“The Good Kind”—Ottawa
Upon first listen, the most incredible thing about Ottawa’s first single, “The Good Kind,” is the immediate rush of adrenaline-fueled confidence. Brooding bass, crisp guitar riffs and the wailing vocals of Dale DeLong give this tune an infectious does of reckless abandon that embodies the finest local rock and roll has to offer. Catch Ottawa at the quintet’s EP release show at the Beachland Ballroom on Dec. 5. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $12.
“Midnight Walking”—Simple Minds
Despite the fresh, modern club sounds on “Midnight Walking,” Simple Minds are alt-rock veterans dating back to the late-70s. Their latest album, “Big Music,” finds the group returning to its early roots while also engaging in the creative soul searching of bands clearly influenced by them, a la The Killers and Manic Street Preachers. This is rock presented with unapologetic savvy and pop flair. Highly recommended.
“Pages Of Gold”—Flo Morrissey
Crossing the melancholy pout of Lana Del Rey with the diva flourishes of Adele, Flo Morrissey is a bright young talent in the pop music world. “Pages Of Gold” is a transfixing blend of shimmering guitar, smoky keyboards and an elusive vocal melody not unlike Adele’s own “Chasing Pavements.” Make digitally available on Nov. 24, be on the look out for more from this promising young voice. There may be a few future hits coming our way.
Originally released in 2003, “The Recluse” is one of the highlights off of Cursive’s “The Ugly Organ.” This tune is a microcosm of the group’s sonic appeal; to call it emo would do it a disservice, but the mouthful of moody, hyper-literature lyrics, raspy vocals and angular-post rock do recall the genre. Among all these elements, the rich cello that backs the entirety of “The Recluse” is particular beautiful. The reissue of “The Ugly Organ” is available on Saddle Creek Records on Nov. 25 and features an additional 8 tracks.
“The Shins”—Flake Music
Before “New Slang” there was “The Shins,” an earnest jangle-pop tune from Flake Music, a James Mercer project predating The Shins we know and love. This tune is every bit as charming as anything the later group put out, displaying the undeniable talent and potential The Shins would showcase. Flake Music’s first and only release, “When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return” has been re-released and remastered on Mercer’s own label, Aural Apothecary, and available on Nov. 25.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“We’re A Winner”—The Impressions
In light of everything unsettling that has happened in Ferguson and Cleveland this past week, the uplifting tone of “We’re A Winner” is just as poignant now as when it was released in 1967. This tune should serve as reminder from The Impressions of many things over this Thanksgiving break: We should take pride in the way that we carry ourselves in the face of injustice, we should be thankful for the love of friends and family and we should always have faith in our ability to effect positive change.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.