While the feeling of being left behind is not endemic to the modern age, there is a special brand of modern apprehension about one’s place in the world– perhaps the lovechild, if you will, of the pandemic and social media age. With limited physical interactions it is easy to get mired down by our lives. Suddenly, every trivial issue in our life makes it seem like all the problems in the world belong only to us. The grass has never looked greener, apparently.
The last few years have been artsy-filled for Jorge Requena Ramos. From perpetuating the 70’s Mexican sounds in his band to working as a filmmaker, it seemed nothing but fitting for him to become the Artistic Director at the WECC (West End Cultural Centre). Even though Jorge was occupying a new job post shortly before a pandemic crisis, he was able to easily transition into the role due to some of his prior experiences off-screen.
Some music videos just make sense. Not necessarily in a logical or objective way, but they work in perfect synchronicity with the song on a level of harmony that cannot be summarized easily. This, of course, is the case with Alice Ava’s video for the song “The Hunted” from her latest album Can You Feel It.
As their home country burns (quite literally) and pandemic fatigue ravages the hearts and minds of most Canadians, Toronto-based Ducks LTD. releases, or re-releases, in this case, an album that is powerfully optimistic in the face of emotional and physical decay.
Село (Selo) is the second EP to come from Tired Cossack, AKA Stiv Halas. Meaning “village” in Ukrainian (yes, I did have Google translate that,) the title sets the conceptual tone for the EP. A village provides a binate metaphor which can be soothing and stifling all at once: a support system of love, kinship, and friendship on one hand, but also a small, stagnant coop.
WEED MAN SON is the second album from Dill the Giant, Winnipeg based rap artist and first generation Jamaican-Canadian. Judging by the name of the album, the most glaringly obvious theme is smoking up, and the album doesn’t fall short at every attempt to fulfill its ethos.
Ghost Twin released their newest album, Love Songs for End Times, on Friday, June 4th via Artoffact Records. Their first single and video, “Pet Cemetery,” is a real step up the magical ladder for this local heartwarming duo. The sound is dialed in and focused. It’s powerful and dark, mixing with quirky and sad lyrics. Each song works perfectly with the rest as part of a bigger picture and the visuals are so tight. I had a chance to call them up on the video phone and have a chat about it so I took it.
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.
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.
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.”