Brown Liquor Vol. 3

1. Sara Diamond - Foreword

Those of you who watch enough Habs games to make note of who sings the anthems will be familiar with Sara Diamond. The Montreal native recently released her debut EP, Foreword, and it really does check all the boxes for me. The songs all clock in at no longer than three minutes, it's just seven tracks long, and had a run time of exactly 20 minutes. Brevity is the project's strength, as is Sara's ability to draw on the unspoken tension between estranged lovers on the EP's title track.

2. Monarchs - Come On and Move Me

Come on and Move Me reads like a desperate plea. Why won't you just goddamn love me? The answer comes in the mundane separating of personal belongings, those that once belonged to two people. You keep the tea cups / You keep the t-shirts. Keep it all, Jack, I'm out of here.

3. Sylvan Esso - Coffee

Sylvan Esso is a group consisting of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn. Amelia sings and Nick does the beats. That's it, that's the band. Anyway, this track comes off their critically acclaimed 2014 self-titled debut and in keeping with the rest of this iteration of the playlist, the devastation is in its subtlety. The song describes a series of romantic encounters that involve interchangeable partners, none of them mattering in the long run. Damn, dudes.

4. Hop Along - Well Dressed

Named one of AV Club's standout albums of 2015, Hop Along's Painted Shut explores many darker themes, but this track might be the most deliberately bleak. The song recounts a trip back to someone's hometown as a battle with depression and anxiety, something I'm sure many of you can relate to.

5. FKA Twigs - Two Weeks

This song is less depressing, more indulgent. FKA Twigs ethereal voice over humming bass delves into something most of you know about; temptation. She is trying to lure her lover away from their partner, and she goes with the hard sell.  I can fuck you better. Goddamn, really drives a hard bargain here.

6. Eliza Rickman - Pretty Little Head

Eliza Rickman is what I imagine a ghost would sound like if she were to start recording music for mass distribution. “Pretty Little Head”, again, like many of the songs on today's playlist, focuses in on the subtle to describe the grand. There's a vagueness to it all, and Eliza's haunting vocals pair well with the lyrics.

7. Metric - Help I'm Alive

Probably the most well-known hit from Montreal's own, “Help I'm Alive” was the first song I'd ever heard from Metric. To this day, the song remains a favourite of mine, owing chiefly to its tenderness and clarity. Emily Haines has called it some of her best songwriting, and it's hard to disagree.