Posts Tagged ‘Secret City Records’

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“Your Girl” is a wistful folk-pop song in the tradition of Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs – crisp and clean in structure, but earthy and wholesome in aesthetics. Basia Bulat’s perspective is somewhat ambiguous in this song, shifting between a first-person testimonial about how she’s become hesitant to fall in love after some difficult experiences and choruses in which she’s addressing someone else about how they’ve let down their girl. It could just be that she’s talking to the one who wronged her, but there’s a suggestion of elapsed time. It could be advice to a friend, a warning to an ex that they’re keeping up the same mistakes, or maybe it’s just her reliving the same old traumas. But it’s notably that the song isn’t bitter or angry, just resigned to the seemingly inevitable catastrophes of people getting close to each other.

I wrote “Your Girl” during one of those classic Montreal snowstorms (mon pays c’est l’hiver!) and recorded it under the warmest desert sun in Joshua Tree. Then we added some beautiful harmonies in the springtime. So of course it only made sense to film a video for the song in the autumn rain. The song is about getting free from a painful situation, when there’s joy but there’s also heartbreak – and trying to understand why those storms came through your life the way they did feels impossible. So you to the wind and dance with the memory instead.

Basia Bulat’s new album Are You In Love? is due out March 27th via Secret City, and she’s shared another early taste of it, “Already Forgiven.” Speaking about recording in Joshua Tree, Basia says, “one day Andrew recorded the wildest wind outside and sent the signal through a path of electronics and the swirling feeling of those floating melodies that drift through the song are as important as the lyrics to me. The harmonies are there even if you can’t hear them at first listen. It can take years to say it, but you’re already forgiven.”

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Attempting to guess where Richard Reed Parry might go with a solo album is a nigh on impossible task. He can play just about anything, as his work with Arcade Fire demonstrates, and he’s worked with many artists over his career. The multi-instrumentalist released a new solo album, “Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1”, last September via ANTI-Records , his first for the label.

Seven tracks long, only two of which last less than six minutes, it’s music crying out for careful attention. Songs ebb and flow, and then ebb some more, teasing beauty from Parry’s quietly rich, complex compositions. Birds chirps, doors close in the background, guitars are handled delicately, and vocals drift out. Lying underneath, Parry adds gently glitching synths, neon city meets sunrise in the cornfield.

It makes for ravishing music. “Gentle Pulsing Dust” builds and builds into a sound dizzy with intimacy. “On the Ground” echoes vocals back hauntingly. Each track pulls off similar tricks, each comes packed with flourishes and swerves, begging for repeat listens.

Now he has announced its follow-up album, “Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2″, and shared its first single, “Long Way Back,” via a video for the song. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is due out June 21st. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1 was released during the autumn equinox and Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is being released during the summer solstice.

In a press release Parry says “Long Way Back” is “a song about remembering everything you’ve ever lived. Your childhood home, the happy or heavy or beautiful or miserable feelings you ever lived with, the fleeting and pristine random moments of perfection, the infinitely complex tapestry of emotions you feel towards your parents; anything that resides anywhere in those floating worlds that exist inside your mind and your heart, holding all these things up to the light of memory, embracing it all and then letting it go.”

Nothing is as good as “Song of Wood.” After a deliberately stuttering start, a soft trilling combines with lush vocals, growing into a final minute that is utterly gorgeous, as beautiful as anything released this year.

The most spectacular thing here is that “Song of Wood” isn’t an outlier. It’s merely the shiniest treasure on an album full of them. Vol. 2 has a lot to live up to.

Parry says the album is about “memory and the unconscious mind.”

“What separates us from dissolving into the experience around us?” he further explains in the press release. “It’s a feeling I’ve definitely had many times, where the boundaries of self and world are permeable to the point of disorientation. So much of this record is about being this young person in an older people’s world of music and song, this folk music community where the torch is passed, and losing my father at a young age, and being completely disoriented by that. This record, the songs are also referencing that nebulous psychic territory when you lose your most familiar world, when the village of your childhood disappears and you try to relocate yourself in a different one.”

“Long Way Back” by Richard Reed Parry from the album ‘Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2: That Side of the River,’ available June 21st

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Watch the new video from Patrick Watson for his brand new single ‘Broken’ which was recorded at studio PM in Montreal last month.

“This is a song I just felt like sharing before the next record. Dedicated to the storms we went through.” Patrick Watson Of the video, recently shot in Montreal, director Pedro Pires says: “It was a real pleasure to work with Patrick to create this video. We started with simple intuitive ideas such as characters fleeing or running away in fast moving vehicles. I then proposed to use reflections and flares to fragment the light to reveal a more impressionist moody state of mind of these various “broken” characters”.

Patrick Watson – Broken (Official Video) the new single.