In this new monthly feature at OTM, we round up five songs from five different genres for your ears to feast upon. No matter what your poison, we feel you’ll love at least one of them.
Experimental Instrumental Rock: “Warnlands” – Kerretta
Auckland, New Zealand’s Kerretta pride themselves on crafting stunning works of sonic storytelling, allowing the melody to carry listeners on a journey without a single word spoken or sung aloud. It’s far more difficult to engage and connect on a primal level with a listener through strictly instrumental work, but Kerretta do so in grand and at turns gothic fashion. “Warnlands” is a taste of their forthcoming release Pirohia and makes clear why the group has shared stages with the likes of Explosions In The Sky.
Reggae: “Sunshine” – Jo Mersa
It’s hard to discuss the reggae scene without finding your way to at least one descendant of Bob Marley, which brings us to the legend’s grandson, Jo Mersa and his airy, love jam. What strikes me is that Mersa has carefully crafted his own spin on classic reggae, dashing in an almost Latin-calypso hybrid vibe. That said, the lineage shines through in the focus upon love and joy — specifically, the love of a woman. An uplifting, chill-out afternoon tune.
Progressive House: “Heat” – Vicetone
Straight truth: I’m not a huge fan of house/techno/EDM/dubstep/the list continues… It’s just not my flavour as a rule. But this track here, crafted by rising Netherlands-based Vicetone is absolutely sick. There’s something delicious in the way “Heat” sizzles, simmers and boils over with little warning. It’s no wonder founding members Ruben and Victor and their “Music first” philosophy have garnered a tremendous following on HypeM and Beatport, not to mention praise from Tiesto and Avicii. Remember their name; I have a feeling they’re going far in this scene.
Hip Hop: “Rap Squared” – The Emsee
Hamilton, Ontario’s The Emsee is tired of the lack of substance in the hip hop game, which pleases me since the fame game, sexist bullshit drowning the genre sends me running in the opposite direction. And while his backstory of factory worker by day and sharp-tongued rapper by night may twitch in the mind and evoke 8 Mile, leave those notions in the dust and focus on his sharp eye for what the genre is and was — and can continue evolving to become. A refreshing, critical examination of the genre and the industry’s slick-shtick palate, “Rap Squared” is clever and cutting in all the right ways.
Comedic Country: “Crack Smokin’ Mayor” – Rusty Ford
If Richard Cheese had chosen country as his ouevre as opposed to lounge music, I imagine he may have been a kindred spirit to Vancouver’s Rusty Ford. And given the notoriety of our (oh dear God, hopefully soon-to-be-ex) mayor in Toronto, one Robert Ford… it really isn’t any surprise that Rusty decided to salute the profane and bumbling buffoon in charge of Canada’s largest city. A NSFW chorus you’ll want to sing along to, “Crack Smokin’ Mayor” is the medicinal laughter Toronto needs — and the giggle the rest of you deserve.