John K. Samson

'Provincial' (album stream)

> > Jan 17 2012

John K. Samson - 'Provincial' (album stream)
By Alex HudsonDespite the plurality of the Weakerthans' name, the beloved Winnipeg rock outfit have always been anchored by the distinctive vocals and image-rich storytelling of frontman John K. Samson. It's about time, then, that the celebrated songwriter got his own solo album.

This long-awaited LP is called Provincial, and it's due out January 24 via Epitaph Records. Luckily, you won't have to wait until then to hear the whole thing, since we'll be streaming it all week right here at

We've heard some of the songs before, as Samson released a handful of these tunes on seven-inch vinyl. Don't expect any of them to sound identical to their past incarnations, however, since they've all been re-recorded.

A press release promised us that the album would include "songs about dying villages, Icelandic longing, snowplows, broken glass, satellites, hockey skates, and staff room romances." Now you can hear all of that and more below.

This is a frequently sparse and quiet album with a chilly sound that mirrors the frosty imagery found in many of his lyrics. Of course, there are also a few upbeat rock songs like the crunchy single "When I Write My Master's Thesis." And as you'd expect from the title, there are lots of region-specific lyrics and intimate portraits of life in Manitoba.

Of course, there's also plenty of material that people from all over the world can relate to, including descriptions of videogames, collegiate life and heartbroken romance. Hilariously, there's even a song that takes its name from a URL address, as the seven-inch cut "Petition" has been retitled "".

As previously reported, Samson will be taking Provincial out on the road for a North American tour, which includes a pile of Canadian dates. You can see all those stops here. And of course, stream Provincial below.

Also, you can buy Provincial here over on iTunes.

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The new First Aid Kit is being released the same day as well. Hello winter 2012 soundtrack.
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I'm only 5 tracks in and this album is already killing me. Heart of the Continent is an amazing sequel to One Great City and a standout on its own, but I have yet to hear anything I don't absolutely love.

I had the chance to interview John K Samson two years ago. Absolutely wonderful guy; I'm so glad he's finally got a new album out.
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So good. Wish he was touring it in the UK
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Yeah, the HBO doc is great - so sorry I missed Weakerthans in Prince Edward Island. Hope there will be an next time.
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This album is nothing less than the breath of the prairies, inhaling, exhaling , putting the wheels to busted pavement that is the enigmatic Winnipeg.
And if you live here like I do and you go away for a bit, all you have to do is play this album close your eye's and wander why you wanted to come back to this place so badly.
We are all rusted metal drawn to this magnetic city .

I love this album..... I live this album
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