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Ep. #47: AroarA

AroarA is a unique two-piece band that hails from Montreal and consists of married musical couple, Ariel Engle and Andrew Whiteman. You might recognize Whiteman’s name from his work in Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle, and the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir among other entities. Though lesser known, Engle is an equally accomplished musician and a well-respected vocalist who has worked with Feist, Socalled, and Jerusalem in my Heart among others. AroarA recently released their full-length debut, In the Pines, whose title and 14 songs are taken from a book by noted avant poet, Alice Notley, and they’re on tour now, including a stop at Silence (46 Essex St.) in Guelph on Oct. 30. Here, over breakfast on the phone, both Whiteman and Engle discuss the impending birth of their first child, the history of their band and their musical approach, Alice Notley’s book, the song “#4” and much more.

Related links: aroara.com clubroll.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #46: Al Tuck

Al Tuck hails from Charlottetown on beautiful Prince Edward Island in Canada. Over the past 20 years, Tuck has established himself as one of the world’s great songwriters and musicians, quietly releasing one stellar album after the next and earning the respect and admiration of any lyricist and guitarist who hears him. His latest album is Stranger at the Wake and was released by Cameron House Records earlier this year. It was longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and earned critical accolades elsewhere and brings Tuck to the Halifax Pop Explosion this week. In September, Tuck joined me in-studio at CFRU for a good chat about Guelph, his status as a “cult figure,” his upbringing and early musical influences, his time in Halifax when its music scene was discovered by the international press, his songwriting, his voiceover work in films, his recent prolific streak of albums, the song “That Married Life” and much more.

Related links: altuck.com cameronhouserecords.com halifaxpopexplosion.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #45: Nick Thorburn of Islands

Nick Thorburn is a gifted musician, singer, and songwriter who fronts an American-based Canadian band called Islands. The new Islands record is called Ski Mask and it was released Sept. 17 via the band’s own Manqué label. They’ve been on tour over the last few weeks and make a stop at the Halifax Pop Explosion on Saturday Oct. 26. This past summer, Thorburn and I met on the patio of Toronto’s Saving Gigi and discussed his state of mind, how he’d like to die (drowning vs. smack OD), anger and intimidation towards the music industry, validation, his thoughts on contemporary music, his film school roots, his lack of musical training, how Ski Mask is a progression of the relationship themes on the previous Islands LP, A Sleep and a Forgetting, the Gordon Brothers’ contribution to Islands, his potential plans for a record with EL-P, the future for his bands Mister Heavenly and Human Highway, the song “Hushed Tones” and more.

Related links: islandsareforever.com vishkhanna.com

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