Calgary three-piece riff-lords Woodhawk touched down in Toronto on Good Friday to spread the word of doom amongst some like-minded Torontonian music-heads. Along for the ride were Toronto’s Low Orbit, Kitchener six-piece Hawkeyes and Montreal’s Mountain Dust. Ten whole bucks got you a 45-minute set from each of the openers and an hour of Woodhawk – I doubt a better bang for the buck could be found anywhere in Toronto on this fine religious holiday.
Low Orbit, a three-piece Toronto band with a penchant for long meandering songs of doomy psychedelia opened up the proceedings tonight – filling every inch of the intimate Bovine Sex Club space with riffs and drum beats. The band has performed with Hawkeyes a few times over the past few years, and their different-yet-similar sounds go quite well together. Check out the ten minute long “Shades Of Neptune” (taken from their debut album Spacecake) Bovine performance below.
Low Orbit – Shades Of Neptune – Bovine Sex Club, Toronto – March 30th, 2018.
Hawkeyes were up next. Hawkeyes are six guys: four guitarists, one bassist, and a drummer. On the Bovine stage, it felt like they could only JUST fit on the stage together. The band has been busy writing for much of the past six months, and tonight they performed a variety of their new songs which including this one; “Look At ‘Em Scramble.” As yet unrecorded, this completely handheld footage represents its worldwide debut. Eyes closed and heads bobbed in unison as the band performed their set, with the newcomers in the room heading to the back of the venue to buy music from the band as soon as their set was complete. Another fine performance from a band that never disappoints live.
Hawkeyes – Look At ‘Em Scramble – Bovine Sex Club, Toronto – March 30th, 2018.
Montreal’s Mountain Dust were up next – with fewer performers, but with the inclusion of two keyboards and a lap steel slide guitar, the stage felt equally jam-packed. While still a band I’d describe as “stoner rock”, Mountain Dust boast elements of blues and fuzz rock in their material. Some of their songs were quite lengthy, and everything they performed sounded great. They performed songs from their debut album Nine Years along with some new material from an album due out later this year. One of those songs, “Stop Screaming” appears here in entirety. This is another as yet unreleased song with likely lives here as the track’s online debut.
Mountain Dust – Stop Screaming – Bovine Sex Club, Toronto – March 30th, 2018.
At well past midnight, Woodhawk took the stage and ran through about a dozen songs to room filled with nodding heads blessed with an appropriate alcohol haze. Of all of the bands performing this evening, Woodhawk style is more uptempo – they reminded me most of The Sword. Being a three-piece, they could actually move about on the Bovine stage a bit.
Drummer Kevin Nelson was a joy to watch as he played, tossing sticks in the air multiple times during his energetic performance. I’d taken the time to watch two videos of Woodhawk before tonight’s gig, and had an idea of what their style was going to be like, but I was unprepared for how well their material came off live. Tonight marked Woodhawk’s very first time performing in Toronto – and based on audience approval this evening, they will have some repeat attendees when they come back to town.
Woodhawk – Living In the Sand – Bovine Sex Club, Toronto – March 30th, 2018.
The Eighty Six Seas – ‘Scenes from an Art Heist’ [Album Review]
Overall, this album does exactly what it sets out to do in encapsulating a fictionalized version of a famous art heist. Well done, The Eighty Six Seas!
On February 23, 2024, The Eighty Six Seas released their first 11-track full-length album, Scenes from an Art Heist. Each track on this album is meant to represent a fictionalized story of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.
The first track sets out an eerie aura that aligns with the track’s title, a dedication to Isabella Stewart Gardner. The next song is a quick switch up from the first, with flighty strings and a whispered voice from lead singer Nick Stevens.
Moving on to track number three, “Coffee and Art,” you’ll hear a faster-paced, nearly techno piece that feels like caffeine hitting your bloodstream for the first time in the morning. Their next song, “Jenny,” is a piano-led ballad spotlighting Steven’s melancholy voice. With “Lonely Afternoon,” the track transforms back into the techno feel of “Coffee and Art,” but with a darker twist.
The next song, “Cat/Mouse,” sounds exactly as you’d expect—like a tense cat-and-mouse standoff, with the music accenting this push-and-pull dynamic. “Hey Little Bird” is more or less an instrumental, with occasional lyrics included, but it is clearly meant to be the interlude.
Moving on, we arrive at a track called “The Day I Die,” a techno piece with a fabulous crescendo after its quiet beginnings. Following that, “The Eighty Six Seas” provides its track, “Portrait of a Smuggler,” which quite literally encapsulates the feeling you have while walking through a park on a sunny day.
Next, we come to “Ghost in the Cityscape,” which has darker undertones, a sorrowful cello, and a slower tempo. The final piece is titled “Frames,” which will remind you of a love letter saying goodbye or a beautiful lullaby. Overall, this album does exactly what it sets out to do in encapsulating a fictionalized version of a famous art heist. Well done, The Eighty Six Seas.
Scenes from an Art Heist Track Listing:
1. For Isabella, March 1990
2. Scenes from an Art Heist
3. Coffee and Art
5. Lonely Afternoon
6. Cat / Mouse
7. Hey Little Bird
8. The Day I Die
9. Portrait of a Smuggler
10. Ghost in the Cityscape
Release Date: February 23, 2024
Record Label: Independent
Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]
On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,
It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.
To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.
Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:
“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”
It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.
Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings
Mieko Shimizu Premieres Music Video for “Unworldy” Single “My Tentacles”
Get stoked, cause radical multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu premieres the video for the reworked single “My Tentacles.”
Radical, nonconformist Japanese singer and multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu recently re-released her offbeat, unworldly single “My Tentacles.”
The single is the offbeat, unworldly title track of Mieko’s soon-to-be-released album. It is be-thronged by chimeric fusions, dysfunctional beats and startling mutations. The single is unaccompanied by an equally radical video created by diz_qo.
Speaking about the track, Mieko tells us:
“‘Emergence,’ the book by Steve Johnson, fascinated me; a colony of ants, a sprawling metropolis, and human brain cells, are all features of the unknown science of self-organisation. I wanted to cut down into society and sing a simple song about people as single cells.”
The multi-instrumentalist explains further:
“They interconnect with the multitude and conjure up a whole that is wiser together than we are individually. When my tentacles reach out and touch you, communicate with you then we become something else, something more than just an individual.”
For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Mieko has played at Sonar alongside Kraftwerk, as well as support for Goldfrapp and Massive Attack at their Melt Down Festival. She is currently an artist in residence for Wonky Plonky Electronk, an experimental, electronic live event which is touring the UK throughout 2024, the next show being on 28th March at The Cinema Room at All Is Joy in London.
Mieko has worked with an extensive range of artists, including Japan’s Mick Karn, Nitin Sawhney, Riz MC, David Cunningham, Robert Lippok and has also remixed the likes of Coldcut and Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra.
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