Sunday September 3, 2017

Check My Profile

This past week saw three Toronto bands of note make major album announcements, and of course it was the very week I'd found myself out of town covering a festival. Apologies for the delay, but let's get to it. This is Some Party:

Odonis Odonis continues to churn out an LP a year, shifting their sound (sometimes dramatically) on each. The band's last few releases have hopped from shoegaze to industrial rock to synth-heavy post-punk and back. Their upcoming album, and the follow up to 2016's Post Plague, is titled No Pop and will arrive on October 20th via Felte. There are 9 songs in the set, with a 10th exclusive to the vinyl. Here's how the latest shift in their sound is described:

Their latest pushes their sounds further into the depths of post-apocalyptic experimentation — stripping down instrumentation to a handful of synths and an electronic drum kit. The result is a focused blend of hard-hitting industrial, techno, noise and pulsing rhythms that lay the ground for textural soundscapes and palpable sense of doom.

Listen: Odonis Odonis - "Check My Profile" @ YouTube

The band will celebrate the release with a November 3rd show at The Garrison, a double release party with Beliefs who are ushering Habitat into the world at the same time (you'll find more on that band below).

The next record from indie-rock act The Rural Alberta Advantage has been announced. The Wild is due out on October 13th via Paper Bag and follows up 2014's Mended With Gold. The 10 song set includes the previously previewed songs "White Lights" and "Beacon Hill" as well as the song "Brother," which was premiered this week. The new track arrived with a music video directed by Anne Douris of Bossie. Frontman Nils Edenloff commented on the song:

"Some people might hear the song as something bleak or overly dark, but I don't really see it that way. In my mind, it's always been more about finding comfort in change, trying to embrace the idea of an unknown outcome and how those can often bring about the most positive result that you never knew was there."

The chorus comes in like a lion on this one:

Watch: The Rural Alberta Advantage - "Brother" @ YouTube

Also this week, Buzz Records shared details on the first LP from Casper Skulls, titled Mercy Works. It'll arrive on November 3rd. The band premiered "You Can Call Me Allocator," the first single from the record, over at The FADER. If you recall the band's Lips & Skull EP from last year, you'll find the new track a little more relaxed than that, with the band trading the punky energy of their debut for something a little more relaxed and melodic.

Listen: Casper Skulls - "You Can Call Me Allocator" @ YouTube

You can find tour dates and the cover art with the announcement. The band will be playing shows with Julie & The Wrong Guys in Ontario and will appear at both POP Montreal and the Halifax Pop Explosion before dropping into the States.

Of Note

We're approaching crowded few weeks of releases, and a number of artists I've mentioned here over the past few months have full album streams up via all your favourite public broadcasters. You can now check out the entirety of the self-titled LP from the aforementioned Julie & The Wrong Guys, the rock band lead by Julie Doiron, at CBC Music. Antisocialites, the sophomore album from Toronto indie-pop act Alvvays, can be streamed at NPR. You can also, for a limited window, explore the new Chad VanGaalen record Light Information at the CBC. Hell, even Neil Young's previously unreleased 1976 album Hitchhiker is online now over at NPR. Your work's cut out for you.

I had the pleasure of both seeing and interviewing A Tribe Called Red at Quebec's FME this weekend. The critically acclaimed Indigenous electronic music DJ collective recently released a cool 360° video for their song "Indian City" from We Are The Halluci Nation. Click and drag to move the camera angle around (I presume that there's a VR aspect to this, but I'm old). There's a ton of talent involved in this production, so check the description on YouTube for a full list of credits.

Interact: A Tribe Called Red - "Indian City" @ YouTube

Speaking of FME, one of the highlights was seeing Montreal's Laura Sauvage performing an intimate set at Pub Chez Gibb to launch her new full length "The Beautiful". The slacker rock set from the Les Hay Babies member is a great deal of fun and you can preview the entire thing over at CISM 89,3. The record comes out on September 8th on Simone Records.

Listen: Laura Sauvage - "Alien (Anything Like It, Have You?)" @ BandCamp

Saint-Lambert rock band Zen Bamboo have released a new single titled "Si c'est correct." The track was produced and engineered by Malajube's Thomas Augustin and will appear as part of the November installment of their album, which they've divided into chunks and are trickling out over four volumes. A video for the track can also be found on YouTube.

Listen: Zen Bamboo - "Si c'est correct" @ BandCamp

Jesse Locke of Century Palm and Tough Age recently announced that he'd be joining Hamilton's Simply Saucer on a US tour in November. Also joining the band for the tour: Craig Bell of Cleveland proto-punk legends Rocket From The Tombs! There are no dates to share for this one yet, but pretty cool nonetheless.

Speaking of Tough Age, the band recently announced that they've formed a label called VF/FN (very fine / fine). Their first release will be a discography collection of the Montreal-via-Vancouver Island post-punk band Fountain, titled Two Tapes 2013-2015. Limited to 300 copies, it'll collect the material from the band's 2014-released self-titled cassette and the follow-up Fountain 2 set from 2015. The set features new artwork by Zad Kokar and remastering by Marshall Vaillancourt. The band will have some on tour when they play across Canada in the fall with Zad Kokar & the Combi Beyaz, but a small number of copies will also be available from the label's store.

Outside Music and Hand Drawn Dracula have shared a video for a song "Comb" from the new Beliefs record Habitat. The clip for the industrial influenced track was directed by Andrew Matthews and Ivy Lovell and finds the band showing a more aggressive side than they did on the first single "1994." The record is out on September 22nd.

Watch: Beliefs - "Comb" @ YouTube

Toronto hardcore group Twin Rivals, who recently signed to Long Island's State Of Mind Recordings, have released a new song titled "Your Light." It will appear on the band's upcoming full length On Tilt, which is due out in the Spring of 2018.

Listen: Twin Rivals - "Your Light" @ BandCamp

I'm pretty excited to welcome Toronto's Bovine Sex Club on board as our September sponsor. I remember seeing the Bovine for the first time when I would take school trips into the city, and the dramatic junk-art exterior of the place was both fascinating and a little scary. The iconic Queen Street West bar and live music venue has a number of shows coming up this fall, including Seas (members of Moneen) on September 15 and the Plan 37 album release on September 23.

Finally, if you're looking for something compelling to ponder over this week you should absolutely devote some time to this piece at Vice by Toronto writer Graham Isador. Titled "We Talked to Artists About How Sobering Up Changed Their Work," it features discussions with a number of artists on the intersection of substance abuse and creative expression, including a pretty revealing chat with Drew Thomson of London, Ontario's Single Mothers.

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