of great Australian music.  We were lucky enough to catch Dan Kelly opening up for Dappled Cities and both acts were fantastic.  We have also picked up albums by the Triffids and You Am I.  I cannot forget the Jezabels either – they are truly a magical act to watch and I’m not just saying that because we are on tour with them.

Quick fire round:
First album – something by Raffi, probably “baby beluga”
Book that changed my life – sirens of titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Favorite film – life with mikey starring Michael J. Fox

Two Hours Traffic’s third album Territory is out now and the new single is yours for free right here: twohourstraffic.com

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This week’s Polyphonic three got off to a flying start once Timmy took off his angry pants. Leaping from a somewhat down beat mole to the very pinnacle of broadcaster professional. As always, three new bands, hot on the scene were played and reviewed:

The first track from the seemingly “quirky and witty” Hannah Georgas a delightful Canadian who one day hopes to marry Jack Black. (Don’t ask us, its just what we heard on the street…) Her new track Chit Chat has some clever lyrics supported by a fantastic musical accompaniment, the track has a slow build of rhythm and melody that slowly picks up pace as the tune progresses. I was really impressed with her other tracks and highly recommend checking out her MySpace page to hear a few other gems from this cheeky Canadian. Look out for her future releases as if she’s going to snag the legendary Jack then she will no doubt be banging out the tunes in hopes of hypnotizing him into love. We couldn’t find a video for Chit Chat but did the find the above on her website which gives you a pretty good idea of who she is and where she’s at… Enjoy.

Next up we have a track from Los Angeles based Hanni El Khatib, a name that is truly difficult to pronounce live on air, as we found out on Saturday. All pronunciations issues aside it’s a name you won’t soon forget once you here his mix of fat drum beats and strangely intoxicating melodies, his track Dead Wrong somehow sticks in your head once you hear the track you will be humming it all day as it courses through your veins like a musical freight train. Somewhat similar to Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros, he’s currently touring with Florence + The Machine stateside and we’re expecting this to raise his profile to the new heights he deserves.

Bringing this weeks threesome to a climax we played The Rooftops. A Brisbane 6 piece that sound as though they belong on the skate park, surrounded by hot chicks. Not the plastic glamour girls of hip hop videos, but the cool chicks that surf all day and would happily share a yarn afterwards. The band encapsulates all that’s right with this country with their positive beats, cheerful grooves and bright roots music. They are currently working on a new album that by all accounts is going to be the one. Regulars on the festival scene around their home state of Queensland, you can expect to see and hear a lot more from these guys & gals as we head into summer. They will no doubt be compared to the likes of Cat Empire & Jason Miraz but on their own merits The Rooftops stand up just fine. We played the track Lest we Forget which you’ll find on the Unearthed website, gratis, and you can check them out live at the Macquarie Hotel on the 13th November.

Tha’s all for this weeks wrap up of new & cool.  Join us on air this Saturday as Tim takes the musical reigns on The Walk of Shame show from 9am. You can listen online, and on 88fm around Bondi Beach.

Whilst you’re here – let us know if the ads below are good or just annoying too, it’s a new thing we’re trailing. Thanks
The Charlatans

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