Mixtape is the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration from a group of very different people dotted across the country. One thing we all have in common (and one thing that’s necessary for this to work) is a love of music. But because we are so very different, our music tastes are so very different too. So today, we thought we would share with you some of the bands and music that has been living in our ears lately.
Every few months I come back to Mac DeMarco’s album 2 and listen to it non-stop. The latest kick was triggered by the announcement of his new album Salad Days and the single “Passing Out Pieces” that came along with the news. DeMarco has a knack for laying down catchy guitar riffs along with lyrics that swirl around in my brain for days on end. Every time I hear the Dire Straitsesque guitar riff of “Freaking Out the Neighbourhood” I get that ‘yeah, this is rock n’ roll, I could listen to this for days’ type of feeling. While I’m waiting for Salad Days to arrive, I’ll keep feasting on 2.
Right now I am really digging Field Assembly. During the In the Dead of Winter festival in Halifax a couple of weeks ago, I hosted a night of music at Parentheses gallery. All of the music was great, but I haven’t been able to get Field Assembly out of my head. I love dark folk music with obscure lyrics, and Adam Fox (the man behind the band) delivers. His soft voice will lull your tired brain but the lyrics and melodies are catchy enough you’ll be humming them to yourself for the rest of the day. The traditional folk instrumentation is there (fiddle, tambourine, guitar) to satisfy any lover of the genre. His newest album, Narco , is beautiful. Highlights include Gold Coast and Receiver. I’ll be listening on repeat from now until spring.
The first time I really heard a song by Montreal band Half Moon Run, I was sitting in my car at 10:30 p.m. after an hour on the bike-to-nowhere at the gym, drinking a coffee and smoking a cigarette. I had the radio tuned to The Signal on CBC Radio 2 and thinking really hard about something that, at the time, seemed to be really serious. As I sat there stewing in whatever it was that seemed so important at the time the song “21 Gun Salute” broke through my train of thought and stole all my focus. Ever since that night I haven’t been able to get enough of their album Dark Eyes. I play it on my radio show often; I listen to it all day long at work. I’m totally addicted to their sound. While I am sure I will move on to a new musical relationship at some point, I’m pretty excited to hear what comes next from these guys.
Despite multiple MTV Award noms, a Jimmy Fallon appearance and tracks with Solange, I hadn’t really listened to Montreal electro-funk-duo Chromeo until last month, when I discovered their feature on “Legs,” the preview single from Convertibles by Chuck Inglish (The Cool Kids). Legs are a constant source of inspiration for these two (and I feel you, dogs; you should see mine). Anyway, “Legs” was played out in two days. Reeling back through Chromeo’s catalogue, I like this modern Motown hustle; singles from Chromeo’s forthcoming LP, White Women, are already out there. This Lebanese dude (P-Thugg) and this Jewish dude (Dave 1) boogie through the 1970s to the 2000s. Not only cool musicians, they’re interested in race politics, too. And Dave 1 has a PhD in French literature. Much more versatile than Daft Punk, any decade, in my opinion.
Originally from Cape Breton, Alvvays (pronounced “always”) is a dream-pop (or “jangle-plop” as they describe themselves on Twitter) quintet based in Toronto. Their hot new single “Adult Diversion” along with “Archie, Marry Me” and “Party Police” are a sublime blend of bubbly melodies, catchy choruses, rocking guitar riffs and bopping basslines. It’s hard to compare them to anyone since their sound is so unique. But if you mixed a bit of Young Galaxy, a tad of English Words, a sprinkle of Florence and the Machine and some Paper Lions you might come close. Right now, I can say that their fuzz-pop style has quenched my musical thirst and it sends me to a happy, dream-like place. So will I continue to listen to them? Oh yeah, A-L-W-A-Y-S. I’ll be first in line for their upcoming debut album.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t get Ghettosocks out of my ears and when he collabs with Timbuktu (the pair perform together often under the moniker of “Teenburger”) my brain explodes. Combining a sneaky wit, fat beats and an uncanny, golden-era flow Ghettosocks always seems to be releasing or promoting something new. His latest endeavour, For You Pretty Things, was featured in our Winter 2014 issue as the man himself walked us through the album track by track. Peep the single “Invincible” featuring raps by Ghettosocks and El Da Sensei and beats by MPC master Fresh Kils.