Yesterday I had the opportunity to take in a couple sets from the Live Near Bellwoods: Daytime Living Room Sessions showcase at the Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music. A quick word about these sessions before I go on – presented by Ta2 Sound & Music, these showcases are a great way to take in some of this year’s best Canadian indie bands in an intimate and low key setting. There is one last showcase today featuring six great acts, including Two Way Monologues favourite Aidan Knight, so don’t miss out!
But about Thursday’s show. If you haven’t been to any of the showcases, this is a small room so if you don’t want to end up sitting on the floor or squished into the coat rack I would advise getting there early. When I arrived at 2 pm the first band was setting up and what started as a crowd of a dozen quickly grew to larger crowd. With the bands positioned in front of a large window on Queen Street West (and the door propped open to keep the room from getting steamy) the showcase attracted a lot of pedestrian curiosity, but it was hard to pay attention to those details once The Elwins picked up their instruments.
This was my first introduction to The Elwins and as this was their only CMW performance before they head to the dryer weather or SXSW I am grateful to have chanced upon their set. These gentlemen were quick to charm the crowd with their catchy pop melodies and quirky jokes. With a minimalist style, The Elwins nevertheless provides a nuanced sound and skilled musicianship that doesn’t let you down. There might not be much to smile about on a rainy weekday, but you couldn’t help but tap your feet and think of summer while these guys played.
The nature of this showcase meant short performances, but luckily for me and you we don’t have long to wait before The Elwins release their new record this spring, but if you don’t want to wait that long be sure to check out their self titled EP or their excellent video at SouthernSouls.ca