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The Shuffle: YEG Bands

Blank Statues, Whale and The Wolf and Lutra Lutra album covers

By Tora Matys

Sometimes it’s hard to look past the giant pile of silver balls and see that Edmonton has a pretty lit music scene. There’s no one genre to describe Edmonton, and that’s what makes our music scene so special. From rappers and punk to country, Edmonton is not short of talent.

Medusa by Blank Statues
Blank Statues are relatively new to the music scene and recently released their first full length album, ‘Mantra’. But just because they are new doesn’t make them any less amazing. They are bringing back grunge like it never left, with muddy and heavy guitar tones. This song in particular sounds as if Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains had an angsty love child, in the best way possible. Turn down the lights, turn up the speaker, feel the grunge.

Veins by Whale and the Wolf
In contrast to the previous song, Whale and the Wolf are no strangers to the Edmonton music scene. They’ve been around since 2015 and have had 5 singles that made it into Canada’s Top 40 Active Rock song, however Veins is their latest release (2021). This song has a catchy chorus, and hypnotizing vocals. The guitar is bright and aggressive, the bass is smooth and upfront, and the drums punchy and loud. Veins is great for blasting in a dimly lit, smoke filled basement.

One Day Closer by Dorjay The Singing Shaman
This one is for all the country folks, stuck in the city. In general Dorjay brings a classic country/bluegrass sound to the table, and this song is no exception. This song is for those country kids, homesick and wanting to go back to the farm but need to finish their education in the city. It’ll send chills up their arms and maybe even tears down their cheeks. The song is just about taking life one day at a time, and remembering that every day that goes by is a day closer to the dream someone has. The twangy guitar, slow drums, and melodic piano will have a city cowboy hugging their boots.

Psychopath and the Philosopher by Lutra Lutra
Lutra Lutra is a definition rock band, no doubt about it. They have in-your-face drums, sweet, crisp vocals, kick-ass guitar riffs and solos, and head banging breakdowns. This song takes the listener through all the stages of a good rock song, and includes a guitar solo that’s over a minute (very important). As an added bonus, the music video is pretty great too.

Blooming by Thug Shells
Blooming is one of Thug Shells’ more chill and laid back songs. It has a relaxed indie sounding vibe, with a clean guitar sound underneath smooth and pleasant rap vocals. Thug Shells is a female rapper, known for her more upbeat and positive themes. She’s all about having fun while still being a baddie, and her songs showcase that.

Blame it on the Bartender by The Give em’ Hell Boys
‘Blame it on the Bartender’ is lengthy, but worth every second, and a great story. This alternative country song puts the listener right in the small town bar on a live music night. They can feel the sticky counters and the thick smokey air. Guitars change up from grungy and muddy to twangy and clean multiple times through the song, and showcase themselves in a lengthy solo. The chorus is super catchy and will leave people singing “blame it on the bartender if you don’t like the band, if we didn’t make you a fan.”

Sentimental by Bedside
It’s hard to believe that Bedside comes from Edmonton. Their songs have a strong beach/indie vibe to them. Which is not something there’s a lot of in Alberta: beaches. This song sounds like something that would play in a movie during the emotional lovers on the beach scene. But a sunset walk in a park might just do.

Do Better by SHAG
Good luck to any ska or alt rock fans on getting this song off repeat once it’s added to their playlists. Do Better is off SHAG’s 2019 album ‘Thursday Night Special’ and isn’t the only banger off the album. Listening to the whole album is highly recommended. This song will have anyone wanting to grab their skateboard and go for an emotional ride down the river valley. The vocals are punchy and right to the point, and the guitar is bright and catchy. The drums have the typical skater go-get-er vibes. And who doesn’t love a song with a good “oooOOOooo” in it to sing along to.

Trenches by Yung Hoss Kotu ft. YNG Bear
Another new release on this shuffle, this one by a NAIT Radio Alumni. Trenches is a low and heavy rap song, with bass that shakes whatever speakers they are playing on. The lyrics are slow, smooth, and catchy. This song will have it’s listeners wanting to drive slow downtown with the windows down and the speakers blasting.

Full playlist on Spotify.

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