Music

The Young Novelists Take Us "Back to the Hard Times" (premiere)

Photo: Jen Squires (The Press House)

Canadian indie folk duo the Young Novelists get emotional on the superb, weighty single from their forthcoming LP.

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Young Novelists have graced listeners with a new single, the contemplative and slow-brewing "Back to the Hard Times". With a remarkably understated and haunting sense of melody and mood, the duo convinces us that we have lived a lifetime in the space of moments as the tune works its gorgeous charms upon us. Reminiscent of Canadian heavyweights such as k.d. lang, Cowboy Junkies, the Sadies and, in a way, Bruce Cockburn, the Young Novelists are informed with a cool authenticity that many of their U.S. counterparts can only dream of. There's a confidence in this understatement, a heart-filled hopefulness that one can only hope blazes a trail for various Americana-minded acts to follow in the coming years.

Of the song itself, Graydon James says, "If you've ever seen the optical illusion where first it's a vase, then it's two faces looking at each other, well that's what I tried to do when I wrote this song, except lyrically. I had two stories in mind: the true story of a failed amusement park at Crystal Beach near the small town of Ridgeway, Ontario, and the equally true story of a broken and dying relationship between a couple of teenage kids who happened to be friends of mine at a time when I lived in Ridgeway. My goal was to make each line work for both stories, and that the difference between the two would be a simple shift of perspective."

Those haunting perspectives make their way into the video, which James' bandmate, Laura Spink, says came about with a little help from some good friends. "We were trying to find a way to present the idea of a struggling relationship without resorting to the usual imagery, and the image we kept coming back to was a boiling pot of water," she notes. "We collaborated with the artistic team at Brought to You By, who did a beautiful job producing the video, and came up with a way to tell the story that we thought had a novel twist: seeing the relationship from the point of view of the shared space and the stuff that this couple had around them. You get drawn in by what goes unsaid and unseen, and I think there's power in that."

The track can be found on the Young Novelists' forthcoming release In City & Country, due out 4 May. The album may be ordered here.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Laura Nyro's "Save the Country" Calls Out from the Past

Laura Nyro, a witchy, queer, ethnic Russian Jew, died young, but her non-conformist anthem, "Save the Country", carries forth to these troubled times.

Books

Journalist Jonathan Cott's Interviews, Captured

With his wide-ranging interviews, Jonathan Cott explores "the indispensable and transformative powers of the imagination."

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus and the Culture Wars

Infodemics, conspiracies -- fault lines beneath the Fractured States of America tremble in this time of global pandemic, amplify splinters, fractures, and fissures past and present.

Music

'Switched-On Seeker' Is an Imaginative Electronic Reimagining of Mikal Cronin's Latest LP

Listeners who prefer dense rock/pop timbres will no doubt prefer Mikal Cronin's 'Seeker'. However, 'Switched-On Seeker' will surely delight fans of smaller-scale electronic filters.

Music

IYEARA Heighten the Tension on Remix of Mark Lanegan's "Playing Nero" (premiere)

Britsh trio IYEARA offer the first taste of a forthcoming reworking of Mark Lanegan's Somebody's Knocking with a remix of "Playing Nero".

Music

Pottery Take Us Deep Into the Funky and Absurd on 'Welcome to Bobby's Motel'

With Welcome to Bobby's Motel, Pottery have crafted songs to cleanse your musical pallet and keep you firmly on the tips of your toes.

Music

Counterbalance 23: Bob Dylan - 'Blood on the Tracks'

Bob Dylan makes his third appearance on the Acclaimed Music list with his 1975 album, Blood on the Tracks. Counterbalance’s Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn are planting their stories in the press.

Music

Luke Cissell Creates Dreamy, Electronic Soundscapes on the Eclectic 'Nightside'

Nightside, the new album from composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell, is largely synthetic and electronic but contains a great deal of warmth and melody.

Music

Bibio Discusses 'Sleep on the Wing' and Why His Dreams Are of the Countryside

"I think even if I lived in the heart of Tokyo, I'd still make music that reminds people of the countryside because it's where my dreams often take me," says Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) of his music and his new rustic EP.

Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.

Film

A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.

Music

The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.