Blonde Elvis have quietly been one of the best bands in Toronto for a while now, which probably shouldn’t be surprising given the presence of Carlyn Bezic, of Silent Shout favorites, Ice Cream and front man Jesse James Laderoute of the sorely missed no wave skronkers, Young Mother. The band put out a free EP last year that displayed moments of fantastic ambition blended with an acute pop sensibility, and that sensibility arrives undiminished on Fit For Her, the first track from their forthcoming LP. Immediately reminiscent of Modern Life Is Rubbish era Blur, but with a vocal performance far more Bryan Ferry than Damon Albarn, and liberally decorated with synthesizers, the track moves at a stately trot before tumbling into a wonderfully anarchic break down before the triumphant final chorus. It’s pop music as deftly realized as it is imaginatively conceived, and that is a rare thing indeed.
The video for Sunday Someday, a standout track from Phèdre‘s excellent LP, Golden Age, is astonishing and wonderful and at the end pretty gross. Daniel Lee has a little mustache, April Aliermo has feathers in her hair, and our much adored Ken Park makes a cameo in a ruffly tuxedo shirt. They even laugh cruelly at a child! Truly there is something for everyone here.
Phèdre are going on a big old european tour beginning at the end of this month, and the illustrious Mr. Park will be joining them for some of the dates. If you live, pretty much anywhere in that part of the world you should make it your business to check them out.
Our deeply beloved Ice Cream have smiled beneficently upon us today by granting us an audience with their excellent new track, Fired Up. Slinky bass grooves abound and the track is accompanied by a video directed by Meg Remy of US girls, that premiered on Rookie Mag this past Sunday. There seems to be near universal agreement that Ice Cream are among the most exciting bands in Toronto, and quite probably anywhere else at the moment, and we are certainly happy to add our voice to that choir. They’re going to be playing in Toronto at the Hoxton this Saturday with The Internet, and Bizzarh. File under “shows not to be missed.”
New How Sad!!!!!!!!! Oh good. As is at this point common knowledge we (and especially me) love How Sad and this new performance video from The Wild Honey Pie doesn’t disappoint. How Sad are on tour in the UK at the moment and they’ll be on a jaunt in to the states shortly as well which surely implies there’s another release on the horizon. We can’t wait.
Sexy Merlin 4ever! This is one that will be familiar to anyone who has had the good fortune to catch Mr Merlin in person as its a long time staple of his always remarkable live sets. It delivers exactly what we’ve all grown to expect from this project, heavy rhythm, hypnotic vocals and intense realness. God bless the good ship Sexy Merlin. Long may it sail upon a clear and open sea.
In news that unsurprisingly has us in paroxysms of joy, Sean Nicholas Savage has just made available a track from his forthcoming LP, Bermuda Waterfall. He played this one for us at his spectacular show at DDL in December and its just as breathtaking here. The simplicity of the arrangement really complements the gentle elegance of his voice. We couldn’t be more excited about this record.
New Yacht Club for Valentines Day!!!! This is always exciting stuff for us and Ben Cook and Matt DeLong have delivered in a serious way as they always always do. The video is also great fun and was apparently shot in Belgrade. Happy Valentines Day!
So here’s a hugely exciting collaboration between our very own Digits and our very favorites Doomsquad. They began work on this project in the summer at Gas Station Studios on the Toronto Island and the track was co-produced by Toronto musician and frequent Digits live member Valerie Dour. It’s a really spectacular track, with the fingerprints of each group clear throughout, each pulling the other slightly outside of their respective comfort zones, with Digits bringing his airy, slick pop sensibility, and Doomsquad providing their customary swirling hypnosis. The track is going to appear on Digits’ new Shake Your Body Down mixtape, which we will be holding the release party for in Toronto on February 28th, and both acts will be playing together at the Montreal release show for Doomsquad’s debut LP. No word on whether there’s a live collaboration in the works, but here’s hoping!
Our beloved Montreal pop princes, How Sad are back with a cover! The band are well known for the impromptu Taylor Swift singalongs at their shows and now they’ve committed a stellar version of Blood Orange’s It Is What It Is to digital sound file. No word on when they’re releasing their barn-storming version of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, but we’ve been promised there is more original material on the way this year. Until then we’ll have content ourselves with listening to their spectacular Indian Summer EP on repeat for the 100,000th time.
Halcyon is the project of London, Ontario’s Jordan Pearson, a member of the frequent subjects of our enthusiasm, New Zebra Kid. His new track, Dreamer is indebted to a few periods of The Cure’s oeuvre, and mid eighties new wave more generally and features some hook heavy guitar work and a vocal performance that sits somewhere between Robert Smith and Andrew Eldritch. It’s a lovely marriage of stadium-sized ambition and bedroom production values, and we’re definitely intrigued to hear where this project is going. They’ve got some kind of scene happening in London right now huh?