Let’s get caught up on some of the many new releases that came out over the summer.
There’s a lot of music to get caught up on. Over the coming weeks I’ll be combing through a plethora of new releases shared over the past few months spanning everything from Drone to Folk. Looking at the list of new releases is almost daunting at this point. As we slowly (and begrudgingly) near the end of summer and get back to putting together this and other weekly features, it was tough to decide where exactly to begin. But I had to start somewhere, so I chose these five releases that I believe represent a broad cross section of #newnewbrunswickmusic.
Chillteens – Green Tea
Green Tea, the debut full-length from Chillteens is a deceptively complex album full of twists and turns and texture. Moving effortlessly between songs built around lyrics that could best be described as intimate and personal, into exploratory, extended jam territory without ever losing grasp of each song’s overall identity, Chillteens founder and principal songwriter Oscar Tecu and his band have curated something special on this release. The music is exciting and completely unpredictable, delivered with a confidence that seems to stem from distilling down any number of influences in search of new shapes and colour. Whether channeling keyboard driven fusion or going whole-hog on an extended guitar solo, the seven tracks on Green Tea are nothing short of eventfully. A great summer album.
Good Punks – Vega
With Vega, Saint John-based electro-pop producer Dan Chamberlain serves up an ode to the Berlin School, one of electronic music’s foundational genres, recognised widely as a precursor to the ambient movement. Clocking in at just over 26 minutes in length, this latest release from Chamberlain’s Gold Punks project is easily his most ambitious to date. Through a slow and determined melody that moves forward with uncanny consistency, Vega demands attention, only revealing its true strength to those listeners who make the commitment to take in the full composition. While progression in music is most commonly associated with shifts in melody, key changes and an obvious build-up and release of tension, Vega takes a very different approach by challenging these defining elements with extended melodic phrases that stretch on for minutes at a time before changing shape ever so slightly, a compositional approach that places the listener in an almost hypnotic state allowing room for attention to wander and return all while being continuously surrounded by a dominant theme. Vega is an experience rich in nostalgic tones. It requires commitment, but the rewards are many. The end justifies the means.
Cross Orchid – Pastoral Tape
Composer/producer Simon Boudreau loves releasing his music in series form. Through his project Cross Orchid, Boudreau has explored a lot of different ideas in short series form. Pastoral Tape is the second in a series of low-fi experiments blending chill house music with layered samples. Following his three part horror-core series which was released in July, Pastoral Tape is a satisfying headphone-listen that pulls the listener between following simple melodies and an interesting series of narrated samples collected from various sources. While such a combination could easily prove distracting, Cross Orchid is able to tie these influences together in a way that feels natural and comforting.
Accihte – Magenike
By placing field recordings and collected English and Passamaquoddy-Maliseet narratives above fragmented melodies and blankets of noise, Accihte creates an interesting portrait of colliding cultures and unanswered questions. At times beautiful in their simplicity while other times coming across as pure chaos and pandemonium, the varied surface of Accihte’s compositions presented on this nine track recording combine to create a unique exchange between past and present.
Donair Sauce – Well Slap Me Arse and Call Me Charlie
Moncton’s Donair Sauce have shared the second in a series of recordings described as “beer fuelled home recordings made, mostly during quarantine.” Unlike their 2020 debut, You Probably Shouldn’t Eat That, which combined rockabilly, early punk, hip hop and pop influences (yes, you read that correctly), their latest release Well Slap Me Arse and Call Me Charlie takes a decidedly metal turn with big, sludgy riffs placed beneath sporadic turntable scratches and odd vocal samples lifted from movies. Definitely experimental and most likely put together with no intention of racking up substantial sales on Bandcamp Fridays, the latest from Donair Sauce does pack a few welcomed surprises. More than you would think, given the low-bar artist disclaimer. Cancer Sludge Fuckhead draws a direct line back to early Earache bands like Fudge Tunnel and Bolt Thrower while You Dropped Something and Interstellar Holocaust follow a more contemporary sludge direction. When combined with lighter takes like Bobby vs. Satan and Put a Mask on Yo Face, this EP is a surprisingly well balance mix of beer fuelled magic.
Send us your Music!
If you are a New Brunswick artist or group, have new music on the way and would like to be considered for a future edition of Midweek Music Mix, send us the details at gridcitymagazine(at)gmail.com