Where's the jam1

Lukas Wall & Chad Pelley Pick Their Stand-out Song from 3 New Local Albums …


Lukas’s Pick: “Shallow Water”

“Shallow Water” really jumps out, as the opening chords set the feel and groove right from the outset, and the open and airy backup vocals fill out the sound and float above the gritty guitar. This tune builds in to a rocker by  the chorus, adding full on drums and some sweet saxophone lines, before shifting to
a section with gang vocals, leading up to a raucous finish.

Chad’s pick: “6 am”

It’s just a well-built song, in terms of its structure, and how it builds and builds. And what a jam there in the middle, kicked-off by as fun a solo as you could want. I think more than any song of hers, “6am” showcases Duff’s full potential as a songwriter, and the unique spin she puts on her genre. And as cerebral as any lyricist tries to get, you can’t beat simple songs about relationship tension, can you?


Lukas’s Pick: “After The War” 

With a slow, brooding intro section that picks  up in to a serious toe-tapper, this tune is a jam from the new Lady Brett Ashley record. The vocals sit above warbly, tremololaden guitar chords that settle in to a slow groove. The drums then pick up, taking off in to an upbeat, folky shuffle, with the bass pushing forward toward a bright and twangy guitar solo. If you’re looking for a jam to do the do-si-do, this one’s for you.

Chad’s Pick: “Holding Pattern”

“All Heather has to do to win me over is start singing; she has my favourite voice in town: it just gets in your bones and softens them up. But in terms of the songs on the album, some are better than others for sure, and “Holding Pattern” is my pick. From the weird vacuum-y opening, to the great and atypical lead work, to Brad’s utterly un-lazy and phat-ass basslines, to the nice hi-hat work … the song is very original and interesting.


Lukas’s Pick: “Left Brain”

Capturing a real feel of confusion and disillusionment wrapped up in a lo-fi, guitar driven rock tune, “Left Brain” is a solid jam. The chord progression moves in a way you might not expect, driving forward with crunchy guitars and thudding bass. Lyrics about sleeplessness and strange dreams come together before a
series of layered guitar lines build huge pulsing chords to end the tune. For this final section alone, “Left Brain” is worth a listen.

Chad’s Pick: “Old Stories”

Lukas isn’t wrong, “Left Brain” is the album’s jam. But there’s something compelling about “Old Stories” (and “Can You Feel It?”) that reminds me of Built to Spill in the best way possible: jangly, unpredictable guitar marks the song, and the vocals beg and get your attention, adding a sing-along catchiness to the broody chorus. And the song employs an interesting use of background vocals to fill in and thicken up  the song in all the right places. Winner.