Thursday, March 6th, 2008

And The Trees

Photo by Joe Fuda

Not everything noteworthy in Canadian music is happening this week. Indeed, fans of Cancon-qualifying music should have next week circled on their calendar as it marks a week full of Forest City Lovers-ing. Tuesday marks the release of their sophomore album Haunting Moon Sinking though it’s also a debut, in a sense, as it’s the first to feature the Forest City Lovers as a full band rather than a project led by singer/songwriter Kat Burns and friends as was found on 2006’s The Sun And The Wind and the dividends of that, and loads of touring, are immediately evident.

Whereas The Sun And The Wind was marked by a wintry and boreal sort of beauty, lovely from a distance but a touch foreboding up close, Haunting Moon Sinking is the sound of that landscape thawed by Spring and bursting forth into bloom, most notably on bookends “Don’t Go” and “Orphans” which are far too ebullient to have fit comfortably on the debut. Much of this shift comes thanks to the contributions of Mika Posen whose contributions on strings and keys offer a buoyant counterpoint to Burns’ reserved vocal delivery and effectively minimal electric guitar. But even this, together with a solid rhythm section in Kyle Donnelly and Paul Weadick (now departed and replaced on the drum stool by Steven Lappano) giving things a healthy kick in the pants where needed, hasn’t turned Forest City Lovers into a pure pop band. There’s more sunshine to be sure, but the woods – dark and mysterious – are always within sight and their minor key shadows still make themselves felt, giving the record new depths to explore with each listen.

To mark the release of the new record, Forest City Lovers are playing an in-store at Soundscapes this Sunday, March 9, at 4PM and will play a CD release show along with labelmates The D’Urbervilles – who themselves have just released an excellent record in We Are The Hunters – at the Tranzac on March 14 and it’s this bill that will head out on an east coast tour at the end of the month. But it’s to this Tranzac show next weekend that I have stuff to give away for. Namely, a pair of passes and a copy of the new CD, courtesy of the band. To enter, send me an email at contests AT with “I love both forests and cities” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest will close at midnight, March 9.

Check out a track from the first record below, watch a video for a song that originally appeared on the Friends In Bellwoods compilation and appears in re-recorded form on the new record and stream some of the new one at their MySpace.

MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Scared Of Time”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Don’t Go, Please”
MySpace: Forest City Lovers

Also with a long-awaited record out this Spring is The Coast. I’ve had a listen to Expatriate, out April 1, and it’s made me realize how little I knew the band. Their self-titled debut EP excelled at maintaining a consistent, Anglophilic and melancholic vibe but the full-length displays a much broader gamut of emotion and styles. I had been looking forward to this record but wasn’t expecting it – take that in a positive sense. And I’m pleased to be able to follow Exclaim! in sharing a track from the record below. The Coast are touring all over but have a couple local dates on the calendar – an April 18 CD release show at the Horseshoe and a July 12 side-stage appearance at this year’s Edgefest up at Downsview Park. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the ‘Shoe gig is your better bet.

MP3: The Coast – “Nueva York”

Radio K from the University Of Minnesota have a studio session with Basia Bulat available to download, including one new song that must be really new, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard it and I saw Basia play a rather silly number of times last year. Perhaps she’ll air it out when she plays Lee’s Palace on March 29. The session sounds terrific though it is a bit strange to hear Basia playing solo since I’m so used to hearing her with the full band.

MP3: Basia Bulat – “The Pilgriming Vine” (life at Radio K)

AOL Music Canada has an interview with Kathleen Edwards about her new album Asking For FlowersThe Ottawa Citizen checks but Harp sees and raises them one set of tourmate anecdotes. You can stream some of the new record at her MySpace, watch an EPK about the making of the record at and grab some older tracks below. Edwards plays The Phoenix on April 23.

MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “In State”
MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Six O’Clock News”
EPK: Kathleen Edwards / Asking For Flowers

So looking to Canadian Music Week, kicking off in earnest tonight, we have festival previews and picks and whatnot from The Toronto Sun, NOW, eye, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star and Two Way Monologues. The National Post has been doing an impressive job dedicating their blog to introducing various artists performing at the fest to their readers via capsule interviews and Chart is doing the same for the artists playing their showcases at the ‘Shoe.

And to close with a complete non sequtier… the Watchmen movie has completed shooting and will be released in exactly one year. And to mark the occasion… photos of the characters in costume. I am NOT going to refer back to the book, but at first glance Rorschach’s coat looks a little short. Other than that… wow. Via Goldenfiddle.

By : Frank Yang at 8:26 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. John Fournier says:

    Just stumbled on this article. I love Forest City Lovers – thanks for introdcing me.