The Raven & The Fox – Follow Me
Like their namesakes, Alberta folk duo The Raven & The Fox offer a sound with a sly, mystical edge—what they’ve described from the beginning as “love-inspired mountain music.” It’s a style that singer/songwriters Julie Chang and Sean Isaac have been honing since they first collaborated in 2014, and has now reached fruition on their full-length debut album, simply entitled The Raven & The Fox. Produced by Geoff Hilhorst—keyboardist for acclaimed folk-rockers The Deep Dark Woods—and mixed by longtime associate Jesse Sanderson at OCL Studios outside of Calgary, the record is a haunting 10-track collection that displays Chang and Isaac’s irresistible rootsy sensibilities, as heard on the first focus track “Follow Me.”
Dave Allen – Plainview
With his debut solo album, Toronto-based singer/songwriter Dave Allen establishes himself as a bona fide roots music auteur, transporting us to a place that to our modern perceptions will seem uncomfortably foreign, or conversely, all too real. Listeners previously heard flashes of Allen’s brilliance in his previous work with the Barrie, Ontario collective Stonetrotter, but on When The Demons Come he takes full command in bridging his wide-ranging country, folk, blues and gospel influences.
Recorded at various locations around Ontario over the course of a year, the album in fact gathers a decade’s worth of material Allen had accumulated, which had not found a home within other various projects. Still, there is a common thread of sin and redemption connecting all of the songs, and through the assistance of several of his Stonetrotter band mates and pedal steel virtuoso Aaron Goldstein, it adds up to a haunting and endlessly rewarding listening experience.