Album Review :: I.Bell :: Summer Underneath

 by Daniel Kussy

Audio documentation of the intense heat

Back in April, Ian Bell found himself in a pickle. When his background in sociology couldn’t guarantee him secure employment due to a global pandemic, paired with any and all plans for attending live music/art gatherings evaporated in front of him for similar reasons, Bell found himself taking up manual labour in the outdoors.

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Kurt Heasley :: Lilys and Artistic Freedom

by Ryan Haughey

Since 1988, Washington D.C. artist Kurt Heasley has been rocking through genre and style with his band Lilys. Call them shoegaze, dreampop, post-rock, or grunge, the spirit of Lilys is to pursue the purity of art. Over the years, Kurt and Lilys have been compared to My Bloody Valentine, The Monkees, and The Zombies, but there’s no pinning down the sound of Kurt Heasley. 

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Album Review :: Jesse Ryan :: Bridges

by Phil Enns

As its title suggests, the debut album by Toronto-based saxophonist Jesse Ryan sees the gifted young instrumentalist building musical bridges between traditional jazz idioms and the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of his native Trinidad & Tobago. The improvisational nature of jazz always appealed to Ryan, as it provided, in his own words, “a space for collaboration, cultural exchange, and [a place] where old and new worlds meet.”

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Album Review :: Georgia Van Etten :: Deep Black Water

by Isabella Soares

Some artists are impossible to place inside a certain musical genre, for each of their songs have a life of their own. When you think you know what to expect from the next track, you are continuously surprised by the different nuances they showcase. Georgia Van Etten without a doubt fits this category. Her latest work Deep Black Water displays anything and everything from Florence + The Machine orchestrations to early 90s hits by The Cranberries. 

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Album Review :: Mahogany Frog :: Mahogany Frog in the Electric Universe

by Sam Doucet

It was worth the wait. Empires have risen and crumbled since the last time we were treated to a new Mahogany Frog album, and the eight and a half trips around the sun that have produced Mahogany Frog in the Electric Universe were clearly well spent. Though the four members of Winnipeg’s premier prog rock juggernaut have their hands full with a variety of other artistic projects, the cohesion on display here is that of a band who never let each other out of sight. As with their albums of yesteryear, Mahogany Frog offers a style of prog rock that is not marked by showiness or affectation – but rather an unhurried determination to prod, probe, and unwrap a never-ending series of sounds. 

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Album Review :: Bernice :: Eau de Bonjourno

by Olivier La Roche

With only their third full-length project since 2011, Toronto band Bernice offer a rather stunning mix of jazz and ambient that “openly plays with the shape of a pop song,” as lead vocalist Robin Dann shares on the band’s Bandcamp page. Eau de Bonjourno marks the first collaboration between the group and the grand multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, who acts as producer. Ismaily’s impressive resume, which features work with the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, comes as no surprise given the pleasant, pristine production throughout the album. 

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