Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

“Champ” is the second full length album from Toronto’s Tokyo Police Club, and as its name suggests, it’s a triumph – an album of taut catchy anthems that display a renewed vigour and fizz and from the young four piece.

Tokyo Police Club first hit their stride back in 2006 when, straight out of high school, their hyperactive mini-album A Lesson in Crime came from nowhere to prove one of the year’s most refreshing releases combining as it did the youthful immediacy of The Strokes first LP and the off kilter discord of Pavement.

The surprise success of A Lesson in Crime led to relentless touring through the entirety 2007, during which time they attempted and failed several times to write and record a full length album. Eventually the band, by now exhausted and burned to the extent that they were falling asleep on stage, took a month off to record. The resulting album Elephant Shell was a slower, sweeter more introspective affair, a surprise for fans of A Lesson in Crime but one that displayed a new found lyricism from frontman-bassist and songwriter Dave Monks.

Tokyo Police Club gave themselves time to recharge, to summon an Olympian spirit for a batch of new songs that burst with a new brightness. Says front-man bassist: “It has 11 songs, a Disney character, fuzzy bits, Canadian spelling, hockey sound effects, me singing the lowest note in my range, and one saxophone note”.

The band decamped from their native Canada to record the album in Los Angeles. “I think we’ve always wanted to make a summer record, something a little more breezy and less hampered down by extremely quick, tight, short songs, and the tracks on this record gave us an opportunity to explore that a little more,” says drummer Greg Alsop. “When it came time to go into the studio, the Canadian climate had turned against us and so we had to travel south to capture the vibe and feel that worked best with these songs.” Stand out songs include the electronic pop of Bambi, the curiously titled duo Favourite Foods and Favourite Colour and the urgently anthemic Wait Up (Boots of Danger). Again Dave Monk’s lyrics are a real highlight with strikingly juxtaposed imagery – “the killer with the coloured kite”, “the national child star in a coat and a scarf, alone in the laundromat”.



In the four years since the Tokyo Police Club’s last album, our brave heroes from Toronto spent several long winters and many manic nights. “We struggled with finding our spot as a band and owning what we were,” says lead singer/bass player and principle songwriter Dave Monks. “Everyone expected us to come out with another record like (2010’s) Champ, but we didn’t feel comfortable going on the same road we were on. We wanted to go somewhere else; an upward move, so we starting writing and looking around for something new.”

Tokyo Police Club (Monks, keyboardist/guitarist Graham Wright, guitarist Josh Hook and drummer Greg Alsop) knew that a new direction could be their key—but that choice would not be without its pitfalls.

Despite lofty goals and a fervent fan base, Champ had only bumped them up to the next ladder rung, not the express escalator to the top they may have expected. Days and weeks sometimes went by without any band activity. For the first time, two members moved away from Toronto (Monks to New York City, Alsop to Boston). “At times it felt like people maybe lost faith,” says Monks. “And it really came down to the four of us gelling. When we came back to the surface, everyone was really excited again, like they had never left.

“On Champ we were exploring new corners of our band,” continues Monks, “and a lot of it was unintentional, happy accidents. This time around we wanted to have lots of those. We made an effort to make our songs more direct and understandable and maybe cross over to people who wouldn’t normally listen to Tokyo Police Club. And then it was that act of balancing, keeping it ‘us,’ making something universal about it.”

Their first decision was to provide themselves with the time they needed to make something lasting. “We spent so long on Forcefield but we had to, there’s no other way it could have gone down,” says Graham Wright. “We did everything we needed to do to make the record. And we were bemoaning how circuitous most of our process usually is: we go on this weird path and then three days later we end up exactly where we started. But we realized that you have to allow yourselves to go on these insane tangents because every once in a while they make you put three songs together into an eight-minute medley that’s the best thing the band ever did. And if you were too busy trying to be simple and to follow your gut, you would never do that.”

The eight-minute medley to which Wright refers is “Argentina,” Forcefield’s lead track, a polished, earnest, high-octane and slow-burning epic that began as three separate songs in the same key that were stitched together into a seamless conglomeration nearly four times as long as some of the earliest Tokyo tunes. It’s a statement, for certain, but in the context of the process that birthed it, the song serves as more of a symbol of the foursome’s renewed confidence and trust in each other than an experimental jumping-off point.


The eight tracks that follow sound like the Tokyo Police Club you know and love but somehow manage to reach a little higher into the rafters. The genuine spirit in the catchy choruses of lead single “Hot Tonight” and “Toy Guns” reflects the anthemic music that all four bandmates were inspired by while recording, and “Miserable” features a concert-ready refrain sure to infuse crowds of all sizes. This is a watertight sound that only a band of best friends could make, a band who after ten years of playing music together and over a decade and a half of friendship wrapped themselves up in a force field and gave it their all, realizing who they are in the process as well as what their songs bring to their audience and to each other.

“We became aware that the objective on the songs was to relate,” says Monks. “It wasn’t about being cathartic or poetic or shrouded in mystery, it was just to be super open. I’ve done that lyrically and we’ve done that musically as a band; we’ve been more forgiving to these songs and let them just be the kind of songs they are and not tried to make them flow with the trends. We’re stoked on this record—we think it’s the best record on the planet right now.”

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The strength of songwriter Adam Wendler is found in his uncanny ability to jump between genre borders to create something that is both refreshing and innovative. There are many points within “Deep Water” where you think you can describe his sound with terms like “folk” or “indie pop” but then the next verse immediately destroys any label you thought you knew. Adam Wendler is a passionate singer-songwriter from Goderich, Ontario. Blending catchy melodies with soulfelt lyrics and intricate guitar playing, he captures the hearts of listeners around the globe.


He is currently releasing singles off his new album Never Go Unknown and we are intrigued to hear more genre bending hits. Wendler has a firm grasp on how to write a catchy hit, but refuses to settle for only that, his layered sound reveals something of more depth than the expected radio hit.


Recorded at Beach Road Studios
Mastered by Troy Glessner

Piano/Keys/Strings – Zach Havens
Drums – Matt Varey
Bass – Anthony Strome
Banjo on tracks 5, 7 by Mike Reynolds
Backup vocals on track 9, 10 by Dean Reynolds
Additional vocals on ‘Follow Me Down’ by Morgan Landers

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After releasing their debut single, ‘Johnny’. Basement Revolver from Hamilton, Ontario created with this first song encountered an unstoppable wave of support; managing to establish themselves with grassroots endorsements from sites such as DIY Magazine, Indie Shuffle, CBC and Exclaim! Magazine to name only a handful. respected tastemakers hailing ‘Johnny’ a “‘favourite song of the year’ contender” and another said they had a sound that was hard to forget once it took hold. They had stumbled across a sound that is capable of stripping listeners of inhibition, heavy hitting enough to leave a lasting impression on your mind.


The Hamilton trio moved their eyes towards the release of their debut EP, eventually accepting a record deal from Memphis Industries’ UK sub-label Fear Of Missing Out. The EP 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 .

bass/synth player Nimal Agalawatte, drummer Brandon Munro , vocals, guitars Chrisy Hurn

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Canadian collective Broken Social Scene will issue their long-awaited fifth LP,“Hug of Thunder”, on July 7th via City Slang/Arts & Crafts. The 12-track album, which follows 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record, features the comeback single, “Halfway Home.” Hug of Thunder will reportedly feature many of the ever-rotating band’s most famous members, including Feist, Haines, Shaw, Millan and Cranley. The title track from the album has been released. It features lead vocals from Feist,

The first single from their upcoming LP, “Halfway Home” found the long-dormant band sticking pretty close to the script. Full-to-overflowing with big choruses and every instrument under the sun, the song didn’t hold much back. Yet it all felt a touch too familiar, the kind of rush-relent-repeat rock you can almost picture them doing in their sleep. Funny, then, that Hug of Thunder’s far-from-formulaic title track—and second single—came to be while ringleader Kevin Drew was sleeping . According to Leslie Feist, “Thunder” came together in a quiet moment, while Kevin Drew caught some z’s on a studio couch. With Drew otherwise indisposed, a restless Brendan Canning stumbled into a bassline, guitarist Andrew Whiteman found a rhythm, and Feist, notebook in hand, grabbed a mic. After a few days spent reshuffling her lyrics, the song’s form took shape, every piece of the song, from Feist’s discursive lyrics to the circuitous rhythm and flickers of U2-like guitar, all seem to contour around each other .

The Band Broken Social Scene opened up their U.K Tour the night after the Manchester Bombing at the Ariana Grande Arena show in Manchester with a simple message,

“Tonight, we play for the hearts of Manchester…” Hometown hero Johnny Marr joined the band onstage to open the show with “Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl,” with the band starting things off by proclaiming their support for Manchester:

Thank you for showing up. Thank you for coming out tonight. What’s most important is tonight we’re here together, all of us. That’s what we could do, and that’s what we’re doing, so thank you Manchester. We’re so happy. There’s no other place we’d rather be than here with you. To start this show, to show you how we love your town, there’s a man who I love dearly who’s come out to play for you. He is your city, he is your legend, please give it up for Mr. Johnny Marr.

The new album will feature contributions from all 15 of the collective’s original members – including Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Leslie Feist, Metric’s Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw, Stars’ Amy Milian and more – as well as new vocalist Ariel Engle. Many of those collaborators appear on the title track, which constantly evolves and blossoms over its five-minute run time.

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Band Members
Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew, Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Andrew Whiteman, David Newfeld,Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, James Shaw, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan, Ohad Benchetrit, Marty Kinack,Torquil Campbell,Julie Penner,Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger

Single Mothers are releasing new album ‘Our Pleasure’ in June

The well welcomed sequel to the Single Mothers story. Listen to them as they continue their downward spiral of substance abuse, ego decay, and an emerging Canadian punk legacy.

It’s been three years since these Canadian punks Single Mothers released their debut album ‘Negative Qualities’ but after a bit of a wait, they’re back with a new LP!. ‘Our Pleasure’ is released through Big Scary Monsters on 16th June and comes after singer Drew Thomson spent about a year casually floating around Ontario doing a number of odd jobs. In the end though, trying to do the normal 9-5 was a bit of a grind, and he felt like he just had to get back into the studio, taking the group to Jukasa, located on the Ohsweken Native reserve about half an hour away from Hamilton.

Despite not having any songs (or even enough band members) at first though, they pieced ‘Our Pleasure’ together. Speaking of how he sees the band now, Thomson explained in a statement: “I look at Single Mothers now more as a vessel that I’m happy to be riding in, or an apartment that people come to visit and leave little things behind in […] A couple beers or a shirt, or a poster on the wall, and those things build up and either make a home or just a pile of junk. It’s up to us to decide.”

Single Mothers LP opener ‘Undercover.’ It’s less than three minutes of clashing drums, explosive riffs and Drew continuing to spit out lyrics that mash up an outsider’s perspective on society with religious banter.


Single Mothers on this recording are:
Drew Thomson
Justis Krar
Ross Miller
Brandon Jagersky


Toronto-based singer-songwriter Lindsay Foote first came to our attention last year with the release of her debut album, “From The Blue”. The album was a stripped back, coming of age record, showcasing Lindsay’s sublime vocals, backed only by two acoustic guitars. Next month, Lindsay will release the follow up, an EP Going Gone, which is the first release to feature her new backing band. Today we’re delighted to premiere the second single from that record, “Just Like That”.

“Going Gone” was recorded with producer Jon Dinsmore at Lincoln County Social Club in Toronto, and features Lindsay backed by a bed of acoustic instrumentation, spectacularly complex vocal harmonies and swathes of rich chamber-pop inspired strings.” Just Like That” is a fine example of her musical progress; Lindsay’s rich, sweeping vocals accompanied by the gentle murmur of banjo, lightly strummed acoustics and rich, folk-tinged violins. It brings to mind Gemma Hayes or Easy Tiger era Ryan Adams. Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Lindsay has suggested, “it’s about someone close to you dealing with mental health issues and realization that there’s only so far you can go to help them. Loving someone can’t solve all their problems and that’s a tough reality to come to terms with”. Just Like that is the sound of an artist expanding their musical horizons and fulfilling a very rich promise, and the future for Lindsay Foote looks very bright indeed.




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Though a bright and bouncy in melody, the song is a personal reflection on disenchantment in young adulthood.
Laughed the Boy began as an outlet for honest and unpretentious 90s nostalgia inspired songs. After having more songs written than he knew what to do with, Chris Panacci guitar, bass, vocals , brother Sean Panacci drums together brought their bedroom project to life when he went into the studio to record the EP “Out of the Blue.“

The two of us added our friend and bass player Brennan to the lineup and began playing the songs live. While rehearsing for shows,  we ended up with an album’s worth of fresh material and headed into the studio once again to record 9 new tracks that will make up our debut full length LP this new track from Toronto band, Laughed the Boy, is oozing with summer chill. This relaxed new single comes from the band’s new full-length album coming out late this year.


The Ontario band Dirty Nil’s Higher Power offers punk with high-end production values meant for big stadiums. However antisocial they may get, the music here is intended to be a communal experience.
As the name suggests, the Ontario band Dirty Nil are profoundly aware of their emptiness and impurity, and the only thing that rouses Luke Bentham and Dave Nardi out of their self-loathing is despising someone else even more. They’re professed classic rock fans and gear snobs and it shows, as Higher Power is an album that sounds like it expects to be paid for. However antisocial Dirty Nil get, the music is intended to be a communal experience.

Dirty Nil released a 7” on skate-punk stronghold Fat Wreck Chords and played the Warped Tour—both tend to be a point of no return for bands deciding between a captive pop-punk audience and critical credibility. But it’s all rock’n’roll to Dirty Nil: They boast equal facility with PUP-style beer bongin’ with the devil (“No Weaknesses”), Dilly Dally’s knee-buckling dynamics (“Zombie Eyed”), and the hectoring sing-speak of tourmates Single Mothers and Greys. Higher Power serves as proof that the boundaries separating “indie,” “pop punk” and “alt-rock” have collapsed as they’ve been drawn into closer quarters, and to send this point home, they do all of the above just within the first four tracks.

There isn’t really an original note here, but the massive hooks of “No Weaknesses” and “Zombie Eyed” are delivered with enough conviction that they end up sounding fresh anyway. As Higher Power progresses, Dirty Nil continue to expand their range, yet the sequencing makes it sound like a retreat. The satisfying brutality of “Fugue State” starts a run of three songs crammed into less than five minutes; the highs of Side A were bound to make Higher Power sound frontloaded anyway, but Side B practically vanishes before get-in-the-van anthem “Bury Me at the Rodeo Show” ends the record with the closest thing to a Dirty Nil love song.

Even when the music intentionally plays dumb, Bentham and Nardi are clever lyricists, and Higher Power could almost be a narrative concept record about salvation if you play it out of order. Throughout the album, Dirty Nil search for redemption in the usual places: sex (“Wrestle Yu to Husker Du”), drugs (“Zombie Eyed”) and rock’n’roll. But they have too much fun with it all to even pretend that hitting rock bottom is actually a bad thing. “Friends in the Sky” aligns Bentham with Satan against Jesus, and it’s as close as he gets to divinity

The Ontario Toronto-via-London, singer songwriter released his sophomore album,“Huntsville”, last week and with it came the first single, “Roll me on Home.” The track, which features guest vocals by Amanda Rheaume, is a perfectly crafted folk song about love as Yates sings, “I’ll be your rock, if you roll me on home.” This kind of alt-country song works perfectly with the weather getting colder and the leaves starting to change. He reminds me at times of Jackson Browne.