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Anilee List – “Static” [Song Review]

Structured around a breathable groove dripping with jazz flourishes, “Static” reveals the plummy sound of the voice of Anilee List.

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Anilee List “Static” single artwork
Anilee List “Static” single artwork

Static,” the new single from singer-songwriter Anilee List, is her first original song since receiving national attention on American Idol and appearing in 2021’s Coda, the Oscar-winning film.

The first in a new collection of songs, “Static,” was created in collaboration with the prolific LA-based production team of Cary Singer and Matias Mora.

List’s last release, the 2022 single “Blue,” was her audition track for American Idol; after a standing ovation, singer Katy Perry praised List’s performance as “one of the most technically perfect vocals we’ve ever gotten.”

Immersed in music while growing up, at age seven, List wrote her first song, “A Beautiful World,” inspired by the impending climate crisis facing the world. She ended up performing the song at the Santa Monica chapter of the United Nations.

Since then, List has performed on such iconic stages as The Troubadour, the Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Dolby Theatre, and Carnegie Hall. In 2018, she was awarded the Berklee College of Music World Tour Scholarship; over the years, List has also been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a Youngarts Finalist, and a Jerry Herman award winner.

Anilee, photo by Alucina Photography

Anilee, photo by Alucina Photography

“Static” opens on jazzy tones laced with soul and pop flavors riding a funk-lite rhythm made up of cool sidestick percussion and a big, round, deep bassline. Ranging from soft, sweet melodicism, warm and satiny, to soaring, soulful timbres, List parades the mobility of her remarkable voice, beaming like a laser across the soundscape.

Structured around a breathable groove dripping with jazz flourishes, “Static” reveals the plummy sound of the voice of Anilee List.

Run Time: 3:15
Release Date: December 8, 2023
Record Label: Independent

Alternative/Rock

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival Returns with Powerhouse 2024 Lineup

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week.

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OSHEAGA 2024

The OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week. The 17th edition of the festival will take place from August 2nd to 4th, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Saint-Hélène, close to downtown Montréal. Headliners include SZA, Green Day, and Noah Kahan setting the tone for a diverse exhibition that is sure to appeal to the masses.

Representation is present for all genres at this year’s fest. Rock is covered by old-school legends Rancid, LA rockers The Linda Lindas, ’90s indie favourites Sleater-Kinney, and grunge icons The Smashing Pumpkins. R&B will be backed by hip-hop pioneer T-Pain, as well as Tyla, Ayra Starr, and Michaël Brun. Pop is represented by Mean Girls powerhouse Reneé Rapp, Euphoria star Dominic Fike, and alt-pop phenom Melanie Martinez. Indie will be covered by Irish musician Hozier and this generation’s Elvis, Stephen Sanchez. EDM will be showcased with sets by world-class producers like Martin Garrix and Labrinth.

If you’re someone who enjoys all types of music, this year’s OSHEAGA is a can’t-miss event. The lineup easily competes for the best of 2024. Tickets are on sale 2/21 for 3-day passes and 2/23 for single-day passes. Prices are as follows:

GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $165 CAD
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / 3-DAY: starting at $395 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $320 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $745 CAD

PLATINUM TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $685 CAD
PLATINUM TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $1,620 CAD

Get your tickets while they last!

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Album Review

Wabi Sabi – ‘The Love Insane’ [Album Review]

‘The Love Insane’ displays the psychedelic jazz band persona of Wabi Sabi and their talent shifting from genre to genre with aplomb.

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Wabi Sabi ‘The Love Insane’ album artwork
Wabi Sabi ‘The Love Insane’ album artwork

About seven months ago, Atlanta-based ensemble Wabi Sabi released their fourth album, The Love Insane, a record that not only flew under the radar but was also impacted by the pandemic, resulting in it being self-produced.

Pianist/vocalist Damien Cartier explains, “This is the first of our albums that I have produced myself. We have never done an album this way, but Covid mixed with having a spare bedroom home studio seemed like the perfect time to try.”

The genesis of Wabi Sabi occurred in 1999. Initially comprising piano, trombone, and drums, the band’s name was Damien Cartier And His My Newt Orchestra. Before long, the band added horns, bass, guitars, percussion, and singers. However, there was a problem: the band’s name, the spelling of which stymied people.

Then Damian saw an episode of King Of The Hill where Bobby discovered the concept of Wabi Sabi, a Japanese aesthetic that perceives beauty in imperfection and transience. Enter the band Wabi Sabi, whose unique sound amalgamates elements of soul, funk, reggae, and pop with tangs of jazz.

The Love Insane begins with “The Truth,” opening on a soft, low piano topped by tender vocals, mirroring pensive tones. The melody blends savors of rock and jazz, forming a dreamy, almost psychedelic flow of floating textures.

Highlights on the album include the title track, conjuring up the swaying soul surfaces of the ’60s, tinted with twangy, country-laced guitars. Cartier’s vocals are spot-on and convey touching, quixotic aromas.

New Life,” a personal favorite, evinces suggestions of Steely Dan because of its deliciously trippy-lite surfaces and grand brass accents that bray forth finessed tones. The funky “Not Yet, Sister,” with its hints of reggae, features bright horns, skiffing guitars, and a neighing organ.

The album finishes with “The Weirdo Blues,” a luscious fusion of bluesy jazz and orchestral flavors. There’s a delightful, sleazy sensation to the tune, imbuing the song with benevolent craziness.

The Love Insane displays the psychedelic jazz band persona of Wabi Sabi and their talent shifting from genre to genre with aplomb.

Wabi Sabi, photo courtesy of Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi, photo courtesy of Wabi Sabi

The Love Insane Track Listing:

1. The Truth
2. I Am OK
3. Manifest
4. The Love Insane
5. New Life
6. Not Yet, Sister
7. Sick Tuna
8. The Fall
9. Please Rescue Me
10. Spacetime
11. The Weirdo Blues

Run Time: 48:18
Release Date: July 28, 2023
Record Label: Independent

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Album Review

Peter Jonatan and Metropole Orkest – ‘Psalms Symphony’ [Album Review]

Crossing multiple musical margins, ‘Psalms Symphony’ stands as a complex, exquisite testimony to the genius of Peter Jonatan.

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Peter Jonatan and Metropole Orkest ‘Psalms Symphony’ album artwork
Peter Jonatan and Metropole Orkest ‘Psalms Symphony’ album artwork

Composer and pianist Peter Jonatan recently teamed up with the Metropole Orkest, one of Europe’s premier ensembles, on his debut album, Psalms Symphony, a wonderful work that illuminates four of the Psalms.

Presented in four movements blending classical and jazz with elements of gospel, video game scores, and film, Psalms Symphony includes Psalm 29, Psalm 136, Psalm 121, and Psalm 96. Within the ensemble, Jasper Soffer (piano), Aram Kersbergen (bass), and Martijn Vink (drums) form an improvisational jazz trio that not only shifts and bends but maintains the orchestral measures.

Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Jonatan began playing piano when he was four. Later, he obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts from the New England Conservatory. He is now a professor at the conservatory while simultaneously serving as an Associate Professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

A majestic overture, “movement 1” opens on layers of elegant strings highlighted by rapturous brass accents. Drenched in expansive, interweaving orchestral ambiance, the tune soars and then gradually descends to a glittering jazz piano accompanied by soft percussion and a plucking bassline. The harmonics elevate to glowing, sweeping textures, shimmering with strident colors that imbue the melody with tension.

An adagio, “movement 2” features a bewitching jazz piano that ebbs and rises, followed by gentle, luminous strings topped by lustrous flutes. There’s a quixotic flow to the melody, rippling with tender coloration and inviting, velvety tones.

Light and playful, “movement 3” drifts, rolls, and flutters on a sparkling piano backed by extroverted strings. A finessed drum solo intertwined with an orchestral reply shapes a delightful call and response.

Peter Jonatan and Metropole Orkest, photo by Bernise Salim

Peter Jonatan and Metropole Orkest, photo by Bernise Salim

Opening with a regal choir, “movement 4” segues into grand strings, followed by descending to a riffling jazz piano that leads to a female vocalist whose voice streams into an operatic choir. Once again, the jazz trio takes over, injecting the tune with improv jazz flavors. The choir re-enters, conveying the song to a grand finish.

Jonatan explains the grand conclusion, “In the progression of the work, it made sense to put it there, to give a weight to the final movement, to create some sort of different level from everything that comes before.”

Crossing multiple musical margins, Psalms Symphony stands as a complex, exquisite testimony to the genius of Peter Jonatan.

Psalms Symphony Track Listing:

1. Psalms Symphony, movement 1
2. Psalms Symphony, movement 2
3. Psalms Symphony, movement 3
4. Psalms Symphony, movement 4

Run Time: 41:23
Release Date: January 19, 2024
Record Label: Independent

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