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Posts Tagged ‘Gold & Youth’

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

New House

Hear the (very near) future of Canadian music today, featuring Diana

Photo By Laurie KangLaurie KangA disproportionate number of intriguing Canadian indie releases scheduled for the 20th of August means a disproportionate number of intriguing Canadian indie advance streams the week prior to the 20th of August. And perhaps the most intriguing of these is Perpetual Surrender, the debut album from Toronto’s Diana, an outfit that barely existed a year ago and only started to gather notice locally last Fall, thanks to their connections to Destroyer – keyboardist/saxophonist Joseph Shabason was part of the Kaputt band – and Army Girls – frontwoman Carmen Elle’s main gig prior to this.

But clearly the time is right for ’80s-vintage, soft-focus synth-pop that sounds simultaneously luxurious and dissatisfied because Diana (sorry, won’t indulge the all-caps) are making impressive waves both at home and abroad and signing to esteemed label Jagjaguwar for the latter territories. They’ve opened for Fucked Up and Tegan & Sara, and went from being the undercard on one of the hottest shows at CMF to themselves being one of the big draws at NXNE. And while I will confess to feeling a slight bit of disappointment in Perpetual Surrender, that’s only because it delivers exactly what Diana has promised, and not anything more. That should be more than enough for most, though, and if Diana turn out to be Toronto’s new musical ambassadors to the world for the next while, hey – I’m okay with that.

Perpetual Surrender is streaming now at Pitchfork. They play The Great Hall on September 26.

MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Stream: Diana / Perpetual Surrender

Just as predicted, Braids have made their new record Flourish//Perish available to stream ahead of its release next week, also via Pitchfork. And also as predicted, I’m enjoying it considerably more than I did their debut, so that’s something. Exclaim has an interview with Raphaelle Standell-Preston about the departure of keyboardist Katie Lee; they’re this month’s cover story, which should be online soon. And those attending their November 10 show originally scheduled for BLK BOX should note that it has moved upstairs and will now take place in The Great Hall proper.

Stream: Braids / Flourish//Perish

Pitchfork didn’t get the advance stream of Sarah Neufeld’s solo debut Hero Brother, though – that went to The Quietus. Exclaim talks to Neufeld about work outside Arcade Fire and she’s playing guest blogger at Elle this month, offering thoughts on touring, yoga, and other stuff. She plays The Drake Undergound on August 22.

MP3: Sarah Neufeld – “Hero Brother”
Stream: Sarah Neufeld / Hero Brother

Murray Lightburn has doubled down on Exclaim to get the word out on his solo debut Mass:Light; they’ve got both an interview feature on the Dears frontman but also the complete album stream.

MP3: Murray Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”
Stream: Murray Lightburn / Mass:Light

CBC Music talks to Kathryn Calder about A Matter Of Time, the documentary film about ALS at which she and her mother are at the centre, as well as what’s going on with her next solo record and the new New Pornographers album. She should be with the Pornos when they play the CNE on August 17.

The Georgia Straight and Beatroute interview Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz. They play Wrongbar on September 17.

The Irish Examiner talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra about life on the road. She leads them into The Phoenix on September 27.

If you thought The Polish Combatants Hall was an awfully small room for Basia Bulat to mark the October 1 release of her new record Tall Tall Shadow, you’d be correct. An October 11 show has been added to the previously announced October 10 date, tickets for both are $20.

Stream: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

Seeing as how in recent years, Great Lake Swimmers has ceased being a straight-up alias for frontman Tony Dekker and become a proper band, it makes sense that he might seek to go solo. And so he has, announcing an October 8 release date for his first record under his own name and performed entirely by himself, Prayer Of The Woods. Exclaim has details.

Relix has a video session with Hayden.

Gold & Youth play a video session for Exclaim.

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.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

In Your Eyes

Kate Boy and Gold & Youth at Wrongbar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt might seem like an act of massive hubris for a brand-new band from abroad to book a North American tour with no official release, not even a handful of released songs, and barely a month’s worth of experience performing live, but Sweden’s Kate Boy did just that in rolling into Wrongbar on Sunday night for the third of six dates on this continent. But when each of those three singles and videos have been met with immensely positive response and the right outlets are paying attention, maybe it’s less an act of starry-eyed optimism than a canny first move in a well-orchestrated, long-term marketing strategy.

Though I was intrigued by the aforementioned singles – particular with them on repeat whilst writing this – it took the announcement of Vancouver’s Gold & Youth as support to cement my attendance. Though they were hardly going to be strangers to Toronto stages over this week, opening up the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest on Saturday and also playing NXNE, the odds of my catching any of those shows was going to slim. And I wanted to see them – their just-released debut Beyond Wilderness being a solid if not life-altering document of ’80s-ish synth-pop that I suspected would come across stronger live than on record. And indeed, it did. Utilizing a conventional band lineup augmented by synths and samples, rather than the other way around, their live show was more energetic and brought their musicianship to the fore, if also laying bare their Cure, New Order, and Depeche Mode influences. Danceable without being dance music, the affirmed themselves as a band with a great if familiar sound, and good to very good songs that should just get better.

Just as it wouldn’t have surprised me if Wrongbar had been empty for Kate Boy’s Canadian debut, it also didn’t surprise me that there was a very respectable-sized crowd by the time the foursome took the stage, uniform of black t-shirts and baseball caps intact. I was surprised, though, that much of the audience seemed not to be the curious out to be convinced, but genuine fans wanting to have their belief confirmed – looks like three songs can really go a long way. Thankfully, the band had more than that in their repertoire, and their 40-minute set was tightly choreographed and impressively crafted – what was that about having only played their first-ever gig in May? The three singles were spaced out so as to be able to keep the momentum up, and basically performed live as extended remixes to effectively balance familiarity and freshness. The rest of the material adhered to the same formula of big heavy beats and even bigger choruses, so if you liked one you were pretty much going to like them all.

While her bandmates kept their Scandinavian cool whilst manning their synths, drums, and bass with laser focus, frontwoman Kate Akhurst was all smiles and arm-waving dance moves, clearly less concerned with maintaining their icy aesthetic than having and giving a good time. And it’s a pretty safe bet that for everyone in attendance, a good time was had. There’s probably not ever going to be a narrative around Kate Boy that casts them as the scrappy, DIY upstarts. There’s something very calculated about their career trajectory so far, and even though they’re currently signed to Los Angeles indie IAMSOUND for their singles, five will get you six that like label alumnus Florence & The Machine, Charli XCX, and Little Boots, their debut will be on a major. Not that that matters, really – all that does is they’ve got the look, they’ve got the sound, and they’ve got the show. Everything is going according to plan.

Exclaim also has a review of the show while Idolator and Chicago Now have posted interviews with the band. MSN gets to know Louise Burns as both a member of Gold & Youth and solo artist, whose second album The Midnight Mass comes out July 9.

Photos: Kate Boy, Gold & Youth @ Wrongbar – June 9, 2013
MP3: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Kate Boy – “The Way We Are”
Video: Kate Boy – “In Your Eyes”
Video: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”
Video: Gold & Youth – “Time To Kill”

Exclaim has an advance stream of Beady Eye album BE, though since the album is now out as of this week – in the UK, at least – it’s not so advance. The Independent has an interview with Liam Gallagher where he sounds off on this and that.

Stream: Beady Eye / BE

Drowned In Sound talks to CHVRCHES, in town tomorrow night – June 12 – for a show at The Hoxton.

Sigur Rós have turned to their live show projections for the video to the title track and to CBC Music to host an advance stream of their new album Kveikur, coming June 18. The stream is probably geoblocked to Canada, but rest of the world can be sure that their territories will be attended to shortly. Update: Try Amazon.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Kveikur”
Stream: Sigur Rós / Kveikur

Rolling Stone and Refinery 29 have feature pieces on Empire Of The Sun and their new album Ice On The Dune, out June 18 and available to stream now at Rolling Stone. Yahoo, meanwhile, gets a look behind the scenes at the band’s visual presentation.

Stream: Empire Of The Sun / Ice On The Dune

Also out next week – at least domestically in North America – and doing the advance stream thing now is More Light, the new record from Primal Scream. That’s up at NPR.

Stream: Primal Scream / More Light

Editors are streaming a new b-side from the first single for their forthcoming The Weight Of Your Love. The new album is out July 1.

Stream: Editors – “The Sting”

TOY and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan have teamed up for a cover of Iranian artist Amir Rassaei. It’s out on July 1 as a 7″ single. More details at Pitchfork.

Stream: TOY with Natasha Khan – “The Bride”

The Line Of Best Fit gets to know Camera Obscura. They play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.

Icona Pop discuss the inspiration behind their hit, “I Don’t Care”, with MTV. They play Garrison Common on August 3 as part of The Grove Fest.

Beatroute, Scout Magazine, and Vita.mn have interviews with José González of Junip.

The National Post and Canada.com have interviews with The xx, who premiered a new video from Coexist last week via Noisey.

Video: The xx – “Fiction”

Metro interviews Bloc Party, who tell Canada.com that following this Summer’s touring commitments, they’re going back on indefinite hiatus.

NME talks to the director of the new video from Billy Bragg’s Tooth & Nail; NPR also has a Mountain Stage video session with the singer-songwriter.

Video: Billy Bragg – “Handyman’s Blues”

DIY has a feature interview with Laura Marling.

The Guardian welcomes Suede to their studios for a video session.

The Joy Formidable have released a live video of them performing an acoustic cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “The Killing Moon” (live)

Clash invites Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison to take a swing at some of the songs currently on the UK charts.

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.

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Never Minding

Hooded Fang well past teething stage with Gravez

Photo By Sara Amroussi-GilissenSara Amroussi-GilissenWhen Toronto’s Hooded Fang first surfaced in early 2009, despite being over a year away from releasing their debut full-length Album, they seemed inescapable on the club circuit – I saw them thrice that year without trying at all. And because of that concentrated dose, and even though they were clearly still in the early stages of finding themselves, I assumed that sugary, ramshackle twee-pop would remain the bedrock of what they were about. Which was fine and fun, but not enough to hold my attention.

As it turns out, they were on an accelerated evolutionary track, with their second album Tosta Mista coming out barely a year after their first and pointing to a more focused and compact aesthetic that traded the “twee” modifier for “garage” and “surf”. Their third album Gravez, out tomorrow, brings even more changes as the band lineup has been whittled down from its original seven-piece collective to a lean quartet and in the process, getting louder, harder, and steering their sound towards more time-warped, psychedelic destinations. If you handed me this record four years ago and told me that this is what that instrument-swapping, glockenspiel-tapping, shambolically giddy outfit would become, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet, here we are.

Exclaim and Cut From Steel have interviews and The Grid a video session with the band, who’ve just released a new video from Gravez. They play a hometown release show for the new record at The Horseshoe this Friday night, May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang / Gravez
Video: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Artrocker has an interview with Young Galaxy, who make their first post-Ultramarine Toronto appearance at Lee’s Palace on May 31.

The Coast interviews Hayden, who is participating in the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Also playing that fest as well as NXNE at BLK BOX on June 14 are Vancouver’s Gold & Youth; VUE and The Province have feature pieces on the band.

Though not out until August 20, Diana’s debut album won’t be self-titled after all, but carry the title of Perpetual Surrender, the change intended to head of potential legal issues. Exclaim explains why. Diana are doing NXNE at The Horseshoe on June 13, and then opening for Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6.

CBC Music, Exclaim, Montreal Gazette, and Dummy have feature pieces on Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase comes June 15 at BLK BOX.

The Fly interviews Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose new album Olympia comes out June 18.

Vancouver’s Lightning Dust have released a video and download for the first song from their new album Fantasy, out June 25.

MP3: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”
Video: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”

Diamond Rings gives Exclaim some hints as to the direction of album number three, due out sooner than you might think. They open up for OMD at The Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Beatroute chats with The Belle Game, coming to town for the Soundclash Festival at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

The Line Of Best Fit asks some questions of Sarah Neufeld, whose solo debut Hero Brother comes out August 20.

Suuns have released a new video from their latest, Images du Futur; The Province also has an interview.

Video: Suuns – “Sunspot”

Doldrums also have a new video from their debut album Lesser Evil.

Video: Doldrums – “Holographic Sandcastle”

Exclaim talks to Jim Guthrie about his excellent new solo record Takes Time.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Grimes.