Reviews

Coszmos Quartette – S/T

Coszmos Quartette - S/T

Review by Mitch Fillion Coszmos Quartette’s dreamy psych-folk beckons you back to the present, away from the mind’s constant noise, to a place where everything is connected, infinite, and wondrous.  Images of nature and the universe echo throughout, as our storyteller longs to understand consciousness, time, and our place in the cosmos.  We’re reminded to drop our egoic minds and… Continue reading


Mauno – ‘Rough Master’

Mauno - 'Rough Master'

Review by J.M. Farr Mauno’s new album, Rough Master, deals with the duller moments in life. Moving, driving—day-to-day drudgery. Boredom screws with our sense of time; it seems interminable. Mauno extrapolates from this timelessness and distils it into potent and shapely songs. To my ears, the music takes many cues from Toronto’s Sandro Perri, which is certainly fertile ground for… Continue reading


Ancient Shapes

Ancient Shapes

Review by Tamara Lindeman Ancient Shapes appeared in my inbox in January, a surprise in more ways than one.  Romano had described it as an experiment, a record he made over the holidays.  He was bored, and he started playing drums again, and he started writing songs on top of the drums he was playing and recording.  And then, I… Continue reading


Daniel Romano – ‘Mosey’

Daniel Romano - 'Mosey'

Review by Tamara Lindeman Let’s get this out of the way.  I’ll say without hesitation that Mosey is Daniel Romano’s best work, and that Ancient Shapes is my personal favorite Romano record, and I say that as a genuine fan. Together they provide a portrait of a person who is one of our only geniuses working today, and one of… Continue reading


Inflatable Chaise – ‘Fruit Dove Pump Child’

Inflatable Chaise - 'Fruit Dove Pump Child'

Review by J.M. Farr Inflatable Chaise is the name of a lovely collaboration between two stalwarts of Toronto’s music community—Thom Gill and Ryan Driver. Thom and Ryan are visionary musicians, each possessed by a profound individual talent. Though their styles are highly distinct, this collaboration is complementary to them both. The instrumentation is rather sparse, with nylon-string and electric guitars, synthesizer,… Continue reading


BART – ‘Holomew’

BART - 'Holomew'

Review by J.M. Farr Two things can predispose us in this band’s favour before even hearing their music:  they have the best band name, Bart, and the best album name, Holomew. In this way, they edge out the previous undisputed champions—themselves with 2014’s Bart (EP) by Bart. Bart by Bart came out swinging in a barrage of fragmented and skittish… Continue reading


The Besnard Lakes – ‘A Coliseum Complex Museum’

The Besnard Lakes - 'A Coliseum Complex Museum'

Review by Steve Marck One night, years ago, I stood in a clearing alone, hours from any populated place, beyond spruce and fir-lined old growth logging roads. For the first time in my life I had an uninterrupted view of the stars, and they enveloped my entire field of vision. The day before, I awoke to take in my first… Continue reading


Young Rival – ‘Interior Light’

Young Rival - 'Interior Light'

Review by John Acres This young rival is a man from the 1950s, or early ‘60s, who has travelled through time (on a motorcycle) to the 1980s to meet his older self, a man who experienced what it’s like to be young, in love, good looking, and talented. Poolside in the Southern tip of Florida, the old rival tells his younger… Continue reading


The Inflation Kills – ‘Grounds For Termination’

The Inflation Kills - 'Grounds For Termination'

Review by Steve Marck Idolization is an ungainly process from its beginning, though as a kid it doesn’t seem that way. When you’re young, your identity gets formed by a lengthy process in part by those you admire and attempt to emulate. Everyone finds people to discover the world through, and those responsible for your creation are by nature the… Continue reading


Hop Along – ‘Painted Shut’

Hop Along - 'Painted Shut'

Review by Steve Marck No one knows when they’ll fall in love for the last time, but most folks will be able to grade how they might feel afterwards. Some words encompass those emotions well (gutted, raw, scorned), but without emphasis, they’re lack. Painted Shut has Hop Along conducting a gamut of affectations, specific to their own histories though they… Continue reading


Snooker Emporium – ‘Faster Every Time’

Snooker Emporium - 'Faster Every Time'

Review by Claire Marie Guimond As a pop concept, Snooker Emporium almost died once. They hung on til the end—the last shows were played without a permanent drummer—and then we went home and some of us may have thought about friends and bandmates moving away, and how cruel it was that fate killed dreams by negligence. But you are young… Continue reading


The Weather Station – ‘Loyalty’

The Weather Station - 'Loyalty'

Review by J.M. Farr My favourite records don’t give answers. Instead, they ask questions. They wonder about the world and equip the listeners with tools to deepen their own sense of wonder. Loyalty is such a record. The album’s 11 songs are built up around Tamara’s Lindeman’s lovely voice and words, which are somehow both simultaneously tender and detached in… Continue reading


Moon King – ‘Secret Life’

Moon King - 'Secret Life'

Review by Kieran Blake Moon King begins Secret Life with “Roswell”, the longest song on the album; an epic swirl of unrelenting drums and pulsing synths.  The carefree tone set within the first minute of the song quickly shifts as cracks of thunderous fuzz start to flood the tune and Moon King’s vocals ring out “No feeling without feeling”.  It’s… Continue reading


Sasha Chapin – ‘Golden Ticket’

Sasha Chapin - 'Golden Ticket'

Review by Andrew Hood (andrewnathanhood.com) A young man with a guitar – or any other means of expression, really – runs the risk of compensating for limited living by trying to sound older. Reading a 25 year old who’s been reading Hemingway is about as insufferable as listening to a 25 year who’s been listening to Leonard Cohen. But on… Continue reading


Limblifter – ‘Pacific Milk’

Limblifter - 'Pacific Milk'

Review by Kristin Lee B (kristinleeb.com) It happens quickly. A train barrels across an open terrain, speeding in comparison to the stillness it slices through. The quiet landscape is instantly transformed. But for the muted passengers safely aboard, the only sign of momentum is a steady rhythm underfoot as the car swings gently back and forth. This is how Pacific… Continue reading


Michael Feuerstack – ‘The Forgettable Truth’

Michael Feuerstack - 'The Forgettable Truth'

Review by J.M. Farr Michael Feuerstack’s ambitions are simple. According to a recent Globe and Mail profile, he only wants to be “a career artist”. He has been making really good albums for over 20 years. In our times, quiet consistency has been falsely defrocked: self-serving music reviewers are desperate to keep hype cycles spinning, and so they demand that… Continue reading


Whitney K – ‘Mixtape’

Whitney K - 'Mixtape'

Review by Kieran Blake Whitney K is the latest musical project of Konnor Whitney, who for many years released his music under the band name ‘Koko’, a nickname, but very much a band. By changing into Whitney K it seems Koko has erased the history of his nicknamed band to better represent his current state with the almost clinical moniker… Continue reading


Pile – ‘You’re Better Than This’

Pile - 'You're Better Than This'

Review by Steve Marck (outoforder.ca) Properly naming your motive for expression is nigh impossible now. It wasn’t always that way, given the blind ideologies that guided the weighty choices one inevitably makes during creative processes. Not having a balanced sense of humours could be an easy excuse for any action. A hundred years ago I could have blamed my lucid despondency on an extra fistful… Continue reading


Rhythm Church – ‘Bangs’

Rhythm Church - 'Bangs'

Review by Mitch Fillion Growing up I never had any siblings of my own.  My best friend’s older brother Vince was the older brother I never had.  We played in a cover band together in elementary school called Coindextor, covering songs by Limblifter and Age of Electric exclusively.  I wouldn’t know how cool this was until years later when Limblifter remained one of… Continue reading


JONS – ‘Short Swim’

JONS - 'Short Swim'

Review by Andrew Patterson Victoria’s slacking windjammers weightlessly combine melodies that you can really lean into. Like a welcomed breeze, the A-side of this Craft Single rouges up the cheeks a little, lets your mind skip jauntily. ‘Short Swim’ even mimics the mode in which little bits of wind die: at the end of the track, the tape machine slows… Continue reading


Natalie Prass – S/T

Natalie Prass - S/T

Review by Steve Marck (outoforder.ca) As a kid, I kept the fact that Fantasia was my favourite Disney movie a secret. It lacked identity, being largely bereft of the exacting characters and exposition upon which other theatrical animations depended. Deems Taylor’s protracted explanation at the start of the film did nothing to prepare me for the orchestral illustrations that followed.… Continue reading


Manatee – ‘Look The Other Way’

Manatee - 'Look The Other Way'

Review by Tim Martin Manatee is an impressive act. They are a squadron of flammable imaginative power, and they kindle a capricious blaze. Calling them a jazz ensemble simply will not suffice. Harnessing the intention and talent of various southwestern Ontario stalwarts, they seek to light up the scene with their performative and interactive style. More than a musical project,… Continue reading


The Weather Station – ‘What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know’

The Weather Station - 'What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know'

Review by Andrew Patterson A little over three years ago, Tamara Lindeman aka The Weather Station released All Of It Was Mine, an unassuming record full of small truths plucked from summer breezes, wandering wisdom lost and elated. The songs felt slight; beautifully so. Lindeman’s gentle plucking and expert cadence lent her uncomplicated folk songs a great strength of character… Continue reading


Jennifer Castle – ‘Pink City’

Jennifer Castle - 'Pink City'

Review by Andrew Patterson Intuitive statements based on two weeks of listening to Jennifer Castle’s Pink City every morning in late Summer: Pink City is brimming with long looks. It holds a candle to itself. We will never know to whom the deeds belong. The Pink City sheriff is a snake but he sure has some sharp tattoos. We got… Continue reading