Thursday Grab Bag

I just want to sit in someone’s backyard (preferably my parents’, because there’s free food) listening to mediocre dad-rock. I want to dip my fingers and toes in a cool body of water while a thin film of sweat forms on the back of my neck.

Here’s some stuff that’s been nestled in our inbox for the last few weeks.

Singer-songwriter Greyce recently put out a new album called The Piano Series on June 21st. Frankly, this track is beautiful. Sometimes a good piano ballad is all you need to get through a bad week. It’s soothing, relaxing, and mellow without being cloying.

Dare To Dream – Greyce Facebook | TwitterSoundcloud


French-born, Toronto based Ayla Millepied makes interesting, prismatic, warm electronic music. I like to pretend I’m spinning around on a warm, vaguely Moroccan beach when listening to this.

Libre – ∆yla – Facebook | Twitter


Flag is a broken-hearted ballad, plain and simple. “I can’t spend enough time around her.” Comprised of three brothers, Canto is a fairly young band, with few of the members at legal drinking age. Kind of reminds me of Tokyo Police Club, but I’ll get Sasha’s verification on that one.

Flag – Canto – Facebook | Twitter | Website


Despite the vaguely British vocals, post-punk/psych trio The Vaporettos hails from Vancouver. This is my favourite track off their first self-titled EP.

Mrs Starkey The Vaporettos FacebookTwitterSoundcloud


This song makes me melt down into nothing. Such a good disco beat.

Real Slow (Happy Accidents Remix)Miami Horror – Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud – Happy AccidentsSoundcloud


This Tears For Fears cover by Lucius is echoey, sweet, and gooey. They mixed up the tempo of the lyrics, so it sounds pretty fresh. Nothing can beat the original, but this is still a nice summer track.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Tears For Fears cover) – Lucius – Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


This track from Waterloo’s shagabond features vocal samples from Drake’s Say Something & Chris Brown’s Yo (Excuse Me Miss). I like the way that “Need you” becomes warped into “niju.” This is a good song for lying flat during heat waves (plenty of those to choose from this week).

Niju shagabond – Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


I listened to this track with my boyfriend’s roommate while we were waiting for him to bike home. We were really eager to get pool hopping, and had been listening to droney psych and Talking Heads all evening, so I wasn’t in the right mindset to listen to this vicious, slow-moving burner. I listened again today, and I’m so glad that I did. So soulful!

Worry – Jack Garratt Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Tom Misch’s Memory is a weird and wonderful fusion of steel pan, violins, piano ballad, and beats – somehow, it works. We began this Grab Bag with a ballad, and we end in an inverted one.

Memory – Tom Misch – Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


Poncho Records Compilation Vol. 1


Do you often find yourself thinking, “Wow, I wish I had an extremely tasty compilation filled with the best Nova Scotian psych/garage/pop being produced right now!”

Do you find yourself living in a world of regret?

Search no further.

Poncho Records is a Halifax label that aims to please the cassette-minded crowd who happen to have a discerning ear for psychedelia. Of the 19 artists featured on the comp, 12 hail from Halifax, which ensures that you won’t be neglecting the East Coast when you inform your snobby Vice-reading American cousins that stuff is actually happening up here.

Check out Poncho on Facebook & impress your friends with this cool + cost-sensitive cassette! It’s being released tomorrow, but you can listen to it today. Fun friend tip: you could also slip it into the pocket of the casual drug user in your life. They would like it!


Remain Unknown – Psyche Tongues (Toronto) – Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook
“zzzzz dopamine drone zzzzzzzzz” – the band


Save My Soul – Walrus (Halifax) – Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook
psych pop with a twist!


Toxins and Poisons – Scott Nicks (Halifax) – Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook
slightly-warped pop delites for hungover mornings


Move Away – The Age (Halifax) – Bandcamp
a sloppy kiss


Participation – Painful Shivers (Montreal) – Bandcamp
teen angst distillery


Jeeps and Creeps – Organ Eyes (Ottawa) – Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter
fuzz cut


Ok, bye! Go support Canadian music, drink maple syrup, and make a good life for yourself!

OPTICAL SOUNDS: (Psych Pop Vol.2 Release Party!) 8-Band Showcase


I might go to the Optical Sounds release party on Saturday night to see Sun Stone Revolvers, The BB Guns, and Mimico (I love them oh so much – they were great at Gerrard Art Space for Feast In The East).

On Saturday night, Optical Sounds are hosting the release party for Psych Pop Vol. 2 at The Great Hall at 9pm. Psych Pop Vol. 2 is a free compilation album featuring Toronto psychedelic, kraut, and shoegaze bands and you can download it via Bandcamp. You can also check out Vol. 1 here (also free). Here’s who’s performing:

9:30pm – Sun Stone Revolvers

Continue reading

Toronto slowcore musician Barzin’s contemplative “All The While”

I don’t often write about folk music anymore, mostly because I’m rarely sitting still long enough to appreciate it. I think you have to have a certain measure of patience and inner tranquility to appreciate the sparsity of falling notes. Toronto’s Barzin makes music like rain dripping down a windowpane – perhaps a little sad, but it depends on whether you’re looking outside or in.

MP3: All The While – Barzin (via Rolling Stone)

All The While is the first single off Barzin’s fourth album, To Live Alone In That Long Summer out today on Monotreme Records

Stream the rest of the album on NY Times’s Press Play here. My favourite tracks are In The Dark You Can Love This Place and Stealing Beauty. Lovely stuff!

Canadian Tour dates

March 7th – Montreal – Under The Snow Music Festival
March 14th – Windsor – The Phog Lounge
March 22nd – Toronto – The Music Gallery
March 27th – Guelph – The EBar
March 28th – Hamilton – Christ’s Church Cathedral (New Harbour Music Series)

Barzin Website | Twitter | Facebook

Four feisty singles from Toronto’s The Ketamines – Stay Awake 7″ out Feb 18th


Toronto’s The Ketamines might be some of the hardest working humans on the planet. Between scheduling a 2014 tour spanning across Canada and releasing four singles plus an LP in the last year, I’m surprised nobody’s died yet.

Tomorrow, the band releases their fourth 7″ entitled Stay Awake via Mint Records. Each record in the series is limited press and features collage work by Montreal artist Felix Morel. All four 7″s fit together to make a 14″ x 14″ art collage. The records have been released out of order, so read on for details on how to purchase them together.

Part 4: Stay Awake might just be the best of the series. Stay Awake is goofy, fun, & well-executed art rock. Since I’m an insomniac with a fondness for catchy guitar riffs, I will probably listen to this 7″ on repeat for the next year. Sorry, friends and family. Can’t talk to you right now, I’m getting down.

Part 2: Eleven Eleven, a six-track EP about numerology, was just made available on Saskatoon label Leaning Tree Records on February 15th. From my first listen, standouts include You Can’t Stop Time and We Are One.

When asked about the EP series by Saskatoon music & culture blog Ominocity back in May 2013, Ketamines bassist Paul Lawton had this to say:

“I had this idea for a while ago. We were working with this artist in Montreal who does this really great collage work for our tour poster. And we had this idea about doing this package where you could collect all the 7” singles and put them together to make the bigger piece of artwork. So we are working with four different labels to put out a new 45 every two months for the rest of 2013. The first one is about to come out on Pleasence Records, and they had put out the last Slim Twig record. They do a lot of really interesting avant-garde Toronto bands.”

Part 1: All The Colours Of Your Heart was released on June 6th 2013 via Pleasence Records.

Part 2: 11:11 was released on Feb 15th 2014 via Leaning Trees Records.

Part 3: So Hot! was released on Oct 8th 2013 via Hosehead Records.

Part 4: Stay Awake will be released on Feb 18th 2014 via Mint Records.

All four can be purchased from Hosehead Records in a $22 bundle (am I reading that right? Seems like a total steal). Purchase it here. Tad, if you’re reading this, I would totally go halves with you here.

On top of all this, The Ketamines also released an LP in September called You Can’t Serve Two Masters via Southpaw & Paul Lawton’s own label, Mammoth Cave. That’s a hell of a lot of songwriting and releasing to do within one calendar year. However, I am grateful. You Can’t Serve Two Masters is slinky, bouncy, and fuzzed to the extreme.

The Ketamines Bandcamp Tumblr | Twitter Facebook