Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The ground might not have thawed and the flowers sure as heck aren’t blooming, but believe it or not, it’s spring here in Toronto.
So regardless of the frigid weather I am getting into the summer spirit starting with this playlist. A collection of songs that are sure to help you get through the last of the lingering snow. New music from old favorites the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Foals, The Knife along with some new talent; Rhye, HAERTS and local band Diana.
Click on the album cover to download the playlist.
Photo courtesy of Tim Tadder
When Piper Davis met the Shiver Brothers (SHVRS) sparks must have gone off. Their smooth and sexy electronic stylings are complimented by Pipers sultry voice, think Little Dragon and Goldfrapp. Listen to their EP and you’ll be an instant fan. They are The Number Line.
For anyone in Toronto they are playing at the Neutral Lounge tomorrow (March 20th) and Saturday March 23rd is their EP release party at The Hunt Club. http://tinyurl.com/c67lp7p
Toro Y Moi’s third LP Anything In Return has a little bit of everything ranging from poppy beats to lackadaisically cool gems. With Anything In Return, Chazwick Bundick has created his most straightforward musical effort to date. The opener ‘Harm in Charge’ with its clean piano chords purges any last remnants of chill and surges with electronic disco elements. These elements also continue through ‘Say That’ with female vocals gently tucked underneath honest lyrics and that displays pop music at its best. This album speaks for itself and really does not need an introduction, so give it a listen and see for yourself!
Click album cover to stream & download
- Harm in Change
- Say That
- So Many Details
- Rose Quartz
- High Living
- Grown Up Calls
- Day One
- Never Matter
- How’s it Wrong
Alpine formed in 2009 adding colour to Melbourne’s musical landscape. Likened to Phoenix, Lykke Li and The xx, they’ve held the mantle of triple j Unearthed Feature Artist and have found friends online, on air and on paper. Fusing synths with honeyed harmonies, hypnotic rhythms and bright beats, Alpine appeared on the scene with a set of demos that quickly caught the attention of music lovers around the world. A Is For Alpine is the band’s first album and proves why they are one of the most exciting and promising acts in Australia right now.
To download click album cover
- Lovers 1
- Lovers 2
- Seeing Red
- All For One
- Too Safe
- In The Wild
- The Vigour
At the end of the year you’ll find a ‘best of 2012′ list on every music blog on the internet. I love reading them and look forward to checking them out each year but didn’t want to make one myself. Instead I made a collection of my favorite songs that I listened to on repeat this year, throughout the spring, summer, fall, and winter and as you will see some songs came out in 2011. This year was filled with loads of concerts and amazing album releases which made compiling this list even more difficult. But iv been hemming and hawing over it for months (as per usual) so im just going to close the books on it and send it out already! I hope you all enjoy it. Now that this bad boy is finished I can finally start on the next one.
Happy 2013 everyone, may it be filled with love, happiness and killer tunes.
Click on album cover to download and here for the track list
During NXNE this year in Toronto I had the pleasure of seeing Brasstronaut live, this was my experience. At the bottom there is a link to dowload the brilliant album Mean Sun.
Ever since listening to Brasstronaut‘s second full-length album Mean Sun, I just had to see how this Vancouver sextet made the beautiful sounds that have continued to entrance me upon each listen. Created not in the confines of a studio like previous album Mt. Chimera (a Polaris prize nominee), but while on the road, and across the beautiful landscape of Eastern Europe. The album encapsulates that calming and peaceful experience of perpetually touring unknown and culturally rich places. It’s reflected in its spaciousness and all encompassing qualities. Considering the band wrote the album in a month, the only words fitting to describe the album are: pure genius.
NXNE can be bittersweet — so many amazing acts, but the sets are limited to 45 minutes. Brasstronaut chose their set list wisely, beginning with album opener “Bounce” which showcases the beautiful wailing trumpet and spirited mandolin riffs, played by Bryan Davies Flugel and Tariq Hussain. They followed with the more subdued, but equally mesmerizing title track “Mean Sun” that intertwines unnerving synths and hushed vocals superbly. The lyrics paint a somber story about a fisherman contemplating death while the fish of Grand Banks are dying.
With a simple backdrop and kaleidoscopic lights, the six members are first and foremost good friends who find inspiration in their differing influences. Endearingly, most of their equipment and instruments were kept in vintage suitcases, which also doubled as a stool in the case of Edo Van Breemen‘s (singer, keys, synth).
I absolutely loved the next song “Francisco”… whereas some of their ballads make you sway to and fro coolly, the upbeat percussion on this track denies you that opportunity and your toes automatically tap away with fervor. Another ambitious track, “The Grove,” exemplified Brasstronaut‘s rapacious style and also displayed Sam Davidson on his EWI (electronic wind instrument) on this one — it is effectively a MIDI instrument controlled by his breath. “Falklands” mesmerized the crowd with punchy pop like melodies and drawn out alt-rock sounds, all as if performed under the ocean. Unfortunately the night had to end at some point, and did on a high note with my favorite track “Revelstoke Dam” with its jaunty mandolin riff and soldierly percussion has a somewhat medieval Midlake feel to it.
Click on album cover buy
This is an except from an article I wrote for Sticky Magazine covering Patrick Watson’s Toronto Concert.
“In total darkness, the simply dreamy piano melody of “Lighthouse” began, while Watson cooed the delicate lyrics of the song that has always evoked a likeness to Gary Jules’ “Mad World” for me. As he whispered the question “Won’t you shine a little light on us now”, trumpets kicked in with a surge of strings in perfect sequence with the lights booming to life.
My love affair with Patrick Watson’s music began in 2006 when I heard Polaris Prize winner Close To Paradise. However, tonight was all about showcasing Adventures In Your Own Backyard, the bands brilliant fourth album, released in April and recorded mostly in Watson’s Montreal apartment. “Lighthouse” starts the album on such an immense high note that I found it hard to move past it when listening to the album, but the melancholic second track “Blackwind”, with hollowing falsettos, anxious glockenspiel and hints of pedal steel made it easy to sink into this album and the evening’s set.
Circular disks flanked the stage, projecting black and white footage of a parade, swimming hammerheads, butterflies, soaring birds and abstract patterns. Alongside this, the album continued to unfurl with “Step Out for a While”, as billowing smoke and red atmospheric lighting pulsated brighter with each drum beat & symbol crash. It created quite an eerie atmosphere that loaned itself well to the unearthly carnival feel of the song. The next song, “Quiet Crowd”, was said to be dedicated to the quiet people out there on most nights, but that evening was for the people of Montreal, banging on their pots & pans and encouraging people of Toronto to do the same (with this past weekend’s tragic event, I could clash many pots in demonstration). Things got scaled back for “Words in the Fire”, with Simon Angell (guitar) and Watson gathering around one microphone while a singular halogen light shone on. Robbie Kuster (drums) would casually squeeze in with the singing saw, an aptly named instrument that added a delicate sweetness that sounded like a distant children’s choir. They reminisced about creating this song by a campfire in northern Montreal, where they were asked to play Bob Marley and created this subtly brilliant song instead. It felt like we were being serenaded at that very campfire, until the thunderous applause brought me back to reality.
The show was one beautiful new track after another, with songs like the cheerful “Into Giants” that balances triumphant trumpeting and folksy quaintness and showcases Mishka Stein‘s ability to bring a song together with an unforgettable baseline. The all-instrumental “The Things You Do” is destined to be in many movie soundtracks, as it is so incredibly moving (Patrick Watson did co-write “To Build a Home” with Cinematic Orchestra after all, so clearly a penchant for grandiose anthemic songs is evident). After “Strange Cooked Road” they took things back to 2009’s Wooden Arms with favorite “Big Bird In A Small Cage”, where the audience got to participate in a sing along. Next was sultry “Morning Sheets” that has a wonderful Led Zeppelin “Kashmir” explosiveness to it, followed by the towering inferno of a title track “Adventures In Your Own Backyard”.
To download Adventures In Your Own Backyard click the album cover.
The London band release the album on 23 April, 2012, but fans can listen to the 10-track collection a week ahead of release.
Including 2011 single ‘Belongings’ and recent release ‘Man Made’, ‘Ways To Forget’ is a stirring mix of epic rock and indie disco, mixing some of the best bits of Coldplay and Foals. The result is one of 2011′s essential guitar band records.
Listen to ‘Ways To Forget’ below.
Brooklyn synth-pop outfit Bear in Heaven release new album I love you, It’s Cool April 3 via Dean Ocean and Hometapes.
But I just couldn’t wait! I am a big fan of their second LP Beast Rest Forth Mouth (as you may recall some of their songs on past playlists). This album follows in a similar vein wherein the songs resist categorization, difficult to pinpoint. Immediate tracks to check out are Kiss You Crazy and latest single’s Sinful Nature and Reflection of You. But honestly, they’re all fantastic. The album consists of spacious three-four-minute dance worthy anthems made up of textura towering choruses. As was with the last album this is the type of music you feel all around you which is why I cannot wait for Bear in Heaven to play The Garrison on May 5th in Toronto.
Latest Single ‘Sinful Nature”
Click Album to Download:
01. Idle Heart
02. The Reflection of You
03. Noon Moon
04. Sinful Nature
05. Cool Light
06. Kiss Me Crazy
07. World of Freakout
08. Warm Water
09. Space Remains
10. Sweetness & Sickness
Django Django are an art-pop foursome from Edinburgh that first started garnering attention in 2009.
Their latest self titled release begins with ‘Hail Bop’, a baffling mix of tribal drums, electro-whooshes, whistles, and cricket chirrups. This gives way to the kind of irresistible chant-chorus that peppers the entire album. There are echoes of Hot Chip in ‘Hand Of Man’, while ‘Love’s Dart’ is drum machine-bedded acoustic fingerpicking sliced from the most tender parts of Gruff Rhys’ brain. Out in front, though, is the Tarantino-theme-via-Calexico bounce of ‘Life’s A Beach’ – as immediate anthem. It’s an album characterised by its sharp stylistic swerves, but never feels jumbled or incoherent. I would skip Zumm Zumm altogether but the rest of the tracks are all hits.
It’s a dream of the psychedelic tropics, a heady explosion of colours, an album that takes what it means to be ‘in an indie band’ and gives it a good shake.
Click album cover to download.
01 – Introduction
02 – Hail Bop
03 – Default
04 – Firewater
05 – Waveforms
06 – Zumm Zumm
07 – Hand of Man
08 – Love’s Dart
09 – Wor
10 – Storm
11 – Life’s a Beach
12 – Skies Over Cairo
13 – Silver Rays