In a country where we boast so many incredible music scenes and communities, collaborations are bound to happen left, right and center. In the last installment of our collaborations series we made some suggestions of a few we’d like to see happen in 2010. In this new post, we provide a run-down of some of our favourite Canadian partnerships in recent musical history.
The Constantines feat. Feist – “Islands in the Stream” (Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton cover)
One of our favourite recent collaborations has to be Feist and The Constantines’ cover of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s 1983 hit “Islands in the Stream”. This version is much more subdued and intimate than the original and was recorded “in Toronto one chilly day in early February following a game of ice hockey and a round of hot chocolates.” Now if that’s not Canadian I don’t know what is. Collaboration at its best.
Woodhands feat. Maylee Todd – “Dissembler” & “Dancer”
This collaboration between electro-dance duo Woodhands and quirky songstress Maylee Todd worked so well the first time around that the two decided to team up again on Woodhands’ new record Remorsecapade on a track called “Dissembler”. On “Dancer”, Woodhands’ signature energetically aggressive beats shine through whereas on “Dissemble”, Todd’s sugary sweet vocals match the bubblegum pop melodies. Either way, this was a match destined to be repeated again (and hopefully again).
Final Fantasy feat. Cadence Weapon – “Mini TVs” (Chad Vangaalen cover)
In a 2007 CBC Radio Session, Final Fantasy (a.k.a. Owen Pallett) and friend Cadence Weapon (a.k.a. Rollie Pemberton) join forces to cover fellow Canadian Chad Vangaalen’s “Mini TVs”. On this version of “Mini TVs” – also featured on Cadence Weapon’s remix album Separation Anxiety – Pallett and Pemberton up the tempo as Pemberton raps over layers of electro-beats.
K-OS feat. Becky Ninkovic – “Eye See Something”
K-os is no stranger to collaborating with indie rockers (he’s guested on Broken Social Scene’s 2005 self-titled record as well as remixed Feist’s “Mushaboom”). On “Eye See Something”, You Say Party! We Say Die!’s Becky Ninkovic makes a guest appearance as Ninkovic sings atop a sample of Frida’s 1982 song “I Know There Something Going On”.
The D’Urbervilles feat. New Slang – “Worst Case Ontario”
During the summer, Toronto rockers The D’Urbervilles teamed up with Hamilton rappers New Slang on this hip hop anthem about the province of Ontario. The outcome is both mindboggling and amusing; whether you think was a cruel joke or a genius partnership, everyone should give this a listen.
The Wooden Sky feat. Debra-Jean Creelman (formerly of Mother Mother) – “Oslo”
To those listening to The Wooden Sky’s 2009 release If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone and wondering whose wonderful voice that is on the serene alt-country jam “Oslo”, that is indeed Debra-Jean Creelman, formerly of Mother Mother. Creelman and Wooden Sky lead singer Gavin Gardiner sing a perfect duet overtop the quiet acoustics and moody steel guitar; a highlight of an amazing album.
Dan Mangan feat. Hey Ocean! – “Weighty Ghost” (Wintersleep cover)
At last year’s Western Canadian Music Awards, Vancouver’s Hey Ocean! and Dan Mangan shared the stage to performed an acoustic cover of Wintersleep’s “Weighty Ghost”. Complete with handclaps, stomps and beautiful harmonies, this is definitely a collaboration that I’m sure many people would die to see more of.
Attack in Black feat. Julie Doiron – “I’m A Rock”
Queen of collaborations Julie Doiron guests on Attack in Black’s “I’m A Rock” off the band’s 2009 release Years (By One Thousand Fingertips). On this short two-minute track, lead singer Daniel Romano and Doiron – whose voice, I’m convinced is made to
Jason Collett feat. Emily Haines – “Hangover Days”
It’s almost inevitable that two members of Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene would collaborate but amongst them all, “Hangover Days” featuring Jason Collett and Metric’s Emily Haines is one of the best. This cheerful folk tune is the perfect example of Collett’s Dylan-esque croon and Haines sultry pipes; a classic for fans of the Arts & Crafts family. (Bonus: watch live videos of “Hangover Days” featuring another lady of Broken Social Scene, Leslie Feist)
NOVELS featuring Graham Wright (Tokyo Police Club), Luke Lalonde (Born Ruffians), Will Currie (Will Currie and the Country French), Dean Marino (Tin Star Orphans, Ex~Po), Jason Sadlowski (Jay Sad) – “Big Run”
Part supergroup part huge collaboration, Novels is a one-off project from five of Canada’s most promising musicians. The five entered Chemical Sounds Studio in Toronto last year and recorded an EP, featuring a song written by each member, which is now available for download online. The band has no plans of playing any shows or selling the EP in stores but the result is a fantastic collaborative effort. “Big Run” in particular, written by Born Ruffian’s Luke Lalonde is a stand out track. Watch a documentary of the band’s recording experience here.