Apparently, in Michigan at least, spring is refusing to be sprung, so the only thing to do is get happy. Canadian bands, especially those not from BC, have extra special cred in this regard as their weather is even worse than ours. Hence Hilotrons, of Ottawa. Fun fun weird fun — lousy, whiny vocals, heavy 80s-ish synth, bouncy, boppy awesome blast. I’ve been spinning their new release, Happymatic at home a lot, and darn if it ain’t working! Alas, I can only offer an excellently representative minute and a half (“Dominika”) for free and legal download; check out the mySpace, buy the album, whatever it takes to get happy, it’s worth it.

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Jim Bryson

Sorry I don’t have anything lovey-dovey for Valentine’s Day. Instead, here’s an update on Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Bryson, whose “Satellite” is one of my favorite 3hive songs ever. There are a few new songs from his Kelp records release Where the Bungalows Roam and a bunch of Canadian tour dates on his website, which also offers up plenty of downloadable live tracks and demos. Checking out this new material, all low-fi and laid back — I especially like “The Wishes Pile Up” — reminds me how comfortable it is to listen to Bryson. He’s like an old frind from college playing songs in your living room. How about some shows in Windsor, Jim? I’d cross the border for that.

If By the Bridge [MP3, 4.3MB, 192kbps]
All the Fallen Leaves [MP3, 5MB, 192kbps]
The Wishes Pile Up [MP3, 4.7MB, 192kbps]

Original post: 12/31/04
These long, slow, sad, and self-deprecatingly beautiful country songs from Ottawa-based Jim Bryson match perfectly with the blinding-sun, hoarfrost-covered days we had earlier in the week here in Detroit. Come to think of it, they also match fairly well with the longing-for-even-just-a-moment-of-sunlight, totally gray slush days we’re having now.

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