Tobias Jesso Jr., a Canadian bass player turned singer-songwriter, released his first his first solo full-length album during the spring of 2015, just months before his 30th birthday. Jesso spent the early parts of his career as a bassist for The Sessions and then later for teen-pop star Melissa Cavatti. But it is on the piano that he wrote his 2015 album, Goon, an instrument that he didn’t even begin to play until he was 27 while working for a moving company in Vancouver.
Amen Dunes—project of Damon MacMahon—released Love in 2014, the third official LP of the band. It has been getting some attention, though not what it deserves. Love is eleven atmospheric, acoustically-driven tunes that live up to the “haunting” moniker, not used loosely in this instance. These tunes are haunting.
Every once in a while I feel the need to roll out my old sentimental trope lamenting the demise of the record store. I know I end up sounding like a latter day Victorian griping about cars usurping his beloved horse and buggy while what he really resents is the disappearance of the buggy whip, his favourite romantic accoutrement. Being a tactile person I sympathize on a certain level, however, not enamoured with spanking, what I miss from the record store is the experience of thumbing through stacks CDs or LPs trying to find something new.
Chadwick Stokes’s new solo album, The Horse Comanche, is a wonderful blend of Paul Simon and the Beatles—and that combination makes pure Stokes. Only his second solo studio album, The Horse Comanche sounds like that of a accomplished veteran. It is, though most of Stokes’s work is as frontman of the bands Dispatch and State Radio. This 2015 release confirms he can do great work as a solo artist as well.