Join me as I continue to get caught up on some of the many new releases that came out over the past few months.
Jaclyn Reinhart – Rearview
Jaclyn Reinhart is back with her first new release in five years. Shifting away from the upbeat, pop-heavy structure that helped define her 2016 album, Adventures, Reinhart’s return with the single, Rearview, is marked by a heavy mid-tempo groove complete with tambourine and thick organ accompaniment that speak more to roots rock than the crowd-surfing anthems of her back catalogue. Don’t get me wrong. I think Adventures is a criminally underrated recording and one that should have carried Reinhart into the next phase of her career path at the time. But if Rearview speaks even a little to Reinhart’s past five years, she needed to direct her time and energy elsewhere.
In the notes included with this single’s release, Reinhart writes, “You never know what life will throw at you and it is in those moments of uncertainty and chaos that you reveal your true inner strength. This album is more than just five songs, this was my journey to healing, overcoming adversity and coming out on the better side of it.”
Simply put, Rearview is a breakup song in the “my bags are packed and I’m leaving” sense. The single is the first from the upcoming EP, Sleep With Ghosts, which arrives October 15. But perhaps more important than new music from Reinhart is the new Reinhart present on this single. Music is a healer and Rearview is proof. Welcome back Jaclyn.
Jason Anderson – Canyonlands
Jason Andrerson is a name we should all be hearing more of in the next little while. Born in New Hampshire, Anderson moved to Fredericton last year by way of Ontario, and recently spent three weeks writing songs in Killarney Park as an artist in residence with the City of Fredericton. His new EP, Canyonlands follows the release of his August single, Thinkin About, and places Anderson at the forefront of our city’s singer songwriter community. With an exceptional knack for translating everyday experiences into beautiful poetry placed above a bed of lush, forward driving rock riffs designed to serve the song first and foremost, Anderson’s Canyonlands is as much a stunning debut as it is a window into the depth of music that exists right here in our own backyard.
Known to some for his collaborative work with Strand of Oaks and Mount Eerie, the songs Anderson shares on this release are a testament of his own ability as a songwriter and arranger. A must-listen for fans of Snailhouse, The Olympic Symphonium and Bahamas, or anyone who appreciates being wrapped up in a warm blanket.
Stephen Hero – Euphoric / Nostalgic
Saint John rapper Stephen Hero has kept busy over the past year releasing a regular singles and videos from his collaboration with Motherhood founder Brydon Crain. After completing a comprehensive track-by-track rollout of their self-titled debut along with the release of a brand new track last month, Hero is back with an all-new collaboration, this time featuring a pair of tracks produced by New Brunswick-based Indigenous rapper/producer Wolf Castle.
Lyrically, Euphoric is classic Hero. At times it can be hard to decipher exactly what he is singing about, but that doesn’t take away from the experience. Part of what makes each new Stephen Hero release a satisfying listen is his conversational tone usually paired with some of the most complex wording and rhyme play you will hear anywhere. It is a contrast that makes for a wild, exciting ride at times. His words come fast across a mix of both lengthy and abrupt phases allowing key words and thoughts to cut through the lyrical barrage, hinting towards specific narrative themes. Nostalgic’s downtempo groove and generally poppier nature provide a welcoming contrast to the opening track.
Wolf Castle’s production on both these tracks present Hero with a different palette of tones and atmospheres to build off of. The beats and melodies are subtle and work well with Hero’s “I’m just taking here” approach to songwriting. A great new collab and hopefully not the last we will hear.
The Rockupiers -Self-titled
The Rockupiers are a Saint John-based quartet who play well-crafted rock that exists somewhere between The Sadies’s uptempo country influenced rock and roll and Dire Straits’ ability to blend the polished comfort of a chart topper with some serious instrumental chops. There is some serious playing on this album. The songs are well crafted and put together with a lot of thought and establish a vibe to support a lyrical approach that never really moves past the mid range point. But it doesn’t have to. There is enough excitement happening across these twelve tracks to keep any real criticism at bay. For a debut album, this is a serious introduction, backed by some seriously ambitious intentions if you factor in their unusual line of supporting merchandise.
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