JUNO and Polaris Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Donovan Woods released a deluxe edition of his fourth album, Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled, back on August 22nd that includes four bonus live performance tracks. Woods’ profile is rising quickly and making his hometown of Toronto proud as he’s become an in-demand songwriter in Nashville with his plainspoken but universal lyrics. “What They Mean” premieres today on PopMatters.
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Having relocated to Nashville from Los Angeles at the turn of the decade, singer/songwriter Stewart Eastham launched his solo career in 2013 after disbanding his original group, Day of the Outlaw. Reconvening the rhythm section of his former band for sophomore solo outing Dancers in the Mansion, Eastham’s goal was to create an album of songs with a “head bobbin’ vibe”.
Canadian indie poppers Royal Canoe released their latest album, Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit, just last week and the band’s new single is the catchy, groove-laden “Bicycle” that quickly establishes itself as a bonafide earworm. The tune is backed by this lovely new animated video created by Bill Acheson and Matea Radic. They’re going to tell us about how they made the video, but please be sure to check out the band’s huge list of tour dates below so you can catch them live.
London’s Blue House makes lovely, intricate indie pop music so light and airy that the melodies could be pasted on gentle rolling clouds passing above your head. “John the Unready” is one of two tracks that the duo, James Howard and Ursula Russell, released on September 9th via Canvasclub, Canvasback’s imprint for singles by up and coming musicians. Hushed “ba ba ba’s”, understated guitar lines, languid synth washes create a state of utter dreaminess. The video is animated and featuring a rabbit. Howard says, “Respect to Tjoff Koong Studios for making something so good with my cryptic instruction that ‘I imagine the video involving a rabbit.’”
Evan Sawdey: Forget the fact that half of all of pop- and indie-dom (i.e. Diplo, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ezra Koenig) worked on this song in some capacity or another. The star of the show is (and always was) Beyoncé. “What’s worse / Lookin’ jealous or crazy?” she asks to her philandering man, and that one line, by itself, is defining: it’s not so much about her emotion, which in fact she’ll always carry inside her, but how she presents it. That’s the issue. This fella is burned no matter what, so here she is, in the unenviable position, trying to maneuver how to handle the way that people will perceive this blow up. When you get down to it, it’s about control, and even when he’s out of control, she’s going to do all she can to mitigate the situation. Therein lies her power, and therein lies her brilliance. It’s intense psycho drama, but lord you can also dance to it. [10/10]