Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

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Emily Haines is back with “Choir of the Mind”, the Metric singer’s first release as her Soft Skeleton solo project in a decade.

That interval has particular resonance for Haines: Choir of the Mind, due September. 15th on Last Gang Records, comes 10 years after her Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton EP What Is Free to a Good Home?, which in turn stemmed from her 2006 LP Knives Don’t Have Your Back. Ten years before that, she released Cut in Half and Also Double under her own name.

“It’s funny, I believe in a way that my life has functioned in decades,” Haines says. “A lot of things aligned to make this seem like the time.” Her solo projects represent transitions in her life: her 1996 album came as she passed over the threshold of adulthood, while Knives Don’t Have Your Back emerged after the death of her father, the acclaimed poet Paul Haines. “On Knives, there were strings and horns, the mood was funereal, there were all these other players. On Choir of the Mind, there is still a fair bit of instrumentation, but I found myself filled with a desire to achieve as much as possible using little more than the contents of my mind and my voice, anchored by my hands on the piano, propelled by these rhythms I was making with my breathing, like a panic attack on the bottom with a lullaby on top.”

Haines’ vocals are definitely the focal point of Choir of the Mind. She used her voice to create spellbinding orchestrations for an effect that is subtle and ghostly on “Wounded,” lush on “Fatal Gift” and deeply powerful on “Legend of the Wild Horse,” which she calls her “soft anthem.” Haines’ voice is the only audible instrument on “Strangle All Romance,” and she creates mesmerizing layers that drift and swirl through the title track, which includes a spoken-word part adapted from a poem by the Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo.

Haines recorded Choir of the Mind over several weeks in September and October of 2016, more or less alone in Metric’s Toronto studio with a borrowed 9-foot grand piano built in 1850. Her longtime musical partner/Metric bandmate, James Shaw, helped flesh out the sonics with various instruments and rhythmic elements. (Shaw also mixed the album). Sparklehorse drummer Scott Minor, a member of the Soft Skeleton’s first incarnation, returned to perform on “Legend of the Wild Horse.” Haines says, “The writing and recording process was heightened and intensive, the two became one thing.”

In between solo releases, of course, Haines keeps plenty busy with Metric. Formed in 1998, the band has released six full-length albums and three EPs on its way to commanding arena-sized stages.

METZ – ” Cellophane “

Posted: July 17, 2017 in MUSIC
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Two years after the release of II, Toronto power trio and professional ear bludgeoners METZ return this 2017 with “Cellophane” The first single to be unveiled from the noise rock outfit’s forthcoming third album, the Steve Alibini-produced Strange Peace, the song is an urgent, merciless crusher of the highest order. Featuring frontman Alex Edkins snarling with finesse atop a deafening swirl of screeching guitars and pummelling drums, “Cellophane” is to be cranked at nothing short of maximum volume.

‘Strange Peace’ (Release date: September 22, 2017)

All customers who pre-order the LP version of ‘Strange Peace’ from the Sub Pop Mega Mart will receive the album on Loser Edition colored vinyl


Toronto-based artist, composer and producer Lydia Ainsworth releases her sublime second album, “Darling of the Afterglow”. The album is released through Bella Union. “Darling of the Afterglow” is Lydia Ainsworth’s sophomore record and follow up to the Juno-nominated and critically acclaimed Right From Real (2014). The album features a team of local Toronto musicians, woven into Ainsworth’s programming, samples and string arrangements an album of intimate emotions projected in heightened widescreen. The stunning, 11-track Darling of the Afterglow – from the lush lullaby of “Afterglow”, to the immersive Into The Blue, to the masterful cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

Lydia Ainsworth’s music craves space to spread itself out in, and “Afterglow” might be one of the best examples of that. It’s as languid as it is intense, and every word Ainsworth sings has the force of a stone dropped down a well. When her syllables land, they echo and reverberate and ripple in concentric rings, you’ll hear what I’m talking about when Ainsworth’s voice deepens as she intones: “To play it safe is not to play at all.” It sounds huge.

Afterglow is form Lydia Ainsworth’s new album ‘Darling Of The Afterglow’ out March 31st

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

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “In Undertow” by Alvvays (2017, from the forthcoming album Antisocialites).

Alvvays is a jangle/noise pop band from Toronto. The last we heard from them was their excellent debut album from 2014.

The band formed in 2011 as five members who had been friends for life. Molly Rankin (vocals/guitar) and Kerri MacLellan (keys) were best friends and next door neighbours on Cape Breton Island while Alec O’Hanley (guitar), Brian Murphy (bass) and Phillip MacIsaac (drums) grew up on Prince Edward Island and were friends in a band called The Danks.

Everything that I’ve read about the new record suggests that it’s going to be as good or better than the first. It’s been described as an album “replete with songs about drinking, drugging, and drowning”. It’s also described as “a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss”. The album has a song about getting kicked out of the Louvre and wandering around Paris with vomit on boots. There’s a song called “Lollipop (Ode to Jim)”, which was inspired by Jim Reid out of The Jesus and Mary Chain. There’s a song that’s described as reminiscent of Cocteau Twins.

I love the buzz of what I’m told is a Farfisa. I’m not clever enough to pick one keyboard synth from another without help, but that’s what I’ve read. It’s got the formula that we all loved about “Archie, Marry Me”: fantastic pop sensibilities mixed with a healthy amount of fuzz and feedback. Unlike the first record, though, this one has Rankin’s voice much clearer and front-of-mix.


The new album does not come out until September 8th via Polyvinyl Records. The band will be at the Rescue Rooms in September as pert of a European Tour. Thanks This Is That Song.

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Toronto-based artist, composer and producer Lydia Ainsworth writes orchestral pop songs that register as otherworldly yet personal. It’s a unique knack she has, “for making grand sweeping gestures feel human,” . To record Darling Of The Afterglow—the follow-up to her Juno-nominated 2014 debut—Ainsworth, who has a background in classical music and film scores, worked with a team of local Toronto musicians, fusing instrumentation with synthetic sound design. The album’s exploratory and emotional themes are informed by her studies of surrealist and philosophical works. These disparate elements all coalesce in music sophisticated, approachable, and glowing extraordinarily bright.

Afterglow is taken from Lydia Ainsworth’s new album ‘Darling Of The Afterglow’ out March 31st

The Road is taken from Lydia Ainsworth’s new album ‘Darling Of The Afterglow’ out March 31st.

As the clanging keyboard chords that open ‘The Road’ ring out like sinister church bells, it’s clear that Canadian composer and songwriter Lydia Ainsworth’s second album is going to be something very special indeed.

“Astral mirrors guide the fall /Let’s go on and on and on once more,” murmurs Ainsworth, oozing sensuality, strength and supernatural sass over dark, unctuous beats. There are hints of Bat For Lashes’ gloom and Chvrches’ wondrous way with a synth-driven melody here, but Ainsworth’s voice is indelibly her own. ‘Afterglow’ plugs into the same moody, mystical vibe, while lyrics about “the queen of angels” pitch this as a deeply female record.


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.




PONY – ” DIY “

Posted: February 8, 2017 in MUSIC
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Toronto four-piece Pony describe themselves as “the band that would play on a high school roof at the end of a ’90s teen movie,” delivering the same lighthearted, fun sound that could easily fit into film soundtracks of the era.

Pony just signed with the independent Toronto-based label Buzz Records, and while their catalogue only consists of a handful of songs, “DIY” is a promising showing of Ponys potential. Distorted guitars meet a mellowed beach vibe at the track’s beginning, before gaining power-pop momentum when the vocals come floating in.

Lead singer and guitarist Sam Bielanski delivers self-deprecating lyrics like, “nothing at all is all I really need” and the bright chorus “I do it to myself/ Just me and no one else.” According to Bielanski, the song acts as an open love letter to herself following a romantic blunder:

Once upon a time, I had a huge crush on a guy who did not come back. I was feeling bummed, insecure and super crummy. Through this minor heartbreak I realized that the only thing you can really do when someone lets you down or makes you feel bad about yourself is to take matters into your own hands and practice the art of ‘self-love’. D.I.Y. till you D.I.E.


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To try and capture music burning with all the fury, fire and grit that make you fall in love with a live band in the first place. It is alchemy. And it’s achieved in spades by the band known as The Wooden Sky.

In the title track from its fifth full-length record, Swimming In Strange Waters, the Toronto five-piece transports you to frontman Gavin Gardiner’s home studio. Gardiner’s guttural and rousing vocals, the psychedelic swirl of screaming guitars and whirling organ and a rhythm section that feels at once deeply rooted and dangerously unpredictable are all mixed by the deft hand of John Agnello. You can feel it swelling into an almost uncomfortable wave of power — and that’s before you consider the intense and important story behind the song.

“Swimming In Strange Waters,” the band says, “Stems from a history of sexual abuse in the family and the confused emotions that ensue.” Listen, and listen again. Tucked in alongside the wailing guitars and warbling synths, you will find a brave poet is using his voice to make the unknown knowable — or, in his own words, an artist who “feel[s] the weight of responsibility to act and make things better for the people to come.”

That sense of responsibility has always been present for The Wooden Sky, which has previously written about the violence endured by indigenous women and whose upcoming record will include both a rallying cry against the Keystone XL pipeline and a song inspired by refugee families. This is a band that handles delicate subjects with psychedelic swagger and a depth of lyrical intelligence that is never too on-the-nose, but always powerful.

Very much enjoying this new direction The Wooden Sky seems to be heading. The Wooden Sky’s new album is coming April 7th 2017 via Nevado Music,Very excited to hear more.

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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.