Author: Ben Yung

Mundo Musique: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Drifting “Only Run”

Mundo Musique: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Drifting “Only Run”

Never the one to rest on his laurels, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah‘s frontman Alec Ounsworth and collaborator Sean Greenhalgh have been constantly searching for ways to expand the sounds of the Philadelphia band. In their ten years together, CYHSY’s sound has constantly evolved, starting with the indie pop songs of their excellent, self-titled, debut album and 2007’s follow up […]

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Mundo Musique: Parquet Courts’ Rocking “Sunbathing Animal”

Mundo Musique: Parquet Courts’ Rocking “Sunbathing Animal”

Sure, Parquet Courts can rip through punk songs with some of the best indie bands of today with Andrew Savage and Austin Brown raucously hammering away at their guitars, Sean Yeaton strumming echos off his bass, and Max Savage intensely pummeling his drum kit. On their previous albums, including the splendid 2012 Light Up Gold, their compact songs – often […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: Cold Capital

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Cold Capital

We’ve covered nearly the waterfront of music genres on the RBC Bluesfest Revue, and today we feature a blues-roots band that has only been around for two years, yet has played in some pretty impressive festivals. Cold Capital is a blues-roots band that was formed in “rural hills of Ontario”. Combining the sounds of former Canadian blues-roots-rock stalwarts Staggered Crossing, The […]

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Gig Pick: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at Algonquin Commons Theatre, Tuesday, June 3

Gig Pick: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at Algonquin Commons Theatre, Tuesday, June 3

The amazing and entertaining Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will be stopping in Ottawa on Tuesday night, performing at the Algonquin College Commons Theatre. Despite recently recovering from cancer treatment, the 58-year old soul singer continues to perform at a high level, and the shows on this tour have received excellent reviews. If you have never seen her, this is […]

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Mundo Musique: Aar Maanta Bringing Somali Music to the World

Mundo Musique: Aar Maanta Bringing Somali Music to the World

Whether you live in Ottawa, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Riyadh, Dhaka, Ulan Bator, Jakarta, Christchurch, Yamagata, Lima, San Francisco, or New York, there are two things that people tend to gravitate to – food and music. They are two things that cut across all cultures and bring together people of different nationalities and ethnicities and across all ages. Aar Maanta is one […]

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Mundo Musique: Lee Fields & The Expressions’ Memorable “Emma Jean”

Mundo Musique: Lee Fields & The Expressions’ Memorable “Emma Jean”

While Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley have been the artists most closely associated with the resurgence of Motown and soul music, Lee Fields has quietly produced outstanding soul music – not just in the past few years but for 45 years. Like Charles Bradley, Lee Fields’ voice is powerful and dynamic and his performances are lively, entertaining, […]

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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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