The music business — at least the part that provides us with songs we can listen to at home or in a car — keeps rolling on despite COVID-19.
Every Friday brings dozens of new albums and songs to sample, including ones by Winnipeggers — and songs about Winnipeg — available on streaming services or to download.
April 3 was no different. The most notable song with a local connection released that day was singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk’s Get to You, which came out on Warner Music Canada and previews a new album from the former Winnipegger that is expected out later in the spring.
Kreviazuk’s soaring vocals about rebuilding connections are teamed up with reggae-esque bass and guitar lines in the song (its lyric video can be viewed at wfp.to/gettoyou).
"Where’d you go? / Were you taken by aliens?" sings Kreviazuk, who’s known for singles such as In This Life, Leaving on a Jet Plane and Feels Like Home, which became the theme to the TV series Dawson’s Creek.
Kreviazuk, who now lives in Los Angeles, also performed Get to You on her Instagram account on April 3 (@chantalkrev) and has been performing on there semi-regularly at 6 p.m. Winnipeg time during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Also due out on April 3 was Shelf Life, a new album by Slow Leaves, the nom-de-plume of Winnipeg artist Grant Davidson.
A single from the 10-track LP, Sentimental Teardrops has Davidson’s poetic lyrics and rangy vocals accompanied by a spare arrangements of guitars and violins.
A release from Killbeat Music, Slow Leaves’ label, says Shelf Life "is a record about growing up to realize you are not the person you thought you would be."
April 3 also brought a new album by Winnipeg shoegaze group Juniper Bush.
Healing Through a Sonic Figure, an eight-song recording on Winnipeg label Transistor 66, has a definite ’90s vibe with fuzzy guitars creating an insistent groove behind the spectral vocals of Lizzy Burt.
Juniper Bush, which also includes Adrian Schroeder, Danny Hacking and Kyle Loewen, had set up a western Canadian tour this spring, but all those plans had to be scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Soundcloud preview of the album can be listened to at wfp.to/juniperbush.
On March 30, local folk-pop group Sweet Alibi released a song of positivity amid these difficult times we’re in.
"It’s about honest and hardworking people who are sacrificing their comfort for the greater good," Sweet Alibi’s Amber Rose says of the track, Really Great, in a release.
"Making a decision, following a rhythm, you know it’s hard to do but it’s really great," the song goes.
The group, which includes Jess Ayre Rae and Michelle Anderson, is working on its fourth album with Matt Schellenberg and Matt Peters, members of Winnipeg’s Royal Canoe.
San Francisco folk-rocker Mark Kozelek isn’t from here, but his most recent visit to the city during a tour last fall led to a track titled Winnipeg that’s part of a spoken-word album coming out in April.
"We’re in Winnipeg now, everything a city should be," says the Sun Kil Moon member, who later mentions his appreciation of the friendly service staff he encountered, the city’s ethnic diversity, its used bookstores and Winnipeg’s proliferation of — get this — pay phones.
The 10-minute track (wfp.to/kozelekwinnipeg) will be part of All the Best, Isaac Hayes, which comes out April 24.
Arts and Life Editor
Alan Small was named the editor of the Free Press Arts and Life section in January 2013 after almost 15 years at the paper in a variety of editing roles.