Tough Age: Repose

The indie rock trio’s new single features a hypnotic guitar groove and punchy female vocals.

Tough Age: Repose

By Kerry Doole

Tough Age - Repose (Mint Records): This Vancouver-spawned, Toronto-based indie rock trio releases its fourth album, Which Way Am I?, on Aug. 7, and this track is the first single.

In a label press release, vocalist/bassist Penny Clark explains that "Repose is me trying to write a song about peaceful things after all of my misery songs on the previous records. To me, Repose sounded like a calm and solitary night, so everything in that song happens at night."

With its insistent guitar groove (courtesy of Jarrett Evan Samson), the track, like so much of the band's repertoire, recalls the likes of the Velvet Underground and such Kiwi Flying Nun bands as The Clean and The Chills.


We have heard the rest of the new album, and it does show Tough Age expanding its sound, in convincing fashion.

 Cultivating the collaborative approach of their last LP, Shame, this album finds Clark contributing lead vocals on three songs with music written by guitarist/vocalist Samson. Drummer Jesse Locke (Simply Saucer) round out the trio.

Establishing themselves locally while touring across Canada, the US and Japan, Tough Age are now a tight-knit group. “The three of us have played so much music together, I think we can just read each other's minds at this point,” says Clark.

Which Way Am I? was once again recorded with producer Peter Woodford at his Montreal studio the Bottle Garden (Homeshake, TOPS, Tess Roby) and mixed by Mint veteran Jay Arner.







Publicity: Ryan Dyck, Mint Records 

Nathan Ferraro
The Midway State, "Atlantic" music video

Nathan Ferraro


Meet Nathan Ferraro, One of the Canadian Songwriters Credited on Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em"

The Ontario-born musician and producer was once the frontman for the band The Midway State, but he's spent the last decade behind-the-scenes between Canada and Los Angeles. He tells Billboard Canada about his writing team with fellow Canadians bülow and Lowell.

This week, Beyoncé became the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em.” But many of the credited songwriters and promoters come from a surprising place – not Texas or Nashville, but Canada.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” is co-written by three Canadians: Nathan Ferraro (who also co-produced it), Elizabeth Boland (who has released music for the label Arts & Crafts as Lowell) and Megan Bülow (who makes music as bülow). The three of them are all credited on the song, with Ferraro also co-producing the song with Killah B and Beyoncé.

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