Articles posted in October 2011

Yukon Blonde – “Water”

Yukon Blonde
Moving is the worst, but for some reason I have decided to do it five times in the last two years. Oh well.

This ought to ease the stress of yet another move. It’s the harmony-laden rocker “Water” by Yukon Blonde, the second sort-of title track from the new Fire//Water EP. Watch the video below, and don’t be surprised if you start feeling slightly thirsty. I interviewed the band for Exclaim! and reviewed the EP for the Georgia Straight.

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Timecopz – “Shit City”

When I interviewed Indian Wars for the Georgia Straight‘s recent Best of Vancouver issue, singer Brad Felotick said that his favourite local release was “Shit City” by Timecopz.

Here’s that rowdy burst of noise, which takes a surprisingly long time to get to the vocals considering that it’s only 2:30 long and fucking fast. When they do arrive, the crackly shouting helps to take this fuzz-laden punk roller coaster to the next level.

I totally stole the picture from CHARTattack (rest in peace). It was taken by From Blown Speakers blogger Quinn Omori. Hey, who I just blogged about.

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Kathryn Calder – “Who Are You?”

Kathryn Calder
Former Immaculate Machine member and current New Pornographers contributor Kathryn Calder just released her sophomore solo album, Bright and Vivid, through File Under: Music. I interviewed her for Exclaim! and wrote about the LP for The Tyee.

Below, watch the video for the dance floor-friendly single “Who Are You?,” which expands Calder’s usual sonic pallet with hooky synths and thudding electro beats. This one takes her out of the coffee shop and into the nightclub.

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Neon Indian – “Polish Girl”

Neon Indian
What the fuck? How did I manage to completely ignore the new Neon Indian record, Era Extraña? I wrote an announcement for Exclaim! back in the summer, but I never actually listened to it when it came out back in September.

Well, in the last week or two I’ve gotten hooked. Here’s the video for the outstanding single “Polish Girl.” Forgot about chillwave, since this is pure synthpop magic.

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The Lost Lovers Brigade – “All the Stars”

The Lost Lovers Brigade
My favourite local band has another spinoff band. Two members of Apollo Ghosts (Adrian and Jay) also play in a group called the Lost Lovers Brigade that has actually been around for longer than the more established project. But the Lost Lovers are only now releasing their debut album, Little Skeletons. Go to Exclaim! to learn more.

Below, listen to the reverb-drenched “All the Stars,” which could have been an upbeat rocker if it had a rhythm section. As a strummed ballad, it sounds a lot like Neko Case.

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Pleasure Cruise – “Weeks & Months”

Pleasure Cruise
Vancouver’s Pleasure Cruise will seem like a supergroup if you run in very specific circles. The band is fronted local songstress Jody Glenham, who is backed by Dustin Bromley (from Keep Tidy), Quinn Omori (of the blog From Blown Speakers) and Kyle Bourcier (who I’ve never heard of before now).

The band’s Business or… EP is available for free through Bandcamp, and it blends giddy pop melodies with loud guitars, lo-fi production and lots of reverb. In other words, this is bound to remind people of Best Coast and Dum Dum Girls. Luckily, there’s always room for another like-minded indie pop band if the melodies are good, which these are. “Weeks & Months” is available below.

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Hollerado – “Good Day at the Races”

Those Hollerado dudes have been doing well for themselves, despite not releasing a new album in a couple of years. They’ve got a new single called “Good Day at the Races.” Go to Exclaim! to read my story about it (and go here to learn about my role in making their “Meet the Mayor” tour actually happen).

Below you can watch the video for “Good Day at the Races,” which shows the guys racing ostriches. For real. The song introduces just a hint of art rock quirk into the band’s usual powerpop sound.

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Chad VanGaalen – “Never Cut My Hair”

Chad VanGaalen
As I wrote about for Exclaim!, Chad VanGaalen is releasing a whole whack of unheard albums on cassette. They will be available in limited quantities from the merch booth during shows. Unfortunately, he only just played in Vancouver earlier this month, so who knows if I’ll be able to pick them up. D’oh!

Below you can hear “Never Cut My Hair,” which appears on a collection of Diaper Island outtakes called Garbage Island #2 (yes, there’s also a Garbage Island #1). This is what Diaper Island might have sounded like if the whole thing had been heartfelt acoustic ballads.

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The Zolas – “Cultured Man”

The Zolas
I’ve said before that there’s a lot you can learn about a song by looking at its waveform. As you can probably tell by the dynamic waveform below, the Zolas‘ “Cultured Man” has plenty and rises and falls, as low-key, atmospheric verses give way to toe-tapping choruses. It all ends a cathartic dance rock crescendo, as singer Zachary Gray’s voice floats in and out of a gorgeous cloud of reverb.

The track appears on a new spit 7″ with the Liptonians, out now through Light Organ Records. The two bands are launching the single tonight in Vancouver with a show at the Electric Owl, so head on down if you’re free.

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PREMIERE + CONTEST: Elliott BROOD – “If I Get Old”

Elliott BROOD
For the second time, I’m pleased to offer an exclusive performance video. This time it’s from Toronto roots rock outfit Elliott BROOD. The band recently released its third full-length album, Days into Years, via Paper Bag Records. The label filmed the band performing a number of cuts from the disc including this one, “If I Get Old.” Click below to see the trio mourn the passing of time with some help from a guitar, banjo, harmonica, and pattering drums.

Courtesy of Paper Bag Records, I’m also also hosting a contest. I’ll be giving away five copies of the 7″ single Northern Companion, which includes the cuts “Northern Air” and “The Banjo Song.” To enter the contest, just email me at and include the subject line “Elliott BROOD contest.” The first five entries get the goods.

UPDATE: They’re all gone. Thanks to those who entered!

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