With ‘Best Of 2014” lists popping up all over the place this time of year, I thought it might be fun to take the theme, scrap any numerical value or ranking and simply present 25 great tracks from Fredericton artists that have surfaced over the past year. Over the past few weeks I’ve been digging through the countless bands and individuals currently making music here in Fredericton, some familiar to my ears and hearing others for the first time. It was a pretty fun and enlightening exercise and one that opened my ears to a lot of music I’d missed over the past 12 months. In this five part series, I will share some of my favourites from 2014. Enjoy!
Before The War
A new group that surfaced this past year, Before The War are well on their way to establishing their sound within the city’s vast listening audience. Blending superb musicianship with infectious songwriting, I expect to hear these guys a lot in the future. Tons of fun.
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Stephen Lewis and Friends
Stephen made headlines earlier this year with his incredible story. Now it’s his music that delivers the message on this, his latest track. A new man with new music heading into a new year. Look out world, Stephen Lewis is a man on a mission.
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I’m quickly becoming a pretty big fan of Hayden Wheeler. This guy has been writing, recording and releasing music under a bunch of different monikers and ensembles, each completely different, adventurous and creative. I have to track this guy down for a chat. The future of humanity may depend on it.
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Debut album is out. Hard and heavy. Good cop – bad cop vocals, fist in the air riffs and tight playing. As good as any other in the genre. One outstanding thing to me on this recording is the band’s ability to blend melodic changes and heavy leads without losing sight of the song’s overall arrangement and feel. No disjointed tracks here. Everything flows so well. Definitely worth a listen or three.
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What can I say about one of the city’s nicest musicians that hasn’t already been said? I think I can speak for a lot of music fans when I say Cedric Noel is a thoughtful songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve. We’ve been fortunate to witness the evolution of his songwriting over the past few years as he explores new sounds and ideas. He has a new album in the works for 2015. Keep your eyes open for that.
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Matt Carter | @m_j_c73