We all remember the moment we discovered that secret song on one of our favourite albums. Often, those hidden gems provide a revealing peek behind-the-curtain, leading us to new insights about the artists and recordings we thought we knew.
CKUA’s Hidden Track podcast aims to do the same, by bringing you stories that change the way you experience music. Any given week, we’ll get to the heart of the song with the musician who wrote it, reflect on a landmark recording with the producer and engineer who helped shape it, or examine the legacy of a musical icon with the critic, biographer or industry player who knows them best. Whoever the guest may be, each episode will provide a moment of discovery you won’t soon forget.
July Talk | Bring Out That Human Side
For a dozen years and four albums now, July Talk has been relentlessly working toward a more just, humane, compassionate world, via the medium of their uniquely cathartic brand of groove-laden epic rock'n'roll.
Juno Award-winning band July Talk is Ian Docherty on guitar, bass player Josh Warburton, and double drummers (double Dani/Dannys, in fact) Danny Miles and Dani Nash. And at the centre of the maelstrom are lead vocalists Leah Fay Goldstein and Peter Dreimanis.
Leah and Peter are on a unique and fascinating creative journey together as artists. Each of them grew up steeped in vibrant artistic environments and, from early on, became passionate about pursuing music and visual art.
Peter grew up here in Alberta. He's from the Edmonton neighourhood of Riverdale, an artistic enclave where Peter came up alongside a whole wave of young musicians who've since gone on to become internationally celebrated. Leah comes from a family of renowned Toronto artists; a family whose artistic environment, aesthetic and story continue to inform her own artistic pursuits. In fact, as we'll hear, it's a legacy that's been massively inspirational and influential for July Talk's work.
We'll hear these two insightful, funny, amazingly candid artists share stories of their roots, how they came together over a decade ago, what people so often get wrong about the whole July Talk project, and the way their artistic dynamic (and their voices) have grown together in astounding ways on Remember Never Before, July Talk's brilliant fourth full-length album, released via their own label, Danuta, on January 20th, 2023.
Whitehorse | Breaking Up With Society
CKUA's Hidden Track Podcast returns for Season 4!
Kicking things off in 2023 is (currently) Manitoba-based folk rock duo Whitehorse! Composed of husband-and-wife duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, Whitehorse's sound spans from folk/americana to groove-driven pop rock. Doucet and McClelland have always been talented musicians, and both had successful solo careers before joining forces as Whitehorse.
Released on January 13, 2023, the duo's eighth studio album, "I'm Not Crying, You're Crying", marks a tonal shift to the melancholic sounds of hurtin' classic country. Spurred on by feelings of loneliness and isolation due to the pandemic, I'm Not Crying, You're Crying has been described as a "breakup album with the world." Songs like If The Loneliness Don't Kill Me and 6 Feet Away serve as a cry for human connection, written during a time when those connections were increasingly hard to find.
In our first episode of Hidden Track Season 4, "Whitehorse | Breaking Up With Society", Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland join CKUA's Grant Stovel from their Manitoba home to discuss the inspirations behind their latest album, how it feels to be touring again, the duo's musical origins (including a story of 14-year-old Luke's blues band) and so much more!
Kadhja Bonet | Learn How To Celebrate
As a child, Kadhja Bonet's Christmas holiday tradition was to spend the whole festive season taking refuge under her bed, or in her closet. Growing up with Asperger's Syndrome, the continuous Christmas clamour just made her want to shut out the world until December's end.
It wasn't until recently (owing largely to a Yuletide-loving partner) that she took it upon herself to try and carve out a space for herself in the world of holiday music and culture. This most unexpected journey to reclaim the Christmas season culminated in two new creations: a holiday radio play called Apocalypsemas Now, and remarkable new EP, entitled California Holiday.
Kadhja's visionary musical artistry is built upon her unique gifts as a singer and songwriter, as well as her stunning synthesis of folk, soul, pop, jazz and psychedelia. She's released a string of greatly-acclaimed albums, EPs, and singles - plus collaborations with an eclectic array of artists, ranging from Anderson .Paak to Bonobo to Khruangbin. And with her spell-binding voice and genre-defying musical sensibility, she's certainly unlocked some fresh new holiday magic with her latest release, out on Ninja Tune in December, 2022.
California Holiday finds the Los Angeles artist interpreting songs of the season that are significant for her, in her own inimitable way. On top of material that draws on sources ranging from Stevie Wonder to Sesame Street, the title track is an original that takes a Californian perspective on some of the multi-layered feelings that the holidays can evoke (without ever actually mentioning any particular holiday).
In this episode, Kadhja Bonet discusses the surprising path that led her to make a holiday album, the melancholy and contradictions often found at the heart of great Christmas music, how we use holidays as a way to mark the passage of time in our lives, a few of her favourite off-the-beaten-path Yuletide tunes... and, of course, Charlie Brown!
Abigail Lapell | Force of Nature
She has that rare ability to draw the listener in. Abigail Lapell's songs, voice, and smouldering musical presence can bring a hush to even the loudest of barrooms. She just kind of makes you want to lean in closer, and get lost in the elemental, otherworldly tales she weaves through song. So get ready to get lost! For this episode of Hidden Track, Abigail joins us in live performance and conversation from CKUA's Studio A.
Abigail's debut album came out in 2011 to rave reviews; and with each successive record, she's broadened the scope of her expressiveness as a singer and songwriter, and she's grown into a reputation as one of the most captivating tunesmiths on the scene today. She's already won a couple of Canadian Folk Music Awards, and the most vied-for awards, to boot: Album of the Year, and the English language award for Songwriter of the Year. Up against some downright legendary names, in both cases! She's up for several 2023 CFMAs for her lovely new record, too.
We'll hear the Toronto-based artist live in CKUA's Edmonton studio, as she treats us to an exclusive performance of three songs from her much-acclaimed 2022 album, Stolen Time. And in her characteristically funny and insightful manner, she also tells us about teaching herself to play and write songs on a found guitar, which was held together with duct tape; how for her, being a songwriter means attempting to tap into a mysterious force much larger than herself; what it's like to criss-cross this giant land all by herself on tour; the central role that nature and natural imagery play in her work; how the lull of the pandemic prompted her to spark her creativity by teaching herself piano (as well as a little do-it-yourself plumbing); and the surprisingly evocative meaning of the musical term "tempo rubato".
Fortunate Ones | Love Is A River
Newfoundland-based musicians Catherine Allan and Andrew James O'Brien are the couple behind Juno-nominated band Fortunate Ones. The band's latest album, That Was You and Me, released early in June of 2022. Fortunate Ones recently embarked on a tour alongside fellow East Coast artists, The Once and Old Man Luedecke. That tour, dubbed the Anchors Up! Tour finds the band performing shows in Alberta in late November 2022.
The duo behind this incredible folk outlet took time out of their busy tour schedule to chat with Hidden Track host Grant Stovel for a look at their personal and artistic journeys thus far. Andrew and Catherine tell us about how the pandemic caused them to look deep within themselves (and each other) in a whole new way creatively, how the songs on this new record took shape during a secluded summer in a seaside clapboard house, the great Newfoundland tradition of songcraft, staying grounded by running marathons and doing yoga, and the excitement of touring in a bus for the first time ever.
Lido Pimienta | See You In The TV!
Colonialism. Beauty. Hate. Feminism. Privilege. Success.
These aren't your average topics for a TV program created in the style of an old-school children's variety show. Of course, Lido Pimienta is anything but an average artist. For her brand-new project, Lido TV, the Polaris Prize-winning musician flexes a whole lot of creative multi-media muscle. Even longtime fans of her music may be surprised by many of the creative dimensions that she brings to this show; her biting humour, flair for eye-popping visuals, and almost mind-bendingly diverse areas of musical interest are just a few of the layers of expression revealed in Lido TV.
Taking all these tools, an artistic ambition that knows no bounds, visits to different people and areas in her native Columbia, and an extremely eclectic guest list, Lido has just released the first six episodes of Lido TV, which began streaming on CBC Gem in Autumn of 2022. Each episode deals with a serious societal issue or theme, as explored through the use of dramatic dialogue, songs, comedy skits, and plenty of puppets.
In a characteristically wide-ranging, whip-smart and hilarious conversation, Lido gets into the genesis for her "kids' TV show for adults;" her childhood in Columbia; how her gateway to writing songs was metal band Cradle of Filth; friends/ guests/ collaborators ranging from Beverly Glenn-Copeland to Nelly Furtado to metal band Kittie; and the importance of wanting to foster a more caring, equitable world.
As Lido tells us, "The TV raised me, so now I wanna raise some little future freaks with my show".
Insightful music podcast that’s a delight to listen to
Such a great podcast to have on and learn about all decades and genres of music. Very well done!
How Does Trump appear?
I quite enjoyed the 3 podcasts I listened to, specifically Charlie Pride, Willie Dunn and Richard Thompson. These could be better with a selection of music related to the subject artist.
The Charlie Pride interview became ridiculous with a leap of logic by one of the interviewees that had Trump responsible for the death of Charlie Pride. I know the leftist brigade will rise up in support of such a suggestion.
Keep up the good work. I love the affiliated station CKUA.
I only ever knew Charley Pride by his music. Nice job revealing his real life journey! It helped me see this unique, talented & pioneering musician within his historical context. What an incredible man and story! Thanks.