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Posts Tagged ‘Sadies’

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.

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

From Now On

Basia Bulat and Casey Mecija at The Polish Combatants Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen you reach a certain age and/or have blogged for a certain amount of time, the years do tend to blur together some. For example, I couldn’t believe that it was just four years between when I first saw a mostly-unknown Basia Bulat playing in a little basement tavern on Rue Saint-Denis at Pop Montreal 2006 and when I saw her last, with two acclaimed albums to her name, performing with the full Symphony Nova Scotia orchestra at Halifax Pop Explosion 2010; that, folks, is some kind of trajectory and velocity. And I also couldn’t believe that that show three years ago was the last time I saw her perform, having seen her more on the streets of Toronto than any stage.

The opportunity to turn that trend around came this past weekend with three intimate shows at the Polish Combatants Hall to mark the release of her third album, Tall Tall Shadow. It’s a record presented as something of a shift, being recorded in a legion hall in Toronto rather than the Hotel 2 Tango studios in Montreal that birthed the first two albums, and incorporating more electronic textures into her heretofore traditionally folk-based sound. None of this constitutes a reinvention and on initial listens, the listener is probably more occupied with welcoming the return of Bulat’s rich vocals delivering her first new material in almost four years than any of the sonic accoutrements. But if you’re listening for them, the shift in production aesthetic does indeed distinguish Shadow from its predecessors, as does the more sophisticated phrasing of her vocals, introducing new emotional shading into her work. Given that her first album came out when she was just 23 years old, a maturing over the course of her records is inevitable but to hear it captured so elegantly without losing the wide-eyed brightness that marked her earlier work is pretty special.

For each of the three nights of these release shows, a local solo artist was tapped to open and on the Friday night I was pleased to be able to see Casey Mecija, until very recently of Ohbijou and also one half of electronic pop project Warm Myth; it was a bill that took me way back to December 2007, where it was Bulat who was opening up for Ohbijou at Lee’s Palace. Opening up with the title track of Ohbijou’s final album Metal Meets, Mecija moved between intricately fingerpicked electric guitar, grand piano, and electronic loops and samplers – her sublime vocals gliding overop them all – and her too-brief set was an excellent reminder of just how good she is in whatever project she’s working on. While it’s sad that Ohbijou are no more, we should be thankful that she continues to make art for our ears.

If there’s any sort of downside to having seen Bulat perform so many times in the early part of her career – nine times from Fall 2006 to Summer 2008, by my Flickr count – it’s that my notions of what to expect from her shows were pretty fixed. So conversely, not seeing her live for a few years ended up being all kinds of great, not least of all because sometime between then and now, she’s started playing the autoharp standing up. Not that she was just standing; she was dancing and swinging as she led her band through the new songs, an impressive vivaciousness in her stage presence to go with her giddy sweetness of old. With her, as always, was brother Bobby on drums, Holly Coish on backing vocals and also now keys, and Alison Stewart on viola; new to the mix was Ben Whiteley of New Country Rehab on bass – hardly a stripped-down lineup but a far cry from some of those early shows where she seemed to have a veritable orchestra at her command (unlike the Halifax gig where she actually did).

In the live setting, the shifts in aesthetic were more pronounced and arrangements bolder, with Bulat spending as much time on keyboards and grand piano as the autoharp and when the picked up the guitar, it was an electric (semi-hollow; thanks) run through an actual pedalboard. This wasn’t in an attempt to “rock” – though I’ve never wished I’d brought earplugs to one of her shows before this one – but to have the tools to properly explore new territory. All little things, maybe, but nigh-unimaginable a few years ago and now perfectly reasonable.

Of the new material, Shadow closer “From Now On” received an especially gorgeous treatment, with Bulat on grand piano and Whiteley and Coish on backing vocals, topped only by the record’s emotional centre – the stark “Never Let Me Go” – in which her powerful voice was lifted by four-part harmonies to close out the main set. Many of the older songs were made fresh with re-arrangements and re-contextualization: on grand piano, “I Was A Daughter” sounded from the perspective of an adult reflecting on the past tense than a girl in the moment, while “Heart Of Mine” was completely re-cast with synths, drum pads, and vocoder for the moving parts. The encore brought things back home, though, with the hammered harp of “The Shore” perfect as is, and joyous “Before I Knew” a sublime show closer. Well, almost – the sight of Bulat standing onstage, wide-eyed and hands over her mouth before a standing ovation, was just that much better.

The Grid, The Globe and Mail, JAM, and The Huffington Post all had conversations with Basia about the new record and release shows.

Photos: Basia Bulat, Warm Myth @ The Polish Combatants Hall – October 11, 2013
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Mossy Lungs”
Video: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”
Video: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
Video: Ohbijou – “Niagara”
Video: Ohbijou – “New Years”
Video: Ohbijou – “The Woods”

With the release of Flying Colours as of today, CBC Music has turned the reins of their website over to Shad who is blogging up a storm with readables. And if you’d rather hang with Shad in meatspace, remember that he’s playing an in-store at Sonic Boom in the Annex tonight at 7PM, has a sold-out show at The Opera House on October 19, and returns to the Danforth Music Hall on January 31.

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan have made another new song from their second album Uzu available to stream via Pitchfork, and also recently stopped in at the CBC for a Q video session. The album is out October 29 and they’ve scheduled a date behind it at The Garrison for November 6.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Windflower”

DIY has details on a new EP from No Joy entitled Pastel And Pass Out, which will be out on November 4. One of the new songs from the release is available to stream below.

Stream: No Joy – “Last Boss”

Beatroute and The Ottawa Citizen interview The Sadies about their latest album Internal Sounds. They get external with them at Lee’s Palace on November 15.

Dears frontman Murray Lightburn talks to aux.tv and The Toronto Star about his solo work.

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

How Deep In The Valley

Sarah Harmer rallies rally for pipeline awareness

Photo By Afie JurvanenAfie JurvanenHer musical achievements are pretty much beyond reproach – both leading Weeping Tile and as a solo artist – but Sarah Harmer has become as well-known for her activism in recent years. In 2005, she helped form PERL – Protecting Escarpment Rural Land – to fight proposed development on the Niagara Escarpment, work which was reflected musically in her I’m A Mountain album and documented in the Escarpment Blues doc. The movement scored a major victory last Fall when a proposed quarry in the escarpment was denied. Now she’s seeking to draw attention to Line 9, a pipeline which currently carries conventional crude oil across Ontario and Quebec and which may be repurposed to also transport heavy crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands.

To draw public attention to their calls for further environmental assessment of the project, Harmer has organized Rock The Line, a free concert happening at Mel Lastman Square in North York this coming Sunday, October 6, starting at 2PM. Joining her will be Gord Downie & The Sadies – formidable on their own, fearsome togetherHayden and Guelph’s Minotaurs. A great show for any reason and an even better one for the cause behind it.

Video: Sarah Harmer – “Oleander”
Video: Gord Downie & The Sadies – “Search & Destroy”
Video: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”

Basia Bulat is marking the release of her new album Tall Tall Shadow this week with a track-by-track walkthrough at Port Magazine, a video session at NOW, and a video for the title track premiered over at Bullett. She plays three nights at The Polish Combatants Hall on from October 10 to 12.

Video: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

Filter has a stream of Prayer Of The Woods, the solo debut from Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker, out October 8.

Stream: Tony Dekker / Prayer Of The Woods

The Darcys talk to Exclaim about their plans to release a 20-minute, Cormac McCarthy-inspired instrumental track and video series for every track on their latest, Warring. They play The Adelaide Music Hall on October 11.

In advance of his “electronic pop opera” performance at the Adelaide Music Hall that night – The Montreal Gazette saw said show at Pop Montreal last weekend – Murray Lightburn will play an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Annex location on October 12 at 2PM.

MP3: Murray Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”

As the October 27 release date for Reflektor draws ever closer, Arcade Fire have revealed a few more new songs via a short film by The Creators Project.

Video: Arcade Fire / Here comes The Night Time

Loud & Quiet, The Link, The Ottawa Citizen, and The Edmonton Journal interview Braids. They play The Great Hall on November 10.

Under The Radar and The Georgia Straight talk to Catherine McCandless of Young Galaxy, who’ve released a new video from Ultramarine. They play The Hoxton on November 22.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Sleepwalk With Me”

Perhaps conscious that they haven’t actually played Toronto since Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO came out in early April – their CMF show happened a few weeks prior and their announced NXNE show never actually happened – The Besnard Lakes have announced a November 26 date at Lee’s Palace, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “People Of The Sticks”

Stereogum talk to Fucked Up’s Damien Abraham about their new record and Godspeed’s comments following their Polaris win last week. That seems like ancient history now, but if you wanted to read some well-reasoned responses to the kerfuffle (which align with my thinking, natch), check out pieces at Herohill, A Void, Radio Free Canuckistan, Liisa Ladouceur, and The Toronto Standard.

Dan Mangan drops some pretty high-falutin’ reference points in discussing his plans for his next record with Exclaim.

NOW has an interview and Chart solicits a list of recommended listening from Diana.

The National Post, Culture Map, and Beatroute interview Katie Stelmanis of Austra.

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 12th, 2013

Reflekhoter Chamber

Arcade Fire blah blah Reflektor blah blah

Photo By Korey RicheyKorey RicheyBlah blah Arcade Fire blah blah? Blah blah Reflektor blah blah, double album blah blah Rodin’s Orpheus and Eurydice blah blah October 29. Blah blah “Reflektor” blah blah first single blah blah 9/9/9:00 blah blah – weekend leak blah blah David Bowie blah blah James Murphy – blah blah disco-riffic.

Blah blah video premieres blah blah Anton Corbijn blah blah conventional video blah blah Vincent Morriset blah blah Google Creative Lab blah blah interactive video blah blah Creators Project blah blah boombox collaboration.

Blah blah Win Butler blah blah interview blah blah BBC1’s Zane Lowe; blah blah summaries blah blah Pitchfork, blah blah CBC Music, blah blah Spin.

Blah! Blah blah semi-secret shows blah blah Salsatheque in Montreal blah blah world tour coming. Blah blah promotional machine, blah blah blah. Blah, blah Saturday Night Live blah season premiere blah Tina Fey blah September 28.

Whew.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”
Video: Arcade Fire – “Reflektor” (interactive)

With their new 7″ out this week, Stars have deemed it safe to stream the b-side over at Under The Radar.

Stream: Stars – “The Light”

The Weeknd has put out a new video from the just-released Kiss Land. He plays three nights at Massey Hall on October 17, 19, and 20.

Video: The Weeknd – “Live For”

Bullett got to premiere another new track from The Darcys’ new album Warring, but the fact that CBC Music now has the entire record available to stream ahead of its release next week, September 17, makes it kind of moot. For those outside Canada and geoblocked, KCRW also has a stream. The Darcys play Adelaide Hall on October 11.

Stream: The Darcys – “Horses Fell”
Stream: The Darcys / Warring

Also out September 17 and available to stream is Internal Sounds, the latest effort from The Sadies and you can hear that at Exclaim as well as read an interview with the band about the new album.

Stream: The Sadies / Internal Sounds

Beatroute has an interview with Young Galaxy, who’ve made another new track from the Ultramarine deluxe edition coming out September 24 available to stream.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Sea Drug”

Hear Nebraska and NOW talk to Basia Bulat about her new album Tall Tall Shadow, coming out October 1. She plays The Polish Combatants Hall on October 10, 11, and 12 to celebrate its release and if you’re thinking that’s one extra date than the last time you checked, you are correct – they’ve added a third show on the 12th, which makes this less a concert than a veritable Basia-fest. Tickets for that show, like the others, are $20.

Video: Basia Bulat – “It Can’t Be You”

Exclaim has got the video for the title track of Great Lake Swimmer Tony Dekker’s solo debut, Prayer Of The Woods. It’s out October 8.

Video: Tony Dekker – “Prayer Of The Woods”

NOW catches a quick word with Shad, whose new album Flying Colours is out October 15 and who plays The Opera House on October 19.

Montreal’s Suuns have slated an October 19 show at the Adelaide Hall in support of this year’s Images du Futur; tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

Vancouver’s excellent Belle Game will be at The Drake Underground on October 25 behind their equally excellent debut Ritual Tradition Habit, tickets an eminently reasonable $12.50 in advance.

MP3: The Belle Game – “Blame Fiction”

Because he really doesn’t need a particular reason, Joel Plaskett will be at The Danforth Music Hall on November 2 to play some songs accompanied by his father Bill. They’ll do two sets that night and tickets run $29.50 in advance.

MP3: Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”

Former Forest City Lovers frontwoman Kat Burns has announced details of her full-length debut as the electro-pop act Kashka; Bound will be out November 5 and details can be found at Exclaim and a super-brief trailer below.

Trailer: Kashka / Bound

Beatroute has a feature on Braids, who play The Great Hall on November 10.

Hayden has announced a Fall tour which wraps up with a hometown show at the Danforth Music Hall on November 30, tickets running from $32.50 to $39.50 in advance. He’s also released a new video from his latest effort, Us Alone.

Video: Hayden – “Blurry Nights”

Mechanical Forest Sound is sharing a recording of Ohbijou’s farewell show at The Great Hall last weekend.