Expertly navigating that rarefied space between elegiac folk and accessible pop, Toronto-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Kunder has emerged as one of the most electrifying musicians on the indie scene and a sought-after live performer. Kunder’s dazzling sophomore album “Better Human”, released in 2018, is poised to dominate this next year. His third full length album is already in motion with studio days logged and plans to release new recordings in 2019.
Real life anchors most of “Better Human”, the record exploring compelling themes like the birth of a child, the struggle for life balance, the workday reality propping up our outward façade, largely illuminating the human struggle to navigate through the world while sharing darkness in order to see the light.
Produced alongside Aaron Goldstein at Baldwin Street Sound, guests include Oh Susanna, Jim Guthrie, Paper Bird/Bahamas singer Carleigh Aikins, Sarah MacDougall, Ladies of the Canyon’s Maia Davies and Anna Ruddick, Arkells drummer Tim Oxford, keyboardist Anthony Carone, violinist Drew Jurecka, and Wintersleep drummer Loel Campbell, among others. Propelled variously by strings, pedal steel, keyboards, percussion, guitar, bass, and those spectacular before-mentioned voices renders small moments in precise detail, making his songs both accessible and, occasionally, downright palpable.
On her new five-song EP All It Was, JUNO Award-nominated singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Roxanne Potvin goes deeper into her personal journey, adding more elements to an ever-expanding sound.
Having taken full control of her career with the self-produced, independently released 2016 album For Dreaming—containing the singles “I Thought I’d Miss You” and “The March”—All It Was builds on its predecessor’s “roots-pop” approach with the help of Potvin’s loyal team that includes guitarist Christine Bougie, organist Jesse O’Brien, bassist Mark McIntyre, drummer Olivier Fairfield and others.
The EP’s psychedelic-tinged title track sets the tone for a lyrical exploration of love’s complexities, with Potvin also incorporating deep Southern soul on “I Know It’s Good,” bittersweet balladry on “Last Days Of Summer,” breezy pop on “Lonely Island,” and mesmerizing nouvelle chanson on “Nuit Électrique.”
All It Was marks Potvin’s first release with Comino Productions, and its label imprint Comino Music, which has helped produce a “video EP” that will serve as a companion piece to the music. The videos are directed by Ottawa visual artist Petr Maur and offer dynamically different perspectives on the songs, as well as placing Potvin on the cutting edge of providing listeners with a complete audio/visual experience.
Embracing new concepts has never been a problem for Potvin, who maintains a busy touring schedule on top of constantly writing and recording new material. All It Was is another major creative step forward for one of Canada’s most accomplished musical artists.
Known for their soulful three-part harmonies, West Coast Music Award Winners Sweet Alibi, have shared their folk roots-pop infused music with listeners across North America and Europe since 2009. They are the distinct and complementary voices of Jess Rae Ayre, Amber Nielsen and Michelle Anderson, joined by Alasdair Dunlop on bass and Sandy Fernandez on drums. Their music has garnered national accolades and awards, has been featured on MTV Canada, CMT, it has received major radio play on college/community and satellite radio, with several songs in the top 20 of CBC Radio 2’s national charts.
“Sweet Alibi definitely belongs in the category of best Canadian folk-pop artists” - Coolibri GERMANY
“Sweet Alibi’s expert harmonies and timeless soul continue to draw eyes and ears to the ‘Music Heart of the Continent’ Winnipeg!” - Beatroute Magazine
The band is currently working on their fourth studio album with producers Matt Peters and Matt Schellenberg of Royal Canoe (Begonia). The album is set to be a melodic experience focused on hooky guitar lines and layered beats, inspired by the likes of Alabama Shakes and Bahamas. Sweet Alibi’s sound has been evolving and refining through their past album releases, extensive Canada wide and international touring, as well as a focused effort to draw on the creative efforts of their favourite influencers. Not yet titled, their next album is slated for release in fall 2019.