Tag: Toronto ON

Live Footage: METZ Performs “A Boat to Drown In” at Toronto’s The Opera House

Over the course of this site’s almost 11 year history — it turns 11 next week — i’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. With the release of their third album, 2017’s Strange Peace, the trio — Alex Eadkins (vocals, guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) —  pushed their songwriting in a new direction, as they crafted some of their most personal and politically charged work with the material capturing the anxiety, uncertainty, fear and outrage of the 2016 election cycle.

r themselves and for the album before they set to work on it: that they were going to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations.r themselves and for the album before they set to work on it: that they were going to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations.

hem attention and hearts across the world — but while arguably being their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their growing catalog. Thematically, the album covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind.  Much like its predecessor, Altas Vending offers a snapshot of the the modern condition as they see it; however, each of the album’s ten songs were written to form a musical and narrative whole with the album’s song sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory. And as a result, the album’s material runs through the gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simple of childhood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. So in some way, the album find the band tackling what’s inevitable for all of us — getting older, especially in an industry seemingly suspended in youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

, Atlas Vending closing track “A Boat to Drown In” was the album’s first official single and while continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting enormous, aural assaults centered around layers of distortion fueled powered chords, thunderous drumming, a mosh pit friendly hook and Eadkins urgent and howled vocals. But unlike their previously released material, “A Boat to Drown In” finds the band moving away from their grunge influences with their most expansive track to date, a track that finds them at their most oceanic. According to Eadkins, “A Boat to Drown in.” is “. . . about leaving a bad situation behind. About overcoming obstacles that once held you back, rising above and looking to a better future. The title refers to immersing yourself fully into what you love and using it as a sanctuary from negativity and a catalyst for change.”

Recently, the JOVM mainstays released a furious and urgent live version of “A Boat to Drown In” filmed as part of a live stream the band released last year at Toronto’s The Opera House that should serve as a reminder of their explosive live show — and of what many of us miss about live shows. Interestingly, with the release of the live footage, the members of METZ announced a co-headlining North American tour THIS fall with fellow JOVM mainstays Preoccupations. The tour will include two NYC area dates: December 9 at Elsewhere Hall and December 10 at Bowery Ballroom.

April and May 2022 sees the Canadians touring across the European Union.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing a real in-person tour for later this year!” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says in press notes. “We cannot wait to share Atlas Vending with you and to reconnect with our musical friends and family worldwide.”

INNR CIRCLE is a rising Toronto-based Panamanian-Canadian R&B artist, who has developed and honed a sound that features — and often meshes — elements of New Wave, dream pop and R&B paired with earnest, lived-in songwriting, and the artist’s striking and dynamic vocal register. Over the past year, his material, including “Take” have amassed over 1.6 million streams and have been featured on 70 official DSP playlists.

Earlier this year, the Canadian R&B artist released his debut EP, the six-song BEMUSED + CONFUSED EP. The EP received a feature on Lyrical Lemonade. Building upon a growing profile, the rising Toronto-based artist has remained busy: his latest effort, the standalone single “something called love.” Centered around a shimmering and dance floor friendly, 80s synth pop-inspired production from collaborators TJ Routon and Def Starz paired with INNR CIRCLE’s plaintive and sultry vocals, “something called love” pulsates with a desperate and aching need to be loved — but by that one particular person you want the most.

New Audio: Possum Releases a Hypnotic Cosmic Jam

Toronto-based psych rock act Possum — Brandon Bak, Tobin Hopwood, Christopher Shannon, Patrick Lefler and Bradley Thibodeau — can trace their origins to their involvement and eventually meeting through their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes. Bonding over a mutual love and appreciation of acts like CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall, the act’s full-length debut Space Grade Assembly found the act crafting a hypnotic sound that fused elements of garage rock, krautrock, psych rock and ethio-jazz centered around expansive arrangements full of shifting time signature changes.

The Toronto-based psych quartet’s self-produced sophomore album Lunar Gardens is slated for a July 2, 2021 release through Ideé Fixe Records, and the album reportedly finds the band crafting material that meshes elements of jazz, komische/krautrock, funk and psych rock while pushing their songwriting into new, unchartered territory for them. Thematically, the album touches upon telepathy, ESP, thought transference, Ley line riding and the like; it’s a a psychic exploration of the collective cortex, the capture of cosmic energy and the alignment of astral flux. Trippy shit, indeed.

“While Space Grade Assembly dealt more with space in a cold literal sense, Lunar Gardens’ approach is more ‘space as metaphor for consciousness in all of its infinite expanding fractal forms’, a surrealist escapist space fantasy of impossible spaces — the type of place you might go when the things are too heavy here in 3D,” the Toronto-based quintet says of the differences between their debut and forthcoming sophomore album. “If we were talking movies, one might say Space Grade Assembly is 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lunar Gardens is The Holy Mountain.”

Last month, I wrote about album single “Gala at the Universe City,” a languorous and slow-burning song that brought  Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and CAN to mind but centered a slithering and musty funkiness. Interestingly, the album’s second single, album opening “Clarified Budder” acts as a bridge between their debut and sophomore albums’ beginning with a languorous intro, the song explodes out of the gate, featuring rapid-fire drumming, a hypnotic motorik groove, wah-wah pedaled guitars and punchily delivered vocals. The end result is a song that evokes the feeling of floating away from your surroundings.

Last summer, Toronto-based psych rock duo Lammping — vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mikhail Galkin and drummer Jay Anderson — released their critically applauded full-length debut Bad Boys of Comedy. Bad Boys of Comedy featured teh noise rock meets shoegazer rock “Greater Good,” a perfect example of their difficult to categorize take on psychedelia, inspired by Tropicalia, Turkish psych pop, old-school New York boom bap hip-hop and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Shortly after Bad Boys of Comedy‘s release, the Toronto-based psych duo started working on new material that found them pushing the boundaries of psych music in bold, new directions: while still rooted in Anderson’s thunderous drumming and Galkin’s melodic riffs, the duo have added sampling, drum machines and a variety of instrumentation to their sonic palette. The duo’s sophomore album Flashjacks is equally indebted to the likes of StereolabDe La SoulKraftwerkBlack SabbathBlue Cheer and Sleep. The end result is material that finds the Canadian duo eschewing cliched stoner and psych rock tropes while pushing towards a new path in terms of creating heavy music.

Flashjack‘s latest single “Lammping” is a strutting mix of fuzzy 60s psych rock and 70s melodic AM rock paired with hi-hat driven boom bap-like drumming, enormous hooks and an expansive song structure. While seeming describing tripping on hallucinogens, the song is thematically a mission statement of sorts with the band continuing to push heavy music into a new and mischievous direction.

Flashjacks is slated for a summer release through Echodelick Records. Be on the lookout.


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Joseph W. Salusbury is a rising Toronto-based singer/songwriter and producer, who started off his professional career with a number of songwriting and production credits include cowrites on Majid Jordan‘s “Something About You” and Illangelo‘s “Your Future’s Not Mine, and vocal production on Nelly Furtado and Blood Orange‘s “Hadron Collider.” Back in 2017, Salusbury stepped out from behind the production booth and the relative anonymity of being a go-to songwriter with his solo recording project Joseph of Mercury. That year, he released three singles “Without Words,” “Young Thing” and “Find You Inside,” which quickly established the Canadian singer/songwriter and producer’s sound — slow-burning synth pop that drew from the likes of  David BowieElvis PresleyFuture Islands and Lower Dens among others, paired with his baritone crooning.

Since the release of his debut EP Find You Inside, the Toronto-based Salusbury has been prolific, releasing a number of singles, including his latest single “Pretty Blonde Boy.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, strummed reverb-drenched guitar, a languid backbeat and Salusbury’s achingly plaintive baritone, “Pretty Blonde Boy” is a slow-burning Tears for Fears meets The Smiths-like track inspired by it’s creator’s deeply personal and devastating experience of loss. “Two of my oldest, closest and dearest fiends, both taken too young and barely years apart. If there’s a word beyond ‘brother’ than that’s what they were,” Salusbury explains. “Love wasn’t just enough to balance out all that they carried on their shoulders. Their losses were devastating, breaking me in a way that I’m not sure will ever heal. It was in such eerie succession. They were mirrors of one another, both drawn into this senseless and tragic spiral of prescription pain meds and heroin, combined with fentanyl. Often the brightest lights go out the fastest . . .

“Overwhelmed with grief, I recorded the vocal performance in between tears and clenched fists. As time passed and I gained a resigned joy and acceptance among the sadness, ‘Pretty Blonde Boy,’ began to like an open road, rolling hills… the sun rising, or maybe setting, with that warm magic hour glow and a cool breeze, driving with nowhere to be. In tribute and memorial, for those burdened with pain or crisis, this is a testament to trying to be okay again. To find beauty, appreciation and gratitude in what feels hurtful, hollowing and unfair. ” 

New Audio: Toronto Psych Rockers Possum Release a Languorous and Funky Single

Slated for a July 2, 2021 release through Ideé Fixe Records, Lunar Gardens, the Toronto-based psych rock act Possum’s self-produced, sophomore album reportedly finds the quintet — Brandon Bak, Tobin Hopwood, Patrick Lefler, Christopher Shannon and Bradley Thibodeau — intently pushing their sound into new directions, while exploring the intersection of influence and intuition.

Sonically, Lunar Gardens reportedly finds the band veering into uncharted realms — with the band crafting material that meshes elements of jazz, komishe, funk and psych. And thematically, the album touches upon telepathy, though transference, Ley line riding; it’s a psychic exploration of the collective cortex, the capture of cosmic energy and the alignment of astral flux. Trippy shit, indeed.

“While Space Grade Assembly dealt more with space in a cold literal sense, Lunar Gardens’ approach is more ‘space as metaphor for consciousness in all of its infinite expanding fractal forms’, a surrealist escapist space fantasy of impossible spaces — the type of place you might go when the things are too heavy here in 3D,” the Toronto-based quintet says of the differences between their debut and forthcoming sophomore album. “If we were talking movies, one might say Space Grade Assembly is 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lunar Gardens is The Holy Mountain.”

The album’s first single “Gala at the Universe City” is a slow-burning and languorous song featuring wah-wah pedaled guitar, a steady motorik-like groove and Rhodes stabs, harmonic and funky bass lines weaved around lyrics that tell a tale about universal meeting of the minds. To my ears, the song reminds me a bit of Zappa and The Mothers of Invention covering Can with a slithering, musty funkiness.

New Video: Toronto’s Jiants Release an Anthemic Brit Pop-like Single

With the release of their critically applauded self-titled debut, 2016’s self-titled debut, Toronto-based Jiants — former professional skateboarder Jesse Landen (vocals, guitar), Adam Kesek (bass), John Sirdevan (drums) and the band’s newest member Joe Delfin (lead guitar) quickly established a sound that meshes 90s alt rock with sensibilities. 2018’s Taylor Knox co-produced follow-up Odd Trouble found the band meshing infectious rifts, melodic keyboard lines and Landen’s vocals to create a sound that managed to be nostalgia-inducing yet wholly theirs.

Earlier this year, the Toronto-based indie act released their latest EP, Wait Here and the EP’s latest single “Some Kind of Loser” is a decidedly Brit Pop-inspired anthem, featuring a gorgeous and cinematic string arrangement by Drew Jurecka, layers of shimmering guitars and rousingly anthemic and dryly ironic chorus paired with Landen’s plaintive and sun-cracked vocals. Sonically, the track — to my ears, least — reminds me quite a bit of Urban Hymns-era The Verve, Love Is Here-era Starsailor and Oasis. But as the Landen and company admit in press notes. “Some Kind of Loser” “is about charting your own path. These lyrics reflect on how it would ultimately be beneficial learning to work together and respect each other’s paths.”

The song was “born out of a rough day in the studio that was followed by some upcoming shows falling apart in advance,” Jiants’ Jesse Landen continues. “I was half-hoking around thinking about much time and energy I was spending obsessing over music stuff and feeling like a bit of a dork. I think everyone can relate to that in some way. But that’s when it dawned one me that sometimes you might have to just learn to enjoy the rollercoaster because I know that I was going to continue making and sharing music, regardless of the results.”

Directed by Hart Dylan Webster, the recently released visual for “Some Kind of Loser” is a cinematic ode to 120 Minutes-era MTV.

New Video: Join Toronto’s MONOWHALES on an 80s Inspired Journey Through Space and Time

Emerging Toronto-based indie act MONOWHALES, three self-described “weirdos” as they say on their Facebook page, released their latest effort Daytona Bleach earlier this year. The album, which according to the band was a long time coming, was the result of a painful yet rewarding period of introspection and personal growth for the trio: “This album is about accepting who we are, and holding it up for all to see,” MONOWHALES explain. “We are a group of people that deal in extremes. We’re either way up, or way down, but no matter what we are always moving forward.”

“He Said/She Said (I Wait)” Daytona Bleach’s latest single is a rousingly anthemic and dance floor friendly bit of electro rock that reminds me quite a bit of Version 2.0-era Garbage with the track being centered around scorching guitars, drum machine enhanced four-on-the-floor, buzzing bass synths and sultry vocals. But despite the swaggering, take-no-shit delivery, the song is underpinned by personal experience of modern life in a pandemic:

“Seems like we are all running around on our hamster wheels at home,” the band says. “As we look around surrounded by fake news and sickness, I sit frozen, feeling catatonic in my body. Yet, my mind can’t stop running. My thoughts race in perpetual anxiety as I wait for life to resume its course.

“He Said/She Said (I Wait)” is about delusionally interpreting and trying to accept what is going on around me while constantly immersed in a dissociative state.

Directed by Ievy Stamatov, the recently released video is a surreal journey through time and space, seemingly inspired by a nostalgic fascination with 80s graphics and technology.






Cole Koch is an emerging Toronto-based producer. His debut single, “Lockdown NYC” was part of a batch of material originally conceived as a way to keep busy and sane during pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. The project began to take a life of its own — to the point that it became a full-time endeavor.

Centered around scorching guitars, tweeter and woofer rattling 808s, squiggling synths and a rousingly anthemic hook, Koch’s urgent and forceful debut single manages to nod at The Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan and John Carpenter soundtracks. Fittingly for a song that sounds as though it could be part of the soundtrack for our dystopian present, “Lockdown NYC,” is inspired by real life events: Last March, Koch was booked to play The New Colossus Festival. While the festival mostly continued as planned, with the occasional venue closure and cancelled artist, it wasn’t until he finished his set, which was coincidentally at the end of the festival, when the urgency of the moment snapped into focus. With shops, restaurants and most travel shut down, Koch and his friends found themselves in the middle of pandemic-related lockdowns without food, money or their passports.

After a handful of nights sleeping whenever they could, Koch and his friends decided that the only way they could do to get back home was to hitchhike — but with the complete lack of traffic on the roads, that was easier said than done. Eventually, the group of friends came upon a young couple heading back to Toronto. That couple snuggled them across the border under blankets and suitcases.

The new single, which was released by Kanine Records is a the beginning of a batch of material the Toronto-based producer will be releasing throughout the year. And I’m looking forward to hearing what’s next.

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Toronto-based psych rock duo Lammping — vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mikhail Galkin and drummer Jay Anderson — released their critically applauded full-length debut Bad Boys of Comedy last summer. The album, which featured the noise rock meets shoegazer-like “Greater Good,” helped the band establishing a fresh and eclectic approach to psychedelia while eschewing easy categorization, with the material drawing from Tropicalia, Turkish psych, New York boom-bap hip hop beats and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Shortly after the release of Bad Boys of Comedy, the Canadian psych rock duo started working on a new batch of songs, songs that found the duo further pushing the boundaries of psych music in new directions. While their newest material is still rooted in Anderson’s thunderous drumming and Galkin’s melodic riff, the duo have added samples, drum machines and some expanded instrumentation, adding to their overall sonic palate. The end result, New Jaws EP is equally indebted to Stereolab, De La Soul, Kraftwerk, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and Sleep. As the duo explain in press notes, the EP serves as a bridge to their sophomore, full-length album an effort that reportedly will find the Canadian duo eschewing cliched stoner and psych rock tropes while attempting to find a new path in heavy music.

“Jaws of Life,” New Jaws EP‘s latest single is a trippy song centered around a morphing and mind-bending song structure: the song’s heavy metal-like first half is centered round Anderson’s thunderous drumming, Galkin’s fuzzy, Black Sabbath-like riffs and distorted vocals. But roughly half way through the song, it quickly turns into a jazzy and lysergic jam featuring twinkling keys, and an extended, wah wah pedaled guitar solo. Sonically, the track is a heady synthesis of 70s AM rock, psych rock and grunge with enormous hooks.