Single Servings, June 8, 2021

This week’s Single Servings includes a former Deadly Snake’s mellow turn, a funk-jazz freakout from the man once known as Slim Twig, a psychedelic pop gem from a Lennon (no, not that one), and much more!

 

Neko Case – Halls Of Sarah (RAC Mix)

Release Date: June 3

Label: Anti- Records

As we await new music from Neko Case, the former Vancouverite is now sharing musings on her relationship with nature via a weekly Substack newsletter she’s calling The Lung. To mark its launch, she’s released a remix of Halls Of Sarah, from her 2018 album Hell-On, done by Portland-based DJ RAC, whose remix credits also include Lana del Rey and Kings Of Leon. Far from reimagining the original, RAC’s subtle additions instead prove highly complementary.

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TOBi – Don’t Touch!

Release Date: June 4

Label: Same Plate/RCA

A fresh Juno winner, Toronto’s TOBi is well on his way to being The 6ix’s next breakout artist, and this latest offering is sure to keep that momentum building. Featuring dual production from Kaytranada and BadBadNotGood, Don’t Touch! was written in response to shameful reports of Black kids being forced to cut their dreadlocks in order to attend school. TOBi gets the message across with a brilliant combination of force and empathy.

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iskwē x Tom Wilson - Starless Nights

Release Date: June 4

Label: Red Music Rising

Following up on their previous collaborative single Blue Moon Drive, iskwē and Wilson this time tackle this song written by Misha Bower. Joining them is a top-notch band including revered guitarist Bill Dillon, bassist Anna Ruddick, keyboardist Jesse O’Brien and Wilson's former Junkhouse bandmate, drummer Ray Farrugia. Powerful and haunting performances by all.

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Nathan Lawr – Apocalypse Marshmallow

Release Date: June 4

Label: Maxilicious Records

Guelph, Ontario’s Nathan Lawr has become best known as leader of Afrobeat band Minotaurs, but on July 9 he returns as a solo artist with Apocalypse Marshmallow, a diverse collection that contains everything from Springsteen-esque rockers to string-drenched ballads. Somewhere in between are songs like the easy grooving title track that by all rights should become an instant indie rock classic.

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Badge Epoch – Galactic Whip

Release Date: June 1

Label: Telephone Explosion

When I first encountered Toronto artist Max Turnbull, then using the pseudonym Slim Twig, it was obvious he had lofty musical ambitions, even though at that point they were still gloriously ragged. Things have come more into focus since then through his work with Badge Epoque Ensemble and U.S. Girls (fronted by his wife Meg Remy). Now under the name Badge Epoch, Turnbull seems finally poised to unleash his magnum opus on Aug. 20, a double album called Scroll, which he’s calling “a cosmic hodgepodge of funk, jazz, ambient techno, aggressive guitarmonized rawk, musique concrète, and hip hop.” Take an early dive in with the epic opener Galactic Whip.

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Conor Gains – Light Shine In

Release Date: June 4

Label: Wax Records/UMG

Genre-defying Cambridge, Ontario singer/songwriter Conor Gains is releasing a special edition of his latest EP, Three on Record Store Day (June 12), and on top of that he’ll be donating all proceeds from physical sales that day to MusiCounts’ Band Aid Program that provides public schools with musical instruments. It’s a worthy purchase no matter if you’re a fan of Rock, R&B or Pop, as the single Light Shine In demonstrates.

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Zach Zoya – Feelings

Release Date: June 4

Label: 7ième Ciel/Universal Music Canada

As a preview of his upcoming sophomore EP, Feelings shows why Montreal native Zoya is starting to cause a stir within the R&B scene. Although his first language was French, he began rapping in English in order to follow in the footsteps of two of his earliest influences, Kendrick Lamar and Drake. But as a slow jam, Feelings is a showcase for Zoya’s smooth vocal delivery, and more in line with the sounds he says he first fell in love with.

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Meggie Lennon – Night Shift

Release Date: June 1

Label: Mothland

Having established a profile in her native Quebec over the past few years opening for the likes of The Dears, Elephant Stone and Julie Doiron, Meggie Lennon is set to release her debut album Sounds From Your Lips on July 9. First single Night Shift showcases her effortless ability to shift on a dime from dreamy balladry to synth-drenched lushness, with just enough modern psychedelic touches. Definitely an approach that a certain someone who shared her surname would have appreciated.

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Andre Ethier – Wild Blueberries

Release Date: May 28

Label: Telephone Explosion

Andre Ethier has come a long way from his days fronting Toronto garage rockers Deadly Snakes, and is now perhaps just as well known for his visual art. His music now seems to reflect that side of his creative spirit more, and his new album Further Up Island completes a trilogy started in 2017 with noted Toronto experimental composer/producer Sandro Perri. The pastoral single Wild Blueberries in an example of Ethier’s current impressionistic approach, complete with bird songs and other found outdoor sound.

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Emmet Michael – Devotion

Release Date: May 28

Label: Independent

There is a lifetime’s worth of honesty and vulnerability encapsulated in I Hope You’re Home, the debut full-length album from Edmonton-based transgender singer-songwriter Michael. It’s laid out in the new single Devotion, an honest, startling examination of the impact of uncaring, absent, or indifferent parents, as seen through the eyes of those who have been impacted the most—their children.

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