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Posts Tagged ‘Suuns’

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.

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.

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.

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

I Do Sing For You

Majical Cloudz streams debut Impersonator; has no use for your so-called “spelling”

Photo By Denis NazarovDenis NazarovThough at least some of his current profile comes from being associated with the same Montreal scene that produced Grimes, those expecting more electro-pop cotton candy from Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz had best adjust their expectations. His full-length debut Impersonator is electronic, yes, but is also spare, haunting, and unflinchingly emotional, circling heavy lyrical topics like death and desire. One would expect that at the Matador company picnic, he’ll be keeping more company with Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius than, say, Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch.

Even so, Impersonator is one of the more eagerly-anticipated debut records coming out of Canada this year, and with its May 21 release date almost upon us, it’s time for an advance stream of the record courtesy of Pitchfork. There’s also interviews with Welsh at Stereogum and Flavorwire, and while the venue is still TBA, he’ll be one of the bigger draws at NXNE on June 15. Update: It’s BLK BOX underneath The Great Hall.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Turns Turns Turns”
Stream: Majical Cloudz / Impersonator

And a few noteworthy album streams originating from right here in Toronto: Exclaim is streaming the self-titled debut from glam/New Wave outfit Decades, though they should technically be called “Decade” since the only one that matters to them is the ’80s. The record came out this week and they play a record release show for it at The Garrison tonight, May 16.

Stream: Decades / Decades

Hooded Fang are streaming their new record Gravez over at Hype Machine ahead of its May 28 release date. They play a hometown record release show for it at The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang / Gravez

Local country-pop newcomers Beams have made their debut album Just Rivers available to both buy and stream. There’s a video session with the band at Exclaim and they’ll be at The Central on June 14 for NXNE.

Stream: Beams / Just Rivers

Exclaim and NOW find out what METZ are up to, besides making a triumphant homecoming at Lee’s Palace tomorrow night, May 17; expect a new song and video sooner rather than later.

Young Galaxy have released another new video from Ultramarine. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 31.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Fall For You”

Daytrotter welcomes Hayden for a session. He’s at Field Trip at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Noisey has a video session with Stars, also partaking in Field Trip on June 8.

With their debut album Beyond Wilderness out as of this week, Vancouver’s Gold & Youth have released a new video from it and are the subject of feature pieces at Exclaim, The Georgia Straight, and The Vancouver Sun. They play the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Garrison Commons on June 8 and will stick around town to play a NXNE showcase at BLK BOX on June 14.

Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”

The Dumbing Of America has an interview with No Joy, who are back in town at BLK BOX on June 13 for NXNE.

Stereogum talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose second album Olympia is out June 18.

Diana are poised to become Toronto’s next great synth-pop export, having signed a deal with Paper Bag Records and Jagjaguwar for the August 20 release of their self-titled debut. Exclaim has details and a new video from the record. All of this is very exciting, of course, but sadly probably means that we won’t be seeing anything anytime soon from frontwoman Carmen Elle’s Army Girls. Alas. Diana have a June 13 showcase at The Horseshoe for NXNE and will support Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6.

Video: Diana – “Born Again”

It sounds as though The Hidden Cameras will release a new record this Fall under the title of Age.

Exclaim and The Verge talk to Jim Guthrie about his years in the making yet totally worth the wait new record, Takes Time.

Exclaim has an interview with The Besnard Lakes. Frontman Jace Lasek also details his dream band lineup for The Independent.

Beatroute and Austinist interview Suuns.

Stephen McBean talks to Exclaim about what’s coming next from his Pink Mountaintops project.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Canadian Musicfest 2013 Day Three

Savages, Limblifter, and more at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you’re ever debating what to do on a given evening of either Canadian Musicfest or NXNE, you can always do far worse than to simply post up at either The Horseshoe or Lee’s Palace for the entire evening. These Toronto anchors always host a solid bill of bands, both local and international, buzzy and unheralded, covering a swath of genres that will surely have something to delight the ears. Granted, I was there with a more specific mandate than to just take in some music – I wanted to see Savages – but still opted to spend the whole night there and see some other acts I’d not seen before. Because isn’t that the point of these things?

Vancouver’s Zolas drew the opening slot and my immediate impression of their lanky, piano-heavy and slightly funky rock was that they sounded like Spoon, but those comparisons became less valid as the set progressed. The ingredients were similar, but their recipe drew more from laid-back, ’70s pop-rock than the tense, ’80s post-punk influences of the Austinites. This didn’t make their set any less enjoyable, but I can’t say I wasn’t a bit disappointed that they weren’t a more adventurous outfit. Still, their sound was a crowd-pleasing one and when frontman Zachary Gray left the stage to sing the final song from the audience, it felt like he had been invited rather than invaded.

Photos: The Zolas @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Video: The Zolas – “Escape Artist”
Video: The Zolas – “Cab Driver”
Video: The Zolas – “Knot In My Heart”
Video: The Zolas – “No Talking”
Video: The Zolas – “The Great Collapse”

There’s almost no chance I’d have ever seen Dustin Bentall & The Smokes perform if not for the inherent eclecticism of club festival lineups. Not because I’d have gone out of my to avoid them, but because their brand of unaffected roots-rock ceased being the sort of thing that piqued my curiosity some time ago. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining, because it absolutely was – Bentall has an easy charm and his songs a friendly familiarity that helps compensate for the rather pedestrian songwriting, to say nothing of the live show – Kendel Carson’s aggressively virtuosic lead fiddle playing could make anything sound amazing.

Photos: Dustin Bentall & The Smokes @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
MP3: Dustin Bentall & The Smokes – “Railroad”
Video: Dustin Bentall & The Smokes – “Streets With No Name”

Hamilton’s Young Rival have been kicking around for a while now – six years and two albums, says Wikipedia – but our paths had yet to cross, or at least until last month when one of their clips was shortlisted for the Prism Prize. In any case, I was advised just before their set to expect something between garage rock and power pop, and while this was true, their set tilted much more towards the former. They offered great guitarwork and a solid rhythm section and songwriting which while not the most memorable, was more than serviceable for rock’n’roll. I would have expected more showmanship from a power trio as tight as they were, but while they weren’t disinterested, they also didn’t seem especially fussed about wowing the audience.

Photos: Young Rival @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Video: Young Rival – “Two Reasons”
Video: Young Rival – “Nothing You Know Well”
Video: Young Rival – “The Ocean”
Video: Young Rival – “Authentic”
Video: Young Rival – “Your Island”

It was good to see that each of the acts on the bill had their own fanbase turn out, based on the enthusiasm of varying percentages of the audience and the constant turnover of the folks gathered up front, but for me it was London four-piece Savages who were the reason for being here this night. Not because I’m a huge fan, but because I’m not. Or more accurately, I was curious to see if the hype around a band with hardly any recorded output and yet just signed to one of the most respected labels around was justified. And for the record, their “they’re amazing live” reputation actually counted as something of a strike in my books, since talking about the performance before establishing the songs are there raises flags with me.

In any case, Savages took the stage certainly looking as you’d expect – lights dimmed, faces stern, and dressed all in black save for frontwoman Jehny Beth, who in addition to looking an uncanny hybrid of Ian Curtis and Sinead O’Connor, also wore a pair of bright red heels. And for the next 40 minutes, it was all business – that business being a relentless, sonic pummeling of the post-punk variety, all hard edges and not so much interested in hooks as stabs. Each song had a distinct musical angle to distinguish it from the others without compromising their aesthetic consistency, but this wasn’t always enough to make them memorable, particularly measured against the standard of their two best songs and set closers, “She Will” – which was highlighted by drummer Fay Milton absolutely destroying her splash cymbal – and “Husbands”. No question Savages put on a good show, but I will still reserve judgement until the May 7 release of Silence Yourself when I can hear if they’ve got the songs to back up the performance.

Photos: Savages @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Stream: Savages – “She Will”

There’s probably a rule somewhere that you can’t call it a festival without some ’90s-vintage reunion act, and that’s where the night’s ostensible headliners Limblifter came in. I wouldn’t say I had any particular affection or enmity towards the Vancouver band, having liked some of their hits back in the day and been indifferent to others, but I could think of worse things than to hear “Vicious” live. It’s worth noting that just as frontman Ryan Dahle has aged remarkably well over the past 15 years, Limblifter’s sound has also held up pretty well. Their slightly strangled, angsty grunge-pop is still very much of an era – on hearing “Screwed Up” I half-expected a space-time wormhole to open up and drag me back to my sophomore year (this would not have been a good thing) – but enough of their repertoire is strong enough melodically to still impress so many years hence; to wit, “Tinfoil” still sounded great. And as evidence that Limblifter was still a going concern in 2013, they introduced some new material that didn’t feel out of place with the old. Whether the folks in attendance were actually interested in adding to their Limblifter collection rather than just hearing the old tunes remains to be seen, but for this night, at least, they were loving it.

The KW Record has an interview with Limblifter.

Photos: Limblifter @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Video: Limblifter – “Perfect Day To Disappear”
Video: Limblifter – “Wake Up To The Sun”
Video: Limblifter – “Cordova”
Video: Limblifter – “Vicious”
Video: Limblifter – “On The Moon”
Video: Limblifter – “Ariel Vs Lotus”
Video: Limblifter – “Tinfoil”

NOW and The Montreal Gazette talk to The Besnard Lakes about their new album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO, out April 2. And if you were thinking that it was about time an advance stream of the album surfaced, you would be correct – CBC Music has it (for Canadians).

Stream: The Besnard Lakes / Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO

Beatroute, The Leader-Post, The Province, Metro, and The Times-Colonist chat with Born Ruffians about their new album Birthmarks, out April 16.

Exclaim has premiered the first video from Gentleman Reg’s latest album Leisure Life. He’ll play songs from it at an in-store at Sunrise Records on Yonge St on April 19.

Video: Gentleman Reg – “Waiting Around For Gold”

Consequence Of Sound reports that Caribou will celebrate Record Store Day with vinyl reissues of his first three albums. That’s April 20 for those not keeping track.

Portals talks to Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy about the story behind their new single “Pretty Boy”. Their new album Ultramarine is out April 23 and another track from it is available to stream:

Stream: Young Galaxy – “New Summer”

Exclaim talks to Rachel Zeffira, who is in town for a rare show at The Drake on May 2.

NPR has video of one of METZ’s performances at SXSW this year. They play Lee’s Palace on May 17 and then Downsview Park opening up for Weezer on July 12.

The Toronto Sun, Black Book, and amNY chat with Stars, BlogTO with The Darcys, and The Georgia Straight, Vue, Playback, and FFWD with Hayden – all of whom are part of the Field Trip festival at Garrison Common on June 8.

A Heart Is A Spade and Noisey grabbed interviews with Diamond Rings at SXSW; he opens up both of OMD’s shows at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Exclaim rounds up some details on Shad’s next album, Flying Colours.

Kestrels have released a new video from A Ghost History.

Video: Kestrels – “Drowning Girl”

Suuns answers questions from Spinner, Noisey, The 405, All The Write Notes, and Ca Va Cool.