With the release of his second full-length album, Aidan Knight has honed honest folk far beyond his years. The 25-year-old B.C. native has performed and recorded with Dan Mangan, The Zolas and Hannah Georgas, as well helping establish the record label Adventure Boys Club. Though Knight is primarily known for upbeat, campfire acoustics,+ Small Reveal takes a darker turn. Many of the songs detail Knight’s reflection on what it means to be a songwriter. The album trailer, available on Knight’s Youtube page, juxtaposes Small Reveal with footage of a girl spending her a days bouncing between two lives — that of a waitress and a beekeeper. The video illustrates how isolated one can feel balancing practicality with passion, though it’s the path most have to take. CBC Music published a full preview of Small Reveal ahead of its Oct. 23 release date.
Blue Hawaii – “In Two” – Untogether (2013; Arbutus)
Almost two years later, frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston is still lapping up the success of Braids’ studio debut, Native Speaker. Though prepping for the 2013 release of the band’s next album, Standell-Preston reunited with her Blue Hawaii partner, Alexander Cowan, to produce Untogether. The Montreal-based label and DIY music community, Arbutus Records, made two of Blue Hawaii’s Untogether tracks available for streaming and free download last week. If “In Two” and “In Two (pt II) serve as an album taster, a few things are certain — the duo is moving farther from pop and closer to chillwave, their studio-crafted sound is now more spacious and dark, and this is young, indie-house that you can’t help but dance to. Blue Hawaii debuted their material last weekend at New York City’s College Media Journal (CMJ) Music Marathon to rave reviews.
Luke Lalonde – “Grand (Rhythmnals)” – Rhythmnals (2012; Paper Bag)
His name may not ring a bell, but Luke Lalonde’s got a voice that most with CBC Radio 3 on rotation will recognize. As the frontman of Ontario pop-rock band Born Ruffians, Lalonde has shared the stage with Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand and Peter Bjorn and John. The Ruffians even appeared on the cult UK series Skins playing their hit “Hummingbird”. The band has been slow to release new material over the years, touring off 2010’s Say It as recently as this year’s Pop Montreal. The band is rumored to have a new album out in 2013, but it is clear that Lalonde has focused efforts on his solo career. Lalonde wrote and recorded Rhythmnals from early 2010 to spring of 2012, perfecting each song on his own from beginning to end. “Grand,” the album’s opening track, is the perfect mixture of acoustic pop and snappy electronica. “Grand” and his first single, “Undone,” are available via Soundcloud, but the full album is out Oct. 30.