“I feel like a man, haven’t cried for weeks now,” Daniela Gesundheit opines on the latest Snowblink single. Borne out of a career-related, ambition-exhaustion, masculinity burnout, “Feel Like A Man” is a song about the exertion it often requires of women to have their voices heard. Speaking on the inspiration for the track, Gesundheit states: “I pictured myself as a man, feeling both the elation and intense frustration of being powerful.” Pretty potent, especially when buoyed above sparing strings and a suspenseful synth pattern.
For those unfamiliar with the duo, Snowblink is a folk/pop act comprised of Gesundheit and Dan Goldman of Toronto and Los Angeles. Purveyors of non-denominational devotional pop music, Snowblink draws influence from a background in South Indian vocal studies and a Jewish Cantorial repertoire. Gesundheit — who was also a featured vocalist alongside Brian Eno on Owen Pallett‘s In Conflict LP — has an amorphous sound that shifts effortlessly between dispassionate soprano and unapologetic animalistic tones. In conjunction with Goldman’s intimate and narcotic harmonies, together they construct an opulent, hypnotic aura inspired by the Japanese concept of beautiful imperfection called wabi-sabi.
It’s a lovely foundation on which to build a musical soundscape, which is why we’re looking forward to the coming of their new album, Returning Current. The record will be released on Outside Music September 9, but in the meantime, stream the new single and get in touch with your inner man below.
Even after a six year hiatus, Holy Fuck is not a name that can soon be forgotten. The Canadian electronica outfit has announced a surprise new record, Congrats, scheduled to drop on Innovative Leisure May 27. Previewing a track on Zane Lowe this week, “Xed Eyes” is a bold and dark indie dance-rock number that cuts to the pith of what makes the experimental act so appealing. They’ve also announced a slew of North American tour dates this summer, which you can eye below while you listen to the single. Lou Reed once said they were the best band he’d seen at SXSW, so you won’t want to miss their electric live set. DC brethren can catch their performance at DC9 July 21.
2016 Tour Dates:
June 4: Toronto, ON – Field Trip at Historic Fort York
June 12: San Diego, CA – Casbah
June 13: Los Angeles, CA – Club Bahia
June 14: San Francisco, CA – The Independent
June 16: Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
June 17: Vancouver, BC – Levitation Festival at Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park
June 18: Seattle, WA – Crocodile
July 14: Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
July 15: Detroit, MI – Shelter
July 16: Ottawa, ON – RBC Ottawa Bluesfest at LeBreton Flats
July 18: Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
July 19: Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
July 20: New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
July 21: Washington, D.C. – DC9
July 22: Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Sadd
The honor of first post from the first wave of 2016 submissions goes to Brave Shores, a brother-sister duo based out of Toronto. Comprised of Jay and Stefanie McCarrol, the sibling duo released their eponymous debut EP in the fall, although their promo efforts seem to have just picked up. Listen to “More Like You,” a dreamy synthpop number below and also watch the whimsical video for their single “Surfs Up.” Sort of Mary Poppins meets Jungle Book.
As part of producer Ryan Hemsworth‘s Secret Songs series, swim good has paired up with vocalist Anna Horvath aka Merival to produce “since u asked.” Jon Lawless, the Toronto-based artist behind swim good has cooked up a sweet little ditty of a track that also features contributions from Joel Karlsson of Air France (RIP), Darren Seltmann from The Avalanches and Torquil Campbell of Stars. On top of this dream team of producers, we detected a Whitney Houston sample in there as well.
So what’s the song about you say? Glad u asked. Lawless notes that the track is a response to the highs and lows of “when someone asks how you’re doing and you can’t help but give a super honest answer.” Relatable. Stream this wistful, heartrending tune below.
Well this is an unexpected surprise. Despite the announcement that one half of Crystal Castles, Alice Glass was leaving the band last October, extant member Ethan Kath posted a new track on Soundcloud today called “Frail” — which in true CC fashion is anything but.
With a new vocalist in place on the track (whose vocal gymnastics don’t sound all that dissimilar from Glass’) named Edith, Kath proves that he hasn’t lost his flare for crafting dark and dissonant production ‘scapes. Perhaps the friction between the former duo served as a catalyst for new material? Celebrate the continuance of Crystal Castles in its new form with “Frail” below.
Electropop project from Toronto For Esmé recently released their first single “Just Yet” and it is a gem of a debut. The band — the title of which derives from J. D. Salinger’s short story, “For Esmé—with Love and Squalor” — is comprised of Martha Meredith (Vocals, Drum Machine, Synths), Dave Thiel (Bass) and Nathan Crook (Guitar, Vocals). According to Meredith, they wanted to make pop that “pushes the envelope through poetry, reflection and some dark undertones” (oh hay).
“Just Yet,” off their forthcoming album Sugar is a lyric-driven piece with deep synths, pulsing percussion, and immersive soundscapes — all with polished production thanks to producer James Bunton. Their sound is already drawing comparisons to CHVRCHES and Robyn, so needless to say we’ll be looking forward to the record’s release. Check out the official video below.
If you’re into contemporary jazz, you should be familiar with BADBADNOTGOOD. For the uninitiated, BBNG (the title is a misnomer) are a Toronto trio that make inspired instrumental music, fused with jazz and electronic elements. Made up of Chester Hansen (bass), Alexander Sowinski (percussion and samples), and Matthew Tavares (keyboard), all of the members are classically trained musicians who met in college and bonded over a mutual love of hip hop, as reflected in their music. In their relatively short career they’ve collaborated or enjoyed the support of numerous renowned artists, including James Blake, Frank Ocean, Bonobo, and Tyler, The Creator.
For a sampling of their work, stream the percussive “Can’t Leave The Night,” off their third studio album III, released May 2014 via Innovative Leisure (Classixx, Rhye). Also check out their fantastically dark and dramatic reinterpretation of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” below.
DC locals will have the chance to see BBNG work their jazz alchemy at U Street Music Hall this Friday, December 5. Tickets are still available, so get on it.
Jenny Mayhem is a Toronto based singer-songwriter that comes by way of Barbados. She’s collaborated with a number of artists, including the German producer Christian Strobe. She’s currently recording with the Fuzz Orchestrator, a fellow Canadian with a mutual love for The Mars Volta and Tarantino. Listen to their freshly released track “Bad Girls” below, which has a seductive sixties vibe to it.
Also check out the sleek SLO LOV remix for the track, just released yesterday. Couldn’t find any info on this remix artist, but I dig their work here.