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Posts Tagged ‘Evening Hymns’

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We Let The Shadow In

Review of Kashka’s Bound and giveaway

Photo By Jason GordonJason GordonFans disappointed by the disbanding of Toronto folk-pop stalwarts Forest City Lovers last Spring didn’t have long to mourn; frontwoman Kat Burns stepped out of one project and straight into another, assuming a new identity as Kashka and coining the term “folkpoptronica” in describing her debut album Vichada, released mere weeks later. It was a decidedly synthetic and dance-friendly offering, transporting Burns’ warm vocals and songwriting strengths into a sleekly futuristic landscape like a musical version of Tron.

Her second album Bound, released earlier this month, continues to spend quality time immersed in 0s and 1s with a more overt New Wave flavour, but also returns to its forest and city roots in incorporating more organic instrumentation into the mix. But the semantics of genre are secondary to the fact that the evolution of Burns’ pop instincts over the course of three Forest City Lovers album and the Kashka debut continues unabated here. The likes of “Never Had It” and “Lamplight” boast some of the finest melodies Burns has written to date, and their buoyancy coexists with the shadowy, introspective numbers she’s always been strong at. It’s far too early in her career to declare a record a summation of all that’s come before… but Bound rather is. It sparkles and smoulders and is a strong reminder that, whatever name she trades under, Burns is one of this city’s brightest talents.

Kashka plays a record release show for Bound at The Great Hall on December 5, supported by Warm Myth and Kelly McMichael & The Gloss and courtesy of the artist, I’ve got a pair of passes to the show to give away, along with a copy of the new album on your choice of CD or vinyl. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Kashka” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, December 3. And as a bonus, I’ve also got a pair of passes to give away for the Ottawa show at Raw Sugar on December 6, so if you’re reading from the nation’s capitol and want to go, same deal as above but put “I want to see Kashka in Ottawa” in the subject line.

Video: Kashka – “Never Had It”

It was as much a given as the new year itself, but The Sadies have confirmed their annual New Year’s Eve soirée at The Horseshoe on December 31; tickets $25.

Stream: The Sadies / Internal Sounds

They’ve been teasing its existence for a while, but The Hidden Cameras have finally announced details of their new album Age, which will be out on January 21. And to make up for the wait, they’ve announced a hometown record release show at Lee’s Palace on February 15, tickets $15.

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Gay Goth Scene”

Their self-titled debut came out so long ago (2009) that it appears to be out of print, but Ottawa by way of Toronto rock machine The Balconies have finally gotten their second album together while expanding from a trio to a quartet; it’s called Fast Motions and will be out on January 28. Exclaim has details as well as some tour dates, including a February 1 local date at Lee’s Palace on February 1, tickets $10.50 in advance. They’re interviewed in the Victoria Times-Colonist and The Ottawa Citizen.

Video: The Balconies – “The Slo”

Chart takes Shad dollar bin-diving at Toronto’s Sonic Boom; The Winnipeg Sun also has an interview. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on January 31.

Interview gets to know Alvvays, whose debut self-titled album will be out in the new year.

Born Ruffians have premiered another new video from Birthmarks via Indie88.

Video: Born Ruffians – “6-5000”

Evening Hymns have released another video from last year’s Spectral Dusk.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Cabin In The Burn”

The Edmonton Journal, Metro, 77 Square, The Daily Tarheel, and 85-26 all talk to Basia Bulat.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Memoryhouse.

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Design

A whole bunch of concert announcements, featuring Glasser

Photo By Jonathan TurnerJonathan TurnerLots of concert announcements over the last few days, but nothing that demands to take the lead spot, so I shall go with news of Glasser – aka electronic-pop artist Cameron Mesirow – because it comes first chronologically and her promo photos are awesome. Yes folks, sometimes that’s all it takes. In any case, the Mesirow will release Interiors – the second Glasser album and follow-up to 2010’s Ring – on October 8. She’s already released two songs from the album – one with official video – and has also just rolled out a handful of North American dates which include an October 13 date at The Drake Underground – tickets for that are $15 in advance. Pitchfork has an interview with Mesirow about out what to expect with the new album.

Video: Glasser – “Design”
Stream: Glasser – “Shape”

Typically when a band adds a second show to meet demand, they do it at the same room so as to avoid moving all their gear around town – but in the case of Two Door Cinema Club, they’re satisfying overflow demand for their October 15 show at The Danforth Music Hall with a second show at the half-as-large Mod Club the night before, October 14, with both openers St. Lucia and Peace remaining as support. It’s actually pretty canny, since at least some of the fans who’ve already got tickets for the main show will be willing to drop another $25 to see the band in much more intimate environs.

MP3: Peace – “California Daze”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Sleep Alone”
Stream: St. Lucia – “Elevate”

With a new album in Weekend coming out October 23, Swedish glam-rockers The Sounds have assembled a small North American tour that includes a stop at The Mod Club on October 17, tickets $20. They’ve released a lyric video for the first single from the new record, though you probably could have figured out the chorus on your own.

Lyric Video: The Sounds – “Shake Shake Shake”

With their new album Nothing Is Real set for an October 15 release, Californian psych-rockers Crystal Antlers have announced a North American tour which brings them to The Silver Dollar on November 1, tickets $10.50 in advance.

Video: Crystal Antlers – “Rattlesnake”

Californian psychedelic-western outfit Spindrift have used their explorations of American ghost towns as source material for their next album Ghost Of The West, due out October 22, and a documentary film that will follow next year. They’ll be touring behind it to some decidedly non-ghost town locales, including Lee’s Palace on November 11, tickets $10.50 in advance. There’s a trailer for the new record and film companion.

Trailer: Spindrift / Ghost Of The West

Evening Hymns will continue to bring life to last year’s Spectral Dusk with a Fall tour that includes a stop at the Drake Underground in Toronto on November 14.

MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

With their new album Internal Sounds now out, The Sadies have announced a show at Lee’s Palace on November 15, tickets $20 in advance.

Stream: The Sadies – “Another Tomorrow Again”

English electronic singer-songwriter Daniel Woodhouse, who operates as Deptford Goth, has put together a string of dates behind his debut album Life After Defo and will be in town at The Drake on November 15.

Video: Deptford Goth – “Union”

Once – and future, let’s be honest – Broken Social Scenester Brendan Canning has announced some live dates behind his new solo record You Gots 2 Chill, coming out October 1. He’ll be in familiar environs on November 16 when he plays Lee’s Palace, tickets $15. You can stream a new track below as well as watch a video.

Stream: Brendan Canning – “Bullied Days”
Video: Brendan Canning – “Plugged In”

Taking advantage of the extra profile afforded by being a Mercury Prize shortlister for his album Immunity – okay, the tour was probably booked already regardless – English producer/electronic artist Jon Hopkins is going to be in town on November 21 for a show at The Hoxton. The Montreal Gazette and Red Bull have interviews.

Video: Jon Hopkins – “Open Eye Signal”

American singer-songwriter Cass McCombs has a new album in Big Wheel And Others coming out on October 15 and as such, has some Winter dates behind it including December 4 at The Great Hall, tickets $15.50. Stream a new song below.

Stream: Cass McCombs – “There Can Be Only One”

The inexplicably – to me, at least – popular MGMT have just released their new record – also called MGMT – and rolled out a new video starring Michael K. Williams of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire because when you’re popular – inexplicably or otherwise – you can do things like that. Pitchfork also has tour dates for this Fall, but while they’ve only got “TBA” for the venues, Pollstar appears to have the missing info so Toronto fans can look forward to trekking down to the Sound Academy on December 7 and paying $35 for general admission and $45 for VIP while waiting for them to play “Time To Pretend”. There’s interviews with the band at Digital Spy, Rolling Stone, and Blare.

Video: MGMT – “Cool Song No. 2”

While there’s been no word of a follow-up to 2012’s Blood Pressures – which brought them to town last February, The Kills are coming back to town for a show at The Danforth Music Hall on December 11, tickets $24.50 to $29.50 in advance.

MP3: The Kills – “Future Starts Slow”

Another Mercury Prize shortlister following up their nomination with a tour announcement are electronic duo Disclosure, whose feted album Settle will bring them to the Danforth Music Hall on January 14 of next year. Pitchfork has full dates as well as a 360-degree video recorded at a show in Central Park earlier this year so you’ll know what to expect from their tour, assuming you get up on stage with them.

Video: Disclosure – “When A Fire Starts To Burn”
Video: Disclosure – “Latch” (live in 360)

And because it can’t all be gain, a couple of show cancellations also came through yesterday – those with tickets for either Foxygen at The Hoxton on October 1 or How To Dress Well at The Garrison on November 2 should seek refunds at the point of purchase. Perhaps as an apology, Foxygen also released a new video for the title track of We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic; How To Dress Well, on the other hand, offer nothing – not even advice on how to dress well.

Video: Foxygen – “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic”

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Hunting

While I was out… featuring The Darcys and things of a Canadian nature

Photo By Zach SlootskyZach SlootskyConsidering how much of the narrative around The Darcys’ first two records were focused squarely on the past – the band’s self-title inexorably tied to the band’s own turbulent history and their Aja cover album to their affection for Steely Dan’s work – it’s understandable that the promotional lead-up to the September 17 release of their new record Warring would be so eyes forward, full steam ahead.

Since its initial announcement at the end of July, they’ve released streams of two new songs and crowdsourced remixes, and last week they premiered a first video at Esquire followed yesterday by another new stream via Tumblr. A full album stream should surface next week sometime, but it’s already a sure thing that Warring is a dark and dramatic work that balances the progressive and accessible.

Further, they’ve announced a first batch of live dates in support of Warring and it includes a hometown record release show at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 11. Tickets for that are $20 and some are bundled with early release LPs available at stores around Toronto now – details here.

Stream: The Darcys – “Hunting”
Video: The Darcys – “The River”

Panic Manual conducts an exit interview with Ohbijou, who go on indefinite hiatus following a farewell show at The Great Hall on September 7.

NPR has an advance stream of The Weeknd’s new album Kiss Land, which is officially out on September 10. He plays three nights at Massey Hall on October 17, 19, and 20.

Stream: The Weeknd / Kiss Land

Southern Souls has a video session with Austra. They play The Phoenix on September 26.

Flare gets fashion spread-y with Carmen Elle of Diana and Basia Bulat, amongst other Toronto musicians. The former plays The Great Hall on September 26, the latter releases Tall Tall Shadow on October 1 and plays The Polish Combatants Hall on October 10 and 11.

Dears frontman Murray Lightburn will bring his just-released solo record Mass:Light to the stage at Adelaide Hall on October 12, tickets $15 in advance with a number of 2-for-1 packages improving the value proposition. The Take has an interview with Lightburn about the new record.

MP3: Murray Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”

Shad has released a new video from his forthcoming Flying Colours, which you can watch below and read (the lyrics) over at Rap Genius. The album is out October 15 and he plays The Opera House on October 19.

Video: Shad – “Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)”

Maritime singer-songwriter Rose Cousins has announced a North American tour behind last year’s still-wonderful We Have Made A Spark; she’s at The Dakota Tavern on October 17.

MP3: Rose Cousins – “The Darkness”

Exclaim reports that The Elwins are aiming to have their second album out by the middle of next year, but in the meantime are doing what they do second-best – the best being writing super-poppy tunes – and that’s touring their butts off. Amidst dates in Europe, the US, and the rest of Canada, they’ll play a hometown show at The Horseshoe on October 19.

Video: The Elwins – “Helpful Assistance”

Pitchfork talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan about their new album Uzu, coming out October 29.

Spencer Krug will release a new album as Moonface on October 29; the first song from Julia with Blue Jeans On is now available to stream.

Stream: Moonface – “Everyone Is Noah, Everyone Is The Ark”

Arcade Fire has posted a trailer for their next album Reflektor, which people are assuming they’ll hear a first and proper sample from on September 9 at 9PM, as per their marketing campaign. Pitchfork has specifics on what is known thus far. The album is out proper on October 29. Update: Consequence Of Sound has the dirt – “Reflektor” is the first single, the video is directed by Anton Corbijn, and the 12″ single of it will go on sale on September 9 at 9PM if you can find a record store that is open then.

Trailer: Arcade Fire / Reflektor

Having had to cancel his June 30 show at The Hoxton, Mac DeMarco has announced the make-up date for that show at the same venue on November 24. The Music has an interview with DeMarco.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Freaking Out The Neighbourhood”

After way too long, The Balconies have gotten their second album Fast Motions together and will have it out later this Fall; Ion Magazine has premiered the first video from it.

Video: The Balconies – “The Slo”

Evening Hymns have premiered a new video from last year’s Spectral Dusk at Clash.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

Baeble Music has a videos session with Stars.

Noisey talks to Valleys.

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Saturation Complete

Fresh Snow and Mimico at The Boat in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI don’t spend nearly as much time in the clubs scouting out new local acts as I used to – and relative to some who do this, I never spent that much time on that beat anyways – but last Thursday night at The Boat, I was reminded of what I liked and disliked about it. The “dislike” basically comes down to set times that always run at least a half hour and more likely an hour behind and thus being out far later than I’d like, the generally terrible venue lighting, and the greater than usual odds of seeing music that just doesn’t do anything for you. And under “like”, you’ve really only got one point – the prospect of seeing something great emerge before your eyes and ears.

That wasn’t really the case with Mimico, whom I arrived in time to see but would have missed had things been running on time. The stuff I’d listened to from their self-titled EP wasn’t bad in a rough, Kraftwerk-y post-punk sort of way but they couldn’t translate it live. Perhaps if they’d had their MIA drummer, it’d have been more engaging but as a two-piece synth-guitar duo playing over tinny drum machine patterns, it was far more meandering and failed to come together. But the recordings are pretty good for what they are, so I’ll not write them off yet.

I actually shouldn’t pretend that I was simply out scouting for new blood on this night; I’d covered Fresh Snow in this year’s NXNE coverage and had seen them play a couple times in Spring 2012, when they were a much greener act – so decidedly known quantities. But the occasion of the release of their debut album I merited another writeup because a) the album is really quite good, and b) I needed something to blog about.

To the former point, the shorthand on Fresh Snow is that they’re an instrumental, kinda post-Krautrock band – and it’s true that they like the drone and the noise in equal measure. But sandwiched between I‘s bookends of “French Horse Hall Of Fame” and “Saturation Complete” – which amount to almost 30 minutes of the a glorious combination thereof – they also get positively pop (“Helix Pass”) and show off a deft touch for dreamy ambience (“Los Vientos Del Tempo”) en route to a solid initial statement. It’s made up of a lot of things you’ve heard before, but taken as the big picture, there’s enough dynamics and ideas that the Fresh Snow ethos feels remarkably original.

As for the show, it wasn’t far removed from the NXNE performance. Their instrumental intro took too long to coalesce into something coherent, but once they got their feet under them it was full steam ahead. For the numbers of synths they had on stage, they spent much of the show in a decidedly conventional guitar-bass-drums (plus violin) configuration that offered all the loud and driving rockists could want and made for a solid wrestling match of control and chaos. A few interruptions in the flow of the show – though nothing like the power outages in June – kept it from becoming the fully hypnotic experience it could have and should been, but as a record release and coming out party, it was an impressive one.

Photos: Fresh Snow, Mimico @ The Boat – August 8, 2013
MP3: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
MP3: Fresh Snow – “BMX Based Tactics”
Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
Stream: Mimico / Mimico

Snowblink reveals to NOW that their next release will be a death-themed covers EP called I Am a Hall Of Fame; Post City also has an interview. They play BLK BOX as part of the Summerworks music series on August 14.

MTV is streaming four tracks from Mass:Light, the new solo record from Murray Lightburn; it’ll be out August 20. EastScene also has an interview with the Dears frontman.

Braids are streaming another track from Flourish//Perish, though with its August 20 release date just around the corner, expect the whole thing to start streaming any moment now. They play BLK BOX on November 10.

Stream: Braids – “Freund”

NME introduces their readers to Diana, just in time for the August 20 release of Perpetual Surrender. They play The Great Hall on September 26.

Fucked Up have been announced as the musical guests for the September 5 edition of First Thursdays at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, an event which will also feature a live video chat with artist Ai Wei Wei.

MP3: Fucked Up – “A Little Death”

NPR is streaming one of two new Stars songs which will be released as a 7″ single on September 10.

Stream: Stars – “Wishful”

aux.tv and Beatroute have interviews with Louise Burns, who supports Lightning Dust at The Drake Underground on September 10.

The Chicago Tribune and Metro get to know Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz. They play Wrongbar on September 17.

Islands have premiered a second taste of their new album Ski Mask via Spin ahead of its September 17 release, while Chart also has a video session. They play The Garrison on October 10.

Stream: Islands – “Becoming The Gunship”

Folks looking for an excuse to hang out in the park before Autumn well and truly rolls around should know about the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival, happening on September 21 and 22 at Christie Pits and featuring live music from the likes of The Golden Dogs, Memoryhouse, and Beams and two special secret headliners who – let’s face it – are almost sure to be Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. Unless they’re not.

MP3: The Golden Dogs – “Travel Time”
MP3: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”

Stereogum has an interview with Katie Stelmanis of Austra. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Run Riot talks to Basia Bulat about her new record Tall Tall Shadow; it’s out October 1 and she plays The Polish Combatants Hall on October 10.

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan has announced details of their second album as well as sharing the first track, and Pitchfork is on it. Uzu will be out on October 29.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “One”

Arcade Fire haven’t announced the title of their new album, out October 29, but the internet rumour mill is saying Reflektor and this website is certainly Arcade Fire-y in its crypticness. They’re less coy about the fact that they’re also scoring the new Spike Jonze film Her, because Pitchfork said so.

Dan Bejar is taking Destroyer back on the road this Fall with Pink Mountaintops as support but without a band. He’ll be exploring his songbook in solo style and also promises some new songs in the mix. Exclaim has full dates and details, including a November 9 date at The Great Hall.

MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”
MP3: Pink Mountaintops – “Vampire”

Spin has premiered the new (and first?) video from Born Ruffians’ latest album Birthmarks. They play The Danforth Music Hall on November 22.

Video: Born Ruffians – “Needle”

Rose Cousins has released a new video from last year’s wonderful We Have Made A Spark.

Video: Rose Cousins – “For The Best”

Evening Hymns have posted a complete livestream of a show in Kelowna, British Columbia last week. There’s also interviews with Jonas Bonetta at The Gate and The Edmonton Journal.

Chad VanGaalen fills in Exclaim on what he’s been up to.

Jim Guthrie road trips down to NPR to play a Tiny Desk Concert.

Earshot interviews Gold & Youth.

Dan Boeckner talks to Exclaim about his new project Operators, which he’ll presumably be more focused on once Britt Daniel puts Divine Fits on the back burner to concentrate on the next Spoon record.

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Toronto Urban Roots Fest Day One

She & Him, Camera Obscura, Joel Plaskett, and more at TURF 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI don’t know if the troops who manned Fort York in the 18th and 19th centuries necessarily knew that they were potentially laying their lives on the line so that future generations could wander the grounds, tall boy in hand and Ray-Bans on head whilst listening to live music, but if they did, they’d be proud. After serving intermittent duty as an outdoor venue over the past few years, Fort York and Garrison Commons has become the go-to site for music festivals in downtown Toronto, effectively replacing the picturesque but logistically problematic Olympic Island. And while it’s not large enough to host something on the scale of Lollapalooza or Osheaga, or even necessarily our own late and qualifiedly-lamented V Fest, it’s a convenient, scenic, and effective space for events like the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest this past weekend.

Unlike the Arts & Crafts anniversary Field Trip in June, the Lolla-Osheagea-drafting Grove Fest in early August, or the Replacements-reuniting Riot Fest later that month, TURF comes out of the gate homegrown – put on by local promoters Collective Concerts – and extra-ambitious, stretching over four nights and two full days plus club shows at The Horseshoe and Lee’s Palace, and with a definite eye towards becoming an annual Summer tradition in the city, filling a glaring need in a town that’s otherwise pretty generous for its live music-going patrons (for more background on the festival, check out interviews with founder Jeff Cohen at The Toronto Standard, The Grid, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and The Toronto Sun).

And it all got underway last Thursday evening, under sunny and sweltering skies, with Barr Brothers, the multi-instrumentalised, harp-enhanced quartet from Montreal ably represented the “roots” end of things. Being largely unfamiliar with the band, their musical personality felt somewhat broad, but as the set progressed, settled into an enjoyable range, dwelling largely in the intricate and lovely folk end of things but with confident forays into rougher, bluesy territory, all of it elegantly and impeccably executed.

Photos: The Barr Brothers @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: The Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning”
Video: The Barr Brothers – “Old Mythologies”
Video: The Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning”

No such stylistic figuring out was needed for Scotland’s Camera Obscura, up next at the other end of the park. I’d seen them what seems like a million times – most recently their second-last visit in June 2009 behind My Maudlin Career (they circled back for another show that November) – but it had still been far too long. But now they were back with a charming new record in Desire Lines and back on the road. And, had there been any doubt, they confirmed that in addition to being top-class purveyors of indie-pop tunes, they could still look unsmiling and dour even on a beautiful Summer’s evening. That’s just them, though, and with a couple touring players utility filling things out on percussion, horns, and steel guitar, they were able to string together all the bright and jaunty pop numbers in their catalog – with a few of the slow burners dropped in for variety – for an ideal smile-inducing, hand-clapping festival show.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Boston Globe have features on the band.

Photos: Camera Obscura @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “My Maudlin Career”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Suspended From Class”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Come Back Margaret”
Video: Camera Obscura – “The Sweetest Thing”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Honey In The Sun”
Video: Camera Obscura – “French Navy”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”
Video: Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Let’s Get Out Of This Country”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Tears For Affairs”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Teenager”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Keep It Clean”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Eighties Fan”

It stands to reason that if you open up something of local importance, like say a shopping mall, you’d have the mayor on hand to cut the ribbon (maybe not Toronto’s mayor, but I digress). So if you’re inaugurating a new music festival in Canada, you bring out the de facto mayor of Canadian music, which is to say Joel Plaskett. Following an introduction from fellow sort-of Canuck icon, sportscaster Dave Hodge, Plaskett and the Emergency got to work with a set not too different from the one I saw at The Horseshoe in December, with a solo acoustic set sandwiched between classic rock-outs, but angled more for broad crowd-pleasing than just the die-hards. It’s pretty safe to say there’s no size stage that Plaskett doesn’t feel right at home at, whether playing the rocker or troubadour. And it seemed fitting that having largely missed Canada Day earlier this week because I was in the US, I was now marking Independence Day with as concentrated a dose of Canadiana as you could hope to find.

The Gate has an interview with Plaskett.

Photos: Joel Plaskett Emergency @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”
MP3: Joel Plaskett – “Deny Deny Deny”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Somewhere Else”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Through & Through & Through”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “You Let Me Down”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Fashionable People”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Happen Now”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Natural Disaster”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Paralyzed”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Work Out Fine”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Come On Teacher”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “True Patriot Love”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Maybe We Should Just Go Home”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Clueless Wonder”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “She Made A Wreck Outta Me”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “News Of Your Son”

On an evening of TURF firsts, She & Him had the distinction of not only being the first headliner, but the first ones to reveal the very existence of the festival to the world when it was listed in their tour itinerary in support of Volume 3 back in January. It was a personal first for me, as well, seeing them for the first time outside of SXSW where I caught one of their earliest shows in 2008 and again in more seasoned form in 2010. It looked to be Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel’s same six-piece backing band in place as at that second show – nice to see they’ve kept the unit together over the years – and also in place was their strict “no photos” policy, applied to the entire audience and most of the media. This was a source of some grousing from those hoping to leverage the star power on display into more Instagram likes, but for those who accepted it and watched the show with their eyeballs, it was a pretty enjoyable show.

It may be an overstatement to say that had She & Him been exactly what they are musically but without the principals being who they are, they wouldn’t be where they are now – okay, any outfit with someone of Matt Ward’s guitar and arrangement skills would demand to be heard – but you can’t argue that having someone of Deschanel’s profile fronting them offered a pretty big leg up. She’s not an astonishing talent as a singer or a songwriter, but she’s certainly good enough to pull off the uncomplex but endearing retro-pop songs that she writes, particularly when surrounded with the players that she is. And considering that between the release of their first record in 2008 and now, she’s gone from an indie film darling to legit network sitcom star, the her commitment to She & Him remains as strong as it is actually pretty impressive.

Also impressive is how much she’s grown as a frontperson and performer. She’s not Juliette Lewis, by any measure, but considering how deer-in-the-headlights terrified she was at that first SXSW show, the assuredness she’s got on stage now if nice to see. Ward, also, was more engaged with being the titular Him in the band, stepping out of the shadows for some showy guitar moves and to elicit swoons with his gravelly vocals on the duets. Together, Ward and Deschanel have a charming if decidedly PG sort of chemistry, perfectly suited to the chaste, sock hop-esque concepts of romance that they specialize in. High points were the Chapin Sisters-harmonized rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” against a backdrop of stars, a sweet version of Ward’s own “Magic Trick”, and a fiery guitar duel between Ward and Mike Coykendall to close out “In The Sun” and the main set. And also that the first day of the first TURF ever went off beautifully.

Photos: She & Him @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”
Video: She & Him – “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”
Video: She & Him – “Don’t Look Back”
Video: She & Him – “Thieves”
Video: She & Him – “In The Sun”
Video: She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”

Exclaim has a conversation with Louise Burns about her new album The Midnight Mass as well as an advance stream of said record ahead of its July 9 release date.

Stream: Louise Burns / Midnight Mass

Exclaim gets Diamond Rings to play an acoustic video session. He’ll be fully plugged-in when opening up for OMD at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Exclaim talk changes in direction with Lightning Dust, in town at The Drake on September 10.

The Grid checks in with Dallas Good of The Sadies, whose new album Internal Sounds will be made external on September 17.

Exclaim has the first batch of live dates from Rae Spoon in support of his new record My Prairie Home, coming August 13, and they include a September 18 date at The Gladstone in Toronto.

MP3: Rae Spoon – “Crash Landing”

The Montreal Gazette and Spin have feature pieces on Austra, who play a hometown show at The Phoenix on September 27.

The Grid talks to Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras about their new 7″ “Gay Goth Scene” and the new album, Age, that it precedes. That is due out sometime this Fall.

Evening Hymns have released a new video from their Polaris-longlisted album Spectral Dusk.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Song To Sleep To”

Stars have premiered the newest video from The North at The Huffington Post.

Video: Stars – “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It”

Huffington Post talks to Al Spx of Cold Specks about collaborating with Moby on his new record and where she’s going with her own next album.

The Guardian has a video session with Rachel Zeffira, wherein she performs her version of The Beatles’ “Because”; she plays one of her own songs in session for Chart.

aux.tv has an interview with Odonis Odonis.