by Matt Carter
Let’s face it, summers can be busy; probably too busy than most of us would like. So while you were out running around doing your best to soak up every sweat-drenched moment these past few months, there’s a pretty good chance some new music slipped past your ears undetected. We definitely missed a couple of these releases when they dropped, so let’s take a moment to recap a couple of noteworthy albums and EPs.
Shrimp Ring – (Countdown to Oblivion) June
Shrimp Ring’s gravitational pull increases with each new release. Countdown to Oblivion – the Saint John duo’s latest interplanetary dance party – imagines Justin Trudeau on an orbiting space station, a lonely heart sending thoughts to a loved one in space and a couple plotting the future of humanity as the earth’s life cycle comes to an end. All this in a highly danceable four song concentrate. Relive the birth of 80s synth pop now before the world ends.
Stegosaurus – (Essential Tremors) June
New Brunswick expat Stuart Buckley has a proven gift for writing rich guitar hooks that blend the power of 90’s era indie rock with rhythmic shifts, pulls and pauses; a combination he’s continued to develop since his days running the Saint John indie label Sharktooth Records. Enlisting the help of several friends and collaborators from NB (most of whom have left the province to study in Ottawa and Montreal) Buckley has offered up amother beautiful album well worth repeated listening.
The Backstays – (self-titled EP) August
If you’re already lamenting the passing of another summer, this self-titled debut EP from the 2018 Stringray Music Rising Star winners should help. It’s hazy summer pop music at it’s finest. Your next favourite soundtrack to yellow-filtered evening sunsets and aimless drives down rural roads just because.
Approaches – (various artists) August
This first compilation from Patient Records offers a wide windowed view into the province’s experimental/electronic music scene. Pulling together some of the region’s most active bleepers and bloopers, bedroom DJs, noise architects and composers, label founder Eric Hill has curated an eclectic collection of sound that serves to remind us all that NB music is a lot more than guitars, guitars, guitars. It could also be processors, processors, processors.
Which Witch is Which – (self-titled) July
Fans of uptempo rock and roll, please come to the front of the line – Which Witch is Which’s debut album is waiting for you. Full of gritty, raw, punk influenced bangers, this album packs a punch to the face AND a solid kick to the junk. Pain never felt so good.