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Posts Tagged ‘Two Hours Traffic’

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Ritual Tradition Habit

The Belle Game and Bear Mountain at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’d mentioned back in April that Vancouver’s Belle Game – purveyors of soulful, atmospheric pop – had taken their own sweet time in releasing their debut album Ritual Tradition Habit, and they were lucky that it was as good as it was, lest the more impatient among us pettily punish the record for taking so long to exist. Instead, those of us seeking something to grouse about could turn our attention to how long it was taking them to come play a live show in Toronto. It seemed odd that an act with the stars seemingly aligning would have missed out on both CMW and NXNE (though, to be fair, they’d been here for those fests in 2011 and 2012), and while they did play a free show at Harbourfront Centre in July for the SoundClash fest, I missed it so in my egocentric worldview, it didn’t happen. All of which is to say that Friday night’s show at The Drake Underground – which caught the band headed home after a successful CMJ in New York – took long enough to happen.

With them were fellow Vancouverites Bear Mountain, whom I knew nothing about but kind of hoped would be some unholy combination of Grizzly Bear and Black Mountain. Which they could still be described as if someone had never heard of either act and assumed they made peppy, disco-inflected electro-pop. Showing off their debut album XO, it was evident that in the Bear Mountain mandate, maintaining the party vibe was paramount and in that, they succeeded admirably. To this end, they utilized such tools as a keytar in its intended purpose of rocking out synth solos, a maybe-ironic cover of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” with the original video projected on their stage decor screens, in case you weren’t sure, and some cheesy but effective crowd-rousing banter. Oh and some catchy if kind of lightweight songs. Assured in what they were doing and entertaining, they weren’t a band that you’d leave saying you’d seen the future of anything, but you would say you had fun.

As mentioned, The Belle Game had a pretty good amount of buzz around them leading up to Ritual Tradition Habit‘s release this Spring, so it’s not unreasonable that they’d have drawn a good crowd based strictly on that… but being on Pitchfork’s radar? I’m sure that didn’t hurt either. But however they got there, room was comfortably filled with punters – especially for an early show – when the band took the stage. Though offering less instant gratification than Bear Mountain, they established their atmosphere quickly and effectively. Not an especially showy sextet, they were largely focused on the task at hand – while demonstrating terrific individual musicianship and chemistry as a unit – with frontwoman Andrea Lo shouldering the duty of engaging the audience. Luckily for her, all she needed to do to accomplish this was let loose with her formidable voice.

If the show had kept to that level throughout, it’d have been perfectly fine if not overwhelming, but as it progressed, it became clear that they were actually capable of more. Moments where the aforementioned musical chemistry seemed more akin to alchemy in creating something powerful; of a new slow jam of a song that pointed to an intriguing new dimension for the band; readings of “River” and “Wait For You” both impressively looser and more intense than the recorded versions; an unexpectedly raucous cover of Nirvana’s “All Apologies” as an encore. And oh yeah, local Broken Social Scenester Kevin Drew showed up to provide guest vocals on another new song. So, all in, a show that both satisfied but also left you eager to see the next stage in the band’s evolution; if that means having to wait a little while until they come back again, then it may well be worth it.

Photos: The Belle Game, Bear Mountain @ The Drake Underground – October 25, 2013
MP3: The Belle Game – “Blame Fiction”
MP3: The Belle Game – “River”
Video: The Belle Game -“River”
Video: The Belle Game – “Wait For You”
Video: Bear Mountain – “Faded”
Stream: Bear Mountain / XO

The Guardian and Canada.com talk to Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and NPR to Butler and Regine Chassagne about Reflektor, which is finally out today. And their live webcast performance from last night is available to stream on-demand at NPR.

The Montreal Gazette talks to Spencer Krug of Moonface about his new record Julia With Blue Jeans On, officially out as of today, along with a new video.

Video: Moonface – “Barbarian”

Also at the Montreal Gazette and out today are features on Yamantaka//Sonic Titan and their new album Uzu, respectively. They play The Garrison on November 6.

Beatroute gets to know July Talk, while Huffington Post gets some background on the recording of “Guns & Ammunition”; they’re at The Sound Academy on December 3 opening up for Frank Turner.

A sad day for fans of domestically-grown power-pop: PEI’s Two Hours Traffic are calling it a day. But as Exclaim reports, they’re doing it with a farewell tour that kicks off in Toronto at Lee’s Palace on December 12; tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer”

Emily Haines of Metric remembers Lou Reed, with whom the band both played live with and recorded, at Rolling Stone.

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.

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Here Here

Islands, island festivals, theatre festivals, etc, etc.

Photo By Todd WeaverTodd WeaverHere are some things I didn’t know about Islands. That though their history is pretty firmly tied to the early aughts Montreal scene that spawned The Unicorns and from whose ashes the first of many incarnations of the band were based, Wikipedia now says they’re based in Los Angeles. Of course, this is probably based on the fact that where Nick Thorburn, the only constant in the band since its inception, lays his hat is where they’re based, and circa their last record – last year’s A Sleep & A Forgetting – Thorburn was indeed working out of the city of angels. I also didn’t know that Evan and Geordie Gordon, principals of Guelph’s disco-tastic The Magic, had been members since 2009. Who knew?

But what I do know is that the stylistically eclectic pop outfit already have a new record ready to go, that they’ve called it Ski Mask, that it’s about being angry – the next logical step from Forgetting‘s prevailing themes of heartbreak, I guess – and that it will be out on September 17, and the first sample from it is available to stream below. Also confirmed is a North American tour that brings them to The Garrison in Toronto on October 10 for a ticket price of $12.50. And if you don’t believe me, consult Pitchfork – surely they’re a reliable source?

Stream: Islands – “Wave Forms”

While there’s no local Two Hours Traffic show per se, the band will be in the area to play Hillside over in Guelph and so are throwing their local fans a bone by playing a free in-store at Sonic Boom’s Annex location on July 27 at 5PM.

MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Territory”

Summerworks added a musical component to their established theatre festival starting back in 2008, and while the showcase they provided to many of the area’s local on-the-verge talents was a great one – The Rural Alberta Advantage, Diamond Rings, Evening Hymns, the aforementioned Magic, Miracle Fortress, Hooded Fang, and Hidden Cameras to name but a few – they’ve only in the last couple years begun realizing the potential of really connecting the musical acts with their theatre roots. With this year’s programme, it seems they’ve finally figured out a way to make the music series really distinct and have enlisted The Wooden Sky, Snowblink, The Bicycles, and Maylee Todd to participate in some unique collaborations with other multi-disciplinary artists, and really, it’s just easier if you go and read about them than me try to explain. Oh, and there’s also more conventional live music performances at the Performance Bar. Summerworks runs August 8 to 18 in and around the Lower Ossington Theatre and Great Hall; tickets for the musical series shows will be $15 a piece.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
MP3: Snowblink – “Unsurfed Waves”
Video: Maylee Todd – “Baby’s Got It”
Video: The Bicycles – “Nap Trap”

It’s unfortunate that Summerworks overlaps the fifth and final ALL CAPS! festival taking place at Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands the weekend of August 10 and 11 because they’re really catering to the same audience. In fact, Summerworks alumnis Hooded Fang were just added to the lineup, along with Magneta Lane. Torontoist talked festival organizers at Wavelength about why they’re calling it after five years and what will come next.

Video: Hooded Fang – “Bye Bye Land”
Video: Magneta Lane – “Lady Bones”

You may recall at the end of last Summer, I decamped to the wilds of northern Quebec for Festival de music émergent, a fun and fascinating little festival in the town of Rouyn-Noranda. They’ve just announced this year’s lineup, and while it’s not the Feist-Godspeed! one-two punch they got for their tenth anniversary, it’s a solidly trippy bill headlined by Montreal space-cadets The Besnard Lakes, New York art-rockers Blonde Redhead, and Quebec prog-metal legends Voivod, amongst many others of both Francophone and Anglophone persuasion. It’s off the beaten path, to be sure, but it’s a unique experience if you’re looking for something along those lines for the Labour Day long weekend. And if the music isn’t enough to persuade you, the words 24-hour poutinerie might. Exclaim has more details on this year’s FME, as the locals call it.

MP3: Blonde Redhead – “Missile++”
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “People Of The Sticks”

Somewhat closer to home, local emergent synth-pop heroes Diana have scheduled a hometown record release show for their debut album Perpetual Surrender; the record is out August 20, they’re at The Great Hall on September 26, and there’s a brand-new video from said record to win your hearts and minds and eyeballs.

MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Video: Diana – “Perpetual Surrender”

Remember when The Weeknd was all shy and would play shows or give interviews and stuff? Well no more. With his first proper – as in you pay for it – album due out this fall in Kiss Land, Abel Tesfaye has booked not one, not two, but three nights at Massey Hall to sing you some songs. He’s there on October 17, 19, and 20 and tickets run from $45 to $75 in advance. A video for the title track of the new record was released earlier this Summer.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”
Video: The Weeknd – “Kiss Land”

Kat Burns of Kashka – and formerly of Forest City Lovers – talks to NOW about her new identity and direction. She plays Harbourfront’s Soundclash festival this Saturday afternoon, July 13, at 1:30PM; that’s free.

Exclaim has premiered the new video from Louise Burns’ just-released new record The Midnight Mass; she talked a bit to Ion Magazine about making the clip.

Video: Louise Burns – “Emeralds Shatter”

The Effects Bay gets a look at Jimmy Shaw’s pedalboard with Metric, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

New Summer

Review of Young Galaxy’s Ultramarine

Photo By Vanessa HeinsVanessa HeinsThey couldn’t have known it at the time, but when naming their 2011 album Shapeshifting, Montreal’s Young Galaxy were describing not only their sonic shift from well-worn dream-pop to sleek, futuristic disco, but in their fortunes as well. Their first couple records had failed to launch them into an orbit commensurate with their band name but Shapeshifting would make them, if not stars, then an act who were genuinely doing something fresh and interesting and well worth watching. It was a fresh start that not many artists get.

It would also put whatever they did next under a next-level degree of scrutiny to see if Shapeshifting genuinely the start of a fruitful new direction for the band or just a lucky aberration. Doing everything they could to ensure the former and acknowledging that Swedish producer Dan Lissvik’s job mixing Shapeshifting was an essential part of the record’s magic and success, Young Galaxy doubled down on his input and traveled to Gothenburg to record with him fully-credited as producer, and it’s a gamble that has paid off handsomely. To say an album sounds like its predecessor is usually interpreted as a sign of creative stagnation, but for Ultramarine to be considered an equal to Shapeshifting is actually rather high praise.

The space-age, synthesized aesthetic that so surprised on its predecessor still feels fresh and more importantly, natural. It provides the perfect setting for now-sole vocalist Catherine McCandless’ vocals and their peripheral iciness, but also allows draws out some of her most affecting performances to date, particularly on album bookends “Pretty Boy” and “Sleepwalk With Me”. Also interestingly, Ultramarine doesn’t find the band venturing any further into dancey territory despite being tooled up for it, funky expedition “Out The Gate Backwards” being the notable exception but even that does its work by way of Madchester, rather than via any contemporary EDM affectations. Ultramarine is a strong record that cements Young Galaxy’s place in the Can-rock firmament, and if Shapeshifting posited the question of, “this is Young Galaxy?”, Ultramarine definitively answers it with “this is Young Galaxy”.

Exclaim talks to Catherine McCandless and The Advocate to drummer Andrea Silver about the making of Ultramarine. It’s out April 23 but streaming now in whole at Pitchfork. They play Lee’s Palace on May 31.

Stream: Young Galaxy / Ultramarine

Odonis Odonis have released a video for the title track of their just-out new EP Better. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 17 supporting METZ.

Video: Odonis Odonis – “Better”

PopMatters talks to Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Arts & Crafts about the label’s tenth anniversary. The corresponding compilation Arts & Crafts 2003-2013 is now available to stream in its two-CD entirety at CBC Music, and the festival to go along with the comp – Field Trip – hits Garrison Commons on June 8.

Stream: various artists / Arts & Crafts 2003-2013

Spin has posted a stream of Moon King’s new Obsession II EP, though the Soundcloud link below is a bit more reliable in performance. Speaking of in performance, their NXNE appearances have been confirmed – look for them on June 13 at The Garrison, June 14 at The Drake, and June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
Stream: Moon King / Obsession II

Paste gets to know Born Ruffians, whose new record Birthmarks came out this week.

The Belle Game are celebrating this week’s release of their debut Tradition Ritual Habit by giving away another download from the album via Rolling Stone.

MP3: The Belle Game – “Blame Fiction”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews No Joy, who are streaming their new album Wait To Pleasure ahead of its April 23 release date over at Pitchfork. They’re also at The Garrison that night opening for Clinic.

Stream: No Joy / Wait To Pleasure

Stereogum talks to Colin Stetson about his forthcoming New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, out April 30. He and his lungs are at The Great Hall on May 19.

Arts Journal and NPR talk to Rachel Zeffira, who makes her local debut at The Drake Underground on May 2.

NPR has posted a Mountain Stage video session with Kathleen Edwards, who is part of the CBC Music Fest at Echo Beach on May 25.

Japandroids are coming back to town for a show at the Adelaide Music Hall on June 17, tickets $25. What the hell is the Adelaide Music Hall, you ask? Don’t worry – The Grid is on it.

MP3: Japandroids – “Younger Us”
MP3: Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”

Patrick Watson will be playing a free show at Pecault Square on June 20 as part of this year’s LuminaTO festivities.

MP3: Patrick Watson – “Words In The Fire”
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”

BrooklynVegan has premiered a Moog Sound Lab video with Diamond Rings, who’s opening up for OMD at the Danforth on July 11 and 19.

The Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight have feature interviews with Two Hours Traffic.

DIY and Under The Radar talk to The Besnard Lakes.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Telling The Hour

An incredibly selective guide to Canadian Musicfest 2013, featuring Mount Moriah

Photo By Andrew SynowiezAndrew SynowiezKnow what week it is? It’s Canadian Music Week, which means it’s also Canadian Musicfest, which means it’s the week where all the Toronto clubs filled up with acts from near and far and folks who would normally be out and about with a fistful of tickets guaranteeing admission were now brandishing wristbands that they hoped would get them into the clubs and prove to be the mathematically superior value that they hoped.

And if those equations included trying to get into the shows of advertised headliners Rihanna or Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, that’s unfortunate – only a handful of VIP passes are being allowed into those, so basically no average punters – but for those willing to do the club-hopping and take a flyer on some unknown quantities, they can still pay off handsomely. So to that end, here’s some suggestions of things to see over the next week; some will be familiar, others not, hailing from near and far.

It’s kind of a shame that in 2013, being described as “rootsy” means your wardrobe could belong to an “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” cosplayer because while the sounds North Carolina’s Mount Moriah make are deeply steeped in folk and country traditions, their just-released full-length debut Miracle Temple is unapologetically modern-sounding. Lead singer Heather McEntire’s voice can twang like Dolly or sigh like Emmylou, but you can also hear her punk-rock bonafides from her time in Bellafea, and the twistingly melodic guitar lines put down by Jenks Miller make no effort to hide his tenure in psych-metalers Horseback. Hurtin’ songs that can still kick like a mule.

Wednesday, March 20, 11PM @ The Drake Underground

MP3: Mount Moriah – “Younger Days”
Video: Mount Moriah – “Bright Light”

Cincinnati trio The Seedy Seeds were a fun time at NXNE 2012 and clearly, they enjoyed the Toronto festival circuit as well as they’re bringing their fun and danceable (but not dance) indie-pop back to town.

Tuesday, March 19, 9:30PM @ The El Mocambo (upstairs)
Wednesday, March 20, 10PM @ Annex Live

Video: The Seedy Seeds – “Telephone The Constrictor”

Before you get too excited, this is NOT the local debut of the Nick McCabe/Simon Jones project that rose from the ashes of the last Verve reunion… but The Black Ships, who hail from just outside of Albany, New York, do a pretty convincing job with their ’80s UK post-punk-influenced sound.

Tuesday, March 19, 1AM @ Rancho Relaxo

Stream: The Black Ships – “Bangalor”

The Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES has been getting more than its share of buzz – including here – but their set merits re-mentioning if just to remind you to get to the Mod Club early because it’s-a gonna fill up.

Wednesday, March 20, 10PM @ The Mod Club

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”

Dancey, metal-distorted, keyboard-driven, Krautrock from Reykjavik, with a sense of humour – with an elevator pitch like that, how could you now want to catch Apparat Organ Quartet? Their 2012 album Pólýfónía just got a domestic release last week – do let them cave your head in with sound as a hello.

Wednesday, March 20, 12AM @ The Garrison
Saturday, March 23, 6:45PM @ The Hoxton

Video: Apparat Organ Quartet – “123 Forever”

Montreal’s Breezes put on a solid set of harmony-laden guitar-pop at last year’s CMF, and now they’re back with their self-titled debut finished and out so if you’re planning on camping out at the Horseshoe all night as many often do, why not show up early enough to hear some of it.

Thursday, March 21, 8:39PM @ The Horseshoe

Video: The Breezes – “Cross The USA”

Yeah, another Irish-German art-rock duo formed in Paris, but Kool Thing’s blend of beats, guitars, and sexy Euro attitude stands out from the pack. They’ve got enough shows this week that you’d probably have to make the effort to miss them and you really probably shouldn’t.

Thursday, March 21, 8:45PM @ The Drake Underground
Saturday, March 23, TBA @ The Great Hall
Sunday, March 24, 8PM @ The Garrison

Video: Kool Thing – “PLAN.LIFE.GO”
Video: Kool Thing – “Light Games”

I by no means endorse random Twitter messages as a way to get peoples’ ears, but Amanda Merdzan gets a rare pass because the tune she linked – which I listened to in a rare moment of indulgence – was quite lovely. So see her if you can – she’s coming all the way from Australia to play for you! – but if you’re a band, don’t start @-ing me. The odds of this happening again are minuscule.

Thursday, March 21, 9:45PM @ The Church Of The Holy Trinity
Friday, March 23, 11PM @ The Central

Video: Amanda Merdzan – “Afraid”

Prince Edward Islanders Two Hours Traffic are hardly an unknown quantity, but their latest Foolish Blood is proof that lineup shuffles haven’t affected their ability to write classically-styled jangle-pop, but they may be getting even better and more sophisticated at it.

Thursday, March 21, 12AM @ Lee’s Palace

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

Sóley Stefánsdóttir – Sóley for short, purveyor of haunting electro-folk, and also a member of Seabear – is part of the miniature Icelandic invasion taking place this CMW and possibly part of the advance team, having opened up for Of Monsters & Men at the Kool Haus last November.

Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8PM @ Moog Audio
Friday, March 22, 10PM @ The Drake Underground
Saturday, March 23, 8:15PM @ The Hoxton

Video: Sóley – “Pretty Face”

One of the up-and-coming voices of the London folk scene, Lucy Rose will draw the honour of being the sole international act on the sure-to-be-jammed, Besnard Lakes-headlined Friday night Lee’s Palace lineup. Her debut Like I Used To came out last Fall.

Friday, March 22, 10:30PM @ Lee’s Palace

Video: Lucy Rose – “Shiver”

If memory serves, Sweden’s This Is Head were supposed to play Canadian Musicfest last year, but were one of the many acts to cancel at the last minute. Unlike many of those no-shows, however, they’ve made the effort to come back and share their danceable electro-sonic ideas with you before releasing their new record The Album ID later this Spring.

Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8PM @ Moog Audio
Friday, March 22, 11PM @ The Garrison
Saturday, March 23, 10PM @ Annex Live

Video: This Is Head – “A-B Version”

London quartet Savages entered 2013 as one of the most talked-about new acts thanks to their razor-wire post-punk sound and ferocious live shows, and if you’re the sort to want bragging rights about having seen big bands when they’re still playing small rooms, either of their CMF showcases should be circled in your calendar.

Friday, March 22, 11:10PM @ The Horseshoe
Saturday, March 23, 12AM @ Lee’s Palace

Stream: Savages – “Flying To Berlin”

Rising Toronto-based New Wave revivalists Decades caught my ear out of nowhere earlier this year, so maybe check them out and see if I’m onto something or not before their self-titled debut arrives on April 30.

Saturday, March 23, 9PM @ Lee’s Palace

Video: Decades – “Tonight Again”

Beams are a shiny-new, Toronto-based outfit who are still so green, they’ve but a couple of songs by which to judge them but considering their multi-part harmonies and country-rock instrumentation are as potent on their original compositions as on a Portishead cover, there’s no reason to not believe they’ve got plenty more goodness up their sleeves.

Saturday, March 23, 9PM @ The Silver Dollar

Stream: Beams – “Be My Brother”

Gotta say, after writing a lot of blurbs about artists who work in various subgenres of rock, it’s kind of nice to be able to describe Toronto’s Lost Babies as simply “rock” – dirty guitars, sexy/snarly vocals, and a goodly dollop of attitude.

Saturday, March 23, 11:30PM @ The Shop Under Parts & Labour

Stream: The Lost Babies – “Wasps”

You might think that dance-pop from Germany would be of the stoic, metronomic, Kraftwerk-ian variety but Hamburg duo BOY – who are in fact two girls OH MY GOD I GET IT – are as hand-clappy, swingingly fun as… Germans? Like an Icona Pop you wouldn’t be afraid to take home to the parents or get locked in a room with.

Saturday, March 23, 11PM @ The El Mocambo (upstairs)
Sunday, March 24, 10PM @ The Dakota Tavern

Video: BOY – “Little Numbers”

Have done duty in Shapes & Sizes and Think About Life, Montreal’s Caila Thompson-Hannant is now getting her synth-pop/R&B-funk on as Mozart’s Sister. Comparisons to Grimes are entirely justified, but that doesn’t make it any less catchy – and this comes from someone who really didn’t like Shapes & Sizes.

Saturday, March 23, 1AM @ The Comfort Zone

MP3: Mozart’s Sister – “Single Status”

And if you want to know who’s playing Sonic Boom for their annual CMF in-store fest, check out the Facebook page. I can’t be bothered to type anymore.