Thursday September 30, 2021

Everyday is Monday

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.

Diamondtown: "Everyday is Monday"

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It's been a long time coming, but the first LP from Dartmouth's Diamondtown is starting to come into focus. The self-titled effort promises ten tracks of blissful dream-pop, channelling folk and shoegaze elements through an East Coast indie rock filter. For all their effervescent qualities, there's a world-weary undercurrent to Diamondtown's sound that I've grown quite fond of. A trifle this is not. The band seems to be practicing some considerable restraint in producing these mellow vibes - a bit of intentional mindfulness from a group that's fully able to play harder. Given the exhausting state of the world, I can get behind that.

Diamdontown's lead single, "Everyday is Monday," arrives showcased in a hypnotic new video directed by the band's KC Spidle and Booji Boy Alex Mitchell. You can check it out now on YouTube.

Diamondtown features Spidle on vocals and guitar, Evan Cardwell on lead guitar, Kate O'Neill on keys and percussion, Chris Thompson on bass, and Meg Yoshida drumming. Cardwell, O'Neill, and Thomson all sing backing vocals as well. While this lands as the group's first full-length, these players share deep, tangled histories. Spidle and Cardwell previously played as the duo Husband & Knife, from which Diamondtown ultimately evolved. Spidle also currently plays alongside Meg Yoshida in the Halifax gloom-pop heroes Dog Day. Yoshida's always in demand, notably visible this year as a member of the mandopop act Century Egg. Chris Thompson, of course, boasts the legendary Eric's Trip on his resume, along with years of solo recordings as Moon Socket (some of them featuring Kate O'Neill). He's also recently appeared as the drummer of Spidle's pandemic-era garage trio Gemstones.

Diamondtown recorded with Cardwell engineering and mixing. Noah Mintz (Constantines, Broken Social Scene) mastered the set at Toronto's Lacquer Channel. The pandemic's arrival in early 2020 forced the group to limit their sessions to two days in Thompson's basement studio, with overdubs completed under lockdown. In a statement, Spidle mused at how his words unintentionally reflect on the troubles of the era:

"After I wrote the lyrics it started to feel like I was describing what's happening now, but that was all done before. It's about finding hope through impending doom, being scared of what's going on outside, and trying to hide. Of course there are other things in there as well. I just like creating dreamy lyrics so people can interpret them as they will."

Label Obscrua's limiting the first vinyl run of Diamondtown to 200 copies on 180-gram wax. The LP arrives following the band's summer 7", Hide/Wake. Look for it on October 24.

Bleu Nuit: "Météore"

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Last week Montreal post-punk quartet Bleu Nuit detailed their upcoming full-length, an eight-song set dubbed Métal. The collection arrives on November 5 in various formats through the French label October Tone. We heard the lead single "Clef d'or" back in June, and you can now preview the dark new wave of the evocative "Météore" at Bandcamp. Fans of Preoccupations or Blessed should dig the lushly layered soundscapes the band's crafting here.

Bleu Nuit recorded Métal with Julien Mineau of Malajube and Fontarabie engineering and mixing. This time out, the band's lineup features principal songwriter and vocalist Yan Skene backed by Nicolas Gaudreault, Maxime Sanschagrin, and Marc-Antoine Sévégny.

The new set follows the band's 2019 effort, Le jardin des mémoires.

The Corps: "Hazardous"

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Vancouver's comic-themed punk group The Corps take their four-colour obsession to its zenith on with the new video for "Hazardous," complete with speech balloons, power rings, and a cliffhanger ending. City Zero Films directed the piece. The Corps sometimes waver on how overtly their DC fandom shows in their lyrical content - and while I didn't catch it without some digging - it appears that "Hazardous" references the obscure DC character Becky Sharpe, aka Hazard. I'll fully accept that this is not, in fact, a vague reference - but I grew up a Marvel zombie, so I'm out of my element here. Keep an eye out for a cameo from Gob's Theo Goutzinakis in the clip.

"Hazardous" lands as the snotty pop-punk quartet's first new tune since Tales From 2814, a double full-length issued in 2018. The Corps features lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Garrison, guitarist Andrew Pederson, bassist Ronnie Ellis, and drummer Dan Stenning - veterans of Celtic punk act The Real McKenzies. The band recorded at Rain City Recorders with Matt Roach engineering and Stuart McKillop mastering. The new single lands via Montreal skate-punk titans Thousand Islands Records.

Status/Non-Status: "Genocidio"

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Adam Sturgeon's Status/Non-Status marked Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a video for "Genocidio," a track from the recent 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years EP. Director Travis Welowszky commented on the piece, which features a masked Sturgeon performing among a series of historical dioramas:

"From atop the makeshift mountain, a grim presence looms above the life below. A meditation on the endless, encroaching empire. The creatures traversing this plane are plastic and placeless; conjoined to their terrain as playthings in the tableaus of glorious exploiters. The understudies of colonial rule, silhouetted across a hill, obscure serenity by way of simulation; scrambling signals. Colonial esoterica. Banal evil in list form. Silence: the cause to the resounding pain."

Sturgeon added:

"The crown skull of existence is consumption while genocide seeps into the cracks of our everyday. We're beginning to see beyond the veil and there isn't a whole lot more to say about it; Calling out and into our own mirrored reflections; the land, the air, the food and the children."

Status/Non-Status arrived earlier this year as the successor project to Sturgeon's acclaimed London-based folk/sludge WHOOP-Szo. The new act grapples directly with Sturgeon's family history, his Anishinaabe identity, and the barriers created by a lack of band membership. 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years arrived May 28 through You've Changed and Edmonton's The Grizzlar. It featured songs tracked in Guadalajara during WHOOP-Szo's 2018 tour of Mexico.

Hot Garbage: "Ride"

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Toronto psych quartet Hot Garbage recently shared the title track of their fast-approaching Mothland debut. The album closer "Ride" arrives with a new video from experimental Winnipeg filmmaker Colby Richardson. The director dissected the visuals in a press release:

"Red, white and black form the foundation of this highly stylized lo-fi ride through freeways and feedback. Shot entirely off of a monitor with a camcorder, found footage of highway driving and phone videos of lead vocalist Juliana Carlevaris are repeatedly processed through an analog-video colour corrector. Although the video is black and white, most of the footage went through several generations of colour manipulation and degradation. The final look presents a somewhat alien depiction of Carlevaris. Surrounded by a melting frame, the protagonist guides us through a constantly travelling and morphing horizon. The sharp red shroud over the entire video relentlessly encroaches on the frame, creating a decisive and unfussy look that is hard to place and easy to recall."

The 9-song RIDE arrives October 29 through Montreal's Mothland, promising a dense psych swirl that incorporates post-punk, krautrock, and surf elements. Hot Garbage worked with Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh on the album, recorded primarily live off the floor at Palace Sound and Baskitball 4 Life. James Plotkin mastered the new material, with Derek McKeon of ZONES crafting the cover art. The record also features Sam Maloney of the like-minded Toronto outfit Kali Horse serving as an auxiliary percussionist.

Hot Garbage features guitarist/vocalist Alessandro Carlevaris, bassist/vocalist Juliana Carlevaris, Dylan Gamble on keys and synch, and Mark Henein drumming. The group last released the Cocos's Paradise EP in 2019, followed by the "Easy Believer" single last year.

Jacob Barber: "Wannaknow"

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Sarnia singer-songwriter Jacob Barber recently shared "Wannaknow," the second single from the upcoming LP Floating Nowhere. It follows "April Snow" in previewing the release. Available October 1 through Brampton's Glue Gun Records, the LP promises a lo-fi, nostalgic take on 60s psych-pop. The soft-focus, kaleidoscopic "Wannaknow" video captures that mood in spades. Check it out on YouTube.

Barber wrote, recorded, and mixed the Floating Nowhere material from his home studio with ROY's Patrick Lefler mastering. The new LP follows several pandemic-era releases, including January's Loving Friends and November 2020's Strange Time. In recent years Barber's fronted Dream Seer and the psych-rockers Bad Habit.

Fractured: Pils Sessions

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Montreal punk trio Fractured recently brought their speedy take on the UK82 sound to the Gatineau's Pils Sessions, recording four tracks for the third volume in the series. The group, featuring vocalist Janick, guitarist/bassist Pask, and drummer Dave, recorded in early August at Pils' NOMANSLAND studio. Chany Pilote engineered the set, with Dizz Hupé capturing the visuals.

Fractured follow recently published Pils Sessions from the Ottawa garage-rock trio Ciggie & The Darts and the Quebec punk/crust groups Ad Vitam and Collapsed.

Fractured released a self-titled demo in February of 2020. The band features ex-members hailing from a laundry list of Montreal punk groups, including Parasytes, After the Bombs, Primer Regimen, Dead Hero, Dekoder, Ballast, Preying Hands, Diskonected, Skull N Bone, and Droidz. The band shares current members with Leather Kids and the deathrock combo Young Blades.

Karloff: "Hibiscus"

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The new single from Cambridge, Ontario's Karloff is rather unsettling and perfectly arrives just on time as we stumble into the spookier months of the year. "Hisbiscus" lands as the screamo act's second single from their upcoming full-length, showing the scathing influence of genre pioneers like Orchid and City of Caterpillar. Even without their Torin Langen-directed video, this should be enough to set you on edge.

Playing as a five-piece, Karloff recorded their 10-song self-titled LP with Marcelle Rusu (Block Parent) producing and Jack Shirley (Jeff Rosenstock, Deafheaven) mastering. It arrives on October 8 from No Funeral and Nanaimo's Zegena Beach, with international editions due from Germany's I.Corrupt.Records and Japan's LongLegsLongArms.

Boids: Disassociation EP

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Montreal punk trio Boids fully embrace their new wave forebearers on Disassociation, a new digital EP built around their recent single. It features their original backed by amped-up covers of Gary Numan's "Me! I Disconnect From You" and Depeche Mode's "New Life." The title track stems from the sessions that produced Quel Drag, the band's 2020 LP on Stomp Records.

Stomp's YouTube channel recently featured live performances of all three tracks, captured in vintage VHS style by Hypnophonics guitarist David Don't.

Corridor: "Et Hop"

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Corridor shared an unheard track from their archives this week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Université de Montréal's campus radio station CISM. "Et Hop" dates back to the jangly post-punk group's 2017 sophomore LP, Supermercado. You can stream it now at Bandcamp.

Corridor last released Junior in 2019 on Sub Pop, earning them the distinction of being the first francophone act signed to the famous Seattle label. Bonsound carried the record in Canada. Based in Montreal, Corridor features Jonathan Robert on vocals, guitar, and synths, with Dominic Berthiaume on vocals and bass, Julian Perreault on guitar, and Julien Bakvis drumming.

Calling All Captains: "Wasted"

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Edmonton pop-punk/melodic hardcore unit Calling All Captains recently shared "Wasted," the third single from their forthcoming debut, Slowly Getting Better. It follows "Undone" and "Tailspin" in previewing the new record, due October 29 through New Damage and Equal Vision. In a statement, the band commented:

"'Wasted' is for the ones who are stuck in their vices. It's tiring being a slave to addiction or substance abuse. Sometimes you play along and act the part, so you don't lose those closest to you. Do these people have your best interest at heart? Do you only hang out and drink? Will they be there for you at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday when you need it? This song reflects on the type of lives that we fall into as a young adult. Your twenties are not supposed to be a giant party. It is a difficult time transitioning between adolescence and adulthood. I wish I could tell my younger self to put down the substances and focus more on life's essential aspects."

You can find the song featured in a new video over at YouTube. Over the past year, the group's worked with Quinn Cyrankiewicz of Royal Tusk, their second outing with the producer after their 2019 EP Nothing Grows Here.

Calling All Captains features vocalist Luc Gauthier, guitarist/vocalists Brad Bremner and Connor Dawkins, bassist Nick Malychuk, and drummer Tim Wilson.

Chad VanGaalen: Broken Harp

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Experimental Calgarian indie-folk legend Chad VanGaalen's issued a wellspring of unique digital releases throughout the pandemic, both drawing from his extensive archives but also meandering down new instrumental avenues as they arise. Broken Harp, a new six-song set, falls into the latter category. VanGaalen commented on the set, which delivers precisely on the promise of its title:

"I found a broken harp in the local classifieds and these songs came out of it. They ended leaving me very peaceful and calm. Inspired by the turning natural world around me."

You can find the songs at Bandcamp. Chad's last proper full-length arrived in March, titled World's Most Stressed Out Gardener. Flemish Eye and Sub Pop handled that release. Recent arrivals in the artist's COVID-era digital output include a collection of "off-gassing instrumentals" titled NTH, and a group of synth compositions dubbed Lost Harmonies.

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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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