Buffy Sainte-Marie – Medicine Songs

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s more than half century-long career has yielded no shortage of songs that can be “put to work,” as the trailblazing songwriter put it in an interview with q host Tom Power. And for her 18th studio album, Sainte-Marie has collected them — and written two new songs — in an effort to inspire change.(CBC Music)

Speaker – Murder and Create

The latest offering from Speaker finds the band finding a comfortable space between grimy, dense hardcore and grinding experimental metal. A sense of exigency floods the young Whitby, Ontario group’s songwriting throughout EP Murder and Create, most prominently paraded during the blasting percussion of “Cocoon” and guitarist Matt Flannigan’s panicky riffs in “Catch 22.”(Exclaim!)

Teen Daze – Themes For A New Earth

Releasing his second project of the year, Jamison Isaak’s Themes For A New Earth is an enjoyable collection of instrumental tracks with a singular tone. The album was recorded at the same time as Themes For A Dying Earth, but lacks the vocal contributions of its predecessor. New Earth feels like a collection of outtakes as opposed to a full-fledged companion album. To Isaak, there’s a similar theme to both being reborn and dying, as the two projects sound nearly indistinguishable in terms of production. However, Teen Daze establishes a tone that is potent and vibrant like the colours of fall. Isaak previously enlisted guests like S. Carey of Bon Iver for his last album, but the soundscapes of New Earth hold their own without any features. (BeatRoute)

The Dreadnoughts – Foreign Skies

Trying to categorize The Dreadnoughts‘ sound is a lot like trying to describe a rainbow using only one color. I have heard their music described as “cluster-folk,” “pirate punk,” “alt-polka,” “gypsy punk,” as well as countless other contractions of contradictory terms. My best effort was to describe them as what would happen if Great Big Sea, Flogging Molly, Rancid and Weird Al Yankovic got really drunk, absconded on a pirate ship filled with fiddles and guitars and just decided they had enough rum on board to make it to Singapore.(Montreal Rocks)

Vissia – Place Holder

Listening to this terrific new album from Edmonton-based VISSIA, it’s perfectly evident that it is the fruit of significant effort on her part. The album, she says, took four years to write – four years of experiences that have been woven together into this set of fantastic songs. While the songs definitely encompass time and space in her life, they nevertheless carry a common theme of love gone wrong, expectations not met, and a strong woman who endures it all.(Great Dark Wonder)