This week in the Midweek Music Mix we look at the latest releases from Zeit, My Black Ram and Shades of Sorrow.
Zeit – Nightbirds
Zeit continue to be one of the most interesting New Brunswick-based projects working within the exceptionally vague classification of experimental music. Though fairly prolific (although not at the track a day level, thankfully), composers/arrangers Dave Duval and Scott Nemeth have been moving this project forward with each new release by incorporating new levels of complexity at every turn.
On Nightbirds, Duval and Nemeth skillfully incorporate field recordings into their self-described brand of black ambient music, adding subtle accompaniment to the beautifully barren landscapes they’ve created. It’s pretty intense, but not in a “hold on for dear life” way. This is complex stuff arranged with a great amount of detail and care.
Admittedly, a lot of made-at-home noise projects lack any true character and exist without depth and narrative. Zeit is one of the few exceptions. The vision for this project is one of clarity and adventure, and it shows.
My Black Ram – Golden Era
Well-known Fredericton area songwriter Peter Hicks is part of a new project. As My Black Ram, Hicks joins with two of his Sleepy Driver bandmates John Heinstein and Mike Hatheway, who together with drummer Jason Sonier combine to create a few new sounds far removed from the alternative country and roots rock audiences have come to expect from he and his collaborators.
Tapping into the poppier, well polished side of the indie rock playbook and their own individual musical lineages, Hicks and Co. prove their collective ability to channel and confidently deliver dynamic rock music with ease.
Lyrically, Golden Era is a heart-on-the-sleeve love song, plain and simple. A throwback to 90s-era Canadiana, rom coms and oversized t-shirts, Golden Era is proof that there is still room for love in present day rock.
Shades of Sorrow – Paradox
Moncton’s Shades of Sorrow have released their first new album since 2015’s Ascension, and by all accounts Paradox was well worth the wait.
This album is easily the group’s best sounding recording and the first to truly capture the driving low-end rumble that powers a lot of what this band does. That combination of dirty bass, power percussive rhythms and rich, heavy guitar tone provide the ideal delivery for Monise Ouellette’s staggering vocal ability and the band’s overall hard rock/metal hybrid sound.
On Paradox, Shades of Sorrow sound mighty. I don’t know how else to properly describe it.
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