music review

Real Ponchos, Since I Let You Go (May 6th, 2014) Produced by Jesse Gander and Real Ponchos Catch Real Ponchos at Logan’s Pub on June 13th. Reviewed by Noah Cebuliak Real Ponchos’ debut full-length, Since I Let You Go, is refreshingly honest, optimistic and devoid of the clichés that often muddle country and roots music. […]


 Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience (RCA Records, 2013) Produced by Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon Reviewed by Chris Ho Lights up on stage right. Trails of cigarette smoke. Stage curtains drawn, revealing the dapper string section of the orchestra. May I present to you: The 20/20 Experience. The first track instantly introduces the glamorous […]

Jeffrey Michael Straker Vagabond (2012) Produced by Danny Michel Reviewed by Blake Jacob Vagabond is the precisely arranged fifth album of singer-songwriter-pianist Jeffery Michael Straker. Jeffery “swears he was born under the piano on the family farm” in Saskatchewan, and his experience shows. The album is a flawless work of art, skillfully produced by Canadian […]

Mo Kenney Mo Kenney (New Scotland Records and Pheromone Recordings, 2012) Produced by Joel Plaskett Reviewed by Natalie Zina Walschots Waverly, Nova Scotia’s Mo Kenney displays precocious emotional awareness and subtlety on her self-titled debut. Released jointly on New Scotland Records and Pheromone Recordings, Mo Kenney alternately soothes and challenges, sweet but never saccharine, smirking […]

Trent Freeman Hot Spot for a Hobo Reviewed by Andrea E. Sliced and diced vegetables are the stars of fiddle player Trent Freeman’s music video, Hot Spot for a Hobo. One of the six music videos nominated for a Vancouver Island Music Award (VIMA), it has flawless timing—Freeman’s fiddle and the camera move in perfect […]

Stile Antico Passion and Resurrection: Music for Lent and Eastertide Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music Reviewed by Konstantin R. Bozhinov. Stile Antico’s recent interpretation of Renaissance vocal masterworks was elegant and polished without sounding too pompous. The singers combined great ensemble work with artistic awareness and deep understanding of the music. In his […]

Steph MacPherson Bells and Whistles (Cordova Bay Records, 2012) Reviewed by Noah Cebuliak Victoria Singer-Songwriter Steph MacPherson is up for three VIMA’s this year: BC-wide artist of the year, Island artist of the year, and Island pop/rock album of the year, for 2012’s Bells and Whistles. MacPherson has been working hard since 2009 to develop […]

Wild Belle Isles (Columbia Records, 2013) Produced by Elliot Bergman and Bill Skibbe Reviewed by Blake Morneau Isles, the debut album from New York’s Wild Belle, accomplishes an incredible task: It bridges the gap between the seemingly disparate genres of indie-pop and roots reggae. More impressive is how the familial duo transfuses the two genres […]

Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Bebop Yes, Baby, Yes! (2013) Produced by Jonathan Stuart Reviewed by Yasuko Thanh My favourite definition of the blues goes like this: blues are nothing but bad times that have a good man down. But he can still sing about them, even laugh, down at the bottom of the well.  […]

Marina MArina Victoria House Concert B April 4, 2013 Reviewed by Blake Jacob An enthusiastic group welcomed West Coast folk artist Marina MArina to Victoria House Concert b on April 4, 2013. Marina’s unique warmth and striking music made this evening unforgettable. Her captivating opening act, folk duo The Ghostbirds, was a perfect match for […]