August 30, 2007
Two Reviews: Office & Jonny Stevens
Last year, courtesy of the fine gents at IGIF, I was introduced to a few songs off the self-released album Q&A from Chicago’s Office. Their feels like it should be a guilty pleasure. On paper, I just don’t think it is something I should like. However, it is just too infections, too fun, too gloriously poppy for me to deny. Songs by the Office soon after found themselves on my summer mix tapes, never failing to inject the mixes with something upbeat and fun. There are is more than a touch of retro ’80s sound in their work but they use it without being cheesy. They fill their songs with hooks, wonderful vocal harmonies, and electro flourishes, making sure they stick in your head without becoming tiresome. Office have finally been picked up by a label and are going to be releasing “A Night at the Ritz” on September 25th on Scratchie/New Line Records. The album features a number of previously released songs which have been rerecorded and given even more polish. To celebrate the release of their new album, Office will be touring, including a few dates in Canada – their hitting Vancouver on Sept. 29th, Toronto on October 5th, and Montreal on October 6th – so mark your calendars. Full dates can be found here. And here are two pop-tacular songs from the new album.
Our second featured artist this week occupies a different part of the rock spectrum than the Office. Jonny Stevens, who might be familiar from his work with the now defunct Halifax punk band The New Breed, released a self-titled album this year featuring rock songs tinged with strains of singer-songwriter folk and informed by his punk past. On his album, Stevens is equally comfortable performing stomping anthems as he is delivering heart-felt ballads. His eminently honest lyrics are delivered without pretence, as Stevens lays it all out for you. Excellent organ work by Ian Mosher and great backing vocals throughout the album give the songs a full, rich sound. The album was released on Racket Records earlier this year and you can pick yourself up a copy here or digitally through Zunior. OR you can now download the entire album FREE from Stevens here. So, check it out and go see Stevens play if he swings through your town (he’ll be playing Fredericton tomorrow, August 31st, at Dal in Halifax on Sept. 12, and in Mount Stewart PEI, on October 5th, check his myspace for more dates as they get announced).