Sunday July 4, 2021

Come Around

Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated more-or-less 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.

Breeze: "Come Around" (ft. Cadence Weapon)

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It should be evident at this juncture, but I'm not a writer. Some Party's partially a computer programming project, partly a backlash to twenty years of Punknews annoyances, and mostly a textbook example of the sunk cost fallacy. As such, I never compile these mailings to meet some high-minded editorial goal. I write to get the damn thing done (because, of course, it must be). I can't, therefore, take any credit for themes or patterns that emerge here. I'm just not that clever. Despite me, one unintended insight the newsletter routinely explores is how astonishingly small the Canadian music world truly is. Everyone's connected to everyone else, and studio engineers are often the most entwined. The career of Toronto producer Josh Korody provides ample evidence to support that observation.

Putting aside direct mentions of his post-punk duo Beliefs, you can find Josh's work featured countless times in the archives. He's frequently referenced in Some Party updates on Fake Palms, Lonely Parade, Casper Skulls, Tallies, Bike Thiefs, PONY, The Dirty Nil, Weaves and Dilly Dally, among others. He's a regular, to be sure, but often confined to supporting roles - and perhaps passed over as a result. Not so this week.

Josh Korody recently announced the return of Breeze, a collaborative studio project last active in 2018. Hand Drawn Dracula's readying the 10-track Only Up for an August 26 release. The record, written, recorded, and mixed in just eight days last February, finds Korody on vocals and working closely on the instrumentation with long-time collaborator Kyle Connolly (WISH, Milk Lines, Orville Peck). The album ropes in several notable guests as well, most prominently the acclaimed Edmonton-born rapper Cadence Weapon (who lends an entire verse to "Come Around") and the Toronto psych-pop singer Tess Parks (on the album-closing "Only Up"). Korody leverages his impressive contact list throughout the record, with Sauna's Michael le Riche, Zoon's Daniel Monkman, Vallens, and Moon King all making contributions (and that's hardly a complete list).

In a social post, Korody commented on the array of styles explored on the record, stating:

"I call it my 'British shiny tunes' it's a wide influence of styles that I've loved for the past 15+ years but have never pursued artistically that range from 90's Manchester dance floor psychedelia to late 70's post punk to 80's and 90's anthemic Pop."

You can hear "Come Around" on YouTube and Bandcamp now (with the visuals directed by Justis Krar of IMMV Productions). On the track, Korody reflected:

"'Come Around' is about someone that has done something horrible and has not shown any accountability or true remorse and the fear they - or have the nerve - to be able to jump back into a community that no longer feels comfortable around them. So, as I'm singing the song I'm picturing performing it live with them walking into the room and making people, especially the people closest to them, extremely uncomfortable and angry. The lyrics: 'Yeah, you really did a number on this one' references the trauma they imposed upon the community. When Rollie (Cadence Weapon) comes in, his lyrical dialogue is a bit more separate, it's more fun but still comes from frustration as well and it quickly takes myself and others out of that dark place with the hope of trying to move on and to enjoy the life we have."

Praises: "A World On Fire"

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Before that Breeze LP lands, Hand Drawn Dracula's also issuing a digital EP from Jesse Crowe, the other half of Beliefs. Crowe's post-punk solo vehicle Praises returns August 5 with the four-song EP4. The set pairs two earlier written tracks with a pair of newer songs composed in collaboration with Sachin Mohindra, the Toronto DJ otherwise known as Short Bloom. The preview single, titled "A World On Fire," leans heavily into synth-driven industrial influences and an overall gothic disposition. You can preview it now at Bandcamp or see it visualized in a Jordan Allen-directed video on YouTube.

Members of Chandra, Sauna, Blonde Elvis, and For Jane all appear on the record. The aforementioned Josh Korody mixed at Candle Studio, with mastering from Heather Kirby at Dreamlands. This latest EP also heralds Crowe's sophomore full-length, now revealed to carry the title In This Year: Hierophant. I'd expect it sometime later this year.

Boids: "Disassociation"

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Montreal punk trio Boids are still treading water, waiting for the day when they can take 2020's enjoyable Quel Drag out on the road. To pass the time while the country opens back up, they've shared a live video featuring "Disassociation," a previously unheard song written for the LP but ultimately not included. The Hypnophonics' guitarist David Don't directed the clip, which finds the band performing the Buzzcocks-styled tune amidst the retro glow of VHS video artifacts. You can find it now on YouTube.

Boids recorded Quel Drag with Gob frontman Tom Thacker, releasing the album in early 2020 through Stomp Records. It followed their 2015 full-length Superbafrango.

Badge Epoch: "Consensus Reality"

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Last week a second preview arrived of Scroll, the forthcoming "journal album" from renowned multi-instrumentalist Max 'Twig' Turnbull. The set draws from nearly a decade of session archives, cut up and remixed by Toronto sound artist Andrew Zukerman (aka Fleshtone Aura). You can preview the album-closer "Consensus Reality" now through a new video from director Alex Kingsmill.

Speaking recently with Brooklyn Vegan, Turnbull revealed:

"This track was initially recorded at a warm up session for the first Badge Époque Ensemble album. In essence it is the layering of two improvised single takes layered on top of one another, the first composed of bass, drums & keys with a second later overdub session of congas and flute. The restless flipping of the kit beat by Jay Anderson forced us all to maintain a focussed alertness on the present that I took to be a good metaphor for establishing a Consensus Reality among a group of individuals."

Turnbull began compiling material for the record in 2017, drawing upon sessions with the jazz/funk flavoured Badge Époque Ensemble, the psych-jazz group The Cosmic Range, that band's frontman Matthew "Doc" Dunn, and more. The 19-song, 90-minute omnibus arrives under the suitably lofty pseudonym of Badge Epoch, due August 20 from Telephone Explosion.

Scroll follows the Badge Époque Ensemble's recent Future, Past & Present record, a companion piece to their 2020 LP Self Help.

The Garrys: "Sintaluta"

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Saskatoon 'doom-wop' trio The Garrys recently shared the second preview of their upcoming LP Get Thee To a Nunnery. The psych-surf group posted "Sintaluta" to Bandcamp last week, commenting:

"Taking its title from a fading prairie town with a deceptively intriguing and far-away sounding name, 'Sintaluta' is a dreamy, psychedelic track that uses swirling guitars and ethereal vocals to capture that fleeting feeling of being aware of your own happiness in a specific time and place, and the quiet heartbreak of knowing the transience of such moments"

Dallas Good of The Sadies produced the track remotely, with Barrett Ross recording and mixing at Rec Hall Studios in Saskatoon. Get Thee To a Nunnery's due September 24 through Grey Records.

The Garrys are sisters Erica, Julie, and Lenore Maier (performing guitar, bass, and drums, respectively, with all three sharing vocal duties). In 2020 the trio released an acclaimed retroactive score for the 1922 film Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages. Their last proper full-length, Surf Manitou, arrived in 2017.

Huron Lines: "The Company I Keep"

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A few weeks back, I shared "The Company I Keep," a gritty earworm from Windsor's Huron Lines. The band's now showcasing the track in a slick new black and white video, filmed amidst one of Ontario's numerous lockdowns. The band revealed:

"We filmed this video during a difficult time (Spring 2021) in Ontario when we could not be together due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Garth Jackson of Troublelight Films shot this remotely across our hometown of Windsor and Essex County including drone footage over Lake St. Clair. It features the four of us cut separately (as we could not be together) which we think captures the essence of the song so it worked out in that respect."

The band previously shared that "The Company I Keep" gets its distinctive roots-electric sound by running an antique baritone ukulele through three fuzz pedals and a 1972 Traynor amp. It's the third single shared from the band's upcoming debut Lost at the Border, due October 15 through Chieftown Music.

Huron Lines recorded with Psychic Void's Josh Kaiser in the studio. Bill Skibbe (Fucked Up, Jack White, The Kills) mastered at Third Man Mastering across the river in Detroit. The band features guitarist/vocalist David Mueller, guitarist Grainger Harris, bassist/vocalist RJ Brando, and drummer Nick Mitchell. All four members previously performed in Club Thunderbolt.

Jon Mckiel: "Morning Dove"

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I don't entirely believe it, but Jon Mckiel's evocative Bobby Joe Hope LP only came out last year. The set was perhaps just too delicate and otherworldly to avoid being swallowed by the long months since April 2020. Thankfully Mckiel resurfaced today with a video to remind us of the lovely album-opener "Morning Dove," a track that, after all this time, feels like coming up for air.

Of course, the Halifax singer-songwriter also reemerged to promote an upcoming performance through Bandcamp's new live stream platform. A six-song set featuring songs from Bobby Joe Hope airs July 18 for ticket holders.

The You've Changed-released Bobby Joe Hope followed up on Mckiel's 2017 LP Memorial Ten Count. Each of the album's nine tracks notably features found-audio salvaged from a second-hand reel-to-reel recorder. Mckiel worked in the studio with JOYFULTALK's Jay Crocker on the project.

SUV: Joy Of Midi

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Nick Grottick's electronic music outlet SUV recently shared Joy of Midi, an EP that's sat on the shelf for nearly seven years. The artist commented:

"Surprise EP! This was recorded live off the floor @ Milk Glass in Toronto way back in 2014 as a semi-improvised ambient set and then promptly forgotten about. I uncovered this recording off an old HD the other day and fell in love with it enough to give it its own proper release almost 7 years later to the day."

In 2014 Grottick was still operating as one-half of Toronto's Bad Channels. The SUV name formally debuted this past April with the four-song Night Blond EP.

Finny McConnell: "Atlantic City"

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After thirty years and nearly twenty releases fronting Kingston Celtic punk act The Mahones, Finny McConnell's finally taking the solo plunge. The Dublin-born artist has a stripped-back 11-track LP due September 3 from True North Records, dubbed The Dark Streets of Love. Along with a new slate of originals, the set features several covers tackling classics from Bruce Springsteen, The Tragically Hip, Lou Reed, and Shane McGowan. One of those tracks - McConnell's take on Springsteen's "Atlantic City" - is now available to preview on YouTube.

The Mahones released a greatest hits collection back in December, titled 30 Years and This Is All We've Got To Show For It. They issued their Unplugged set that same year, following up on their 2019 studio full-length Love + Death + Redemption.

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Some Party is Adam White's misguided quest to share the latest in Canadian garage rock, punk, psych, and more. Subscribe and get it in your inbox more-or-less weekly. Your information's always kept private, and unsubscribing is easy.

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