By Haley Cullingham
I admit it, I can’t help but swell with corny local pride. The simple graphic cover, the friendly idea of art collectives in bungalows, the staggering collection of diverse and extremely listenable artists contained herein-Friends In Bellwoods 2, take me, I’m yours. Because, like, I have friends in Bellwoods, y’know? And the distillation of a summer spent climbing trees, drinking wine, barbecuing, smelling garbage, and chugging Gatorade while fighting nausea-waves of hangover in the sun-soaked puppy bowl is this lovely little compilation-a two-disc set that will make you happy if you’re from here, and visit if you’re not. The disc includes standout efforts from Snailhouse, Kate Rogers, Ohbijou, Final Fantasy, Rural Alberta Advantage, the list goes on and gets better. Embodied by the grin you can’t help but crack at the giant I MISS YOU message stitched into the fence around the tennis courts, and the rush of defensive anger you experienced at the idea that the city would turn the skating rink into a dump site (what phase was that again?), this mix, like the park itself, inspires a range of emotions similar to a low-maintenance crush. Like the CN Tower peeking over the tree line, or that giant dog who drinks from the people water fountains, bombing down the scary cement hill on your bike at 4 am, and spending your grocery money on rides at the Portuguese carnival-it makes you happy to be home.