Sunday August 30, 2020

Canadian Dreams

I mentioned Charlottetown's quirky FSHKLL in passing last week (Michael Rancic featured them in his recent PEI punk spotlight at Bandcamp), but I missed that they also have a new record out. Sashimi Shoreline is the post-punk band's new five-song EP, showing off a playful bass-buoyed bounce with love for DEVO and The Talking Heads shining through. The band shared each of these tracks (save the newly unveiled closer, "Canadian Dreams") over the spring and summer as part of the PEI Musicians for Migrant Worker Relief effort. That campaign brought together several island musicians to raise money for the migrant farmworkers suffering through the pandemic without support from the Canadian government (over the past few months, I shared contributions to this cause from Antibodies and The Burning Hell).

Lead by vocalist Brad Deighan, FSHKILL features guitarists Lee Clarke and Devin Krauskopf, bassist Colin MacIsaac, and drummer Fadi Faisal. The band recorded at The Hill with Adam Gallant engineering. Sashimi Shoreline follows the group's 2018 Panopticon EP.

Listen: FSHKLL - Sashimi Shoreline @ Bandcamp

Windsor indie-rock group Trout has a new single out in the wild titled "Q.T." The track follows the June-released "New Space" in previewing the band's upcoming LP, due later this year from Must Be Nice Records.

There's some deep recess of my brain stuck as a teenager in the 90s, endless driving up and down the Niagara Parkway at night with nowhere to go. "Q.T." absolutely feels like the type of hooky alt-rock song I'd be blaring on the car stereo back then.

On this recording, Trout featured vocalist/guitarist Roye Trout backed by guitarist Brent Cusmanic, bassist Colin Wysman, Jeremy Coulter on piano and organ, and drummer Josh Cassidy. The new material comes on the heels of the group's five-song 2019 EP Nectar.

Listen: Trout - "Q.T." @ Bandcamp

Allie Hanlon's bubblegum-punk quartet Peach Kelli Pop returns this fall with a new EP for Lauren Records. You can preview the record now with the lead single "Cut Me Off." The set features three originals and a cover of "Sing and Pretty" by Japanese group The Pats Pats (previously released as a split digital single last year).

Lucky Star follows Peach Kelli Pop's 2018 LP Gentle Leader, a Mint release. While based California these days, Allie Hanlon made her name drumming for the beloved Ottawa garage-punk trio The White Wires throughout their career.

Listen: Peach Kelli Pop - "Lucky Star" @ Bandcamp

LeDrew, Luke & Crowe is (was?) a reasonably traditional rock'n'roll combo from an unlikely group of Haligonian noise-makers. The band featured Adam LeDrew and Justin Crowe (later of the decidedly louder Booji Boys) and their frequent studio collaborator Luke Mumford (Negative Rage, Genetic Angry, and most recently The Mark Vodka Group). Despite their collective penchant for more aggressive genres, this project found the trio playing satisfyingly straightforward rock music with a bit of a 60s garage feel. Don't Wanna Talk Records recently collected their only studio output as the Left Undone EP.

Last week LeDrew, Luke & Crowe shared a video for the song "Jaded (I'm So)," compiled from footage spanning 2013 through 2018. You can find it on YouTube now. Mumford recorded the song in 2017 at Pepperell Street.

Watch: LeDrew, Luke & Crowe - "Jaded (I'm So)" @ YouTube

Enigmatic Montreal singer/songwriter Yves Jarvis recently shared a third single from his upcoming LP, Sundry Rock Song Stock. You can delve into airy and hypnotic "Semula" below through a low-fi, self-shot video that finds Jarvis trekking rather menacingly through the woods. In a statement, the artist commented:

"Roots can be particularly difficult to untangle... I want my recordings to be naturalist, so from that sense I am ideally making them outside. More than a musician or a singer, I'm a producer, and any studio I'm in will become my bedroom. Creation is my life and I don't compartmentalize it at all."

Sundry Rock Song Stock arrives digitally on September 25, with a vinyl edition following on November 13 from Flemish Eye in Canada and ANTI- elsewhere.

Yves Jarvis is the latest stage name for Jean-Sebastian Audet. He previously recorded as Un Blonde.

Watch: Yves Jarvis - "Semula" @ YouTube

A pair of Nap Eyes b-sides surfaced last week, showcasing finished songs cut from the Halifax indie rock group's recent LP, Snapshot of a Beginner. In a statement, vocalist/guitarist Nigel Chapman offered his thoughts on each track. As for "Snake Oil," he commented:

"'Snake oil' is a well-known idiom of course, for which everyone will have their own associations, and no doubt anyone listening today will be able to find some apropos uses for it... Whatever this 'snake oil' literally represents, the singer is apparently brewing and stewing it as some kind of sustenance. Who knows what that might mean... it's a riddle even to me, but I wonder could it have something to do with the dangers at the opposite extreme of the gullibility spectrum—those of hyper-skepticism?"

That song's paired with "Child's Romance," on which Chapman wrote:

"After writing it I was thinking it's maybe a bit like the 'courtly love' attitude expressed in medieval literature (the early/original 'Romances'), which is a slightly outlandish combination of aesthetics, idealism, and passion. On another level, I think the song is about learning, as we grow up, to differentiate between feelings of romantic love and more friendly admiration and warmth that we feel towards others. The following should go without saying of course, but it's definitely necessary to make room for both kinds of feelings in our psychology—rather than expecting ourselves to feel only one or the other."

Nap Eyes was on tour supporting the then-recently-released Snapshot when the world went into lockdown. The record, the quartet's fourth, followed-up on 2018's I'm Bad Now. It arrived collectively from Royal Mountain, Jagjaguwar, and Paradise of Bachelors. Nap Eyes features Nigel Chapman alongside drummer Seamus Dalton, bassist Josh Salter, and guitarist Brad Loughead.

Listen: Nap Eyes - "Snake Oil" / "Child's Romance" @ Bandcamp

Vancouver's Industrial Priest Overcoats have a third single online from their upcoming LP Transformer Story. You can check out the angular and abbreviated "Just a Two-Legged" at Bandcamp now. It follows "Trauma, Trauma, Traumatized" and "The Covenant House Kidz Reunion" in previewing the record.

Industrial Priest Overcoats are the ongoing solo project of Secwépemc artist TJ Felix. It'll follow 2019's full-length The Years Barely Left a Trace.

Earlier this year, TJ's wonderfully weird and nervously frantic punk group Bedwetters Anonymous released an EP titled Framed.

Listen: Industrial Priest Overcoats - "Just a Two-Legged" @ Bandcamp

This Friday, the Quebec garage rock act Hibou Hibou returns with a new five-song EP Tout le monde s'en fout. You can preview the tracks "Bulldozer" and "Éteins ton moteur" on Bandcamp now. The former features Rémi Cyr from Les Trimpes guesting on harmonica. The band recorded this material at Studio Plywood with Jean-Philippe Levac of Pandaléon engineering.

Hibou Hibou featured guitarist/vocalist Marc Gagné, bassist David Perrault, and drummer Pierre-Olivier Dupont on these recordings. The new set follows their 2018 EP Couleur Néfaste.

Listen: Hibou Hibou - "Bulldozer (Feat. Rémi Cyr)" @ Bandcamp

Soulful Vancouver rock quartet The Noodle Boys recently shared "The Walk," the lush third and final single off of their forthcoming sophomore EP The Second Serving. It follows "Ocean" and "Volume 5" in previewing the release. You can find all three tracks streaming now at Bandcamp, with a video for "Ocean" available where you'd expect to find it.

Lead by vocalist/drummer Brett Frigon, The Noodle Boys features guitarists Juliano Boss and Brad Long, with bassist Chad Neald.

Listen: The Noodle Boys - "The Walk" @ Bandcamp

The angular, new-wave indebted Crack Cloud has a limited edition live LP on the way. Live Leak compiles material from two sessions, a March 2019 appearance on the Los Angeles KXLU show Part Time Punks and a set from August of last year recorded for the BBC's Radio 6 Music. The vinyl release is limited to just 150 copies.

Based in Vancouver and self-styled as a revolutionary mixed-media collective, Crack Cloud released the dense and ambitious full-length Pain Olympics this past July. A series of high-concept videos supported the album, with confrontational clips for "Ouster Stew" and "Tunnel Vision" released earlier this year.

Listen: Crack Cloud - Live Leak @ Bandcamp

Gritty St. Catharines punk quartet The Holdouts have a new single online, with "Long Time No See" emerging as the follow-up to their January-released Cause and Effect EP. The Niagara group recorded the set with Ethan Snook at the Warehouse Concert Hall. That venue, shuttered due to COVID-19, has been operating as a rehearsal studio throughout the lockdown.

Listen: The Holdouts - "Long Time No See" @ Bandcamp

Toronto-based singer/songwriter Cactus Vella has paired up with Little Rocket Records to release his new EP. Titled Yonge, the digital set features the new single "Ship Wreck" backed with a cover of the Old Crow Medicine Show's "I Hear Them All." Vancouver folk-punker Jesse Lebourdais and TO's Boxcar Shawn (Plan 37) appear as backing vocalists on the recording. A video for "Ship Wreck" recently premiered at Punknews.org. You can check it out below.

Cactus Vella has roots in Toronto punk groups like Sinkin' Ships and DOGS.

Listen: Cactus Vella - "Ship Wreck" @ YouTube

After an unexpected delay (read: pandemic), Ottawa's Chris Page has finally unveiled Decide To Stay and Swim Again, a full redux of his 2004 solo record Decide To Stay and Swim. Page commented on the project at Bandcamp:

"I had a moment this past winter looking back on a solo record I put out on Kelp Records in 2004 and realized it had been 15 years since I released Decide To Stay And Swim.

The record only ever came out on CD, so I popped a copy in a player and had a focused listen. I'd forgotten how much I liked the songs on this record and how much of an amazing sonic stamp Dave Draves put all over it.

During those past cold and dark months, I decided to revisit these songs and released these new, acoustic, demo-like versions slowly over time, culminating in this final collection of songs."

The 11 song collection is available now in a limited, hand-numbered vinyl run.

Chris plays these days as part of the duo Expanda Fuzz, having earlier served in Camp Radio and the 90s pop-punk group The Stand GT.

Listen: Chris Page - Decide To Stay and Swim Again @ Bandcamp

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