Okay, it’s been a little while since we’ve had a genuine, can’t-put-it-down, hooky-beyond-hooky earworm pop record arriving out of nowhere. Montreal’s Mori quietly released their debut 3-track EP last October but we didn’t find it until 2014. Info is scarce, but we THINK that Mori is a three-piece band that formed in March of last year.
So let’s talk about this ridiculously good mini-collection of songs. Every track feels like something you’ve heard a million times on pop radio, sounding immediately familiar, and daresay comforting. Indie Fleetwood Mac vibes. It’s extremely rare for a band’s songwriting and arrangements to be this tight on arrival. Mori is probably a secret supergroup of talented veteran musicians masquerading as underground unknowns. Holy crap.
This EP is available for free. Here, take it from their Bandcamp!
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.
Telstar Drugs are a weird guitar rock outfit from Montreal via Calgary; weird enough to merit a write-up on a mostly electronic blog. We’re not going to justify it by claiming to be spooked out by their terrifying sounds, as we often do with guitar based music, we’re just going to say that they’re weird, awesome, and playing a show in Montreal with Jef Barbara and Homeshake on Friday, March 7th.
Y’all know the story of AKUA by now right? Incredibly talented and cutting-edge electro R&B performer makes (1) incredible EP (2) incredible video (3) opens for Solange in Montreal (4) joins Solange’s band and tours world with her (5) international megastardom. Well, we haven’t hit number 5 yet but it seems inevitable. Here’s her latest, a super-slick and extremely pretty video for EP highlight “One’s Company,” directed by Akua’s brother Kofi, set in a funeral home. Get ready to hear more, cause Akua’s headed nowhere but up up up!
One’s Company is available from Bandcamp. You need it.
It’s fitting that two of Montreal’s best musicians right now – Ramzi and Bataille Solaire – took on a mythological name for their joint project. Apparently they released an EP as Baal Astarté at the end of 2012, but they’ve since returned with this little gem. Besides having the best title possible, the groove of its beat and use of spoken samples has us hypnotized.
Jef Barbara remains one of the country’s most fascinating pop artists, and his train of videos keeps rolling. “Erection” isn’t tongue-in-cheek, it’s full-on raunchy fun, and this new video directed by Minelly Kamemura alternates between trippy JB poses and stock footage erectile in nature. Premiered on Brooklyn Vegan!
“Erection” is a highlight from Jef’s amazing 2013 album Soft to the Touch, available from iTunes.
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.
Doomsquad continue their string of amazing videos, two of which made our faves-of-2013 list. This time we’re called upon to embark on an astral journey with the band through the Major Arcana, set to the wonderfully propulsively trippy “Waka Waka,” a highlight from their soon-to-be-released debut album Kalaboogie. Directed by Ghostprom.
If you’re in Montreal, Silent Shout is throwing a party at New Drones Club to celebrate Kalaboogie‘s release. It’s out Feb 25 on Hand Drawn Dracula and No Pain in Pop. Prepare thyselves.
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.