Mp3 Menagerie: Sambassadeur, Hawksley Workman, Technoir MA

Sambassadeur – Days (mp3) *

Happy, shimmering retro pop from Sambassadeur’s upcoming album European.

Pre-order @ Amazon (not yet available)

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

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Hawksley Workman – Maniacs (mp3) *

Quirky, yodelling ditty from singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman’s debut album For Him And The Girls, which will be released for the first time in the U.S. on November 17th.

Buy @ Amazon

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

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Technoir MA – Roundabout (mp3) *

Kinda sounds like something from a cheesy 1980s action movie soundtrack, which is appropriate for a band named after the nightclub in Terminator.

Technoir MA MySpace

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

Justin Rutledge: Man Descending

Justin Rutledge’s Man Descending will be released on April 8th in Canada and May 6th in the U.S. The sound of the new disc is much softer, smoother, and far more somber than the dusty Americana style of last year’s The Devil on a Bench in Stanley Park. The title of the new album as well as the content of the songs were inspired by the 1982 short story collection Man Descending by Guy Vanderhaeghe. Melissa McClelland, Ron Sexsmith, and Oh Susanna guest on the album.

these afternoons haven’t been so good to you,
all you do is measure love with coffee spoons

Lyrically, the songs on Man Descending portray ten characters each experiencing an identity crisis of sorts and examining different aspects of their individual personalities as well as their stations in life.

The beatific “St. Peter” sets the mood as Justin’s delicate falsetto slides in over an understated melody accented with the softest banjo. Melissa McClelland lends her voice to the track as well as the cello swashed “This Too Shall Pass”. “The Wire” swells and recedes on waves of vibrant horns and languishing pedal steel.

“A Penny For The Band” hints at the kind of pretty, atmospheric pop-rock tempered with country that first made Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles stars, yet still there is that dark undercurrent to the melody anchoring Justin’s angelic croon. Ron Sexsmith and Parkdale Agnostic Ensemble guest on the track.

“Greenwich Time” perks up into a slicker Americana sound with a heavier emphasis on guitars and drums, and the splendid “Waterloo” has a trickier though much gentler arrangement. Oh Susanna guests on “San Sebastian”, Jenn Grant sings on “Everyone’s In Love”, and Hawksley Workman shows up for the poetic finale “Alberta Breeze”.

she’s got candles by the bed, beside the books she never read,
I hear her singing in the chambers of the sea

Justin Rutledge Official Site
Justin on MySpace

Pre-order CD (US)
Pre-order CD (CA)