Toronto

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.”

 

EP Review: “Lovers” by Merival

Merival is the musical moniker of Toronto, Ontario songstress, Anna Horvath. Referring to herself as a “musical dirtbag”, Anna found herself in Toronto in 2012 and since then has worked with the likes of Ryan Hemsworth (Secret Songs), Torquil Campbell (Stars), Darren Seltmann (The Avalanches) and Swim Good (Bedroomer). In addition, she fronted a previous project called First Rate People. Her latest EP, Lovers, was released earlier this year. The EP is a collection of five songs about previous loves of her life. All of these songs were written before Anna was 20 years old and on this EP, she brushed off the dust and reinvented each one in hopes of giving a part of herself to her listeners. And, that is exactly what she does.

The voice behind Merival is unwavering, controlled and undeniably beautiful. The instrumentals are the bare minimum necessary to give the songs memorable melodies but not distract from the lyrical content and true meaning behind them. Her music is visceral in a way that is coming directly from Anna’s young and broken heart, straight to your heart, whatever condition it may be in.

The EP opens with “A Better Deal”, a delicate gem with gentle acoustic guitar and lovely lyricism. The fact that Anna wrote these poetic pieces before the age of 20 speaks volumes of her natural ability to create something beautiful, cohesive, honest and creative.

The track, “Kicking You Out”, was written when Anna was 17, about a lover she had been in love with for two years. Though they never lived together and she could never physically kick him out, she was, and still is, kicking him out of her mind. She describes everything around her being “dirty” with the thought of him, impossible to scrub these things free of his presence and her memory of him:

Well the carpet is dirty and so is the bed

And my lips, cheeks and eyelids are pained with lead. 

A stunning and deeply reflective EP, Lovers is an honest gift from Merival to her listeners. The EP is available on her Bandcamp page and on iTunes now.

 

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.

 

Stellar record from Animalia: “(Dissonance)”

Animalia is the name experimental electronic songstress, Jill Krasnicki gives the living, breathing being that is her music. Krasnicki is based out of Toronto currently but grew up in Tasmania, where she developed a passion for music via the bass guitar. In 2012 she took on the musical journey, Animalia. From this idea was born dark and beautiful electronica that is likened to that of the aura of the one and only Björk. In mid April, Animalia released (Dissonance), a gorgeous collection of tracks both brooding and bright, dark and dissonant, confining and explosive.

Unafraid to be unique, beautiful and powerful, Animalia creates music that can conjure up a whole host of emotions. The haunting single, “Paradise”, is a prime example:

 

You can purchase (Dissonance) now on iTunes.

New record out now from existential poppers, Delta Will

Delta Will is an existential pop group out of Toronto who makes music the way they want to make it. So many genres are blended in their truly unique musical offering: 80’s synth pop, electro, indie rock, experimental, psychedelia. I hear the likes of M83, Antony and the Johnsons, Alt-J, Depeche Mode, Joy Division and sounds from bands that have yet to exist, sounds that are completely unique to Delta Will, as they are their own.

The Toronto group is composed of Brandon Johns (keys, synth, bass), Charles Tilden (vox, guitars, samples, drum machine), Milan Schramek (bass, guitar, vox) and Lowell Whitty (drums). Delta Will began as a solo bedroom project with Charles Tilden releasing the initial EP (Transcendental Visits) in 2012 and then a followup EP (It All Glows) in 2013 in collaboration with Lowell Whitty on drums. Now the group now a foursome, released a full length titled, Weathering, on March 18th.

Weathering is a record based on exploration of consciousness, the state between dreaming and awake. According to the band, they want their music to induce an “out-of-body experience, as though we are floating around, calmly observing the world.”

Enjoy the view now. Weathering is available on Bandcamp and iTunes.

 

Dream-inspired record from The Smoking Bells,”Sleeptalk”

The Smoking Bells is a three piece dream rock group that formed in Toronto. Darius Byrne, Andrew Eyles and Brian Ireland have diverse musical backgrounds but have found a beautiful sense of overlap in both their fascination with sleep and dreams and their passion for music. 

The band released their debut record, Sleeptalk, on March 4th of this year. The album was driven by experiences with sleep paralysis from Darius’ childhood. The band was intrigued and moved by the simultaneously terrifying and liberating feelings associated with these moments lost between sleep and wakefulness. Within the record are hidden recordings of Andrew talking in his sleep, mixed with dreamy instrumentals and interesting harmonies.

My favorite track is the opening/title cut, “Sleeptalk.” It gives you a sense of the dream rock style of The Smoking Bells.

 

The album is available now on Bandcamp and iTunes now.

Some tasty garage rock from Womb: “Everything is Gonna Be Alright”

Dreadlocks for days (with mouse traps attached at one point, mind you), recording sessions, major tour van clean up, middle fingers and snippets of some wild live shows smashed together perfectly with Womb’s garage rock track, “Everything is Gonna Be Alright.” The track is about dealing with social anxiety in whatever way you deem necessary and the video is a smattering of clips the band has collected over the years on their adventures of being Womb.

How do you win the fight when you battle yourself?

Don’t wanna burn out before I light up. 

 

 

With gritty vocals, wild drums, grinding guitars and attitudes to match, Womb is the quintessential garage rock band. After releasing their debut EP in 2013, the Toronto-based band toured Southern Ontario, Quebec and The Golden Horseshoe.

“Everything is Gonna Be Alright” is off of their new upcoming album titled, Situation Normal, All Fucked Up which will be out later this year.