Oh, what a whirlwind Canadian Music Week was — especially Friday and Saturday. I’ve compiled both nights into one post, so I’ll get right to the goods instead of going on about how the weather took a nose-dive after Wednesday and Thursday (brrr!). Continue reading
Tag Archives: fuzz
Thursday night was a hot one. Maybe not outside — it was pretty much perfect out there — but standing shoulder to shoulder inside the venues got sweaty quick. That didn’t stop me from seeing some pretty great bands, so let’s start. Continue reading
I’ve mentioned before — when reviewing artists on the punk side of the indie spectrum — that there seems to be a new generation of bands who aren’t content playing just punk or indie music. Bands like Joyce Manor and By Surprise have taken all their influences, from indie to math-rock, post-punk and beyond, and thrown them in the melting pot. This is exactly what Summer Vacation‘s latest album Condition does, and it’s working better than ever. Continue reading
Every now and then, I’ll proclaim that a certain act is going to be a big deal. Sometimes I am right; other times, it doesn’t work out that way. But some of Ontario and Quebec’s most successful bands right now started out playing TWM shows for audiences thirsty for great new music. I will not be remotely surprised if HiFi Phantom soon ends up as another one of those bands.
HiFi Phantom are a fuzzy, deceptively dancey indie-pop act, on the more experimental side. They are a four-piece and have connections to Toronto buzz band Young Flux (RIP), who themselves were an excellent local band on the rise just a few years ago. Their debut EP All At Sea is streaming on Bandcamp and shows a poised band with great range and loads of talent. Personally, I can’t get enough of it.
It seems that the trend in Canadian indie these days is to either take an indie-pop sound and make it entirely dancey and electronic OR to take an indie-pop sound and mask it in all sorts of layers and experimentation until it’s barely recognizable as poppy. Don’t get me wrong — I like plenty of the bands that do both of those things and do it well. That said, it’s nice to hear a band that can straddle the middle area between both of those ideas,. and just play and write great catchy-yet-experimental pop music.
You’ll be introduced to HiFI Phantom at Rancho tomorrow night, but for now their Bandcamp steam is embedded below:
My experience with the new Dog Day record Deformer — their first since whittling the band down to core married duo Seth and Nancy — has been one of many emotions. As a huge fan of their previous output, I went from foaming anticipation, to initial ambivalence, straight through to where I’m at now. Let me explain my point of view: Continue reading
Superchunk’s critically acclaimed 2010 album Majesty Shredding not only served as a comeback record for the indie rock titans, but it was also a complete return-to-form. Despite the fact that it was released last year, Superchunk are still running off the high and recently released a video for the track “Learned To Surf”.
The hyper-kinetic video melds lo-fi with hi-fi, smashing what looks like old footage together with brand new live performances. The video has got me re-visiting Majesty Shredding, and it still sounds great a year later. So check out the video below, dig out your copy of the album, and give it some more rotation!
Photo via Creative Commons & Flickr user mehan
Lo-fi music and I have a love / hate relationship going on lately, it seems. On the one hand, the cassette and lo-fi scene can be home to a wealth of creatively daring and often brilliant records put out personally by the artists — or labels who actually care about music in general. On the other hand, sometimes I find myself wanting to reach into the speakers, grab the band by the collar and scream “I WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU’RE DOING IN THERE!”. I understand that a lot of lo-fi music is born from situations where traditional recording isn’t possible, but at the same time a lot of bands will use it only as a skin-deep stylistic choice.
In the case of KWJAZ’s recently released and self-titled cassette tape, the format completely and perfectly suits the style of songwriting. Continue reading