I’ll be honest with you. I’ve mentally checked out for the remainder of ’12. I’ve listened to almost nothing but Tom Waits and Shotgun Jimmie for the last week or so, and the contentedness I get from listening to music for fun, not for content is liberating.
That being said, two new records keep creeping back into the mix, for completely different reasons.
The first, Aidan Knight’s Small Reveal, is a dark, sensual mood piece that shows a maturation in subject and sound from the Victoria charmer.
The songs are fully developed; the strings and horns chosen to create Aidan’s dreamy sound are as sophisticated as the characters Knight creates. Small Reveal chronicles a change in spirit; Knight’s whimsy (and even the ramshackle surge he introduced on “Friendly Fires”) is replaced with a more grounded, harder outlook but one that he executes well. This is the definition of a grower; a record that needs and deserves time to attach roots and fully bloom.
Sackville’s Lucas Hicks is a musical time capsule, or maybe some sort of time machine. A tear in the fabric, Hicks found a wormhole to ’90s era indie ear worms. His new EP, Slower, could be easily labeled with tags like “classic Halifax sound” or “indie when indie meant something”, but that seems limiting and unfair.
Influences are only the tip of the iceberg. Hicks panhandles a river most assumed picked clean, and is rewarded with some new gems. Fuzzy, nostalgic, raw, but still of the moment; this is slacker rock, done right.