June 13, 2015

Lady Music Saturdays: Volume One


No picture today -- there are a billion links and stuff below.

Ladies and gents, this is a long, rather uninteresting post. If you're up for some new music though, please continue reading.

In anticipation of Veruca Salt's new LP after their 18 year hiatus -- 9 years, if you count a Nina-less Veruca Salt as Veruca Salt -- I'm counting down with 'Lady Music Saturdays', in which I strive to suggest artists -- not necessarily new, but always a little different -- for as many genres as I can think of, until July 10 (release date!). Like the name suggests, female artists are featured, because they make up about 90% of my music collection, and because Nina and Louise are on speaking terms again. Please feel free to agree or disagree with anything I list.

Today, we are featuring Adult Contemporary Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Classical, and Country/Folk/Roots/etc. As an added bonus, all the artists I chose happen to be Canadian (just for today, I think). Support Canadian musicians, y'all.


Adult Contemporary Pop

Ainsley McNeaney was my old high school music teacher's friend, back from their university days together at the University of Toronto; I've mentioned her briefly on this blog before. McNeaney sings about a whole range of subjects -- based on real life, as lyrics generally are -- over a lush background of orchestral instruments. Both of her albums are on Bandcamp, and they have also accompanied a good many of my all-nighters for some odd reason. If you like Sarah McLachlan and/or Fiona Apple, give Ainsley McNeaney a try.

Here's her second album, 'Bones Are Forever', which is a little more pop/rock than her first album. My favourite tracks are 'Mulberry Disease' and 'Sleep Through the Night' (which should probably be listened in conjunction with 'Intro Royale'), but if you have time, listen to the whole album straight through -- as it was probably meant to be.

Honourable Mention: Might as well talk about Fiona Apple again -- neither she nor her last album can really be considered "new", but I really, really enjoyed 'The Idler Wheel...' (she's too big to have the whole album up on her website, but here's the first single 'Every Single Night')

Alternative Pop/Rock

I have a lot of artists listed under "Alternative", but most of them can be classified as other genres. The genres are pretty messed up in my collection anyway -- for example, Goldfrapp is categorised as "Trip-Hop". Anyway, my suggestion for alt pop/rock is Adaline. As far as I can tell, her last album was actually released in 2011, but she's relatively obscure, so I'm shoving her into this list.

Take a listen to a track from 'Modern Romantics', which is on SoundCloud in its entirety (click the link). It's labelled 'electro alt pop', which is appropriate given the amount of synths used, and it's a nice, smooth listen if you're into that sort of thing. Adaline is actually a trained vocalist, so if you take a look at some other tracks, you can get a good idea of her range. A lot of her songs are pretty torch-y (see Goldfrapp circa 2000 and before) but I like the revenge tone in this one:

Honourable Mention: Hôtel Morphée, a French Canadian band channelling a bit of  Metric. Unfortunately, they disbanded earlier this year, but check out their album 'Rêve Américain'.


Ha, did you think I wouldn't include a classical section? I'm a classically trained musician, I wouldn't forget this for the world. However, I haven't kept up with classical artists the same way I have with other genres, so I'm cheating and putting in an old favourite: Angela Hewitt -- but not her Bach interpretations. No, here we have Angela Hewitt's 'Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music', because I like Angela Hewitt (my old piano teacher didn't!) and I LOVE Ravel. I won't get into how much I love Ravel's music because it would take paragraphs, but I can say that Hewitt has the technique to perform it well, and that, despite what anyone says, she interprets it beautifully.

Angela Hewitt is (obviously) not on SoundCloud, so here's a video of her performing Le Tombeau de Couperin. Classical music's meant to be enjoyed live anyway. My favourite movement, even though I love all of them, is the Menuet, at 15:33 (just click the link).

Honourable Mention: Hélène Grimaud, a French pianist, does more liberal interpretations of her pieces than Hewitt. Give her Beethoven sonatas a listen (Edit: I could only seem to find two on YouTube, so here's one of them).

Country / Folk / Roots / Etc.

I grouped all these together because they stem from pretty much the same place. Bygones. I'm really excited for this pick y'all, because this artist was a total surprise-find for me.

Corinna Rose is based in Montreal, and she plays banjo. Her debut album, 'Northeast Southwest', is pretty magical, and that's all I'm going to say about it. You can listen to/buy her entire album below/on Bandcamp. My favourite track is probably the first one ('Lost Like You'), but they're all great. Promise.

Honourable Mention: Brandi Carlile is a country/rock singer with an amazeballs voice. Her biggest hit is 'The Story', which honestly gave me chills the first time I listened to it -- but not as many as Rose's album above :)