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The Music Room, Issue 44

Summer listens: Cadence Weapon, Japandroids, Usher, Beach House and more.

After years of mixtapes and a stint as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, rapper Cadence Weapon, now a Montreal resident, digs into loft life and vintage funk on his third record. Hope In Dirt City (Upper Class Recordings) is personal yet provocative, an album that covers everything from the deadbeats he’s left behind (the title track, a lament for Edmonton) to meeting cute girls and urinating in alleyways (the standout “No More Names (Aditi)”). Guided by a wry sense of self-deprecation—“drinking Canadian Club in Canadian clubs” is one of the album’s great lines—Cadence Weapon disregards hip-hop conventions in favour of personal truth.

Instead of besting 2009’s Post Nothing, Vancouver two-piece Japandroids delivers an exact copy. Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl Record Co.) is eight tracks of nostalgia-baiting crackle-and-pop-punk, all from the perspective of drunk teenagers headbanging in the garage: “We’re drinking and we’re still smoking,” acknowledges ...

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