#NowPlaying: Curated by The Static Shift

Photo by Sara Kuefler

We’re so excited that Local Drop Magazine reached out to us and asked if we could compile a Spotify playlist featuring local artists here in Calgary. Having grown up playing places like The Blues Can, Ship & Anchor, Nite Owl and The Ironwood, we’ve played with many amazing acts over the years. Here are some of our favourites, and some songs that have been inspiring us as a band. Enjoy!

Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane)
This song is so much fun. We’ve all been really into this song (and the album) for a while now, so it just made sense to start the playlist with it. Irfane has got a killer voice, and everything about this song works (especially that funky synth bass). The whole album is as funky and energetic as this song, so we definitely recommend checking it out.

Tim Williams – More Pepper in Your Chili
Local Pick
Tim Williams sure knows how to play the guitar. Since I was thirteen years old I’ve always admired his playing and ‘More Pepper in Your Chili’ is certainly a prime example of Tim’s abilities. It’s such a personal recording, as is the entire album because it’s just Tim and the strings. This song gets stuck in my head very easily. -Mitchell

The Ashley Hundred – Lonely Love
Local Pick
We’ve had the honour to play with these folks a few times over the years and they always put on a great show. The most recent time being last year at The Gateway, where their guitarist and lead vocalist Andrew Franks had his left arm in a cast from a workplace mishap. They had a friend come and fill in for some guitar parts Andrew couldn’t play, but he still rocked the vocals and the show was incredible. ‘Lonely Love’ is one of my favourites melodically and lyrically. These dudes are tight, check them out! -Isaiah

Fever Feel – Flowers For Breakfast
Local Pick
As if the title of this song isn’t psychedelic enough, wait till you listen to it. From the seconds of the first note you are instantly hooked into a moody psychedelic jam that only builds and builds to be more epic. Although Fever Feel has since moved to beautiful Victoria BC, they still continue to be one of our all time favourite local bands. We have always felt very inspired by these guys as we grew up on similar influences and are both trying to bring back that old school sound we love, whilst still pushing forward into new territories musically. And Fever Feel does this immaculately. -Keone

The Meters – Cissy Strut
I’ve been really into The Meters and this song lately. They’re incredibly tight as a band, and ‘Cissy Strut’ is their one song that has gotten the most recognition for good reason. The guitar tone is beautiful, the bass is groovy, and the drums are something else (especially those hi-hat shots). The perfect song to play to spice up any gathering. -Isaiah

Windigo – Magic
Local Pick
I have seen Windigo multiple times and have always loved them. Their riffs and hooks are great and their live show has so much energy. ‘Magic’ has one of my favourite guitar riffs out there, especially when it goes to the instrumental pre- chorus. Tory Rosso’s guitar sounds great on the recording and if you dig catchy riffage, check out this band. -Mitchell

Time Boy – Hecktown
Local Pick
I will never forget the first time my ears were blessed by the absolute wildness of Time Boy’s music. It was a cold winter night in the library of the gone but never forgotten Nite Owl. The song Hecktown is a great example of what Time Boy is all about. Starting with a funky synth line that instantly makes you dance, to the post punk styled vocals that make you jump up and down and then straight into a beautiful melodic breakdown that stops you in your tracks and forces you to consider what is before you. Time Boy is a rare breed of creative musicians that you don’t come by every day. -Keone

A Taste of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie (Single Version 2)
Even though The Static Shift is a rock and roll band, recently we have all been very appreciative of the funk music from the ’60s and ’70s. The bass line in this song is fantastic, and when the chorus hits you cannot help but move and sing along. A pure funk classic. -Mitchell

Andrew’s Pale Horses – Iron Walls
Local Pick
I love the vocal melody in this song, it has a MGMT/Beatles vibe that is wicked. It’s a great closing song on their EP as it makes you want to listen to the whole thing again. I also love the bass line in this tune. I remember playing with Andrew’s Pale Horses at The Palomino a couple years ago, and I was enticed by their vibe and live performance. -Mitchell

Marcus Trummer Band – Good Times
Local Pick
We got introduced to these guys last year when we hosted some youth jams at The Blues Can, and wow. Marcus sure can sing, and the whole band is extremely talented for their age. You can hear the blues influences in their music, and they remind us a lot of ourselves when we were in high school. Keep an eye out for these dudes. ‘Good Times’ is just the start! -Isaiah

Donny Hathaway – You’ve Got a Friend (Live Version)
If you want some goosebumps, look no further. Donny Hathaway’s take on the classic Carole King song ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ is nothing short of amazing. His ability to connect with the crowd in this song is something every artist strives for. Just listen to that crowd sing (no, that is not a choir)! This album also features the amazing Willy Weeks on bass who has since gone on to play with Eric Clapton and other well renowned artists. -Keone

36? – Vic
Local Pick
36? is filled with shimmery guitars and synths that give you the feeling of floating through space whilst listening. “Wanted to say you’re in my thoughts. And whether you want to see me or want me gone, I hope you’re moving along how you want,” sings Taylor Cochrane in the final verse of 36?’s new single ‘Vic’. ‘Vic’ gives us that strange feeling of wanting to be close to someone who has perhaps distanced themselves since a friendship or relationship, a feeling that we all know too well. To me this song gives a breath of fresh air to the saying “what’s gone does not have to be forgotten,” adding that what is ‘gone’ from a relationship does not have to be, and can continue through love and respect of ones own path. -Keone

Crooked Spies – High Tide
Local Pick
Crooked Spies rock hard, as does the song ‘High Tide’. As this is the opening song to their 2015 album ‘Treason’, it paints a clear picture of the wicked hooks and riffs you’re about to hear throughout the rest of the album. Also, the album cover rocks and so does Dylan Evanik’s voice. High Tide is surely one of my favourites off the album, as it has a dirty, dynamic groove that would get anyone excited. -Mitchell

The Velveteins – All I Do
Let’s leave the battle of Alberta thing for the hockey players. These Edmonton boys have been making quite a stir not only locally but also nationally. The Velveteins are filled with ‘50s style chord progressions and hooky melodies that will stick in your head for a lifetime. It was so hard for me to pick one song from The Velveteins because I usually listen to the album in its entirety. However if I absolutely had to choose one song it would be ‘All I Do’. This song holds that feeling of passion when something or someone is close to your heart and you feel like you would do anything to keep it there. -Keone

Foster The People – Sit Next to Me
Foster the People is one of my all time favourite bands. Each album they put out gets better and better, and their third album ‘Sacred Hearts Club’ is their finest yet. ‘Sit Next to Me’ has been my alarm song for about a year and I’m still not sick of it. I’ve always been inspired by the melodies and sounds these guys areable to create. Mark Foster also has a beautiful voice and it really shines in this song. Check out the whole album, you won’t regret it. -Isaiah

Reuben And The Dark – Bow And Arrow
Local Pick
Hard to believe these guys are from Calgary. They’ve really taken off over the last couple years and that’s incredibly cool to see. ‘Bow and Arrow’ is such a beautiful song that makes me want to drive out to the mountains every time I listen to it. Fun fact: this song and both of their albums were recorded at OCL Studios just east of Calgary, same place which we recorded our most recent album ‘Common Bliss’! -Isaiah

Napalmpom – Guided By Volume
Local Pick
It is no question that Napalmpom are the kings of rock & roll in Calgary. We had the pleasure of opening for them at a ripe age of 15, and I think it showed us what a rock & roll show was all about. From members flipping over each other, power slides, pouring beer down each others throats/chests and occasionally sharing with the crowd, to just the overall high energy room that they create. You cannot escape the feeling of love these guys have for music and making the crowd feel like they are a part of it. ‘Guided By Volume’ is a great example on all fronts of what they are about. -Keone

Cage The Elephant – Ready to Let Go
New single from Cage The Elephant’s upcoming album ‘Social Cues’. This one has a cool groove and some great lyrics. I’ll never forget seeing them at X-Fest here in Calgary, their live show was unreal! -Mitchell

Flowshine – Get Me Going
Local Pick
Another band we’ve had to pleasure to play with multiple times over the years. Flowshine’s music is honest, groovy, and just fun. ‘Get Me Going’ is one of our favourites to hear live. The horns in this song are awesome and the disco-esque drum beat is great. -Isaiah

Diana Ross – Give Up
The album ‘Diana’ was produced by Chic founder Nile Rodgers, and almost everything he touches has some pretty undeniable funk. Great solo by Nile Rodgers, his funk is otherworldly. -Mitchell

Funkensheist – What Ya Need
Local Pick
This song reminds me of a tight reggae band with killer ‘60s rock vibes. I love the shots that Funkensheist pull off; they are very tight and could likely play anything. Funky with lots of rock and roll tones, you’ll love ‘What Ya Need’. -Mitchell

Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amour
I first heard this song in one of my favourite films ‘Almost Famous’. Although the scene is quite unpleasant of which I will not spoil, one of the main characters makes a major break in doing something he has wanted to do through the entire film. That scene guided by this song in the background creates a feeling of relief that everything is going to be okay, no matter how bad the situation is. -Keone

Laura Hickli – Midnight
Local Pick
Laura Hickli is a core member in Calgary’s music scene. In fact, she is already in two other bands on this list (Timeboy & 36?). However, in Laura’s solo music we hear a much more vulnerable side of her. With beautifully haunting piano / guitar arrangements and honest lyrics coming from what seem to be very personal experiences, you can not fight from drifting inside your own head and reflecting on life. ‘Midnight’ to me is a song about two things. Firstly, loosing your way in the grips that depression can take on us, yet trying to keep your head up in order to make yourself and others feel like you are going to be okay. And second, the relationships that can be so hard to maintain when trying to work through your own mind and self. It is so important to speak about these topics and ‘Midnight’ paints the perfect picture of what it is like to go through this. -Keone

Eagles – Lyin’ Eyes
The Eagles are incredibly talented and have many well written, melodic songs. ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ is one of their best. The instrumental parts in this song are so beautiful, and if we can sing harmonies that are half as good as the Eagles, we’re doing well. -Isaiah

Ten Minute Detour – Woodshed
Local Pick
Ten Minute Detour’s sophomore album ‘Common Pleasure’ is a jam, and ‘Woodshed’ is one of our favourites. From the melodic guitar parts and dirty sounding drums, to the unexpected broken down pre-chorus that leads up perfectly to the chorus, this is a great song. It also has a very cool outro that transitions perfectly into a song of our own… -Isaiah

The Static Shift – Elephant in the Room
Here’s a song of our own for those of you listening who want to know what we’re about. Recorded at OCL Studios, we had a ton of fun laying down this song and the entire album live off the floor. If you dig our stuff, keep your eyes peeled as we’ve got some new music coming very soon!

We hope you thoroughly enjoyed our playlist and the read. Calgary has some incredibly talented musicians and a thriving music scene, and we’re so proud to be a part of it.
-The Static Shift