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Posts Tagged ‘Woodpigeon’

Friday, April 5th, 2013

A Year In Its Passing

The Wilderness Of Manitoba explores the wilderness of Leslieville

Photo By Jennifer RowsomJennifer RowsomFor a band with such a clear and steady aesthetic – delicately pretty, harmony-laden folk with direct spiritual and sonic roots in the ’60s – The Wilderness Of Manitoba have gone through their fair share of changes. The lineup that emerged from Toronto’s Deleware House with 2009’s Hymns of Love and Spirits and 2010’s When You Left The Fire lost vocalist Melissa Dalton and added drummer Sean Lancaric and vocalist/violinist Amanda Balsys for last year’s Island Of Echoes, and as the band prepares to release a new short collection of songs next Tuesday as The Leslieville Sessions – so named for the east-end Toronto studio where it was recorded live off the floor.

And The Wilderness Of Manitoba that recorded these songs is again not the same outfit that assembled their last record. Frontman Will Whitwham is the only one remaining from the band that first emerged in 2009, and while the source of their inspiration remains unchanged, the way that its manifested is quite different. Their signature three- and four-part harmonies have largely given way to focusing on the interplay between Whitwham and Balsys voices, with Balsys also taking a turn at lead vocals, and while Leslieville is still a far cry from being filed under “rock”, the increased presence of electrified instruments and percussion give it a welcome weight that, until now, was only present in their live shows. For all the changes that The Wilderness Of Manitoba continue to undergo, probably the most important one is that they continue to get better.

The Leslieville Sessions is out on Tuesday, and I’m pleased to be able to host an advance stream of it. Check it out, as well as a live video of the recording of the opening track. Another performance video of an Island Of Echoes track can be seen at Exclaim. Their current tour itinerary takes them through the Maritimes this week, and then after a few New York dates, their next local show is April 28 at Campbell House Museum, at the corner of Queen West and University.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “The Ark” (live)
Stream: The Wilderness Of Manitoba / The Leslieville Sessions

Interview has premiered the new video from Decades’ self-titled debut, due out April 16.

Video: Decades – “In Sequins”

The Dumbing Of America talks to Odonis Odonis, who open up for METZ at Lee’s Palace on May 17 and have just put out a new video from last year’s debut Hollandaze. They also have a new EP in Better coming out April 16, and are streaming a couple new tracks from that.

Stream: Odonis Odonis – “Intelligence”
Stream: Odonis Odonis – “Better”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “New World”

No Joy are streaming another new track from their new album Wait To Pleasure. It’s out April 23 and that night, they play The Garrison opening for Clinic.

Stream: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

aux.tv and The List get to know Rachel Zeffira, who plays The Drake Underground on May 2.

Noisey interviews Airick Woodhead of Doldrums. He plays The Horseshoe on May 11.

Majical Cloudz has a new video from his forthcoming debut Impersonator, out May 21. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back the following month for NXNE.

Video: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a couple Stars shows in Brooklyn last month, and if you’re more of a “see” than “hear”, Paste has video of their entire Mercury Lounge show from that same week and The Alternate Side a video session available to watch. They’re back in town as a part of Field Trip at Garrison Common on June 8.

Exclaim and The Quietus talk to The Besnard Lakes, who’ve just premiered the first video from the just-released Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO at Rolling Stone, and if anyone missed it, a non-geoblocked stream of the album is up at Pitchfork.

Video: The Besnard Lakes – “People Of The Sticks”
Stream: The Besnard Lakes / Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO

Snowblink have rolled out a new video from Inner Classics.

Video: Snowblink – “Inner Miss-Mississippi”

Prefix has premiered a new video from Woodpigeon’s Thumbtacks & Glue.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Robin Song”

Exclaim has premiered the new video from July Talk’s self-titled debut while aux.tv gets Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay to go behind the scenes of the making of the clip.

Video: July Talk – “Guns & Ammunition”

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Here On In

Review of Rachel Zeffira’s The Deserters

Photo via last.fmlast.fmIn some ways, being introduced to British Columbia-born/London-based Rachel Zeffira by way of Cat’s Eyes did less to prepare one for her solo debut The Deserters than coming to it completely cold. That 2011 collaboration with Horrors frontman Faris Badwan presented her as a sweetly-voiced ingenue, and since its strong throwback/girl-group aesthetic was so far removed from The Horrors’ grinding shoegaze, one could reasonably assume that it better reflected where Zeffira’s own influences lay.

It isn’t that The Deserters presents her in a dramatically different light, it’s more that it presents her in a much more revealing one and; one that so much better demonstrates the full breadth of her talents. Her operatic training, only implied by Cat’s Eyes, is much more to the fore here but is never the point. Her voice – a lovely, lilting thing that effortlessly soars when called upon – is a formidable instrument to be sure, but just one of them. While voice and piano do form the foundation of the album, orchestral and electronic flourishes surface throughout and the numbers built around more conventional rock band configurations – with contributions from TOY and S.C.U.M. – add extra dimensions to the album without jarring its flow. Impossibly elegant and beguiling throughout, The Deserters is a timeless, otherworldly, and utterly remarkable debut.

The Fader has an advance stream of the album, out in North America next Tuesday. CBC Music, Violent Success, and The Edmonton Journal all have features on the Canadian ex-pat.

Video: Rachel Zeffira – “Here On In”
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”
Stream: Rachel Zeffira / The Deserters

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Al Spx of Cold Specks, performing at The Kool Haus on March 22 for the Canadian Music Week Indie awards, and at Fort York on June 7 as part of the Field Trip festival.

The Fly has a interview with Suuns, who are playing Lee’s Palace on March 23 for Canadian Musicfest.

The StarPhoenix, The Calgary Herald has an interview with John O’Regan of Diamond Rings, also playing the aforementioned Indies on March 22 and then opening for OMD at The Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Vancouverites The Belle Game have released a new video from their forthcoming debut Ritual Tradition Habit, coming April 16.

Video: The Belle Game – “Wait For You”

Exclaim has details on appropriately-titled Takes Time, the first new record that’s not a video game soundtrack from Jim Guthrie since 2003. It’s out May 7 and a first single is available to stream.

Stream: Jim Guthrie – “The Rest Is Yet To Come”

The Fly, Edinburgh Journal, and Exclaim have interviews with Doldrums’ Airick Woodhead. He plays The Horseshoe on May 11.

Toronto-Vancouver electro-pop outfit Gold & Youth caught my ear last Fall but are only getting around to releasing their first album this Spring. Beyond Wilderness will be out May 14 and a first track is available to preview courtesy of Noisey.

Stream: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”

The Skinny and DIY talk to Toronto’s METZ, who’ve premiered a new video from their self-titled debut at Stereogum. They bring all it back home to Lee’s Palace on May 17.

Video: METZ – “Wasted”

Beatroute talks to Hayden.

Toro has an interview with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon.

The Darcys are working on a new studio album, but that doesn’t mean they can’t release a new video via Under The Radar to remind you of last year’s Aja cover album.

Video: The Darcys – “I Got The News”

Clash talks fashion with Claire Boucher of Grimes.

And finally, RIP Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Appel

Moon King lead this week’s cross-Canada wrap-up

Photo By Jonathon BernsteinJonathon BernsteinAs I mentioned back in October, in a few years – or even sooner – the late Spiral Beach could well be regarded as an important touchstone in the recent history of the Toronto independent scene. Bassist Dorian Wolf now holds down those same duties in internationally-noted electronic act Austra, guitarist Airick Woodhead is garnering heaps of attention as the circuit-bending Doldrums, and the remaining two members – keyboardist/vocalist Maddy Wilde and drummer Daniel Woodhead – have slowly but surely been turning heads as the dreampop-peddling Moon King.

Their debut EP Obsession I came out last Summer and offered them the pretence to start gigging and making a (new) name for themselves, and Exclaim reports the follow-up EP – Obsession II, of course – will arrive April 16. That’s just in time for their North American tour supporting Born Ruffians; a tour which doesn’t currently have a Toronto date, but if you think these two acts aren’t doing a hometown show shortly after that last official date in Detroit in late May, you’re nuts.

A track from the new EP has been made available to download, and you can still stream the first Obsession as well as watch/download the lead single from it.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
MP3: Moon King – “Only Child”
Video: Moon King – “Only Child”
Stream: Moon King / Obsession I

All that said, Doldrums is unquestionably the Beach alumnus of the hour: CBC Music, The Montreal Gazette, and Interview have interviews with Woodhead and they’ve just put out a new video from the just-released Lesser Evil.

Video: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”

Bruce Peninsula are known for trotting big lineups – like double-digit head counts – onstage for their live shows, but it will be the core trio of Neil Haverty, Misha Bower, and Matt Cully who will represent at a special show on March 10 at the Campbell House Museum in Toronto, tickets $20 at the door.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

As promised, the Fucked Up-curated Long Winter series will return for a fifth instalment this month and feature a twang-tacular lineup led by The Sadies and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. That goes down March 23 at The Great Hall.

MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”

DIY has an interview with Suuns, whose new album Images du Futur is streaming over at CBC Music ahead of its official release next Tuesday, March 5. They play Lee’s Palace on March 23 for Canadian Musicfest.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”
Stream: Suuns / Images du Futur

The Coast talks to Two Hours Traffic about their new album Foolish Blood. Their Canadian Musicfest appearance is March 21 at Lee’s Palace.

Exclaim has the new video from Woodpigeon’s just-released Thumbtacks & Glue.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”

Kathleen Edwards has released a new video from last year’s Voyageur.

Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan talk to Spinner about what they’ve got planned for their next album.

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Little Wings

Review of Woodpigeon’s Thumbtacks and Glue

Photo By Paolo CalamitaPaolo CalamitaHe may have migrated habitats from Calgary to Vienna, but Mark Andrew Hamilton – he who is Woodpigeon – remains one of Canada’s great, underappreciated musical treasures. Though 2009’s Polaris long-listed Treasury Library Canada raised his profile considerably, it may lie with his fourth album (or closer to fortieth, depending on how you count his many interstitial releases) Thumbtacks & Glue to properly elevate his status to where it belongs.

Thumbtacks refuses – if you’ll excuse the pun – to be pigeonholed as orchestral-folk the way past releases have. It’s still built around Hamilton’s soft, tender vocals and melodic gifts, and trades in a delicate beauty that would be easy at this point to take for granted, but incorporates a broader, more electrified sonic palate that’s unafraid to let some edges fray or layers stack upon themselves. It’s a side of Woodpigeon that’s come out in live shows in the past, but has until now been unreflected in the recordings and while acknowledging that part of its appeal is the novelty it brings to the Woodpigeon recipe, it’s difficult to argue that it doesn’t legitimately make things tastier.

Thumbtacks and Glue is out this Tuesday, February 26, and is available to stream right now over at DIY.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”
Stream: Woodpigeon / Thumbtacks & Glue

NOW talks to local electro-pop sensations Diana, whom I wish nothing but success but will admit to being disappointed that the more success they achieve, the further on the back-burner vocalist Carmen Elle will surely push Army Girls, and that’s a shame. Diana open up for Trust at Lee’s Palace tonight and are on the fun./Tegan & Sara bill at Downsview Park on July 6.

Lesser Evil, the long-awaited debut long-player from Doldrums, is also out next week and available to advance stream thanks to Pitchfork.

MP3: Doldrums – “Egypt”
MP3: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”
Stream: Doldrums / Lesser Evil

The Line Of Best Fit and Incendiary have interviews with Suuns about their new album Images du Futur, out March 5. They play Lee’s Palace on March 23, the Saturday night of Canadian Musicfest.

Cold Specks has gone the live performance route for the latest video from I Predict A Graceful Expulsion; they have two hometown shows coming up – March 22 at the Kool Haus as part of the CMW Indies and June 8 as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Fort York.

Video: Cold Specks – “When The City Lights Dim”

Pitchfork has a stream of a song from Birthmarks, the new album from Born Ruffians, in stores April 16.

Stream: Born Ruffians – “Needles”

Gorilla Vs Bear has premiered a second sample of the new Young Galaxy record Ultramarine, due out April 23.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Fall For You”

Though delayed some by some aborted sessions with Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, Montreal’s No Joy have wrapped their second album and will release Wait To Pleasure on April 23; that same day, they’ll be in Toronto at The Garrison celebrating the new record by opening up for Clinic. You can stream the first taste of the album below.

Stream: No Joy – “Lunar Phoobia”

Toronto’s Decades, who were a pleasant new wave surprise last month, have gotten their self-titled debut together for an April 30 release and have released a first video from it that confirms it’s worth keeping an ear out for.

Video: Decades – “Tonight Again”

The Creators Project gets into the glowing cocoons that define Purity Ring’s live show. They’ll be on display when the duo pla

The Alternate Side welcomes METZ for a studio session and The 405 an interview. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 17.

Patrick Watson has a new video from last year’s Adventures In Your Own Backyard.

Video: Patrick Watson – “Blackwind”

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Rainy Saturday

Hayden wants to be Alone with you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Woodpigeon – “Edinburgh”

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

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

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

Stream: Born Ruffians – “With Her Shadow”

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

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Memoryhouse – “Untitled”