Soundcheck: New music from Austra, Jenn Grant’s new band, busted urinals and more.

On Tuesdays, the Mixtape brings you a blog post full of the latest singles, albums and videos we think you should know about. This week is a little lighter on new music although Canadian bands have been super busy between NXNE in Toronto this past week and the upcoming Sled Island in Calgary this week.

Album: Austra – Olympia

Austra’s second album Olympia came out today, and if you liked their first album you’ll like this one. The same soaring vocals from opera-trained Katie Stelmanis mixed with electro beats. Catchy “Forgive Me” will get stuck in your head and has a beautiful descant-like bridge. The album is available through Paper Bag Records and can be streamed over at Exclaim.

New band: Aqua Alta  

Jenn Grant, along with Charles Austin and Graeme Campbell, has a new side-project called Aqua Alta. At this point all the information that exists is a pretty wheel with various shades of blue, green and yellow to go along with three new tracks. The new songs sound more experimental (think synths and lots or reverb) than Grant’s regular day gig.

News: Rockfest a mess featuring leaking urinals

Yesterday, the horror stories started spreading on the internet about PNR Rockfest in Montebello, Quebec. The festival featured bands of the heavier rock variety including Rise Against, The Offspring and Marilyn Manson. It was also a disorganized mess not prepared for the sheer volume of people (and urine) that comes along with a huge festival. A thread on Reddit features some of the frightening tales while also has a detailed review of what happened.

Mix: Southern Shores – Music From Other Places

The Toronto via Halifax band has released a 34 minute mix as part of a tank top made by ROOK and Dipped in Dollars. It’s kind of different to produce a mix of dreamy and summery washed out tunes to go along with summery attire, but they’ve done it. It’s easy to close your eyes and get lost in the music of Southern Souls – this mix keeps up with the status quo.

New EP: Shad & Skratch Bastid drop free, 5-track taster
Released last Wednesday for free via Soundcloud, The Spring Up EP from Shad and Skratch Bastid features illed out beats that fit perfectly with a patio beer or backyard BBQ. With guest appearances by Cadence Weapon and the infamous DJ Jazzy Jeff there’s no reason you shouldn’t listen. It’s available on Soundcloud and on Shad’s Bandcamp for free download.

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