Album review: Angel Olsen – All Mirrors

By Sage Shemroske Angel Olsen has had a very particular experience with how the press responds to her music. Years ago a Chicago radio host described Olsen as “kind of like a girl at the bottom of a dark well”, and that helped paint the picture of Olsen as some sort of lonesome storyteller. The […]

New Song: Grizzly Coast – High Functioning

When our friends and family think we’re at our happiest and most achieving, we’re often screaming internally. As humans we’ve evolved to hide our deepest insecurities  in the often irrational fear that they’d derail the high-esteem that friends and family hold us in. Toronto’s Alannah Kavanagh aka Grizzly Coast explores this strange paradox on ‘High Functioning’. […]

Album Review: Miniature Tigers – Vampires in the Daylight

By Anjali DasSarma Miniature Tigers’ ‘Vampires of Daylight’ chronicles the violent, difficult, heartbreaking break-up and resulting depression of chief songwriter and frontman, Charlie Brand. His band’s sixth record, ‘Vampires of Daylight’ is an essay-like collection of Brand’s own struggles with blame and acceptance of an ending.  “I wrote you a record and threw it away […]

Album of the Week: Big Thief – Two Hands

By Anjali DasSarma Big Thief only released the subtly immersive ‘UFOF’ back in May, and today (October 11) they return with the equally enrapturing ‘Two Hands’. UFOF possessed an eerie and beautifully unsettling quality, while ‘Two Hands’ is a comforting and dialectic example of how truly beautiful music can be. Adrienne Lenker herself dubbed ‘Two […]

EP Review: Pallas Athene – Pallas Athene

Pallas Athene, the electronic project of Toronto’s Breanna Johnston, was borne from adversity. Injuring her hands in a construction mishap, the then folk and rock musician had to put down her guitar in order for her hands to heal. Not beaten though, Johnston threw herself into electronic music – a voyage less strenuous on her […]

EP Review: Soot Sprite – Sharp Tongue

By Sage Shemroske ‘Sharp Tongue’ quickly immerses you in ‘Bleed’, a frayed picture of a song. Vocalist and guitarist Elise Cook plainly speaks, “you’ve got such a sharp tongue, you’re gonna hurt someone” as drummer Matthew Tiller supports and steadies the sentiment. It’s a piece of advice given from someone that has already been victim […]

Album of the Week: Suggested Friends – Turtle Taxi

On ‘Turtle Taxi’, Suggested Friends bracingly glare elites in the eye whilst making music that’s outrageously fun. Self-defined as “a queer choir of mostly lesbians”, Suggested Friends interweave tongue-in-cheek masculinity with their  generous blend of country, jangle pop and folk-rock. It’s a collection of ten bombastic, hook-filled bangers; as if nobody in the studio ever said, […]

EP Review: Hollan – Ready as the Day

With ‘Ready as the Day’, Anna Manotti, who releases music under the moniker Hollan, has created an unabashed singer-songwriter EP with enough ambiguity and bite to keep you hooked. Though buoyant in rhythm, ‘Weakness’ comes affixed with splicing guitars and a crackling vocal that add spice on an otherwise sweet harmony, “In my dreams / […]

New song: Great Grandpa – Digger

Great Grandpa have entered new territory on forthcoming sophomore record, ‘Four of Arrows’. The soundscapes are gargantuan in scale while the lyrics are vulnerable, raw – it’s truly one of 2019’s great records. Written about mental illness, the shocking shifts of pace in ‘Digger’ are suggestive of that whirlwind of emotion; everything seems to be […]

New song: Alessi’s Ark – Sacred

It feels strange to hear a song exhuming the joys of summer just as the rains arrive overhead and a chill begins to stand in the air. However, ‘Sacred’, the new single from Alessi’s Ark, the long-running project of songwriter Alessi Laurent-Marke, arrives at the perfect time allowing for the listener to spend cold nights […]

New song: Amy O – Rest Stop

Amy O’s ‘Rest Stop’ is a lilting ballad reminiscent of that liminal space between sleep and waking up. Ambling lightly on your subconscious, it’s rhythm floats undramatically up and down, a tide going in and out spraying water gently over your bare feet. Written shortly after she moved home and left her job of five […]

New song: Rosie Tucker – Ambrosia

With a title like ‘Ambrosia’, you may envision Rosie Tucker’s new single as a joyful, pop-punk tribute to their favourite sweet treat. Yet, this is Tucker at their most vulnerable. Indeed, it’s more somber than anything from their debut album ‘Never Not Never Not Never Not’, which we hailed as one of 2019’s greatest guitar […]

New song: Robbie Thompson – Above Us All the Devil is Laughing

Robbie Thompson’s new single ‘Above Us All The Devil Is Laughing’ is indicative of a man wise beyond his years. Joined by a full band for the first time who bring punching snares and feedback-laden guitars to the party, Thompson sounds no smaller, still asserting his command over a bigger sound. His wearied, husky vocal […]

Album of the week: Molly Sarlé – Karaoke Angel

Griots hold an esteemed position in West African society. They are reservoirs of truth, maintaining the histories of families and land. They tell and re-tell these stories to music, keeping the people within them alive, and enlisting pride in their relatives. If Molly Sarlé happened to be born in Senegal, Mali or the like, she would’ve […]

New song: Common Holly – Measured

The third single from Common Holly’s forthcoming album ‘When I Say To You Black Lighting’ is a mystical, hymnal thesis on the forever enduring cycle of love and loss. Anchored for the most part by a flute and Laurie Anderson-like vocal instrumentation, ‘Measured’ in its ups and downs, its starts and stops, most closely represents […]

Album review: Stone Irr – Performance

Grief is a near constant in life. With every end, with every thing we stop doing, we lose something, something we need to mourn. We must go on though, some have a sun-bursting utopia unfurling ahead of them, perhaps after leaving a job they hate, others an all-consuming gloom, an abyss where no light gets […]

Album of the week: The Paranoyds – Carnage Bargain

By Sage Shemroske ‘Carnage Bargain’ opens on a fire siren with the full onslaught that is ‘Face First’, a raucous track that’s hyper-aware of what’s around the corner. From the off the Paranoyds establish their ability to take up room, there simply isn’t space for any other sound to exist once they’ve signaled go. ‘Carnage […]

Album review: Nora Petran – What It Takes to be a Man

“Even as a child / I was drowning in contemplation”, Michigan’s Nora Petran sings on album track ‘Dream Again’. Her debut full-length, ‘What It Takes to be a Man’ is a space for Petran to air these life-long contemplations, and a designated space for listeners to work through their own. The structures holding up these […]

Album of the week: Merival – Lesson

It’d be fair to say that Merival’s ‘Lesson‘ comprises of eight arrangements rather than songs. Her baroque waltzes indicative of an artist at play, resisting the modern-day pop song structures to fit in a classical mould occupied by Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom. It’s telling of Toronto’s Anna Horvath, the inherently curious artist behind Merival. […]

Album of the week: Florist – Emily Alone

Florist’s nature obsessed counterpart Adrianne Lenker, questioned whether we are part of the earth or simply observers of it on her solo album ‘abysskiss.’ Emily A Sprague, the songwriter behind Florist, is firmly in the former camp, “I am the ground” she declares on ‘Celebration.’ While Sprague is sure she’s part of the world, less […]

EP Review: Toria Wooff – Badlands

Synesthetes hear music and simultaneously sense the sounds as swirls or patterns of colour. Lancashire folk-rock prodigy Toria Wooff fuses colour and sound in a manner so idiosyncratic, so sensory, that her music translates that feeling for non-syntesthetes. Her new EP ‘Badlands’, her first release on Sloe Flower Records, is a fleeting portal to that […]

Album of the week: Ada Lea – what we say in private

By Anjali DasSarma Ada Lea’s music is like textures on a quilt, with different fabrics all meshing into one. On her debut indie rock album, “what we say in private,” released on Saddle Creek, Ada Lea is musician-come-property-developer treating each song like a house bought on the cheap, stripping it out entirely and rebuilding it […]

EP Review: GHUM – The Coldest Fire

Internationally assembled post punk/grunge band GHUM’s new EP ‘The Coldest Fire,’ might be the most aptly named release of the year. That title wonderfully surmises the hostile, face-melting environment it draws you into. The band’s star signs cover three of the four elements; fire, water and air. And the EP zones in on each of […]