Friday, 30 November 2012

Upcoming Show: Band of Horses

For the last few years, I've become a big fan of Band of Horses. Their music is awesome. Some of their songs are haunting and just beautiful; some are just plain ol' rock n' roll! Regardless, their music just takes me to another place and I absolutely love it.

Their fourth album "Mirage Rock" just came out this September and they've been touring around the world since the summer. The band is playing at the Métropolis next week and I am beyond excited to check them out. I spent this past summer, hoping they would play some live shows in Canada. I'm looking forward to seeing them live, although I know they can't possibly play all of my favourite songs of theirs.

Also, who am I kidding? I'm a big fan of beards, and these bearded southern boys definitely rock my socks!

If you're in Montreal next week, you should come to the show. It should be a fun time! Also, if you've never heard of Band of Horses, check them out. They've been around for years and are totally underated. Trust me, these guys should be on your radar.

Here's a video for the song "Neighbor", which is a song that I really like. Also, I find this video calming and quite fitting, seeing as winter is upon us. Happy Friday and enjoy!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Patrick Watson Live

I had a nice little surprise this morning when I check Twitter. NPR Music decided to post a video of Patrick Watson's live show in its entirety on their YouTube channel. If you haven't had the opportunity to see this man and his band in action, then you must watch this video. It's so worth it!

This show took place this past September in Washington, D.C. Watching this video definitely reminds me of what it feels like to be at his shows. It's an experience that heightens all of your senses. It almost feels like falling in love... overwhelming and a bit scary, yet absolutely sublime and beautiful.

If you still haven't gotten your hands on Watson's latest album "Adventures in Your Own Backyard", do it now. The album is absolutely phenomenal! You will not be disappointed.

Thank you NPR! Enjoy everyone! Also, be sure to catch Watson live next time he's in a town near you!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Review: Ellie Goulding "Halcyon"

British pop artist Ellie Goulding has been on my radar since her song "Lights" came out back in 2010. The song was good, I liked it. However, I left it at that and did not investigate further into Ms. Goulding's music.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Her sophomore album "Halcyon" came out in early October. The first single off the album, "Anything Can Happen", was recently featured in a really popular commercial for Beats by Dr. Dre, those cool but really pricey earphones. When I first saw the commercial, the song totally grabbed my attention. Since then, I've been listening to it online non-stop for weeks.

I just got my hands on it last week (finally!), and I am floored. This album is phenomenal. No joke, this girl is the real deal.

The album contains 18 tracks. Goulding co-wrote all the songs on the album (except for "Hanging On", a cover of Active Child) and she also co-produced most of the tracks. In addition to the amazing cover, the album contains a collaboration with the very popular Calvin Harris as well as a single version of her hit "Lights", which has only recently seen success in the U.S.

"Halcyon" contains all of the ingredients for a great pop album: heavy, contagious beats, great pop lyrics and raw, beautiful vocals. The album is cohesive and all the tracks are quite good. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing Goulding's vocals are. Also, she's super adorable, has an awesome accent and a wicked haircut. That doesn't hurt. Also, from what I can tell from her Twitter account, she seems like a pretty cool gal

So just like I suspected: I have fallen in love with Ellie Goulding. How predictable! In all honesty, I enjoy all the songs on this album. That's a very rare thing! I am beyond impressed... Great work, Ms. Goulding! I expect some great things from this girl. Keep your eyes (and ears) open! Also, I'm pretty sure I'll be traveling to Montreal in January to see Ms. Goulding live.

Check out the video for the latest single "Figure 8", which happens to be my favourite track on the album. Enjoy!

Also, you need to listen to this cover. It's too good to pass up! Here's "Hanging On".

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Like an Old Friend

Music is like an old friend. Sometimes, you won't see or talk to a friend for a really long time. But when you reconnect, it's like you never spent any time apart, like nothing has changed. The same applies to music: you won't listen to an album, an artist or a group for a really long time but when you do listen to it again, it feels like magic, like coming home in a way.

I follow a lot of my favourite artists/groups on Twitter. It's a great way to keep up with their projects, their upcoming tour dates, new video releases and a bunch of other stuff.

This week, the very talented Jay Malinowski tweeted at me, after I suggested he come to Ottawa to play with his new project, the Deadcoast. I consider myself a fan of Jay Malinowski. I was never a big fan of Bedouin Soundclash. It's not that I didn't like the group, I was just indifferent honestly. Then I was lucky enough to catch the group when they opened for Metric a few years back. They are absolutely phenomenal live. I was sold! These guys are the real deal!

In 2010, I got my hands on Malinowski's solo album "Bright Lights and Bruises" and I was blown away. The album is amazing! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch him live while he was touring in support of this album. I'm still waiting for my chance to see him live. So I keep checking his Twitter account to see when he will be playing live shows. Unfortunately, he won't be playing in Ottawa just yet and I can't make it to Montreal for his show next week (for those of you who know me, normally I would).

I will admit, I don't listen to "Bright Lights and Bruises" very often, but when I do, it cuts me to the core and I feel a sense of peace. It's a wonderful feeling. That's what I love about music: it can take you places and make you feel so many different emotions. And I am so grateful for that.

Have a listen to "There's a Light", one of my favourite tracks of "Bright Lights and Bruises". Also, if you have a chance, check out the music video; it is absolutely stunning. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Flying Solo

I'm a very social person. I like being around people. I don't need to be in a large group of people to feel comfortable but I enjoy spending time with friends and acquaintances as much as possible. I don't necessarily like to spend time alone, especially not in my tiny apartment.

This year, I feel like I am embracing spending time alone. I know what my interests and hobbies are. And although I have many friends who share those interest/hobbies, I don't necessarily have anyone who is game to do anything at any given time. Except for my husband. He is open-minded and willing to do anything and go anywhere... most of the time.

This week-end, there was a huge UFC event taking place on Saturday, one that I desperately wanted to see. Gaston is my go-to UFC buddy. This is something that we both enjoy doing together. However, on Saturday, my husband went to the event in Montreal while I stayed in Ottawa, since I had a volunteer engagement to take care of. Safe to say, I wasn't sure quite what to do... None of my friends like UFC but I really wanted to see the event. So I decided that I wouldn't let the fact that I was flying solo stop me from checking out the fights. So I took a bus, headed downtown, and managed to get in a crowded bar and watch UFC at the bar with a group of rowdy boys. The fights were good, and definitely worth seeing. I even made a friend at the bar, one who didn't know much about UFC so I was able to teach him a few things.


Back in September, there was a movie playing at the Bytowne that I really wanted to see. Normally, movies only play at the Bytowne for a limited number of days. For this particular movie, there was only one day that I could have possible seen it. Unfortunately, none of my friends were available to watch it. I really didn't want to miss my chance to see this movie, so I went anyways. I sat by myself, laughed by myself, upstairs in the balcony. I really enjoyed the movie, and I also enjoyed the experience of watching a movie by myself.


This summer, during Bluesfest, I managed to see a lot of shows and spend time with a lot of friends. However, there were many instances where some of my friends wanted to stay at the Electro stage while I wanted to check out some bands at the other stages. During some instances, I was actually required to write about specific bands for my favourite Montreal blog, Sors-tu. Although I prefer going to shows with friends, I have come to enjoy watching shows by myself... I get to choose how close/far I get to watch and I can just immerse myself in the music without worrying about making small talk or ignoring my friend(s).


So more and more, I do stuff by myself... even if it's just little things, like going to a yoga class by myself. A year ago, it's something that I would have never done. Slowly I'm beginning to see that spending time solo can be an empowering thing.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Chilling with Owls by Nature

This past week-end, I discovered a great Canadian band: Owls by Nature. I first heard of this group two weeks ago, after their PR rep contacted Couch Assassin to see if we would feature their upcoming show in Ottawa. I volunteered to do a quick write-up about the band. After writing a post about their show at the Rainbow Bistro, I was eager to check out the band.

The band has been touring across Canada on an ongoing basis for two years and they are currently promoting their second album "Everything is Hunted". 

This past Sunday, an old friend and I headed to the Rainbow to see the show. First of all, the Rainbow Bistro is an amazing venue. I cannot believe that I had never gone to see shows there before. Clearly, I've been missing out!

The boys of Owls by Nature put on a really energetic show. They sure know how to have fun on stage. You can't help but enjoy yourself when listening to their blend of folk-rock.

Later that evening, my husband joined to catch the rest of the show. As soon as he showed up, he took one look at the banjo player and said "That looks like Cory". After the show, we had the chance to talk with the guys and turns out, the husband was right. Cory is indeed in the band! Gaston recognized him from playing local bars back home in Moncton a few years ago.

What a great group of guys! Be sure to check out the band when they play your town. Here's their latest video, for the song "Hurricane".

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Owls by Nature Step Into the Spotlight

Originally published on Couch Assassin.

This Remembrance Day, head out to the Rainbow Bistro and check out Owls by Nature. Based out of Edmonton, Alberta, the group has been playing together since April 2010. Their show on November 11th will support the release of their long-awaited sophomore album “Everything Is Hunted”.

Owls by Nature is a collaboration of five musicians from across Canada who met in a prairie town bar. The band features Ian McIntosh, Sean Hamilton, Cory D., Doc deGroot, and Freddy Brenton. They describe their sound as “whiskey-fuelled folk rock anthems for people who like to party”.

Since their first album "Backwater" was produced and released in early 2011, the group has matured and grown and so has their songwriting style. According to Sean Hamilton, the bassist and one of the band's vocalists, the new album is also better in terms of recording quality. "The time we spent on [the album] in the studio and the team that we worked with was above anything we could have hoped for," said Hamilton. He also added that this album is a step closer to truly finding the sound that is purely their own.

Since their inception, Owls by Nature are more solidified as a group. They have been touring on and off for over two years. So far, the group has only played shows in Canada but they are anticipating playing shows in the U.S. very soon. The group loves playing live shows because of the unpredictability. "If a song goes somewhere new or different, we can roll with it and something new may stem from it," Hamilton explained. He explained that the band grows from one show to next, especially when touring. "We get to see it all build in front of our eyes."

When asked what people can expect from their live show, Hamilton laughed and said that the audience should expect a lot of whiskey. In general, the group tends to give a very energetic performance and put on a good show for the audience.

This is the group's first time playing a show in Ottawa. They are optimistic about their upcoming show and are looking forward to seeing what the city is all about. "It's always fun to see what each local scene has to offer." Be sure to check out Owls by Nature in action at the Rainbow on November 11th. Ottawa is sure to give these western boys a warm welcome.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Good News

I heard some fantastic news yesterday, via Twitter (where else?)

Passion Pit will be playing a show in Montreal this February at my all-time favourite venue, le Métropolis. After hearing their latest album and seeing them live at Osheaga, I am thrilled that I will get the opportunity to see them live again. They are one of my favourite bands.

See you at the show!

In the meantime... Enjoy!