Not Somewhere // Constellation
Colin Huebert sees himself back in the solo seat after the departure of founding members of Sikiyou that also coincided with a change of location from Vancouver to Toronto. The new album, Not Somewhere, which was released on May 17th, 2019 was all written, performed, recorded and produced by Colin Huebert with contributions from guest musicians throughout.
If I could use one word to describe Not Somewhere, it would be “real”. Allow me to expand on that thought. Growing pains are a common human experience and these songs are the perfect soundtrack to seeing the mundane in a brighter light. The mood and the lyrics are beautifully interwoven with the most chillingly penetrating instrumentation, cutting through the bull-shit with a folksy mix. Huebert’s voice is raw and quivers with the weight of his words as he lays it all out, documenting his frustration and personal growth as he comes to the realization that this is life. The message is to give up, but not just to quit on life; to care less because you are wasting time thinking that you are not somewhere when you really are.
- Jeshaiah David
Character Witness // Mangled Tapes
Doug Hoyer's latest album Character Witness is a focused selection of catchy, meticulously arranged pop songs. Each track on this album has a perfectly realized character of it's own, all united by earnest vocals and humanistic lyrics. Hoyer's deconstructions of the mundanities of being alive in 2019 is what makes this record so charming; he's one of the few songwriters who can write about things like watching Netflix or eating at Chili's and really sound sincere and affecting. He matches these stories with diverse accompaniments, from the bluegrass tinged "Partner", to the Nick Drake-esque "Hive Mind", to the string arrangements on "New Recruit" and "Carry On" that seem like refined and fleshed out continuations from his A Trio of Quartets EP. These changes in genre and aesthetic are backed up by a consistent lo-fi production across all the tracks that never lets things get too complicated. It's this laser-like focus and great instinct as to what each song should be that makes Hoyer's latest effort one of the best releases of 2019.
- Sean Newton