Dance all night to Mip Power Trio sophomore album Half Pint Full Heart

Mip Power Trio – photo by Paul Taborovsky

Had the great pleasure of wrapping my ears around a preview stream of Mip Power Trio’s sophomore album Half Pint Full Heart this past week – in advance of their CD launch party this Friday, February 27 at the Bovine Sex Club.

Mip Power Trio is: Mip (songwriting/lead vocals/guitar), Greg Kowalczyk (bass/back-up vocals) and Shane MacPherson (drums/back-up vocals). Following up on their debut record Haggard and Bedraggled (2012), the band joined forces with producer/engineer Ian McGettigan to create 11 tracks of rootsy rockin’ goodness on Half Pint Full Heart.

“Breakthrough” kicks of the record, with rockin’ beats, the chorus bringing a kicky retro vibe with a kick-ass plea “my knuckles are getting sore knocking against your invisible door” –  Mip’s gutsy vocals reminiscent of Gwen Stefani in No Doubt’s “Sunday Morning.”

You can get yourself all toasty and warm as you bop along with “Winter Scene” – and then with the roots guitar riff and alt country/rockabilly-infused storytelling in “Potential.” And Mip nails it when she describes the celebratory “Take Me Back” as “skaspel” – it’s a groovin’, movin’ blend of ska and gospel. The lyrics bring cool pop culture references (Springstein and artist/modern architecture pioneer Le Corbusier), and the arrangements offer some sweet surprises, like the circus-like beats on tracks like “Grown-up Games” and “Whiskey Ain’t Cheap,” and the haunting, atmospheric intro to the final track “Northern Lights.”

With tight musicianship, strong lead vocals and sweet harmonies driving the music, coupled with the band’s fun, casual party vibe, I dare you to not move your feet as you listen to Mip Power Trio’s Half Pint Full Heart. Like the Northern Lights, you can dance all night.

You can catch Mip Power Trio at their CD launch party for Half Pint Full Heart this Friday, February 27 at the Bovine Sex Club, where they’ll be joined by local bands Little Foot Long Foot, and Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party. Check here for all the launch dates/locations around Southern Ontario and Quebec.

You can connect with Mip Power Trio on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and the band’s YouTube channel.

And if you’re like me and can’t make it out to the Half Pint Full Heart launch, check out this playlist of some of their vids, including “Northern Lights” and “Take Me Back” (both from Half Pint Full Heart) – and stay tuned to Mip Power Trio’s website/social media platforms for the opportunity to stream and download the record:

Erika Werry & the Alphabet: video for Think yer so Smart opening track “What”

For those of you, like me, who missed last night’s launch of Erika Werry and the Alphabet Think yer so Smart CD at The Piston – and with it the premiere of the video for the CD’s first track “What” – here’s the video:

For more Think yer so Smart tunage, check it out on the Erika Werry and the Alphabet Bandcamp page. You can also find them on the CBC Music site.

Erika Werry & the Alphabet upcoming CD launch: Think yer so Smart

4109506142-1Toronto Singer/songwriter Erika Werry recently gave me a shout about her upcoming Think yer so Smart CD release, recorded by her band Erika Werry and the Alphabet and featuring co-producer Ian Blurton on guitar. While I won’t be able to make it to the April 4 release this week, I was able to give it a listen so I could tell y’all about it.

An eclectic 14 tracks, Think yer so Smart is an energetic and soulful mix of folk, roots and alt country, with a bit of punk thrown in. The CD opens with punk rock rant “What” (the video will be premiering at the CD launch on Thursday), an anti-anthem for posers, tools and jackassery, changing gears in the next track with the bluesy country ballad “Matchless,” a hint of gospel flavour with its organ arrangement. “Neil” has a kicky pop sensibility, with playful guitar licks and a story of love from afar. Later tracks are poetic, lyrics painting a picture in the introspective “Uh Oh,” and in the wistful memories and haunting harmonies of “Shirley.”

The songs on Think yer so Smart move and breathe, with Werry exhaling each story with all the ache, heart and soul-searching of life – some with a driving beat, others comfy and slow – like sitting by a campfire, wrapped in a blanket. Check it out on the Erika Werry and the Alphabet Bandcamp page. You can also find them on the CBC Music site.

The launch for Think yer so Smart is Thursday, April 4 at The Piston (937 Bloor St. West – near Ossington) – doors open at 9 p.m. Opening acts include Tim Vesley (who also co-produced Think yer so Smart), and Lost and Profound. Erika Werry & the Alphabet will also be premiering their music video of “What” (the opening track on the CD). Tickets can be purchased at the door only: $15 with CD or $8 without.

Some cool trivia: Think yer so Smart was recorded at the Woodshed (Blue Rodeo’s studio) and the video for “What” was shot in Toronto last summer at Trinity Bellwoods Park on one of the most scorching hot days of the season.

Drop on by cowbell again after April 4 – I’ll have the vid link for “What” posted.