Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile
Last week indie-pop supergroup The New Pornographers detailed their upcoming full-length In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. It's the veteran band's eighth LP and is due for a September 27 release from Collected Works Records and Concord. The 11-song record follows the BC group's 2017 album Whiteout Conditions.
The announcement also shared the record's first single, "Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile. You can stream it below. Frontman AC Newman commented on the song in a statement:
"There are so many songs like 'the something of love'—you know, there's 'The Book of Love,' 'The Freeway of Love'... Then I thought of 'falling down the stairs of your love,' and I thought, that kind of works, I think it has that element of how do you deal with the ideas of love and happiness in this world right now? When current events are stressful, that makes a stress on people's relationships, and you're trying to figure out how to be happy in this loving relationship in this world that seems ugly at every turn, which is not as easy as it seems. So I like the metaphor of love as something that you fall down."
He further explored a car theme that emerged as the album was assembled:
"I was about two-thirds of the way through the record when I began to notice that lyrically so much of it was pointing toward car songs. The opening track is 'You'll Need a Backseat Driver', and that was a metaphor that seemed to be running through other songs, too. Next to the love song, I feel like the car song is one of the most iconic kinds of songs in pop music, from Chuck Berry to the present. There was so much of that throughout it that I started thinking: 'Oh, no, there's too many references to cars on this record!' And then I thought, 'No, that's good—people might think it's a concept album.'"
The band has several tour dates lined up in the US and Canada this summer and fall to support the release (with regards to the band's transient live lineups, this trek is expected to include Neko Case, but not Dan Bejar). The itinerary notably includes an August 17 show at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall as part of that venue's 100th-anniversary celebrations. The New Porns will also headline the Friday night main stage of Beau's Oktoberfest on September 20 in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Experimental Montreal post-rock group Fly Pan Am have another new song online previewing their upcoming reunion record C'est ça. You can stream the twitchy, hypnotic "Bleeding Decay" below, a track that Constellation Records describes as:
"...a powerful dose of garbled electronics, driving krautrock rhythms, and some of the most gnarled vocal howls JS Truchy has ever laid down."
C'est ça, the band's first album in 15 years, is due to arrive on Constellation on September 20. The label previously shared the single "Distance Dealer."
Fly Pan Am last released N'écoutez pas, their fourth album, in 2005. The group first got together in 1996, then featuring guitarists Roger Tellier-Craig and Jonathan Parant, bassist J.S. Truchy, and drummer Felix Morel. Multi-instrumentalist Eric Gingras joined the group in 2002. Fly Pan Am's original run together lasted for about a decade.
Toronto power-pop/pop-punk act Pretty Matty will release their debut full-length September 6 on Get Better Records. They shared a Jono Hunter-directed video for the song "Another Shot" alongside the album announcement. Speaking to The Grey Estates, bandleader Matty Morand commented on the song:
"Another Shot was the first song that I wrote for the record and I think it sort of set the direction of the rest of the songs. The song is about struggling to meet the expectations that you set for yourself. Making a plan and letting it fall apart, being unable to deal with confrontation etc. and the way that those things pile up and make it harder and harder to be the person that you want to be."
Pretty Matty will play a record release show at Toronto's Owls Club on September 21 with support from Piper Maru, Baby Band, and Tea Room. "Another Shot" follows the December-released single "Kicked Out," along with a four-song self-titled EP from March of 2018.
Toronto synthpop trio Sauna recently premiered a unique new video for the song "Carousel," a cut from their recently released self-titled EP. In a statement, director Dan Tahmizian commented on the piece:
"'Carousel' is about the cyclical nature of life and how we seem to find ourselves making the same mistakes over and over falling back into familiar patterns and mind states. The video was inspired by the Suprematist art movement, specifically a short film by Lutz Becker, and was created using one of the earliest forms of filmmaking, the Zoetrope. It consists of 25 unique handmade Zoetropes playing 16 frames loops each lasting just over 1 second long."
Sauna features Michael le Riche of Fake Palms on vocals and various electronics, performing with Weaves bassist Zach Bines and Greys drummer Braeden Craig. The group worked with Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck on the recordings. Both Borcherdt and le Riche were recently featured in an article at Talkhouse where the two discuss the record, the band's future recording plans, the recent reunion of Borcherdt's early band Burnt Black, and more. Sauna's debut arrived this past April from Idée Fixe Records.
Celebrated Indigenous electronic duo A Tribe Called Red has another new single out, following "The OG" from earlier in the summer. The new track, titled "Ba Na Na," features Odario Williams of Toronto hip hop act Grand Analog, Brampton's rising star rapper Haviah Mighty, and Anishnaabeg family drum group Chippewa Travellers. The band posted this in a statement:
"The Halluci Nation has two new members. Odario, Haviah Mighty and Chippewa Travellers came to help us to celebrate the late summer sun. This song is about the pure enjoyment of dancing and getting sweaty... but this is not without a purpose. This song is for the people who are working hard to make the world a better place then the one they were left with. This is for the fighters and the defenders. Part of being strong is also taking the time to stop, let go and release."
A Tribe Called Red currently operates as a duo featuring DJs Tim "2oolman" Hill and Ehren "Bear Witness" Thomas. The group last released the full-length We Are The Halluci Nation in 2017.
Last week Winnipeg glam rock three-piece The Sorels celebrated the release of their self-titled debut EP on Reta Records. It was the first release for the young label, which was founded by Jamie Rae of the Montreal pop-punk group Pale Lips. The 7" features two new Sorels songs, "She's In The Gang" and "School Street Blues," both of which were recorded by Shawn Dealey at Private Ear Recording.
The Sorels will play a release party on August 17 at the Royal Albert in Winnipeg. A European pressing of the record will be available from Italy's Surfin' Ki Records.
Whitby's suburban grunge-punk act Chastity has another new video online featuring a song from their upcoming sophomore full-length Home Made Satan. The clip for "The Girls I Know Don't Think So" continues the narrative from the band's June-released "Sun Poisoning" video. You can watch the short, directed by frontman Brandon Williams, below.
The single artwork shared for "The Girls I Know Don't Think So" features an image of the Marxist revolutionary Alexandra Kollonta. Williams commented on the influence she had on the project:
"She was way ahead of her time. She fought for women's equality in the workforce, universal maternity care and women's advancement in education. She won. In 1920, Soviet Russia was the first country in the world to make abortion legal under women's request. Homosexuality was decriminalized, sex work too. This was 100 years ago, it's fucked how long it's taken the rest of the world. Alexandra Kollontai helped to change the lives of millions of people. There may be voices similar to hers out there today. Are we listening?"
Transistor Sister 2, the new record from earnest indie-rock troubadour Shotgun Jimmie, is out now. It arrived alongside a documentary short that follows the record's creation. The clip offers a behind-the-scenes look at the singer/songwriter in the studio working with Ryan Peters of Ladyhawk, Jay Baird of Do Make Say Think, and José Miguel Contreras of By Divine Right. The footage was shot on November 21 of last year, featuring the band's completion of the record in Toronto and an hours-later show at Toronto's Tranzac that debuted much of the new material.
That show was also documented at the time by Mechanical Forest Sound as part of their ongoing series of Toronto-scene field recordings. You can revisit some of the audio from that show at their blog.
Transistor Sister 2 is the Shotgun Jimmie's first new full-length under his name since 2016's Field of Trampolines. It arrives via You've Changed Records.
Speaking of José Contreras, the By Divine Right frontman has his own new solo LP on the way this fall, titled At The Slaughterhouse. It'll arrive via Headless Owl Records. Last week at Now Toronto he premiered the reflective new track "At 45."
By Divine Right last released the song-for-song Depeché Mode cover album Speak & Spell US in 2017. José Contreras last released a self-titled solo LP and EP in 2014 and 2015.
The unrelenting Toronto/Hamilton hardcore group Hellbent are preparing the release of Dead Off The Floor, a new 7" EP, for August 9 from Pink Lemonade Records and Angry & Hungry. The band premiered an animated music video for the song "King" over at Punknews.org, where they had this to say:
"Dead off the floor is the early days. Some old songs recorded it was meant to be heard. Raw, fast, messy, and done ourselves. The video was hand-drawn by Dylan Zdrobov, who has drawn just about every piece of artwork we've ever put out there, and our drummer Nick has recorded every release to date."
The band's following up a 2018 split 7" with Spanish punk act G.A.S. Drummers, as well as their 2017 EP Pups, Penguins & Sockeye Salmon Sandwiches.
Low-fi art-punk group Deliluh recently shared a live clip of the song "Freeloader Feast," recorded at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Toronto. It captures the band performing at the June release show for their Telephone Explosion-released EP Oath of Intent. The footage was filmed and edited by Ryan Hage.
This is also another reminder to set aside a few minutes to watch Somewhere Else if you haven't yet. Deliluh were central to the documentary short by directors Colin Medley and Maria Todorov-Topouzov. It features the community of bands making use of non-traditional venues in Toronto, primarily featuring the Owls Club, as the city copes with a loss of traditional performance spaces. You can find it at Vimeo.
Montreal ska-punk vets The Planet Smashers have a video online showcasing the single "Break My Neck (A Love Song)." The track comes from their recent 14-song full-length Too Much Information. The Big Lebowski-inspired clip features cameo appearances from a number of the band's Stomp Records label-mates, including Gutter Demons, Lost Love, and Morgan.
Psychic Void rules. The Windsor-based punk/psych act further demonstrates this fact with their contribution to the new Remove Records cassette comp, Record Collection #3. The band contributed the song "Internet Human" to the project, which slots it in among 15 tracks from Detroit-area garage, punk, and hardcore artists.
A four-piece, Psychic Void features vocalist Jesse Knight, guitarist Josh Kaiser, bassist Matty Menard, and drummer Pete Garant. They last released the Terminal Vacation full-length in the winter of 2018.