Spotlighting three new releases from New Brunswick artists. This week we look at new music from Brandon Arnold, CA Jackson and The Dream Dealers.
Brandon Arnold – A Leo’s Dream
A founding member of NB/NS hip hop act City Natives, Brandon Arnold has just released his debut solo album, A Leo’s Dream. Opening with a two minute open letter to Justin Trudeau called Empowered, Arnold starts things off on a very political note but as the album progresses, themes shift into personal relationships and songs about weed. Aren’t there enough songs about weed already? Production on the album is solid all the way through. Some nice stuff happening musically. A good first step.
CA Jackson – Ragtime Classics, Joplin and Beyond
Easily one of the busiest musicians on the Fredericton scene – often playing two or three nights a week – CA Jackson somehow found time to record a few of his old time favourites. As the name suggests, Ragtime Classics, Joplin and Beyond is a trip back in time; a no-frills homage to the days of smoking jackets, parlour pianos and proper table manners. Recorded live off the floor, this album benefits from all the low-fi charm that defined the original recordings of some of this material. Occasional fret buzz and the odd imperfection in delivery all add to this authentic tribute.
The Dream Dealers – Frequent Flyer
Moncton-based act The Dream Dealers have just put out an album that may or may not be their debut recording. I’m not really sure. Frequent Flyer (available digitally and on CD and vinyl formats) features ten tracks that focus heavily on acoustic guitar with simple folk-rock accompaniment. The songs move back and forth between French and English and whoever is singing has a great voice for this music, like something out of a Hollywood film’s version of a 90’s coffeehouse or really, any summer campfire in Eastern Canada.
Very little information supports this release through either the group’s Bandcamp or Facebook pages. No bio or background info. The band call themselves “the Acadian Folk Fusion Band” which seems a fitting description. This album has a lot of variety in arrangements and song styles but comes across as more of a collection of songs than a cohesive album. And that may be the case. The Dream Dealers seem to want to keep things a little mysterious by offering more questions than answers with this release. Who are they? Why is Frequent Flyer also labeled Best of Vol. 1? Does that mean this collection is the best of this year’s writing, the best of the recording session or something altogether different? Still worth checking out if folk-rock is your jam. #Mysterious
If you 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