Daniel Romano – Modern Pressure

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We’d normally advise someone who just put out their seventh album in seven years to slow down and give us time to digest their output, but we’re addicted now, and the craving for more is persistent. Daniel Romano is the nicotine of Canadian pop music.

Topping If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ (or insert your Romano favourite) wasn’t going to be an easy task; it’s hard to say if he’s done it here, because they’re two very different albums. It’s a tie, at least.

Modern Pressure is alive with urgency. It’s the sound of an artist approaching each song as if it might be the last one he ever makes. It’s epic, but never over the top. A flair for the dramatic meets down-to-earth sentiment—John Cale crossed with CCR.

Check out “When I Learned Your Name,” below.

-Scott Bryson

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Younghusband – “Misguided Light”

Has anyone ever found anything, while metal detecting, that justified the time spent searching?

Sure, it’d be fun to turn up an old 50-cent piece, but if takes a few hours, was it worth the ten bucks you might score for it? Makes sense this is more often pursued as a hobby—correction: a sport (yep, enthusiasts say sport)—than a profession.

The three hobbyists—correction: athletes—in today’s video managed to unearth an entire person, though it’s not clear how a man in pajamas would set off a metal detector. Dental fillings, maybe.

“Misguided Light” comes from Younghusband’s Dissolverone of our favourites from 2015.

-Scott Bryson

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The Delgados – “Everybody Come Down”

The gang plays pool—poorly, for the most part. Maybe the drinking happened first.

Said by the band to be both “The easiest video The Delgados ever made” and “Probably the happiest video they ever made.” It was filmed in Glasgow’s Nice n Sleazy; the song briefly found fame on The O.C.

-Scott Bryson

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Twin Peaks – “Wanted You”

Another winner from one of last year’s best albums.

These Twin Peaks dudes seem to be obsessed with heads: animal heads, no heads, balloon heads. And they’re in a number of different locales; maybe too many to hit up in a single day. Makes you wonder if they did squeeze it all into 24 hours, or if those animal masks are the sort of thing they wear on a regular basis.

Did you know Creepy Horse Mask is a lifestyle now? Check it out.

-Scott Bryson

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Del Bel – III

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Is that a… rap interlude in the middle of track one? (Check it out, below).

This guest appearance by Clairmont The Second is a stark declaration that Del Bel are expanding their horizons, and it’s not the only novelty we see here.

You could label a lot of III’s material trip-hop, in the vein of Tricky or the Supreme Beings of Leisure, but that root expands into jazzier territory as the album progresses, and this is considerably more complex and of-this-decade than either of those acts. Complexity comes naturally when your band has 11 members.

Lively tempo and programmed beats notwithstanding, III is as dingy a collection as we’re used to receiving from Del Bel. Lisa Conway’s parting words sum up the mood well: “Maybe there’ll be a brightness after all this dark.”

-Scott Bryson

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Jon McKiel – “Brothers”

Desolate maritime scenery at first, but this one gets much more interesting as it moves along.

Do those jars say Million Dollar Relish? Must be good, to have earned a name like that. Can we order online? Is that Jon McKiel’s mom, making it?

And check out that boss mural for The Great Amherst Mystery; we’re always on board with Canadian ghost stories.

“Brothers” comes from McKiel’s recently released Memorial Ten Count.

-Scott Bryson

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The New Pornographers – “High Ticket Attractions”

Is this Yorkville Senior High School or the school from Buffy?

And does that kind of potion mixing ever happen in a real-world chemistry class, or was it invented by Hollywood?

We’re guesting The New Pornographers must have found a school that was slated for demolition, for this filming; it’d require a hefty budget, otherwise, and they likely already blew a pretty penny bringing Ghost Rider to life.

“High Ticket Attractions” comes from the recently released Whiteout Conditions.

-Scott Bryson

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