Ontario

Introducing, Billy Moon: “Roads” + music video

Billy Moon is what this creative singer/songwriter from Hamilton, ON calls himself. It’s the name he gave himself when he felt like he was literally the only person on the planet. Billy Moon was the constant companion when he felt like he could not figure out for the life of him why he didn’t fit in anywhere. About his first years at university he says:

“The whole time I was convinced that I was too negative, that I wasn’t fun enough, that I needed to lighten up and  that I had to fit in. Fuck, I felt like I was 7 years old again except this time I was going to do it right.”

Billy Moon’s EP, That Which You Can’t Throw Away, came out this past April and recently he released the music video for the EP’s closing track, “Roads.” The video is simple but totally absurd. He sits in a speedo, covered in a bath robe outside an RV while strange cartoons play. Somehow it works. It works flawlessly with the track. “Roads” opens with a drum machine and a growling 90s gararge rock guitar riff. His simple vocals and clever lyrics perfectly describe Billy Moon himself. The track blossoms into a true catchy-ass pop-garage track at the chorus.

He says this about the music video for “Roads”:

“My new video for ‘Roads’ can be summed up as if Ryan Lochte went to Burning Man but no one wanted to hang out with him.”

He clearly has a sense of humor and it’s fantastic.

 

You can catch Billy Moon touring with Walrus starting next week and can find his EP on Bancamp.

Sept 29: Sudbury – Townehouse
Sept 30: Sault Ste Marie – Lop Lops
Oct 1: Thunder Bay – Foundry
Oct 4: Winnipeg – The Handsome Daughter
Oct 5: Regina – O’Halons
Oct 6: Saskatoon – Vangelis Tavern
Oct 7: Calgary – Broken City
Oct 8: Edmonton – Up+Dt Festival – Brixx
Oct 20: Toronto – The Horseshoe w/ The Pack A.D

Lovely piece and sweet music video from Munroe: “Nothing is Funny”

Kathleen Munroe is a brightly talented singer/songwriter and actress originally form Hamilton, ON. Between acting and writing music she has found time to release her debut self-titled EP and first real solo effort. The EP was co-produced by Michael Keire and features friends and fellow musicians Noah Fralick, Ben Munoz, Julie Fader, Billy Holmes, and Steve McKay, among others. The EP came out May 12th on Hidden Pony and is available on iTunes now.

My first taste of Munroe was the track, “Nothing is Funny” and its accompanying music video. The track is simple, supple and beautiful, as is the music video. You can hear the creaking of the piano and its pedals while she plays, adding to the beauty of the track. “Nothing is Funny” is the concluidng piece on her EP. About the song and music video, Kathleen Munroe said:

“We shot this at the natural history museum in LA. Dioramas like those are so strange and sad because the whole point is to make the scenes and the animals in them look as life-like as possible –implying movement, relationships, behaviour, vitality–but the subjects in them are 100% dead. I got stuck on the idea of suggesting life where it doesn’t exist, and holding onto hope in a scenario that is clearly hopeless. That’s not really what the song is about, but it is a song about waiting, so I thought it would be cool to throw the thoughts together and push the idea of waiting to a point of absurd impossibility. Waiting for something that’s already been precluded.”

 

New single from Toronto musicians, Pyramid Tropic: “My Destroyer”

Pyramid Tropic is an electronic band based out of Toronto, ON who we can safely assume will be releasing more ridiculously dance-worth tracks like this one:

Right off the bat, “My Destroyer” lures the dancer out of you with insanely infectious synths and beating percussion. According to member, Will Whitwham:

“The track ‘My Destroyer’ is an anthem for night time. A dance floor composition about how everyone can relate to personal destruction; sometimes internal, sometimes external. This song happens to be about both.”

Pyramid Tropic is Will Whitwham (Wilderness of Manitoba) and Matthew Fudge (designed music programming software used by the likes of NIN, Austra and Bjork). The single “My Destroyer” is out now (iTunes) via the Toronto label, The Confidence Emperors.

 

Interview: Emmas Ringer

Emmas Ringer is a 90’s/80’s grunge-inspired band based out of Ottawa, ON in Canada. The three members span three generations in age, giving their music a truly unique quality. The latest release from the group is the record, Generations, which is available on Bandcamp and iTunes now. Scott McCooeye (keyboard, synth), Owen Coffin (drums, drum pad, synth, acoustic guitar), and Scott Maybee (vocals, guitars, bass, mandolin). I got the chance to run some questions by the guys and we covered everything from the origin of their band name to a stressful time when ALL of their music was lost because of a cat! Check it out:

MFL: How and why did Emmas Ringer come to be? Along that same vein, tell me about the name?  

 ER:  The name is a reference to what was going on in the 80’s and especially in the 90s, where you had these musical performers lip syncing as puppets to their own music.  Even Radiohead was forced to do that early on when they broke out.  The use of the word “Ringer” is a reference to the idea that pop star performers have become interchangeable.  We’re now entering a stage where performance isn’t even required.  It’s just a reference to that shift in focus for music and a reminder to us why it’s still important to embrace live performance and not be tempted to start cutting corners in today’s age of sequences, pitch correction, laptops and triggers.  It’s ironic for us since we try our best to infuse pure raw emotion in our music displayed onstage. 

 MFL: What happened to Emmas Ringer between the release of The Spirits Will Guide in 2011 and Generations fall of 2014? That may be a loaded question so feel free to answer in whatever way you see fit! 

ER:  In 2011 we decided we wanted to reintroduce “Emmas Ringer” as a duo and start trying to get shows, with Scott Maybee (guitar, vocals) and Scott McCooeye (keyboard).   It was basically a lounge act and our compositions didn’t really work well live.  In 2012 Owen Coffin joined Emmas Ringer as our drummer, and we began to compose new songs in 2013 but recording, mixing, and mastering of these songs were set back over a year because of a curve ball fired at us!   Scott Maybee had all the contents on an external harddrive and one night his cat knocked it over losing EVERYTHING! Luckily the studio had all the original bed tracks and in fact all our other new takes wound up better than the first so it was a blessing in disguise.

MFL: Top 3 favorite bands before the year 2000 and after the year 2000. 

 ER: Before : Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Doors

After: The White Stripes, Cage The Elephant, St. Vincent

MFL: Give a brief description of what goes down at your shows. Based on your sound, they seem like they could be pretty rowdy…but I could be wrong! 

ER:  We focus on dynamics and textures, very mellow one min; powerful the next.  We pay attention to our audience and look at what works and what doesn’t for them.  Our sets are diverse, some songs catchy and poppy, other songs heavy and others very trippy.  For electric shows we usually end our set in chaos, knocking things over and smashing instruments etc.  In today’s world of equity performers and DJ culture, it’s important for us to embrace the timeless spontaneous creativity of a genre like live jazz as opposed to having a scripted live performance that’s become so common.

emmas-ringer-cd-release-2

 

MFL: As a band, what is your dream for Emmas Ringer or where do you hope to see yourselves in 5 years’ time? 

 ER:  Like most bands we would all be very happy to someday be able to support ourselves comfortably with music full-time.  That seems like a pipe dream at this point so in reality we just hope to be able to continue what we are doing and build on our own songbook.  Playing major festivals is a goal for us, as is a full Canadian tour.  Hopefully we’ll get there sooner than later.

MFL: What was the inspiration behind Generations

ER: Many different things, some very personal such as drug addictions and failed relationships, others very imaginative, others political.  We wanted to pull from all our influences and take what was relevant in the past and what might be relevant today and hopefully make something that would connect with people.  We dedicated the name to the fact that we each come from 3 separate generations and we felt that was pretty unique and amazing that as a band we can still connect so well despite having such an age gap.

MFL: As a band, what are you favorite songs to play live?

ER:  “Hong kong” , “Woke Up”,  “Colours”, “Laws”

 

 

MFL: What is the songwriting process like for Emmas Ringer? 

ER:  Its very democratic.  Generally speaking, both Scotts write the lyrical content which is often a joint effort.  Much of the poppy stuff Scott Maybee writes while Scott McCooeye will write more abstract songs.  That being said we often surprise each other.  No specific pattern – it just all flows together in the end.  On our most recent album, several songs such as “Million Dollar Soldier” and “Breather Holes” were fleshed as a trio – the melody and lyrics all came after.  Owen plays several instruments and is also a singer, and although he’s still new to songwriting he played a big part in the creative process of “Generations”.  

MFL: Finally, any plans to hit the US in the near future if you haven’t already? 

ER:  We have no plans in the near future but are definitely interested to hit the US at some point.  We need to conquer Canada first!

Thank you so much to Emmas Ringer for reaching out to MFL and answering my questions! Keep up with the guys via their website and Facebook.

 

The Foreign Films: Side 4 of 6

The Foreign Films is the musical project developed by Bill Majoros of Hamilton, Ontario. Majoros grew up living his life through the crackling sounds of his record player and in homage to the parenting his record player offered him throughout his life, he has created a 6-sided set of tracks. Six sides altogether are called, The Record Collector.  Sides 1, 2, 3 and 4 are out currently and we have a triple vinyl release to look forward to this September.

Side 4, his latest release, focuses on 70’s soul and 60’s pop from across Britain, France and the West Coast. Have a taste:

 

Stay tuned for Side 5 from The Foreign Films and enjoy Sides 1, 2, 3 and 4 on iTunes and Bandcamp.

Fantastically creative work from electronic musician, Benjamin Muñoz

Electronic music has been a passion of Benjamin Muñoz’s since high school, beginning as a “quiet fixation” but before he knew it, it pushed itself out of him, an overwhelmingly beautiful obsession. Through the owner of a local record store, Muñoz discovered heaps of electronic and dance records that had never seen the light of day at Dr. Disc, the local record store in Hamilton, Ontario. With this discovery of untouched electronic diamonds, Muñoz was introduced to drum and bass, dubstep, jungle, house and garage. These discoveries in addition to a growing passion for Japanese art and music that began with his interest in anime as a child, he began creating music of his own.

Muñoz’s first track, “Anchors”, was inspired by Japanese animes Samurai Champloo and TekkonKinkreet. According to Muñoz, he wanted to convey visuals from the anime like the smooth, controlled slicing of a Samurai sword, in his music. “Anchors” is a glittering piece of work, dense with complexity, a track which requires multiple listens to fully appreciate the creative work that went into it. Check it out:

A couple of weeks ago, Muñoz released a second track, equally as beautiful, titled “The Bonds That Fail Us.” The tension, pushing and pulling, and passion is clear in this track. It melts easily into and out of your ears, the creaking of a floor underlying distorted piano.