Kaylee Johnston - "Try" (audio) (premiere)

A crazily good alt-rock hook and one hell of a voice make this new track a winner.

Vancouver singer-songwriter Kaylee Johnston is working on her debut album which is set for release in spring 2016, which ranges from edgy R&B to more rock-oriented fare. New song "Try" is a good example of the latter, which bridges the effervescence of Carly Rae Jepsen and the alt-rock charm of late '90s Natalie Imbruglia. It's all about Johnston's crystalline voice, which conveys emotion and charisma with a directness that's arresting.

"‘Try’ has an interesting story," she says. "I was going through a breakup and in an effort to get over the guy I was writing about 10 songs a week, just to get it all out of my system. This song kind of got lost in the process. I record all my demos on my iPhone, and when it came time to choose the songs for the album, I stumbled across it and was like, this… isn’t that bad… When I played it for my producers, they loved it. I was so blindsided when the relationship ended. I couldn’t wrap my head around why he didn’t want to put the effort in to make it work, like I did. A big inspiration to the production was ‘With or With Out You’ by U2. I wanted the production to slowly grow but never get too out of control. I think it reflects the nostalgic tone of the song and lets the lyric and melody be the central focus."

Kaylee Johnston will be performing in Vancouver at the Media Club on 20 October with Tyler Ward.

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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