The Sarandons collaborative journey spans well over a decade and a half, during which they’ve established a resounding catalogue of music. The Toronto band of indie rockers consists of Dave Suchon (vocals/guitar), Damian Coleman (bass/vocals), Edmund Cummings (keys/vocals), Craig Keeney (lead guitar), and Phil Skot (drums).
Under the production of Dan Hosh, their new single, “The Great Divide,” emerges as a distinctive addition to The Sarandons’ musical repertoire, pushing the boundaries of darkness and intensity. The new track stands out for its minimalistic approach, and magnetic presence.
There is very little double tracking and instrumental overdub, creating a sense of grandeur and resonating impact. For example, the arrangement of the verses features just bass, drums, and vocals, giving the song a bold percussive vibe that hits just right.
Emerging from a musical hiatus spanning over a decade, singer-songwriter Allen Dobb is finally making his return with the release of his new album, Alone Together, set for a February 9th, 2024 release. It consists of ten original compositions, each drawn from a rich fabric of characters, narratives, and vistas deeply etched into Dobb’s soul during his time as a Range Management Specialist in the interior of British Columbia.
Embedded in his songs are the currents of the Fraser River and landscapes of his beloved British Columbia. The lead single, “All Costs,” is Dobb’s first song written in several years. This ballad navigates the journey of a rural couple reconciling with the time spent together living on the land.
The melody for this track comes from Dobb’s archives that he recorded a year or two ago. After extensive lyrical explorations, the song weaves together various thematic threads. One strand explores the tranquil inevitability of the river’s unhurried descent, strikingly contrasting the trials and tribulations encountered in a rural ranch life and relationships. Another thread draws inspiration from vivid imagery and heartfelt conversations that Dobb encountered during his involvement in the post-wildfire recovery endeavors within the ranching community following the devastating 2017 Cariboo and Elephant Hill blazes.
Art, like life itself, thrives on the clash of contrasting elements: it’s the exuberant melodies set against melancholic verses, the fusion of minor key riffs with doo-wop chord progressions, or the intriguing alliance between a post-communist refugee songwriter and a cadre of seasoned North American guitar pop veterans. Adam Sabla embodies all three facets, and his role as the leading man of Loose Fang appears to be an impeccable match.
The Czechoslovak-Canadian musician was fortunate to assemble a collective of fellow musicians, including Jay Slye, Catherine Hiltz, and Ian Browne, and to seclude themselves in the coastal haven of Steveston, British Columbia. It was within this creative cocoon that they created Live Wires, Black Sheep, a title that resonates with their penchant for electrifying guitar sounds and their knack for resurrecting the spirits of a nearly faded guitar generation.
Their lead track, “Goodbye,” in its very name, encapsulates the essence of a breakup following a long, codependent relationship—the kind you stumble through in your youth when you’re still figuring out life. It’s an imperfect yet transformative journey, both before and after.
Country, Roots Rock
In his latest LP, Harvest Highway, Jimmy Rankin once again hits the road, seamlessly transcending time and spanning diverse destinations along with his native Nova Scotia, all the while weaving his unique branding of East Coast folk-rock. This marks the eighth solo album, rich in narrative songwriting traditions that have been his lifelong dedication. It is filled with stories that crackle with vitality, tales of feverish marriages unfolding in Thunder Bay, the untethered spirits of Newfoundlanders, lovers on the run, and the poignant accounts of fallen soldiers in the heart of France.
“Sue St. Marie” carries with it a sense of anticipation, with acoustic chords setting the stage for a narrative that’s as rich and timeless as the Canadian landscape it portrays. Rankin’s voice is reminiscent of the passage of time he witnessed, echoing the stories of generations and the echoes of the land.
These songs serve as a continuation of Rankin’s previous record, Moving East. Notably, Harvest Highway represents a significant milestone, as it is the first time he has crafted a full-length album in his native Nova Scotia, collaborating with fellow Nova Scotian, Joel Plaskett.
Featured Photo: The Sarandons // Photo by Steph Montani