Still on holidays here in Canada and exploring the music that this great country has brought to our ears. This time with a focus on the new and the city of Toronto. Kevin Drew and his Broken Social Scene collective brought the indie scene here to the fore back in the mid-noughties. The collective still gig as separate entities around the city with the odd reunion now and again. The most recent being back in July at Pemberton Music Festival in British Columbia with the likes of The War On Drugs, Run The Jewels and Father John Misty.
Fast forward to the present day and there’s so much great new music on offer from Toronto based artists. Way more than a single blog post could do any justice to. Below are just a handful that grabbed my attention in meanderings on my brief visit here. With a savage playlist to boot.
Moon King are Daniel Woodhead and Maddy Wilde. They started out as childhood best friends and have been creating sublime shoegaze dream punk since 2010. “I originally based it on three characters from popular culture: Bart Simpson, Peter Pan, and to a lesser degree Robin Hood. So the Moon King band is a group of merry tricksters — fun-loving but able to take care of some pretty serious biz,” explains Daniel Woodhead to Toronto based BlogTo. Check out “Roswell” below from their latest album Secret Life.
Lydia Ainsworth released her debut album Right From Real on Arbutus Records back in September 2014. Wainsworth is a composer, producer and singer whose experimental music has been described as lying somewhere between serenity and terror. Ainsworth’s haunting vocals harking back to Elizabeth Frazer and The Cocteau Twins on “Malachite” taken from Right From Real in the playlist below.
DOOMSQUAD are a trio of psych electronica siblings – Allie, Jaclyn & Trevor Blumas. They’ve described themselves as more of an “art project” than a band. The band’s latest release on Bella Union, Pageantry Suite, is a wonderful psychedelic symphony of horns, chanting harmonies and electronica vibes with a reverent nod in the diretion of Talking Heads. Check out “Apocalypso” from Pageantry Suite in the below playlist.
Fresh Snow started out as an improv instrumental covers band in a bar on Toronto’s Bloor Street. The band keeping audiences on their toes, jumping from Nirvana to Kraftwerk and Mogwai. With their debut “I” focusing on a theme of anaesthesia, their upcoming WON, scheduled for release on Hand Drawn Dracula September 11, 2015 promises to be just as esoteric but no doubt a corker.
Mexican Slang are considered stalwarts of the Toronto music scene. Singer/guitarist Annabelle Lee told Toronto based BogTo that the idea behind the band is “essentially daydreaming about running away from my crappy life to live in the Sonoran desert. The music is supposed to be a hazy, noisy soundtrack for the head trip.” Billed as lo-fi garage punk. To me it sounds like Belly meets The Detroit Cobras. Refreshing to hear such noisey punk antics coming out of “Toronto the Good”.