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Check out this new music from Pharis & Jason Romero, Abigail Lapell and Ninan

Three-time Juno-winners Pharis and Jason Romero have announced plans for a new album to be released June 17 on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. They have released a new single to set us up for it. If that single, “Souvenir,” is any indication, the album, Tell ‘Em You Were Gold, is more of what everyone has come to love from Pharis and Jason. It’s rustic old-time-style tunes marked by gorgeous two-part harmonies, evocative banjo-picking, and guitar accompaniment. Their harmonized, soft voices make Pharis and Jason stand out among old-time artists and rank them among acts like Gillean Welch and David Rawlings. “Souvenir” was recorded in their barn in rural Horsefly B.C., which they restored themselves because that’s the kind of thing Pharis and Jason do in their free time. 

In the Innu community of Mani-utenam, about a 15-minute drive from Sept-Iles, QC, there is a recording studio operated by the legendary Innu artist, Florent Vollant of the trailblazing duo, Kashtin. One of the latest acts to pass through Studio Makusham is Ninan, a young Innu ensemble whose sound will remind some of Kashtin. Their debut album, Innu Auass, came out last year, but we just recently caught wind of it when the title track – which I’m told is about pride in being Innu – showed up on the Indigenous Music Countdown. The quartet is made up of Frederick Cluney, Michael Ashini, Kelly Régis Fortin, and Éric Dominique, all from Matimekush-Lac John. The group was discovered at the Festival Innu Nikamu de Maliotenam in 2019. We can’t wait to hear more from them.

Abigail Lapell has just released her first new album since 2019’s Getaway, and what I’ve heard so far of Stolen Time sounds more minimalist and atmospheric than her previous outing. Indeed, her publicist describes the album as a cross between her “hushed” debut and its two rockier follow-ups. Her publicist says it “brings a live-off-the-floor 70s folk-rock vibe with more structural experimentation to the table on songs that feel expansive in their scope; unhurried, psychedelic, and other-worldly.” Sounds about right. Abigail is already a Canadian Folk Music Award-winner and a past recipient of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award from the Ontario Arts Council. She’s back on the road next month with a series of shows in the Maritimes. Corby will have a full review of the album in a few days.

 

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