October is always one of the best months for new music. Like previous years, instead of scrambling to find enough songs to round out a playlist, I was forced to cut a few songs that I featured this month on the blog, but just didn’t fit right on the playlist. The result though is a fantastic mix that I hope you enjoy. Whether you prefer to listen via Soundcloud, Rdio or Spotify, I’ve got some brand new tunes from RAC, Niki & The Dove, Phoria, Hot Chip and many more.
Tim Baker of Hey Rosetta! wrote the song and explains how he was inspired by the #ImagineOct20th movement:
“It started when our friends Dan Mangan and Torquil Campbell (of Stars) reached out with their #ImagineOct20th concept and the strategic voting awareness movement. Looking at our schedule I realized that, other than the odd tweet, there wasn’t much we could do live, as we were going to be on the road the whole time up until Election Day. So I thought maybe we could learn and perform a cover song, something good and empowering and ‘protesty’, and then film it and send it around. Unable to find a song that spoke precisely to our present political situation in Canada though, I decided to give myself an afternoon to see if anything would come to me in the way of an original song. “Land You Love” is the song that came out of that. It came very fast, as it seems there’s no shortage of things to talk/yell about when talking about the current federal government. Before we shot it, we asked our friends and upcoming tour-mates Yukon Blonde if they’d be into joining us for the video. They were, but being from the other end of this vast country, and being continually on tour as well, we were unable to physically be together for the shoot. So we had a bit of fun with this quite complicated split screen idea. And it turned out to be kind of poetic to me, us being from NL and them being from BC. And just like the Canadian populace, we were far-flung and we had to turn to technology to speak together with one voice.”
Visit the ImagineOct20th.com site for information on events across Canada, featuring well-known performers such as Feist, Torquil Campbell (of Stars), Dave Bidini, Dan Mangan, Martha Wainwright, David Usher, Whitehorse, Hawksley Workman, Frazey Ford, The Sadies, Emm Gryner, Sarah Slean, Shane Koyczan as well as authors Joseph Boyden and playwright Michael Healey.
Recorded Live on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. ‘Second Sight’ is available now on Double-Vinyl, CD & Digital @ http://heyrosetta.com/store/ or on iTunes @ http://smarturl.it/HR-SecondSight. Directed & Produced by Mark Bennett. Produced with the help of MuchFACT, NLAC, and Fogo Island Arts.
Late last May we strapped our van and trailer full of recording gear and took off through the melting snow to Fogo Island (a small island off the northeast coast of our home province Newfoundland). We wanted to record and film some of our new songs in inspiring spaces – spaces that suited them, spaces that heightened them. We’d been hearing about the magical buildings being constructed on Fogo Island for the past few years – these off-the-grid, Scandinavian-looking artist studios and this huge, floating, luxury eco-inn – and like any nosey local, wanted to see them for ourselves.
I’d actually been hearing about Fogo Island for many years from my own family – my great-grandmother and great-aunt were originally from there and my great-uncle used to talk about it with a misty-eyed, almost evangelical zeal. I always imagined a kind of heaven. And he was kind of right- though it’s a constantly windy, bitterly cold, terribly isolated, Newfoundland outport kind of heaven.
A place of contradiction. It’s warm and welcoming, despite the ice in the bay. It’s calm and relaxed, despite the thick, mystical, ever-shifting fog. It’s rich and vibrant, despite the long-decimated fishing economy. And now, with these otherworldly structures poking out of the stark and marshy moonscape like hallucinations, and with the worldly artists and wealthy visitors they attract, it all still somehow manages to feel laid back and humble and home.
And our trip was likewise contradictory – a rush, with so many moments of stillness, with little sleep and plenty of stress and so many hearty laughs. As a band of Newfoundlanders who try to build things that are new and beautiful and dreamlike out of a place so old, cold, solid and stoic, I think the spaces spoke to us. Loudly, and in our own language. And so the rooms fit the songs, like mitts over palms.
The result is this short film of Fogo Island and our visit to it – three performances scattered through the mist and moor and all the lovely encounters and the windy white spaces that reflected the tunes back at us and into the mics. Fair warning though, it takes its time – like riding to the island on the old ferry, or waiting for the tide to come up the long rocky beach, or like setting up to multitrack a 7-piece band in an artist studio run on solar panels and a woodstove – there is nothing instantaneous about any of it. So dig in, steep a cup of tea, have a spell (as my great-uncle used to say) and come along.
We’d like to specially acknowledge the talented workhorse Mark Bennett for envisioning and filming and editing it all. And to the audio engineering dreamteam of Richard White and our own Romesh for capturing the spirit of the spaces and the songs so deftly. And to the Shorefast Foundation and the Fogo Island Arts’ Artist in Residency Program, to MuchFact, to NFB (for the inspiration and for our projection of The Fogo Process), to Rachel Cameron Burns (ultimately the dreamer of the dream) and to the wonderful people of Fogo Island.
And, the playlists are up! Check out what rocked in January, via all your favourite platforms (Rdio, Soundcloud, Spotify and Youtube). This past month started off 2015 in a great way with some killer tunes from Favela, Satellite Stories, Hey Rosetta!, Kagu, The Barr Brothers and many more.
Here’s the latest video from Hey Rosetta! called “What Arrows”, from their album “Second Sight”. The video has the band performing an intimate performance in a church, in the small town of Seldom-Come-By on Fogo Island. Sticking to simplicity, the projections of crashing waves on white just seems to fit so well with those arcs, those song swells.