Selected New Releases 24 June 2016

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This week’s new releases are lean in terms of quantity (not quality) as the slower summer season begins. We kick things off with the new country album by BC’s Aaron Pritchett. He has two JUNO nominations to his credit, and his new album The Score stands from our perspective as one of the finest country music releases of the year. It’s just wonderful. A side note is that when we heard Keith Urban’s “Wasted Time” (#1 on the Canadian country charts), we thought it would be neat for some Canadian artists to try their hand at progressive country. Aaron’s song “Love On” from the album answers our thought. There are plenty of more standard and traditional country tracks on the album as well.

Nova Scotia’s Adam Baldwin is one of the best when it comes to modern heartland rock – think of Petty, Seger, Adams, or Springsteen with a new millennium sheen. His new release is titled No Telling When (Precisely Nineteen Eighty-Five). This is a feel-good album fit for the road.

For Evelyn is the highly anticipated followup to Hannah Georgas‘ self-titled LP from 2012. She’s a 3-time JUNO nominee with origins in Newmarket, ON, now based in Vancouver. The album is named after her grandmother and presents shimmery, alternative pop. The album debuted in the iTunes Top 10.

Matt Laurent has been involved in a number of international musicals including Notre Dame de Paris and has won awards as a stage director and producer and arranger of platinum records made in Montreal. He broke the Guinness World Record with Lucky Uke for most ukeleles played during a song at a Just For Laughs Festival. Matt released his first solo album in 2014. His new album is Comme le beau temps, a bilingual release. It contains a nice blend of flavours in happy ditties that include covers of Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit” and Roch Voisine’s “Helene”.

Toronto’s Traitrs make an album debut with Rites and Ritual, this week’s most pleasant surprise. The best description we can think of is take early 80s post-punk from The Chameleons or The Cure, add gothic lyrics, and give it more of a bite. This is an outstanding start for the group, a very good album.

Montreal duo Heal drops EP As Long As I Live. The music is very melancholy, stripped down, and atmospheric for those eager for such a style.

Singles out include “Got Your Number” by folk rock superstar Serena Ryder, “Money Money” by Ottawa alt rock group The Balconies, dancey “By My Side” by JUNO-nominated Valaire, and “Like a Balloon” by Motel Raphael.