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Five Canadian bands you should be listening to


Rav.

I've been living in the country of maple syrup and hot chips swimming in cheese curds and gravy for just over six months now, and I have to say, it's one of the best places in the world to be a music fan.

Living in Toronto specifically, the city is one of the major stops on every touring band's itinerary, which means you not only get to see a lot of major acts at the height of their powers, but you also score the chance of checking out new acts busting their asses in the pursuit of making it big.

It also means gigs are fucking cheap. I saw Deerhunter with Real Estate opening a couple of weeks ago for the princely sum of $18. Best Coast/Male Bonding earlier in the year was just $15. And last week I had the nuclear arsenal that is Japan's Zoobombs napalm my fucking eardrums for $10. This shit is, as they say, bananas.

Aside from all the sensational international acts that troupe through town, Canada is well known for it's prolific production of unique and inspiring musical artists. This is, after all, the home of Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, The Band, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, etc etc etc etc. This list goes on for fucking ever. And as much as this huge output of amazing material is beneficial to the universe, now that I'm living in it's epicentre, I'm getting pissed off that so many great Canadian acts aren't getting the exposure they deserve in Australia because they're swamped by these bigger bandwagons.

Actually, fuck the bands. I'm getting pissed off that so many fine listeners such as yourselves are missing out on hearing some of the creme de la creme Canada has to offer because you're still trying to figure out if The Suburbs is genius or a piece of dry dog shit.

So I'm taking it upon myself to name check five bands that I've discovered in my travels through Canada that I think have been painted with the colours that make up the super awesome rainbow.

And if you've heard of some these bands before, hi five and then shut the fuck up so everyone else can get a chance to hear them too.

Land Of Talk

Montreal's Land Of Talk is essentially one chick, Elizabeth Powell, who sings with a voice full of amazing presence and confidence, all the while doing an outstanding job of wielding an axe. No offence ladies, but the majority of chicks that play guitars in bands do that limp wristed, barely holding down the strings thing as they strum along. This not only looks shitty, but reminds me of dry, cold hand jobs. Not fun.

Powell on the other hand is a playing force, and she's backed by up by a pretty great rhythm section of two dudes, one of whom used to be in this great Boston band called The Slip.

Together they make pure power pop with gutsy guitar chords and vocal hooks that will infect your ears for days at a time. Not only that, but their debut album, Some Are Lakes, was produced by my man crush, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. Their second album, Cloak And Cipher was released in August, and is awesome, but this song is the title track from their debut record, Some Are Lakes.



Diamond Rings

You show me Julian Casablancas making out with Stephin Merritt in a Toronto hipster bar, both dressed as Ziggy Stardust and I'll show you Diamond Rings.


David Bowie.

Diamond Rings is the brainchild of John O'Regan, the former frontman of the band D'Urbervilles (dude likes his apostrophes). O'Regan was struck down with Crohn's disease a couple of years ago and during his recovery started writing material that fused the upbeat pop of The Strokes with the sultry baritone of the Magnetic Fields (well what else are you supposed to do when you're shitting all over yourself?). Couple with that glam rock/queer image and you got yourself a great big shiny bucket of Diamond Rings.

This track, Something Else, is from the debut record Special Affections.



Timber Timbre

If I were given the choice to select one word to describe Timber Timbre, the decision would be easy — 'haunting'.


Jack Johnstone.

Taylor Kirk, Timber Timbre's lead man, is a unique musician that has the ability to not simply create a musical project around his songs, but craft a musical aura. The band's folk sound has a mesmerising quality, being as equally cold and foreboding as it is warm and inviting. One moment your neck hairs will be standing at nervous attention, the next you'll be carried away in waves of luscious melody.

Demon Host is the opening track from the Montreal band's latest, self-titled album.



Women

Calgary's Women made a bit of a splash with their debut album a couple of years ago. The song, Black Rice, landed on Pitchfork's best songs of 2008 list with its jingly jangly guitar sound and swampy production values that in many ways pre-dated the new, hazy surf guitar sound employed by so many of the bigger indie bands of 2010.



These guys sound less like they're playing their instruments, and more like they're repeatedly dropping them and picking them up, accidentally creating wonderfully chaotic pop.

Their sophomore album Public Strain was released this year but this song, Shaking Hand, is from their debut album and I think perfectly encapsulates that Beach Boys in a blender guitar sound.

Clothes Make The Man

Toronto/Ottawa/Kingsville's Clothes Make The Man are a gutsy, grungy punk rock band that play the kind of music that I used to listen to in my early teens (I'm 25, do your own math).


Tucker Bs.

When I hear these guys I think of the Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, and Of Someday Shambles era Jebediah. Not the manliest dudes in the world of rock, but a bunch of guys wearing their hearts on their sleeves, rocking out in a balls and all workman-like manner. That and they put on a fucking fun live show.



Filed Under
Articles
Land Of Talk
Women
Timber Timbre
Diamond Rings
Clothes Make The Man

 

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Comments

Sean

I've heard of Canada.

1 decade ago

(Mark)

Think you forgot The Zit Remedy.

1 decade ago

tiddles

everybody wants something

1 decade ago

Rav

I see Snake walking around downtown all the time. No homo.

1 decade ago

bella

no homo:

http://nsb.com/media/espeakers/photo/7162/19191.jpg

1 decade ago

holc

Are Women still broken up/on hiatus after their meltdown a few months ago??

1 decade ago

Sean

As far as i know Women are done.

1 decade ago

tiddles

how long have you been sitting on that gem bella?

1 decade ago

bella

been waiting all my life, tiddles

1 decade ago

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