The first full-length album by Paige Drobot is a veritable time machine, but not only because of its largely 70s-inspired aesthetic. She definitely took her time on this one, as all of the songs on the project first came into existence many years ago with her band, The Psychics. In fact, all of the songs on The Psychics–except for “Each Another’s Creation”–can be found on the 2016 release Live at the Graffiti Gallery, which was captured on the fourth anniversary of the original band’s formation, bringing us all the way back to 2012.
VVonder is a rock band born out of a noteworthy musical tie in Canada. A veritable mixture of the best local talent the heart of Winnipeg has to offer, this band consistently guarantees and lives up to soulful and highly entertaining rock music that resembles the early ’70s and late ’60s. VVoner takes the listeners on an existential journey throughout their new album Now And Again.
Foxwell’s Just So EP is equal parts wacky and soulful, alien and human. The Winnipeg group are masters of orchestration, from stirring strings through mysterious feedback. Every hi-hat trill, every chiming synth, rings out clearly and deeply through a voluminous four-song setlist.
When a band releases their debut album in March of 2020, it’s got to have felt like a shoulder thrown right into the asphalt. However, the members of Death Cassette are back on their feet with the follow-up EP Get Rid of It, and it’s hard-hitting. All four members are the same since their formation back in 2018, led by frontperson Amanda Sousa, Lindsey Hawkes on guitar, Chuck Barchuk on bass, and Brock Macpherson on drums. As for the audio master of this project, it’s none other than John Paul Peters from Private Ear Recording (who – name drop — has recorded and produced for other bands such as Cancer Bats, Propagandhi, and Yes We Mystic).
I was fortunate enough to ask Robyn of Only a Visitor a few questions about their newest full-length LP, Decay, an indie pop album with “themes of the passage of time, connection, memory, and the possibility of regeneration that is inherent in the process of decay.”
Still Depths has a very casual grunge sound to their music. If you’re a fan of Nirvana, or just 90s rock in general, I’d highly recommend this album. There’s a sort of half-angry, half-apathetic theme to the songs. Best Plan For Your Life will give you the existential crisis that you need and make you reassess your life plan.
If certain sections of Twitter (or, rather, X) are to be believed, we are currently living through an epidemic of male loneliness. You might have seen op-eds, graphs, or surveys making the rounds, supposedly demonstrating that North American men in the 2020s have fewer friends, experience depression at higher rates, and are having less sex than ever before. Whether this framing of affairs is true and what ought to be done about it is anyone’s guess. But almost as if anticipating the contentious social media discourse on the subject, Saskatchewan-based folk musician Andy Shauf released Norm on February 10, 2023. The singer and multi-instrumentalist’s eighth LP fits perfectly among his catalogue as another perceptive and affecting exploration of the psyche of lonely men.
No stranger to dropping weighty truth via their projects, Super Duty Tough Work is back with their much-anticipated second record, Paradigm Shift, and it delivers a heavy reality-dosing ten tracks of hip hop content. Formed in 2014 by emcee Brendan Grey, this from-the-floor rap outfit released their first LP back in 2019 (that was longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize in 2020). However, while there is continuity from Studies in Grey in leitmotif, there has also been a deliberate tightening and nuanced sonic scope. This not only includes scaling back the use of horns on Paradigm Shift – which was quite prominent on older SDTW recordings – but also slowing things down substantially tempo-wise. In fact, only two songs on this release could be described as more upbeat, namely “New Sight” and “Dirty Hands.” This opting for more of a chill vibe was conceivably strategic, though, since it functions to compel the listener to pause and consider more fully the voice of the artist. And Super Duty has some important things to communicate.
Local alt-rock band Merin released their third EP this past August, and I had the pleasure of giving it a thorough listen. Full of pop-culture references and galactic metaphors, this album is the soundtrack to an epic space adventure — even referencing the classic sci-fi film Dune in the opening track, “Fear is the Mind Killer, Nerd.”