Wand – Mt. St. Helens

This album is a masterpiece. It maintains the cantering wildness of the (né) First Nations records, while expanding the structure and instrumentation substantially. Janzen’s voice moves up in the mix, the arrangements are daring — sometimes challenging but always captivating. It is a record full of infectious synth, cheeky guitar, smooth saxophone hooks, heavy beats, violent lyrics.

The true genius of this record lies in the percussion. There is a tribalism in the swirling arrangements and steady pound of the drums and the programmed beats. It is this careful balance between the electronic and organic that is at once unimaginable and completely natural to the listener. The last few times I saw Wand play, in Edmonton and at Landisfest, the percussion stuck such a chord with my body — I danced and swayed, swept up in the ebb and flow of the record.

There is an intrigue in the long tracks, but it is the pop sensibility of the shorter ones that catch my ear the first few times through — “Beach People” or “Where Did All The Light Go Now,” the latter a climax for the prevailing theme in the record. These are the entry points, but the best experience comes from a full submersion.

This album might be a masterpiece, but there is another thought here — what if this album is not a culmination but a graduation? This is a band in full stride, one to pay close attention to.

Stay tuned for the physical release. For now, buy the digital and listen to it loud.

The Chantrelles – Ain’t Nobody/Ooh-Wee 7″

The Chantrelles are an 8-piece soul band from Victoria, BC. It is not difficult to be fooled though. I would have pegged them as Detroit, early seventies. I know so little about soul music and really can’t deconstruct music like this. It is much easier to admit that this sound will never die and when well done, as The Chantrelles have so aptly proved, it can reject the temporal sphere and enamor anyone it encounters. These recordings are so expertly handled. The talent shines through like a blinding light. I can’t get enough. Hopefully this tantalizing 7″ will pave the way to a full length recording. I only heard about The Chantrelles because they were coming to Edmonton. They arrive tomorrow for what will surely be one of the best dance parties of the summer. They’re playing with Teddy Holtby, Teapot Hill, and Mitchmatic (DJing), all of whom have been regularly covered by this humble blog. Don’t miss this show.

Goose Lake – Wakewind

A dark summer night in northern Alberta. The air is still, the placid lake reflects the pockmarked face of the moon. Facing the water, the sudden weight of the forest’s eyes on your back sends a cold shiver through your spine. A high wail comes comes across the water, the voice of the spirits who haunt the corners of the province.

Goose Lake returns with three songs expressing the mood and character of a shadow-figure named Wakewind. Turn off the lights and listen with headphones.

Argue Job presents Loonie Bin no.1

Here on Argue Job we try to cover albums, specifically. That makes it very difficult to highlight individual singles that we can’t stop playing. For that reason we here introduce the Loonie Bin, a compilation of Canadian singles that we’re jamming right now. You can stream them below or download them as one zip file here.

Elsa – In Two
Monomyth – Anytime
Gold – Losing Your Hair
Horse Girls – Old Pressure
Topanga – Mabu
A.M. Overcast – Zebra
Man Legs – Take My Hand
Old and Weird – Doing the Things
Renny Wilson – By and By
Bleating Hearts – The Partisan
The Utilities – Eyelashes (My Mind, The Highway, & a Show)
Mike Tod – Ain’t Mad At Nobody
Joel Learoyd – Sluts
Christine Leakey – Here I Stand
Ghibli – Little Clique
Brock Tyler – Don’t Break Your Heart
Balacade – LA 3600
The Parish of Little Clifton – Light Handed
King Vulture – Maelstrom (Martyrs’ Oneiroi Remix)
Kuhrye-oo – Human Rights (Nadus Remix)
Matthew A. Wilkinson – Speak, Rainbow! (ft. Julie Le Gall)
Weird Party – Heart