New Music | Friday Roll Out: Les Savy Fav, Potatohead People, Hot Water Music

For real though, who are these Potatohead People? Well, they’re  Nick Wisdom & AstroLogical, a Canadian Hip-Hop/electronic production duo, specifically out of Vancouver, BC. But enough of that because they just released the new album Eat Your Heart Out (Bastard Jazz). Yeah, the album is rooted in Nu-Jazz flavoring with vibes that would be inviting to someone like Redman, who appears on “Late Nite.” It’s smooth, madly enticing, from track to track, there’s no filler in sight. “Distant Luv,” oh this is sensual and features emcee Kapok. Is it a love story? Possibly. Or one that leads couples into a lust-induced coma. There are a wide array of delectable tracks here, featuring an assortment of artists like Diamond Café, Abstract Rude, Kendra Dias, and one of my favorites, Moka Only. Eat Your Heart Out is that dope shit you never heard.


When do we get to the last chapter? Well, when the book is finished and for some, the story never ends. Of course, some things come as a surprise and we get things we never might have expected. And so the story goes… or rather, continues with no real end in sight. While we may not understand what the reasons might be for an unexpected resurgence, we can sit back and see what’s to come of it.

Les Savy Fav, it isn’t a name we may have expected to ever hear again considering the band’s last album Roots For Ruin dropped back in 2010, literally 14 years ago. We’ve seen it happen before as bands come out of an extended respite only to wallow in mediocrity. But Les Savy Fav is no ordinary group. The band just dropped its latest release OUI, LSF (Frenchkiss Records) and while it may be what you might expect, it might not be either. Now mind you, if you’re familiar with the group, you may be in for a treat as the band hasn’t lost its flair for the dramatic or its ability to draw out scenes and landscapes of sound from its music. “Somebody Needs A Hug” is colorful and allows the song to take a life on all its own as the seemingly lazy vocal delivery by notable frontman Tim Harrington fits right in between guitar notes, and an ubiquitous cacophony in the backdrop. All the while, we’ll find a wide array of melodies that don’t stay trapped beneath the surface. It’s an interesting process within the band’s songwriting; everything sounds as if it may fall apart but never does. Either you’re in or you’re out. For newcomers, I’m not so sure. The band isn’t always flying in with odd instrument play, and “Don’t Mind Me” is a clear example as sparse keyboard notes lay the background to Harrington’s wavering voice. When he hits those “Ha’s” for the song’s chorus, Les Savy Fav takes things in a different direction altogether. There’s so much melancholic beauty surrounding this in just two and a half minutes.

We have to backtrack though, to the album’s opener as the band drives through “Guzzle Blood,” and clearly, the band is over the top, both with its lyrics and musically. Using instruments to sound like an alarm, it might just be a call to arms with a bassline that’s hypnotic. The chorus itself, “I’m looking for some kind of savior but no one is coming around/I’m guzzling the blood of Jesus but Jesus man is bringing me down” gives you an idea of where the band is coming from but we understand it’s coming into its own. If Les Savy Fav was a boy, this is its “I’m finally a man” chapter. The track is wicked, figuratively speaking of course and it’s clear the band has a sense of humor. At an expense but a sense of humor nonetheless. One thing about the band though, it can pull a fucking melody from a stone if it needs to. “Limo Scene,” one might consider a post-punk masterpiece. It’s a rocker, a banger, an utter pop masterpiece that just might be beyond compare. Guitar notes shimmer across the rhythm and Harrington is just that guy that knows what he’s doing with every inflection of his words.

Well, with OUI, LSF, Les Savy Fav is back and showing perfect form. Maybe I was quick to think the next gen won’t get it but if they do, there’s a semblance of hope for our future. Les Savy Fav is here again and taking the world by storm.


Are you ever ‘all in’? There are moments when you don’t expect disappointment and it immediately slaps you across the face, with the crack of a baseball bat at the back of your skull. It’s 2024 and anything is possible. It doesn’t apply to everyone but it has applied to many. This year hasn’t offered much in terms of both visual or musical art that can send shivers to your very core.

One might think this is one of those moments people have been tripping about but it’s not, Hot Water Music has never followed trends or has ever found itself mired in any kind of “newsworthy” idiocy. Aside from what some might call a brief 2-year hiatus when the band actually called it quits, it regrouped probably stronger than ever. Co-vocalist Chuck Regan continued to release solo albums concurrently alongside HWM but has paused his own releases for the last decade, focusing his work with the band. While the rest of the band went on to form The Draft, it seems it ended with the band’s reformation. Now 30 years into its existence (we don’t count those 2 years in between as anything) Hot Water Music has released its tenth full-length album, Vows (Equal Vision Records) and it’s easy to see and say the band hasn’t made any missteps. The 5-man strong outfit has never been short on riffs and melody and with this new release, things haven’t changed. Things have only gotten better.

There are no mincing words here, as Hot Water Music continues to strive for the higher ground, standing apart from the rest. Yes, you read that right. From the get-go, HWM is unrelenting as “Menace” powers through with walls of guitar and Ragan’s growling vocal delivery and clever wordplay. When he sings “So go kill your menace deep in your heart/show some love and open your arms,” the menace is overtaken by warmth. Clever indeed. The group has never suffered from having two lead vocalists, instead prospering from it. Chris Cresswell takes the reins on “Burn Forever” and the harmonies and twisting melodies they weave together are almost magical as again, the band capitalizes on over-the-top guitar play sliding across powerful rhythms. There are a number of guest appearances throughout the album, and it starts with “After The Impossible,” which features City And Colour’s Dallas Green. It’s one song that defies expectations as the band creates a song that’s larger than life, conceptually revolving around lost friendship? Lost love? It’s open for interpretation. “Remnants,” which features Brendan Yates and Daniel Fang of Turnstile, is a bit different, allowing much more open space around it as guitars take a backseat to vocals and the song’s rhythm. But it’s filled with soaring harmonies that can’t be ignored.

The band hits its stride as soon as “Side Of The Road” begins. You can tell there’s something different about it as Chris Cresswell’s clean vocal delivery is front and center as guitar notes plink in the background before the band gradually shifts its dynamics. It’s not a mountaintop crescendo but it is gradual. With the melodies & harmonies here, this is possibly the favorite track off the album and dig its abrupt end. Now did I say that was my favorite? Yeah, but come on, you can have more than one, and “Wildfire,” which features the Farside’s Popeye Vogelsang may be riding right alongside it. This is a powerhouse of a track that also plays with dynamics while infectious guitars stay the course and allow Regan the ability to find his way through sheer bombast. There’s no pause when it comes to Hot Water Music, the band is always all in, giving it 100%. With the more contained “Much Love,” the band gets an assist from The Interrupters, and through the song, they find a like-minded band to share something with.

If Hot Water Music doesn’t make you stop and take pause, you haven’t really been listening. Vows is that album that should be played at deafening levels one should dance to with complete abandon. With everything we know about Hot Water Music, it seems we’ve only just scratched the surface.