Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tegan and Sara

When I started working at Universal Music in 2000 there were lots of showcases for staff.  Some in small venues and some at the office in the lunch room.  In the fall of 2000 a marketing manager sent an invitation for the staff to come and see twins Tegan and Sara play a few songs in the office.  That was the first I had heard their names and it wouldn't be the last.

The girls played a couple of acoustic songs from their album 'The Business Of Art' which was recorded in part at Hawksley Workman's own studios in Northern Ontario.  The girls could also boast that they were signed directly to Neil Young's label Vapor Records at that time.  It was their second album - but the start to a career that would garner them some serious attention and praise from music critics.  Not bad for for twins born in Calgary, Alberta.

The girls dropped by our studios this past week to promote their forthcoming album entitled 'Heartthrob' set for release on January 29th.  Here's our interview with the pretty and witty sisters...

There's so much music coming and going each day - so it's refreshing to sit back and reflect on an artist's career every once in a while.  Tegan and Sara have already released 6 full length albums making this new one their 7th.  They've grown and morphed over the years.  In recent years they've even collaborated with the likes of Tiesto and Morgan Page in the dance world.  From the sound of lead single 'Closer' it could be the final piece needed to becoming a household name around the world.  It's an amazing track on the heels of an amazing career and I hope they continue down this path.

Here are some of the hits I recommend you give a spin...


'Body Work'

'Back in Your Head'

'Feel It In My Bones'

'Living Room'

'Speak Slow'

Oh yeah they're also nominated for a Grammy Award at this year's show in February.  Their DVD 'Get Along' is up for 'Best Long Form Music Video'.  Good luck @teganandsara 

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Name A Better Song Than Stompa!

Is there a better song out there than Serena Ryder's 'Stompa'?  I personally don't think so because it has everything I could ever wish for in a rock song.  It starts out with a dirty guitar riff and a droning echo vocal sound in the background.  As Serena's vocals kick in you realize that this chick is bad ass.  The harmonies and back-up singing are perfect.  This is the best song in the world right now.

The first time I heard this track I instantly pictured Lykke Li  fronting The Black Keys in the basement of Toronto's Dakota Tavern.  That too me is pretty fucking magical.

I've enjoyed a few tracks by Serena in recent years but was more familiar with her name than I was her music.  The one song I recall most was a track called 'A Little Bit Of Red' heard here...

Serena Ryder's latest album entitled 'Harmony' is out now and features 9 other amazing tracks and I highly recommend you pick it up, download it or stream it.  Whatever you do start with 'Stompa' and thank me later.

Here are a few other beauty tracks I'd like to recommend you give a spin.  I am also very proud to say that they're all by Canadian artists.

Moka Only - 'Tighten Up'
  • This guys is a Canadian legend in Hip Hop.  It's perfect.  He did vocals on many of Swollen Members big hits throughout the years - and was featured on many other tracks.  This is my favourite thing he's done and I can't wait to get my hands on this album now.

The Sheepdogs - 'Alright Ok'
  • I want to get in a car and drive across the country smoking ciggys when I hear this track and I don't even smoke.  I am a fan of these guys and the whole new album is worth a spin.  They might be the hardest working acts in the country today and deserve everything that comes to them.  Go see them live you will agree with me I promise.

K-os - 'Nyce To Know You'
  • I've heard 2 tracks from this album and it's fantastic.  I hope that the rest of it is equally if not better.  This guy has had a lengthy career thus far - but this seems like a new direction and I for one like where he's going.

Hollerado - 'Pick Me Up'
  • This is one of the most whacked videos I've ever seen - but it doesn't matter because the song is killer.  The lyrics are great and this song really should be on charts around the world.  I'm pretty sure that acid has made a come back in Hollerado's camp.

Japandroids - 'The House That Heaven Built'
  • I admit I slept on this one - but better late than never.  It came it as the #1 track on The Strombo Hundo and kicked me in the ass when I heard it there.  I had heard it before but needed to hear it in context like this.  Damn is this a killer rock track.

Thanks for reading/listening,


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5 Recommendations

It's early - but if the tail end of last year's music offerings are any indication then we have lots to look forward to in 2013.

I've already got a list started of artists I'm excited about.  I can't wait to hear their full albums once they come out.  Here's a quick list of artists to watch out for this year.

Tegan and Sara - 'Closer'
New album out on January 29th 

Hollerado - 'Pick Me Up'
New album out on February 12th 

Foals - 'Inhaler'
New album out on February 12th 

Joey Bada$$ - 'Waves'
Debut full length album due out in 2013

Biffy Clyro - 'Black Chandelier'
New album out on March 12th (in North America)

I'm certain that there's lots more great stuff to come and I for one am excited.

Happy New Year.