Year-end Vancouver releases pt. III

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Ashley Shadow Webber.

Wouldn’t you know it, after I thought I’d finally completed my two lists of Vancouver album releases for 2016, I find some more.

One new, or freshly discovered source, was Tom Harrison’s Roundup of best local CDs of 2016. The Province music writer’s list leans heavily towards locally-made rock and blues, and includes a mix of the expected (Black Mountain), the fresh (an EP from a power-pop unit called The Top Boost), the WTF? (54-40 had a new album out? But, it turns out it is actually a record of acoustic reworkings of old songs), and the Whistler (a band I’d never heard of called Zombie Roof).

There were, however, two listed that I would like to have included on my list of overlooked albums – CR Avery‘s All the Angels Didn’t Scare Me, and Harpdog Brown’s Travelin’ With the Blues. The Delta harp player issued the latter record in August; you can find out more info on the Harpdog Brown website.

Meanwhile, a visit to Red Cat Records on Main exposed me to a few other local releases I had missed. Thanks to helpful staff, I came across the debut album from Ashley Shadow (well worth a listen); the fifth album from Cyrillic Typewriter; and Sunburned, by Lt. Frank Dickens.

However, the latter – which seems to be a staff favourite – is actually a vinyl reissue of a 2015 cassette, so technically it’s not a 2016 release. Your True Emblem is the fifth album from Cyrillic Typewriter, aka Jason Zumpano, and a follow-up to 2015’s Best Suit. Both are on JAZ Records.

And, through the JAZ Records website, I came across yet another release by a Vancouver-based musician, Sarah Davachi’s Dominions. It’s an electroacoustic record with five pieces, including the 14-minute-plus “soi-meme comme la matin”.

Album cover art for Sarah Davachi’s 2016 release Dominions.

Some expat Vancouverites making noise overseas (in Berlin), Dysnea Boys released a full-length, Forgot How to Read, following two 7″. Two other former Vancouverites, Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, released a “Never Enough Edition” of the 2015 debut full-length from their electro/alternative/dance project, Bob Moses.

Also, I discovered this release, Strange Attitude by Frank Love, through a Facebook post by the Rickshaw for an upcoming show (Jan. 13, with War Baby and Wishkicker). The record is some raw but tuneful punk rock, and released in early January 2016. No wonder it got lost in the shuffle.

Finally (but probably not), the very end of this month, December, saw the release of the debut full-length from Sunday Morning.

Writer/artist Bruce Wilson (vocals) and Stephen Hamm (keyboards, piano), both former members of ’90s Vancouver band Tankhog, formed the group. Bassist Coco Culbertson (Bif Naked. The Gay and The Choir Practice), drummer Justin Leigh (Pluto), guitarist Kevin Rose (Tankhog, Coal, The Wongs), cellist Finn Manniche, and vocalists Leah Commons (Bubble 11) and Carmen Bruno (Trailerhawk) contribute to a fusion of what the media release calls “Southern musical influences with 1970’s New York and Berlin.” Sunday Morning is celebrating the release of the album with a “multi-tiered” show, including visuals by Vancouver photographer and filmmaker R.d Cane, Jan. 21 at the Cultch.

Watch the video for Sunday Morning’s “Come the Rain”, below.

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