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The Picks:

Lionel RaultTom Waits, “Hold On”

Rough and real, poignant and, if that’s not enough, catchy!

BabaThe Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (take 9)”

Land mark album in the history of pop music will mark 50th anniversary of it’s release (26th May for U.K., and 2nd June for the U.S.A.). Many editions of the album coming out just about now, this is one the out takes of the title track….look forward to more great discoveries!

Kathryn CalderWaxahatchee, “Silver”

The New Pornographers just finished up a U.S. tour with Waxahatchee as our support band, and we loved watching Katie Crutchfield and her band every night. This is a song from Waxhatchee’s new album, ‘Out in the Storm’, which will be out July 14th. It is a classic 90s indie rock jam. Enjoy!

Amy Van KeekenThis is the Kit, “Moonshine Freeze”

Mesmerizing title track/first single from upcoming album by This is the Kit (Paris based group led by Kate Stables) Full album to be released this July 7 on Rough Trade Records. Featuring Aaron Dessner of The National (who produced her 2015 release “Bashed Out”). Also, some killer baritone sax at the end!

Lisa WiltonAdaline, “Entertainer”

Ottawa alt-pop singer Adaline is back with her first album in six years. Recorded at sea, Aquatic has some great tracks, but this single Adaline is the one that caught my attention right away. It’s moody, melodic and memorable and reminds me a bit of Bat For Lashes and Austra.

Oskar ZybartCoeur de Pirate, “Slow Show”

This entire album is astonishingly good, but there are a few standout tracks that manage to be even better than the rest. Her devastating rendition of “Lucille” and the slow-dance beauty of “Last Kiss” are both honourable mentions, but this cover of The National’s “Slow Show” utterly eclipses the original. Essential music.

Bob ChelmickMoe Clark, “I Find Grace”

This Calgary poet and singer song-writer’s recording achieves the grace and simplicity that she sings of. And the gratitude is mine.

*This song is not available on Spotify. Listen to the song here.

Monica MillerAM Static, “Oh Delilah”

AM Static is the Calgary duo of Chris Austman and Nils Mikkelson. I’ve been waiting (somewhat) patiently for the follow-up to their JUNO Nominated “”A Life Well Lived” every since Nils dropped a few hints at the Grand Opening of our Calgary Foundation CKUA Studio last fall. Patience rewarded!

*This song is not available on Spotify.

Allison BrockGraham Parker (& The Rumour), “White Honey”

Probably in the top-5 lead-off tracks on a debut album. The horn-tinged pub rock sound of “White Honey” comes from Graham Parker’s 1976 debut “Howlin’ Wind”, which was produced by Nick Lowe. No false advertising here, but a true taste of what was coming up from GP and The Rumour right through to 1980’s “The Up Escalator”. After that, the music was still great, but Graham took solo billing on the albums.

Tony KingLaura Marling, “Soothing”

I saw Laura Marling in a candid moment hiking with a few band mates to the Calgary Folk Music festival site. This was a handful of years ago, she was still in her 20’s then, but already a wizened soul. Now a number of years later, a few love affairs gone awry, and after a short stint in L.A. Laura Marling returns, with her version of sun-bathed soul music…which is never really glossy, but rather deep and affecting. “Soothing” is bittersweet in its insouciance.

Kodi HutchinsonKeith O’Rourke, “Miss Jones’ish”

Debut album from Calgary saxophonist Keith O’Rourke featuring melodic and thoughtful original music inspired by his travels around the world!

Grant StovelLos Straitjackets, “Heart of the City”

Gleeful wrestling mask-wearing surf-rockers Los Straitjackets continue to charm my heart. The new record is a tribute to their pal, labelmate, and frequent collaborator — the legendary English songwriter, Nick Lowe. Nick’s mostly known for his brilliant lyrics, but these delightful instrumental adaptations really showcase his under-appreciated gift for melody. This version of “Heart of the City” finds Los Straitjackets bringing some Link Wray-style surf panache to the classic rocker from Nick’s 1978 debut, “Jesus of Cool”.