SOUL KILLING FEMALE
Utopia Mine and Landmines, the first two releases from local metal band Soul Killing Female, are atmospheric, moody affairs that sound like what would happen if Trent Reznor collaborated with Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Neurosis.
SKF’s new EP Farewell to Light is still atmospheric and moody, but this time around, band leader Michael Lewis has traded his electric guitar in for an acoustic.
“I like acoustic guitars - it’s one of my favourite-sounding instruments along with the cello and piano,” the 33-year-old explains.
Lewis describes the songs on Farewell to Light as a bridge between 2010’s Landmines and the material that will appear on Kind of Red, SKF’s next full-length, which is tentatively due out in October.
He wrote the Farewell and Red material all on acoustic guitar at the same time and then transferred them over to electric instruments. The songs on Farewell just worked better on acoustic guitar, though.
“They just felt right on the acoustic guitar and so I thought, OK, I like these, I want to put them out, they don’t fit with this other record, but I think they’re worth developing. So I set them aside and said, OK, I’m going to make an acoustic EP just to see if I can - just to step outside my comfort zone.”
See Lewis step outside his comfort zone as Soul Killing Female releases the EP with a show at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church (525 Wardlaw Ave. at Nassau) this coming Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 at the door, and Grand Master and Twin will also perform.
- Aaron Epp
Read more from this interview at www.uniter.ca.
This bedroom recording/performance project of 23-year-old Lexington, Kentucky native James Friley is barely three years old, yet already incredibly prolific.
With a warble (and backups) reminiscent of Fleet Foxes front man Robin Pecknold, Idiot Glee is a polished Daniel Johnston, as showcased on last year’s Paddywhack full-length, a collection of cassettes, EPs, 7” singles and even a cassingle.
The songs are mellow and precious, lead by haunting organ throbs, glockenspiel magic and poignant lyrics. Such tunes as Paddywhack’s, Don’t Go Out Tonight and Jamie’s Song from the I Did It Sober cassette are so simplistically beautiful that you’ll wonder why you haven’t already downloaded everything from Friley’s collection.
In addition to these releases, Friley has helped others put out discs through his Hop Hop Records label and his Itslips Tapes imprint, but it’s the Paddywhack LP that is gaining Idiot Glee some great ink.
NME writes that “his debut makes like Wes Anderson leading a barbershop quartet with voices rich as full-fat milk, blissed-out organs echoing the glory days of a now-shabby ballroom.”
The greatest praise comes from Pop Matters, who, after attempting to write off Friley as another Pet Sounds-loving 20-something, praises him by saying “(he) brings together two incredibly disparate styles - nightclub piano crooning and loop-based sampledelica - to create a collection of tunes that sounds like nothing else in modern pop (no, really). That is, of course, unless Tony Bennett decides to celebrate his 90th birthday by collaborating with Atlas Sound.”
See Friley open for Islands at the West End Cultural Centre on Saturday, March 3. Visit www.idiotglee.com.
- Nicholas Friesen
We can forgive Amelia Curran for not releasing anything since 2009’s glorious Hunter, Hunter LP, as that was her fourth disc in six years. The Newfoundland-born, Nova Scotia-raised singer-songwriter has racked up her fair share of accolades, especially from that most recent disc.
The Globe and Mail says her voice “has the sound of faith and experience,” while Chart Magazine boasts that she “could very well be a poet, as her lyrical perception borders on unmasked vulnerability and contemplative wistfulness.” That, and winning the Juno award for Best Roots and Traditional Album (Solo) and coming first place in the 15th Annual USA
Songwriting Competition, which holds Alannah Myles and Nenna Yvonne among its winners.
The songs are intimate and generally showcase her alone with her guitar. Fittingly, Curran prefers to work alone when she’s writing.
“I can’t write when someone else is in the house,” she tells Canadian Interviews. “It is really kind of terrible. Usually nighttime is best. I’m a moody artist, right? So I drink, you know? I’ve got to have a glass of wine or a pint of beer or something, and a couple cigarettes and all that foolish romantic artist stuff. But it really, really helps.”
After finishing up this year’s annual In the Dead of Winter Festival, a Halifax acoustic event that Curran curates and started with singers such as Jenn Grant, Jill Barber and Rose Cousins, it’s good to see Curran back on the road.
See her at the Park Theatre on Tuesday, March 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at The Park Theatre and Music Trader for $17. The show is all ages. Visit www.ameliacurran.com.
- Nicholas Friesen
Published in Volume 66, Number 21 of The Uniter (March 1, 2012)