With a reputation for his evocative and vulnerable songwriting, Canadian singer-songwriter Phillip Vonesh’s music is grounded in both folk and rock influences. His third album, If Only For The Night, is perhaps his most deeply personal. Vonesh put all of himself into the record, crafting eight songs of hard goodbyes and the myriad of emotions that come with them.
The album began as a concept album, with Side A covering the process of falling in love and Side B about falling out of it. After Vonesh realized that Side B showcased his best and most honest work (as well as the most melancholic), If Only For The Night became solely about losing love.
“Long Shadow” is the first track on the album, which he dubs a “verbatim retelling of the last goodbye of a relationship.” The inspiration for this song came from a quote Vonesh heard about the duality of love and pain, and the tension can be heard amidst the minor chords. Underneath the dynamic rhythm is the story of a love that “shrouds everything.”
For Jason Bhattacharya, continuing his grandparents’ legacy is an integral part of advancing his own path as an artist. Going by the name, Granny Smith, the Toronto-born artist is on a mission to connect with his lineage while exploring his own journey through art. Though he never met his grandparents, Bhattacharya’s appreciation for their art and specifically paintings has become a method of connection and inspiration for his own work.
An inventive name in the world of production, songwriting, and recording, he’s been featured on many a record as a session musician and producer, and has recently worked in the music department for Netflix, Sony Pictures, and Paramount Television Studios.
His latest song, “Egypt” is a departure from his typical style, incorporating a layered sound technique with the instrumentation. A celebration of all things instrumental, the song has a mellow yet deep and rich tone, enhanced by the array of seamlessly melded instruments: acoustic guitar, Rickenbacker bass, piano, a Wah pedal, bongos, tambourine and shakers. The result is “a bit of musical sensationalism” with a cinematic quality that showcases the artist’s talent.
Sparkling pop singer Sia Shells is living many children’s magical underwater dreams. The Toronto-based artist and real-life mermaid has gained a following for her vivid aquatic lifestyle, where she shares videos and content about her life as a “mermaid.” Sia Shells’ latest project includes sharing her dreams through her music, and making everyday mundane things sound more magical.
Her latest single, “Your Mermaid,” is a watery summer dream-pop anthem that will transport you right to the beach. The seashell drum sounds may remind you of “Under the Sea” with Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, and the overlapping harmonies of the chorus add depth with their siren sound. Similar to Disney’s new re-release of the classic film, the song depicts the story of a secret relationship between a mermaid and a human.
Healing comes in many forms, and for Kalila Badali, music is an important component of exploring yourself in a nonjudgmental and expressive way.
Based in Toronto, the alt-folk artist is a licensed psychotherapist who regularly incorporates music into her practice. Badali’s music career took flight with the 2019 release of her EP, Perfectly Collapsing, and has since been working on her current EP, Panacea, which will be released July.
“Helpless,” her newly released single, is the opening track for this upcoming EP, deliberately placed at the beginning: “Realizing you don’t really know how to change is a great way to spur the search for Panaceas (A.K.A. cure all).” The track is floaty and ethereal, a celebration of Badali’s dreamy, haunting vocals as she sings about the struggle of modifying behaviors that are no longer helpful.
Featured photo: Phillip Vonesh