BEST ALBUM – PLANET S READER’S POLL

Posted on: No Comments

THE KARPINKA BROTHERS: YOU CAN COUNT ON ME

It’s only been a few short years that The Karpinka Brothers have been a buzz-band on the local scene, but man have they made the most of their time — both in this city and, increasingly, across Canada! And the best part about it? Their attitude, demeanour and way they treat people (from fans to ink-stained music critics to, I’d assume, everyone they meet) has remained just as sunny and awesome as the sweet indie-pop they make. These guys deserve big things, and it’s great to hear that our voters are returning the love that they so consistently put out!

YOU CAN COUNT ON ME – ABSOLUTE PUNK REVIEW

Posted on: No Comments
Reviewed by Gregory Robson
8.0
The Karpinka Brothers – You Can Count On Me
Release Date: Sept. 3, 2015
Record Label: Self-released

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is not exactly a musical hotbed, but one band is doing everything to change that. The Karpinka Brothers, fronted by Shawn and Aaron Karpinka, perform a sterling form of old-school Americana that demands wider audiences. You Can Count On Me, the third album from the Canadian outfit is easily their best to date and looks to position the band as one of Americana’s beacons in the months and years to come. Very little of You Can Count On Me sounds modern, that is to say the album mines the same sonic terrain as that of Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, and hot damn, is it something.

The album opens with the inviting and amiable “Careful What You Wish For,” a warm and rollicking slice of hook-laden 60s pop. That vibe carries over to the buoyant title track, a cheery and hopeful kernel that is ridiculously catchy. The same playful guitar lines that welcomed “Careful What You Wish For” return on the hip-shaking and beer-swilling “One Of These Days,” a breezy and effortless pop song that is as magnetic as it is concise. One of only two down moments arrives next in the form of “Lost and Found” a song that builds on the momentum of “One Of Those Days” but ultimately falls very short. The same sense of precision, polish and crispness that marked the previous three songs is definitely missing on “Lost and Found.” Thankfully the band recovers on lead single “Tetherball,” a sunny and bright rollick that belies a darker subject matter.

One of the strongest of the lot is the dusty, western cut “Who Says Dreams Don’t Come True,” a winsome valentine to a significant other that possesses some of the strongest vocals on the album and easily one of the strongest hooks. On an album that has many keepers, few shine brighter than “Who Says Dreams Don’t Come True.” You Can Count On Me rounds towards the finish line with “Far Away,” a cocktail of sha-la-la-la’s that unfortunately wades in the tepid waters of “Lost and Found.”

Not content to mire in mediocrity, The Karpinka Brothers close out You Can Count On Me with two of their strongest songs to date. “You Don’t Scare Me” opens with jovial guitars and a veneer that is equal parts rustic, vernal and witty. You Can Count On Me concludes with “Heaven Help Me Through The Hard Times,” a song that is easily the band’s apex composition. Arguably the only ballad on the nine song album, “Heaven Help Me,” is lingering, potent and deeply rewarding. In short, it’s the kind of song that bands can spend years trying to craft and never once achieve. The fact that Shawn and Aaron Karpinka have written such a song on only their third release points at exactly why they have won over Canada.

Perhaps the best part about You Can Count On Me is how simple and unadorned it is. There’s nothing superfluous or synthetic about any of these nine songs. Just two guitars, a bass and a drum kit. Not only that the songs are immediate and accessible, with only one lasting longer than three minutes (“Heaven Help Me Through the Hard Times”) and one not even two minutes in length (“Tetherball”). That commitment to simplicity is exactly why The Karpinka Brothers are poised to win America over in the months and years to come.

New Website Launch!

Posted on: No Comments

The new site is now up and running! Take a look around and let us know what you think.

Don’t forget to follow us via social media as well:


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Bandcamp

Exclaim! ‘There’s A Light Review’

Posted on: No Comments

The Karpinka Brothers get more ambitious on their sophomore release, but still exhibit the same freshly scrubbed charm that filled their 2008 debut, One Brick at a Time. The Saskatoon, SK brothers have stepped it up this time with a full band album that does justice to their simple melodies and vocal harmonies. There’s nostalgia in the air, along with rich arrangements and a modern edge that add depth to this solid crop of catchy, up-tempo pop songs. In opener “Save it for a Rainy Day,” the sonic sparkle is paired with yearning lyrics that add a hint of salty to the sweet. The undercurrent of sadness is most evident in the slightly spicier “By Your Side” and in the disconnect between chorus and verse in “Everybody Wants To Be My Friend.” The Karpinkas also temper the cheeriness of their compositions with covers of lovesick ballads, such as Nick Lowe’s “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” and Iron and Wine’s “Each Coming Night.”

Source: www.exclaim.ca/music/article/karpinka_brothers-theres_light

Karpinka Brothers Charm Sask

Posted on: No Comments

Duo shows where there’s light

By Stephanie McKay, The StarPhoenix October 11, 2012

The Karpinka Brothers might just be the nicest band in Saskatoon, and they’re proving what you can do with a few good songs and some gentlemanly charm.

Indie music kids wear their T-shirts and seniors tap their toes to their songs. After four years of hard work, their sophomore album is ready for fans young and old.

From their gentle music to their matching shirts, it’s easy to see why the pair of Aaron and Shawn Karpinka are finding fans all over Saskatoon’s music listening community.

“We’re not hard guys to get along with,” Aaron said during an interview at a Broadway coffee house.
Their album, called There’s A Light, doesn’t officially come out until Friday, but the Karpinkas have been handing out lots of copies ahead of the release.

“We get accused of giving it out too much,” Aaron said with a laugh.

The band is headlining at Amigos for the first time on Friday, but you’re more likely to see the duo playing at the Parkridge care home.

“I think we learn how to be performers by being able to capture their attention,” Shawn said of the care home audience. “Those are our favourite shows actually because you hear them singing along when they can’t speak and you see them clapping and dancing when they don’t move very much. It reminds you what music is about.”

The brothers say they get a great response from the audience and some feedback. Often listeners ask them to play a favourite song.

“We started doing Snowbird by Anne Murray because of that. That’s their jam,” said Aaron.

The Karpinka Brothers’ debut album, One Brick At a Time, came out in 2008.

The siblings and best friends, separated in age by two and a half years, have learned a lot since that first album, which was recorded in a single day. It began circulating, thanks in part to their mother.

“Our mom peddled it. She promoted us like she was Don King or something,” said Aaron.

On There’s a Light, the band “spoiled” themselves, taking three days in the studio with help from musicians, Ryan Drabble on drums and Enver Hampton on bass. Though the album was recorded a year ago, it’s only now getting an official release because the brothers had to wait for the vinyl pressing. Both musicians are huge fans of vinyl and were excited to hear their music on the re-emerging format.

“Hopefully it sounds like we’re standing in your living room serenading you,” Shawn said of the record.

There’s A Light is a warm and upbeat collection of eight originals and two covers. Though initially reluctant to put covers on a record, Aaron said the tunes are a way to showcase their musical interests and “maybe show people we don’t just listen to the Everly Brothers.”

Both brothers write songs for the band, splitting lyrical and instrumental responsibilities down the middle.

“We both have lyrical input, because if I did it they’d all be about staying up late at night playing video games,” said Aaron.

Once you meet the pair their music makes perfect sense. Both men are every bit as positive as their music.

When the Karpinkas aren’t making music themselves they are out at shows, cheering on their musical peers.

One highlight of their career so far was playing for the VIP ticket holders before the Gordon Lightfoot show in Saskatoon in December 2011. The Canadian music legend was there to listen to the set.

“We had to beg for a long time to even get a show. As an acoustic duo it was hard to get shows in bars. So to get asked to play for your hero is just amazing,” said Shawn.

The Karpinkas introduced their parents to Lightfoot after the show where he asked their mother: “Now, tell me honestly, are these guys any good?”

She said yes, of course.