Cat Clyde - Ivory Castanets

Cat Clyde - Ivory Castanets

Many people say walking in the woods and feeling the earth under your feet can provide mental health benefits, giving us energy and making us feel calm and grounded. That feeling is certainly real for me, and Stratford, Ontario artist Cat Clyde channels it on her debut album, Ivory Castanets.

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The End of the World Never Looked So Good: Feminism and Freedom in Cherry Glazerr’s Apocalipstick

The End of the World Never Looked So Good: Feminism and Freedom in Cherry Glazerr’s Apocalipstick

Apocalipstick is the difference between art that reaffirms boundaries and art that gives us the room to breathe. That’s what happens when you start making music from your bedroom at 15 years old like Cherry Glazerr’s frontwoman Clementine Creevy. Those four walls couldn’t keep her in.

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Twin Rains — Automatic Hand

Twin Rains — Automatic Hand

My first happy music discovery of 2017 is a compact little gem — or maybe a chunk of moon rock. Twin Rains, a Toronto duo consisting of producer/guitarist Jay Merrow and vocalist/keyboardist Christine Stoesser, came out to Vancouver to record their debut album in this current musical incarnation (after writing music for film and TV, including one Degrassi: The Next Generation). The result, Automatic Hand, is just a really nice, chill dream pop album.

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Dragonette — Royal Blues

Dragonette’s new album Royal Blues brings a flood of emotion straight to the dance floor, and you’ll want to swim in it. This is their fourth album, and their first since 2013. Time and experience have served them well.

Lead singer Martina Sorbara and her ex-partner Dan Kurtz worked on this album after splitting up, and this masterpiece came out of what happens when you have to see your ex everyday. It’s the phoenix rising out of the ashes of their romantic relationship. It gives us all hope for what can come after it's over. It’s not without life and there will be no dead dance floors with this album. Welcome to the rebirth.

The lyrics have depth similar to Sia and Tove Lo. It is electropop with an epic backstory. It feels positive in a tough-love kind of way, but not in a corny new-age kind of way. Royal Blues is the reminder that everyone dancing beside you tonight has had their heart broken at some point, and they’re still here for the party.

Unfortunately the party goes on for too long. The songs are difficult to tell apart and I’m not sure where the album starts or finishes. It’s a small flaw, but this album needs a song that gives us a moment to sit down and reflect. That’s what major life changes are about, right? 

"High Five" is EDM that feels my struggle and pats me on the back.

"Lonely Heart" is fulfilling my secret wish for ska music to make a comeback. Can I wear suspenders and checkered shoes to the nightclub already?

"Darth Vader" is your ultimate breakup song, after Gloria Gaynor’s "I Will Survive," of course.

"Detonate" is probably as close to a wind-down song as you’re going to get on this album. Ironic, I know, since the title hints at an explosion.

"Lost Teenagers" will have you clapping your hands while you pack your runaway bag.

"Future Ghost" is pure synth and piano gold. I want more of this (with legwarmers and neon lights).

Royal Blues will have you sweating through those painful breakup memories with the help of the synth and steady beats that are sure to reanimate all the dead, cold hearts out there.

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Bon Iver — 22, A Million

Bon Iver — 22, A Million

On 22, A Million, another dimension of sound adds to the already teeming canvas, advancing his work in a natural manner, fulfilling the cycle of experimentation stripping away the excess to lay himself bare before us once more.

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