Every week, CKUA’s hosts submit their songs for our weekly House Blend playlist: an exciting new release, a beloved classic or just an old personal favourite. We mix it all together to create a sonic concoction that’ll help kick off your week. Check out what’s on this week’s playlist.
Lionel Rault: Scott Lucas & The Married Men, “Cruel Summer”
It’s been a weird summer if not outright cruel in Alberta. Bananarama’s originally boppy hit of the ’80s reworked by St. Louis musician, Scott Lucas, seems to catch a bit of the flavour of the season.
Orest Soltykevych: Albertasaurus, “Pathetique”
This famous Beethoven piano sonata from 1798 was arranged for tuba quartet by Edmonton native, John McPherson. He has served as Principal Trombone of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 1980. He’s also a composer, arranger and instructor of low brass at the University of Alberta.
Baba: John Wort Hannam, “Day I Die”
Songs about death are gold! Because death is so important. John Wort Hannam is such a beloved artist for a reason, the reason is his ultra sweetness. Now touch the subject of death with that sweetness. We have an open invitation.
Amy van Keeken: Chaka Khan, “Like Sugar”
Her new single after 10 years of silence is true dance floor magic. A collab with Major Lazer’s Switch, the song is pure funk joy as only Chaka Khan can do. Try not dancing to this. Impossible!
Matt Masters: Snowapple, “Evil Wizard”
This Dutch and Mexican group of multi-instrumentalists play a mix of pop, folk, opera and avant garde cumbia. It’s theatrical, dynamic and fun.
Lisa Wilton: H. Hawkline, “Means That Much”
Quirky is a good way to describe this track from H. Hawkline’s latest album, I Romanticize. It’s still melodic, but interesting enough to make you really listen to the song. He has worked and toured with fellow Welsh oddballs, Cate Le Bon and Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame. So, if you’re a fan of their work, this will be right up your alley.
Meg Wilcox: Ian Tyson, “Lost Herd”
I’ve been reading Ian Tyson’s memoir, and in it he says Lost Herd is his favourite album. Taking another listen, I might just agree with him! I love how this song blends Ian’s love for jazz with his signature cowboy storytelling.
Roy Forbes: Leonard Cohen, “Bird On The Wire”
I’ve been revisiting this beautiful Leonard Cohen song from his second album, Songs from a Room, — absorbing it to perform it at an upcoming West Vancouver concert featuring an all-star cast, backed by Steve Dawson and his band.
Kris Kristofferson once said that he’d like to have the first four lines of “Bird On The Wire” etched on his gravestone. Serious praise. Deserved.
Mark Antonelli: Ustad Nishat Khan, Gilles Binchois Ensemble, “Introit – Reminiscere miserationum” from Meeting Of Angels
A rather interesting example of east meets west. What could go wrong if you combine Gregorian Chant and the Sitar? The answer? Absolutely nothing! A great recording made at the Abbey of Anzy-le-Duc in France.
Hayley Muir: The Sha La Das, “Just For A Minute”
Little bit of doo-wop, little bit of soul! This new family band, headed up by Bill Schalda, has members who have backed up Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones and Lee Fields. They’ve got a full-length coming out September 12 courtesy of Daptone imprint Dunham records, but for now we can enjoy this delightful sneak peek!
Grant Stovel: The Ophelias, “Fog”
Considering that this song clocks in at just 1:43, it’s full of surprising twists, turns and textures.
“Fog” is the opening number for the brand-new sophomore album, Almost, by The Ophelias, four young women from Cincinnati who are clearly possessed of extraordinary musical imagination.
For me, listening to this exuberant little gem feels like opening up a really big, extra-fun toy box.