Articles posted in October 2011

Thee AHs – “Graveyard”

Thee AHs
If you’re the kind of person who likes doodling Hello Kitty in the margins of your notebook during class, then chances are you’re going to like the twee stylings of Vancouver’s Thee AHs.

Here’s the cute-but-gloomy tune “Graveyard.” This band knows its way around a catchy indie pop melody. It comes from Thee AHs Nation, which you can buy from Bandcamp. I reviewed the album for the Georgia Straight.

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Chairlift – “Amanaemonesia”

Chairlift‘s new single is pure gold. Entitled “Amanaemonesia,” it’s a bass-heavy synthpop gem that proves that there’s no such thing as sounding too much like Kate Bush. Judging by the video below, it looks like somebody signed to Columbia and spent her entire advance on interpretive dance classes.

This comes from Chairlift’s upcoming album Something. Go to Exclaim! to read my article about it.

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Youth Lagoon – “Montana”

Youth Lagoon
Here’s the latest bedroom artist who specializes in dreamy pop tunes that are steeped in reverb and sepia-toned nostalgia. Youth Lagoon is the moniker of songwriter Trevor Powers, and his The Year of Hibernation recently came out through Fat Possum. Head to Exclaim! to read the tour announcement I wrote about the dude.

Here’s his single “Montana.” Okay, so I’m not so sure about this music video, but it’s hard to deny the song, which swells from a haunting piano lament to a majestic anthem that’s tailor made for a slow motion montage. This is the kind of music that could make waiting at the Burger King drive through seem profound.

Incidentally, we’ve already got the beginnings of a pretty good “Montana” playlist going here.

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Lou Canon – “Heart Of”

Lou Canon
As a qualified (but non-practicing) teacher, I always get a kick out of educators who have ventured into the world of music. Enter Lou Canon, a Toronto songwriter who just so happens to be a teacher. She released her Hayden-produced self-titled LP back in the spring via Hardwood. Go to Exclaim! article to read about it, and also see my announcement about her upcoming tour. Vancouverites will want to note that she’s playing at Zulu Records on October 20.

Below, you can see a video for the single “Heart Of,” which is anchored by chugging electric guitar and given a dose of beauty by sustained piano chords and light, breathy vocals.

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Rich Aucoin – “It”

Rich Aucoin
Holy crap, the new Rich Aucoin album is enormous. We’re All Dying to Live is over an hour long, contains 22 songs, and features around 500 guests. Go to Exclaim! to read my interview with Rich about the crazily ambitious project. In its scope, this album recalls Sufjan Stevens‘ 2005 epic Illinois.

To give you a sense of just how grandiose this album is, here’s the single “It,” which is a joyously cinematic pop rock tune that’s stuffed with triumphant group vocals. This is sweeping enough to be the soundtrack to a ticker-tape parade.

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Cut Copy – “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution”

Cut Copy
This weekend I reviewed Cut Copy for Exclaim!, and oh boy was I annoyed when opener Washed Out was canceled. After all, I like Washed Out’s recent songs better than anything by the headliner.

Still, Cut Copy put on a really good show. Below, you can watch a quirky video for “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution” from this year’s Zonoscope (which just might have the year’s coolest album cover). The clip riffs on the Planet of the Apes movie series (incidentally, how great was that latest film?), while the song sounds like Talking Heads doing a techno-tinged cover of the Crash Bandicoot soundtrack. That was my favourite video game as an adolescent, so this one takes me back.

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Masterchef – “Canadian Palm”

How haven’t I posted this yet? Masterchef is an instrumental post-rock collaboration between two stellar Vancouver indie songwriters, Adrian Teacher of Apollo Ghosts and Alex Zhang Hungtai of Dirty Beaches. The duo released the album Mae Mae in the summer, and below you can hear the dreamy track “Canadian Palm.”

By way of background, Masterchef is the name of a restaurant in Vancouver’s Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood (where this blogger just so happens to live). It’s run by an old dude named named Tony (the album includes a song called “Uncle Tony Drinks Coffe”) and his wife, Mae Mae.

Go to Exclaim! to read more about the release. Kudos to Herohill for the picture.

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We Were Lovers – “We’ve Got It”

We Were Lovers
I’m confused. It’s Thanksgiving in Canada, so everywhere is closed; but it’s Columbus Day south of the border, so how come all of the American news outlets are posting stories? Oh well, so much the better for me, since I’ve written a handful of Exclaim! news stories.

Here’s the news single from Canuck pop duo We Were Lovers. It’s called “We’ve Got It,” and it’s a dreamy dance tune that’s steeped in disco-dazzled synths and ’80s-tinged romance. This comes from the band’s debut album, due out in spring 2012.

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The Drums – “How It Ended”

The Drums
The Drums‘ new album, Portamento, is out now, and it’s a worthy and awesome successor to the band’s outstanding past work. I was lucky enough to speak with singer Jonathan Pierce for the Georgia Straight (and also wrote a review).

See a faded, nostalgic video for the album closer “How It Ended” below. This wouldn’t have been my choice of single (how about any of the first three tracks?), but anything from these dudes rules.

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St. Vincent – “Surgeon”

St. Vincent
I subscribe to Spin because, in this age of online journalism, quality music writing can be hard to find and the glossies offer better prose than the DIY blogs (self-deprecating case in point). I’m a little disappointed, then, to learn that the magazine will be publishing bimonthly and reducing its distribution by 100,000. Apparently the new copies will have larger dimensions and come on higher quality paper, so at least that will be interesting.

Spin‘s September cover star, St. Vincent, recently put out the album Strange Mercy, and today I finally got around to getting it. Here’s the excellent single “Surgeon,” which begins as lilting electro lounge before morphing into a funkified dance-off with an awesomely kitschy pseudo guitar solo.

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