Published Oct 24, 2014This latest instalment of Real Love's annual Beach Station Blues compilation sees 14 seemingly disparate groups collaborating on what is the strongest, most cohesive release in the series to date. Real Love is less a "scene" proper, and more of an intertwined group of young, hungry musicians, with all the artists featured having recorded their track quickly, over one weekend, in a cabin out in Winnipeg Beach this past summer. As a result, Beach Station Blues 3 still comes across more like a chilled out collaborative album than a compilation, and for this it certainly benefits.
Make no mistake: There is a lot of musical ground covered here. There's the jangly, '60s shoo-wop shoo-wop of Somebody Language's "Bachelor Suite" and the laid back pop groove of Bear Clones "Real People Problems," the baroque-folk orchestrations of Eagle Lake Owls' "We're In This" and Ingrid Gatin's "Dreams In Colour" (which includes a tasteful nod to "Dancing in the Streets"), and the psychedelic forays of Paincave's "Godzilla Y4K" and Palm Trees' epic "I Do Love (To Fly)." There's the power pop of Naysa's "I Should Have Died" and the deep, soulful country of Richard Inman's take on the Waylon classic "Lonesome On'ri and Mean." Sure, the style is all over the map, but the production — an, no doubt, due to the sharing and swapping of equipment and band members — helps to bring it all back home so that no tune feels out of place.
Today, a compilation record feels almost like an anachronism. Certainly, if this were just a collection of the individual songs that are included here, recorded in various different locations across time and space, it would be a dud. But Beach Station Blues is a cohesive record that manages to capture a moment in time with taste and subtle beauty. (Real Love Winnipeg)