Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Formed in the honest grit of Hamilton, Ontario, Basement Revolver have seen a quick and notable ascent into the spotlight with their unique brand of 90’s infused indie-rock. The band has been able to formulate a captivating and refined hypnotic aural experience typically found with those who are well beyond their years.

Basement Revolver released their first EP in 2016 and it quickly proved to be a grand success, eventually racking up over 600,000+ plays on Spotify and nearly 100,000 plays on SoundCloud. ‘Johnny’ and their second single ‘Words’ reached the higher echelon of the Hype Machine chart while the EP has made various ‘best of 2016’ listings around the blogger community.



Image result

Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed in Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground.

Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered double album edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings available as a second album for the first time ever. As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in a practice space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future, conjuring metalloid thugs, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair, and “dancing the mutation.” With nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John Ping Romany LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova. Their first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois and was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set. It’s shocking how anyone could have overlooked Bullet Proof Nothing, an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused. Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of gigs before the band touched down on the roof of a local shopping center!

Northern Heirs is a rock band from Toronto Ontario. This project is a labour of love born of a desire to make honest, thoughtful music. Debut 6-Song EP was released in May 2017.

This is a compelling sound indeed. This Toronto act blends folk, rock, and dream pop to form an art all their own. Vocally, it reminds us of City & Colour while instrumentally, it can vary depending on what point of the track you are currently listening to. Lyrically they are surprisingly talented and relevant, mixing a variety of life and dreams. With one EP under their belts, the act are currently working on crafting more well received tracks for their next anticipated effort. We cannot wait to hear more from the guys.

The indie rock outfit formed by recording Toronto artist Scott Carruthers and producer Michael Norberg to fill the creative space between the down time of their own personal projects became this lovely formidable thing. Scott’s considerable backlog of material crafted between two like minds became the debut EP

Single from Northern Heirs, released February 2018.

Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: 12 people

That push-and-pull, especially in relationships, has long been Donovan Woods’ stock in trade. As the lead track of his forthcoming album Both Ways, “Good Lover” unfolds with acoustic instruments and Woods’ quietly compelling delivery — not what a listener might expect from the title alone. The first song off Donovan Woods‘ highly-anticipated new album. “Both Ways” will be available April 20, 2018 via Meant Well.

Woods is also a notable Nashville songwriter .”There are very few writers who can make you laugh and break your heart in the same song.” No Depression noted that Woods’ style is “as fresh and captivating as any out there.”

In Both Ways, Woods shows the rare ability to distill complicated situations and emotions into songs that are intriguing and relatable. Perhaps the collection’s most beautiful song is “I Ain’t Ever Loved No One,” a duet with Rose Cousins. The song captures that moment of bringing someone home to meet the family, using it as a backdrop to the anxieties of falling in love. True to the album title, a listener could either imagine a happily-ever-after ending or hear it as an ode to the one that got away. In most cases, Woods prefers to leave lyrics open to interpretation.

As Both Ways progresses, radio-friendly songs like “I Live a Little Lie” and “Easy Street” employ a full-band sound to flesh out the sonic landscape. A number of the songs are guitar-driven, yet they stop short of full-blown rock ‘n’ roll. With his typically droll sense of humor, Woods notes, “I know that nobody likes rock music anymore. I don’t even really like it anymore.” But he says the more aggressive moments on Both Ways are inspired by camaraderie in the studio and on tour, as well as the pop and R&B music he heard growing up in Sarnia, Ontario, where he could pick up the radio stations out of Detroit.

Both Ways concludes with “Next Year,” one of five songs on the album he co-wrote in Nashville, where he has a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music. The poignant narrative follows a boy through adolescence and adulthood, where hopes and dreams are in a race against time. While the lyrics are drawn from Woods’ own life, the experiences are universal.

“The Worst Way” is the follow up single to Donovan Woods‘ critically-acclaimed full-length “Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled.”

Image may contain: 1 person, beard and text

Listening to Partner is like hanging out with your best friends, assuming your best friends are queer Canadian stoners with hooks for days. For Josée Caron and Lucy Niles, that’s actually true, and their easy chemistry is evident on the excellent “In Search Of Lost Time”, both on the album’s 12 songs and in the goofy skits threaded throughout. What’s even more evident is their musical chops, the kind of righteous riffage that can turn anything from wandering around a grocery store high to discovering your roommate’s sex toy into a slyly subversive guitar-rock anthem.

A lot of rock music the last few years also sounds like the 90’s. Partner a Canadian two-piece that provide full disclosure of the decade that influenced them most, with songs about corny daytime T.V. shows like Maury and Judge Judy, an open affinity for grunge riffs, and a sense of humor that recalls the slacker goofiness of Wayne’s World. Despite their lack of self-seriousness, though, Partner are serious musicians, and In Search of Lost Time is perhaps the best product of the 90’s revival because it doesn’t sound dated at all. The tongue-flicking solos, anthemic melodies, whimsical lyrics and profoundly delectable riffs form truly terrific rock songs that render the generic question, “are they reinventing the wheel?,” moot. This band doesn’t care to make a sweeping impact on the current state of guitar music, they’re just trying to kick back, munch on some snacks, and crank out some kick-ass tunes. That’s rock ‘n roll in its purest form.


Vocals / Lead Guitar by Josée Caron
Vocals / Rhythm Guitar by Lucy Niles 
Bass by Kevin Brasier
Drums by Simone TB

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Since the mid-90s, Pembroke, Ontario’s Blinker the Star has been concocting some delicious music. 2017’s 8 of Hearts could be classified as alternative rock; in addition, you will hear a good dose of a retro progressive rock kneaded into the dough. At times, there are surprises, like a banjo on track “Heather” and haunting piano with fluttering analog synth on “Caves and Shadows”. Here are well written songs that are highly enjoyable to listen to.


Darlene Shrugg is the point where loads of great artists meet. The Toronto-based outfit originally came together four years ago, but their live shows and recorded output has been sporadic. They also have little to no presence online, so keeping tabs on their movements has involved some extra leg work. Nothing on record, nothing streaming, nothing on YouTube.

The project was put together by Maximilian Turnbull (used to be Slim Twig) and Simone TB, who for a decade, played in the band TropicsU.S. Girls‘ Meg Remy joined up, along with Carlyn Bezic and Amanda Crist from electro-pop band Ice Cream.

Now, Fucked Up guitarist Young Guv convinced them to get in the studio and record some material. The result is an album, self-titled, coming out on Upset The Rhythm due out on 27th October. For its first three quarters, the song is an intoxicating ambient symphony, atop which Remy’s angelic vocal floats as if awaiting a lakeside baptism. But in its final minute, the swirling strings and choral harmonies are rudely upended by a frenetic, fuzz-rockin’ finale ‘Strawberry Milk’ is the first track they’ve shared from it. Don’t let the ambient beginnings fool you.



Carlyn Bezic
Amanda Crist
Meg Remy
Simone TB
Maximilian ‘Twig’ Turnbull

Life After Youth is the first Land of Talk album since 2010’s Cloak and Cipher. After taking a few months off after Cloak and Cipher’s touring cycle, frontwoman Elizabeth Powell got back to work on a followup. Instead, a series of mishaps – post-tour fatigue, a crashed hard drive with new demos, and her father’s stroke in 2013 – turned “a few months” into “a few years”.

While caring for her father, Elizabeth fell under the spell of classical, ambient, and Japanese tonkori music, whose meditative quality aided his recovery. Immersing herself in those sounds would change her entire approach to music making; she started writing songs without her trusty guitar, instead building tracks up from synth beds and programmed loops.
Life After Youth’s centerpiece track, “Inner Lover,” presents the most radical results of those experiments. It’s an audio Rorschach test of a song: key in on the incessant synth pulse underpinning Elizabeth’s pleading vocal (“take care of me!”) and the track assumes an ominous intensity. But when you surrender to the relaxed drum counter-rhythm and subliminal harmonies, “Inner Lover” projects a graceful serenity.

Even the songs built atop more traditional rock foundations exist in that liminal space between dreaming and waking life, confidence and doubt, raw feelings and soothing sounds. “Yes You Were” opens the record with a cold-start surge that’s overwhelming in its immediacy, with Elizabeth’s furiously strummed guitar jangle and wistful lyricism bearing all the adrenalized excitement and nervous energy of seeing old friends (or, in her case, fans) for the first time in ages. And as its title suggests, “Heartcore” is a collision of soft-focus sonics and emotional intensity, with Elizabeth’s crystalline vocals hovering above a taut, relentless backbeat and disorienting synth squiggles. Even the turn-a-new-leaf optimism of “This Time” is presented less as a triumphant comeback statement than a warm reassuring embrace—its beautifully dazed ‘n’ confused psych-pop swirl acts as a calming force as you hurtle toward life’s great unknown. 

Fitting for a song about reconnecting with the world, “This Time” was the product of another fortuitous reunion—between Elizabeth and her old friend Sharon Van Etten, who lent her songwriting smarts and heavenly harmonies to that track, as well as “Heartcore” and the Fleetwood Mac-worthy “Loving.” And Van Etten is just one member of a veritable indie-rock dream team Elizabeth recruited to complete the album: the moonlit ballad “In Florida” was recorded by producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile) in his New Jersey studio, with Elizabeth backed by former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Roxy Music/Sparks bassist Sal Maida.  To paraphrase the late David Bowie, it’s been seven years, and Elizabeth’s brain hurt a lot. But she stands today as the patient-zero case study for Life After Youth’s therapeutic powers. These are the songs that got her through the tough times. And now, they can do the same for you.
released May 19th2017

This Time – from Land Of Talk’s album ‘Life After Youth’ OUT NOW

Pallbearer are nominally a heavy metal band, but with Heartless, they made an album too big for the confines of any one genre. Heartless draws influence from a vast library of giants — Pink Floyd, Neurosis, Neil Young, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Santana, Mercyful Fate, and on and on and on — but it doesn’t translate or update those texts. It consumes them, ruminates on them, and finds inspiration in them, ultimately manifesting in a work of art worthy of placement in the same vaunted collection. Frontman Brett Campbell’s vocal performance evinces the flexibility, dexterity, power, confidence, and acumen of Mike Patton, but with none of Patton’s snideness or self-satisfaction. Campbell delivers every syllable with absolute sincerity, vulnerability, and commitment.


Hamilton, Ontario indie-rock trio Basement Revolver have quickly become the bloggers favourite. In the spring of 2016, their debut single caught on with 20+ sites, making way for a well-received EP and mini-tour that summer. A year later, the band’s second EP builds on its predecessor’s sound: wistful, reverb-heavy guitar-pop indebted to the 1990s. It also finds songwriter and guitarist Chrisy Hurn opening up, like on the lead—”a lush track that parallels the health of the mind and the heart with the earth,”


It’s out on Yellow K Records (Japanese Breakfast) in the US and Fear of Missing Out Records in the UK.