Although they have been together since 2010, Dead Broke can look back upon 2023 as the year of their breakthrough. The Toronto-based band released their latest record, When the Night Comes, in September. It is the most fully realized work that they have recorded, the most well-composed and produced work they have yet to come up with. Spearheaded by siblings Michael and Rachel Bright, they recorded the EP at Dream House Studios in Toronto. They made a believer out of producer Alex Bonenfant, who’s worked with The Weeknd, July Talk, Broken Social Scene, and many more. Partially thanks to Bonenfant and just a natural evolution of them as musicians, this is the best they’ve ever sounded.
Dead Broke has toured with acts like The Bronx, Black Lips, Single Mothers, and The Dirty Nil. They have toured as relentlessly as possible, crisscrossing North America in a Chevy van many times over. Playing live is their ultimate reward, and they are happy to play to audiences of any size. It’s a far cry from the days of just rocking out together in their parents’ basement.
Michael and Rachel Bright of Dead Broke join us today for Vinyl Variety. Here, they share their top five record stores in their hometown of Toronto. For any readers from Toronto, you’re sure to know these spots very, very well.
Rachel: A haven of mine in the downtown core, especially throughout my teenage years. They have since moved from their old Queen St. location, but a brighter and bigger space a few doors down just means more records and more light to find exactly what you were looking for. Thanks for all the relics, revelations and fun memories, KOPS. Always a treat.
Rachel: There are a lot of really sweet gems in here. Many of their records have made their way into my shelves. It was always a little on what felt like the pricey side when you were a broke teenager, but rightfully so with some of the quality they pack into that spot. Thanks for all the rarities, Cosmos!
Michael: Cosmos West is a great hole in the wall for jazz, funk, and world music. Located just a few steps up Palmerston Blvd from Queen St. W, it’s one of my favourite spots to drop in and peruse the bins. They are always spinning records that I’ve never heard, and likely never will again. So, I always ask what they’re listening to so I can revisit later. Don’t be shy; they pride themselves on finding forgotten music and giving it new life with their customers.
Michael: One of my favourite local record shops isn’t an obvious one, in fact it’s a bookstore! BMV located along Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood offers three levels of books, magazines, comic books, collectables and yes… records. If we take a dip into the basement we will find a treasure trove of new and old vinyl, as well as used CDs. You never know what you’ll find in this magical basement. There’s music of all genres from all over the world and the prices are always forgiving enough to pick out a couple of treats. This visit I snagged some used CDs: Shine A Light by Constantines, Attack and Release by Black Keys, and a Nick Cave album all for under 15 dollars.
Michael: Pandemonium is in The Junction, which is one of the more interesting of Toronto’s west-end neighbourhoods. The Junction was the last of Toronto’s “dry neighbourhoods,” which meant before the year 2000 no alcohol was allowed to be sold. Times have changed quite a bit since, and now The Junction has a buzzing nightlife of bars, restaurants, and even a few music venues.
The locals and vinyl heads alike love Pandemonium. It’s got a wide selection of new vinyl, but the used offerings are especially good. It’s been around since the neighbourhood changed their liquor laws and has a 4.6 star rating on Google, so you’re in for a good time.