Toronto Musician Alex Beraldo Releases New Single, ‘Southern Heat + Video

A year ago, Toronto musician and guitar builder ALEX BERALDO released his new album, ‘Freaktone Sessions’ to exactly zero fanfare, since it was right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. This isn’t a story that is unique to Alex, in fact, it’s a story that many musicians releasing music last year have. But what is unique, is that he decided to shine some light on his overlooked album by re-releasing the single ‘Southern Heat’, along with a new live video filmed in his luthier workshop, on the anniversary of the album’s release.

‘Southern Heat’ is one of those songs that takes you by surprise. It seems like a sweet, romantic love song at first, but then it straight up hits you with an emotional punch that sits with you long after the song has ended.

Alex has been making music since 2006 and describes his sound as “a uniquely weird take on folk, blues, rock n roll and country music. Think John Prine trying to be Bob Dylan, but he hung out with Bradley Nowell.

Alex has fronted several bands and been a solo act, touring Canada multiple times from coast to coast. He’s independently recorded and released ten albums as the frontman of bands The Breaks and The People, including five solo efforts.

‘Southern Heat’ is available now on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services…why not check out the bitter-sweet single below…

Album Interview: HomeBody – Bill Jr. Jr.

Introducing East Vancouver’s musician Russell Gendron into the blog’s interview hot seat. He’s the frontman and songwriter for indie folk band BILL JR. JR. whose third album, ‘Homebody’ was released back in January. So I spoke to Gendron about the eight-track project and whether the pandemic impacted the production of the album.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

BJ: My pleasure. 2021 has been great thus far. I’ve definitely had to adjust some plans and be at peace with the uncertainty around me but all in all, I’m good.

NLM: You released your album HOMEBODY back in January. What is the public perception on the singles so far?

BJ: It’s been going well thanks. The press’ thoughtful reviews we’ve received for Homebody has been fun to watch roll in and I’ve been packaging up vinyl to post every other week since the album’s release. It sure would have been nice to play some shows however.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

BJ: The idea to make the album was borne from a collaboration at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity during an artist residency. I had a bunch of finished and unfinished songs about Vancouver and the idea of “home” and I joined forces with Dan Nettles and Daniel McNamara in order to bring them to life.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

BJ: I like “Run Home” because it’s fun to play live and it goes on for a long time.

NLM: So how would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

BJ: Hmmmm, pleasant, expansive, emotional and pulsing.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and
why?

BJ: Is Sufjan Stevens available??? His voice is magical and devastating and I’d love to hear
it blended into this record.

NLM: Did the Covid pandemic present any drawbacks in the production of your
album?

BJ: Covid disrupted the tour we had planned so that was tough to let go of. At this
point, I don’t think that this album will be what we all feel like playing by the time
shows are happening again. Is what it is, we pivoted and I’m happy with how it
went despite the challenges.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

I’ve been tucking myself away in a little cabin this spring to give myself space to write
songs. I’m not sure what that will end up looking like but I’m enjoying the process.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

BJ: Bandcamp is a great place to listen to and support our music. Otherwise, we’re all over
the internet in all the usual places.

NLM: Finally, any special shoutouts to those involved in the production?

BJ: Daniel Mcnamara and Dan Nettles!

Bill jr. Jr’ s ‘Homebody’ is available now on download and streaming sites.

New Lease Music’s Top Ten Albums Of 2020

NEW LEASE MUSIC presents Top Ten Albums of 2020. Each album/EP on the list demonstrates the artists/acts’ undeniable ability of pushing the boundaries in hip-hop, R&B, punk rock and folk music. So hang around and check out these top albums at your leisure.

Be sure to look out for NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2020, coming out later today.

10. FLYMIX VOL.1 – FLY VON

9. TIME I GOT GOIN’ – HOUSE ABOVE THE SUN

8. DREAM TEAM: A STOKELY HATHAWAY JOINT – GRIFF/SCORCESE

7. ALMANAC – NERU THEE FOURTH FUGEE

6. STILLBORN FLOWERS – RAIN TO RUST

5. BEATS AND PIECES: VOLUME TWO – JOSHUA LUKE SMITH

4. MUSE – ASTHA TAMANG-MASKEY

3. T.H.B – tHbENJ

 

2. The Silence vol. 1 – BLESSIN F

1. bad – ricco barrino

 

 

 

Song of the Day: Lullaby for Lucas – Katherine Abbott

Free spirited folk singer /songwriter KATHERINE ABBOTT‘s single, ‘Lullaby for Lucas’ is a song about forgiveness and not being so quick to judge others. Written after a man named Lucas, who she met whilst walking the Camino de Santiago, Abbott felt compelled to tell his story of an opera singer turned nomad.

She explains, “Lucas was an opera singer in Vienna but had lost his voice and had taken to living a nomadic existence. We had a jam in a bar one night and he tried to sing but his voice just came out as this croak which brought him to tears.”

‘Lullaby for Lucas’ glows with warm guitar melodies providing the backdrop for her delicate, ethereal vocals and storytelling lyricism. The minimalist arrangement allows for Abbott to demonstrate her ability to craft authentic music, creating a poignant and euphoric emotion.

Have a listen to the stunning piece below…

 

EP Review: Away From The City – Melanie Crew & Ross Palmer

MELANIE CREW and ROSS PALMER have been performing together for several years but EP, ‘Away from the City’ is their first release as a duo. The EP features six songs, three by each writer, and was produced at their home in south London, including two songs that were written and recorded during lockdown (‘Nobody’s Watching’ and A ‘Different Place’).

Melanie leads the way on the EP with the purest of vocals, later supported by a male light baritone performance in guitar-led piece, ‘Seven Mountains’, setting the intimate theme of the collection. BBC Essex/Kent-backed artist went on to add a real mystical glow to spellbinding ‘Holborn Hill’ and ‘A different Place’, which boasts warm glow of country/indie folk.

Also beginning with a stripped-back performance with guitar-led, ‘Restless Heart’, Ross then takes the EP on a slight soulful route, giving the acoustic theme a full-body sound in ‘Nobody’s Watching’, where his soothing vocals eases into the arrangements, that somehow has a revival, Dr. Hook twang. Ross – also a BBC Essex and BBC Kent-approved artist – concludes the set with ‘Darkest England’ which carries on that full-bodied sound to the almost stripped performance, which allows his rich storytelling to take centre stage.

Even if you’re not the greatest fan of the folkore, singer/songwriter approach, you will find the ‘Away from the City’ appeasing as the moment you hit play the set, there’s a comforting warmth that immediately releases any weighty troubles away. Hear for yourself; have a listen below…

Must Listen: Holborn Hill, Nobody’s Watching, Darkest England