We've assembled a hot collection of music released across British Columbia this summer

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Title: On The InsideNightshifting
Artist(s): Kristine Lyall, bass and lead vocals; Aaron Mokry, guitar; Aaron Lyall, drums
Genre: Blues/Rock/Stomp Pop
Label: independent  
Sample: Take Me Home

If you Google “Elkford”, you’ll find it’s hidden away in the Kootenays and that’s where singer Kristine Lyall and The Burn Ins hails from. Their slightly country-fied rock style is honest and earthy, if a little twangy, but definitely a lot of fun to listen to. The band is named by the way for an aphoristic caution, "You have to let the tubes ‘Burn In’ to get good tone from them". I don’t know what that means but, like their music, I like what it implies. In their words, it’s “a delightfully dark journey into a foot stomping good time.”

Winning "Best New Artist" in 2015 at the Kootenay Music Awards placed them at the top (23rd) for new artists across Canada. I picked “Take Me Home” as most fun with its extended clap/stomp intro reminiscent of Queen’s “We Will Rock You", but with ultimately a much deeper darker message. -JH


Title: Quiet Dreams EPQuiet Dreams EP

Nat Jay, vocals; Paul Pigat, guitar; Caitlin Grieve, violin; Doug Gorkoff, cello; Chris Gestrin, additional guitar; Winston Hauschild, background vocals; Ashleigh Ball, vocals

Genre: Folk, pop
Label: Self-released  
Sample: Stream the EP

Music fans crave insight into the songwriting process: More than anything, they want to know how their favourite tracks took the final form that they hear on record. Nat Jay's ephemeral Quiet Dreams EP offers a direct look into the many directions songs can go before reaching their listenable destination.

Specifically, Jay takes two songs off her previous records and showcases them in an acoustic light. "Can't Getcha Out" transforms from a frustrated pop rocker to a somber piano ballad, and the rolling two-step of "Love Me Too" elevates itself in the mode of a fingerpicked folk tune.

Stripping away the procession of pop instrumentation has the effect of focusing on Jay's voice, which coos with calm character throughout the 11:58 run-time. -NL


Title: Soul ConnectionsNightshifting
Artist(s): Darlene Ketchum, vocals; with Bill Sample (keyboards); Rene Worst, bass; Randall Stoll, drums; Vince Mai, trumpet; Lonnie Delisle, Hammond organ; Kelvin Ketchum, piano; Roy Salmond, guitars
Genre: Jazz/Easy Listening/Christian
Label: independent  
Sample: Lean on Me

Darlene Ketchum has an unmistakeable Doris Day simplicity in her jazz ballads. Her crystalline voice and the overall high production values on jazz standards like “Someone to Watch Over Me” are great, but not all her song choices on Soul Connections are going to appeal beyond her Delta church-going coterie. That aside, she’s assembled some great musicians and sings with beauty and confidence throughout the album.

Ketchum’s “Lean on Me”, sung as a duet with Marcus Mosely, is great because—well, it’s just a great song—but also it shows off the best of her singing and soft plays her Christian Easy Listening tendency of preaching to the chorus (as it were) that's elsewhere on the album. -JH


Title: Thirstin'Thirstin'
Artist(s): Jack J (Jack Jutson)
Genre: House
Label: Future Times
Sample: "Thirstin'"

No 2015 sounds have suited Vancouver’s endless summer better than Jack Jutson’s slow-burning house. On the title track, Jutson hums, “You’re waiting for the big surprize/ I see the thirstin’ in your eyes/ I wish that we can be alone.” In step with the irresistible instrumental, he hedges on a mind-state of offhand desire – in wait for nothing in particular. But Jutson’s lush dub percussion, funky bass and Rhodes piano sweep you up into a beautiful urge you won’t want to satisfy. 

An excellent 12”. -NL

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