Author: Ben Yung

Mundo Musique Hidden Gem: Berlin’s Major Pins 2013 “Roundabout”

Mundo Musique Hidden Gem: Berlin’s Major Pins 2013 “Roundabout”

Known more within the Berlin music scene for their indie-folk sound, Major Pins released an under-appreciated, under-reported indie pop-rock album, Roundabout early in 2013. The album contains a little bit of everything – rousing indie-pop anthems, gritty indie rock ballads, haunting synth numbers, and chillwave tunes. At times, the album has the flair of Florence + The Machine, a bit of PJ […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: Bella Cat

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Bella Cat

Bella Cat arguably has the most enthralling, soulful voice in the area. Belting lyrics reminiscent of the great soul-blues singers of the past, the young woman from Old Chelsea, Quebec – which is about 15-minutes north of Ottawa – released a terrific debut EP this year entitled, Corrupted, which was reviewed earlier this year. While the blues, soul, and jazz […]

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Mundo Musique: Jolie Holland’s Smoky “Wine Dark Sea”

Mundo Musique: Jolie Holland’s Smoky “Wine Dark Sea”

For Those Who Like: John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John Dating back to co-founding Canadian folk group The Be Good Tanyas to her solo career that has spanned more than a decade, Jolie Holland has explored almost every genre of music. On her latest album, Wine Dark Sea, Holland visits the era of blues, roots, and soul music and […]

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Mundo Musique: Dark Mean, “Samuel the Phoenix”

Mundo Musique: Dark Mean, “Samuel the Phoenix”

DARK MEAN For Those Who Like: Amos the Transparent, early Death Cab for Cutie, Stars, The Uglysuit Back in February, Dark Mean from Hamilton, Ontario, released a superb four-track EP with a great name, Samuel the Phoenix. Formed in 2012, the young trio has focused on writing melodic, dreamy indie pop-folk. Similar to early Death Cab for Cutie, lead singer […]

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Mundo Musique: Julian Taylor Band’s Groovy “Tech Noir”

Mundo Musique: Julian Taylor Band’s Groovy “Tech Noir”

Funk, soul, and roots music are slowly creeping back into the mainstream mindset, thanks in large part to veteran musicians like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields (more on him next week), Gary Clark, Jr., and a wave of Australian musicians such as Johnny Lang, The John Butler Trio, Kim Churchill, and Ash Grunwald. Canada, too, has […]

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Mundo Musique: Sharon Van Etten’s Ambitious “Are We There”

Mundo Musique: Sharon Van Etten’s Ambitious “Are We There”

In her first three albums – Because I Was in Love, Epic, and the remarkable Tramp – the beauty in the music lied in the sheer, emotive power of Sharon Van Etten‘s voice and the subtlety of her arrangements that would soar as each song progressed. Her music, too, was personal yet familiar to many of us, often speaking about […]

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Mundo Musique Hidden Gems: U2’s “Take Today”

Mundo Musique Hidden Gems: U2’s “Take Today”

We’re going to start a new feature on Mundo Musique called “Hidden Gems”. Basically, these are outtakes or deep cuts from more popular bands or albums released before 2014 by obscure or lesser known bands that deserve much more attention. To kick it off, let’s revisit U2 at the height of their musicianship. Now, I am unabashedly a big U2 […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: Amos the Transparent

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Amos the Transparent

Like with anything in life, the more time you invest into something, the better you become at it and the more you are able to master your craft. Such is the case with Amos the Transparent, the brainchild of Jonathan Chandler and one of Ottawa’s most beloved bands. In the eight years since the band was formed, Amos the Transparent […]

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Mundo Musique: STACEY Self-Titled Debut EP and Video for “Sleep Alone”

Mundo Musique: STACEY Self-Titled Debut EP and Video for “Sleep Alone”

For Those Who Like: Sarah McLachlan, The Bright Smoke, Marissa Nadler On her debut EP, young Toronto singer-songwriter STACEY has released an extremely intimate and honest album. In each of the five tracks, there is a sense of loss, whether it is someone close or one’s innocence. The minimalist feel of the album, which involves just STACEY’s vocals and her […]

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Mundo Musique: Weatherbox

Mundo Musique: Weatherbox

For Those Who Like: Sum 41, Diarrhea Planet Is it possible for post-punk rock to be harmony laden? In the case of San Diego band Weatherbox, the project of Brian Warren, they have just done that. On the 13-track, Flies in All Directions is an apt description for Weatherbox’s third LP, as the San Diego band has written mostly post-punk tracks, […]

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Mundo Musique: Stream Lee Fields’ New Album “Emma Jean”

Mundo Musique: Stream Lee Fields’ New Album “Emma Jean”

Lee Fields, the 63-year old legendary soul singer, returns with The Expressions to release his umpteenth album (his 11th studio album and he’s released countless others), Emma Jean. The album, which is named after his mother, will be officially released on June 3. If you want a sneak peak, the album is being streamed on NPR.

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Mundo Musique: Amen Dunes

Mundo Musique: Amen Dunes

For Those Who Like: The Verve, The Great Lake Swimmers, Juan Wauters While I had heard of previous songs from Amen Dunes – the project of upstate New York native and now Brooklyn resident Damon McMahon – I was not overly familiar with his work until he opened for Mac DeMarco at The Blacksheep Inn in early April 4. Despite […]

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Mundo Musique: Christopher Wild’s Self-Titled Debut Album

Mundo Musique: Christopher Wild’s Self-Titled Debut Album

For Those Who Like: Reignwolf, Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes Christopher Wild on his self-titled debut album, which was released on April 15, has produced a record that I hoped The Black Keys would have produced (not to say Turn Blue is a bad record) – raw, gritty, explosive garage rock that is absolutely relentless from start to finish. From the […]

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Mundo Musique: Debut EP by Rapper King Snxxp and Producer Real Ayler, OutKasted

Mundo Musique: Debut EP by Rapper King Snxxp and Producer Real Ayler, OutKasted

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview Chris Ayler, the young, Westland, Michigan teenager and emerging producer with a tremendous talent for sound, soundscapes, and melodies. It is an innate ability that few possess. After dabbling on his own and producing several songs together, including the trippy, mesmerizing “Praise”, the 17-year old Ayler – now referred to as […]

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Mundo Musique: “Kill the Lights” by The Dirty Jacks

Mundo Musique: “Kill the Lights” by The Dirty Jacks

The Dirty Jacks are an alternative-prog rock band from Rockville, MD, which lies just north of Washington, D.C. They are putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to their debut album, Rufus, which was released in 2011. Their next EP, All Part of the Plan, will be released later this summer. In the meantime, you can listen to the second single from […]

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Gig Picks: Six Nights with Singer-Songwriter Marta Pacek

Gig Picks: Six Nights with Singer-Songwriter Marta Pacek

If you have yet to make your plans for the long weekend, let me offer a suggestion – go see Marta Pacek. Pacek – the Polish-born, Australian resident who lives part of the year in Canada – will be spending the next week in the National Capital Region, performing six shows over nine nights before heading to Montreal, Hamilton, and […]

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Mundo Musique: New Single from Bebe Panthere, “Competition”

Mundo Musique: New Single from Bebe Panthere, “Competition”

With spring in full bloom and hot, sultry summer nights around the corner, it is the season of cool vibes, smooth grooves, and festival-sized anthems. Some will appeal to the masses for their pounding beats and evangelical choruses, others will captivate our imaginations with the grand instrumentation and witty lyrics, while others will just merely overwhelm us. There there will […]

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Capital Revue: Ottawa’s NDMA Releases New Video, “BurnSlow”

Capital Revue: Ottawa’s NDMA Releases New Video, “BurnSlow”

The Ottawa area is slowing becoming a gold mine of great artists, mostly in the genres of indie rock, indie pop, folk, alt-country, and synth-pop. However, there is a growing hip hop and R&B scene. One of the emerging electronic, hip-hop artists in the area is NDMA, whose following is slowly growing as anticipation builds for the release of his […]

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Mundo Musique: Chad VanGaalen and Night Beats

Mundo Musique: Chad VanGaalen and Night Beats

CHAD VANGAALEN Even though Chad VanGaalen has been recording music for thirteen years, he has been able to retain a raw, innocent beauty in his music. Every album is filled with short stories and fables, some about VanGaalen’s own life and others just crafted from his imagination. His early recordings were predominantly indie folk songs, but over time he’s added […]

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Ottawa Folkfest Announce Stellar Lineup

Ottawa Folkfest Announce Stellar Lineup

The Ottawa Folkfest this morning released the lineup to its 21st edition of the annual festival, and the lineup is fantastic. There’s something for everyone at the five-day festival, which runs from September 10-14 at Hog’s Back Park in the middle of Ottawa. The headliners – Lorde, The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, Foster the People, and The Gaslight Anthem – […]

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