by Zoe Lebrun

The subgenre of art rock is generally described as being music that involves challenging, avant-garde, unconventional, or experimental musical elements. By this definition, one could come to the conclusion that Suuns is practically the epitome of modern art rock. With the release of their LP Felt, recent music video for their song “Look No Further”, and upcoming Canadian tour on the way, we talked to guitarist Joe Yarmush, to find out more about this intriguing group. Continue reading “SUUNS”

TOPS :: Elegance and ease

by Chris Bryson

Not many bands can make music that moves with such elegance, ease, and bounce as TOPS. Surely this is no easy feat, as the band has been honing their formula over the course of three albums, plus another in progress. Last year’s Sugar at the Gate, TOPS’ third full-length, found the band pushing their soft indie rock a la mellow disco-funk into a further refined breezy luster. Continue reading “TOPS :: Elegance and ease”

Blue Hawaii :: Untogether, Together


By Adrienne Yeung

Blue Hawaii are Alex “Agor” Cowan and Raphelle Standell-Preston, who live in Montreal and play electronic music. If their sound can be described as dream pop, then their first full length album Untogether is a dream neither nightmare nor sweet, but introspective and amorphous. It’s a dream lit by strobe light, where people from your past flicker in and out of the narrative of your subconscious. Untogether sounds like the kind of dream which you wake up from, lie still, and think about.

Instrumentalist Agor and vocalist Raph wrote Untogether in physically separate spaces – and the sound of many songs are likewise disjointed, drifting, pensive, and fragile. Stylus was curious about Blue Hawaii’s songwriting process, so on a spring day in Winnipeg, drinking coffee and wearing three sweaters, we called Agor (who at the time was in San Francisco record store “Amoeba” watching label-mate Doldrums play an in-store show) to chat. Continue reading “Blue Hawaii :: Untogether, Together”

Voivod :: Target Earth with new album

by Broose Tulloch

In December, Stylus caught up with drummer and graphic artist for legendary Québec metal band Voivod, Michel Langevin. Their latest album Target Earth, was released January 22nd through Century Media Records. In its 30 year career, Voivod has made a name for themselves with a prog-rock/trash metal sound, thought-provoking lyrics, and an eerie science-fiction vibe. It was a chilling cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine” from 1989’s Nothingface that broke the band, reaching number 114 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Continue reading “Voivod :: Target Earth with new album”

The Barr Brothers :: Busy n’ Confident

One album in, and seemingly busy as a band could be, Montréal’s The Barr Brothers continue to ride an exceptional wave of success. On a blistering hot day at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Stylus sat down with Brad Barr after their workshop with The Head and The Heart, Blitzen Trapper, and Bahamas. The following is an edited transcript of the interview, covering everything from the band’s inception to playing on David Letterman. by darcy penner

Continue reading “The Barr Brothers :: Busy n’ Confident”

The Hidden Words explore the Bahá’í faith in song

By Sheldon Birnie

The Hidden Words is a Montréal-based acoustic folk-pop project celebrating the scriptural tradition of the Bahá’í faith. Initiated by Alden Penner (ex-Unicorns, Clues), the project has grown to include Penner’s old friend and collaborator Jamie Thompson (ex-Unicorns, ex-Islands), as well as Marie-Claire Saindon, Neah Bahji Kelly, James Farr, and Ben Howden. Continue reading “The Hidden Words explore the Bahá’í faith in song”

ADAM AND THE AMETHYSTS – Flickering Flashlight

I’ve never owned one of those ordinary-looking rocks chopped in half with amethyst crystals bulging out like grape Kool-Aid, but in front of me is the Montreal-based band Adam and the Amethysts’ second album of indie pop, and it’s pretty darn nice. Genre-wise, it also fits under the euphemous description “psychedelic folk,” but it’s crafted from pretty familiar ingredients. Nothing about this record strikes me as particularly memorable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. Flickering Flashlight is delicate but never weak, and filled with little odds and ends that keep things interesting. Here and there are gleeful yells, and the tune to “Auld Lang Syne”; a rhythm reminiscent of music boxes, and strains of violin like sunlit ripples on the lake. “Gitchee Gumee Yeah Yeah” is an unabashedly fun song.  “Get me out of my clothes, and into the cool lake,” croons Adam over a funky bassline and all sorts of dizzying sound effects. “If it seems like I’m dreaming, don’t wake me,” is another lovely line from the song “Dreaming,” filled with low-key beachy sounds. The album ends with “Untitled,” a stirring 40 seconds of melancholy cello. This isn’t going to knock you off your feet, but  it’ll come up on shuffle while you’re riding your bike on a sunny day, and slowly the world will look and sound warmer, crisper, sweeter. The equivalent of apple crumble for your cochleas? Yeah, bring it on. (Kelp Records, Adrienne Yeung