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INTERCONTINENTAL POP EXCHANGE


NO. 1 WOLF COLONEL | THE PAPERBACKS


NO. 2 PAPER MOON | LESLIES


NO. 3 THE HEAVY BLINKERS | ORWELL
(Endearing)

www.endearing.com
 

Winnipeg-based indie label, Endearing Records has put together this series of EPs featuring a duo of bands from different continents hence the title. Each band gets to contribute three to four songs and the six bands on show hail from the USA, Canada, France and Sweden.

The American Wolf Colonel favors an emo approach alternating between touchy-feely and bone-crunching styles – disconcerting perhaps but never boring. Personally the former – with “The Most Delicious Part” and “From Wisconsin” in evidence – works for me. B-

The Paperbacks originate from Endearing’s own backyard in Winnipeg and approach music from a subtler folk-jazz perspective with much introspection encouraged. You might even call it twee pop in the vein of Belle and Sebastian or The Lilac Time. Good chord construction and sound melodies the main attractions here. B+ www.thepaperbacks.com

Paper Moon, like the Paperbacks, come from Winnipeg and with the prominent contribution of vocalist Allison Shervernova ringing in your ears, you will no doubt be enthralled by the beauty of the three songs featured. A www.papermoon.ca

Swedish group, Leslies have 80s guitar pop written all over their sprightly material. The Smiths, Split Enz and Crowded House spring to mind when surveying such enduring songs like “In A Matter of Speaking.” A- www.listento/leslies

No. 3 is without a doubt, the pick of the bunch, as it features those transcendent Canadians from Halifax, the Heavy Blinkers. Wielding orchestral pop like you would a guitar, the spectacular chamber pop extravaganza found on “Maplewood,” “Tribute to Sparrow” and “Veranda Celeste” is a perfect taster for the upcoming new album. Awesome. A+ www.heavyblinkers.com

French band Orwell picks up the gauntlet thrown down by the Blinkers without any hesitation and to their immense credit, are able to stand up to the challenge. Proving that Gallic pop is on the ascendancy, superb tunes like “Everywhere,” “Attic’s Ballad” and “Monorail (Version 1900)” whet the appetite for more Orwell. A+ www.orwellmusic.com