Shervin IainezRose Cousins is not a new artist. The Charlottetown by way of Halifax artist has been releasing music for the better part of a decade and I’ve technically heard her before as she’s guested on any number of Maritime-born records including Joel Plaskett’s, but I’d not heard any of her own material until her third full-length album We Have Made A Spark, released at the end of February. And clearly that’s been my loss.
It’s not a record that stops you in your tracks – describe it as singer-songwriter that’d be comfortable at an adult contemporary party and lists towards the rootsy end of things and you wouldn’t be wrong – but that wouldn’t give credit to the emotional richness that Cousins infuses her work with. Her voice has that special blend of wistfulness and resignation that’s put to good use throughout Spark and ably supported by the lean and tasteful arrangements. But the sense of something ineffably special about this record really emerges on the record’s back half, with “For The Best” and “This Light” acting as a particularly powerful one-two punch and the cover of Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind” finishing the listener off. Predominantly slow and sad, yet still standing tall, Spark articulates the sorts of feelings and experiences that everyone has either known or will know soon enough.
Uptown and The Edmonton Journal have feature pieces on Cousins and Southern Souls recently posted a video session with her. She plays The Rivoli on May 3.
MP3: Rose Cousins – “The Darkness”
The Elwins are helping celebrate Record Store Day with an in-store at Soundscapes on the evening of April 21 at 7PM; details over at Facebook. They’ve also been added to the support bill for Zeus at The Phoenix on June 9.
MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
Sonic Boom is also once again celebrating Record Store Day with their own in-store mini-festival; this year they’ll have Army Girls, The Darcys, Born Ruffians, Plants & Animals, Bloodshot Bill, Fresh Snow, Lioness, Eight And A Half, and Diemonds. Now that’s a lineup and the schedule for the day looks like this.
MP3: Plants & Animals – “Song For Love”
MP3: The Darcys – “Shaking Down The Old Bones”
Video: Diemonds – “Take On The Night”
Video: Eight And A Half – “Scissors”
Video: Lioness – “You’re My Heart”
Though she figures to be around six months pregnant by that time, Coeur de Pirate has made a date at The Opera House for June 1, tickets $22.50 in advance. Rock!
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Golden Baby”
The 2012 LuminaTO arts festival schedule is out, and from the music end of things, it’s got quite a bit to offer, mostly for free. Highlights include a Rufus Wainwright show on June 10, a Dan Mangan/Kathleen Edwards double-bill on the afternoon of June 16 (hopefully Ms. Edwards’ voice will be back) and an Ohbijou show on the afternoon of June 17; all of these are at David Pecault Square and are free. And yes, that second weekend is the same time as NXNE. So much culture you’re going to choke. The Line Of Best Fit has a video session and interview and Black Cab Sessions do their thing with Wainwright and NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert and Beatroute and The Calgary Herald have feature stories on Kathleen Edwards.
MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Change The Sheets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”
Video: Rufus Wainwright – “Out Of The Game”
The Great Hall gets dark and synthy on July 13 when it hosts a show featuring Toronto’s Trust and New York’s Light Asylum; tickets for that are $12.50 in advance.
MP3: Light Asylum – “A Certain Person”
Video: Trust – “Bulbform”
I don’t remember the last time Little Scream played her own headlining show hereabouts – has she ever? – but she has great luck with opening gigs, having been added as warm-up for Beirut at The Sound Academy on July 19.
MP3: Little Scream – “Cannons”
Kind of an mish-mash of a bill, both in terms of genre and geography, but you’ve got The Sam Roberts Band, Bombay Bicycle Club, and The Jezabels at Echo Beach on July 26 – tickets $39.50 for general admission and $55.00 for VIP.
MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”
Video: Sam Roberts – “I Feel You”
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”
Beatroute, The Georgia Straight, and here profile Chains Of Love, who’re in town at The Great Hall opening up for Said The Whale on April 14.
With the release of the new Moonface record With Sinai: Heartbreaking Bravery nigh – it’s out April 17 – it’s time for some premieres; a new video over at Spin and a stream of the whole record at The AV Club.
MP3: Moonface – “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”
Video: Moonface – “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”
Stream: Moonface / With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
The fourth part of The Wooden Sky’s Grace On A Hill video series has premiered at IFC. They’re at The Opera House on April 20.
Still no specifics on the “why”, if there are any, surrounding the Fucked Up show at The Power Plant on May 1, but the band have announced that it’ll be free. So the “why” now matters that much less than “when do we line up”, yes?
CBC Music has got a video session with PS I Love You wherein they preview material from Death Dreams ahead of its May 8 release. They’re at The Garrison on May 15.
JAM, The Victoria Times-Colonist, Banff Cragg & Canyon, and Beatroute talk to Joel Plaskett. He’s at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 18 and 19.
Spinner and The Globe & Mail chat with Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers, who’ve made a track from New Wild Everywhere available to download and also released a new video. There’s also clips from their performance at the Glenn Gould Studio last month at CBC Music. They play The Music Hall on June 2.
MP3: Great Lake Swimmers – “The Great Exhale”
Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “New Wild Everywhere”
Guelph disco-pop ensemble The Magic are streaming the first single from their debut Ragged Gold, due out June 25.
Stream: The Magic – “Mr. Hollywood”
Feist has released a new video from Metals.
Video: Feist – “Bittersweet Melodies”
NPR serves up a World Cafe session and Planet S an interview with John K Samson.
Daytrotter has posted a new session with Timber Timbre.