*Because I care for Amos Nadlersmith, the front man of Amos the Kid, and we’ve fussed around with songs over the years, two of which ended up on this album (I don’t write about those here for obvious reasons), don’t read this as a review proper, but as an appreciation of Amos’s songwriting and an interpretation of his work from my subjective position. *
by Noah Cain
Amos the Kid’s debut album, Enough as it Was, opens with the world on fire. Smoke hangs in the sky like clouds. In the choking heat, The Kid—the moniker I have for the album’s hero—feels drawn away from the city, to return home and reckon with what’s transpired, to square what he was taught about the world with his experiences in the world, to digest it all before riding out into a future all his own.
Raphaelle Standell-Preston cries aloud a prolonged “Oh My God” to introduce the space-y free-flowing “Left/Right.” A sudden blink in lyrical flow once “illuminated on the mountain top: Mont Royal” spills like a panic of spacial hyper-awareness as the strings wash over the synth floor, the acknowledgement of footsteps which the song title points to. A track with such spontaneity feeds into a theme within Euphoric Recall; the abandonment of strategy, burning away the structures and embracing the impulses, and welcoming imperfections. A move seemingly necessary to exercise the pandemic demons many artists endured, Euphoric Recall follows 2020’s “Shadow Offering,” one of many albums created with hopes of support in the form of performances and subsequent touring that got washed out in the pandemic noise. In the demand for patience and space, this album is also an urgency for movement, injected from a lingering groove-based pulse from Standell-Prestons’ fluid-motion side project Blue Hawaii.
Nickybaby’s self titled album was a very intriguing listen. It has elements of folk and indie rock that combine to form one of my favourite indie releases of the year so far. It has almost deceptively good production, meaning that it sounds very rough, but that lack of fidelity only aids in conveying the theme of the record.
Winnipeg’s own Yes We Mystic’s third and final album, Trust Fall, was released on October 21st, 2022. The group describes it as (in addition to being heavily inspired by Kate Bush) “the songs were most proud of, and that we fought the hardest to bring into the world.”
Anyone who is familiar with the Winnipeg music scene has surely happened upon Joel Klaverkamp’s music over the years. But one could be forgiven for perhaps not knowing his name since his projects since 1989 have been multitudinous. From the teenage hair metal band Breakneck Inferno to the indie-forward cyberpunk project Robojom, to the latest broody dance-rock outfit Cookie Delicious, Klaverkamp is perpetually involved in the process of reinvention. Is he now the armour-clad Reynard first seen on the cover of his 2022 single Forget It? And how long before the next iconoclasm? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, Fox in Golden Armour provides listeners with nearly 36 minutes of what has been self-described as “hypnotic creamsicle,” which aptly describes the swirl of tasty beats, sweet hooks, and biting lyrics.
Winnipeg art-pop duo, Bicycle Face, describes their sound as “the most whimsical side of Metric, or Joanna Newsom with effects pedals.” Their new album, Bicycle Space, is centred around the theme of space and constellations to paint a picture of life, loss, and going through changes.
Toot Toot is the latest album from Hamilton-based electronic musician Graham Kartna. Known by indietronica fans for his collage-like style of incorporating various sound bytes, voice recordings, and the occasional robot voice within his music, Kartna is a unique talent and a prolific artist, having released over 20 albums since 2011.
In most parts of his music, he doesn’t need lyrics; the melodies say it all. The small comforts of this album make it feel incredibly warm and welcoming. It has almost a nostalgic haze type of vibe to it. I think the best part about it is that this isn’t some pretentious ass shit. It’s complex and beautiful, but it still doesn’t feel as though it’s trying to aim too hard for that target audience of ‘snobby hipsters who listen to folk music and probably think that they’re both better than you AND too smart for you.’