In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, we’ve got the latest from Loreena McKennitt, Jean-Michel Jarre, Ultra Naté, and Softee. All that, plus a new covers EP from rock legend Suzi Quatro. As always, if you dig what you hear, be sure to stream and follow the artists.
Suzi Quatro – Veteran rocker Suzi Quatro is out now with Uncovered, her new EP that pays tribute to classic rock and soul songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Released on the legendary Sun Records, Uncovered sees Quatro lending her trademark raspy vocals to such classics as Carole King’s “I Feel The Earth Move,” James Brown’s “The Boss,” and Rufus Thomas’ “Walking The Dog.” Her cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” is the perfect taste of what you can expect from the rest of the project. Why was it essential for her to cover these tunes? Speaking on why she chose these songs, Suzi Quatro says: “Since I first picked up a bass guitar and started playing and singing in my first band in 1964, many artists helped show the way, I honour them here with this eclectic choice of songs. Every one of them is here for a reason. Thank you all for your inspiration.”
Listen to Suzi Quatro’s cover of “Bad Moon Rising” below.
Loreena McKennitt – Beloved Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt has just released her live seasonal album Under A Winter’s Moon. Full of traditional holiday classics, McKennitt’s 16th album also sees collaborators actors Cedric Smith and Tom Jackson and Ojibway artist and flautist Jeffrey Red George providing spoken word. Describing her aim for the album, Loreena McKennitt explains in the liner notes: “…I sought to incorporate elements of the oral traditions found in many cultures – to capture, inspire and reconnect us with our past, while offering a reminder of the people of those times and what their manner of communication meant in their lives and might mean still.” If you want to hear Under A Winter’s Moon live, you won’t have to wait long. Loreena McKennitt is kicking off her Under A Winter’s Moon Tour on December 2nd in Stratford, Ontario, and wrapping up in Ottawa on December 17th. It’s sure to be festive fun for the family!
Listen to Loreena McKennitt’s take on “Huron Carol” below.
Jean-Michel Jarre – After having the likes of Martin Gore and Deathpact remix tracks from his album OXYMORE, Jean-Michel Jarre and Brian Eno have teamed up for “EPICA EXTENSION.” In its original form, “EPICA” paid tribute to the history of French electronic music. Brian Eno took the track and totally transformed into an entirely different beast, and kudos to Jarre for giving him the free reign to do so. Speaking on how the Brian Eno remix came to be, Jean-Michel Jarre says: “When I started ‘EPICA,’ I immediately thought that Brian Eno could be involved in this most rhythmic track of the album, thinking that he could bring his signature ‘ambient’ touch in reworking the track – another kind of oxymoron, but he told me that he was most interested in developing rhythmic ideas these days…and here is the beautiful, ghostly, unexpected result. Thank you Brian.”
Listen to Jean-Michel Jarre x Brian Eno’s “EPIC EXTENSION” below.
Ultra Naté – Multi-talented dance diva Ultra Naté is adding another string to her bow: directing. That’s right, Ultra makes her directorial debut with her new music video for her track “RICH M’FKs.” One of the standout tracks from Ultra’s recent new album ULTRA, “RICH M’FKs” is a Kraftwerk-esque dance track that takes aim at income inequality and the rapidly growing wealth disparity between the global elites and everyday people. Working with cinematographers Seth Milder and Lindsey Golden, Ultra was able to make her vision for the video come to life. Talking about her creative process, Ultra Naté says: “The entire ULTRA album experience has taken me on such a whirlwind ride, it shouldn’t surprise me that I’m now in this moment of creating visual art to accompany the music that I’ve poured myself into for the last two years. I had a particular style in my head of what “RICH M’FKs” could look like and how to evolve it, so I sought out talent from Baltimore to bring the concept to life.”
Check out the new music video for Ultra Naté & Henrik Schwarz’s “RICH M’FKs” below.
Softee – Actress and rising pop innovator Softee has a new single out now with “Red Light Green Light.” There’s a message hidden in the shimmery disco number, as the lyrics take aim at rampant greed, elitism, and nepotism in society. The song draws inspiration from the monumental South Korean drama Squid Game. Explaining how, Softee says: “The birth of this song actually came from a beat that a friend Namir Blade made that sampled a moment in Squid Game. I loved the show so much and the beat was so intoxicating, I wanted to do something with it. I wrote most of the lyrics as a response to Squid Game.”
Listen to Softee’s new single “Red Light Green Light” below.