friday five - vol 1

Please allow me to introduce a segment that I'd like to call the Friday Five. Five tracks that I've been jamming out to/preoccupied with/thinking about over the course of the week, followed by a brief description. Warning you now that they will not always be bangers for running, but they will always be good to bump out of your vehicle's audio system with the bass turned all the way up, because that's my preferred method of listening. Perhaps what I love most about music (and running, and so many other things in this world) is the way it can make you feel at a certain point in time, whether it is the present or in the past, how it can heal, how it can connect you to others, how it can make you feel less alone, and also how it can make you feel so much more connected to the moment.

I distinctly remember my seventh grade teacher asking the class, "What can't you live without?" Without hesitation, my answer was music. It still rings true to this day. Some things never change.

So without further ado, here's my first Friday Five:

1. Chancellor - Gord Downie
It's been a terribly sad week for Canada, Gord was a real one. His music continues to inspire and influence so many and make a huge difference in the Canadian (and international) music scene. The Hip helped to put Canadian music on the map. Equal parts eloquent and down to earth, Gord's lyrics could touch anyone. Funny enough, I came across Gord's first solo album Coke Machine Glow while I was at the local library looking for CD's to listen to (again, in middle school). It wasn't love at first listen, but it's definitely grown on me over the years. This album will always have a special place in my heart. Chancellor shows a softer side of Gord's repertoire and is one of my favourite tracks by him as a solo artist.

2. Deserve - Kris Wu ft. Travis Scott
This song was essentially like the perfect individual on paper that you have no spark with. Is that a bad metaphor? There was a ton of hype about this collaboration. It hit #1 on the US iTunes chart. Previously I had no idea who Kris Wu was, but he is an ex member of a K-pop group. He is also a Chinese-Canadian. For this reason, I wanted so much to like the song. There is a lack of Chinese representation in mainstream Western music and I am glad to see the love for this guy...but the song is just not good. Sure, it's catchy but it's not catchy/unique enough, repetitive and of course, Travis has to chime in with "it's lit", "ye ye" or "straight up" in every single musical interlude. Like, okay, we know you're there!

3. A Memory - Yumi Zouma
Everyone, do yourself a favour and take a listen to Willowbank, Yumi Zouma's latest album. It's fantastic. Great bass line, spacey vocals, catchy tunes enough to dance alone in your room to, with a hint of nostalgia and melancholy. What more can you ask for?

4. Stars And Moons - Dizzy
I saw Dizzy last year opening for Vancouver Sleep Clinic and immediately fell in love. They haven't released any tracks until now. The dreamy vocals combined with an airy, atmospheric backing track feel otherworldly - they take me to another place.

5. Tired as Fuck - The Tragically Hip
Debating between this and Bobcaygeon, because sometimes I listen to Bobcaygeon and tear up. But this is a newer track, off the Hip's 2016 album Man Machine Poem. Shortly after the album was released, Gord announced he had brain cancer. This song seems to be a glimpse into how he must have been feeling at the point, and up until his last days. And we all feel like that sometimes, "tired as fuck/I want to stop so much I almost don't want to stop." Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with us and creating music that can bring us all a little closer together. Rest in peace, Gord.