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Acadian Embassy introduces Sluice, French powerpop from Nova Scotia

ete-art…le français suit.

Acadian Embassy introduces Sluice, a new francophone project helmed by Trevor Murphy. Stream the debut single, “Un été sans frontières,” on your platform of choice HERE.

Fueled by nostalgia and hyper-regional history, these are powerpop songs that are entrenched in the breezy and foggy summers of Par-en-Bas – a region that encompasses several Acadian communities around Yarmouth, NS where Murphy grew up. Though he has released translated material with his group Quiet Parade in the past (2018’s Nous Étions Icitte), Sluice marks Murphy’s debut using a French-first approach. Written from the ground up in tandem with the music, the lyrics stay true to the accent, the dialect, and the geographical touchstones of his home.

The act’s name also represents these roots. In part, it points to the village where his grandparents lived (Sluice Point). A sluice is also part of a dyke – an agricultural irrigation system used by early Acadians throughout Nova Scotia. Designed to prevent water from the Atlantic Ocean flowing onto farmlands, the wooden structure was the lynchpin to creating fertile soil from salt marshes. That transformative process, of creating opportunity in the face of adversity, is a driving spirit behind this new project.

“I used to be afraid to speak French, even ashamed sometimes. Even though I spoke the language every day, we grew up with an understanding that the Acadian dialect just wasn’t ‘good enough’ or ‘proper French,’” says Murphy. “It wasn’t until years after I moved away that I finally started to reconnect with those roots, to take pride in the place where I’m from and the way we speak, and to want to tell stories with this voice.”

And like its namesake, Sluice has come to represent a process of deciding what to let in and what to let go; of learning what to take from ancient grounds and how to make something new from that history.

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Acadian Embassy présente Sluice, powerpop francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Acadian Embassy présente Sluice, un nouveau projet francophone de Trevor Murphy. Diffusez le premier single, « Un été sans frontières », sur la plateforme de votre choix ICI.

Attisé par la nostalgie et l’histoire hyper-régionale, ce sont des chansons de powerpop ancrées dans les étés joviaux et brumeux de Par-en-Bas – une région comprenant plusieurs communautés acadiennes autour de Yarmouth, Nouvelle-Écosse, où Murphy a grandi. Bien qu’il ait publié des chansons traduites avec son groupe Quiet Parade dans le passé (Nous Étions Icitte en 2018), Sluice marque le début d’une première approche complètement en français pour Murphy. Écrites en tandem avec la musique, les paroles restent fidèles à l’accent, au dialecte et aux références géographiques de ces villages natales.

Le nom du groupe représente également ces racines. En partie, il pointe vers le village où vivaient les grands-parents de Murphy (Sluice Point). Un aboiteau (sluice) fait également partie d’une digue – un système d’irrigation agricole utilisé par les premiers Acadiens de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Conçu pour empêcher l’eau de l’océan Atlantique de s’écouler sur les terres agricoles, cette structure en bois était la pièce clé pour créer un sol fertile à partir des marais salés. Ce processus de transformation, de créer des opportunités face à l’adversité, est l’esprit motivant de ce nouveau projet.

« Avant, j’avais peur de parler en français, même parfois honteux. Même si je parlais la langue tous les jours, nous avons grandi en comprenant que notre dialecte acadien n’était tout simplement pas ‘assez bon’ ou ‘du bon français’ », dit Murphy. « Ce n’est que des années après mon départ de Par-en-Bas que j’ai finalement commencé à renouer avec ces racines, à être fier de l’endroit d’où je viens et de notre façon de parler, et à vouloir raconter des histoires avec cette voix. »

Et comme l’aboiteau lui-même, Sluice est venu pour représenter un processus de décider quoi laisser entrer et quoi laisser aller; d’apprendre ce qu’il faut tirer de terrains anciens et comment faire quelque chose de nouveau à partir de cette histoire.

Sleepless Nights premiere made-in-isolation video for “Greatest Hits” via CBC Music

SLN - Every Word Is A Trap - High Res Art…new album, Every Word Is A Trap, out on Friday.

Ahead of a brand new album being released this Friday, Sleepless Nights unveil a video for their latest single, “Greatest Hits. Premiering today via CBC Music, the video was entirely conceived of, shot, and edited in quarantine. Watch it HERE.

Created over two days, the video captures the incredible anxiety of doing something as simple as leaving the house during the nation-wide lockdowns. Shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio to heighten the feeling of confinement, the clip explores the anxieties of isolating yourself from the world while trying to do your part to help it.

“I wanted to highlight the shared feelings that we’re all in the same situation. There’s a huge weight of responsibility to do your part in this effort. It’s a sacrifice, but it’s really important that we all do this together,” says filmmaker Nathan Boone, who helmed the creative direction of the “Greatest Hits” video. “We made a video in a bubble to highlight why it’s important to stay in the bubble. From the production to the design to the post, we pulled it off from within our home without breaking the lockdown.”

“Mask. Gloves. Lysol wipes. The first three shots of Sleepless Nights’ video for their new track, ‘Greatest Hits,’ wastes no time setting itself within the pandemic, but the opening lines throw us back to a freer time.” – Holly Gordon, CBC Music

“Greatest Hits” is the latest offering from Sleepless Nights and the lead track from the new album, Every Word Is A Trap, which is available Friday, May 29 via Acadian Embassy.

The record finds the band leaning hard into their affinity for glam rock grooves, new wave deliveries, and anthemic earworms. Throughout the seven song offering – which features contributions from Ian Blurton (C’mon, Change of Heart), Jordan Murphy (Walrus), Myles Deck (Cauldron), Josh “Pinky” Pothier (Kuato), and Kate Leduce (Robot Eyes) – the retro throwback influence of bands such as T. Rex, The Knack, and The Cars blends seamlessly with contemporary themes.

Calling up punchy guitar stabs, a four-on-the-floor drive, ripping solos, and dirty staccato organs, “Pink Popcorn” takes potshots at the hypermasculinity of rock’s past. The fuzzed-out, Joel Plaskett-produced “Kids On Drugs” tackles ideas of reckless youth and cell phone parents. “Spendin’ Money” – a track released on Black Friday – takes a critical look at endless cycles of debt and how we end up there.

Beneath the allusions and homages to classic rock, Sleepless Nights underscores their tongue-in-cheek narratives with an unrelenting ability to write catchy-as-hell rippers. These are the signature hallmarks of a band that has been making its mark on the country’s musical landscape for nearly 15 years, and proof positive that beneath the fun-loving riffs and pop-forward melodies rock n’ roll still has something to say.

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Quiet Parade unveils new single, “Don’t Put It On Me”

QP - Album Cover - WEB RESFull-length album, The Will To Weather The Storm, available on April 17.

Quiet Parade unveils Don’t Put It On Me – a brand new single that once again shines a light on the Halifax band’s refined pop-rock direction and new lineup. The single and accompanying lyric video comes ahead of Quiet Parade’s eighth album, The Will To Weather The Storm, which is due out next Friday, April 17.

Couched in a major-chord sheen, the track’s lyrics strike a more ominous tone. Originally written as a reflection on climate change, the words – as is the case with many songs these days – perhaps take on new meaning in the current context.

“This is a song about being born into crisis; about living in a world that seems unfixable when we’re all shouting over one another; about looking to the past to recognize that the wisdom of our elders can teach us more about how to care for the future,” says Quiet Parade frontperson, Trevor Murphy.

Outside of their previous single, “Young Hearts,” which was recorded and produced by Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions, Sorrey, Kinley) at The Hill Sound in Charlottetown, PEI the remaining eight tracks on The Will To Weather The Storm were recorded by Thomas Stajcer (Joel Plaskett, Erin Costelo, Villages) at New Scotland Yard in Dartmouth, NS.

While many acts are deferring album launches in the face of a global pandemic, the fog-rock quartet forges ahead with their planned release schedule for the new LP.

“This is a record about having perspective on the moments that change you; about acknowledging these shifts and the weight they put on your shoulders; about choosing the direction you take at new and unexpected forks in the road; about searching for a glimmer of light in the resolute dark,” Murphy wrote on social media as part of the album announcement in March. “These themes resonate for all of us right now – perhaps more than ever. In a month, the world may look completely different. When that time comes, perhaps you will find something meaningful in the songs we’ve collected, in the words I’ve written, and in this body of work that we have worked so hard to create.”

Pre-order the album on Bandcamp HERE.

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Sleepless Nights are “Spendin’ Money” on Black Friday

Sleepless Nights - Spendin' Money - Web…stream the new single on digital platforms between purchases. 

Just in time for Black Friday, Sleepless Nights release their latest single, “Spendin’ Money. Stream it on your platform of choice HERE.

Despite its arrival on the busiest shopping day of the year, “Spendin’ Money” is anything but a pro-capitalism anthem. Couched in classic rock tones, glam rock grooves, and fuzzed-out riffs, the latest from the Toronto-based band instead takes a critical look at endless cycles of debt and how we end up there.

Whether because of “a torn diploma from another age” or from doing “menial work for a menial wage,” the track questions why ‘being in the black’ always seems so far out of reach.

This is the fourth single from Sleepless Nights this year, following the catchy-as-hell ripper Kids On Drugs, the Cars-esque Pink Popcorn, and a cover of the Eric Surette Acadian classic, La Molue. The band celebrates the release of this newest track with a show in Toronto, ON at the Handlebar on Saturday, December 14. In March 2020, Sleepless Nights head to New York to perform as part of The New Colossus Festival.

Quiet Parade releases new single, “Young Hearts”

YOUNG HEARTS - ART - Higher Res…stream the glossy pop-rock ripper and watch a video for the track today.

Quiet Parade returns with “Young Hearts” – a glossy pop-rock single showcasing the band’s new lineup and refined sonic direction. Produced and recorded by Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions, Sorrey), the track is underscored by a brand new video by Nicole Cecile Holland. Listen to the song on your platform of choice and watch the video below.

“Young Hearts” is a song about watching monumental changes happening in your friends’ lives from a distance. Natural disasters, inclement separation, falling out of touch and out of love: how do you react – how do you act – in these moments? How do you help them weather the storm? How do you accept the onset of such tempests in your own life? Between driving hooks, anthemic choruses, and enticing dynamics the band attempts to tackle such burrowing questions.

WATCH: “Young Hearts” [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Sleepless Nights release cover of Acadian classic « La molue » by Eric Surette

SLN - La Molue - Art…stream the song on digital platforms today!  

In celebration of National Acadian Day, Sleepless Nights release « La molue » – a cover of the South Shore classic by Acadian musician Eric Surette. Listen HERE.

In the place of the original’s country inflections, a power pop groove provides the foundation for murky organs and fuzzed-out guitars that may be more at home amongst the discographies of The Knack and The Cars than on the wharves of the Carino. Staying true to the dialect and the accent of Par-en-Bas – an Acadian region in Southwestern Nova Scotia – this new rendition is a souped-up homage to the track which was first released on Surette’s 1988 cassette Chansons du Bas De l’Île.

“Eric Surette was the only professional, French-language musician we knew growing up,” says AA Wallace of Sleepless Nights. “He’s one of the only people we knew from our region that was recording and releasing albums and creating a career for himself. In retrospect, that had a tremendous impact on us.”

Now living in Toronto, Wallace originally hails from Wedgeport, NS. Rounding out the band lineup on the recording are two of the longest rotating Sleepless Nights members who are also from Par-en-Bas communities: Josh “Pinky” Pothier of Lower Eel Brook, NS on drums and Trevor Murphy of Surette’s Island on bass.

The track was recorded by Thomas D’Arcy at Taurus Recording (drums) and by AA Wallace at An Undisclosed Location (everything else), and is available to stream today on all digital platforms via Acadian Embassy.

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À l’occasion de la Fête nationale des acadiens, Sleepless Nights dévoilent « La molue » – une reprise de la chanson classique par le musicien acadien Eric Surette. Écoutez ICI.

À la place des inflexions country de l’originale, un groove power pop crée la fondation pour des orgues boueux et des guitares électrifiées qui sont peut-être plus à l’aise parmi les discographies de The Knack et The Cars que sur les quais du Carino. Restant fidèle au dialecte et à l’accent de Par-en-Bas – une région acadienne du sud-ouest de la Nouvelle-Écosse – cette nouvelle interprétation est un hommage inspiré à la chanson qui était sortie pour la première fois en 1988 sur la cassette de Surette intitulé Chansons du Bas De l’Île.

« Eric Surette était le seul musicien professionnel francophone que nous savions en grandissant, » explique AA Wallace de Sleepless Nights. « Il était l’un des seuls gens de notre région qui enregistrait et sortait des albums enfin de créer une carrière pour lui-même. Rétrospectivement, cela a eu un impact énorme sur nous. »

Vivant maintenant à Toronto, Wallace est originaire de Wedgeport, N.-É. Complétant le groupe sur l’enregistrement sont deux des plus anciens membres de Sleepless Nights, eux aussi originaire des communautés de Par-en-Bas : Josh « Pinky » Pothier de Lower Eel Brook, N.-É. à la batterie et Trevor Murphy de l’Île Surette à la basse.

La piste a été enregistrée par Thomas D’Arcy à Taurus Recording (batterie) et par AA Wallace chez An Undisclosed Location (tout le reste). Elle est disponible aujourd’hui sur toutes les plateformes numériques via Acadian Embassy.

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