5 new Halifax records you need to hear, now | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Halifax stoner-groove makers Kilmore are back with a metal-tinged EP at March's end.

5 new Halifax records you need to hear, now

Fresh tunes from Villages, Hillsburn, Ally Fiola & The Next Quest, Laura Rae and Kilmore.

It’s time to spring clean your playlist: to pick up some fresh, new music to go with the (as-of-yet alleged) arrival of warmer, brighter days. As always, Halifax’s music scene has your back, ever at the ready to help you discover your next favourite album or artist. Here, we’re rounding up some recent album releases that Team Coast can’t get enough of, from the technicolor trad rock of Villages to the indie pop of Hillbsurn to Ally Fiola’s experimental-yet-accessible jazz. Get your airpods in:

Laura Rae’s Chansons pour ma grand-mère

The emerging singer-songwriter’s seven-track album feels like a lost EP from Feist’s early days—if the “Mushaboom” singer went en français for a minute. But don’t worry if your own bilingualism isn’t up to snuff: Rae’s soft-as-cotton songs are a spring-weight coat for whoever hears them.

Hillsburn’s Stories

Halifax indie-pop luminary Hillsburn has been a fervent fan fave since the band’s arrival in 2014. Now, the four-piece is back with a six-track EP that includes recent hit “Room Across the Hall”, a track that calls Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” to mind as lead singer Rosanna Burrill’s powerful voice pushes into the pop diva territory it always threatened to visit. This vibe is explored and subverted across Stories, so in short: Dust off your dancing shoes.

Villages’ Dark Island

While the name might evoke a greyscale, Dark Island—the second album from Cape Breton/Halifax band Villages—is actually a technicolor palette. After having made a name for itself for a brand of highland-steeped traditional roots rock that’s sped up and sway-worthy, Villages’ newest offering makes good on the Celtic roots the band originally avoided, but eventually succumbed to. For the sake of these 11 tracks, thank goodness they did.

Ally Fiola & The Next Quest feat. Jeff Coffin’s Interblaze

Halifax saxophonist Ally Fiola’s second LP feels like the most addictive thought experiment: What if legendary jazz avant-garde artist Sun Ra didn’t go to space (he often claimed to be from another planet), but instead spent the 1970s palling around with some of the era’s top guitar noodlers? The result would most likely be Interblaze, an outer-space-yet-grounded, lyric-less wonder that never goes in the direction you expect–but holds a hefty sense of melody along the way. Billed as “an exploration of one’s inner fire”, Fiola brought in Grammy nominated saxophonist Jeff Coffin for backup on the album, along with Bonnie Raitt’s own keyboardist, Glenn Patscha. As for those ‘70s-feeling guitar licks? They come courtesy of Shvan Kaban. Run, don’t walk, to check this one out:

Kilmore’s From The Inside

While Halifax band Kilmore’s latest album isn’t technically out until March’s end, we couldn’t sleep on having it in this list: A follow-up to the band’s ECMA Loud Recording of the Year-winning album Call The Void, the upcoming From The Inside is stoner groove music with a heavy hit of metal mixed in. The lead single “Firestone” is all the proof you need that this one’s gonna slap:

Morgan Mullin

Morgan was the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she wrote about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She started with The Coast in 2016.
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