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Posts Tagged ‘Decades’

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Walking On The Streets

Live every day of NXNE like it’s Beach Day

Photo By Scott WitterScott WitterOh hey, it’s that time of year again where I realize it’s NXNE week and I try to throw together some sort of list of recommendations of acts to go see starting next Wednesday and through the weekend at Toronto’s many clubs and club-like venues. And probably because I’m just not as good at keeping up with what’s new and interesting as perhaps I once was, it’s not escaped my notice that a lot of the recommendations are pretty familiar names hereabouts. Sorry about that.

But maybe Beach Day will be a new name to you; they certainly have been to me. Their sound is kind of old – the surf/girl-group/garage sounds they mine are pretty vintage and even the indie rock revival of said genres probably peaked a few years ago – but the Florida trio justifies themselves quite well with sharp, concise songwriting and s/punky attitude. Their debut album Trip Trap Attack comes out next Tuesday, June 18, and they’ll be spending the weekend leading up to it gigging all around Toronto. In addition to their official showcase at Handlebar on Saturday, June 15 at 11PM, they’re also playing an afternoon in-store at Urban Outfitters on Yonge St. on Friday, June 14, at 2PM and another the Sunday evening of June 16 at Kops Records on Queen St West at 6:30PM.

Austin Town Hall, Donkey Jaw, and The G-Man have interviews with the band.

MP3: Beach Day – “Love Is Strange”
Video: Beach Day – “Beach Day”
Video: Beach Day – “Boys”

And now, the day-by-day recommends:

Wednesday, June 12

Bernice @ The Piston, 8PM – Dreamy, jazzy pop from Toronto singer Robin Dann with assistance from Owen Pallett collaborator Thom Gill. Not often mentioned as part of the new wave of R&B, but really should be.
Stream: Bernice / When I Know How To Climb

Calexico @ The Mod Club, 10PM – One of the gimmes of the fest, Tejano-infused desert-rockers Calexico never put on a bad show. This will mark their first Toronto visit in support of last year’s Algeirs and first time back in town since 2010.
MP3: Calexico – “Para”

Golden Bloom @ The Painted Lady, 11PM – For times when only singalong melodies and fuzzy guitars will do, there are bands like Golden Bloom. Their latest No Day Like Today is classic power-pop at its finest.
MP3: Golden Bloom – “Flying Mountain”

Thursday, June 13

KASHKA @ Wrongbar, 9PM – New electronic and all-caps incarnation of former Forest City Lovers frontwoman Kat Burns. Guitars may have been traded in for synths, but the songwriting remains as strong as ever.
Video: KASHKA – “Winter Light”

Moon King @ The Horseshoe, 9PM – One of Toronto’s most exciting new acts, the Spiral Beach alumnus are releasing their psych-pop debut Obsession as a series of three EPs, with two out and the third still to come. They also play Wrongbar on Friday at 9PM and Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday at 5PM.
MP3: Moon King – “Appel”

William Tyler @ The Garrison, 9PM – Solo instrumental guitarist whose new album Impossible Truth remembers that it’s about songs and feeling over virtuosity, though there’s plenty of the latter as well.
Stream: William Tyler – “Cadillac Desert”

Camera @ The Drake Underground, 10PM – Big, emotive Brit-rock out of Wales that should push all the right buttons for those partial to big, emotive Brit-rock. Their second album is For When You Wake.
Video: Camera – “Happiness”

Diana @ The Horseshoe, 11PM – Ascendant synth-pop outfit assembled from pieces of Destroyer, Army Girls, Bonjay, and a dozen other Toronto stalwarts. Their debut Perpetual Surrender will be coming out on August 20.
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”

Cœur de pirate @ The Great Hall, 11PM – Having taken some time off since last Fall to focus on motherhood, Beatrice Martin is back on the road with songs from 2011’s Blonde and perhaps some new material as well.
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Place de la République”

Valleys @ Handlebar, 11PM – Montreal duo whose debut Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night? is a solid and occasionally sublime piece of cinematic synth-pop. May as well put them on your radar now because they’re going to get there eventually. They’re also playing The Garrison on Friday night at 10.
Video: Valleys – “Undream A Year”

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers @ The Great Hall, 12AM – London folk-pop collective who’ve yet to properly follow-up 2010’s And Now We Sing, but whose two recent EPs Hard Times and It’s Alright make fine stopgaps until it comes. As do their shows. They also play an acoustic set that afternoon in Bellwoods at 4PM.
Stream: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers / It’s Alright

Mikal Cronin @ The Silver Dollar, 12AM – This year’s rock’n’roll residency goes to San the Francisco-based singer-songwriter who accents his gleaming pop compositions with just the right amount of garage-harvested fuzz, as evidenced by his second album MCII. He also plays June 14 at 12AM and June 15 at 1AM. Catch one or all; you won’t regret it. Missoulian, SF Weekly, and Red Eye have features.
Video: Mikal Cronin – “Change”

No Joy @ BLK BOX, 12AM – Montreal trio who infuse their shoegaze roots with a healthy dose of punk rock aggression; be glad they’re looking at their shoes because eye contact probably means they’re gonna fight you. Their second album Wait To Pleasure came out a couple months ago.
Video: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

Del Bel @ The Great Hall, 1AM – Local film noir-inspired collective who should have some new material to show off; they’ve been working on the follow-up to 2011’s Oneiric for a while now.
Stream: Del Bel / Oneiric

Friday, June 14

Decades @ Urban Outfitters, 12PM – Toronto glam/New Wave newcomers who’ve got a really solid self-titled debut to show off will kick off a great day show lineup ahead of their set at The Silver Dollar that night at 11PM.
Video: Decades – “In Sequins”

Still Corners @ Urban Outfitters, 3PM – English dreampop outfit who’ve recast their band lineup and sound between 2011’s Creatures Of An Hour and this year’s Strange Pleasures and somehow come out out just as good, if not better. Their official showcase goes later this night at The Horseshoe at 10PM.
MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”

Hayden @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 8:30PM – Announced as the opener for The National during his set at Field Trip this past Saturday, it looks like NXNE is doubling down on gravel-voiced melancholy as what the fans are after.
MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”

The National @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 9:30PM – Oh yeah, these guys. They’re alright. May as well see them – it’s free, after all.
MP3: The National – “Fake Empire”

July Talk @ The Mod Club, 10PM – Torontonians whose country-punk with a dash of New Wave formula makes for a great live show and, as their self-titled debut proves, a great record as well.
Video: July Talk – “Guns & Ammunition”

Always @ The Silver Dollar, 10PM – It’s not entirely clear whether these transplanted Maritimers are going by Always or Alwaayz or Alvvays, but that question is less important than when we’ll finally get an official release from these relative newcomers. Some of the finest indie-pop to come out of the 416 in some time.
Stream: Always – “Next Of Kin”

The Magic @ BLK BOX, 11PM – Whether it’s because they took so long to finally release their debut Ragged Gold or the general un-searchability of their name, it is a damn shame that more people are not hot to this Guelph outfit’s smooth and sexy disco-pop. ‘Cause it’s smooth and sexy.
MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”

The Super Friendz @ The Great Hall, 11PM – Sloan’s Peppermint recital set might be the big draw at the Murderrecords showcase, but miss seeing these intermittently-reunited power-pop mavens at your peril. Matt Murphy is still a hell of a frontman and the songs oh so hold up.
Video: The Super Friendz – “10 Lbs”

The Soft Moon @ The Garrison, 12AM – Bay Area band whose brand of icy post-punk comes with the “darkwave” hashtag. This show’s mandatory for those seeking some gloomy quarters in the warm, June night.
MP3: The Soft Moon – “Breathe The Fire”

Brazos @ Sneaky Dee’s, 12AM – Elegant and melodic indie pop hailing from and named for a street in Austin, Texas; they just released their second album Saltwater. Also playing at the St. James Gazebo on Saturday at 6PM and supporting Villagers at The Great Hall that night at 11PM.
MP3: Brazos – “How The Ranks Was Won”

Gold & Youth @ BLK BOX, 1AM – Vancouver synth-pop band whose debut Beyond Wilderness delivers on a lot of promise and still promises more. This show offers solid, “I saw them when” bragging rights potential.
Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”

Odonis Odonis @ The Garrison, 1AM – The growth of these Torontonians from curiousity to compelling has been pretty remarkable to see. I’m still not entirely sure how to describe their particular post-punk niche, but it is definitely getting more and more interesting.
Video: Odonis Odonis – “New World”

Saturday, June 15

Villagers @ Side Door, 8PM – Irish Mercury Prize nominees who’ve got a fresh new album out in {Awayland}. This showcase is an acoustic set; if you want the full band experience, be sure to catch their Great Hall show that same night at midnight.
Video: Villagers – “Passing A Message”

Data Romance @ Supermarket, 10PM – West coast duo that likes to inject a little sexy somethin’ somethin’ into their electro-pop, with sexy results.
MP3: Data Romance – “Spark”

The Sour Notes @ Sneaky Dee’s, 12AM – I’d not heard of this Austin band until a friend said that their co-ed harmonies overtop richly-arranged, yet effortlessly light pop tunes was exactly the sort of thing I’d like. And it was, and so maybe it is for you as well. They’ve also got a NXNE warm-up show at the Horseshoe tomorrow night; it’s free and they’re on at 12:20AM.
MP3: The Sour Notes – “Two Hands Wait”

Majical Cloudz @ The Great Hall, 12AM – On the strength of the confessional electronica of Impersonator, the Montreal duo of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto have become one of Canada’s most talked-about new acts. So of course this showcase will be hard to get into and yet worth trying anyways.
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”

Iceage @ The Horseshoe, 12AM – These Danes barely out of their teens will be declaring their propensity for taut, angular post-punk and inciting sweaty, rowdy, and occasionally violent live shows at customs. And I have no information that they will be the Special Guest at The Garrison on Sunday night at midnight, but…
MP3: Iceage – “New Brigade”

Fresh Snow @ Creatures Creating, 1AM – This show kicks off the Wavelength Road Show which takes Toronto’s new krautrock hopes, as well as Del Bel and Most People, around Ontario and Quebec.
Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”

Fucked Up @ The Horseshoe, 1AM – It’s Fucked Up in the Horseshoe. What else do you need to know?
MP3: Fucked Up – “Queen Of Hearts”

Lower @ Cherry Cola’s, 2AM – Iceage’s countrymen and tourmates also do the Scandi-post-punk thing, but are less fury, more menace. They also play The Garrison on Sunday night, June 16, at 11PM.
Stream: Lower – “Someone’s Got It In For Me”

Sunday, June 16

Mickey Avalon @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 3PM – Alls I know is that I couldn’t stop laughing at the scene in Harold & Kumar Go To Guantanamo Bay soundtracked by this song, and the prospect that it might be blasting out of the YDS PA at all the Eaton Centre shoppers is kind of great.
Video: Mickey Avalon – “My Dick”

And as befits a proper citywide festival, there’s a number of day shows and whatnot happening this week: The Arts & Crafts pop-up shop at Queen and Dovercourt which coincided with this past weekend’s Field Trip fest will remain popped up with shows and DJ sets every night; there’s the aforementioned Urban Outfitters day show on the 14th; the now-annual Bruise Cruise which takes you, a bunch of other festival-goers and a few choice bands on a tour around the islands; they’ve not yet announced details but it seems implausible that Sonic Boom won’t have at least a day of in-stores. And if you like records and buying records and watching other people buy records, do hit up the Independent Label Market going on at the Ryerson campus all day Saturday.

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

I Do Sing For You

Majical Cloudz streams debut Impersonator; has no use for your so-called “spelling”

Photo By Denis NazarovDenis NazarovThough at least some of his current profile comes from being associated with the same Montreal scene that produced Grimes, those expecting more electro-pop cotton candy from Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz had best adjust their expectations. His full-length debut Impersonator is electronic, yes, but is also spare, haunting, and unflinchingly emotional, circling heavy lyrical topics like death and desire. One would expect that at the Matador company picnic, he’ll be keeping more company with Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius than, say, Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch.

Even so, Impersonator is one of the more eagerly-anticipated debut records coming out of Canada this year, and with its May 21 release date almost upon us, it’s time for an advance stream of the record courtesy of Pitchfork. There’s also interviews with Welsh at Stereogum and Flavorwire, and while the venue is still TBA, he’ll be one of the bigger draws at NXNE on June 15. Update: It’s BLK BOX underneath The Great Hall.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Turns Turns Turns”
Stream: Majical Cloudz / Impersonator

And a few noteworthy album streams originating from right here in Toronto: Exclaim is streaming the self-titled debut from glam/New Wave outfit Decades, though they should technically be called “Decade” since the only one that matters to them is the ’80s. The record came out this week and they play a record release show for it at The Garrison tonight, May 16.

Stream: Decades / Decades

Hooded Fang are streaming their new record Gravez over at Hype Machine ahead of its May 28 release date. They play a hometown record release show for it at The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang / Gravez

Local country-pop newcomers Beams have made their debut album Just Rivers available to both buy and stream. There’s a video session with the band at Exclaim and they’ll be at The Central on June 14 for NXNE.

Stream: Beams / Just Rivers

Exclaim and NOW find out what METZ are up to, besides making a triumphant homecoming at Lee’s Palace tomorrow night, May 17; expect a new song and video sooner rather than later.

Young Galaxy have released another new video from Ultramarine. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 31.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Fall For You”

Daytrotter welcomes Hayden for a session. He’s at Field Trip at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Noisey has a video session with Stars, also partaking in Field Trip on June 8.

With their debut album Beyond Wilderness out as of this week, Vancouver’s Gold & Youth have released a new video from it and are the subject of feature pieces at Exclaim, The Georgia Straight, and The Vancouver Sun. They play the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Garrison Commons on June 8 and will stick around town to play a NXNE showcase at BLK BOX on June 14.

Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”

The Dumbing Of America has an interview with No Joy, who are back in town at BLK BOX on June 13 for NXNE.

Stereogum talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose second album Olympia is out June 18.

Diana are poised to become Toronto’s next great synth-pop export, having signed a deal with Paper Bag Records and Jagjaguwar for the August 20 release of their self-titled debut. Exclaim has details and a new video from the record. All of this is very exciting, of course, but sadly probably means that we won’t be seeing anything anytime soon from frontwoman Carmen Elle’s Army Girls. Alas. Diana have a June 13 showcase at The Horseshoe for NXNE and will support Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6.

Video: Diana – “Born Again”

It sounds as though The Hidden Cameras will release a new record this Fall under the title of Age.

Exclaim and The Verge talk to Jim Guthrie about his years in the making yet totally worth the wait new record, Takes Time.

Exclaim has an interview with The Besnard Lakes. Frontman Jace Lasek also details his dream band lineup for The Independent.

Beatroute and Austinist interview Suuns.

Stephen McBean talks to Exclaim about what’s coming next from his Pink Mountaintops project.

Friday, April 5th, 2013

A Year In Its Passing

The Wilderness Of Manitoba explores the wilderness of Leslieville

Photo By Jennifer RowsomJennifer RowsomFor a band with such a clear and steady aesthetic – delicately pretty, harmony-laden folk with direct spiritual and sonic roots in the ’60s – The Wilderness Of Manitoba have gone through their fair share of changes. The lineup that emerged from Toronto’s Deleware House with 2009’s Hymns of Love and Spirits and 2010’s When You Left The Fire lost vocalist Melissa Dalton and added drummer Sean Lancaric and vocalist/violinist Amanda Balsys for last year’s Island Of Echoes, and as the band prepares to release a new short collection of songs next Tuesday as The Leslieville Sessions – so named for the east-end Toronto studio where it was recorded live off the floor.

And The Wilderness Of Manitoba that recorded these songs is again not the same outfit that assembled their last record. Frontman Will Whitwham is the only one remaining from the band that first emerged in 2009, and while the source of their inspiration remains unchanged, the way that its manifested is quite different. Their signature three- and four-part harmonies have largely given way to focusing on the interplay between Whitwham and Balsys voices, with Balsys also taking a turn at lead vocals, and while Leslieville is still a far cry from being filed under “rock”, the increased presence of electrified instruments and percussion give it a welcome weight that, until now, was only present in their live shows. For all the changes that The Wilderness Of Manitoba continue to undergo, probably the most important one is that they continue to get better.

The Leslieville Sessions is out on Tuesday, and I’m pleased to be able to host an advance stream of it. Check it out, as well as a live video of the recording of the opening track. Another performance video of an Island Of Echoes track can be seen at Exclaim. Their current tour itinerary takes them through the Maritimes this week, and then after a few New York dates, their next local show is April 28 at Campbell House Museum, at the corner of Queen West and University.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “The Ark” (live)
Stream: The Wilderness Of Manitoba / The Leslieville Sessions

Interview has premiered the new video from Decades’ self-titled debut, due out April 16.

Video: Decades – “In Sequins”

The Dumbing Of America talks to Odonis Odonis, who open up for METZ at Lee’s Palace on May 17 and have just put out a new video from last year’s debut Hollandaze. They also have a new EP in Better coming out April 16, and are streaming a couple new tracks from that.

Stream: Odonis Odonis – “Intelligence”
Stream: Odonis Odonis – “Better”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “New World”

No Joy are streaming another new track from their new album Wait To Pleasure. It’s out April 23 and that night, they play The Garrison opening for Clinic.

Stream: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

aux.tv and The List get to know Rachel Zeffira, who plays The Drake Underground on May 2.

Noisey interviews Airick Woodhead of Doldrums. He plays The Horseshoe on May 11.

Majical Cloudz has a new video from his forthcoming debut Impersonator, out May 21. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back the following month for NXNE.

Video: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a couple Stars shows in Brooklyn last month, and if you’re more of a “see” than “hear”, Paste has video of their entire Mercury Lounge show from that same week and The Alternate Side a video session available to watch. They’re back in town as a part of Field Trip at Garrison Common on June 8.

Exclaim and The Quietus talk to The Besnard Lakes, who’ve just premiered the first video from the just-released Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO at Rolling Stone, and if anyone missed it, a non-geoblocked stream of the album is up at Pitchfork.

Video: The Besnard Lakes – “People Of The Sticks”
Stream: The Besnard Lakes / Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO

Snowblink have rolled out a new video from Inner Classics.

Video: Snowblink – “Inner Miss-Mississippi”

Prefix has premiered a new video from Woodpigeon’s Thumbtacks & Glue.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Robin Song”

Exclaim has premiered the new video from July Talk’s self-titled debut while aux.tv gets Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay to go behind the scenes of the making of the clip.

Video: July Talk – “Guns & Ammunition”

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Telling The Hour

An incredibly selective guide to Canadian Musicfest 2013, featuring Mount Moriah

Photo By Andrew SynowiezAndrew SynowiezKnow what week it is? It’s Canadian Music Week, which means it’s also Canadian Musicfest, which means it’s the week where all the Toronto clubs filled up with acts from near and far and folks who would normally be out and about with a fistful of tickets guaranteeing admission were now brandishing wristbands that they hoped would get them into the clubs and prove to be the mathematically superior value that they hoped.

And if those equations included trying to get into the shows of advertised headliners Rihanna or Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, that’s unfortunate – only a handful of VIP passes are being allowed into those, so basically no average punters – but for those willing to do the club-hopping and take a flyer on some unknown quantities, they can still pay off handsomely. So to that end, here’s some suggestions of things to see over the next week; some will be familiar, others not, hailing from near and far.

It’s kind of a shame that in 2013, being described as “rootsy” means your wardrobe could belong to an “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” cosplayer because while the sounds North Carolina’s Mount Moriah make are deeply steeped in folk and country traditions, their just-released full-length debut Miracle Temple is unapologetically modern-sounding. Lead singer Heather McEntire’s voice can twang like Dolly or sigh like Emmylou, but you can also hear her punk-rock bonafides from her time in Bellafea, and the twistingly melodic guitar lines put down by Jenks Miller make no effort to hide his tenure in psych-metalers Horseback. Hurtin’ songs that can still kick like a mule.

Wednesday, March 20, 11PM @ The Drake Underground

MP3: Mount Moriah – “Younger Days”
Video: Mount Moriah – “Bright Light”

Cincinnati trio The Seedy Seeds were a fun time at NXNE 2012 and clearly, they enjoyed the Toronto festival circuit as well as they’re bringing their fun and danceable (but not dance) indie-pop back to town.

Tuesday, March 19, 9:30PM @ The El Mocambo (upstairs)
Wednesday, March 20, 10PM @ Annex Live

Video: The Seedy Seeds – “Telephone The Constrictor”

Before you get too excited, this is NOT the local debut of the Nick McCabe/Simon Jones project that rose from the ashes of the last Verve reunion… but The Black Ships, who hail from just outside of Albany, New York, do a pretty convincing job with their ’80s UK post-punk-influenced sound.

Tuesday, March 19, 1AM @ Rancho Relaxo

Stream: The Black Ships – “Bangalor”

The Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES has been getting more than its share of buzz – including here – but their set merits re-mentioning if just to remind you to get to the Mod Club early because it’s-a gonna fill up.

Wednesday, March 20, 10PM @ The Mod Club

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”

Dancey, metal-distorted, keyboard-driven, Krautrock from Reykjavik, with a sense of humour – with an elevator pitch like that, how could you now want to catch Apparat Organ Quartet? Their 2012 album Pólýfónía just got a domestic release last week – do let them cave your head in with sound as a hello.

Wednesday, March 20, 12AM @ The Garrison
Saturday, March 23, 6:45PM @ The Hoxton

Video: Apparat Organ Quartet – “123 Forever”

Montreal’s Breezes put on a solid set of harmony-laden guitar-pop at last year’s CMF, and now they’re back with their self-titled debut finished and out so if you’re planning on camping out at the Horseshoe all night as many often do, why not show up early enough to hear some of it.

Thursday, March 21, 8:39PM @ The Horseshoe

Video: The Breezes – “Cross The USA”

Yeah, another Irish-German art-rock duo formed in Paris, but Kool Thing’s blend of beats, guitars, and sexy Euro attitude stands out from the pack. They’ve got enough shows this week that you’d probably have to make the effort to miss them and you really probably shouldn’t.

Thursday, March 21, 8:45PM @ The Drake Underground
Saturday, March 23, TBA @ The Great Hall
Sunday, March 24, 8PM @ The Garrison

Video: Kool Thing – “PLAN.LIFE.GO”
Video: Kool Thing – “Light Games”

I by no means endorse random Twitter messages as a way to get peoples’ ears, but Amanda Merdzan gets a rare pass because the tune she linked – which I listened to in a rare moment of indulgence – was quite lovely. So see her if you can – she’s coming all the way from Australia to play for you! – but if you’re a band, don’t start @-ing me. The odds of this happening again are minuscule.

Thursday, March 21, 9:45PM @ The Church Of The Holy Trinity
Friday, March 23, 11PM @ The Central

Video: Amanda Merdzan – “Afraid”

Prince Edward Islanders Two Hours Traffic are hardly an unknown quantity, but their latest Foolish Blood is proof that lineup shuffles haven’t affected their ability to write classically-styled jangle-pop, but they may be getting even better and more sophisticated at it.

Thursday, March 21, 12AM @ Lee’s Palace

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

Sóley Stefánsdóttir – Sóley for short, purveyor of haunting electro-folk, and also a member of Seabear – is part of the miniature Icelandic invasion taking place this CMW and possibly part of the advance team, having opened up for Of Monsters & Men at the Kool Haus last November.

Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8PM @ Moog Audio
Friday, March 22, 10PM @ The Drake Underground
Saturday, March 23, 8:15PM @ The Hoxton

Video: Sóley – “Pretty Face”

One of the up-and-coming voices of the London folk scene, Lucy Rose will draw the honour of being the sole international act on the sure-to-be-jammed, Besnard Lakes-headlined Friday night Lee’s Palace lineup. Her debut Like I Used To came out last Fall.

Friday, March 22, 10:30PM @ Lee’s Palace

Video: Lucy Rose – “Shiver”

If memory serves, Sweden’s This Is Head were supposed to play Canadian Musicfest last year, but were one of the many acts to cancel at the last minute. Unlike many of those no-shows, however, they’ve made the effort to come back and share their danceable electro-sonic ideas with you before releasing their new record The Album ID later this Spring.

Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8PM @ Moog Audio
Friday, March 22, 11PM @ The Garrison
Saturday, March 23, 10PM @ Annex Live

Video: This Is Head – “A-B Version”

London quartet Savages entered 2013 as one of the most talked-about new acts thanks to their razor-wire post-punk sound and ferocious live shows, and if you’re the sort to want bragging rights about having seen big bands when they’re still playing small rooms, either of their CMF showcases should be circled in your calendar.

Friday, March 22, 11:10PM @ The Horseshoe
Saturday, March 23, 12AM @ Lee’s Palace

Stream: Savages – “Flying To Berlin”

Rising Toronto-based New Wave revivalists Decades caught my ear out of nowhere earlier this year, so maybe check them out and see if I’m onto something or not before their self-titled debut arrives on April 30.

Saturday, March 23, 9PM @ Lee’s Palace

Video: Decades – “Tonight Again”

Beams are a shiny-new, Toronto-based outfit who are still so green, they’ve but a couple of songs by which to judge them but considering their multi-part harmonies and country-rock instrumentation are as potent on their original compositions as on a Portishead cover, there’s no reason to not believe they’ve got plenty more goodness up their sleeves.

Saturday, March 23, 9PM @ The Silver Dollar

Stream: Beams – “Be My Brother”

Gotta say, after writing a lot of blurbs about artists who work in various subgenres of rock, it’s kind of nice to be able to describe Toronto’s Lost Babies as simply “rock” – dirty guitars, sexy/snarly vocals, and a goodly dollop of attitude.

Saturday, March 23, 11:30PM @ The Shop Under Parts & Labour

Stream: The Lost Babies – “Wasps”

You might think that dance-pop from Germany would be of the stoic, metronomic, Kraftwerk-ian variety but Hamburg duo BOY – who are in fact two girls OH MY GOD I GET IT – are as hand-clappy, swingingly fun as… Germans? Like an Icona Pop you wouldn’t be afraid to take home to the parents or get locked in a room with.

Saturday, March 23, 11PM @ The El Mocambo (upstairs)
Sunday, March 24, 10PM @ The Dakota Tavern

Video: BOY – “Little Numbers”

Have done duty in Shapes & Sizes and Think About Life, Montreal’s Caila Thompson-Hannant is now getting her synth-pop/R&B-funk on as Mozart’s Sister. Comparisons to Grimes are entirely justified, but that doesn’t make it any less catchy – and this comes from someone who really didn’t like Shapes & Sizes.

Saturday, March 23, 1AM @ The Comfort Zone

MP3: Mozart’s Sister – “Single Status”

And if you want to know who’s playing Sonic Boom for their annual CMF in-store fest, check out the Facebook page. I can’t be bothered to type anymore.

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Little Wings

Review of Woodpigeon’s Thumbtacks and Glue

Photo By Paolo CalamitaPaolo CalamitaHe may have migrated habitats from Calgary to Vienna, but Mark Andrew Hamilton – he who is Woodpigeon – remains one of Canada’s great, underappreciated musical treasures. Though 2009’s Polaris long-listed Treasury Library Canada raised his profile considerably, it may lie with his fourth album (or closer to fortieth, depending on how you count his many interstitial releases) Thumbtacks & Glue to properly elevate his status to where it belongs.

Thumbtacks refuses – if you’ll excuse the pun – to be pigeonholed as orchestral-folk the way past releases have. It’s still built around Hamilton’s soft, tender vocals and melodic gifts, and trades in a delicate beauty that would be easy at this point to take for granted, but incorporates a broader, more electrified sonic palate that’s unafraid to let some edges fray or layers stack upon themselves. It’s a side of Woodpigeon that’s come out in live shows in the past, but has until now been unreflected in the recordings and while acknowledging that part of its appeal is the novelty it brings to the Woodpigeon recipe, it’s difficult to argue that it doesn’t legitimately make things tastier.

Thumbtacks and Glue is out this Tuesday, February 26, and is available to stream right now over at DIY.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”
Stream: Woodpigeon / Thumbtacks & Glue

NOW talks to local electro-pop sensations Diana, whom I wish nothing but success but will admit to being disappointed that the more success they achieve, the further on the back-burner vocalist Carmen Elle will surely push Army Girls, and that’s a shame. Diana open up for Trust at Lee’s Palace tonight and are on the fun./Tegan & Sara bill at Downsview Park on July 6.

Lesser Evil, the long-awaited debut long-player from Doldrums, is also out next week and available to advance stream thanks to Pitchfork.

MP3: Doldrums – “Egypt”
MP3: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”
Stream: Doldrums / Lesser Evil

The Line Of Best Fit and Incendiary have interviews with Suuns about their new album Images du Futur, out March 5. They play Lee’s Palace on March 23, the Saturday night of Canadian Musicfest.

Cold Specks has gone the live performance route for the latest video from I Predict A Graceful Expulsion; they have two hometown shows coming up – March 22 at the Kool Haus as part of the CMW Indies and June 8 as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Fort York.

Video: Cold Specks – “When The City Lights Dim”

Pitchfork has a stream of a song from Birthmarks, the new album from Born Ruffians, in stores April 16.

Stream: Born Ruffians – “Needles”

Gorilla Vs Bear has premiered a second sample of the new Young Galaxy record Ultramarine, due out April 23.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Fall For You”

Though delayed some by some aborted sessions with Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, Montreal’s No Joy have wrapped their second album and will release Wait To Pleasure on April 23; that same day, they’ll be in Toronto at The Garrison celebrating the new record by opening up for Clinic. You can stream the first taste of the album below.

Stream: No Joy – “Lunar Phoobia”

Toronto’s Decades, who were a pleasant new wave surprise last month, have gotten their self-titled debut together for an April 30 release and have released a first video from it that confirms it’s worth keeping an ear out for.

Video: Decades – “Tonight Again”

The Creators Project gets into the glowing cocoons that define Purity Ring’s live show. They’ll be on display when the duo pla

The Alternate Side welcomes METZ for a studio session and The 405 an interview. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 17.

Patrick Watson has a new video from last year’s Adventures In Your Own Backyard.

Video: Patrick Watson – “Blackwind”