Five new releases by Halifax musicians you need to hear now | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Reeny Smith delivers a new single, "Amber Lights", before setting off on tour with Classified this fall.
Reeny Smith delivers a new single, "Amber Lights", before setting off on tour with Classified this fall.

Five new releases by Halifax musicians you need to hear now

Reeney Smith’s new R&B single, out today, leads the list of Team Coast’s current heavy rotation that includes Adam Baldwin, Owen O’Sound Lee, Gina Burgess and more.

Your fall playlist is about to get freshened up thanks to these local artists, who are bringing new, must-listen music from all corners of the genre map. No matter if you're craving a tongue-in-cheek piano ballad (see Ben Caplan and Terra Spencer, below) or are a hip hop head looking for some serious bars (Owen O'Sound Lee's recent EP), trust that Halifax's music scene has the track to make it happen.

See for yourself below:

Reeny Smith’s “Amber Lights”

Today, September 28, sees the release of R&B powerhouse Smith’s new single “Amber Lights”, a creamy-vocalled effort that brings early-career Brandy and mid-2000s Ashanti to mind. The string-backed track is the type of slow-jam that Smith has made her signature since her 2018 full-length WW III: Strength Courage Love while folding in new softness that evokes Alicia Keys.

The tune is about to get broken in on the road as Smith sets out on tour this fall, opening for Classified on a western Canadian-focused slate of dates.

Adam Baldwin’s Concertos & Serenades

Denim-clad troubadour Adam Baldwin was a source of solace for many during the pandemic, thanks to his weekly live-streams that he dubbed “Cross Country Chin Ups”. Aside from a dose of serotonin, they also saw the singer-songwriter workshopping a new sound that arrives fully across Concertos & Serenades’s eight tracks: Less Dire Straits and more Woody Guthrie, the collection of songs—released this week—sees Baldwin double-down on his long-held instincts for storytelling tunes and acoustic, folky leanings.

Owen O’Sound Lee’s 235

Lee might’ve been raised in the rich tradition of gospel’s soft sonics, but the bars on 235 are hard from the opening note. Unafraid to flip between a Bilal-style croon on the hook and a seasoned MC flow on the verse, the musician shows his artist’s palette isn’t lacking a single shade—but a roster of guest spots including Classified and PROMISE is extra boom-bapping insurance.

Ben Caplan and Terra Spencer’s “Good Friends”

A jaunty, Randy Newman piano combines with Caplan’s baritone to open this warm-wood, jazz-steeped number that sees two local singer-songwriter legends combining their superpowers. It’s the leading single for a joint album, Old News, that’ll be dropping mid-October, redolent in the smoke of an imaginary cabaret bar where Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong often split the stage (and maybe a drink).

Gina Burgess’s “S.O.S”

This tune, by The Jerry Cans and Gypsophila alum Burgess, might’ve dropped over the summer but it’s still spinning here at Coast HQ. From the nine-track album Isnow, “S.O.S” sees Burgess continue her rich tradition of mixing Celtic folk and world influences to an absolutely infectious result. You think you know what you’re getting into here, then Burgess expertly pulls the rug out from under your ears, dropping the beat and raising your admiration.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

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

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