New Music

Winnipeg Free Press, September 10, 2015 | Go to article overview

New Music


Reviews of this week's CD releases

Coeur de pirate

Roses (Dare to Care)

A STAR in Quebec and France, francophone Montrealer Beatrice Martin (a.k.a. Coeur de pirate) is taking a shot at the global market by including seven English songs on her new 11-track album.

Unlike some of her predecessors, the classically trained pianist and singer isn't reinventing herself for a new audience, nor is she turning her back on her heritage. What she has done is create a bilingual record of modern pop songs created with producers who've worked with the likes of Robyn, Lykke Li, PJ Harvey and Cold Specks.

It's an audacious move -- and it's largely a success. The production on one or two cuts will bring comparisons to Lorde or Lana Del Rey, but the strength of this record lies in the unique timbre of Martin's naturally girlish singing voice and in the expressive examinations of love in her lyrics, both English and French. Interestingly, Roses opens and closes with English and French versions of the same song, Carry On (no points for guessing which is better). ''''

DOWNLOAD: Oceans Brawl; Drapeau blanc; Oublie-moi (Carry On)

-- John Kendle

Tia Brazda

Bandshell (Independent)

TORONTO-BASED singer-songwriter Tia Brazda's new album has the kind of sass, snap and crackle that finds its roots as far back as Billie Holiday and as up to the minute as Amy Winehouse.

With her bebop-style '40s-vintage up-do in place, the cheerful Brazda, along with her sprightly band, presents the music as a kind of tribute to swing jazz. While we have been in this musical territory plenty of times before, these 10 tracks are worth hearing. Smooth opener Shine is as good as it gets, replete with a subtle horn section augmenting the hip pastiche.

Part of Brazda's charm/failing is her slurred enunciation of certain words for effect. Perhaps blame Lady Day for the appreciation of lazy cadence, but mangling the word "heart" into "hay-ut" and "blurring the lines" into "bla-een the lines," etc. gets a bit tedious. Her heart is definitely in the right place, though, and closing track All For You drops the most of the mannerisms and makes like an indie-rock ballad from another time. ''1/2

DOWNLOAD: All For You, Waste of Time

-- Jeff Monk

David Gogo

Vicksburg Call (Cordova Bay)

A RECENT issue of British music magazine Uncut made a valid claim that because of the nature of the genre and how long it has been around, contemporary blues artists find themselves grinding it out for middle-aged males.

Nevertheless, the music is still being played and there are legions of fans who count on wily cats such as award-winning Canuck bluesman David Gogo to fill their needs.

On Vicksburg Call, Gogo balances hard-rocking tracks (Cuts Me To The Bone, What's Not To Like) with slower acoustic burners (There's a Hole) to good effect. The gospel-like arrangement and wailing backing vocalists on the inspirational Our Last Goodbye wouldn't have sounded out of place on an early Humble Pie album, and while Neil Young's The Loner may not have needed this kind of ham-handed upgrade, it's nice that Gogo tried. …

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