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.
Orest Soltykevych: — William Tritt, Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin, arr. Gunther Schuller
Scott Joplin was an African-American composer and pianist, who travelled for years playing piano in saloons. Around 1894, he settled in the town of Sedalia, Missouri, where he played at the Maple Leaf Club, and published his Maple Leaf Rag. He got a penny royalty for each copy, and in ten years, about half-a-million copies had been sold.
Hayley Muir: Anemone, “Bout De Toit”
A sun-drenched little French number from this Montreal band’s 2018 album, Baby Only You And I. With dreamy vocals from bandleader Chloe Soldevila, catchy synth lines and a disco pop influence, it’s the perfect antidote to cold, grey winter days. Oui, oui!
Matt Masters: Townes Van Zandt, “All I Need”
A previously-unreleased song by Townes Van Zandt! TVZ and Fat Possum records are teaming up to release Sky Blue. The album includes this song, “All I Need”, along with some fresh takes on other TVZ classics. The records drops in March, here’s the first look.
Lionel Rault: Billy Joel, “The River of Dreams”
A Grammy-award-winning song from the 1993 album of the same name: The River of Dreams. It hints at heretofore unguessed-at depths of Billy Joel and his music.
Baba: Jeff Tweedy, “Let’s Go Rain”
The song references the great biblical flood, and in the words of the artist, “A joyous plea for the sweet relief of death.”
Tony King: Yutaka Hirasaka, “Anytime, Anywhere”
His biopic portrays the musician’s form turned away from the camera, while tilting his gaze toward the viewer as he clutches a hollow-body jazz guitar. This perspective tells the story of Yutaka Hirasaka, a soft-spoken producer-guitarist based in Tokyo. His warm textures are informed by downtempo and cool jazz. “Anytime, Anywhere” goes down like a delicately-observed dry champagne. Given that the album is available on a limited edition turquoise cassette, it makes for a perfect way to kick off the New Year!
Dianne Donovan: Carmen Lundy, “Seventh Heaven”
Don’t we all need something to look to, something to hope for? A deep, cool track from jazz singer, Carmen Lundy’s 2001 release, This Is Carmen Lundy. All her own tunes, a great band, a great feel — see what you hear!
Grant Stovel: Sharon Van Etten, “No One’s Easy to Love”
Since her last record, Sharon Van Etten’s been broadening her horizons in all kinds of ways. She became a mother, studied psychology at college, acted in the acclaimed Netflix series, The OA, and scored music for films. No wonder this new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, sounds like a departure for her. She says, “I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair and I feel like a mess, but I’m here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions.”