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Posts Tagged ‘Sloan’

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Catch My Breath

You, Me, NPR, and everyone we know

Photo By Laura Lynn PetrickLaura Lynn PetrickYou may recall last week that I mentioned that this week, an interview I gave NPR’s World Cafe as part of their “Sense Of Place” series on Toronto would be airing this week. And that it did on Wednesday – and let me tell you it’s goddamn weird seeing your own name and face show up in your RSS feed – though I haven’t actually listened to it yet… Nor am I likely to. I saw the hot dogs being made, y’know?

To recap – the theme of the interview was to list off five up and coming Toronto acts for NPR listeners to discover, and bits of the interview have been excerpted over the week for their blog along with a download from the band. So far, they’ve run pieces on Fresh Snow, PUP, The Elwins, and Beliefs – all of whom I think exemplify very different aspects of what’s going on, musically, in this city – and today we will have either Alvvays or Del Bel… hopefully both, though that’s out of my hands. We recorded bits on six bands as a safety in case there were any unforeseen issues. I’ll update with today’s post when it goes up later today. Update: Alvvays piece is up; Del Bel should be up tomorrow.

In any case, all six are worth your time whether you’re into psych-kraut, power-pop, punk, cinematic noir, jangle-indie, or shoegaze. Fresh Snow and Beliefs – pictured above – are both on the bill for the next installment of Long Winter, happening December 13 at The Great Hall, and Fresh Snow are also playing the next Steam Whistle Unsigned showcase at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse on November 29. PUP are finishing up an epic North American tour this weekend, the CMJ show of which is available to hear at NYC Taper; there’s also an interview at The Regina Leader=Post. The Elwins have a couple Ontario dates to close out the month but are gearing up to release their second album next year, as are Del Bel. Alvvays’ self-titled debut will finally be out early next year, and they’re opening up for Young Galaxy at The Hoxton tonight.

Just a few of the many, many, great sounds coming out of Toronto right now. I do hope you dig.

MP3: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”
MP3: Beliefs – “Catch My Breath”
MP3: Del Bel – “Dusk Light”
MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”

Also recorded while they were in town, World Cafe has an acoustic session with James and Emily from Metric.

July Talk, who’ll be at the Sound Academy on December 3 opening up for Frank Turner, also recorded a World Cafe session and are interviewed in The Edmonton Journal, Georgia Straight, and Pique.

Young Galaxy have released yet another video from their Ultramarine Deluxe edition; that’s a remarkable amount of singles from material that didn’t make the original album. As mentioned, they’re at The Hoxton on November 22.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Crying My Heart Out”

The Quietus has a stream of Destroyer’s new Five Spanish Songs EP, coming out on Tuesday. Dan Bejar talks about the record with Reverb.

Stream: Destroyer / Five Spanish Songs

Thee Silver Mount Zion have announced a January 21 release date for their new album, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything; details at Constellation Records, excerpt of one of the new songs and trailer for the record below.

Stream: Thee Silver Mount Zion – “Austerity Blues” (excerpt)
Trailer: Thee Silver Mount Zion / Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

The Winnipeg Free Press, Metro, and aux.tv make with the chit-chat with Shad. He’s back in town January 31 at The Danforth Music Hall.

The Creators Project has revealed the actual official video for Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife”, taken from Reflektor – that live, Spike Jonze-directed YouTube Awards thing from a few weeks back was just a live, Spike Jonze-directed YouTube Awards thing. And because you apparently can’t get enough Arcade Fire, NME has video from a three-song French television performance. They play The Air Canada Centre on March 13.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

The Grid, The Toronto Star, and BlogTO chat with Owen Pallett, who talks a bit about his new album In Conflict, due early next year, amongst other topics including his new ballet. Exclaim has a helpful round up of everything that’s currently known about the follow-up to Heartland.

The Globe and Mail, San Francisco Examiner, and PopMatters talk to Spencer Krug of Moonface.

Majical Cloudz have made a studio version of a live favourite available to stream; Matablog has some background on the track.

Stream: Majical Cloudz – “Savage”

Oh Comely has a chat with Diana.

Exclaim has details in the next installment in Sloan’s vinyl bootleg series – the 500-piece limited edition of Tokyo Japan 2002 went on sale on Wednesday, so if you wanted one but were counting on me to let you know about it, then you need to re-evaluate your news-gathering strategies.

aux.tv takes a fascinating look at Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook’s career as a child actor.

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat steps into the Shadow for third record

Photo By Anna Groth-ShiveAnna Groth-ShiveOver the course of her first two records, Toronto’s Basia Bulat has crafted a musical persona built around folk-pop that can be as bare and affecting with the best of them, but really wins hearts when it’s upbeat and joyous and feels like a warm ray of aural sunshine. Assuming that her just-announced third album Tall Tall Shadow will simply offer more of the same, however, may be premature.

She’s not going electronic or anything – well, maybe a bit but not so much that the Canadian indie-rock rulebook demands she assume a new identity – but advance word is that Shadow still represents a significant change in modus operandi. Howard Bilerman, who produced the first two records, has stepped aside for Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson, who engineered The Suburbs; the piano was adopted as a primary composition instrument alongside or even over the guitar; a personal tragedy altered and informed the songwriting; and most importantly, Bulat challenged her own expectations about what she should or could sound like.

The fruits of this creative process can be heard in full when Tall Tall Shadow is released October 1, but the first of the new songs – the album’s title track – is available to stream now. Exclaim has more album details and an expanded Fall itinerary, with more North American dates being added to the already-announced hometown show at the Polish Combatants Hall on October 10.

Stream: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Two Hours Traffic’s latest Foolish Blood. They have an in-store at Sonic Boom in The Annex tomorrow afternoon, July 27, at 5PM.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Magic”

NOW and CBC talk to the Peter Dreimanis half of July Talk while The Halifax Chronicle-Herald gets a word with creative foil Leah Fay. Their next local show is up at Downsview Park as part of Edgefest next week, on July 31.

Fractured Air interviews Tim Condon of Toronto’s new (neu?) Krautrock heroes Fresh Snow, who hold a record release show for their debut LP I at The Boat on August 8.

In conversation with Billboard, Neko Case offers an update on the next New Pornographers record, which is apparently almost done. You probably shouldn’t expect either her or Dan Bejar to be on hand when they play a show at the CNE Bandshell on August 17, though. Just in case you were.

American Songwriter has premiered the stream of another new track from the new Sadies record Internal Sounds, out September 17.

Stream: The Sadies – “Another Tomorrow Again”

The Daily Swarm and Sydney Morning Herald talk to Devon Walsh of Majical Cloudz, back in town on September 17 at Wrongbar.

Having made their mark over the last couple of years with one album far too long in the can before being let loose and another covering a ’70s prog-rock classic, Toronto’s Darcys are finally able to announce the release of an album that might actually represent where they are today. That record will be called Warring, it will be out on September 17, and courtesy of Spin, you can stream the first track from it right now or get it to download from the band’s website in exchange for a little social media juice.

Stream: The Darcys – “The River”

In conversation with Billboard, James Murphy offers his thoughts, as sorta producer, on the new Arcade Fire record. It’s out October 29 and Murphy, incidentally, is doing a DJ set at The Hoxton on September 6. If watching guys DJ is your bag.

Chris Murphy tells Exclaim that the next Sloan record will be that long-awaited, presumed-inevitable thing – a double-album with each side essentially a solo record for each member. There’s no firm release plans yet, but what is known is that Jay Ferguson’s side will be getting worn out first. No question.

Bronson Island have posted a video session dating to who knows when with the now on-hiatus Broken Social Scene performing a previously-unreleased song.

Video: Broken Social Scene – “Where’s Your Heart, Where’s Your Mind” (live on Bronson Island)

Damian Abraham of Fucked Up talks to Clash about his approach to performing live.

CBC Music has a Summer check-in chat with Sarah Harmer.

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Capture The Flag

Break a leg, Broken Social Scene

Photo By Danielle St. LaurentDanielle St. LaurentI suspect that I will be one of the only people in any way related to the Toronto music scene not on hand at Garrison Common tomorrow for Field Trip, the day-long festival marking the 10th anniversary of the Arts & Crafts label, headlined by the “reunited” (having only been inactive for less than two years, they get the air quotes) Broken Social Scene playing in full their watershed 2002 album You Forgot It In People.

It’s not that I wasn’t tempted. This blog was in existence barely a month before People was released, and there’s no denying that it – and the emergence of Toronto and Canada on the indie rock world stage in its wake – made the 416 beat an infinitely more interesting place to cover. But you know, you see a band as many times as I did in those early years and you can get a bit burnt out – their headlining slot to close out the first Virgin Fest in 2006 was pretty much the last time I would make any kind of effort to see the band, and with Amy, Emily, and Leslie all singing “Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” together, it was really the right note to go out on. Not that our paths wouldn’t cross again – there was one stop of their 2010 in-store tour and then again that December – mainly to see Superchunk, but also to affirm that hey, we had some good times but I think we’re done. There’s just not enough nostalgia in my tank to spend a day seeing a lineup of bands I’ve seen a million times already. So everyone else in the city, have a great time tomorrow, happy anniversary Arts & Crafts, have a great show Broken Social Scene. I’ll be at home installing some blinds.

But if you’re in the spirit of the occasion, do read this piece in Rolling Stone about the BSS “reunion” and A&C anniversary, another in Huffington Post, as well as this one in Interview with Brendan Canning about those same topics as well as what he’s up to at the moment. And also this week’s cover story in The Grid about the evolution of the independent music scene in Toronto over the past decades – not just post-BSS – and the companion piece by author Michael Barclay at his own Radio Free Canuckistan. And you can watch last night’s “reunion” warm-up performances of “Almost Crimes” and “7/4 Shoreline” on Jimmy Fallon at Pitchfork. Update: A full transcript of the interview with Kevin Drew that went into the Rolling Stone piece is up courtesy of the author.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – “Deathcock”
MP3: Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”

The Music Nerd Chronicles and The Independent talk to Hayden, who’s also playing Field Trip and got in touch with his crafty side in a video feature for Etsy.

Pitchfork are streaming the new Braids EP “In Kind//Amends”, out June 11. They play The Comfort Zone for NXNE on June 15 and the new full-length Flourish//Perish is out August 20.

Stream: Braids / In Kind//Amends

DIY gets to know Diana; they’re at The Horseshoe on June 13 for NXNE, opening for Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6, and will release their debut full-length Perpetual Surrender on August 20.

Exclaim gets a bit of context to that Halifax-heavy showcase happening at The Great Hall on the Friday night of NXNE, June 14; it’s to mark the 21st anniversary of Murderrecords, and will feature Sloan performing their debut Peppermint EP in its entirety (plus some other songs because the EP is only like 23 minutes long), and will also have the first-ever vinyl pressing of The Super Friendz’s debut Mock Up, Scale Down available for sale – I may prevail upon someone to grab me a copy since I probably won’t make it to the show – and the release of a commemorative book about the label. For those not rocking NXNE wristbands, advance tickets are $23 and available now.

Nylon has a feature piece on Majical Cloudz, doing the NXNE thing on June 15 at BLK BOX.

Lightning Dust are streaming another new song from their forthcoming Fantasy, out June 25.

Stream: Lightning Dust – “Loaded Gun”

Exclaim is streaming another new song from Louise Burns’ forthcoming solo record The Midnight Mass, out July 9.

Stream: Louise Burns – “Jasper”

The Grid and Huffington Post check in with Tokyo Police Club about the status of their next album, possibly/probably due out in the Fall.

Muso’s Guide interviews Hooded Fang.

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Amends

End the week with new Braids (by attrition)

Photo By Victoria MastersVictoria MastersSo I’m sitting here with a handful of bits and bobs to string together into a blog post, and find that most of the artists have already been featured hereabouts in recent months. So what’s that mean? Braids, you’re up.

I’m not a tremendous fan of the Montreal-based trio, the things I liked about their 2011 debut Native Speaker outweighed by the things I didn’t – that a frequent reference point for the band is Animal Collective is really all you need to know about that. But that it garnered them a sizeable fanbase, as well as a place on that year’s Polaris shortlist, is not up for debate so when they finally announce details of their sophomore album, it’s newsworthy.

First, there’s the new stream of the flipside of their new 12″ “In Kind//Amends” due out June 11, both songs of which will be appearing on the full-length Flourish//Perish. Exclaim has all the specifics of the new record, which will be coming out August 20 and finds the band trading their guitars for keyboards for an electronically-driven sound. And while it’s hardly a ringing endorsement, I will say these new songs aren’t annoying me. Whether that’ll still hold over a complete album remains to be seen, but it’s a positive step.

It remains to be seen if they’ll be rearranging all the old material to work guitar-less live, or if they’ll just travel with a whole lot of gear. People who attend their NXNE showcase at The Comfort Zone on June 15 will be able to report back on that.

Stream: Braids – “In Kind”
Stream: Braids – “Amends”

NOW and Exclaim talk to Hooded Fang, who are holding the record release party for their new album Gravez at The Horseshoe tonight.

NOW also previews Young Galaxy’s show at Lee’s Palace tonight.

Get your Murderrecords t-shirts out of storage! The Great Hall will turn warp both time and space to become Halifax in the mid-’90s for NXNE, proffering a lineup of Sloan, The Super Friendz, and former Inbred Mike O’Neill on June 14. Admission by festival wristband only.

MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: The Super Friendz – “Up And Running”
Stream: Mike O’Neill – “This Is Who I Am”

Aritzia has an interview, Pitchfork a guest list and Le Blogotheque a Takeaway Show with Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase goes June 15 at BLK BOX.

Though he probably could have just called it a Dears record and no one would have thought anything of it, Under The Radar reports that Murray Lightburn will release his first solo record Mass:Light on June 16, and that it’ll be available on vinyl only via mail order. And there’s also a new Dears record in the works.

Austra is streaming a second – and arguably more characteristic – sample from Olympia, due out June 18.

Stream: Austra – “Painful Like”

I Like Music has an interview with Born Ruffians, who’re streaming a new track not found on their latest Birthmarks, just because. They play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

Stream: Born Ruffians – “With An Ax”

Beatroute talks to Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Loud & Quiet interviews Suuns.

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Hero Brother

Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld Hero-ically goes it alone

Photo By Nick BostickNick BostickThat Arcade Fire will release a new record this year – possibly/probably produced by or at least involving James Murphy – is pretty much a given. But also a given is that it won’t be out until Fall, at the earliest, because a) it’s already Spring and it’s not done, and b) Fall is still when all the big records come out and this is about as big as they get.

It would be nice to be able to say that Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld will be able to help fill that gap, what with the announcement that the instrumental solo endeavours that had her playing live shows since late last year have coalesced into her debut album – produced by German composer Nils Frahm – but the fact is that Hero Brother – said debut album – isn’t scheduled to come out until August 20, which is almost Fall anyways. But until then, there’s a preview MP3, an album trailer, a brace of Summer tour dates (nothing local yet but be patient), and a promise that she’ll continue to promote the record even while Arcade Fire is doing the same for album number four. Pitchfork has all the salient details on the record.

And while on the topic of things Arcade-y and Fire-y, congratulations to Win and Regine on the birth of their baby boy.

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

If ever there was a reason to not rely on this site for your timely music news, this is it. Earlier this week Sloan released a limited-edition 7″ with two new hardcore songs on it, and by the time you read this they will have completely sold out. But you can still read details on it and the companion album of hardcore covers at Exclaim, and stream the two sides of the single below. Because that’s almost as good, right?

Stream: Sloan – “Jenny”
Stream: Sloan – “It’s In You, It’s In Me”

Along with a new video that surfaced last week, Exclaim has an advance stream of Jim Guthrie’s first new record in seemingly forever – Takes Time – ahead of its release on May 7. And spoiler alert – it’s terrific.

Stream: Jim Guthrie / Takes Time
Video: Jim Guthrie – “Bring On The Night”

Dallas Good talks to Exclaim about recording The Good Family Album with his family as The Good Family, and also about the next Sadies record. The Good Family play The Dakota Tavern on May 9 and 10 and The Sadies are part of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

aux.tv chats with Airick Woodhead of Doldrums, back in town for a show at The Horseshoe on May 11.

Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz talks to DIY about his debut album Impersonator, out May 21 and from which a new MP3 has just been made available. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back for NXNE on June 15.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”

Stereogum has premiered a stream of a new Hooded Fang tune, taken from Gravez. It’s out May 28 and they play The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Beatroute have put Vancouver’s Gold & Youth on this month’s cover in tribute to the May 14 release of their debut album, Beyond Wilderness.

Le Blogotheque has a striking Take-Away Show with Colin Stetson, and Exclaim, Consequence Of Sound, eMusic, and Rolling Stone have feature interviews. His new record New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light came out this week and he plays The Great Hall on May 19.

The 405 meets Young Galaxy.

CBC Music graphically maps the Broken Social Scene extended family, a map which will get even messier come May 28 with the release of X, a special album which teams up Arts & Crafts artists to record new songs, Judgement Night-style. Exclaim has details, and Clash a profile piece on the label. Broken Social Scene headline the Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

The Georgia Straight chats with Snowblink, who will also be playing Field Trip on June 8.

Crystal Castles have released a new video from III. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 8.

Video: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

NYLON meets Moon King, who will be all over NXNE playing June 13 at The Garrison, June 14 at The Drake, and June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Austra have released the first video from their second album Olympia, due out June 18.

Video: Austra – “Home”

She Knows and College Times interview Born Ruffians, playing for free as part of Sound Clash at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

No Joy have released a new/first video from their second album, Wait To Pleasure.

Video: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

For her visit to The AV Club’s Undercover studio, Basia Bulat takes a swing at Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”.