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.
Tom Coxworth: J S Ondara, “Saying Goodbye”
Ondara is the newest important folk and routes artist for 2019
Orest Soltykevych: Ottawa Bach Choir, “Komm, Jesu, Komm” by Johann Sebastian Bach
“Komm, Jesu, Komm” is one of six motets by Johann Sebastian Bach. It begins “Come, Jesus, come, my body is weary, my strength deserts me more and more. I yearn for Thy peace; life’s bitter path is too much for me!” The Ottawa Bach Choir was founded in 2002 by their current conductor, Lisette Canton. This motet is from the choir’s latest recording: Handel, Bach & Schütz.
Leo Cripps: The Skints, “Gets on Top”
The Skints new album, Swimming Lessons, brings back essences of the ’80s classic, two-tone elements with a fresh edge. It like a mixture of The Specials, Bad Manners and the Beat all wrapped together in a modern sound. “Gets on Top” is the first single from a good album.
Leo Cripps: Armik, “Alchemy”
A new track for this Armenian Iranian flamenco guitarist blending in some elements of ska — quite a unique and sweet track.
Baba: Leeroy Stagger, “Open Up Your Heart”
In the words of Mr. Stagger himself, “Something profound happens when one is confronted with the illusion of self”. I am sold, take me for a ride Leeroy!
Lisa Wilton: Larry “Ratso” Sloman featuring Nick Cave, “Our Lady of Light”
Larry “Ratso” Sloman has spent most of his life writing about other people. He’s ghostwritten autobiographies for Howard Stern and Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ singer, Anthony Kiedis. He got his nickname from Joan Baez while he was following Bob Dylan on tour in the mid-’70s. He’s also been writing songs for years, but mostly keeping them to himself. That changed in April when 70-year-old Ratso released his debut album: Stubborn Heart. You can hear the Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen influences in his voice, particularly on this lovely track, in which he shares vocal duties with Australian singer and friend, Nick Cave.
Cathy Ennis: Jade Bird, “I Get No Joy”
Jade Bird is an interesting new talent out of England with a distinct Americana sound that spans rock, country, pop and beyond. She released a great EP in 2017 but her debut, self-titled album, is stellar. There’s something to love about each of the tracks but I’ve chosen “I Get No Joy” for this week’s House Blend.
Roy Forbes: Bill Frisell, “Tired Of Waiting For You”
Here’s a beautiful exploration of the 1965 Ray Davies-Kinks’ hit from jazz guitar whiz, Bill Frisell. From Bill’s 2014 disc, Guitar In The Space Age. The entire album is highly recommended.
Mark Antonelli: Elmer Bernstein featuring the United Kingdom Symphony Orchestra, “National Geographic Fanfare”
The “National Geographic Fanfare” is one of my favourite fanfares and a musical echo from my childhood. It instantly conjures up memories of gathering around the TV on Saturday evenings to learn about the wide and wonderful world of nature. It’s interesting how all these years later National Geographic still uses this theme as an always-recognizable musical hook no matter what composer might be writing the music or how it might be arranged. That’s musical staying power.
Amy van Keeken: A-Wa, “Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman”
Sisters Tair, Liron and Yagel Haim mix traditional Yemeni music and melodies with electronic and hip hop beats. This song was introduced to me by CKUA’s intrepid music librarian, Arianne Smith-Piquette. She always knows what’s up! And this track is a jam. It’s the first single from their upcoming album: Bayti Fi Rasi (My Home is in My Head) on S-Curve, out May 31, 2019.
Grant Stovel: Perfume Genius, “Slip Away”
On the new Hidden Track podcast, Grammy-winning audio engineer-producer — and Alberta boy! — Shawn Everett painted a pretty wild picture of the lengths they went to in the studio to capture big, bold sounds, moods and performances in the studio while making Perfume Genius’ latest record, No Shape. Now I’m enjoying it all over again, with fresh ears. Also, I’m getting psyched! Perfume Genius’ only live date currently on the books is set for August at Edmonton’s Interstellar Rodeo.