Tag Archives: Groove

Fur Eel – “Elephant Summer”

The natural tendency when listening to new music is to automatically compare it to something else: “Who does this sound like?” Sometimes this comparison is easy. There might be a clear influence to the sound or perhaps a common element or theme that can be easily compared to some popular artist. It’s the other music, the type without the clear comparison, that really stands out.

Fur Eel is one of these incomparable bands. Part rock, part funk, part baby-making groove, the band has gone against expectations to bring back some retro soul, a very cool experience in both their live show and their album, “Elephant Summer“. Officially released in 2011, the album has taken Fur Eel from their hometown of Regina to venues across Western Canada, all leading to a cross-Canada tour later this year.

All the way through, the album is completely cool to listen to. You might also hear some Prince or David Bowie, and Calgarians might think of the former Kronic Groove Band. It’s a mix of sounds with fantastic chemistry, really smooth melodies and a bouncy rhythm that moves everything along. Everything fits: drums, bass, guitar, and vocals seem made for each other, while the rawness of the album lends to an eyes-closed, oddly sensual funkiness that really grabs your attention. Imagine yourself grooving on a dark dance floor during “Sting” or “When We Feel Alone”, or show off some fancier moves in the more upbeat “Entertainaz”. Whatever mood you’re in, Fur Eel has something for you. They’re just that good.

It’s easy to listen to this album for hours in full concentration or as background music, and while the tracks all fit together as a collection of songs, they’re varied enough to repel the boredom or monotony you might get with other albums. These are great songs on a well-mixed album, and definitely worth checking out. For a taste, you can hear a few tracks on their website, but better yet, buy the album and get out to a live show.

Fur Eel is playing February 18 at The Distillery in Calgary. Do you want to go? Of course you do. This is a wicked four-piece that is a welcome and timely break from the usual drudge, and in the tail end of winter, nothing is more appreciated than some funky beats. Fur Eel: they’re for real, and they’re spectacular.

Fur Eel - "Elephant Summer"

Taylor Cochrane – “Acoustic”

When Calgary-based Taylor Cochrane left his role as lead vocalist for The Kronic Groove Band, many of his fans expressed dismay: Where would Taylor go? What would he do? What was next for the talented and much-loved artist?

Fans had no need to worry, however. From start to finish, Cochrane’s debut and highly anticipated album “Acoustic”┬áis an incredible collection of original songs that showcase the artist’s impressive talent as a songwriter. The album represents years of struggle and accomplishment for the talented Cochrane. A self-described “attention whore”, Cochrane shows skill and passion that most artists can only dream to achieve. Starting with the catchy “Narcissism and Yellow Fever” and ending with a bang with “This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You”, the album gets better with each listen. Cochrane draws on the inspiration of Elliott Smith, Say Anything, Regina Spektor, and The Beatles, adding his own brand of lyrics and energy to create a unique fusion of folk rock, reggae, ska and pop.

From the dreamy “It Feels Like We’re On A Safari”, which evokes images of beach parties and summer picnics, to the slower and honest self-reflective piece “Hypocrite”, Cochrane is a storyteller and a salesman. He’s not simply singing lyrics – his stories are believable and heartfelt, and his emotions, whether self-consciousness, hypochondria, or incredible sexual repression, come through clearly with each rhyme or folky phrase. At times bizarre and somewhat shocking, Cochrane’s lyrics are nothing less than honest, revealing a surprisingly deep and thoughtful writer. The listener is pulled in with catchy melodies and beats, but the lyrics themselves have so many double entendres and tricks that each listen reveals something that had previously gone unnoticed. With numerous double meanings, Cochrane’s lyrics are impressive and at times beautiful, at the very least.

It is refreshing to find a songwriter who doesn’t take himself so seriously and who is not just “dumping his depression on the world”. Cochrane reminds us of the ups and downs of being young, the struggles of life and relationships, and the day-to-day joy of being a gangster thug. We may not all feel the same way or understand what’s happening, but we can appreciate Cochrane’s quirkiness, his humour, and his incredible talent as a songwriter who still has so much left to share. The album truly is an incredible achievement of which Cochrane should be extremely proud. There is no doubt that he has “the wit, the talent, the confidence, [and] the inspiration to be great”, and no less is to be expected.

Listen to “Acoustic” and expect to love every track. You won’t be disappointed.

Taylor Cochrane - "Acoustic"