There’s more than a few flavours in this pack of bubblegum. A mature take on finding strength and yourself after love, Safety Net is a take on 80’s pop, full of shimmering synths and catchy hooks but grounded in brutally honest lyrics. Ethereal, fun and edgier than her first release, Carmen draws on Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, and Stevie Nicks in this incredible, personal follow-up record. Find her at carmentoth.com and get in the loop!
A return to funky form, we’ve got a new release from Felix’s Belt (previously known as Thunderfunk) and things get groovy. Building on their previous work, the band takes funk, soul, gospel, jazz and 70’s bachelor pad organ sounds to new heights, tightly executed on a 5-track no filler record. Get in the loop!
Shiny 80s brit pop meets indie rock shoe gaze with Toronto’s Alvvays. Blending new wave synths with hints of distorted guitar tones, their second release Antisocialites has range in every sense. Sonically massive, it’s a spacious and colourful record that is both washy and crisp. Masterful production, honest and dynamic emotional moments, and an ode to Jim Reid (Jesus and Mary Chain) make this sophomore record a perfect introduction to their sound.
Strictly Purple‘s Forgotten Songs EP is a mixed bag of folksy-stripped down shoegaze with two contrasting vocalists and great ambient synths. At their best when sharing a tune, Adam and Amina bring together strength and vulnerability, creating both smoothly, haunting surrealism and rougher emotionally raw takes. Forgotten Songs these will not be.
A modern take on prog rock, with plenty of ambience and a bit of a horror vibe, Father Owl’s self-titled album is great for listening to in the dark, in-between spaces. If you’re not into prog rock, the sound is still pretty accessible (and very awesome), so you might find yourself looking a little further into the genre. Check’em out at www.fatherowlmusic.com!
Steely metal guitar riffs with sweaty classic rock rhythms and a soaring powerhouse vocal, The Lad Classic’s Rectifier is a beast of an album. For newbies to the genre, this may convert you. The inclusion of several acoustic versions of selected hard hitting tracks is also a great gateway, and showcases the band’s individual strengths. Check them out at theladclassic.com!
On today’s episode we get into The Stereo Division and their latest release, Love is in Motion. It’s airy, watercolour, shoegaze heavy on synths and sex appeal. Check out their music video for Fire Brigade! Dylan digs into how they build a formula and find ways to play within it, and Jess reluctantly admits that a record with little focus on lyrics can wash over you in a great way (and this one did). Perfect pairing to a romantic night in, a quiet meditation or as the backdrop to summer evening by the water. Come see us July 19th at The Hideout for our AFL 2nd Anniversary Showcase and get in the loop!
If Great Big Sea was on 1998’s Big Shiny Tunes, you’d get Phill Hood! and the Exclamation. Melodic rock with a maritime accent, their debut release Detour has many ingredients that fuse Celtic alt rock with stunning guitar work and creative musicality. Just in time for Canada Day, this record is full of considerations in identity across our great nation, and would be equally at home on a road trip playlist as it would post-breakup. Catch their CD release LIVE at the AFL 2nd Anniversary show July 19th!
Don Campbell’s Sail the Grateful Way is a beachy, sunny, Jack Johnson style pop rock record with more than a a few great guitar riffs and sweet harmonies. A staple of Toronto’s rock scene, Campbell brings a unique positive energy with this album that is refreshing for the season. Be sure to mark your calendars July 19th for AFL 2nd anniversary show and Phill Hood CD release. Raffle prizes now include a gift certificate to The Grand Trunk bar and tickets to the revolutionary VenusFest Sept 30. Get in the loop!
Step into the Twilight Zone with The Patterns‘ third release in a trilogy of magic and mystery inspired by the tv series. This pop/punk transplant from the UK now based in London, ON has a lot going for it. If you have yet to get into the sci-fi show, this is a wonderful introduction, though it also serves as a solid companion piece if you’re a superfan like Dylan. Certainly an aural experience to be dug into, so get in the loop! And mark your calendar’s for July 19th!!!