Here are 3 songs that I have recently discovered. One of them is American, and the other two are Québécois. As I always say; make of that what you will. Youtube links are highlighted as ‘here’.
1. Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Dancer With Bruised Knees (1977)
These two sisters’ voices were among the finest in folk and traditional pop. The music is wonderfully accessible, but with a certain sharp humor and edge that could only come from two people who really could not care less about image and success. Their second album, Dancer with Bruised Knees, was released in 1977 to lesser critical acclaim than their self-titled debut, but was championed by Robert Christgau, who later ranked it among the greatest albums of the decade. This track, the opening title, blends a certain traditional swing with a glorious studio lightness.
You can listen to the song here on Youtube. But please, go and buy the bloody album.
2. Buffalo Springfield: Rock and Roll Woman (1967)
Culled from their second album (the best one), this joy of a song is a light, jumping little piece of folk pop contributed by Steven Stills. Buffalo Springfield both benefitted and were handicapped by having two true geniuses as songwriters. Their dual presence makes this album a slightly jarring synthesis, but with moments like this, who cares. One of the most overlooked bands of the sixties, which somewhat adds to their mystery.
Listen to the song here on Youtube, and buy the album.
3. Harmonium: Dixie (1975)
This French-Canadian folk-prog band (bear with me) were never popular, as the start of my sentence probably already indicates. Still, they made beautiful music, which met its peak with ‘Si on avait besoin d’une cinquième saison’, their second album of pastoral Québécois beauty. This joyous Dixieland tribute will have you bouncing around the room.
Did I mention you should buy the album?