Tag Archives: music

The Best New Singles You Need to Hear

Happy Tuesday. I’ve searched the internet finding the best new tracks, so you don’t need to. From Austria to the UK, these are the best new tracks around that you need to hear.

A n g u s  &  J u l i a   S t o n e

From the Stalls, is the newest single from the brother and sister duo. The track if off their self-titled album released last year. The single is a slow ballad, which the two have seem to have perfected with their contrasting voices and perfectly complimenting melodies.

M I K A
MIKA-No-Place-In-Heaven-2015-1200x1200

Released June 16th, No Place in Heaven, is the fourth studio album from MIKA. The album features the Lebanese-British singer-songwriter’s track, Staring at the Sun. The evolution of Mika from, Life In Cartoon Motion (2006), until his latest, is the small power-pop song with an indie vibe. The indie tones have merged smoother in his latest album giving it the same MIKA, sound but a slightly different overall feel.

 f  i  l o u s

Filous

Having tracks with artists such as Tove Lo, 18-year-old music producer from Austria has already mastered some great tracks. His collaboration with the mellow toned James Hersey for the track How Hard I Try,  is just one of the many great tracks to be heard from the upcoming artist.

P a l a s t i c

palastic

Runaway, featuring Josh Roa, is the latest from PALASTIC. The duo only have a few tracks out, but each has a unique sound and vibe that is making the pair quickly gain fans from around the world. Their versatile sound is a great step in the direction towards electronic music for those who aren’t fully submerged in the craze.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Little Boxer

Little Boxer @ The Horseshoe Tavern

If you like Toronto’s music scene, chances are you’ve seen, or heard of Little Boxer. What makes the band so intriguing is the husky voice of lead, Zachary Erickson that elevates their alternative rock into a unique territory separating them from other bands. With the mixture of the surprising talent of Juan Udarbe, who makes you appreciate what great bass is, and drummer Dave Silani who rocks the stage from the back with a smirk, Little Boxer has put themselves on the map as the ones to watch. The young performers own the stage like pros and make each show different than the last. With the night scene a buzz about the boys, here are a few things you probably didn’t know about them.

1. They used to play folk-pop.
You wouldn’t have guessed it, but the alt-rock now wasn’t always the band’s primary sound. Beginning in back 2014, the band classified themselves as a folk-pop group due to Erickson’s musical interests at the time.

“As time progressed and we began to grow as a band and get to know each other, everyone’s influences and musical tastes began seeping in, and pretty soon I found myself craving a different sound,” Erickson said. “We still have our roots obviously but I would definitely say we are closer to rock than folk now.”

Though the folk influences of the past can still be heard in their sets with the song, Problems, which shows the bands range and lighter side, the sound heard live is much closer to rock.

2. Exploring music through other musicians is what solidifies their sound.

“In order to be the best musician I believe you need to immerse yourself in music. Not specifically rock music or jazz or whatever kind of style you play but just all kinds of music,” Erickson explained.
Currently signed to Dungus Records, the groupings of musicians are important aids to the bands sound.

“Everyone knows and respects one another and wants nothing more than to see each other succeed and all of these things are especially true in the Dungus family,” Erickson said. “Having this close relationship with other artists grants you this ability to peek into unfamiliar styles, get more acquainted with it and grow as a musician from it.”

Little Boxer @ The Horseshoe 5

3. The Horseshoe is home.

There is no one venue for a musician, but which is the favourite?

“Usually whenever we are performing we’re happy, whether it is in a basement with 2 people watching or at the Horseshoe with over 100,” Erickson said. “If I had to pick a specific venue I’d probably have to say the Horseshoe Tavern right now. We play there the most out of any venue, I believe, and it has always just been such a great experience.”

No matter, it seems wherever the band performs their fans follow, which is why number 4 is so important.

  • Little Boxer @ The Horseshoe Tavern 2
    4. They’d be bored without you.
    What would any musician be without their fans? The boys are so humble and down to earth, you’ll see them before and after their shows sincerely interacting with whoever came to see them play.“The musician could play with complete perfection and skill but it would still be boring,” Erickson said. “What makes live music so great is the energy. That dedicated connection with the audience that makes a night impossible to forget.”And the fans love them. Back in December the band sold out The Cameron House, which for a band in its first year, is overly impressive.“It was, I believe our first big headliner show and we packed the back room of the Cameron House,” Erickson said. “I just remember feeling on top of the world after that night, seeing so many people showing up to watch you play.”5. They’ve got an album on the way.

    If you follow them, you’ll notice the boys disappear for just a little while, but the absence isn’t in vain. The band will be recording their first full-length album. Focusing on the sound they’ve established, the album will feature songs that have been heard live revamped with more of a full band sound.

    “We’ve been working on this grouping of songs for close to a year now and finally we’re ready to take on this huge project and make something we can be really proud of,” Erickson said. “We also want to make this album as big as possible, so we’ll adding in additional parts into a variety of the songs that people haven’t heard live yet,”

    A release date hasn’t been set and the number of tracks is still a secret but Erickson promises, “We’re working on it,”

You Need to Listen To: The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASTT)

GOASTT @ The Horseshoe

“We are going to get fully naked and cover ourselves in Crisco and play the Canadian national anthem,” Kemp Muhl said about the performance at Canadian Music Week. They didn’t fulfill their promise but they did put on an interesting set. Their far from normal sense-of-self leaks into their humour, music videos and music. Interviewing Kemp surely gives an inside look at the charm and whit that can only be described as indescribable.

The harmonic hymns coupled with the poetic lyrics of the two-piece band, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp, are something out of ordinary. Take the haunting tone of My Morning Jacket and mix it with the Beatles psychedelic influence and you’ll get an idea of, the New York bound band’s sound. The hard to distinguish clash of dark inventive outlandishness seems to be a pure representation of their inner selves. The two are truly rare, in more ways than one.

The band’s distinct sound, according to Kemp, can only be described as, “the sound of a crab slowly committing suicide, run[ing] through some audio delay and an old shoe,” she said.

Kemp Muhl of GOASTT @ The Horseshoe

The duo has gained international recognition for their suicidal-sea-critter-inspired albums, Midnight Sun (2014) and The Acoustic Sessions (2010). With the release of their last album it seems Lennon and Kemp are confident in their sound of harmonic, alternative rock with the ‘60s folk vibe. The solidity in their sound clearly comes from the chemistry in their voices in both performance and heard in each track, they are two of the same with different vibes. The connection between the two is possibly one of the bands biggest aid and the biggest challenge.

“Making music with your lover is no moonlit walk on the beach, but that friction is also what leads us to do our best work,” Kemp said.

The couple has been performing since the band’s beginning in 2008 but has recently been making their way across late night talks shows, blogs and even caught a holy recognition from Rolling Stone Magazine which placed, Midnight Sun, at #33 on the best songs of 2014. NPR took notice of the band placing, Too Deep, on the best songs of 2014 mixtape. The band has also made their way through this year’s summer music festival circuit. Playing this year’s Coachella Arts and Music Festival, Kemp described the experience as,”surreal, hectic and, of course, an honor.” CMW, and the upcoming international festivals including side performances with Beck, Santana, and The Flaming Lips. But with all of buzz about the band, the greatest recognition the band has received, according to Muhl, is from the fans. “A homeless guy gave me the knowing nod the other day,” she said.

Sean Lennon

Now the band is bringing their sound that is uniquely dreamlike and a constant comparison and contrast of light and airy tones with heavy guitar, or acoustic with soulful voice to Canadian fans which Kemp describes as,“slightly more educated and cooler than your average human.” GOASTT graced the trendy depths of The Horseshoe Tavern for Canadian Music Week May 8th with a crowd first riled up to see John Lennon’s son, once the band began playing, the focus changed immediately to Kemp as she commanded the stage with her sways and utter confidence. With the band touring the world fans can look forward to an oddball collection of music that creates a world and genre of it’s own, with a simple message to take away from each performance.

“—Robots are going to kill us all one day,” Kemp said

The People You’re Sure to Find at a Palma Violets Show

Palma Violets

Don’t let the suspenders and slacks fool you. If you were expecting four sharp English boys to come on stage and play smooth hymns around Samuel Fryer’s yawning and mollifying voice, you’re in the wrong place. At their Toronto show on Friday, Palma Violets proved that live, they are a drunken, stumbling and slightly mumbly sight. Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, (guitar), follows drummer, William Doyle, and Jeffrey Mayhew (keyboard) by playing from beneath a buffer of hair they aren’t shy about flipping during their performance. Their music translates from the unhurried indie rock heard on albums to sweaty, screaming high-energy punk when they play live. The juxtaposition of their sound live may be a little disappointing to those that are probably not expecting to walk into a punk-rock show, but if you follow the bands live work then you know exactly what you’re getting.

The spectacle on stage does draw a vast variety of people, from the expected to the lesser; there are certain people you’re sure to find at a Palma Violets concert.

The stage diver—you know the guy. By the time the first song is over his beer has been poured on half of the crowd and his shirt has gotten lost somewhere in the sweaty moshpit (that he started). There were more of these guys than expected at the show. The mosh pit was in full swing, but it wasn’t violent until that guy took his place on the stage and dove into the half willing crowd. Once the trend started it was a tough one to end and the less intense Palma fans found themselves heading for the back.

The guy who is a little too happy to be there—We see you jumping up and down, grabbing at the singer. Oh, he high-fived you? You’re probably best friends now. You should keep inappropriately grabbing at the lead singer and keep “accidentally” touching his penis. It’s great you’re having a good time, but don’t randomly grab the people around you and shake them until they look as ridiculous as you. Let them be, have a good time but be courteous of everyone else having a good time in their own way. PS: if you want the band to come back, maybe tone down the stalker eyes. And just know, you’re the reason for the next person.

The roadie who has been doing this for far too long—He’s over forty and the music scene. He’ll wait in the corner of the stage waiting to push anyone who gets too excited. He can still appreciate a good show when he sees it, but rarely gets the chance since he can’t focus when there are constantly people rushing the stage. The stage diver is the natural enemy, unless it’s the end of the show and all of the crazies rush the stage. That’s the roadie’s time to relax and watch as long as no one goes after the instruments.

 The girl who is just there for the music—she’s dressed in expensive clothes that will surely be ruined after tonight. She got there an hour early to claim her place at the front. But after the shoving began, the stage diver kicked her and the beer marked her white shirt she retreated into the back.

 The ones going at it—in the corner it’s dim and busy, but we still see you there. What we don’t see are where your hands have gone. But we know that you don’t care. You’re too young and in love to possibly be bothered with anyone’s disapproving eyes or the rock show going on in front of you.

In the end, they’re all there for the same reason. To enjoy the energy of four drunk men as they yell into a microphone. Though the songs sounded vastly different than their albums and videos almost to the point of incoherence. The experience made up for what the music lacked. There was a touch too much yelling, but the band enjoyed playing and it translated into the crowd.

The Alternative Rock Gods Are Back; Hear Metric’s New Track “The Shade”

Since the 90’s Metric has made their name known with their every changing style of indie rock. The band consists of Emily Haines (vocals), James Shaw (guitar), Joshua Winstead (bass) and Joules Scott-Key (drums); the foursome opened the door for mainstream Canadian indie rock with their album, Fantasies ,which most are familiar with. Help I’m Alive and Gimmie Sympathy are the bands most known songs, but dig a little deeper into their past and it’s evident that each album yields a different sound, focus and direction. From the early grunge days of Old World Underground, Where Are You Now, to their newest album, Synthetica the band has explored new ways to broaden themselves beyond the expected. Synthetica, released back in 2012, yielded fans to a softer electric vibe from the band instead of the rocker aspect heard in earlier albums. With the release of their new single, The Shade, it’s clear that this refined smooth rock is to be expected in their upcoming projects. It’s on the pop-ish side, but still yields the same quirky charm the band does best.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Skye Wallace

Skye Wallace

Two words come to mind when you hear Skye Wallace, haunting and beautiful. The Canadian artist threads the sounds of the prairies into a one of a kind alternative-folk with a country attitude. Smart lyrics juxtaposed with tones, song titles and melody amplify the thought and skill put into each one of her three albums. Her latest album, Living Parts, is the perfect example of the wit embedded into her style.

“The name, Living Parts, is coupled with the skull on the front cover, a decidedly “dead” imagery.  The juxtaposition represents the life in that which seems dead: the stories in history and the lives and experiences of those who are now dead,” Wallace said. “There’s a beauty there and a gruesome, haunting honesty because the story has ended, but the story might remain to be untold.”

The sound is a soft lyrical focused, instrumental focused piece that utilizes her skill of shining a light on darkness and twists the word into Wallace’s own. With such talent, and much buzz around her, she’s one to discover. Here are five things you didn’t know about the talented beauty.

1. She’s aware of her “sex eyes”

 “I often get real fired up when I perform.  I apologize if I give anyone sex eyes at future shows; it’s my default look when I’m really feeling it and I don’t mean to give you the wrong signals,” Wallace said.

2. Her favourite place to perform is right here in Toronto.

“The Dakota Tavern, by far: great sound, great room, and skulls on the walls,” she said. Her latest performance was at Canadian Music Week, where she rocked the cozy Rivioli stage at the BC showcase alongside the likes of Hot Panda, Gay Ninties and The Boom Booms.
”One of the elements I enjoy most about those types of festivals is the devotion to art for a decided number of days, turning off whatever devices or responsibilities that cloud our minds in “real life”.  It brings out the best in people and this crazy cool community forms.  It makes music come alive,” Wallace said.

3. The worse part of touring for Wallace is,

“eating A&W Fries and not showering”…the best part of touring? “Eating A&W and not showering,”

4. She avoids writing about herself

“There are so many stories from this killer country.  It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s chockfull of stories.  It’s also what I know,” Wallace said. ”I tend to write stories about made up characters over writing about myself.  Right now, I’m in the midst of writing a song about a woman with a propensity to kill her various husbands, and my most recent song, War Years, is about using sex as a tool by a Confederate spy in the American Civil War. I like the idea of always incorporating story telling into my work.

5. She’s a secret Punker

Though she describes her sound as, “a dark, hard folk with slices of rock and alt country with a string section,” the performer has a hidden punk rock side to her.

 “Most obviously, a big musical influence in my life is my Newfoundlander roots.  When I explain to listeners this aspect of my heritage, I’m often greeted with an “Ooooooh, of course!” Less obvious in my music is my serious love of punk.  I find that it’s been sneaking a little into newer songs, though.” She said. “I try maintain the philosophy of not trying to sound like something else, and I am always guided by passion and honesty.  But I guess even if I was trying to sound like something else, it’d still be me doing it. There are so many definitions of/ways of going about staying true to who you are.”

Hot Panda’s Chris Connelly is Preparing to “Kick Your Ass” at CMW

Oh, I’m calling on my teenage self for this one. Upon my search through the bands of CMW, there was one that I was so pleased to find, it had my inner teen screaming and my adult-self planning my evening around the show. For nine years, Hot Panda has been making their way through the indie rock scene with their special blend of garage-rock with influences of indie-pop coupled with skilled guitar and finished with, lead singer, Chris Connelly’s raspy voice, that no matter what mood can get you all riled up.

Continue reading Hot Panda’s Chris Connelly is Preparing to “Kick Your Ass” at CMW

Oh Hi, Yeah, Women Can Be Bad Ass Too.

Remember these faces. Their genres are all worlds apart but the thing that these ladies have in common is that they rock the hell out of a stage. The ladies focused on during Canadian Music Week’s: Toronto Women of Music showcase brought out some of the city’s best talent you need to check out. The showcase took place at the intimate Garrison on Dundas West. The venue was the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the future of Toronto’s music scene.

Continue reading Oh Hi, Yeah, Women Can Be Bad Ass Too.