This week we look at the latest releases from Dillon Anthony, Frantically Atlantic, Kam Speech, Zachary Greer and Open Strum.
Kam Speech – Speech Therapy
Kam Speech. This guy gets better with each new album. Tucked away near the tiny community of Perth Andover, NB, Kam (aka Cameron Nicholas), has been releasing a steady stream of hip hop music under his own name as well with the duo Old Self & Kam Speech. He also played a major production role in the recent debut release by Faith Bow (featured in the oct. 9 Midweek Music Mix). His latest album Speech Therapy presents Kam at his most refined. His lyrics and delivery on this album are his strongest to date and with support from a range of guest vocalists, Speech Therapy is a definite high point for this New Brunswick artist.
Dillon Athony – Stealing November
Dillon Anthony has dug deep into his vaults to uncover his latest release. Stealing November is a composition in two movements that dates back to 2009 when it was composed, recorded and then left on a harddrive for a decade. Anthony is largely known as a member of Kill Chicago, where his skills as both a guitar player and a keyboard player are put to incredibly good use. His pedal steel work has become a staple of the band’s sound and as he explains in the track description for this release, Stealing November was his first composition for the instrument.
Frantically Atlantic – Maggie in the Woods
Frantically Atlantic sound anything but frantic on their latest release. The album comes just over a year after releasing their self-titled debut and finds the band fine tuning their craft and their musical identity. In true traditional music fashion, Maggie In The Woods features a mix of material, old and new, skillfully performed on a broad range of folk instruments. Focused around voice, guitar, mandolin and fiddle, Michelle Daigle and Don Rigley seem to have really hit their stride with this album. There’s something to satisfy everyone’s folk appetite on Maggie in the Woods.
Open Strum – What We Need is Love (feat. Jeff Coffin)
Moncton musician Michel Goguen is a known collaborator and prolific songwriter. Over the past two years he has released a ready stream of highly polished pop songs, backed by a wealth of guest performers from New Brunswick and elsewhere, often roping in accompaniment from some notable “sidemen”. In the past, Goguen’s singles have included guest performances from members of Willie Nelson’s band and the Saturday Night Live house band. This trend continues on his latest single, What We Need is Love, which features a few well placed toots from Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthew’s Band. While Goguen’s songwriting isn’t focused on originality – he seems completely content refreshing existing formats – when it comes to well-produced, radio-ready songs, he’s one of the province’s leaders.
Zachary Greer – The Way Home
Someone give this man a gig. Fredericton composer Zachary Greer’s latest release, The Way Home, is a versatile mix of moods and textures, ideal for film or theatre. The album’s eight tracks work very well as stand alone pieces, but as a collection of music in the traditional album sense, things get a little sleepy as the full recording plays out. That said, if you consider The Way Home more as a demo reel highlighting Greer’s ability as a composer (and possibly sound designer), it’s two thumbs up.