• By: Owen Maxwell

Let it Slide is a Solid Rock Record that Makes You Want to Party

Beach Fossils – Bunny (Brooklyn)

While at times their music can come off as so soothing that it’s hard to connect to it on a deeper level, Beach Fossils find the sweet spot between their writing and production on their new album. While seemingly laidback and accessible, the layering in the compositions here create a totally engrossing experience. The sunny glow is beautiful and overpowering on “Sleeping on my Own,” as the band mix a surreal, warm bliss with some of the most melancholic lyrics you can imagine. There’s a denser and more charged feeling to “Don’t Fade Away” as it’s cold and glossy guitar lines float like crystals amidst a production so wonderfully balanced that the whole track feels equally mellow and dance-ready at once. “Dare Me” oozes an air of cool in its effortless delivery, letting every one of its choruses, and their pointed melodies, delight your ears. Their more ethereal sound and airy production gets pushed to the absolute max on “Feel So High,” for a spacey and enrichingly trippy listen that brings you to a smoky place full of kaleidoscopic wonder and fun.

Angelina Hunter Trio – Let It Slide (Ottawa)

Blending that familiar-yet-knew style of blues rocking, Angelina Hunter Trio bring a solid rock record that makes you want to party. The saucy blues kick up a muddy storm for the thumping drums on “Back in 73’,”  though it’s Hunter’s swaps between powerhouse and silky vocal moments that give the song a more unique range. That riff just tears through the silence on “Let It Slide” to give a kick that sets everything else off, letting Hunter and the band howl into the track’s moody production. The more slow and smoky tones of “The Sun Never Sets” feel unusual at first, but getting that intensely low bass deep in your body makes for a soothing experience. The swing of the percussion lets all of “Off the Line” fly with a playful energy, as Hunter and co. create choruses that really slice and dice their way into your ears again and again.

Brigid Mae Power – Dream from the Deep Well (Galway, Ireland/London, England)

For artists like Brigid Mae Power, instrumentation and subtle production become a secret sauce in how their music goes from great to almost indescribable. Evoking everything from Band of Horses to Aldous Harding to Cate Le Bon to Mazzy Star to Leonard Cohen, Power mixes all the right ingredients to create a strong album all her own. The sense of uncertainty on “Counting Down” keeps a pain in the track’s bones that match its sombre harmonies and damp tones to create a tapestry of sounds looking for a moment of rest. A magical air slowly washes over the chugging chords of “The Waterford Song,” creating a kind of unplaceable mystical touch to it, as Power goes from crooning to howling amongst her many other vocals here in a mesmerizing swirl of arrangements. “I’ll Wait Outside for You” takes a seemingly simple folk/country base and induces a psychedelic feeling without the usual trappings, resulting in a track that really pushes its visual evocations in a way you wouldn’t expect.  Similarly, “Dream from the Deep Well” brings out these more traditional folk instruments and slowly lures you into a, for lack of a better word, dream-like state in the song’s growing heavy tones.

Aphrose – YaYa (Single) (Toronto)

Following her last sublime single, Aphrose creates a glossy heaven on “YaYa” that plays to disco classics while playing with roots in a lot of different pots. Whether it’s the cool and airy synths, that slinking bass run or the punchy harmonies, the whole track is bumping from needle drop. Those pre-chorus vocal effects are instantly addictive too, letting that bright chorus take off with a beautiful glow. Once again, Aphrose’s vocals nail every inch of the track, hushing in those quiet moments, and expanding to a raspy high as the track slides into the chorus.

The Dirty Nil Free Rein to Passions (Dundas, Ontario)

The Dirty Nil know their power as a band, and they’ve essentially added more fierce kindling and fuel to their fire over the years. On their most sunburnt album yet, the band write classic stadium punk music that soars on the band’s excessive excitement that’s tangible in every second of the album. After a more over-the-top intro, “Nicer Guy” strikes the right balance for a belting and explosive riff-rocker that feels born for a big arena/festival singalong. The blown-out fury of “Undefeated” rings out with classic hindsight wisdom, as the band seems to reminisce through the radiated tones of their own memories. There’s a cheap fun to the band’s playing in “Blowing Up Things in the Woods,” that matches the story’s mischievous sense of glee, as they celebrate days of having a ball with almost nothing. The immensity of the sound on “1990” ratchets up the power of song’s simple-but-effective approach, with those belted-out chorus lines feeling like they could be yanked out of your very soul when singing with the band.