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Mailing List reviews New Scotland Records 7" singles series

Anyone that’s ever had the chance to talk music with Dartmouth’s patron saint of rock n’ roll knows how much music – the process, the creation, the curation, and the collection – means to Joel. It was with that in mind that Plaskett launched a series of 45s recorded at Scotland Yard with a collection featuring artists he hand picked.

The collection is a timeline in the truest sense. The artists range from up and comers to people that JP first met when he was still french inhaling. Names like Elkas, Gunning, Grimson and Messick have been around since Shane was shaving Saints logos into the back of his head, but over the years Joel has become more involved in production and sonic relationships with newer artists like Mo Kenney and Myles Deck grew from hours spent together finding the sound.

The final installments of the 45s collection go from coast to coast, with songs from Vancouver’s Jeremy Fisher and Dartmouth’s Mo Kenney.

Over the last few years, Fisher has become a CBC darling and his contribution, “Paper Crown”, proves why. It’s light and breezy, and incredibly infectious and Fisher could easily find a home with fans of Josh Rouse or Rhett Miller. When he and Joel toss in some harmonica and add backing vocals that sound like they are boomed from the next room, you can feel the ice caps start to melt. Paired with another gem from Plaskett, this vinyl will fly off the shelves.

The real shock for me was the immediate impact of Mo Kenney. The young woman penned the A-side, “Eden”, when she was barely in High School and honestly, it’s hard to not hear the vocal similarities between her and the smoky siren of The Velvet Underground. Whereas Nico’s was a voice that oozed confidence, fragility and a cool that extended through the airwaves, Mo seems more reserved and uncertain. The delicate picks fit perfectly with her relaxed delivery and even as you hear influence and inspiration, you hear the talent Mo possesses.

The B-side is more adventurous and ultimately, more rewarding. When Kenney admits, “you are afraid of the dark and I am just afraid”, you expect the song to continue with picks and tenderness, but she and Plaskett turn up the volume, add big drums, bass and bolder guitar work. It’s a much more mature offering and a style that could help Kenney make a name for herself when she releases her debut later this year.

by Bryan Acker