Depending on which Winnipeg-based artists you ask, the Manitoba city may be a frozen shithole, or it may be a lively scene with a thriving music scene. The latter seems to be the opinion of Jeremy Haywood-Smith, whose debut project under the JayWood moniker Some Days—written and recorded in 2015, but reworked for a Captured Tracks release—arrives today. The songs are far from the icy freneticism of Venetian Snares, instead offering up four bedroom-pop takes on a day spent basking in the sun, along with an acoustic take on chilled-out opener “Some Days.”
To give us a brief tour of his locale, JayWood listed a handful of the acts that make him proud to be a Winnipeg resident. “These may seem semi-biased because so some of these artists are really good friends of mine,” he shares, “but it should be noted that Winnipeg is a super small place and our music scene is even smaller.”
Hear his picks below, and check out Some Days here.
Super Duty Tough Work, “FTP”
Off the top, SDTW is probably my favourite band in Winnipeg. Every show I’ve seen them perform has been better than the last. This song brings such an energy from the crowd, but also delivers an impactful message.
Ami Cheon, “Growing Up”
I love this song so much, it feels like a slice of the early 2000s. Ami’s voice just straight doesn’t sound like something that comes from this city! Not to mention that the hook is insanely catchy. She’s, in my opinion, a real pop star—style, delivery, and all.
Sebastian Gaskin, “Snakehold”
Fun fact: I found this out after the fact, but Sebastian and I actually went to the same high school together. That might explain our similar guitar chops, but about the song it’s just perfect vibe music. I just wanna cruise to this track every time I hear it.
Dana Waldie, “Que Toi”
I really love the story behind this song and how much emotion Dana poured into this track. It felt like a coming-to-form. Sadly I don’t speak French, but when she told me about it I was so happy and excited that she decided to make music again. I even did a lil guitar lick on the song for her.
Leche Flan, “In the Morning”
My boy Joey has a voice of pure gold. I love this song, and I go back to it every now and then. It’s just perfect, feel-good, wholesome music. In a world where folks are here singing about all that nastiness, this is just a great song to just relax to.
Brite, “Bad Blood”
I’ve watched Isiah and his musical projects over the years, but with Bad Blood I think his sound is super honed in. He’s such a talented songwriter and I think this song is just super great and shows a lot of growth. Very proud when I hear this song.
I don’t think I could make a list like this without mentioning my dear friend Bailee Woods. She’s quite honestly one of my favourite songwriters, and this song is probably my favourite on her 2018 album Club Soda Lows. I was very lucky to have a hand in helping her put this album together, but this song stood out the most for me. The first time I ever heard it was the day the album came out, and at that moment I knew she was so badass. Grateful for this queen!
Warming, “Did It Again”
I love this song so much, it’s one of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard come out of Winnipeg. Brady is such a talented dude, it’s so insane to me. Not to mention I say the hook of this song in my everyday life, anytime I’ve done something embarrassing I sing to myself, “Regret, I feel it.” Not to mention the live performance is always super good.
Lev Snowe, “In a Few”
This is my favourite tune off of Lev’s latest project. I was lucky enough to go on tour with him as his bass player back in 2019, and every time we played this song I was just like, “Damn this is a super good song.” He’s super poetic in how he approaches his music, so I think that’s what makes him and his art so unique.
Diaphanie, “Something Better”
When Diaphanie (formerly known as ATLAAS) changed her name and decided to reinvent herself it came as such a huge surprise. She was already so good I didn’t know what that could look like and sound like. Then she came out with this track and it blew me away! Her voice is *chef’s kiss.*
I freakin’ love this track—I feel like it inspired the closing moments on my track “What You Do to Me.” It bums me out that Arenas aren’t a band anymore, but I’m so happy they were able to put out this great EP before their time came to an end!
Beatox, “Sleep All Day”
This is another one of those tracks I just want to lounge to, ironically that’s what the hook of the song even says. Adam is one of the most talented and hardworking music makers I know—anytime our schedules align we’ll jam for hours, but when he showed me this I was jealous he made it with Freekind!
Begonia, “Living at the Ceiling”
I had this song on repeat when it first came out! Everything about it just gives off a super lovely energy. It’s been so cool watching all the amazing things happen with Alexa and everything she’s doing. Knowing that this song came from Winnipeg is just so cool!
This is another feel-good track with a great message! Veneer is such a fun band and all the members are super lovely folks. They have one of the most charming live performances i’ve seen, and they wear matching outfits. I think it’s super wholesome.
Monday First, “Apologize”
Monday First is a cool project that sounds like it’s existed for a while now, but It sounds like a lot of new music will be coming from Rosie and that’s super exciting! It’s so cool to hear different genres like this come out of the city!