Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated weekly by Adam White. Each edition explores punk, garage, psych, and otherwise uncategorizable indie rock, drawing lines from proto to post and taking some weird diversions along the way.
Vancouver's Chain Whip recently shared the first track from their upcoming full-length 14 Lashes, premiering the fast and tough "HawaiiCBM" over at No Echo. Picking up where their EP left off, the new material finds the band digging deep into some classic hardcore sounds, marrying the punch of the early Californian scene and some combative UK influences. The group brings together Josh Nickel of Fashionism (and the Neon Taste label) on vocals, with Joel Butler of Nervous Talk/Corner Boys on guitar, Brett Thompson of Stress Eating on bass, and Patrick Bertrand of Corner Boys (and Hosehead Records) on drums.
Chain Whip recorded this set with Braden Decorby, who previously worked on their EP. Daniel Husayn mixed and mastered the new material at the North London Bomb Factory. The record arrives on August 5.
Speaking to No Echo, the band commented:
"We wrote 'HawaiiCBM' after the technological glitch of January 13th, 2018, when everyone on the island received cell-phone alerts that a missile attack was imminent on American soil. I kept on thinking about the ridiculous amount of influence that some people have to expose our fragility. I also kept thinking about what it must have been like to say 'Oh oops. Sorry. — my mistake. No missile coming.'
So many people fetishize these moments. Like 'Bring it on!' kind of stuff and I think that's such stupid posturing. Still, it's probably better to die in a nuclear holocaust than through the slow destruction of climate change I guess. Still, I'd like to try and enjoy some more of my time here."
This week a handful of additional songs from 14 Lashes are set to premiere, with one destined to surface right here at Some Party. I'll keep you posted.
Celebrated electronic duo A Tribe Called Red returned last week with a powerful new single titled "The OG," which features DJs Tim "2oolman" Hill and Ehren "Bear Witness" Thomas collaborating with Black Bear, a group of Pow Wow singers and drummers from Manawan, Quebec.
The song was inspired by, and features audio samples of, Cree lawmaker Romeo Saganash speaking to the House of Commons. Last September, while debating the future of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the NDP MP, took Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to task using some infamously colourful language:
"When the prime minister says that this pipeline expansion will be done no matter what, and his minister adds that Canada will not be able to accommodate all Indigenous concerns, what that means is that they have decided to willfully violate their constitutional duties and obligations...
Mr. Speaker, sounds like a most important relationship, doesn't it? Why doesn't the prime minister just say the truth and tell Indigenous peoples that he doesn't give a fuck about their rights?"
Saganash represents the Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou riding, which encompasses much of northern Quebec. In a statement Bear Witness commented on that event:
"It would be impossible to overstate the impact that Romeo Saganash's words had on the Indigenous world and on us personally. We feel that the stand he took that day in parliament needs to be remembered, memorialized and commemorated. This is a celebration of that moment. Romeo, the Halluci Nation salutes you."
A Tribe Called Red last released We Are The Halluci Nation in 2017.
Last week the enigmatic Toronto songwriter Ben Cook unveiled more music from his upcoming Young Guv record, GUV 1. He shared the track "Roll With Me," a song that label Run For Cover Records described as "a 100% certified rocker" akin to "Elliott Smith power pop." You can check it out below.
GUV 1 is due to arrive on August 2 from Run For Cover. The 8-song set, which follows up 2018's heavily stylized 2 Sad 2 Funk, will serve as the first in a two-album series, with its counterpart due in the fall. Ben Cook's, of course, well known for his more aggressive outings, be it as the frontman of the Toronto hardcore unit No Warning or as one of the many moving parts that comprise the critically acclaimed Fucked Up.
Amiable Montreal pop-punks Lost Love have a new two-song single online via Germany's Uncle M Records. The set features the tracks "Glenn Spaghetti Legs" and "Ontarien Demandé," both of which were recorded during the sessions that resulted in last year's Good Luck Rassco LP. The former seems to be a reference to when Glenn Danzig was knocked out by North Side Kings singer Danny Marianinho. Remember that? The Internet most certainly does.
Good Luck Rassco came out on May 25 via Stomp Records and the French label Guerilla Asso. It followed up the band's 2016 album Comfortable Scars. These new tracks were mixed by Kyle McAulay and mastered by Ryan Schwabe.
Lost Love is slated to play Beau's Oktoberfest this September in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. They'll play the punk-focused Black Forest Stage alongside bands like Mobina Galore, Pale Lips, The Penske File, and Audio Visceral. Across the fairgrounds, the event's main stage will feature the Vancouver indie-rock supergroup The New Pornographers headlining on Friday, with Toronto hip-hop luminary Shad closing the shindig on Saturday night. The music festival's a significant charitable fundraiser in the region as well, bringing in over $711,000 since 2009 for local causes. Some Party's a co-sponsor of the Black Forest Stage this year, which is really just an excuse for me to plant myself in the nexus of awesome that forms between that stage, the half-pipe, and the bar. Oktoberfest runs September 20 and 21.
This week I had the privilege of sharing the haunting, grungy new single from Toronto's low-fi duo Low Sun. The band, self-described as "post-industry / loser rock," are a week away from the release of their new EP, the appropriately-titled New/Shiny. That record arrives on July 20 from Art of the Uncarved Block on cassette.
New/Shiny is Low Sun's follow-up to their 2017 drone-rock album Reservoir of Impermanent Light. While the tour supporting that record brought the band through Eastern Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong, that momentum didn't make the follow-up any easier. The group spent 8 months with a new bass player, only to lose them just before another European tour, this time supporting Czech hardcore band DNO. Out of necessity Low Sun was reborn as a duo, rewrote their EP from the ground up, and started this, their second life.
Low Sun features the brothers Peter and Robert Johnson, who together run Art of the Uncarved Block (Mildew Mildew, PAX) and previously played together as Shahman. When asked about "Cold Light and a Fare," the band commented:
"I don't remember much, but I remember it being the end of something. I recall the light more than anything. And the feeling. That feeling that sticks to you like the humidity that makes the walls sweat."
Low Sun will launch the tape with a pair of shows next weekend. They'll play Weekend At Bernie's in their hometown alongside Milwaukee's Large Print, Toronto power-pop act Pretty Matty, and Blankscreen on July 20. The next day they'll be in Ottawa with Large Print for a show at Pressed.
Matty Grace recently premiered the first track from her upcoming solo record, a song titled "Connaught//Chebucto." It's due to be part of an EP titled Rumination Year, which is expected sometime later in the year. The song features production, mixing, mastering, and additional instrumentation from Dave Williams of Crusades and Surrender.
Grace has played in several Halifax-based punk and hardcore groups over the years, a list that includes the Fat Stupids, Weekend Dads, Outtacontroller, and Cutie. Her main band Future Girls last released the full-length Motivation Problems in 2018.
Future Girls are slated to play the inaugural edition of Ottawa's Side by Side Weekend on the last weekend of July, sharing the Saturday night stage at Black Squirrel Books with BBQT, The Thrill, and Panic Attack.
Side By Side will also see an appearance by local punk outfit Flaws, a trio made up from former members of The Tenenbaums and Muelkik. The group recently released a 7 song set at Bandcamp titled Rose. You can check it out below.
Side by Side runs from July 25 through the 28th at the nearby venues Black Squirrel Books and House of TARG. The event will feature performances from bands like the Steve Adamyk Band, Dboy, CELL, Life In Vacuum, Bonnie Doon, and Jon Creeden & The Flying Hellfish among others. Some Party and Punknews.org are giving away a pair of weekend passes to the festival this week, so if you want in on that make sure you enter the draw.
The irreverent Ottawa "pop-punk gang" NECK play classic punk rock that pairs Dead Milkmen style snark with a healthy dose of Ramones worship. I've had the trio's brisk new 10-song LP in my hands for a few months, and it's a blast. While You Don't Think It's Evil... technically arrived in April on Uncle D Records it didn't show up online until this past week. You can check it out now at Bandcamp.
You Don't Think It's Evil... follows up NECK's 2015 LP Hate To Read.
Halifax-bred indie rock act Mauno has a new video online, showcasing their latest single "Take Care." The track's set to appear on the band's upcoming full-length Really Well, due August 2 from Tin Angel Records.
In a statement Eliza Niemi commented on the song:
"'Take Care' is a play on words — it's about caregiving as a woman, and also about saying goodbye. It is about filling the role of taking care of someone and self-identifying through that, while simultaneously resenting the expectation of having to do so.
The chorus begins hinting at waiting for a relationship to finally feel reciprocal, and ends with the reveal of me actually waiting for it to fall apart / knowing all along that it was doomed."
The record finds Niemi and co-vocalist Nick Everett splitting songwriting duties across 11 new tracks that the four-piece recorded at Chad VanGaalen's Yoko Eno studio. They're following up their 2017 Idée Fixe release Tuning.
The band will unleash Really Well while making an appearance at SappyFest in Sackville, New Brunswick. They join a slate of performers this year that includes Shotgun Jimmie, LAL, WHOOP-Szo, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, The Weather Station, Haviah Mighty, and Apollo Ghosts. Sappy runs from August 2 to the 4th.
Three-piece Toronto pop-punk act Sixteen Scandals have a new single online titled "Middle C." The hooky track serves as the irreverent trio's first new material to surface in the wake of their 2017 EP Dorkmanteau. It'd be a safe bet to expect it as part of their sophomore full-length when it arrives in the fall.
In the premiere at Aesthetic Magazine, the band commented:
"'Middle C' is all about getting stuck in a job or relationship that makes you miserable, but feels too comfortable to leave. Most of us are so busy just trying to make rent, or staring at our phones all night to realize that our lives are caught in this cycle of suck. The drive to find purpose or some sort of meaning within our current socio-economic climate is a recurring theme in our music."
The video, a Fight Club parody, was shot by Josh Bradford of Silverstein. You can check it out below.
Dunville, Ontario indie rock quartet Don Vail have a new video online for "Institutionalized," the second single from the band's new album Stand of Tide. The clip was directed by Justis Krar of IMMV Productions. The group commented:
"It's probably the closest thing to a pop song we've ever done, and we love it."
Don Vail's been around for almost a decade as the solo recording vehicle of Mitch Bowden. This record finds the project fleshed out to a full four-piece band featuring drummer Victor Malang, guitarist Matthew Fleming, and keyboardist/vocalist Kori Pop. Stand of Tide is Don Vail's first record since 2016's Fades.
In the midst of their headlining UK tour, Single Mothers have a new single out titled "Metropolis." In a statement frontman Drew Thomson revealed that the song actually predates the band's most recent full-length, 2018's Through A Wall, explaining:
"'Metropolis' was recorded just before Through A Wall at Lincoln County Social Club in Toronto, Ontario. It’s a collaboration between Peter Landi and myself. I had recently moved apartments and my old landlord had sold the building we lived in and kicked everyone out. There was a real estate boom and we were all seemingly in the middle of it. Peter came to me with the song and once we were in the studio the lyrics came right away. I was just venting. A few years before I was living in my van. Sometimes it takes all the energy you have just to keep the lights on."
Through a Wall was released on Dine Alone in Canada and Big Scary Monsters overseas. Drew's spent much of this year teasing the upcoming full-length from his solo pop-rock vehicle The Drew Thomson Foundation, which is expected in the fall.
Bruce Peninsula's Misha Bower has a new video online for the song "Trying to Have it All," the title track to her recent debut solo album. It was filmed by Travis Welowszky at the Western Fair in London, Ontario. Bower commented on how the setting resonated:
"The bigger ride, the better prize, the chance that life will deliver an experience that quenches desire once and for all."
Trying to Have It All was co-produced by Bower and Will Kidman of the Constantines, with Kidman also playing guitar and keys as a member of her studio band. That group featured Cons bassist Dallas Wehrle along with Royal City drummer Nathan Lawr, backing vocalist Lisa Conway, and strings from Mika Posen, Kelly Larochette, Jill Sauerteig, and Julia Narveson.
In an earlier interview with Exclaim, drummer and lyricist Melissa Kuipers commented on the song, stating:
"'Big Mouth' is the dollar store version of 'Our Lips are Sealed' by the Go-Go’s covered by Hilary and Haylie Duff. It’s about having a mediocre time with someone and them leaving convinced you’re obsessed with them. This song is the brave face you put on after you’ve overshared and overstayed your welcome."
Necking features vocalist Hannah Kay, bassist Sonya Rez, guitarist Nada Hayek, and the above-mentioned Melissa Kuipers. Cut Your Teeth was recorded with producer Jesse Gander (Needles//Pins, Japandroids, White Lung).
C.R. Gillespie, bassist of the Toronto noise-punk band Greys, has a new collection of ambient/synthpop experiments out on cassette. Titled Tlön, it arrives on the Metachroma Currency Ltd label. Tlön follows a 2017 release from Gillespie titled Séance Works. These new songs were all written, recorded, mixed, and mastered solo by Colin at the Glass Home in Toronto between June of 2017 and this past December.
Greys released Age Hasn't Spoiled You, their third full length, earlier this year on Carpark Records.
Becky Ninkovic of the Abbotsford, BC dance-punk group You Say Party, has a solo record on the way titled Woe. It arrives on August 23 from Paper Bag Records, preceded by the new single and video for "The Carrier."
Woe has its roots in tragedy, stemming from the 2010 death of You Say Party drummer Devon Clifford, who suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage on stage in Vancouver while performing with the now-defunct group. The press-release delves into the difficult journey Ninkovic's been on since:
"From that devastating moment, Becky found herself deep in a mental health crisis triggered by trauma and grief. Woe is a collection of songs that share in ache and loss: loss of her band family, loss of a clear identity, loss of an old belief system, loss of her body transformed through motherhood and loss of life. The process took many years. Wordless melodies and beats gestated through time, though they were never intended for public release, the songs somehow pushed their way to the surface. Finally, Becky began to develop a sense of resiliency, hope for her artistic process — and for life itself-through therapeutic work, motherhood and the process of recording her new album."
A pair of BC shows have been confirmed in support of the album, July 25 in Abbotsford at the Jam In Jubilee festival and August 24 in New Westminister. The performances are to feature a backing choir and multi-media elements.
Toronto garage-rock trio The Mooks have a new video online for "Not Around," one of the six tunes from their recent EP I Hope That You Feel The Same. Chris Brown directed the clip for the cooly restrained, retro-minded song.
The Mooks recorded their new EP with Calvin Hartwick at Dreamhouse Studios in Toronto.
I've yet to write much about raucous Ottawa punk group Liquid Assets, and outside of a two-song November demo there hasn't been much yet to share. Last week a well-recorded live video surfaced of the group, capturing the quartet's entire set at Montreal's A Cool Move festival (they're on stage at La Vitrola). You can check it out below.