STREAM: Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld – 'Never were the way she was'

Never were the way she was, the collaborative record between Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld, is a brilliant, emotional piece of music. They bleed soft moments of ambience into frantic crescendos, painting their souls onto each movement as they trade band and forth who takes the lead.

Despite the fact that Colin Stetson has been publicly expanding the limits of his instrument for several years now, it's still awe-inspiring how songs like the textured, dance haunt "The rest of us" are conjured with just a saxophone and violin. Though that may be understating the power of those instruments in the hands of Stetson and Neufeld. 

As expected, Colin Stetson keeps pushing his ingenious saxophone technique here — a combination of circular breathing, reed bending and throat singing — that he has been mastering with his three New History Warfare records. But he also snarls through a contrabass clarinet in the lumbering "With the dark hug of time."

Sticking to the the method of Stetson's solo records, nothing here is overdubbed or synthesized; the songs were worked out while they were touring with Arcade Fire and then later recorded live off the floor. Never were the way she was is an artefact of two musicians with vision bringing their compositions to life in that moment. The record is tied to a certain time, like the aging woman at its thematic centre.

Never were the way she was is out April 28 on Constellation Records.

Contemporary dance in a boxing club: Ought - "Pleasant Heart"

Here's Ought with "Pleasant Heart", off their LP More Than Any Other Day, out now on Constellation Records. The video is shot at the Blue Cat Boxing Club, dancer Kiera Hill doing contemporary dance and a bit of voguing as punching bags sway around her. It's directed by Lara Oundjian and choreographed by Kaitlyn Ramsden.

Ought are touring Europe right now. Stream their new EP Once More With Feeling here.

Ought put out a new EP (and video) in their few days between tours

Post-US tour and before heading out to Europe for a month, the already-celebrated Montreal four-piece Ought are putting out an EP. But on its release date they'll probably be on a plane to France, with only a few days home amid all the touring.

Here's their video for "New Calm, Pt. 2". Once More With Feeling comes out October 28, and you can stream it below via Pitchfork

Their "post" punk pulls right from the source. You hear the headier side of CBGB, the lengthy songs and dynamics of Television and the vocal zaniness of David Byrne coming to nourish collective cravings for some substance, for songs that feel like performances in themselves, let alone stacked together in a set. 

"New Calm, Pt. 2" isn't the only video they put out this month. Watch some contemporary dancing at Montreal's Blue Cat Boxing Club in the video for "Pleasant Heart" on the Constellation Vimeo channel. It's off their (fantastic) debut LP More Than Any Other Day, out now on Constellation Records