YSP New Music: “Safe” – These Ghosts (Accidental Records)

‘Safe’ is the third single from These Ghost’s Matthew Herbert co-produced sophomore album Still The Waves.

The track picks right up where previous single ‘Where Two Lines Meet’ left off with immediately blistering drums driving along an infectious bass and guitar sparring riff all sitting beneath vocalist Calum Duncan’s ethereal and unique voice.

Having completed a sell out UK tour in Support of Tall Ships following the release of the album, the band are now back on the road with an 11 date headline UK tour culminating in the release of this single, ‘Safe’ on 16th Feb.

These Ghosts is a joyous cacophony born of friendship and a desire to forge new sounds akin to a British Animal Collective with influences also coming from the likes of Modeselektor to Sigur Ros, The Invisible and Mew.


1. Safe (Radio Edit)

2. Footsteps On A Frozen Lake

3. Safe (Album Version)

Praise for These Ghosts

These Ghosts make the sort of feverish, shadow-chasing music that’d keep Thom Yorke fretting at night.’ – Q Magazine

‘Enigmatically gorgeous and unsettling’ – The Line of Best Fit

‘These Ghosts serve it up on a platter of melancholic guitars akin to early Radiohead’ – NME

‘A mix of reverb-drenched vocals and forward-leaning production, it becomes pensive before developing into a saw-toothed monster by its clattering conclusion’ – DIY Magazine

‘These Ghosts construct meditative, introspective guitar music, delivered in a forward thinking immediate fashion. There’s a velvet lustre to their songwriting, a quiet patient intensity which recalls Radiohead’s fusion of splintered guitars and electronics.’ Clash

You can hear “Safe” on Soundcloud via the embedded link above and purchase the single when it drops on February 16th, 2015, via Accidental Records.


YSP New Music: Mann Friday #GettingtoGlasto Campaign “Say Yeah! (Emily Eavis)

If you’re a music fan perusing YSP, you’ve no doubt heard of Glastonbury Music Festival. The Somerset music festival attracts over 130, 000 music-lovers yearly to camp out, rock out, make out, and have a good time over 5 days of jamming spanning a broad spectrum of music. Last year Arcade Fire, the Black Keys, Jack White, and Metallica all graced the same stage.

We recently received a submission from a band of hopefuls looking to join their idols and inspirations at this year’s festival. The remarkably protean Mann Friday, with members hailing from South Africa, Italy, and Zimbabwe have put together a stylistically rich and varied appeal to Festival Organizer Emily Eavis to hopefully book the band a spot on the bill.

If you’d like to help the band achieve their dream, check out the video and visit their Twitter and Facebook pages (below).

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YSP New Music | Muta Mouraine Cold Mornings 

Cold Mornings

One of this generation’s purest voices, Muta Mouraine is an Edmonton/Virginia-based artist who wears his honesty on his shoulder. The Sudan-born, Canadian-raised MC arrived in Canada with his family with hope for a better life. Within months of his migration, Muta Mouraine found himself learning how to speak English through rap songs. 

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Age Before Beauty: Leonard Cohen Still Wrestles Age, Women, and Life In “Popular Problems”

Age before beauty, the idiom goes, and Leonard Cohen knows this full well. Beginning his career well into his late adolescence (Songs of Leonard Cohen was released 1967)  near-octagenarian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen is back at it once again with “Popular Problems.” On this record more than ever, his husky vocal serves him well, coating songs such as “Almost Like The Blues” and “Slow” with the kind of Tom Waits-esque sonic rumble that displays both his age and experience. For the casual Cohen listener, Popular Problems functions much as its predecessor Old Ideas–as a comfortable and representative entry way into his discography. Where “Samson In New Orleans” is blissfully reminiscent of “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” and “Almost Like The Blues” carries the lyrical cadence of “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” the tunes that make up Popular Problems show Cohen at his most refined.

Cover of "Field Commander Cohen: Tour of ...

Cover of Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979

The album’s production, with its seasoned session musicians (typical of Cohen’s career-spanning carousel of players) deftly highlight the sonic palate of the songs, allowing Cohen’s sing-speak (and precise lyrics) to shine centre stage. Although at times it sounds as if certain production choices (namely the questionable Mumford and Sons-esque chorus of “Did I Ever Love You”–a tacky bluegrass tablecloth on a sheet of pure marble) are flawed experiments at making contemporary Cohen’s sound, one has to remark that Cohen is open to experimentation this late in the game at all. The absolutely heartbreaking delivery in the verses of “Did I Ever Love You” remains more than enough to save the album from it’s own chimerical structure.

If Old ideas was to be Cohen’s last record, Popular Problems feels like an appropriate coda, that is, Cohen’s victory lap. However whereas Old Ideas felt like a succinct summation of his life’s work in songs, Popular Problems benefits from the opportunity for Cohen to further expand into this new, more confident era of songwriting. As critics have often noted, Cohen’s saving grace as a singer was that in the early days his songs were so masterfully written that his voice was almost an afterthought. Now, however, it seems that his vocal chords have caught up to his songwriting and suit him hand in glove. The mystic, dirge-like, monk-esque rumblings of “Slow” give way to the tantric, sexual morning voice of “Nevermind”. Cohen’s wry humour hasn’t aged a day, however. He takes self-deprecating to an art-form as he quips on “Almost Like The Blues”, “There’s torture and there’s killing / and there’s my bad reviews”. It’s nothing short of refreshing to see a legend of his kind still caught in the same anxious traps as artists half (or a quarter) his age; and at the end of “Popular Problems”, punning on the record’s title, Field Commander Cohen remains with us, to combat the problems, whether trite or deified, that plague us all.

YSP Sound: Alt-J – This Is All Yours Review (EDIT)

Artist: Ajt-J               Title:  This is All Yours Label: Infectious Music Ltd. 8/10

When Alt-J blessed the music world with (eventual Mercury Prize Winner) An Awesome Wave in 2012, they were lauded by most as experimentalists and musical revolutionaries; by others they were lampooned and lambasted for being “overstuffed and messy, and so overworked that what life there may once have been now exists as a kind of primordial paste.” (Any guess who said that?) The Pitchfork talking heads–those that still pride themselves on being arrogant contrarians who get to not-hear, read about, and then hate good music before everyone else–will tell you that the lyrics on “Taro” make no sense and “Fitzpleasure” is goofy netherspeak. If you happen to be one of those people, two things: (1) “Taro” is one of the most heartbreaking love songs ever written, about two photojournalists blown to pieces in the line of duty; and (2) steer clear of this record.

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Stream DFA’s New Album “The Physical World” on iTunes Now!

Ahead of Riot Fest this weekend in Toronto (and a couple of TBA surprise shows this week), Death from Above 1979 are currently streaming their new album, The Physical World, on iTunes in its entirety. I’m currently academically occupied and haven’t had a chance to provide any preliminary track commentary, so you’ll just have to follow the link and listen for yourself. The Physical World, DFA’s first album in 10 years, is out 9/9.


Death From Above 1979 Release New Single on BBC Radio 1

If you’re a fan of Toronto ‘dance-punk’ duo Death From Above 1979, then you’ve likely been following their website and/or Facebook page with bated breath over the past few weeks. After their 2004 album You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine and subsequent touring, the band announced an indefinite hiatus; despite the album’s critical acclaim, the band broke up in 2006. They played a handful of reunion shows between 2011 and 2013, and experimented with some new tracks–and then disappeared.

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Hear Bon Iver’s new song ‘Heavenly Father’ from the ‘Wish I Was Here’ Soundtrack

Bon Iver performing in Shepherd's Bush, UK.

Bon Iver performing in Shepherd’s Bush, UK. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you’ve heard of The Shins, it’s likely (nay, inevitably) true that tightly knit into your pathways for musical discovery sit Zach Braff and his 2004 film Garden State. Sure, maybe you didn’t hear “New Slang” for the first time through Natalie Portman’s headphones, but that always-in-the-know, norm-before-normcore friend of yours probably did. The Garden State OST, Braff’s self-proclaimed ‘life soundtrack,’ eventually sold over 1.3 million copies and won a grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album.

Now, for his new film, and on top of compiling another astounding soundtrack, Braff requested original songs from a handful of artists, including The Shins and Bon Iver. You can head over to NPR to hear “Heavenly Father” and read a little bit about its inception as well.

If, as I expect it will, Bon Iver’s new track whets your appetite for more, you can have a listen to “So Now What?” by the Shins and check out the track listing for the film’s OST in full below.

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Portage Closeup: The Brothers Of Penitence, Part 1 — Introductions

dan drums

For this close-up, I’ve asked my longtime friend Dan Knight to detail the inception, progression, and eventual dissemination of a musical project that we’ve been ‘working on’ for nearly 6 years. You can check out Dan’s biography under the Featured Writers section, but I’m of the belief that the best way to get to know someone is through their work. Expect to see multiplicitous and varied artistic projects from Dan on YSP in the near future. For now, enjoy this introduction to “The Brothers of Penitence” EP.


The intention of this project, in part, is to alleviate an insatiable need Mike and I have felt in our creative loins since our friendship’s inception. Essentially, this project envelops not only the genesis of our friendship (re: “bromance”), but the resultant journey we’ve taken together since.

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