Tuesday May 24, 2022

Un homme sans visage

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.

Jonathan Personne: "Un homme sans visage"

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Corridor vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Robert has a third solo LP lined up later this year as Jonathan Personne, due from the Bonsound label. While specifics on the album remain to be revealed, you can now dig into the lead single, "Un homme sans visage." Sounding at times like the unhurried theme of a 60s spy movie, you can see it visualized on YouTube in a stylish new video. The track features Robert backed by Samuel Gogoux on drums, Mathieu Cloutier on bass, Corridor's Julian Perreault on lap steel guitar, and Emmanuel Ethier on mellotron. Martin Blackburn, Dominic Berthiaume, and Trevor Turple appear as backing vocalists.

Corridor last released Junior in 2019 on Sub Pop, earning the Montreal group the distinction of being the first francophone act signed to the famous Seattle label. Bonsound carried the record in Canada. This upcoming album follows Jonathan Personne's 2020 effort, Disparitions.

Julie Aubé: "Le temps des mûres"

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Julie Aubé of the Acadian indie-folk trio Les Hay Babies recently unveiled "Le temps des mûres," the first single from her forthcoming LP. Titled Contentement, the album arrives this fall from Simone Records, landing nearly five years after Aubé's solo debut, Joie de Vivre. You'll find the record's buoyant and rootsy first single, "Le temps des mûres" accompanied by a colourfully retro video from directors Meg Hubley and Nicole Cecile Holland.

Aubé co-wrote and recorded with Memramcook's producer-songwriter Mike Trask. The single features Mico Roy (Les Hôtesses d'Hilaire) on guitar, Papal Visit's Adam Mowery on bass, Matthew Gallant on drums, and backing vocals from Salesbarbes' Kevin McIntyre and Les Hay Babies' Katrine Noël.

As a member of Les Hay Babies, Julie Aubé last issued Boîte aux lettres in February of 2020.

Trashed Ambulance: "Blip On The Radar"

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After a busy year of digital releases from side-projects and sibling groups, Red Deer punks Trashed Ambulance are back with a new single. "Blip on the Radar" is the first we've heard from their upcoming full length, due later this year through Montreal's Thousand Islands Records. On the song, the band commented:

"'Blip on the Radar' is a look into the mind of someone battling addiction and depression. Going at it alone in an existence supported by the worst drug dealer of them all... the doctors that feed them pills and false hope. The sky opened up and they finally realized that it was always up to them to dig themselves out of the dirt, and punk music and sobriety were a means to an end."

The band worked with Belvedere's Casey Lewis at Echo Base Studio. Whenever it arrives, the new album follows up the group's early 2021 EP Leapfrog. Trashed Ambulance features Josh Hauta, Jason (Ozone) Ezeard, and Riley Bourne. Head over to High End Denim Records to find a wealth of irreverent punk projects from members of this crew, recording at times as Burning Nickels, Jawsh & The Drowned Livers, Boltergeist, and others.

Rapport: "Going Nowhere"

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Toronto synth-pop group Rapport has a new six-song EP lined up for a July 8 release on Arbutus Records. You can now preview Floating Through The Wonderwave with the slow-burning yet eminently hooky "Going Nowhere," available at Bandcamp and as a video directed by vocalist Maddy Wilde. On the track, she commented:

"I'm a self-described chump. Sometimes I'll find myself in a relationship where I'm the lesser-than and the other person calls all the shots. They have the ability to improvise and lead the way with confidence while I struggle to find my own way. Most of the time this is just in my head. I tend to over analyze their accomplishments and my lack-thereof. It's a lot like Ferris Bueller's sister just watching her brother effortlessly coast through life. The more you analyze the imbalance and measure the comparisons, the more resentful you become. This is the story of one such relationship. Sometimes you gotta chill out, give in, and follow the leader just to see what happens next. Just tagging along in hopes of inheriting some of their clout and momentum along the way."

The video spins that concept into an ode to music listening behind the wheel. Wilde notes that "it's a slight nod to Alannis Morissette's Ironic video, but with more cars and less knitted sweaters."

Rapport features Wilde, a current member of Ducks Ltd. and a veteran of bands like Spiral Beach and Moon King, alongside guitarist Kurt Marble and bassist Mike Pereira. The new EP follows Rapport's 2019 set, In The Dark.

Kiwi Jr.: "Night Vision"

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Toronto's Kiwi Jr. return this summer with their new full-length Chopper, set for an August 12 release through Sub Pop. The LP finds the group working with producer Dan Boeckner (Operators, Wolf Parade) on a shrewder, darker version of their jangle-pop sound - with the band incorporating a slick layer of synths and a decidedly nocturnal lyrical outlook. You can hear that in the album's appropriately-titled first single, "Night Vision," which arrives alongside a cinematic video from director Laura-Lynn Petrick.

Singer/guitarist Jeremy Gaudet commented:

"Before 'Night Vision' was 100% written, just the basic idea of it existing as a Kiwi Jr. song inspired us and set the tone for the record. A lot of the images in the lyrics are of teenagers driving around, trying to make plans, sharing the aux, putting their parents' car in the ditch, etc. But the idea at the center of the song is that of working up the nerve to make a big decision. Like a boxer getting pumped up before a fight."

The new record, the band's third, follows 2021's Cooler Returns. Kiwi Jr. features vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Gaudet, guitarist Brian Murphy, bassist Mike Walker, and drummer Brohan Moore. All four share keyboard credits this time out, which is strong evidence of their enthusiasm for the new sound.

Jesse Fellows: "Springtime Sunshine" / "He Speeds"

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Windsor singer-songwriter Jesse Fellows recently issued "Springtime Sunshine" and "He Speeds" a crunchy pair of garage rock tunes heralding the return of good weather. The grungy pair follows a slate of recent activity from Fellows, including the Our Hell split with Roye Trout and the debut EP from Returners, a hardcore duo with Shane Gelinas.

Fellows recorded these tracks earlier in the month at Toronto's The Wonderful Alley. In addition to his 2022 releases, last year, the artist issued a hooky four-song 7" EP titled The Four Oranges.

Christopher Sleightholm: "The Acid Cowboy"

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Christopher Sleightholm of the storytelling Regina psych group Snake River is readying his third solo-billed album, a 10-song collection titled The River Flew Right Past. You can hear the galloping power-pop single "The Acid Cowboy" streaming now, alongside the decidedly twangy "Life is Killing Me." The artist commented:

"This is my third album under my own name. Maybe it's a culmination of sorts. I made it with some of my best friends and they were dedicated to the songs, and it shows on the recordings. The songs are quite personal in most cases, which is why I chose to put an image of my figure on the front, which is something I was very not inclined to do. There you have it. Some older songs, some newer ones too. There's always more to a story, but it's usually better to not tell the secrets."

Sleightholm recorded at Song Has No End Studio, backed by The Beautiful Boys Band. That group featured bassist Andy Beisel, guitarists Marshall Burns and Clayton Linthicum, and drummer/pedal steel player Ian Cameron. An album release show is on the books for June 10 at Regina's T+A Vintage.

The album, arriving June 3, follows both Snake River's pandemic-delayed Lost Album (their sixth album) and the debut from Sleightholm's blissed-out psych-pop act, The Sunshiny Daze. That project issued the Clouds Melt Away LP last summer.

Talk Show Host / Cluttered: Enemy Us

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Lovable Toronto pop-punk trio Talk Show Host and the insurgent Haligonian band Cluttered fostered a friendship on the road over the past year, sharing the stage on several occasions as both bands emerged from lockdown. That relationship took a big step forward last week with the release of Enemy Us, a split EP that sees the pair teaming up (and trading vocalists) to celebrate the music of San Franciscan punk band Enemy You. That group emerged in 1997, issuing material over the following decade through labels like Fat Wreck Chords, Red Scare, and Panic Button. Vocalist David Jones died of suicide in 2015.

Cluttered singer/guitarist Matty Grace commented on the groups' collective affection for Enemy You's catalogue, revealing:

"Enemy You were a very important band to many and sometimes rad bands end up under-appreciated. This could be the case here. David Jones managed to capture heartbreak and feelings of isolation all within the confines of a 2 or 3 minute punk song and did it with wit. This split is a loving tribute to a band that although has slipped under the radar for many, still resonates strongly for us".

The bands recorded in March and recently celebrated the release together with appearances at Pouzza Fest. The EP features a pair of tracks with Grace backed by the Talk Show Host trio (guitarist Chris Veinot, drummer Sean Woolven, and bassist Fabien Rivenet). Veinot likewise sings on a pair of songs with Cluttered tackling the instrumentals (Grace, Becca Dalley, Dylan Mombourquette, and AJ Boutilier).

Talk Show Host last issued Mid-Century Modern in July on Wiretap Records and Disconnect/Disconnect. Last fall, Cluttered collected their first two EPs as The First Pandemic.

MISZCZYK: "In The Dark" (ft. Laetitia Sadier)

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The We Are Time label recently announced the debut full-length from Toronto producer MISZCZYK (aka Nyles Miszcyzk). The label's lined up Thyrsis of Etna for a July 15 release, a 16-song set with each track featuring a guest vocalist or instrumental collaborator. In part, that cast includes Pylon's Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Toronto's Marker Starling, Calgary weird hero Chad VanGaalen, Motorists frontman Craig Fahner, and the extended family of Canadian artists who make up the Chandra band (including post-punk icon Chandra Oppenheim herself).

You can hear several of these tracks on Bandcamp now, including the newly released single "In The Dark," which pairs MISZCZYK with Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier. The hypnotically hushed tune kicks off what the press release describes as a "foggy 4 am mixtape" of shifting moods and sounds. The song arrived alongside a fascinating stop-motion animated video from Toronto artist Jesse Yules. The director commented:

"For 'In the Dark" I was inspired by 60s design icons Mary Blair and Ray Eames. Both Blair and Eames had wonderful studios full of toys, textiles and furniture, that they felt inspired joy in the viewer. I think it's every artist's dream to work out of a studio as amazing as Blair or Eames, and to create work that makes the world slightly more beautiful. The animation's narrative focuses on a designer magically manipulating the "colourful junk" in her office, and using the designs to transform her city. It was animated using the colourful junk in my own studio, with both stopmotion and digital techniques."

As a studio engineer, Nyles Miszcyzk's recorded several familiar faces around here, including Mark Sultan (BBQ), Century Palm, and Simply Saucer. These days he plays bass in the Chandra band while teaching sound design for George Brown College.

Kamikaze Nurse: "Pet Meds"

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We're hearing more and more from the upcoming Kamikaze Nurse record as we fast approach the June release of Stimuloso. Our latest preview landed via Post-Trash, which featured the standout album-cut "Pet Meds." The song builds in tension over memorably frenzied percussion, breaking at times into surreal spoken-word interludes. The Vancouver group's description of the track underscores the split-personality weirdness at play:

"'Pet Meds' was inspired by a wild road trip told to John by his friend Pete. Sonya and KC interpreted the story into their own kinky road trip as 'Two Hot Rock Chicks Listening to Neu' looking for a good mechanic, getting caught in a psychosexual transmogrification along the way."

Stimuloso features ten tracks weaving elements of art-punk and shoegaze. Look for it on June 3 through Mint Records. Greg Saunier of San Francisco noise-pop heroes Deerhoof mixed the album.

Kamikaze Nurse features vocalist/guitarist KC Wei (hazy, Late Spring), drummer John Brennan, bassist Sonya Eui (Necking), and guitarist/vocalist Ethan Reyes. They issued their first LP, Bucky Fleur, in 2019.

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It's tough keeping up with Jean-Philippe Fréchette's solo outlet Navet Confit. Like so many musicians, he took the forced inertia of the early pandemic as an opportunity to unleash a flood of archival material online. Between his 2019 record (EP8 / il fait très (très) froid) and today, you'll find half a dozen such collections. This month sees a return to normalcy with the release of Bonjour, the official 9th entry in the Montreal artist's catalogue. The 11-song set arrives on vinyl through Lazy at Work, presenting a version of the oft-eclectic indie rock act that's a little more sombre and measured than past outings (see the single "s'il vous plaît").

Before the world fell apart, Fréchette appeared as a member of the Montreal garage-punk act Nüshu. They released the killer full-length Sexe Étranger in 2019.

Sunnyside Uppers: Ruminations

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Ryan Brown's Saint John power-pop project Sunnyside Uppers has a subdued new EP out titled Ruminations. You can pick the three-song collection up at Bandcamp. Brown commented on the moody set:

"I'd had the itch to do something new in April. It was a gloomy, rainy month and I had these acoustic songs lying around. Music is kind of a funny pursuit in that I can make things on my own, but I can't make them sound as good as other people can. So if I want to do it 'right', it can take a long time and not every song is going to get that treatment. I get impatient. The creative impulse doesn't really care about my image.

I was home on PEI for Easter weekend and recorded the acoustic guitar/vocal tracks live off the floor in a barn on the Saturday, which was a suitably grey day. Added layers of things after the fact, mostly on the fly, which took the songs in pretty different directions. It's dark, but I think it's also fun."

Ruminations follows February's "All I Want" single and the first volume in the Uppers' Official Bootleg Series, a live EP that surfaced in January.

The Slime: "Real Garbage"

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Toronto punk quartet The Slime recently shared "Real Garbage," the first single from their forthcoming LP Living on Borrowed Slime. Described as a "blast of pure unadulterated old school hardcore," the relentless track delivers just that as it crashes through 80 pounding seconds. The band recorded their new material at Dundas, Ontario's School House Studios, with Nick Ginn (Hellbent) mixing and ex-Cancer Bats guitarist Scott Middleton mastering.

Living on Borrowed Slime follows up on the group's 2021 single Death Champs. Look for it on 12" vinyl later this year through Cursed Blessings Records. The Slime features vocalist Andy Mc, guitarist Robert Pasiak, bassist CD Grind, and drummer Derek Slime.

Vivienne Wilder: I Don't Believe

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Earlier this month, Toronto singer-songwriter Vivienne Wilder issued I Don't Believe. The confident 8-song full-length's coloured by 90s alt-rock but avoids treading too far into grunge nostalgia (her press release name-drops Elastica, and that's not unwarranted). The album's out now via Fallen Tree Records. You can find several of the record's songs featured in a series of fun videos through Wilder's busy YouTube channel, notably her fuzzy ode to the character Ricky from the mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys. The track drew the show's attention late last year, landing Wilder as a guest on their recent holiday podcast.

Vivienne Wilder sings lead and plays guitar on the record, backed by guitarist Neil Whitford, bassist Andrew Roorda, drummers Adam Hindle and Kyle McGyle, and saxophone from Gordon Hyland. The group recorded (mostly live) at the Union Sound Company in Toronto last September.

The Corps: From Oblivion

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Comic-obsessed Vancouver punks The Corps have a new EP out through Thousand Islands Records. Dubbed From Oblivion, the six-song set keeps up the skate-punk band's penchant for directly addressing DC Comics characters in song. The band group these tracks with producer Tim Creviston (Misery Signals, Rest Easy).

The new record follows October's The Last Laugh. The Corps features lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Garrison, guitarist Andrew Pederson, bassist Ronnie Ellis, and drummer Dan Stenning - veterans of the Celtic punk act The Real McKenzies. Look for The Corps supporting the long-running California punk act Pulley this August in Victoria and Vancouver.

Steven Lambke: The Frenzy of Our Dreams

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Steven Lambke has a new companion EP online featuring four adventurous reimaginings of songs from his recent LP Volcano Volcano. The Frenzy of Our Dreams finds the artist's work dissected and reassembled by Jay Cocker of JOYFULTALK, ethereal ex-Construction & Destruction member Colleen Coco Collins, the ever-intense Dave Nardi of Daniel Romano's Outfit, and experimental saxophonist Nick Dourado. Lambke commented on the avant-garde set:

"The final song on Volcano Volcano ends with an invitation: an invitation to a conversation, to a relationship, to participate in a practice of mutual dreaming. Wanting to follow through on the idea embedded in the song, I sent the tracks to some immensely talented friends, artists whose unique and particular work I love uniquely and particularly: Jay Crocker of JOYFULTALK, genius, improvisor, experimental composer; Colleen Coco Collins of the defunct Construction and Destruction and newly embarked on a solo career; David Nardi, who played bass on my last couple records and is also a member of Daniel Romano's Outfit; and avant/contemporary/creative powerhouse bUDi who is a musical hero and a member of both Fiver and The Atlantic School Of Spontaneous Composition as well as the Beverly Glenn Copeland band.

I invited these artists to intervene, interfere, respond to, ignore, build on, tear open, or mend the tracks as they saw fit. The resulting works are an extension of Volcano Volcano, a collection of reconstructions, versions, and dialogues, an expression of shared possibility. They are a result of music as action in the world. We make no apology for the frenzy of our dreams."

Lambke, who first came to prominence as guitarist and co-vocalist of the beloved Guelph indie rock act Constantines, issued Volcano Volcano last month through You've Changed Records.

Bike Thiefs: Small Claims Court

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Toronto's Bike Thiefs are in Europe supporting their 2020 Stomp Records LP Leaking. To mark the occasion, the wry punk group's shared "Small Claims Court," their first new studio recording since their debut. The track finds the trio recording with Emmett O'Reilly and Mike Warne of Pkew Pkew Pkew producing. You can check it out at Bandcamp or through the accompanying video on YouTube. The single comes backed by the "morose version" of the Leaking song "Flyover State."

Bike Thiefs features bassist Kris Pandierada, drummer Andrew Fasken, and guitarist/vocalist Marko Woloshyn.

Handheld: "Leaving Candyland"

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Revived Kitchener punk group Handheld has a third preview of their forthcoming LP, A Canadian Tragedy, online. The band shared "Leaving Candyland," and ode to the late John Candy, with this note:

"Certain people can leave a lasting impression on you and make you laugh. Leaving Candyland is about thanksgiving, travel, sales, coaching, polka, family, a radio dj, being your own friend, Christmas, and more polka, oh... and eating a giant steak."

The track follows the earlier singles "Bend The Iron" and "The Log Driver's Waltz." The latter, a cover of the NFB-funded earworm familiar to all children of the 80s, sent me down a rabbit hole of nostalgia a few weeks back.

A Canadian Tragedy lands on June 14 via Thousand Islands Records. You can catch the band at the upcoming Kitchener/Waterloo Punk Rock Flea Market, sitting near the top of a busy bill that includes Pkew Pkew Pkew, The Anti-Queens, Psychic Void, The Flying Hellfish, and Frank Dux. That mini-festival goes down on June 4 at the Rhythm & Brews Brewing Company in Cambridge, Ontario. I just might be there, too.

Handheld put out a half dozen releases in their original incarnation, last issuing a self-titled full-length in 2008. They reformed in 2018.

Colyn Cameron: "Stream"

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Wake Owl's Colyn Cameron recently shared "Stream," the latest single from Freehand, her new solo LP due August 5. An accompanying video from director Rob Rice captured a variety of workers on their primarily analog jobs, providing a counterpoint to the song's dim view of modern tech and pernicious social media. On the clip, the artist revealed:

"We met some magnificent people on our wander through the Oregon outskirts, some that we could make a whole film about. Usually they were friendly to our ambitions & allowed us a small window into their world for 8 seconds. It didn't fully make sense the first day, but by the end it did completely. We got glimpses of the work, the hands, the faces the future might leave behind."

This track features Cameron on guitar and bass, Aiden Ayers providing additional instrumentation and Josh Contant on percussion. Based in Vancouver, Colyn Cameron's following up her 2018 LP Sad & Easy. Wake Owl-proper last issued The Private World Of Paradise in 2014.

The Trampoline Delay: "In Your Head"

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Milton, Ontario singer-songwriter Pete Marino recently issued his debut full-length as The Trampoline Delay, a lively 8-song set with a strong undercurrent of 90s alt-rock and power pop. The artist recently unveiled some visuals to celebrate the record's title track. The lyric video's low-budget works to its advantage, capturing a sense of high-school angst as the camera darts across marker-scrawled notebook paper. Marino commented:

"'In Your Head' is a song about 'that person'. It could be a friend, a boyfriend, your wife, a parent, or your nagging boss! But whoever it is, they always have something to say about you or what you're doing wrong. Musically, 'In Your Head' is fierce, noisy, chaotic, fast (both in tempo and in length), while maintaining an infectious quality that keeps it pounding 'in your head' for days!"

Marino wrote and recorded the songs that would make up In Your Head as the pandemic ground on, trickling out individual tracks as digital singles over the past year. You can find the complete set now at Bandcamp.

Yoo Doo Right: "The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends"

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Montreal post-rock trio Yoo Doo Right recently shared the second single from this summer's A Murmur, Boundless To The East. The brooding krautrock instrumental "The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends" clocks in a relatively trim 6 minutes, 10 minutes shorter than the record's massive first single "Feet Together, Face Up, on the Front Lawn." You can see it visualized in a new piece from animator/director Jared Karnas. He comments:

"The mood from this piece by Yoo Doo Right brings out a feeling I'm well accustomed to, which comes when we walk alone in the city, either very late at night, or very early in the morning. This moment of twilight that comes with sadness and loneliness, as we head back home after an evening that drew on. Time stops, we encounter people along the way, we hear the birds sing, yet we are lost in our thoughts, detached from our surroundings. It is this moment afloat that I set out to illustrate in this video."

The five-song, 45-minute full-length arrives June 10 through Mothland. Yoo Doo Right recorded live-off-the-flor at Hotel2Tango, working with producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Suuns, Ought, Fly Pan Am). The record follow's the band's 2021 debut Don't Think You Can Escape Your Purpose, featuring Justin Cober (guitar, synthesizers, vocals), Charles Masson (bass), and John Talbot (drums), with a guest appearance on violin from Jessica Moss.

Nutrients: "Nauseous"

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Laid-back jangle pop act Nutrients recently shared "Nauseous," the second single from their upcoming album Different Bridges. It's one of 10 songs due for the record, arriving August 5 through Alabama's Earth Libraries. Speaking on the new single, vocalist Taylor Teeple commented:

"Nauseous was influenced by 90's dance-pop, which can be heard in the bass and keyboard parts, but also 80's Japanese city pop, which can be heard in the sax and guitar performances. The vocals are a blend of Taylor and Iulia's falsettos. For the singing during the main sax riff, we had an inter-band challenge of who could write the best melodic addition, and Iulia ended up winning with her lowkey but dramatic "ouououous". Definitely one of our most technically demanding songs in order to play it as tight as it sounds on the album."

Nutrients debuted as Teeple's then-Montreal-based bedroom-pop project. Now operating out of Toronto, the full band features guitarist Will Hunter, drummer Turner Wigginton, bassist Sean McKee, pianist Iulia Ciobanu, and multi-instrumentalist Ben Fukuzawa. The "Nauseous" single also showcases Emily Steinwell on sax and Juan Carlos Medrano (Sultans of String) on percussion.

The Wesleys: Outside Voices

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Last week Montreal garage quartet The Wesleys issued their debut EP, Outside Voices. You can pick up the four-song set at Bandcamp now. The band had this to say on the record:

"Outside Voices is the culmination of us playing and recording together for over a year. It is the result of much trial and error, after more than 3 unsuccessful attempts to record the songs live, one magical day it all just fell into place. These songs are a perfect representation of our early style and a good example of where we are headed. 60's garage and pop style, 70's guitar riffs and 90's style, kept well alive with a DIY-spirit. Completely self-produced and self-recorded, we hope these songs bring you as much joy to listen to as they did for us to make em'"

The Wesleys feature Henry Girard, William D'amours, Quentin Chisholm, and Pablo Garcia-Rejon Gaubeca. You may know the latter as the solo artist Jyraph.

Junko Daydream: "Don't Go Down"

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London post-hardcore group Junko Daydream recently issued "Don't Go Down," a thrashing new song recorded with former Cancer Bats guitarist Scott Middleton. You can hear the track at Bandcamp or see it visualized with a new video from director Doni Irawan (shot in the filmmaker's home of Indonesia). The band had this to say about the piece:

"We wanted the video for 'Don't Go Down' to illustrate that the feelings which societal pressures cause (loneliness, anxiety, alienation) are universal and cross-cultural. The internal steps to overcome these problems remain the same. Regardless of what you're going through, there's always somebody else fighting a similar battle."

Junko Daydream features vocalist Jack Dove, guitarist Scott Rossignol, bassist Alex Gorton, and drummer Doug Wilding. The new track follows their fall single "A House that God Built," the first reveal of their sessions with Middleton. The group issued the EP We Make an Idol of our Fears in early 2020.

Chief State: "Out For Me"

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Vancouver's Chief State recently issued "Out For Me," the latest single from their upcoming full-length Waiting For Your Colours. That record, the pop-punk band's debut, lands July 1 through Mutant League Records. You can see the song featured in a new video from director Miguel Barbosa.

Embracing a high-energy, modern skatepunk sound, the Chief State features Nik Pang, Chloe Kavanagh, Justin Pham, Joseph Soderholm, and vocalist Fraser Simpson. Simpson, a native of the UK before finding a home in Vancouver, had this to say about the record:

"There's definitely a coming of age theme on the new album. We're asking ourselves: What am I looking to get out of life, out of being in a band? What joys do I want to pursue and where do I want to place my energy moving forward? We've come to the realization that we all need to stress less on the things we can't control and enjoy more of what we have, what we can control and the journey itself."

The new record follows up on 2021's stand-alone single "Metaphors" and the group's 2020 EP Tough Love.

Down With Space: "Not Your Time"

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Last week the Montreal alt-rock duo Down With Space issued their frantic new single "Not Your Time," coupled with a dizzying point-of-view video. The group commented on the track, which buzzes with sinister electronic flourishes as it builds to a cathartic climax:

"'Not Your Time' was written to evoke memories of the good times, buoyed by music that is energetic and free. A cathartic process to put together, our new single was born in a jam room with a narrative which came to fruition later. These lyrics channel the memory of a friend of mine who is sadly no longer with us, lost to a needless accident... Growing up, we were an inseparable pair but I was the uptight one. As such, I was constantly being told to relax and let things ride.:

This track features Rob Helsten on vocals, guitar and synth, with drums from Steve Dumas. The band recorded at Delicate/Automatic, a Montreal studio co-owned by Helsten and Matthew Hills. "Not Your Time" follows the band's February single "We Were Strangers."

Rat Silo: "The World Is Going To End Tomorrow"

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Vancouver post-punk quartet Rat Silo has a new EP on the way titled Unfortunately..., a set you can preview now through the single "The World Is Going To End Tomorrow." If that sounds familiar, it was also the title of the band's 2020 full-length. The group recorded at Vancouver's Hipposonic Studios this past December with veteran producer Dave "Rave" Ogilvie. Rat Silo features guitarist/vocalist Jim Newton and bassist Don Binns, both from the late-80s/early-90s rock band Sons Of Freedom. They're backed here by drummer Sean Stubbs and Erkan Gencol on electronics.

Rat Silo released The Great Northern Way, their third LP, in 2011. Following a hiatus, they reformed in 2016, cumulating in that prophetically named 2020 album.

Jogging: Jogging

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Adam Bernhardt recently shared a new collection of songs under his solo guise of Jogging. Like the preceding EP from 2020, this new 5-song set's also self-titled, delivering a pleasantly relaxed collection of home-recorded rock songs. The slight deadpan in Bernhardt's vocals gives these unhurried tunes a rather playful, unhurried charm.

Adam Bernhardt previously played guitar for the now-defunct Toronto art-punks WLMRT. They last released WLMRT Forever in 2019. Several successor projects have cropped up in the years since, among them goth rock act Dermabrasion, which paired Bernhardt and WLMRT bassist Kat McGouran.

Crack Cloud: "Please Yourself"

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Vancouver mixed-media collective Crack Cloud is readying its second full-length for a September 16 release. Earth Is One Tough Baby arrives following 2020's ambitious Pain Olympics through the Tin Angel imprint Meat Machine Records. You can hear the single "Please Yourself" now, perhaps best experienced with the surreal accompanying video (never an afterthought with the group). As with Crack Cloud's past singles, it's a multi-layered, immersive piece that somehow balances sneering aggression and a collectivist sense of hope. The band revealed:

"As a kid, my bedroom was an altar. The images on the wall represented much of what I idolized and aspired to be. This sort of deification of pop culture helped to reinforce my sense of self narrative, however fabricated. But it also provided a sense of solidarity... with a subculture that validated insecurities in a personable way. This is what makes the media industry such a profound paradox. It is both a source of inspiration for people, as it is an engineered illusion.

Art is a mechanism for healing and discovery. You learn through it, and you grow with it. In our culture we're predisposed to quantifying art, to sanctioning it, and to manufacturing it. But underneath all of that, it is a form of living inquiry; it's how we learn to unravel the extremities in life so that we may better understand ourselves, and each other."

The new record follows both Pain Olympics and the live LP Live Leak, issued later that summer.

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