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Posts Tagged ‘Memoryhouse’

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.

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.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Show Yourself

Okkervil River invite you to climb the rope in The Silver Gymnasium

Photo By Ben SklarBen SklarIt’s rather de rigueur these days to sneak-announce the existence of new albums of note, eschewing the traditional long lead for the immediacy allowed by the internet and social media or whatnot, but in revealing the existence of a new Okkervil River record, Will Sheff went with the teasing route, playing a guessing game through last week in revealing a few letters of their new album’s title each day, eventually announcing The Silver Gymnasium this past Monday.

Not that the announcement didn’t come with its share of surprise. Firstly, that it existed and would be out as soon as September 3 – to the casual observer, it seemed that Sheff was more occupied with his Lovestreams side project than recording the follow-up to Okkervil’s 2011 album I Am Very Far, and secondly, that the record sees the band leaving their longtime label of Jagjaguar for the Dave Matthews-founded ATO Records. But the new record is done and however it’s delivered, it’s good news.

More specifics are still forthcoming, but the album announcement also came with the itinerary for a Fall North America tour, which will bring the band back to town for the first time in over three years. They’ll be at The Phoenix on September 28 and tickets are $23.50 in advance.

MP3: Okkervil River – “Your Past Life As A Blast”

Elsewhere on the concert announcement circuit, Doldrums and Absolutely Free have been named as the Art Gallery of Ontario’s First Thursday performers next month on the evening of July 4. Tickets are $12 in advance.

MP3: Doldrums – “Jump Up”
MP3: Absolutely Free – “UFO”

Memoryhouse have announced a July 19 appearance at The Drake Underground, part of a very small handful of Canadian dates this Summer. Tickets for the Drake show are $10.25 in advance.

MP3: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”

German ambient-electronic artist Ulrich Schnauss will be at The Drake on August 10; his latest A Long Way To Fall came out back in January. Advance tickets are $20.

Video: Ulrich Schnauss – “A Long Way To Fall”

With her solo debut Hero Brother coming out August 20, Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld has scheduled a live date at The Drake for August 22, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Sarah Neufeld – “Hero Brother”

Up-and-coming British soul singer Laura Mvula makes a return to town on September 7 at The Mod Club behind her debut album, Sing To The Moon. Tickets for the show are $20.

Video: Laura Mvula – “Green Garden”

They may have gone indie for their latest album Like Clockwork, but make no mistake – Queens Of The Stone Age are still a big-ass band. To wit – they’ll be at The Air Canada Center on September 10, tickets running at the $34.50, $49.50, and $59.50 price points. Full tour details can be had at Pitchfork.

Video: Queens Of The Stone Age – “I Appear Missing”

Jenn Grant is coming back to town play more songs from last year’s The Beautiful Wild, this time at Lee’s Palace on September 21. Tickets for that show are $15 in advance.

Video: Jenn Grant – “The Fighter”

With Austra’s new album Olympia coming next Tuesday, June 18, it’s high time for an advance stream courtesy of Exclaim, interviews with Katie Stelmanis at MusicOmh and Clash, and a Fall tour that includes a hometown show at The Phoenix on September 27, tickets $25.

Video: Austra – “Home”
Stream: Austra / Olympia

Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Havl has made a date at The Rivoli for September 27 in support of her latest album Innocence Is Kinky.

Stream: Jenny Havl – “Mephisto In The Water”

It may have been disappointing to many that Tricky had to cancel his Summer dates in support of his latest False Idols due to visa issues, but Toronto fans will be happy to know that the rescheduled dates now include a local date – October 6 at a venue to be announced. In the meantime, FasterLouder has an interview with Tricky.

MP3: Tricky – “Anti-Matter”

With a new album in Idle No More due out on September 3 via Merge, King Khan & The Shrines have announced a Fall tour that stops in at The Horseshoe on October 26 and offered a stream of one of the new songs via Stereogum.

Stream: King Khan & The Shrines – “Born To Die”

Continuing to stick to her habit of playing one small venue tour and one bigger venue tour per album, Kate Nash will bring Girl Talk back to Toronto for a night at The Phoenix on November 5, tickets $20 in advance.

Video: Kate Nash – “OHMYGOD!”

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Rainy Saturday

Hayden wants to be Alone with you

Photo By Vanessa HeinsVanessa HeinsOh hey so the weekend is upon us and whatever you’ve got planned, you could do worse than to take an hour and listen to Us Alone, the new album from beloved Toronto singer-songwriter Hayden. What’s that, you say? The record isn’t out until Tuesday – February 5 – and by then we’re back into the work week and you can’t find an hour to curl up in a little ball in the corner and weep uncontrollably let alone listen to a charmingly languid collection of folk-pop? Well it’s a good thing that CBC Music has an advance stream of the new record as well as a Q&A with the artist. So grab a coffee, read that, and have a listen. And if you’re finished reading that before it’s done – which I would hope is the case – there’s another interview at The Victoria Times-Colonist.

Hayden has three intimate local shows coming up later this month – February 20, 21, and 22 at the Dakota, Cameron House, and Rivoli respectively – but those are as sold out as you can imagine. Tickets are still available for relatively nearby shows in Guelph and Hamilton, or you can wait until June 8 where he performs as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Fort York.

MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
Stream: Hayden / Us Alone

NOW interviews Purity Ring ahead of their show at The Phoenix tonight. PhillyBurbs and The Dallas Observer also have features.

Wavelength talks to Sarah Neufeld about her solo work, which she brings to The Great Hall on February 16 as part of their anniversary series of shows.

Southern Souls has posted a video session with Two Hours Traffic, who release their new record Foolish Blood on February 19. They play Lee’s Palace on March 21.

Consequence Of Sound has premiered the first video from Thumbtacks & Glue, due out February 26. There’s also a video session recorded at Iceland Airwaves last year at The Line Of Best Fit and Mark Hamilton talks to The Calgary Herald about a project he’s working on with some Icelandic musicians.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Edinburgh”

The Victoria Times-Colonist has an interview with Rachel Zeffira and NPR a live-in-studio version of her My Bloody Valentine cover. Her original reinterpretation and nine other gorgeous songs can be found on The Deserters, due out domestically on March 12.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Stars, who are playing two nights at the Danforth Music Hall on March 20 and 21.

Born Ruffians have prepped their third album Birthmarks for an April 16 release; you can stream a new single from it below.

Stream: Born Ruffians – “With Her Shadow”

Gorilla Vs Bear has premiered the first track from Young Galaxy’s new album Ultramarine, out April 23, and it should put to rest any fears that Shapeshifting was a lucky accident.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

Spin talks to Colin Stetson about his new album, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, which was just confirmed for an April 30 release. Pitchfork has details on the album as well as North American tour dates which include a May 19 date at The Great Hall in Toronto, tickets $13.50. A track from the album featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on vocals is also available to download.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”

Exclaim talks to Louise Burns about the status of her second solo record, tentatively entitled Louise Burns Presents the Midnight Mass and due out whenever it’s good and ready.

Ottawa Magazine catches up with Rolf Klausner of The Acorn, whose new record Vieux Loup will be out later this year. You can hear one of the new songs by way of video session for Herd Mag.

The Ontarion has words with Alaska B and Ruby Attwood of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan.

Memoryhouse have made a video for an unreleased song as a sort of thank you to their fans.

Video: Memoryhouse – “Untitled”

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Lights Changing Colour

You, too, can be a star. Or at least win Stars.

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongOkay, since I am posting this from the north of Quebec – okay, not really that north, but considerably further north than Bloor St. in Rouyn-Noranda for this year’s Festival de musique émergente – I figure this is as good a time as any to run a pretty sweet giveaway for – wait for it – The North. As in the new record from Stars, out this coming Tuesday.

Thanks to the folks at Universal Music Canada, I have numerous copies of The North to give away in both analog and digital formats – the the former, a pair of LPs on blue vinyl, and to the latter, five silver CDs. To enter, leave a comment below with your email (it will be hidden from prying eyes), album format in order of preference, and tell me the furthest north point in Canada you’ve ever been. If you want to be precise, Google will tell you the latitude of anywhere if you ask nicely. Interestingly, Rouyn-Noranda is one degree further south than Vancouver, making that my northernmost sojourn in our fine country. Anyways, the contest is open to residents of Canada only and winners will be chosen on September 15.

The North was made available to preview via NPR stream at the start of this week, but The National Post has made their hosted stream worth checking out by adding track-by-track commentary from Torq Campbell. Consequence Of Sound also talks to Campbell about the new record.

Stars open up for Metric at The Air Canada Centre on November 24.

MP3: Stars – “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It”
MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”
Stream: Stars / The North

The Wilderness Of Manitoba’s second album Island Of Echoes will be coming out on September 18 and they’ve booked a hometown record release show at Trinity-St. Paul’s for October 26. Fancy!

MP3: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Morning Sun”

The Wooden Sky have been touring their latest Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun over hill and through the dale since its release back in February, and they’re bringing it back home for a show at The Phoenix on December 1, tickets $17.50.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”

Andrew Scott of Sloan lists his five favourite records of the past two decades for CBC Music. Their super-deluxe Twice Removed reissue arrives September 4.

Exclaim has some details on the next album/project/thing from Yamantaka/Sonic Titan. The 33 // 渦 rock opera will debut at Pop Montreal on September 21; no details on encore performances more local to here or a recording release, but we can hope. Their YT//ST gets a re-release on September 11.

Pitchfork talks to Grimes about the making of her latest video for “Genesis”. She plays two nights at Lee’s Palace, September 21 and 22.

How excited is Woodpigeon to be opening for Patrick Wolf on his upcoming North American tour, including September 25 at the Music Gallery? So excited that there’ll be a new, tour-only album entitled Diamonds for sale throughout the journey and they’re giving away a cover of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s “Say Say Say”. That’s pretty excited.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Say Say Say”

Talk Rock To Me chats with Paul Saulnier of PS I Love You. They play the Friday night of the Paper Bag Records 10th anniversary shows at The Great Hall, September 28.

Toronto Life has an extensive feature piece on Diamond Rings, and Macleans solicits some scholastic advice from John O for those just starting school. The new album Free Dimensional will be out on October 23 and to support that release, he will be on Letterman on October 26. That is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Modern Superstitions’ self-titled debut album finally has a release date – it’ll be out and about on October 23.

Shad has released a video from his recent Melancholy & The Infinite Shadness mixtape.

Video: Shad – “A Milli Vanilli”

MTV lists off some things you may not have known about Coeur de Pirate.

Moonface have a new video from With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery.

Video: Moonface – “I’m Not The Phoenix Yet”

They Shoot Music has a video session with Memoryhouse.