Julien’s Daughter burst onto the local music scene with unfortunate timing. In the absence of playing local stages, and surely a slew of festival gigs, they took the time to release their debut album The Static That Carries Over. The album captures the effortlessness of their collaboration and the dynamism of their live performances.
Ming + Zhizhi is the most recent venture from musical collective China Club, who started out as a duo from Dallas, Texas before expanding. Their internationally-influenced sound is put on display on this short but powerful gem that is the culmination of group efforts spanning from 2015 to 2019.
Gulfer make an enthralling blend of math-entwined emo-punk. From the stance of 2018’s well-received Dog Bless, the Montréal band have hit a sweet spot between complexity and catharsis that they’ve continued with their new self-titled LP.
When Stun, an Indigenous hip-hop artist, posed the statement and question to me, “Don’t let anyone tell you how old you are, it’s never too late to chase your dreams … if you feel like you have the passion, go and chase it, if you want to be happy, well it’s there, and you have to go grab it right?” I was curious to learn more about this interesting comment.
Los Angeles-based band Smokescreens newest album A Strange Dream captures what a catchy jangle pop record can be. Similar to Smith Westerns, Real Estate, and the Velvet Underground, the instrumentation on these songs has a very warm tone all together. All the parts blend and compliment one another from the clean jangle guitar leads to strummed acoustic guitars. With a similar sound to their last release Used to be Yesterday, this group of songs has a more refined and cleaner sound.
Charlie Boom, a local musician from Winnipeg has just released his first two singles, available on online music platforms (Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music). Boom describes his music as having “two kinda different vibes. Late at night, thinking about your significant other -heartbreak type feels and Trap feelin’ good, about to head out. If you’re stayin’ inside, turn it up and party with your brothers and sisters”.
Unapologetic and unforgettable, sister trap duo Contra and Eboshi are Cartel Madras. Hailing from Calgary but currently residing across the country from one another, these two hit the ground hustling and have only recently stopped their endless string of shows since their first Big Winter Classic two years ago. “We have been playing shows every weekend since the beginning of 2018 up until the pandemic hit. We were in New York on our first American tour when everything came to a halt” said Contra.
Matthew Cardinal’s debut solo album, Asterisms, was released in October 2020 on Arts and Crafts. His work will already be familiar to listeners of nêhiyawak, the amiskwaciy (Edmonton) based moccasingaze band whose debut album, nipiy, was shortlisted for the 2020 Polaris music prize.
Above a barrage of sludgy stoner riffs, Kayla Fernandes’ banshee screams fill the room with smoke encapsulating a lifetime of anger, possessed and undermined by their demons. “I am the fucking Devil” cries Fernandes on the opening lines of “Mercury.”
With their debut LP, Ontario band Heaps deliver a pleasantly crafted and versatile indie-rock sound. Very much a continuation of the indie-rock trends that defined the 2010’s, their sound lies somewhere between the music of Foster the People and that of The Killers.