8 picks for holiday gifts (2021)

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With 2021 coming to an end, here are LDN Reverb’s 8 picks of albums and EPs that make for perfect gifts this holiday!

Are you racing around, wondering what to get that music lover in the family for Christmas? Shopping for your household music buff can be a task in and of itself.

But worry not! LDN Reverb’s coming at you with some prime picks of regional music goodness for the groove guru and music supporter close to you!

In no particular order, here are LDN Reverb’s 8 picks for holiday gifts!

By the way, your support is what keeps us growing and keeps us going. Please be sure to ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ LDN Reverb on Facebook and Instagram so LDN Reverb can continue to support local music.

Enjoy!

Sarah Smith — Sarah Smith & The Lovers Of London EP

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8 picks for holiday gifts 
Property of: Sarah Smith

Singer-songwriter Sarah Smith has captured the hearts of listeners the world over with her inspiring messages and fiery vocals. The acclaimed musician has since moved out west, but left her hometown with a warming musical tribute.

Sarah Smith & The Lovrs Of London, her final local release, captures the spirit of London, Ontario’s musical vibrance. The EP also showcases an array of guest appearances by other esteemed local musicians.

The EP gels together with Smith’s signature charm, along with her guests who reinforce that bond on their respective tracks. Fans will rejoice upon hearing the talents of Noelle Coughlin (The Pairs), Addison Henry (Lost In Japan), Doug Varty (Doug Varty) and others as they grace this heartfelt release.

This EP is a soothing reminder that London is forever in her heart. Just as well, it’s a beautiful showcase of local talent and a collection of songs that will touch the hearts of those near and far.

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Lost In Japan — Somedays EP

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Lost In Japan have been gaining a lot of momentum and traction since their 2018 eponymous debut album. Without so much as a skip in their step, the power pop rockers are back with their latest entry, Somedays EP.

The Somedays EP offers a vibrant new collection of songs which picks up where their last entry left off. Listeners will be greeted by Lost In Japan’s trademark sound they know and love. It’s is packed with earworm hooks and melodies, as well as catchy chords. Now featuring keyboards, the arrangements add a layer of depth and atmosphere, fleshing out their already poignant sound.

At a runtime of under twenty minutes, the five song EP does anything but overstay its welcome and, if anything, leaves us stoked for what Lost In Japan’s future releases.

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Solarus — A Dance With Tragedy

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8 picks for holiday gifts 
Property of: Solarus

Solarus are a brigade of musicians known for their stylized and spellbinding brand of symphonic metal. With A Dance With Tragedy, they put the proverbial pedal to the metal, creating their most solid album to date.

Known for their energetically rich and thunderous sound, the band takes things to the next level on A Dance With Tragedy. As the name implies, we must seek to find beauty in the struggle. Drawing from themes of despair and hopelessness, A Dance With Tragedy does just that by subverting the aforementioned themes into messages of inspiration and perseverance. The overall writing style that inspires a sense of renewal and hope through sheer musical power.

Each musician delivers electrifying performances that will keep its listeners engaged. From angelic vocals, melting solos, pounding blast beats and entrancing orchestral arrangements, this enrapturing collection of songs is as beautiful as it is explosive.

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Charrlonmane Collective — Go With The Flow

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8 picks for holiday gifts 
Property of: Charrlonmane Collective

The folk rock power trio known as the Charrlonmane Collective are back with their third entry, Go With The Flow. Think of them as the best parts of classic folk rock with a contemporary twist.

Appropriately titled, the album strikes a tonal balance between their first two albums, expanding on their salt-of-the-earth sound backed by driving folky rhythm and old soul allegory. Front to back, each song is metaphorically rich, with emphasis on life, as well as its wonders and complexities. Just as well, each song is enveloped in a foot-stomping rhythm that sinks deep into your ears and sticks in the crevasses of your mind.

Go With The Flow has a compelling notion to whisk listeners away from whatever they’re facing and offers them exoneration. Collective’s Go With The Flow is sure to be a new favourite.

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Young Stunna — The Stone Age

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Young Stunna is back with the final chapter of the “AGE” series (proceeding The Dark Age and The Ice Age respectively).

Picking up and expanding upon the two previous entries, the album features a darker, yet more mature tone. On this revealing release, Young Stunna elaborates on his personal experiences and perceptions through thought-provoking lyricism, well-crafted rhyme schemes delivered with gripping cadence and flow.

Empowering in its own right, The Stone Age tackles subject matter involving depression, abuse and addiction, while demonstrating Stunna’s ability to make amends with his past. In doing so, it also helps the listener recognize their own ability to grow from their hardships, using that strength to define themselves in a positive light going forward.

For fans of hip hop and those on a journey of self-discovery and recovery, Young Stunna’s The Stone Age is an album worth seeking out.

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JEEN — Dog Bite

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Property of: JEEN

JEEN is an alternative grunge rock tour de force that are as immersive as they are outliers in their field. Built upon the foundation of turn-of-the-decade 90s grunge and alternative rock, JEEN also incorporates elements of pop, punk, synth and neoclassical into her overall sound.

Dog Bite has a lot of flavour (no pun intended) with its multidimensional approach and offers something fun, fresh and unique. The album also focuses on experiences and subjects of a personal nature, which flow with a rather upbeat and energetic tone. In that sense, Dog Bite offers an empowering flipside perspective as to how we choose to perceive our personal obstacles.

The album and JEEN, as a whole, offers a sincere, expressive and revealing, allowing listeners a chance to connect with the artist herself through her music.

For fans of grunge and alternative rock, you’ll want to sink your teeth into Dog Bite (pun intended).

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MONONEGATIVES — Apparatus Division

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For those who think punk is dead, MONONEGATIVES are the defibrillators reviving it with a supercharged pulse through their latest album, Apparatus Division!

The post / future punk outfit hammers out a palpitating sound fused with elements of synthwave. The album goes in fast with fuzzy, driving riffs, clashy drums, as well as punchy reverb-laden vocals. The whole thing just spews electrifying energy.

Apparatus Division preserves the punk essence and doesn’t shy away from its electronic components which separate it from the pack. With a twenty-nine minute run time, each of the album’s twelve tracks pack a punch with full-throttle, frenetic bangers.

For fans of punk rock, Apparatus Division by MONONEGATIVES is going to hit the mark.

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Fresh Breath — How Did I Get Here

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8 picks for holiday gifts 
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The alternative country duo known as Fresh Breath are blazing in with their latest effort, How Did I Get Here.

The six song EP is a personal reflection of society, as we collectively head deeper into an uncertain future. How Did I Get Here is lyrically bold and driving, so to is its instrumentation. The overarching theme here is that we’re all in this together.

From hearty foot stompers to laid back chuggers, the EP is easy to connect and resonate with. While How Did I Get Here is well-rounded and balanced, so to is its progression. The duo’s ability to break their own conventions to explore the current state of the world adds a new depth to their songwriting. By extension, the instrumentation on this release reaches a depth not heard on previous releases. Yet, the essence of their music remains as intact as it ever was.

For fans of country and folk, this is EP is packed with strong songwriting and music, to boot. How Did I Get Here is an audible breath as fresh as the band itself!

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Well, there you have it. Thanks for checking out 8 picks of the many extraordinary releases that have emerged this year. Seasons greetings and happy holidays from LDN Reverb to you!

Catch you all in 2022. In the meantime, stay warm, stay safe and stay rockin’!

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