This is a perfect example of how less can be more. Toronto’s Bénédicte has been releasing a trickle of singles over the past few months, and this one really shines with its haunting minimalism and atmospheric tension. She uses a melody with plenty of silent spaces as a backbone, and mixes in blurred incantations and the occasional percussion step. We’re interested to see what she gets up to next!
Ben Gunning is quickly raising in the ranks to become one of our favourite projects since he dramatically changed his style in his latest few songs. We were blown away with “Massive Love,” and the next single “Live in Love” (detecting a theme here) is no different.
Featuring a groove that is simply spectacular, and an amazing saxophone part played by Diana’s Joseph Shabason, “Live in Love” is most certainly a treat of a listen. We already talked at length about his stellar lists of collaborators, but it bears repeating once again: Kieran from Diana, Thom Gill (whose influence can CERTAINLY be heard throughout the song), Robin Dann, Michael Davidson, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, Felicity Williams, and Bram Gielen. Holy cow!
Now, we just need to hear this on an album. No word on that yet, but let’s assume, hope and dream that it’s coming soon.
Princess Century has always been a purveyor of the most bumping of dance floors. Lossless, her avant-pop debut record was a thing of beauty, an unheralded masterstroke that is still played regularly at the Silent Shout offices. Now we have the exciting news of Progress, her new LP due out in October on Paper Bag Records.
As a single, “Sunscream” is exactly what we want to hear from the project moving forward. While we miss Maya’s vocals, this track is a straight-up banger that should be played at only the coolest and hardest to find underground clubs. The Austra drummer’s ear for production is in fine form here from the motrik drums behind a propulsive bass line and splashes of synth strings straight out of a John Carpenter movie.
Progress is available for preorder from Paper Bag, or you can wait until October 16 to pick up your copy.
We first learned about Toronto hip-hop duo Above Top Secret when they released the wonderfully dark “Ghost” back in March, but they haven’t been idle since. Two days ago they dropped “WTF?!”, a slightly off-kilter jam full of unusual samples and inventive rhythms. It’s tough to pick a favourite element of this beat! The strange flute-sounding thing? The occasional guitar stab? SunSun’s production may be endlessly interesting, but singer/MC Ayo Leilani is no slouch either though, her vocals effortlessly floating on top of the beat, embodying the essence of WTF.
Above Top Secret perform this Friday at Camp Wavelength on Toronto Island, co-presented by multimedia collective 88 Days of Fortune. Silent Shout’s ARP 2600 will be DJing in between bands, and there’s lots of other faves on the bill too, including Doldrums, Zoo Owl, and RAVETAPES.
Toronto’s Century Palm has an impressive pedigree, with members having done (or currently doing) time in Zebrassieres, Ketamines, Tough Age, Dirty Beaches and more. After last year’s excellent s/t EP, the group has returned with a 7” on BC’s premier purveyor of punk, Deranged Records.
“Valley Cyan” is an expedition into territories previously explored by the luminaries like the Units, Devo, and Pere Ubu, but sheds new light on some formerly uncharted corners. No band has ridden a wave this new nor this brave since ‘79.
Grab the “Valley Cyan” 7” now over here.
L Con, aka Lisa Conway of Toronto’s Del Bel, has been making excellent music for a very very long time, but this brand new single takes us back to those Chrome and the Ice Queen days. “The Distance of the Moon” is a slow-burner full of longing, with the slightest tinge of Lynchian darkness. A wonderfully contemplative piece featuring an incredible horn outro, it’s a song one can spend a whole day inside.
“The Distance of the Moon” is available now on 7″ with an amazing minimal vocal piece, “Without Colours,” on the b-side. You can pick it up from Bandcamp. Both tracks are early versions of songs that will be on L Con’s next full-length Moon Milk, which we absolutely can’t wait to hear.
Toronto electro-shoegaze group Mune have a dark, mysterious sound to begin with, but this remix done by Brandon Gibson-DeGroote (aka one half of the most wonderful Most People) deconstructs “Fool My Senses” and takes it deeper into a darker, even more subterranean place. Pitch-shifted vocals reveal the slightly sinister character that may have always lain beneath the surface of Mune, but the overall effect of the remix isn’t evil exactly. More like bizarre space-age R&B.
Falling Through Remixed comes out August 28 on Culvert Music and features remixes from the likes of Beta Frontiers, Eytan Tobin, and Delta Will.
A lot has happened since we went away, but two are particularly noteable: an election was called in Canada, and Petra Glynt released a song about it. A recording from the Toronto mainstay is a rare breed indeed, but something about the horrible policies of current (and hopefully soon-to-be-erstwhile) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper behooved her to release the on-point “Murder.”
While not subtle, “Murder” is definitely an important work, and we wish more musicians would take political action in this day of apathy and low-voter turnout. Here’s what Alex Mackenzie (Petra Glynt) has to say on the matter:
Dear, Mr. prime minister Stephen Harper,
As we are nearing the end of your 10-year tenure, I can’t tell you how many times I have felt the range of emotions between severe disappointment and rage, how many times I wanted to shake your reality so that you could witness the lives you are allowing to be crushed by your economic gains. We don’t care about economic gains. We do not want the wealth of temporal money. I hope that once you have stepped far away from your current position, you will see the damage you have done and what wealth could alternatively mean.
Not to mention the song itself, which is wonderful! Mackenzie’s deep croon — a staple of the project — is prominent throughout as well as her wild drumming style and delicately placed synth samples. Hopefully you’re all inspired now to do your own bit of campaigning to get Harper out of office.
And we’re back! Silent Shout summer vacation is over, and we’ve got our work cut out for us, lots of great August music to catch up on! First up is the latest from Baby Cages, the collaboration Jeremy Costello (aka Special Costello) and Halloway Jones. “All U Want” is the first new single since the Toronto/Halifax duo’s 2014 LP Indelicate, and it’s a lovely downtempo dark pop track, with textured guitars, synths and layered vocals over a minimal drum machine loop. They’ve also released a video for the track, directed by Heather Rappard, who shot the incredible Bile Sister vid for “Haagen Baadz” back in January. Beginning with a motivational speech by a woman calling herself “The Future,” it’s a slightly-hypnotic montage of women engaging in various trust exercises, and suits the introspective song well.
“All U Want” is available on a pay-what-you-want basis from Baby Cages’ Bandcamp. Grab it!
Undergoing a pretty massive change in style, Toronto’s Ben Gunning (originally of the legendary Local Rabbits) has taken his experimental singer-songwriter approach to a very electropop place with his newest single “Massive Love”. Aided no doubt by his ridiculously talented new band (Kieran and Joseph from Diana, Thom Gill of OG Melody, Robin Dann, Michael Davidson, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, Felicity Williams, and Bram Gielen), it’s a total summer jam. Such an amazing instrumental refrain! So much groove! Can’t wait to hear the rest of this album!