Home New music in our mailbox! New singles from Darren Roy Clarke, Twin Flames and Gina Burgess

New singles from Darren Roy Clarke, Twin Flames and Gina Burgess


Gordy the moose reviews some of his favourite new submissions to the Roots Music Canada virtual mailbox.

Darren Roy Clarke – “Dirty Face and a Broken Screen”

Darren Roy Clarke is a brand new face on the folk roots scene – at least as a solo recording artist – but a lot of musicians out there want to make sure we discover him.

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene sings Darren’s praises in a quote on Darren’s website and produced the video for this debut single. Kerri Ough of the Good Lovelies duets on the song, and Ryan Weber of the Weber Brothers plays bass. Michael Boguski of Blue Rodeo (piano), Melissa Payne (fiddle/vocals), and Travis Good of the Sadies also perform on the debut album (also called Dirty Face and a Broken Screen) which is due this spring.

Not a bad group of friends there, Darren. .

This first single is hauntingly beautiful and bleak, featuring close harmonies from Kerri from beginning to end. The vocals are right up front, giving it an intimate feel, and the minimalist arrangements consist of little more than finger-picked guitar and bowed bass.

The lyrics are just a touch too oblique for one to be certain of what the song is about, but love and death are the clear themes.

Darren has released just one other single since this one, so we don’t have a lot to judge his work on yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from him.

Twin Flames – “Hearts on Fire”

The wonderful duo of Jaaji and Chelsey June originally composed this piece for the documentary The Smallest Steps, by Nicole Bedford, about the battle against intimate partner violence.

They recorded it in part at the National Music Centre at Bell Studios using instruments from the studio’s Living Collection. The rest of the song was recorded at Noble Street Studios in Toronto.

I don’t have the ear to pick out exactly which instruments from the Living Collection we’re hearing on this richly-arranged mid-tempo folk-rocker, but there’s definitely some crunchy electric guitar in there.

You know what though? Even with that great collection at their disposal, Twin Flames’ two voices are still the most beautiful instruments in the mix. The harmonies are gorgeous as always.

Gina Burgess – “Anuri” (video)

Violinist Gina Burgess is one of those people who seems to go from strength to strength.

First it was the ECMA-winning hot jazz ensemble, Gypsophila, whose 1920s-style dances in Halifax were all the rage for a while. Then it was the Juno-winning Jerry Cans, one the north’s biggest acts.

Now Gina has released a solo album titled ISNOW (interesting title!), and this is the video for the single “Anuri.” It’s an atmospheric collaboration with contemporary throat singer Cynthia Pitsiulak and Qilauti player Mathew Nuqingaq, featuring Jordan Stephens on bass, Greg Woolner on drums, and Gina’s former Gypsophilia bandmate Ross Burns on the Brazilian percussion instruments the pandeiro and berimbau.

It’s an airy, impressionistic track that evokes the expansiveness and unpredictability of the north, shifting as it does between calm and chaos.

And the video feels like something you’d see in an experimental short film showcase at a film festival. So cool!


  1. The song by Gina Burgess is very good and I can’t stop listening. Feel good music. I don’t like the other two you posted at all; they are so dull!!!


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