Anne Murray was pretty bad ass in the day. I used to envision the Canadian star, who took the world by storm in the early 1970s, as a professional wrestler who would whip opponents under the moniker "Canuck Motherf--k." She was that good. OK, none of those statements are true except for the fact Murray was and is Canadian and she had a bunch of hits in the States decades ago. The only reason I bring up the star is to lead into today's "A-Sides," which features another Canadian act: Imaginary Cities. Crappy introductions aside, the indie-pop stars are really picking up steam following the release of their much-buzzed-about debut album Temporary Resident. The five-piece band from Winnipeg have received boatloads of press, appearing in everything from Glamour to Interview magazines, and are currently on the road in support of the record by opening for mewithoutYou. In August, Cities will play Lollapalooza, which should only set fire to their reign more (see what I did there?). Earlier this month, principle songwriters Marti Sarbit and Rusty Matyas performed two tracks off Temporary Resident at a PR office in Manhattan and spoke up the songwriting process of the tracks. Watch. Listen. Love.
"Marry the Sea"
* To watch an exclusive A-Sides performance of Imaginary Cities' "Where'd All the Living Go," click here.
We move from Canadian indie pop to a singer/songwriter who's literally changing her tune. Anna Rose released her debut album Nomad a few years back, and while it helped launch her career, she said she's moved well beyond it. Dubbed a "singer/songwriter" record, Rose said she's more of a rocker with perhaps a jazz and blues vibe. Last fall, she released a video for her sultry cover of Arcade Fire's "My Body is a Cage" on NME and performed it on A-Sides. Since this series features mostly original music, I found it only fair to invite her back with new tunes she's been working on from her upcoming album Behold a Pale Horse. The album, which has nothing to do with Seabiscuit, should drop later this summer or fall. Until then, watch the performance filmed at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY, catch her later this month in concert and enjoy an interview with the always-entertaining Rose.
"Behold a Pale Horse"
* To watch an exclusive A-Sides performance of Los Angeles, click here.
Anna Rose Interview
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.